Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Burning Crusade: World PVP Preview


The folks over at Curse-gaming have a gem. A forum member there posted a review of the world PVP objectives that he's seen so far in the alpha testing. From what I've read, there are alot of cool things to be found in the expansion. I'm sure you've heard of the controlable city in one of the new world zones? You can now ride on wyverns dropping bombs on people! Awesome!

Here's a sneak peak, and a definitely must read for anyone who loves PVP:


Assaulting this city has been so well designed that even if you don’t like Player vs. Player combat, this is something that people will be flocking to. At the mainland end of each rope bridge, there are wyvern posts that you can construct if the other faction controls the city. These wyvern posts when activated place 10 fire bombs in your inventory and mount you on a wyvern that is automatically flown above and around the city like a flight path. These fire bombs can be used and targeting like grenades. They each do 1000 points of fire damage, and place a DoT on the target that burns for 1% of their hit points per second. Now, this may not seem that useful against players, because 1% of even a 10,000 hit point tank is only 100 hp per second. The guards on this island have over 200,000 hit points, so well placed bombs and coordinated strikes can take down this city quickly. After every guard is dead, it is a rush to the center of the town where a flag is located. If every guard is killed they do not respawn so the assaulting team will not have to worry about fighting npcs at this point. The flag is controlled like the PvP objectives in the other zones, standing near it with more people than the other faction will start to shift control to your side. After filling the bar on the ui element for your faction, guards and npcs will respawn and your faction takes control of the city.

More Info on Warlocks in The Burning Crusade


The guys over at RPGBecon dug out and put together a nice little Q&A about Warlock game mechanics between some forum members and Kalgan, a game developer. Here's a quick preview:



Q: What is the role of the Fel Guard? Will he replace any current pet or simply be a "do everything" pet? Will he be a viable and useful pet in raids? Will there be a Demonic Sacrifice added for the Fel Guard?

A: I suppose you can think of the Fel Guard as a replacement to the Voidwalker (for the most part). We ’ve given him the key tools the voidwalker, and more. As one would expect, his damage is also pretty impressive with the new pet scaling.

Hunter Talents Reveled.


Looks like the talents were reveled finally. It seems that most of the leaked information was right. Here's a link, check em out:

Hunter Talents

Friday, October 06, 2006

New Pet Abilities, Hunter Rumors Part Duex

Look at this. More rumors for hunters. If these are true, do you bring a pet with you on a raid?

Here's an example, check out the rest at Curse-Gaming:

Bear
Teaches your tamed bear the Enraging Bite ability. Enraging Bite reduces an enemy's resistance to physical attacks as well as drawing its attention.
Angers a target, drawing its attention and lowering its armor value by 40.(Probably is a % armor reduction)(This is also a taunt effect)

Teaches your tamed bear the Growl of Fortitude ability. Growl of Fortitude increases the maximum health of the bear.
Grants the user 252+12.5/level(852 at level 70) additional hitpoints for 5 minutes, 7 minutes cooldown. Starts at level 22.

Teaches your tamed bear the Roar of Fortitude ability. Roar of Fortitude increases the maximum health of everyone in your party.
Increases max hitpoints of allies in your party by 200+10/level for 2 minutes(540 at level 70), 3 minutes cooldown. starts at level 36.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hunter Talents - The Rumors are flying!


Found over at the Curse Gaming forums, a user posted some new data-mined rumors about Hunter builds. Take it with a grain of salt.

Beast Mastery

Tier 6 - Animal Handler - Increases your speed while mounted by 4% and your pet's chance to hit by 2%. The mounted movement speed increase does not stack with other effects. (8/4%)
Tier 7 - Ferocious Inspiration - When your pet scores a critical hit, all party members have all damage increased by 1% for 10 sec. (2/3%)
Tier 7 - Catlike Reflexes - Increases your chance to dodge and your pet's chance to dodge by an additional 2%. (4/6%)
Tier 8 - Serpent's Swiftness - Increases ranged combat attack speed by 4% and your pet's melee attack speed by 4%. (8+8/12+12/16+16/20+20%)
Tier 9 - The Beast Within - When your pet is under the effects of Bestial Wrath, you also go into a rage causing 30% additional damage for 18 sec. While enraged, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed.

Survial
Tier 4 - Resourcefulness - Reduces the mana cost of all traps and melee abilities by 20% and reduces the cooldown of all traps by 2 sec. ( 40%+4sec/60%+6sec)
Tier 6 - Survival Instincts - Reduces all damage taken by 2%. (4%)
Tier 7 - Thrill of the Hunt - Gives you a 33% chance to regain 50% of the mana cost of any shot when it critically hits. (66/100%)
Tier 7 - Expose Weakness - Your ranged criticals have a 10% chance to apply an Expose Weakness effect to the target. Expose Weakness increases the attack power of all attackers against that target by 25% of your Agility for 7 sec. (20/30%)
Tier 8 - Master Tactician - Your successful ranged attacks have a 25% chance to increase your critical strike chance with all attacks by 1% for 8 sec. (2/3/4/5%)
Tier 9 - Readiness - When activated, this ability immediately finishes the cooldown on your other Hunter abilities.

