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WOW:Level 80 legendary tabard spotted

Posted by mikewu Tuesday July 15 2008 at 9:20PM
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Like Bigfoot, it's so elusive that photographs are rare, but some WoW players have caught a glimpse of what may be an upcoming PvP reward fromWrath. Or maybe it's just a bug. Or -- and I have a nickel bet on this one -- it's a nice little prank Blizzard's playing on us in return for our snooping around for information on the expansion. Whatever it is, though, it has left at least one footprint. We've gotten a few tips that upon inspecting a player's Tabard of Summer Flames, the Horde side reward from the Shards of Ahune quest, the tabard's tooltip describes a very different item called Tabard of the Victor. Even though the tabard's design matched the Midsummer quest reward, the description was quite different.

First of all, the Tabard of the Victor requires Level 80, which was our first clue that it was probably not meant for pre-Wrath eyes. The tabard binds on pick-up, provides 250 Armor, +20 Stamina, +10 to All Resistances. Upon equipping it, your resilience rating improves by 15 and it increases movement speed and life regeneration rate. The funniest part -- and what makes me think this could be a prank by our dear game designers -- is the tabard's use is described as: "Use: Show how heroic you are! (55 Secs Cooldown)" and the bottom line description is, "The Mark of a True Hero." It seems that perhaps the glitch was caused by an error in the cache because when it was cleared the tabard's description correctly matched the Summer Flames tabard.
 

WOW:"Gigantique" and the Gold burn of Patch 2.4.3

Posted by mikewu Tuesday July 15 2008 at 9:13PM
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It has begun. Anti-inflation measures intended to reduce player Gold before
Wrath of the Lich King arrives have been put in place on the test server. Everyone's favorite (or most hated) socialite Haris Pilton has transformed into more than just a nod to bad pop culture, Patch 2.4.3 sees her as the single biggest gold sink in the game. Just like her enterprising real-life counterpart, Pilton has launched a new line of bags and jewelry that is sure to bait some players into parting with their hard-earned Gold.

Pilton's flagship product, the epic "Gigantique" Bag is the only 22-slot bag of any sort and the biggest non item-specific bag available to players. It is bigger than the Pit Lord's Satchel, which drops off Magtheridon; the Sun Touched Satchel which is a zone drop from Magister's Terrace; the Tattered Hexcloth Sack from a quest in Zul'Aman; and even the Phat Loot Friday-featured Primal Mooncloth Bag. At a whopping 1,200 Gold, it's also the most expensive bag from a vendor or otherwise. Clever little Haris has also dissociated herself from The Lower City, so no discounts will be honored and she'll earn full profit from your Gold. The kicker? "Gigantique" Bags aren't unique.

This means that the richest of the rich can have four of these for their inventory at 4,800 Gold, just under the price for epic flight training. The truly hardcore can even purchase one for all seven bank slots for a hefty 8,400 Gold. For some players, that's a drop in the bucket. But multiply these with a little altoholism, and all that money can burn up pretty quick. It's possible that the "Gigantique" Bag will be replaced by a bigger bag when the expansion hits, but these bags will be very useful for quite some time. With the 
consolidation of statistics as a new direction for Blizzard, it's also quite possible that there won't be a need for bigger bags since hybrid classes will be able to use one set of gear for all specs (hooray!). This means there's the distinct possibility that the "Gigantique" Bags are as big as they'll get.

This kind of money sink is just what the game needs. With so much money flooding into the economy, the last thing Blizzard wants is having nothing for players to spend on and having gold become worthless. Although a lot of players spend for things at the Auction House such as epic gems and recipes, this money goes right back into the player base. The only way to properly control a game economy is by having real money sinks like flight training and designer bags from NPCs. This way, the money spent is gone forever.

For role-players, Haris Pilton also offers the ultimate testament of love (and money) -- the 
Gold Eternium Band. At a staggering 3,000 Gold, it is the ultimate bauble. I used to enjoy sending one of Griftah's Infallible Tikbalang Wards to all my Filipino friends as an inside-joke. This was, in its own way, a small money sink. But the Gold Eternium Band trumps every vendor item available, putting even the Flawless Diamond Solitaire or The Rock to shame. It is ridiculously more expensive than any vendor item ever. Considering Haris Pilton's other wares -- the Nobleman's Elementium Signet, Ruby Shades, and the literally nondescript Sapphire Pinky Ring which sell for 2,400, 2,000, and 600 Gold respectively -- she stands to become the richest NPC in the World
of Warcraft. Aside from the prohibitive costs, all her wares are limited stock items that are hopefully on very long cooldowns, making them truly exclusive, if pointless, items. How many eager players will Haris snare with her new line of merchandise? More than a few, I'm willing to bet. And with an inflating economy to control, that's a perfectly good thing.

