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Posts with tag wrathofthelichking

WoTLK Bestiary unveiled

Tipster Medros emails in pointing out that Blizzard has finally put the Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary online. In his email, he mentions that the TBC bestiary started showing us the long leggedy beasties of the first expansion roughly nine months before it launched, arguing for a summer release for WoTLK.

What with all the recent talk of what else might be in the expansion, I am starting to think it may launch sooner than that. It depends, in my opinion, on when Sunwell Plateau launches and if we can expect them to have learned from the original launch of Naxxramas so close to Burning Crusade. In my opinion, I'd hope there would be enough time between the Sunwell launch and the expansion for more guilds to get to see the place in full, especially with the way we're told content will unlock there as people complete quests. So I wouldn't be surprised to see it in late spring/early summer, nor would i be surprised if it didn't launch before Christmas of this year.

Meanwhile, take a look at the two new monsters being unveiled for us today and get your speculation on.

Filed under: Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: What comes next

The Care and Feeding of Warriors spent some time looking back at 2007 not so long ago, and finds itself looking forward to 2008 and beyond this week. Matthew Rossi wants you to imagine a big swirly tube and either the Stargate or Dr. Who music playing, whichever you prefer. I'm more of a Dr. Who man myself, but as the omnipresent third person narrative device I don't think my opinion is much consulted. It's a hard life being a narrative device. No one ever asks you out for coffee.

As the somewhat emo italic text stated, this week we're going to look forward at where the Warrior class is going, a discussion I quite frankly think will be more interesting in the comments you leave than in my own ramblings. My goal here is mainly to serve as a firestarter, hoping to initiate a few sparks of brilliance from you. As a result, I'm going to just throw my musings and opinions at the wall here and see what sticks with you guys, what you accept and what you reject. After all, in the end it's the players who will ultimately determine what warriors will become, as they're the ones who'll chose what they do with their characters.

My first thought is, looking over the past few years, the trend is that warrior successes in PvP tend to be followed by large nerfs. So PvP warriors are almost certainly going to be nerfed in a rather large way if they remain dominant in PvP. I expect mace spec to see the lion's share of this nerfing, perhaps changed into an entirely unrecognizable form removing stuns entirely, but mortal strike is also up for a few changes. It will probably be safe for the next few months, as they just gave a similar effect to hunters and to change MS now would mean having to change that, too, but it will most likely come in whatever patch lays the preparations for Wrath of the Lich King. If not these, then some change to a fundamental warrior DPS/PvP mechanic, similar to the way weapon speed and rage generation were normalized.

Warriors with better gear still, despite nerfs like rage normalization, perform at a much higher rate than before they achieved it. My tauren warrior does much, much better in PvP now, even against opponents who substantially outgear him. In my biased experience, right around the time I start winning in PvP is when the nerfs start coming.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Death Knight, Arena

Is Illidan bad or simply misunderstood?

You can find all kinds of things on the forums. For instance, you can find a forum thread about Illidan. Back and forth the debate goes: does killing Illidan free him from his demonic taint or, well, just kill him? Will he come back or not? Is Maiev kind of a jerk? Bornakk weighs in on page two and continues to post throughout, which to be honest is what I like to see in a blue poster.

The debate on whether Illidan was a hero to his people, a misguided power-hungry ambitious sort, or even out and out evil is interesting on its own, but what really interests me is to see this level of back and forth, even if Bornakk doesn't really say a lot in his replies. It may just be the lore geek in me talking, but I'd really like to take Chris Metzen out for a beer and talk turkey about Illidan, Arthas and the storyline in WCIII. How is it going to manifest in WotLK, did it work out in TBC the way they wanted? Might we see Illidan again or is he definitively dead on the floor of Karabor? Does Maiev have any purpose to her life now? This kind of stuff fascinates me, and clearly it does some other folks as well given the back and forth of this thread.

What about you? Could you care less about lore? Do you want to see Illidan again? Was he a basically good but flawed hero or an out and out villain or both?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Forums

Breakfast topic: What will be WotLK's gold sink?

One of my guild's officers has taken up the dubious practice of "farming for Wrath of the Lich King." He has epic mounts for all his 70s, all the recipes he could ever want, and enough spare cash to pay alt support for an army of gnomes, but he's convinced there'll be some big, 20K or so gold sink in the new expansion.

