31 May 2011
| | Heartbourne
Cryptozoic, the company that has been responsible for the WoW TCG for over a year, is now Blizzard’s partner for distributing their manga works in digital and printed form for their various franchises.
Notably, the Cryptozoic iPad app can now purchase Blizzard works as they are released and the backlog is updated. The current selection as of the publishing of this post is as follows:
Each of these will run you $5.99. Warcraft Legends Vol #1 is free til June 2, and all of the other comics (except for Legends Vol #2) have a free preview that includes the cover art and first chapter.
Click through for screenshots and more info.
22 April 2011
| | Amatera
Whether you need a refresher or just haven’t been keeping up with it, Blizzard has put up a full post detailing every nook and cranny of the upcoming content patch. Despite my current disappointment with the state of World of Warcraft, I can’t deny the fact that packing 4.1 with new features at least partially redeems the lack of a new raid dungeon (it certainly shows they’ve been working on something). Here’s a quick summary of what to expect, with the full notes on Blizzard’s site:
Rise of the Zandalari
The days when great troll empires stretched across ancient Kalimdor are long past. Millennia of war and internal strife have stripped these nations of their power, lands, and glory. As Azeroth recovers from the destruction of the Cataclysm, the world’s divided troll populations face a bleak future. These dark times have spurred the trolls of the Zandalar, the historically wise and scholarly tribe from which all trolls originated, to take drastic action. They have embarked on a bold crusade to save their race by uniting trolls into a single mighty empire. With the Zandalari’s aid, the fallen capitals of the Gurubashi and Amani nations—Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman—are already rebuilding, replenishing their forces for a bloody campaign to expand their territories.
Yet Vol’jin and his Darkspear trolls are not aligned with the Zandalari. They have sworn to stand with their Horde comrades—and even work with the Alliance—should the trolls ignite a new war on Azeroth. Soon, Vol’jin might be forced to act on his promise, for if the Gurubashi and Amani are left to their own devices, the world will know the legendary strength and savagery of the ancient troll empires once again.
Built into the Info panel of the guild user interface, Guild Challenges are weekly tasks guild groups can tackle for additional guild experience, achievements, and gold. At the top of the guild user interface Info pane, a new Guild Challenges section is displayed and broken into three categories: Dungeons, Raids, and Rated Battlegrounds. Any guild group will qualify for Guild Challenges credit and there is a set number of times each challenge can be completed per week.
Guild Finder is a new system designed to enable easier and faster guild recruitment. Guild leaders and players who are looking for a guild to call home will use the Guild Finder to meet one another and begin communications that can lead to a prosperous membership. Whether you’re a guild leader looking to fill your ranks or a player looking for a guild that meets your strictest requirements, the Guild Finder provides an easy way to make new friends!
Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms
A new system intended to lower queue times, Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms offers additional rewards for queuing as the currently least represented role. To be eligible for the additional rewards you must solo queue for a random level-85 Heroic in the role that is currently being Called to Arms, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss. Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you’ll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/potion, a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount
Clearly the most important thing, though, is that this is a good indication Blizzard is ready to release the patch itself. There is a high chance we will see “Rise of the Zandalari” this coming Tuesday.
12 October 2010
| | Amatera
As sweet as this water looks, it's the least of the changes being made in 4.0.1.
[Update: Servers still aren't up, so why not freshen up on those stat changes?]
Whether through the internet or the game client itself, you’re probably aware by now that the massive Patch 4.0.1 for World of Warcraft is set to hit live servers today. While it needs to be reiterated that this is not the patch that forever changes the world, it will change yours. And by that, I mean everything you know about how the game, and your class, should work.
There’s simply so much to consider that it would be a waste of space to reproduce the entirety of the changes here (though we may post official patch notes when they’re up). Instead, we’re going to run down the litany of new features and, if applicable, let you know where you can find out more about them. Look ‘em over while you wait for the servers to come back up:
- Major Classes Changes: In an official Blue post, Bashiok clues us in to the most critical, paradigm-shifting class changes such as Eclipse for Balance Druids, Soul Shards for Warlocks, and switches to alternate power sources for Hunter and Paladin.