AoC's 2nd of July patch completes planned Necro changes

Posted by mikewu Tuesday July 15 2008 at 3:38AM
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Mage

  • Tome of Erlik now has effects and sounds.
  • Purge now has sound and particle effects associated with it and should now go on the appropriate cooldown. Purge now provides 5 seconds of immunity in addition to removal of effects.
  • Misdirection now has received a better visual and should no longer look like a lightning strike.
  • Weakened Protection will no longer refresh itself after the player cancels his own Absorb buff.

Rogue

  • Mountaineer, Distraction, and Concealment effects are now innate in the feat and will not take up space in the Rogue's buff window. They will still provide a buff to the Rogue's teammates.
  • Distraction will now properly apply to the Rogue's teammates.


Bear Shaman

  • Reaper Claws will no longer disappear when you zone.

Conqueror

  • Feint Attack combo animation speed will now scale correctly for both male and female. Now the male and female should do equal damage.

Necromancer

  • The splash damage of the Deathless Acolyte: Magus has been increased from 10% to 30%, with 4 meter range and a maximum of 5 targets
  • The Deathless Acolyte: Reaper and Deathless Acolyte: Arcanist now have 30% splash damage with 2 meter range on a single additional target
  • The Deathless Acolyte: Arcanist's chance to trigger the Arcanist's Knowledge has been doubled
  • The Arcanist's Knowledge effect will now display the current stack count in the buff GUI
  • Casting Frost Blast will no longer cause the Necromancer to get stuck in a casting animation
  • Flash Freeze now additionally decreases the casting time and increases the damage of Freeze
  • Freeze will now clear the target of all Necromancer damage-over-time effects when cast, this will reduce the chance of it breaking accidentally on damage
  • Ice Shackle no longer has a chance to break on damage
  • The debuff effect applied by Wither Soul should now have the appropriate icon


Combat

  • Thrown weapons have had their range increased: Light throwing weapons now have a range of 15 meters, up from 12. Heavy throwing weapons now have a range of 18 meters, up from 16.
  • Generic NPC crowd control effects have been tweaked. Resistances from feats and other player effects should now help against NPC crowd control. Stun, knockback, charm, and fear will now grant the player immunity.


Massive PvP

  • Battlekeeps now have resurrection points for the attackers, that are located near the front gate of the city.
  • Fixed an issue that disabled Siege Weapons if the target was out of range.
  • NPC's will properly respawn when a building is repaired.
  • Players are now able to use a siege weapon after the player using it has gone linkdead.
  • Players now get a notification when they are about to get teleported out during a Massive PvP battle.
  • Damaged playerbuilt curved walls now have correct collision so they can not be walked through before they are completely destroyed.
  • Lacheish Plains: Several holes have been closed in the West Battlekeep so players can no longer bypass the walls there.
  • Poitain: Several holes have been closed in the West, South and East Battlekeeps so players can no longer bypass the walls there.


Mounts

  • Moving around while mounted should now correctly interrupt spell-casting.


Items

  • Fixed a tooltip error on the crossbow Skysmite causing the bonuses to be illegible.
  • The recipe for Steelsilk Belt has been changed to Fine Steelsilk Belt.
  • The recipe for Steelsilk Leggings has been changed to Fine Steelsilk Leggings.
  • Selling a gemmed item to a shop and undoing the sale will no longer remove the gems.


Playfields

Armsmans Arena

  • Doors should no longer be targetable in the Arena.
  • Fixed an issue where players managed to get locked inside the monster cages in the Arena. You should now be able to get out using the Lever.

Lacheish Plains

  • all the levers for each door in Stonehammer battlekeep should now work properly.


Tradeskills

  • A progress bar will appear whenever gemcutting is performed.
  • Crafted armor pieces no longer incorrectly have more defense rating than normal pieces of armor.
  • Resolved a level check for the response to give when character is below level 70 and tries to learn gathering Oak.
  • The Weaponsmith workshop plan can now be correctly learned from the Architect trainer.
  • Blue Iron can again be mined from the correct mineral veins.