The gold sinks for WoW have always been epic mounts: the epic ground mount in vanilla WoW, and the epic flyer in BC. I'm not sure what it could be for WotLK. I can't see that many people would spend a ton of money on PvP structures, which leaves a couple of options. There could be extremely expensive forms of character customization, such as tattoos, wings, or other adornments. There could be guild housing (finally.) My guildmates suggested that it will be submarines shaped like "sharks with frickin' lazer beams" and underpants "with rockets on the front", further confirming that my guild's sense of humor is stuck in 1997.

What do you think the gold sink will be when WotLK finally emerges from its cocoon?

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

Know Your Lore: Bad Dragons

Once upon a time, cavemen roamed the earth, great volcanic eruptions disrupted the cavemen's gaming time, and I wrote an article called "Know Your Lore: Good Dragons." Now it's time to cover the "bad dragons" - the Blue, Black, Chromatic and Infinite Dragonflights. And yes, I know you're all going to complain about the blue dragonflight being "bad", but unless you really want to run every dungeon at level 80 without a mage, you're gonna have to fight them.

Blue Dragonflight

  • Leader: Malygos.
  • Characteristics: The blue dragons may be the most intelligent of all the dragonflights. They're the masters of magic, the weavers of the arcane, and the guardians of icy areas. Of course they're going to be villains at some point! "Arcane magic corrupts" is one of the primary lessons of WoW, along with "elves are jerks" and "never get involved in a land war in Kalimdor."

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

The return of Varian Wrynn

Did Samwise draw the King of Stormwind on this cover?Is that him in the WoW comic book, or is he going to be in Northrend?

The answer, according to Stormgaard of Se7en Samurai, may be 'both'. And to be honest, I agree with him. Not because of the strength of his evidence, good as it is, but because his argument makes sense. One of the things we've seen with World of Warcraft tie-in media like the manga series and novels is that they all flow back into the MMO, help develop and direct the lore forward. As much as players like to chant 'lorelol' it is clearly important to the folks at Blizzard, and Stormgaard's argument that the comics and movie may well be setting up a new age of hostility between the horde and the alliance centered around a new lore figure who is connected to, if not the 'star' of the Missing Diplomat quest makes a lot of sense to me.

Plus, having the comic star a human who washed up without his memory on the coasts of Durotar... well, if you look at the map you'll see why that could well lead to the exact scenario Stormgaard posits. It makes sense to me. What do you guys think?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, Comics

Death Knight "interview" and lore on official site

The official Wrath page is slowly accreting information, which is good, because it started out pretty dang empty. The latest addition to it is an "interview" about the Death Knight class with the developers, along with a page on lore. I put "interview" in quotes because it doesn't feel like a real interview; it reads like an excuse for the devs to give the same information we already have. Which is fine and all, I just think "interview" is the wrong term for it. Here's a summary in my own words:
  • Why did you pick Death Knight for the new class?
    They have a connection to Arthas and Northrend, and we needed more tanks. The playable DKs will be allied with the Horde or Alliance, fighting against Arthas.
  • What will adding another tanking class do to the group/raid game?
    We want all tank classes to be equally good in general, so you can use any of them for a 5-man, but we want them to have distinct raiding roles. (They also took this opportunity to reiterate for the nth time that "hero class" doesn't mean it's more powerful than other classes, just more different.)
  • How is the DK different from other tanks?
    No shield, powerful melee abilities, magic attacks. The devs are making sure they have the core tanking abilities of keeping aggro and mitigating damage, while still making the DK feel like its own thing.
  • Will we see some classic DK spells and abilities?
    Yes, we're taking a lot from previous Warcraft material. One thing that will set them apart as a new class, but still tie them into WC3 DKs, is the rune system.
The lore page is less decipherable to me, since I don't actually know a lot of the background information of the Warcraft universe. It gives a relatively short overview of the evolution and status of Death Knights. Is it new information that "modern death knights consist mainly of paladins who lost their faith and pledged their souls to the Lich King in exchange for the promise of immortality?" If DKs come from paladins, why can we make them in non-Paladin races? So Blood Elves don't get even more popular, I guess.

Filed under: Expansions, Interviews, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Metzen on BC: "There was nothing really personal about it."