Marksman
Tier 5 - Silent Hunter - Reduces threat from all attacks by 7%. (12/17%)
Tier 6 - Combat Experience - Increases your total Agility, Stamina and Intellect by 3%. (6%)
Tier 7 - Displacement - Reduces your chance to be hit by all attacks by 1%. (2/3%)
Tier 7 - Zen Marksmanship - Increases your ranged attack power by an amount equal to 8% of your total Intellect. (16/25%)
Tier 8 - Master Marksman - Increases your ranged attack power by 2%. (4/6/8/10%)
Tier 9 - Silencing Shot - A shot that deals 50% weapon damage and Silences the target for 3 sec.

Level
Kill Command
Give the command to kill, causing your pet to instantly attack for an additional 127 damage. Can only be used after the Hunter lands a critical strike on the target.

Level 62
Aspect of the Viper
The hunter takes on the aspects of a viper, regenerating mana equal to 25% of his Intellect every 5 sec. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.

Level 64
Steady Shot
A steady shot that causes RAP*0.3+100 damage. Causes an additional 175 against Dazed targets.

Level 68
Snake Trap
Place a trap that will release several venomous snakes to attack the first enemy to approach. The snakes will die after 15 sec. Trap will exist for 60 sec. Only one trap can be active at a time.


All Talents seems up to speed now, just a couple of Base Skills

New Pet Types
Dragonhawk
Dragonhawk Fire - Targets in a cone in front of the caster take $m1*3 Fire damage over 2 sec.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ask and Ye Shall Recieve

After my monday rant and the quote below for the priest update. Here it is!

Priest

  • Shades of Darkness ability replaced with Shadowfiend.
  • Focused Mind replaces Improved Shadow Weaving and has been reduced to three ranks reducing mana cost of affected spells by 5/10/15%.
  • Shadow Power has been moved to Focused Mind’s previous position.
  • Misery has been moved to the Shadow tree, replacing Shadow Power.
  • New talent Enlightenment replaces Misery in the Discipline tree.
  • Improved Shadow Weaving has been removed.
  • New talent Vampiric Touch replaces Shadow Mend.
  • Misery now affects Vampiric Touch instead of Holy Fire.
  • Focused Power now affects Feared targets instead of Dazed targets.
  • Improved Renew tooltip updated.
  • Inspiration tooltip updated.
  • Holy Reach tooltip updated.
  • Spirit of Redemption now provides a Spirit increase and the duration has been increased.
  • Surge of Light has swapped positions with Blessed Resilience and has been reduced to two ranks providing 25/50%.
  • Lightwell has been reduced to a 6 minute cooldown and the effect duration has been decreased to 6 seconds.
  • New talent Holy Concentration in the Holy tree.
  • New talent Circle of Healing replaces Circle of Renewal.

Burning Crusade PVP Rewards






Over at Curse Gaming's Forums someone linked screen shots of the PVP rewards you'll find in the expansion. Check em out.

Calling All Mages! Invisibility News!


Invisibility - Rank 1
Requires Level 68
263 Mana
Instant cast5 min cooldown
Fades the caster to invisibility over 8 sec. The effect is cancelled if you perform or receive any hostile actions. While invisible, you can only see other invisible targets and those who can see invisible. Lasts 20 sec.

Invisibility takes 8 seconds to go from visible to invisible. What happens if you get hit? Do you waste the spell and a 5 minute cooldown? No! Here's what happens:

Kalgan quote:
Oh yeah, one more tidbit of relevant info. Invis will slowly reduce your threat level as you fade into invisbility, so if it is broken early you'll almost certainly have gotten something out of it (you'll see the update in the tooltip sometime in the nearish future).

Bear in mind that the aggro management aspect of invis is intended to be used proactively, so don't expect it act quickly enough to get you out of a jam when the raid boss has already decided to come running for your head.

Hunter Talents Soon... but more importantly...

Ok here's a tidbit from Eyonix:

"We're hoping to have the Hunter talents, spells and abilities available by the end of this week, but it's possible that it may end up being early next week. Hang in there a little longer and all will be unveiled.

We realize that no one likes being last, but we figured that Hunters were such nice people, and would be the most patient. /egodistracttactic ;)"

Ok thats great and all, but since my hunter is only a mid level alt, and my main character is a priest it's time for some Priest lov'in. After my rant you might well expect that I want some changes! Well you might see some on Friday when they usually update talents.

