Celebrating Dungeons & Dragons Online – Update 4 By Playing The Game

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - 5 Comments »

That’s right folks, I am simply not content with capturing zombie pirates on a camcorder, HD or not.  I must get in the game and face them myself.  The fact of the matter is that I refuse to play this game alone.  To remedy this situation I have recruited Lore Hound’s own Amatera to adventure with me.  But that only makes up one-third of a party.  Here’s an open invitation to come join me and Amatera in some barrel smashing, mob targeting, free-to-play fun.

We’re going to play Dungeons & Dragons Online starting around 11:00 AM EST on weekends (Saturday and/or Sunday) starting Sunday, April 11th on the Khyber server.  That means you have just a few days to make an account, grab the client, research which class you’d like to play and get out of the tutorial zone.

Perks from Turbine and Lore Hound after the jump. Read more…

Zhevra Still Available for Recruit a Friend, For Now (Plus a Special FTH Tribute)

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - 3 Comments »

Earlier this week, we heard the unexpected news that a sensational X-53, dual-passenger Touring Rocket that scales up to 310 percent speed is soon to become the new reward for recruiting a friend to play WoW.  The only downside – this means the retirement of the Swift Zhevra mount that until now has been the reward.

But not so fast! We just got word that you may still have time to get your own Zhevra, if you haven’t yet. Blizz Blue poster Nethaera just gave some of us reason to celebrate.

While we had originally announced the new Recruit-A-Friend X-53 Touring Rocket reward would be coming in just a few short days, it turns out there are still a few bolts to tighten, some loose wires to tuck inconspicuously under the upholstery, and a handful of parts leftover that we’re going to ponder and then assume we can safely throw away. As a result, we’ll be releasing this beauty a bit later than we’d first anticipated. This will also give anyone interested in the current Zhevra mount reward some extra time to claim one. While we don’t have an exact release date nailed down yet, we’ll make an announcement once the new mount becomes available.

Unfortunately, this also means that we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see the X-53 in action. But it’s not a bad idea for those of us who want it as soon as it comes out to go ahead and start the Recruit-a-Friend process so when it does come out, you’ll be ready.

And now in tribute, a special short episode of For the Hoard in honor of the Zhevra mount, one of my faves now and always.

How many of you were lucky enough to get your own Zhevra? Those of you who haven’t, will you still try? And who’s already planning for that X-53?

Cataclysm Class Updates: Rogue

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - 7 Comments »

Fear the Ragu!

Rogues are receiving a slightly smaller overhaul than most of the updates we have seen so far. The biggest change is being made to combo points. A new level 81 ability, Redirect, will allow rogues to take combo points they have an the last target and transfer them to the current one on a 1 minute cooldown with no cost. This should allow for better target switching, and it works on recently deceased targets, as well. In addition, Slice and Dice and a new ability called Recuperate no longer require a target. Abilities like this can be used as long as you have combo points on some opponent, alive or deceased.

Recuperate is a new low-level ability that allows rogues to put a heal-over-time (HoT) on themselves based on combo points. This should be great for leveling, as you can use your leftover combo points from recently killed targets to keep the pace going.

The last two new abilities are more PvP-oriented. Combat Readiness is a 2 minute cooldown that lasts for 6 seconds. When struck while this skill is active, the rogue will gain a stacking buff that decreases all damage taken by 10%. It stacks up to five times, but the 6 second duration doesn’t make it a huge game changer. It’s really just a second Evasion. Smoke Bomb, on the other hand, is a bigger deal, creating a smokescreen for you and your buddies to hide in. Targets within the smoke cloud cannot be single-targeted by enemies outside of the smoke cloud. AoE still works, and two targets inside the smoke cloud can still attack each other. This will create a lot of opportunity for strategy in PvP and will likely annoy casters to no end.

Click through for the full details!

Read more…

Icecrown Citadel Raid Buff

Posted by on April 9, 2010 - No Comments »

Roughly two months ago Blizzard gave us the first tier of the Icecrown Citadel (ICC) raid buff. This buff, if you choose to use it, increased health, healing/absorbing and damage by 5%. Blizzard announced that in future patches and updates the ICC raid buff would go up 10% then 20% and finally be capped at 30%. The reasoning behind this buff was that as time goes on the Lich King would lose power and the Horde and Alliance would get stronger. The buff also goes along with the new World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) policy which is to ensure that everyone gets to experience end game content.

Recently the ICC raid buff has been increased from 5% to 10%. Hopefully this will help some of the guilds that are currently on the Lich King encounter be able to defeat him and move on to hard modes. There is no time table for when the next increase to the buff will be but I assume it will be around when the last raid content of WotLK comes out which is the Ruby Sanctum.