- Minor Class Changes: As the bulk of the update, individual changes to spells and whatnot are hard to track down. Chances are, if you play World of Warcraft, it’s safe to say Blizzard changed something critical about your class! The link provided will take you to Elitist Jerks. If you can parse the theorycrafting jargon, check your class forum, as they’re already diving deep into the tweaks.
- Talent Changes: This one’s huge, too! Remember that Blizzard has actually shrunk the talent tree, changed the way in which you spec into multiple trees, and added Mastery! Most of the “useless” talents have been removed, changed, or replaced. The EJ link above probably has a lot of information, but if you’d like to play around with the new system in a sandbox, this WoWTal link has you covered.
- Glyph Changes: As skills and talents shift, so must Glyphs. Prime glyphs have been added and you now only have to use a glyph once to “learn” it, after which it can be switched in and out when not in combat. Blue Lylirra gives us the lowdown.
- Currency Changes: Badges are out, points are in. Any Honor or high-tier badges will be immediately converted to the new system. Low-tier badges and other non-monetary currency will be converted to gold. The system applies to current raiding and battleground content, but will come into its own with Cataclysm.
- User Interface Changes: Improvements are coming to just about every aspect of the UI, which is great but means that you’ll probably have to reorient yourself over the next few days. Check out many of them in the linked video, put together by our very own Mordil. It’s worth taking a look at the one he produced for the Druid UI, as well.
- Flexible Raid Lockouts: Bashiok comes at us again with more learnin’. Flexible raid lockouts mean that even if you missed some days in your raiding week, you’re not completely out of the game. It’s being put into the game now, but will make even more sense when the Cataclysm comes.
- Stat Changes: Don’t fret if you log in and all your gear has changed. Some stats have been changed, converted, or removed in order to simplify the system a little bit. Remind yourself what’s been done to your precious gear by following this link.
- Reforging: NPCs in major cities can swap secondary stats with other secondary stats on your equipment. See if you can squeeze a few more points of awesome out of your gear.
- Power Auras: The popular third-party mod has been co-oped (read: copied) by Blizzard. The basic idea is that custom graphical effects will pop up around your character when it’s kosher to activate an ability or when it comes off cooldown. While some may still opt to use the original, the rest of us will get the functionality built in.
- Socketed Relics: Relics now have stats and sockets for gems. Rejoice, relic-using classes!
- New Water Engine: Those shiny, new water settings we’ve seen in previews for the expansion are coming in 4.0.1, but make sure your rig can handle it first.
- New Guild Member Cap: Mega-guilds, beware! If you’ve already listened to our most recent podcast, then you’ll know we look like fools talking about the 600-member cap. Bashiok followed up the initial announcement stating that feedback had caused them to “re-evaluate” the decision and bump it all the way up to a cool 1000. This is now a had cap and necessary to accomodate all the new new guild features.
Can’t wait to check out of this stuff, myself, but I still don’t expect to be playing hardcore until 4.0.3, myself. While all the new changes are cool, there still isn’t any new content (well, beyond the impending pre-Cataclysm events which should be a part of this patch, as well). Tell us what has you pumped (or disappointed), and if I’ve missed anything, please let me know.
16 July 2010
| | Amatera
Now that the Cataclysm beta is in the wild and the playerbase, at large, is exposed to the current state of the game, they no doubt have had a lot of questions as to how the expansion is progressing. This anxiety was compounded by the announcement of the new 31-point talent trees, around which the latest Twitter-based Q&A seemed to focus. As indicated, class changes dominated the discussion, though there are a few other tidbits here or there (including, likely the biggest announcement, a major change to Paladin play mechanics).
Below is a sampling, but the original log is far too long for some basic copypasta. You can check out the full chat on Blizzard’s forums.