Quote from Kalgan:

So you all know, the priest talents and spells are undergoing another round of iteration internally. You'll probably see quite a few more changes around the time when the Hunter talent/spell preview goes live.

TBC: Arena Combat

The great guys over at WoW Vault found some pretty cool information about the arena in the Burning Crusade. This is one of the features I'm looking foward to the most. Build your team and conquer the rest.

Here are a few tidbits I found interesting:

  • At the end of each week, characters receive arena points based on their team's rating. A team must have fought a minimum number of battles for the week, which we have announced as currently set to 10 games. A player must have played in at least 30% of the team's battles that week in order to be eligible to receive arena points. Each eligible player will then receive a fraction of the teams total awarded points to spend on arena rewards.
  • Players may spend their points on arena rewards, or save their points until they have enough to get the rewards they desire.
  • There is a limit to the number of points a player can stockpile, which is currently planned to be as high as the most expensive item.
  • At the end of a season, players on a team are given a title based on their team's relative position on the ladder which will last through the next arena season.
  • Monday, October 02, 2006

    Monday's Ranting: Priest Talents and Spells

    There are quite a few classes out there complaining about the additions their classes are getting once the expansion is released (except hunter's, but that's because they don't know what they're getting yet). For me, since my main is a priest, I have a few complaints about them, and that's my rant for this week.

    For those who aren't familiar with Priest's Talents and Spells, here's a quick rundown. The three trees are Discipline, Holy and Shadow. The Shadow tree is mainly for damage, one of the best single target DPS in the game. The Holy tree is based around healing and healing bonus and Discipline is more about durability and mana efficiency. All three trees have holes in them, and I'll go over each.

    First, the easiest, Shadow. Most people think shadow's almost perfect and they're right. The main problem for a shadow specced priest is their mana regeneration. They have great DPS but often run out of mana quickly. In the expansion, shadow priests hoped that they would of recieved some sort of mana regeneration talent, but they didn't get one. The second main gripe is that the 41 pt talent is a heal spell. At the pinnicale of the priest's damage tree, what do you get? A Heal! A little lacluster of you ask me.

    Now here's where you get tricky. The Discipline and the Holy trees are so mucked up and disorganized, in my opinion, that you have to talk about them together. Let me first throw out the obligatory hate-filled comment about Lightwell. It sucks! And if you don't know why, go ask any priest in the game next time you're on. I won't waste any more time with it. Oh wait, how can I forget? The pre-req for Lightwell, Improved Death. Well, fine, it's called Spirit of Redemption, but the only way you can use it is you have to die! Great just what I need! Now I can cast the priest's new instant damage spell Shadow Word: Death (damages your target and yourself) and make use of this talent. SoR is the talent that makes an angel appear in the battlefield and allows the dead priest to cast heal spells without a mana cost for 10 seconds before they join the spirit world. Only problem is with lag... well, lets just say it never works.

    I'm getting side tracked here. Many of the new talents and such need to be rearranged a little bit. For example, Discipline seems to be for survivability, however talents like Blessed Resiliance and Blessed Recovery (talents that active from critical strikes) are in the holy tree. The new talent, Surge of Light, has a chance to proc an extra free Smite is stuck at the end of the holy tree. If you're going deep into the holy tree, you are there because you want to heal better, why would you want a free smite? If you're healing you have alot of +healing gear and not +damage gear. You will now get a free smite for 450 or so damage. Great it's free, but now you have to figure out who to target with your free smite. I'd rather concentrate on healing in a raid, thank you very much. However if you are PVP'ing as a holy caster, going high up in the dicipline tree is more advantagous in my opinion (Power Infusion, Reflective Shield) and does not give you the option of getting Surge of Light.

    This is just an example, there are many more redundant talents in the holy tree that are useless because they don't scale with your equipment. Here are a few new spells I have problems with.

    The new Holy 41pt talent, Circle of Renewel. This spell casts a mini-renew on the target and his party. Good deal right? No. Here's why. First it's expensive to cast. Bad. The radius is 15 yards, how often is the party of five close to each other (in a raid) where this becomes useful? Now let me remind you, it only affects the party and not anyone else in the raid.

    Binding Heal, this spell heals you and your target at the same time. Why is this useful in any other place but PvP? It's cheaper to cast two flash heals.

    Prayer of Mending, this spell heals a target for X amount once the target's damaged, then the effect jumps to the nearest target. This spell is very situational. You can't control it. What happens if you get hit for 33 damage? Do you waste a charge?

    Shades of Darkness, summons 3 shades to attack your target for 8 seconds. 5 minute cooldown. how useful is this with a 5 minute cooldown? I don't get it.

    There is hope yet! Check this out:

    Kalgan, a Blizzard Developer, said, "So, the updates will include both some significant changes (for example, we're planning to try something else in place of Circle of Renewal), to the addition of some new talents and the refinement of some of the existing ones (which will hopefully include more improvements/changes to lightwell)."

