Saturday, October 24, 2009

All Change!

New push on the PTR. Part 2 of the Quel'delar Sword Quest 'in progress'. For now, possibly the most significant change I've seen so far is when you log in. After an eternity, the Create Character screen's had a revamp:

Expect all those character icons to shift up a bit once the two new races appear: the whole thing is far less cluttered and it's spelt out a lot more precisely what each race can do, and what each class can be adapted to. Frankly this is long overdue, and it's part of a HUGE Interface overhaul. This includes the following (thanks again to MMO for the text):

  • Buffs and Debuffs: This is a new section added to Interface Options.
  • New option - Castable Debuffs: Enabling this will cause only debuffs you have cast on an enemy target to appear.
  • New option - Consolidate Buffs: Enabling this adds a buff consolidation box near the mini-map. Very short term buffs (e.g. Replenishment) and very long term buffs (e.g. Prayer of Fortitude) are filtered into the buff box. The icons are stacked here, but they can still be seen by moving the mouse cursor over the buff box. Long term buffs will move out of the box when they are about to expire. Buffs such as important procs (e.g. Art of War, Lightning Overload), cooldowns (e.g. Bloodlust / Heroism, Combustion) or limited in range (e.g. totems and paladin auras) are always displayed.
  • Tutorial System: The tutorial pop-ups are now larger, contain images, and better try to direct players to the relevant locations or user interface elements on the screen. In addition, several new tips have been added, while some existing tips will now appear at more appropriate times for new players.
  • Dungeon & Raid Difficult Display: A group’s dungeon or raid difficulty setting will now be displayed via an icon off of the mini-map.
  • Group Disenchanting Option: In addition to rolling “Need” or “Greed” on items, players now have the option to elect for an item to be disenchanted. “Disenchant” works exactly like “Greed” except if a player wins the “Greed” roll, they will receive the disenchanted materials instead. Players who choose “Need” will always win the item and will always beat those that choose “Greed” or “Disenchant.”
  • Lag Reports: Players can now report high latency or lag by accessing the Help Request menu.

So, there's an option for reporting lag. That's gonna get a LOT of use on our server... :(

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All This and World War Three :: Spoilers for 3.3

I will admit this now. There was squeeing here. Actual Fangirl squees of joy as I made my way through this questline. The spoilers are ENORMOUS. You have, as always, been warned.

So I bought this from the Glyph Sellers in Dalaran, placed in game so the premade L80's can glyph once they are copied. We still don't know where it drops, and I assume because of the importance of this quest Blizzard aren't going to make that kill or location anything difficult to do. All of the steps in this are soloable until you hit the new 5 man content.

Once you have the hilt you need to pop down to the new guys at Quel'delar's Rest:

When you get there you'll notice the weather has gotten a LOT colder at the Tournament: a blizzard rages and thunder frequently rends the sky. It's a nice touch and gives a real sense that the winter is setting in and it's not just the bad guys you're fighting against. Caladis Brightspear suggests you may wish to talk to the Bronze Dragonflight about what the hilt's significance could be: after all, the Bronze Flight have been here a LONG time. On your arrival at Wyrmrest it becomes apparent that an ancient tome exists on what we discover are named the Prismatic Swords, of which your hilt is a part. Even more concerning is the fact that someone else has taken the book before you, a member of the Sunreavers. As you're pondering your next move, a totally unexpected guest arrives to question the Bronze's involvement in this entire affair:

Yes that's Kalecgos! You may remember him from such instances as Magister's Terrace and the Sunwell, where he tried to thwart Kil'jaeden's plans but was ultimately posessed by by the dreadlord Sathrovarr the Corruptor. Clearly he has some concerns about our suitability... well, considering I've only ever redeemed his ass once, post BC expansion, he may have a point :P

Anyway, we need to get the book back, so it's time fo a bit of running around in Dalaran, at the bidding of the New NPC in the Silver Covenant area:

Always something to do, always a ? to click...

You'll have a few tasks to do before the book is in safe hands again: you'll need to kill a courier in the Underbelly (be careful, watch for reprisal attacks, which is a nice touch by Blizzard) and then you'll need to find a disguse to enter the Sunreaver's area. Fortunately there's a Laundry service in Dalaran at the Threads of Fate (let's hope Mrs Meers is nothing to do with it) which will happily let you 'borrow' you a tabard to use, but only if you help with the laundry first!

If you are familiar with the Kungaloosh quest line, this is almost identical to the Still At It quest, substituting clothing for fruit. Don't worry if you're queuing for this either: once it's done the Laundry Bag is clickable by all! Once armed with your Tabard, and looking rather natty as a Blood Elf, you're off to the Sunreavers' area. I think they got the better deal in terms of pub decor...

The Horde also get dancing girls... why were we not informed of this???? Trying not to be distracted, we have our book, and so it's off back to the Tournament grounds, where it becomes apparent this sword is of some significance. It was forged at the same time as Quel'serrar, no less... and it's most recent owner is not best pleased we're trying to reforge it:

Say hello to Queen Lana'thel, who you'll be seeing again in Icecrown Citadel. She leads the San'layn, whom include Prince Keleseth in UK and Prince Valanar who you defeated back in the Tundra during the Last Rites quest. It transpires Lana'thel took the sword from Thalorien's dead hands and headed to Northrend in an attempt to avenge her compatriots' demise at the Sunwell, and was transformed by Arthas. The sword was broken... until now.

Here ends the first portion of solo questing! Coming up later, we go to the Pit of Saron and encounter new ?'s, buggy mobs and the continuation of this Epic Questline. Stay Tuned!


I finally have a glimpse at Blizz's new LFG tool... and it's looking interesting :D

Introducing two random factors into this could be a stroke of genius: people you don't know AND a random dungeon? It's ok, I think by this Blizzard just means any of the locations you have specified from a list, as now you have access to a FAR better selection screen for selecting Le Dungeon de Choix...

This lists also extends down to Classic Dungeons (though at the moment those list's rewards are empty) I would expect to see something there that might give a % increase to XP as a reward, as badges and emblems at lower levels are actually pretty much useless. I see that have tipped us off about a +5% to Heirloom XP spell that's appeared in the game files with this push. I think offering XP for an hour or maybe even 24 hours would be far more beneficial than any number of physical rewards considering the current speeds of levelling to 70. We shall see. Normal Dungeon randomness rewards the following:

As you can see there's new symbols for healing, dps and tanking: the Crown means you're willing to lead :D Taking more randoms increases the money you'll have for repair bills you'll recieve for each sucessful completion...

It's On!

New PTR Push. New Weekly Fishing Competition in Northrend \o/
  • Quel’Delar Quest Chain: The Battered Hilt, the item needed to start this quest line, can now be purchased from all glyph vendors on the public test realms
 Well, you know where I'll be then...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trick or... Nah.

These masks, they need some work you know...

Our server ground to a halt last night. It wasn't so much slow as in... stupid. You could hear half the population LFG for HH or trading wands or collecting candy... while the rest of us waded through treacle. I sincerely hope things improve in the coming week. Not fun.