From our WoWinsider image gallery for Wrath of the Lich KingThe folks at World of Raids linked to this fascinating and disturbing interview with the folks at Blizzard about the upcoming expansion. Disturbing in a good way, to my mind, in that they talk about making the journey from 70 to 80 one of tough moral choices and twisted encounters with the Lich King himself, and fascinating because it talks about what the design team for the expansion learned from The Burning Crusade.

Blizzard vice president of creative development Chris Metzen seems to be apologizing for it. "It had a lot of high-concept ideas, high-concept environments," he says, calling to mind the psychedelic mushrooms of Zangarmarsh, the tragic majesty of Tempest Keep, "but other than some really nice moments, there was nothing really personal about it."

There's a lot more substance in the interview, although some of it is stuff we've seen before - Lake Wintergrasp PvP, flying mounts not working right away, Death Knights - but the insight into what they've learned and how they're approaching the mood and feel of the new expansion is, I think, worth a read in of itself. The way they intend to weave Arthas' journey into each player's experience, if it works, will be one of the most interesting things any MMO has ever done.

Filed under: Blizzard, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider's Lament of the Highborne video analysis

Last week, Blizzard released a new machinima movie called Lament of the Highbourne, featuring Sylvana's performance of the old Quel'dorei song and a retelling of what went down between her and Arthas Menethil, now known as the Lich King. WoW Insider, being the extreme lore geeks that we are, has put together a video analysis of the movie that Blizzard released, featuring an almost frame-by-frame commentary about Sylvanas' story. You can see the finished product above-- prepare to be lore-geeked out.

Two things that didn't make it into the commentary above in time: reader Lift sent us a bit of insight about Arthas riding an Undead mount-- does that mean, he asks, that Death Knights will get their own Warlock/Paladin-esque mount? And one more thing we noticed-- the spectre behind Arthas as he resurrects Sylvanas may well be the Lich King himself. By all means: discuss.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs, Mounts, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

New WotLK screenshots on the official site

Two new screenshots have landed on the official Wrath of the Lich King page, and they look pretty different from anything we've seen about the next expansion so far. You can click on the pic above to see the first one full, and here's the second.

Now clearly both show a forested, lush area, and there is only one forest that we know of is Northrend so far: Grizzly Hills, supposedly a redwood type of forest home to the Northern Furbolgs. This forest, however, looks a little greener than that-- it may be the Sholazar Basin, which we haven't seen screenshots of yet. Obviously the creature above is some new kind of Dryad, so that means we may see traces of Cenarius in Northrend, and when you mention Cenarius, you have to mention the Emerald Dream. So we may find out more about that line of lore in Northrend as well. Very interesting.

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

Let Malygos go to it, we didn't want magic anyway

We've already heard, as you may know by now, that Malygos, the blue dragon aspect, will return in Wrath of the Lich King, and, as the Guardian of Magic, is supposed to be a little unhappy at all the Mages running around. Malygos' big thing is that he wants to keep magic from the mortal races-- he doesn't trust them to use it without destroying the world. The only thing that's kept him from doing something crazy is the fact that he hasn't had a dragonflight for a while-- Deathwing wiped them out, more or less.

But in Wrath, Malygos is back, and so is his mind, and so is his dragonflight. The Blue Dragonflight is returning (thanks to Alexstrazsa's help), and as Metzen told us at BlizzCon, Malygos is waking up, looking around, and seeing all these little mortal players wielding magic like it was a game (a massively multiplayer game, more appropriately). And so he's not likely going to be happy with Mages when we arrive in Northrend.

To which Takeru says: maybe Malygos is right. Maybe we shouldn't be using magic for our own purposes-- look what it did to the elves. Non-mage players are even saying we should give up the Mages to Malygos anyway-- what did they ever do for us, right? (err, besides make water and food and port us around and polymorph our enemies...)

At any rate, it probably won't matter-- Malygos will probably bring the war to us, and if he doesn't, then the Kirin Tor (also in Northrend) will probably bring the fight to him by recruiting us to do it. Either way, we'll likely find the Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight on the wrong end of our pointy sticks.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Bosses, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King

No attunement for the new Naxx (and counting your chickens before they hatch)

When Byrthor asks whether folks attuned for the old Naxx will be attuned for it when it returns in Wrath, Drysc answers with what will sound like music to most raiders' ears: there is no attunement planned for the new Naxx. Blizzard learned their lesson in Burning Crusade about wacky attunements, and so while they're likely not gone from the game completely, there will probably be fewer barriers to raiding, especially early on in progression.