    Talent Respecs for All in the Expansion!

    Drysc recently posted that when the expansion hits everyone will get a free respec. I figured this would be the case, but it's nice to have it confirmed.

    World of Warcraft Forums

    Crit Ratings and Hit Ratings Converted



    The awesome guys over at RPGBEACON did a little reasearch and figured out how the new hit rating and critical ratings translate to current percentages. Check out the charts. The reasoning behind this is that Blizzard will be able to scale your gear with your level. Now that level 40 piece of gear that has some crit chance on it will not be equivalent to the crit chance of the item you get at level 70.

    Saturday, September 30, 2006

    World of Warcraft Meets South Park

    Just incase you missed it, on October 4th, South Park will air an episode all about World of Warcraft. This should be interesting...

    Take a sneak peak:
    South Park and WoW

    The Burning Crusade Quest Rewards

    Curious to see some quest rewards to be expected in the new expansion? Check out this picture found over at World of Warcraft Newsblog over in Europe. Looking at the screenshot, you can see that the character finishing the quest is level 65. Notice the 80 dps twohanded axe? Two nice staves for casters and druids alike. The Burning Crusade can't come soon enough.

    Jewelcrafting Info


    Here's some information that was posted over at Curse-Gaming forums. It includes some gems that were data-mined and the bonuses of each gem. There are some interesting combinations. Here's an example.


    Yellow gems:
    4 +10 Critical Strike Rating
    4 +10 Resilience
    4 +10 Spell Critical Strike Rating
    4 +8 Defense Rating
    4 +8 Hit Rating
    4 +8 Intellect
    4 +8 Stamina

    Friday, September 29, 2006

    Guides: How do you get to 60 the fastest?


    THE GRIND

    Lets's admit it, leveling is boring once you've done it a few times. For me, I want to get those levels fast enough to get my new character to a useful level where is starts to help my main character. In this case, my level 60 holy priest can not farm mats efficiently. So what do I do? I made a hunter. The ease of their leveling is rediculous. The one guide I swear by was written by Jame over at Wow-Pro. This is by far the most efficient detailed guide I have found on the internet. Check it out if your grinding is slowing you down.

    The Beginning


    Everything must begin somewhere correct? And if everything has a beginning, then I suppose that this is as good place to start as any. Before you can understand anything you need to know what's behind it, and where's a better place to start than a little history lesson?

    One of my great passions are video games. I've been playing them ever since I can remember. The one genre that has been constant throughout my gaming career are Roleplaying Games (RPGs). What can be better than creating or controlling a character through a epic story? My experience started Ultima III. This instantly caught me and I continued to play the rest of the games in that series and others. But as you can see with the title of this blog it is about Massive Multiplayer Online games (MMO's). The long road from Ultima III starting in the mid 1980's, lead me to my very first MMO called Shadows of Yserbius back in 1992. This was unbelievably played on a 2400 bps modem and an hourly fee.

    My next forays into the budding world wide web led me to text based MUDs. These games birthed what we know today as MMORPGS. Games like Everquest, World of Warcraft, and Dark Age of Camelot would never have been created if it weren't for these games. It all started for me when finding out about BBS systems. These little bulletin board systems were small communities that had forums, email, games, and chat channels that were all connected with modems into a central server. This is where I found games like Tele-Arena, TradeWars and MajorMUD. As my internet prowess continued to grow I discovered telnet and MUDs.

    Now the major difference here is that in games like Tele-Arena and MUDs is that where you were playing with maybe 30 different people in total in Tele-Arena, a MUD had the potential of having hundreds and thousands of players. My first MUD was Sojourn in the early/mid '90s where I played a Grey Elf Sorcerer named Tykre Viesille. In it's prime you had a maximum of 200 players on at once. If I'm not mistaken I believe your very own creator of Everquest and the forthcoming Vangaurd, Aradune played. (The similarities between Sojourn and Everquest at release are very very similiar, but thats a topic for a different day.)

    Time passed and I played other MUDs big and small. One major line of MUDs that I enjoyed were based of a code called Emlen. A furious PVP MUD where I vanquished foes under the name of Xrin. This is where I started playing developer. I created areas and zones for these games. I enjoyed this so much that I created a whole world once. Unfotunetly our coder never put in any time and the game failed.

    This pretty much brings us to the present, and by present I mean the last six years or so of the current generation of 3-D Graphical Online RPGs. Starting with Everquest and ending with what I currently enjoy and obsess over, World of Warcraft. I've been playing for a little over a year and I'm currently playing a dwarven priest, and I can't wait for the expansion to hit the streets. What you'll see here is all my fact gathering and rumor mongoring about the expansion, along with my random thoughts about the game and what's going on in the community that I would like to talk about.

    A beginning must start somewhere, and here you are. Now we're stuck somewhere in the middle.