Friday, November 19, 2010

Coming Up...

From MMO, the ultimate guide to what's coming (probably) next week:

What is not in 4.0.3a:
  • Creating worgen/goblin characters
  • Worgen/Goblin start zones
  • Archaeology
  • Professions past 450 (Illustrious Grand Master)
  • Guild levelling
  • Guild achievements
  • Eastern Kingdoms/Kalimdor flight
  • New Zones (80+)
    What is in 4.0.3.a:
    • Portals in Dalaran/Shattrath Removed
    • Class trainers in Dalaran where portals once were
    • New race-class combinations (excluding worgen/goblin)
    • New Gnome/Troll starting areas
    • Changes to existing zones
    • New cata load screens
    • New cata intro cinematic
    • New cata login screen
    • New music
    • City Quartermasters, with rep tabards
    • Bug fixes
    • Class balancing
    • Druids, paladins, priests, and shaman will have their talent trees reset
    • Experience required to gain levels 71 through 80 is being reduced by 20%
    • New tamable hunter pets (Monkey, fox, dog, and beetle, as well as new skins for existing pet classes.)

    If there's going to be no Archaeology, I'm going to level someone else on the Alliance side. There's a very good chance it will either be a Human Hunter or a Human Lock, with the Gnomish Engineering speciality. My Priest is going to become a Gnome. I'll be using the City Quartermasters (and their handy dandy tabards) to get all existing characters reps to Exalted.

    Most importantly I'll be moving people to their new home cities. With the news there's a secondary AH and bank about to appear in the Dwarven District, I suspect a fair few people will be with me moving to Stormwind...

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    I Logged On This Morning... find that, for the first time in a while, the Alliance held Wintergrasp on my server. This was something of a surprise as I can only remember us winning the PvP area a couple of times since all the pre-Cataclysm stuff kicked off. I attributed this to a number of key Alliance PvP-ers switching sides (and as a result taking friends and motivation with them) plus the fact that our numbers have dropped significantly with all those people 'taking a break' before December. This means that fewer Alliance players with more HP (tenacity fails) but significantly less resilience than our perennially well-PvP geared, more active and armed to the teeth opposition get their arses owned on a pretty regular basis.

    I would attribute our victory at least in part to a significant and undocumented change in yesterday's patch:

    In patch 4.0.3, Wintergrasp queuing was changed so that each battle attempts to match the factions at a 1-to-1 ratio. This is the exact system being used for Tol Barad in Cataclysm. While we understand that this inflates queue times for factions which are vastly overpopulated on select realms, we prefer this system over using Tenacity.

    I'm with Blizzard on this one: 1:1 is fairer and should act as a good way of getting people more motivate for Tol Barad, which will also rely on you staying alive to ensure victory. However, this could also be a huge failure depending on which of the Alliance nubs end up in the queue. Part of me hopes that those forces could be created in the same way and LFG ones are now, meaning that only the best geared people get a chance to take part, with the emphasis on Resilience as the key stat on their gear. This way there'd be a far fairer fight, more people would be actively encouraged to play for PvP gears. No scrubs, Alliance. Get some game.

    Needless to say, I look forward to actually doing some Wintergrasp over the weekend.


    Exalted with the Oracles, CHECK.
    Switched sides to Frenzyheart, CHECK.
    Started new batch of daily quests to complete Mercenary of Sholazar, CHECK.

    Approximate time needed to raise rep to Exalted: 19.4 Days.

    I can still get all Northrend reps to Exalted pre-Cataclysm. I think ^^

    Boy is P looking forward to 19 days of catching chickens...

    Useful Cataclysm Information Episode #324

    Zones in Cataclysm are rated as follows:

    • Hyjal/Vashj'ir: 80-82
    • Deepholm: 82-83
    • Uldum: 83-84
    • Twilight Highlands: 84-85

    If you're levelling a profession, you will only be able to learn skills up to 500 in towns with the Trainers. After that you'll need to be a) L84 and b) in the Twilight Highlands (which by the way is phased, so no sneaking there on the sly, you need to have done the entry quests :( ). I'm also reliably informed you will need to be 80 to do Hyjal or Vashj'ir. This isn't Outland to Northrend any more ^^

    If you'd like a complete run-down of what to expect in all of the Cataclysm 5 mans, including loot drops and boss abilities, THIS IS THE GUIDE TO READ. Clearly it is packed full of spoilers, so if you wish to avoid such things... personally I reckon with the difficulty I'm being told to anticipate, a bit of forewarning might not be a bad idea.