There is something else about this thread that irks me a bit, however. In the past day, the CMs have been hit with tons of questions about Wrath of the Lich King, and in almost all cases, the answer has been the same: maybe. Why don't they know what's going on? Because all indications are, guys, that Wrath hasn't even been designed yet. Blizzard hasn't determined if Atiesh will show up, or if flying mounts will work, or if we'll each get our own Arthas windup doll, because the expansion is still way into the planning stages. It's fine to be ready for 2.2, or excited about 2.3, or interested in what we might see in the Sunwell. But if you're excited to find out what's in the next expansion, have a seat and take a deep breath, because it's going to be a long, long time before the CMs can even know anything worth not telling us. Ya dig?

That said, I can't fault players for being excited about upcoming content, no matter how far off it is. But it does make me wonder about Blizzard's focus. They could just as easily had us playing Zul'Aman or even the Sunwell at BlizzCon-- both of those will show up long before Northrend will. With Wrath so far away, why did they push it so hard at BlizzCon? Why didn't they just announce it, and leave the rest of the hype to something we'll actually see before the Beijing Olympics?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

The dynamics of Death Knights and Warriors

Over on the forums, poster Berzork makes an interesting point: if both Death Knights and Warriors are designed to be damage-dealers and tanks wearing plate, how will they peacefully co-exist? Though we don't yet have full details on the Death Knight class, it seems as though there's potential for a lot of overlap -- and the big question is how Blizzard can release a class like the Death Knight while continuing to allow Warriors a viable role. And on my end, I have to wonder if throwing another tanking class into the game mix is going to solve any problems -- many Warriors want to DPS rather than tank (see many previous posts on the subject), and can we expect Death Knights to be any different? Bornakk attempts to calm everyone's fears by simply stating:

By adding another dps/tanking class, the Death Knight will give players and groups more options for what they need to complete their objective(s).

Some Druids tank, some Paladins tank, some Warriors tank -- and hopefully some Death Knights will pick up the mantle of tank as well.

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Map of Utgarde Keep, and what we know about it

Well this is exciting. MMO Champion points us to WoW Wiki, where some enterprising person has assembled a map of Utgarde Keep, the first instance in Wrath of the Lich King. The map is apparently based on one published in Games for Windows, but as it appears on WoW Wiki, it's a little empty. Let's see if we can't clear some things up-- I've added letters to the map above, and below, I've described what is probably there, based on my own impressions and what we've heard elsewhere.

A. This is the main entrance, and as I said before, it consists of Vrykul metalworkers and forgemasters. The big firey graphic is the Forge, which has three "walls" that only open up after the mobs are defeated there. After you clear all three walls, you head around to the left, and find...

B. Dragonhandlers and "Trained Proto-drakes," which appeared to be Blue Dragons. Draw your own conclusions there. This area is a stable type of place, which explains the stalls.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Expansions, BlizzCon

A lifetime subscription to Azeroth

Tobold has a good post up about lifetime subscriptions to MMORPGs that got me wondering: why hasn't Blizzard ever offered a lifetime subscription to WoW?

The obvious answer, of course, is that they think they can make more money by not doing so. In order for a lifetime subscription to be profitable, the player that buys it has to either stop playing before the subscription would have ended, or not be a major drain on the system after their subscription becomes "free." It's a gamble on both sides.

Now, Tobold's reasons for liking his LoTRO lifetime subscription and not jumping on a Hellgate London subscription aren't really applicable to WoW-- HgL is going to be completely different, with no subscription fee required for some players. But would you invest in a lifetime subscription for Blizzard's game? There's little chance they'll offer one now (usually a lifetime subscription is offered at the start of a game's life), but you never know-- if reception to WotLK isn't great, maybe they'll offer it right before the expansion to try and nab players that would quit right afterwards otherwise. By Hellgate's prices, a lifetime subscription to WoW would be $225. Let's go a step further and say that because WoW is so popular, Blizzard would charge $250 for a lifetime subscription to the game, approximately the same price as a year and change paid monthly. Would you take that deal?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions

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