Q: What about some class specific quests for Cataclysm? I enjoyed them in the early levels of WoW!
A: It’s very expensive to create class-specific quests given the literally thousands of new quests we are already adding for Cataclysm; however, we are going to have class-specific dungeon quests for everyone at levels 20 and 50. These won’t be as involved as, say, the old Benediction quest line, but they will give you a way to get some blue loot that isn’t otherwise available.
Q: How much of an impact will the new medium glyphs have on the fun factor of choices in the new 31-point talent trees?
A. We hope it adds a lot. Part of the problem is that if there is, say, a Glyph of Mutilate, you feel like you have to take that as an Assassination rogue over anything else. The medium glyphs are designed to let you customize your character a little more. They are the glyphs you would take if Mutilate didn’t exist.
Incidentally, the new tiers are called Prime, Major, and Minor. Majors are the new Mediums. Glyph of Mutilate would be a Prime.
Q: Are there any plans to add Ghostcrawler in-game as a critter or elite crab?
16 April 2010
| | Amatera
The latest Twitter developer chat is officially under way over and we’ll be bringing you we have all the answers to questions submitted by the community. Today’s Q&A wass primarily focused around the large amount of class information Blizzard dumped on us over the past couple of weeks, but there are a few other tidbits in there, as well.
It’s hard to pick out any particular highlights, since the breadth of answers really covers so many different topics, which I’ve conveniently set up in the following categories past the jump:
- Death Knight
- General Class
- General Race
- General Stats
- General Equipment
- User Interface
Some categories have several questions under them, others only one. People always ask weird things in these Twitter chats and, for some reason, the developers choose to answer them. You’ll find those under WTF?!
If I had to pick out anything that I thought was particularly interesting, it was all content-related. Such as the fact that you’ll be able to train up to a new 310% speed flying skill (though Blizzard says they don’t want to go any higher than this) and you should be able to use your aerial mounts in the “old world” right away. Likewise, Stonetalon will reportedly be virtually unrecognizable compared to its current incarnation and the Western Plaguelands will change to reflect the receeding Scourge forces (but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous).
They’re also going to continue streamlining the user interface, but they don’t want to go too crazy since they know people enjoy their third-party mods so much.
9 April 2010
| | LHStaff
Join the Lore Hounds this week as we discuss tons of WoW news coming out of Blizzard. This week’s lineup is Juggynaut, iTZKooPA, Heartbourne, and pixiestixy. The discussion covers some of the Cataclysm Class Previews, a recruit-a-friend update, Starcraft II, and more. Click the player above to listen, download the podcast, or subscribe via RSS, and leave a comment to let us know how you liked it!
8 April 2010
| | Heartbourne
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.
6 April 2010
| | Amatera
Wrath of the Lich King started with an experiment. Class design up until that point had been steadfast and rigid. Sure, you’d put a couple points in another tree on occasion, but generally each set of talents was dedicated to a particular role. Death Knights, as the first Hero Class (what does that even mean these days?), broke that mold.
Different trees often afforded multiple advantages and basic tanking could be accomplished in any of the three, though of course, the community would always gravitate towards the more obvious and efficient setups. With Cataclysm, that paradigm will be shattered. No longer will players of other classes have to be jealous of the Death Knight’s flagrant flexibility, for their roles, too, will be shuttered into specific trees. From Cataclysm onwards, if a Death Knight shall tank, they shall do so as Blood.
Ghostcrawler felt this change was big enough to warrant its own post, separate from the list of other changes coming to the class later this week, and extensively details their reasoning behind it in a post you can find after the jump.
For the tl/dr crowd, here’s the gist of it: Death Knights were originally a test-case for a more open talent tree system. It worked alright, but with the introduction of new mechanics throughout Wrath‘s lifespan, it is perhaps proving too fruitful. This, combined with the more rigidly-defined Mastery elements of the talent system coming in Cataclysm mean that it’s more optimal to shove tanking into Blood, and allow the other specs to focus on different kinds of DPS. Continue Reading