    Oh, and the new 'standard' bag size in Cataclysm will be 22 slots, but as I reckon it's gonna be at least six months before they're at a reasonable price and there's cheap mats coming out of everyone's ears for the current 22 slotters (am looking especially at the Abyssal Bags that used to hold soul shards, which take less mats and have no seven day CD) I'm gonna keep making those for now, especially as they are a natural by-product of me grinding stuff to sell.

    [Thank you to WoW Insider and MMO-Champion for these nuggets of goodness.]

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Please Do Not Press This Button!

    That's a lie. You need to.

    When you log on after the patch, your UI WILL look odd. Why?

    • The default UI Scale has been altered so it will be set at a 1:1 pixel/texel ratio. This will result in a smaller UI appearance for higher resolution monitors.

    How do I fix this, I hear you cry?

    Job's a good'un!

    Bloody Hell :O

    MMO reports the last patch before Cataclysm proper is on the PTR and is marked as a Release Candidate. This means there is a VERY good chance that the Old World will change irrevocably as soon as NEXT WEDNESDAY.

    DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Nothing to see here. Move along!

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Free Loot!

    WoW Insider has a Cataclysm Countdown Clock.

    ./says nothing :P

    Aside from trendsetting, I spent today being helpful and clearing Ironforge and Stormwind from the Elemental Menace.

    In case you are wondering, that's a Sandbag on my back. The more astute of you who are doing these events will notice that the IF one is borked: no rifts spawn for Tripping the Rifts and you don't get the Elite versions of the mobs, which means that the two bosses associated with a clear seem to pop a lot quicker than the SW ones... and this time around there is no restriction on the number of times you can kill them :O At 16 Justice Points a kill and ilevel 251 loots I'd say you'd be foolish not to farm these guys to within an inch of their lives. The benefits are various:

    • No restriction on the number of times a boss can be killed, save the time you have before the instance becomes unavailable. We managed 12 boss kills last night in the window of opportunity we had, that's a massive 192 JP!

    • No piles of annoying trash to negotiate. This is a HUGE bonus.

    • The loot itself: if you're not in ICC on a regular basis the options on loot are pretty good, and although you won't find weapons there is summat for everyone. I garnered five upgrades yesterday: a choice of necks for the secondary Hunter, the Boomkin and the Pally, a ring upgrade for my Priest and the mail healing bracers for my Shaman. So what if the loot only lasts you three weeks! An upgrade is an upgrade :D

    • The fights themselves are, if truth be told, not easy. You do need to have your brain engaged: Hot Feet in the Flamelash fight is a killer if you're not paying attention. These spells are a probable indicator of what we have to look forward to in Cataclysm dungeons if previous experience is any indicator and the mechanics are clear: that shadow under your feet in the Princess fight? It means you had a boulder thrown at you and it's time to MOVE ^^ I'd say the Zul'Farrak encounter is the most annoying (boss healing back to 90% health when at 25% is BAD) and there are some LoS issues with the pool I'm sure were never there in the 5 man non-epic version, but still... if you're willing to pay attention you could actually learn something from this foursome. However, King Wyrnn needs to get some better moves. Whirlwinding at the arse end of bosses, so last patch.

    Needless to say after patch tomfoolery tomorrow, we're back in there for moar Extreme Grindage!

    [EDIT: Yes, I KNOW. ^^ It's changed now, okay?]

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Over 8000!

    P4 of the Elememental Invasion is upon us, but despite me dragging a large portion of the Guild to SW at 7pm server I still managed to miss the opening salvo. As a result I'll be making an infeasibly large amount of Delicious Chocolate Cake and depositing it in the Guild Bank, because I foolishly bet it would all start while a bunch of us had a proper go at Glory of the Ulduar Raider with a side order of Algalon. I counted nine achievements nabbed, which gets P to her pre-Cataclysm target of over 8000 Achievement points!

    Mass production of virtual chocolate snacks is a small price to pay :D

    Pictures and reports therefore tomorrow, once I've recovered form a night of utter awesomeness. Cheers Guild!

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    The Next Level

    Attention My Guild!

    Actually this is relevant to anyone Guilded who wants to know what perks are available to them come Cataclysm: Project CWAL has an impressive list of what we can buy via achievements from the soon to be introduced Guild Vendor. Quite apart from the three mounts and four pets (killing 50,000 critters is going to upset some of our members, but frankly I'd have to say it's in a good cause!) the BOA items will be useful for anyone levelling and the new banners will be great for general progression.

    I have to say I'm pretty excited at these new changes, and the fact it will reward Guilds who stick together and work as a team...

    I urge everyone who's in a Guild to have a read.