Cataclysm Class Updates: Death Knight

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Dual-wielding DKs are no joke

Death Knights have a bunch of great changes coming down the pike in Cataclysm. For starters, the rune system is changing slightly. Haste will now cause your runes to regenerate faster, and runes will regenerate sequentially in pairs. That is, if both of your blood runes are on cooldown, the second one will not begin to regenerate until the first one is up. Abilities will be re-tuned to deal with this, but the long and short of it is there will be less urgency to use runes right away, as your total time spent regenerating runes when not using them is higher overall, giving the Death Knight more flexibility when they are not able to be on their target 100% of the time.

The new DK abilities include an spell called Outbreak that instantly applies both Frost Fever and Blood Plague for no runes. This allows DKs to quickly ramp up their attack after switching targets. It will probably have a decent cooldown or require runic power to balance it out. Necrotic Strike is a modification to the old Plague Strike mechanic of removing HoTs. Instead of removing HoTs, it essentially puts an opposite Power Word: Shield on the target that will absorb incoming healing. Its damage output is low, but the overall healing required on its target is much higher, making it a great PvP skill.

Last, but not least, is Dark Simulacrum, which allows the Death Knight to copy the next spell a target casts. Unlike Spell Reflect, this does not negate the effects of the initial cast.

Click through for the full text, including the Blood tanking change we reported about earlier in the week.

Read more…

Cataclysm Class Updates: Warrior

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 1 Comment »

Though taken out of the game, Heroic Leap eventually found its way into the CCG.

Though once removed from the game, Heroic Leap found its way into the WoW CCG.

The second day of updates began with a list of changes for the Warrior class, arguably the tanking class most in need of improvements. It’s also arguable as to whether or not Cataclysm is going to deliver on that front. But, hey! New spells! You know the drill…

Unlike most of the other classes so far, the Warrior will get no new lower-level abilities, but they’ll have the customary post-80 stuff to play with. The first is Inner Rage, a passive skill that makes capping out on Rage less of a detriment by temporarily buffing the player. However, it’ll be under the microscope for the duration of the upcoming beta to determine whether or not people are purposefully capping Rage just to take advantage of it.

The second spell in the Warrior’s expanded arsenal is Gushing Wound, which is a new bleed-effect attack that stacks up to a max of three and applies every time the target moves. This will undoubtedly be beneficial for fights in which the boss or mob needs to be kited, and it can almost go unsaid how important it’ll figure into a PvP rotation.

Finally, we’ve got the triumphant return of Heroic Leap. If you’ve been playing World of Warcraft for a long time, then you’ll know this is an ability they tried to implement back in the beta for Wrath of the Lich King, but cut due to people messing about with it. Ultimately, it was too much of a pain in the ass for Blizzard to get it to work the way they wanted it to at the time, so it was removed from the game. It’s unclear whether or not Heroic Leap will work just as it did back then, but it does provide Warriors with a new means of initiating a fight (it shares a cooldown with Charge), casting Thunder Clap when they land.

Something else that should be noted is a new mechanic called Vengeance. This is the second Mastery stat that will appear in all tanking trees, so expect to see it have an effect on other classes, as well. Basically, every time the tank gets whacked by the enemy, they gain a stacking buff to their damage (and, subsequently, their threat generation). It’s a little complicated, but a more comprehensive explanation (as well as the rest of the Warrior changes) can be found beyond the cut. Read more…

Global Agenda Windows 7 UI Bug

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 3 Comments »

When I encounter some unusual user interface (UI) bug in an MMO, the first thing I do is disable all the add-ons I have.   Well, in the case of Global Agenda that’s not needed, as the game lacks add-on support.  So, I moved on to the next step, grabbing new video drivers.  After applying the latest Catalyst package from AMD, there’s absolutely no change.  Stumped, I went back into the game and began playing with video settings.  Resolution changes, fidelity modifications, window mode toggle, nothing made a difference.  The bug won’t go away.

At this point you’re probably wondering what bug could be so annoying, and so persistent.  Rather than write a treatise on the topic for the forums I decided to create a video for Hi-Rez’s  QA team to gawk at.  Check it out after the jump. Read more…

StarCraft II Collector’s Edition To Contain WoW Companion Pet Code

Posted by on April 8, 2010 - 3 Comments »

Damn Blizzard’s marketing people.  Even if a WoW player isn’t interested in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty at all (that would be kind of odd in the first place) they are likely to take a hard look at buying the game.  Scratch that.  Buying a Collector’s Edition of the game.  Big Download is reporting that the $99.99 (wow!) Collector’s Edition will feature a code to unlock a mini Thor vanity pet.

Hit the jump for all the details that makes the $30 premium worth it. Read more…