Quests

  • Stonecutter Trainer: Fixed a dialogue issue so the trainer will now accept Basalt and Adamant to resolve the quest.
  • Cannibal Commotion: Fixed an issue where Attadeus would become stuck and not allow you to update the quest.
  • The Bearer of Ill Tidings: The Field of the Dead quest "The Bearer of Ill Tidings" and "Allies of the White Hand" are now level 48.
  • The Den of Wolves: The goal name was changed from "The Den of Wolves" to "Kill Plains Wolves".
  • The Wolf Hunt: The goal name was changed from "The Wolf Hunt" to "Kill Yukagi Wolves".
  • Death to the Undead: The goal name was changed from "Death to the Undead" to "Destroy Conriocht werewolves in the Haunted Forest".
  • Greater Prey: The goal name was changed from "Greater Prey" to "Kill werewolf Rippers, Antagonizer, Slasher and Slicers".
  • The Curse of the Werewolves: The goal name was changed from "The Curse of the Werewolves" to "Kill Conriocht Menaces, Slayers and Goremuzzles".
  • Fit for a Chieftain: You will now correctly receives the item 'Fur of Bloodclaw' in the quest inventory.
  • Attack of the Savages: An issue where the goal text was not clear has been changed to "Kill Raiders at the Guard Post".
  • Castle of King Conan: Pallantides now doesn't display an exclamation mark over his head unless you can get the quest from him.
  • Tortage: Renton should now have one coherent look as opposed to changing look between quests.
  • Paetus & the Nemedian Crown III: Gavion now gives the player the map and letter back when he ask the player to go talk to King Conan about this treason. Players will need to delete their old quest "Paetus & the Nemedian Crown III" and speak with Gavion again to continue this quest line.
  • Lusts of the Flesh: You now get a cask of Tainted Ale to give to Tuthmekri. Players who want to finish this quest will have to delete it from their quest journal and get it again.
  • Master of the Silver Peacock: Vistrix now finaly gives in and surrender his teeth on defeat. You are now able to complete this quest, and thereby advance to The Black Ring Citadel.
  • Alchemy quests: The dialogues with the Alchemy trainer should now all work correctly and give and complete the needed quests.
  • Common Gems II - Return to the Gemcutter: The quest can now be completed by handing over the needed gems to the trainer.
  • Tear 2 gathering quest - Return the Illustrium: The quest can now be completed by handing over the illustrium to the trainer.
  • Woodcutter quest: Players will now be able to get the 'Gathering Oak' quest when having the correct level.


NPC

  • Tarantia Noble: Zhu-Khang no longer has flickering clothing.
  • Armsman's Tavern: Sarissa's upper chest should no longer go through her dress.
  • Tortage Jungle: Poacher Marksman should no longer shoot invisible arrows at players.
  • Eiglophian Mountains: Added two vendors to the Mountain Hunting Lodge.
  • Conall's Valley: The Gravesinger now has an improved look that fits more with the description of him.
  • Conalls Valley: Supply Master Vorgir has been given a slight makeover and should look better now.
  • Tortage Underhalls Day: NPCs will now respawn slightly quicker than before.
  • Lacheish Plains: Tiggle Knucklebone has been removed from the playfield to stop players from confusing him as a Trader.
  • NPCs will no longer inappropriately recieve player buffs such as Lotus Overload, Blood Pit, Embrace Death, Overpower, and Pact of Dread.
  • Vendor bought resources have been reduced in price.
  • Sanctum of the Burning Souls: It is now possible to spawn the Dark Beast boss just by interacting with the Sacrificial Altar while holding a Ritual Chalice. The specific quest requirement has been removed.


Localization

  • French: Many of dialogues that were still in English have been translated.
  • all languages: All Feats, Special Abilities, Skills, Spells and Combos have been reviewed are now fully and consistently translated.


General

  • Updated/improved descriptions of following abilities/feats/combos: >From the Darkness, Overpower, Blood Rage Stance, Secondary Laceration, Crippling Bloodbath (Crippling Bloody Hack), Improved Inspire, Focus, Burning Vigor, Covenant of Invulnerability III,
    Focus, "Secondary Laceration" changed to "Conquest"
  • Players will now be able to exit Dance state while in combat.

2000 means nothing in Season

Posted by mikewu Tuesday July 15 2008 at 3:27AM
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2000 means nothing in Season 4 per


"2k rated <insert class here> looking for Arena team."

For once, that statement doesn't hold quite as much weight anymore. InSeason 4, where new personal ratings requirements are in place, a 2000 rating doesn't amount to anything but bragging rights. Sometimes not even that. After two weeks of the new season, more than a few players are running around with their helm graphic on, proudly displaying the fact that they've hit the first benchmark of 1700 personal and team rating. An even more select few are standing around the major cities brandishing Brutal Gladiator armaments. This is where the new distinction lies.

With 2000 personal rating qualifying a player for nothing in Season 4, the more accurate statement for any sort of Arena self-validation is now "<insert class here> with S4 weapon looking for Arena team." Because the requirements are so strict -- necessitating both team and player ratings to be at the minimum upon purchase -- Arena gear has never been more indicative of skill. I know many of you will protest at this generalization, and you'd have a point. But now more than ever, the system has proven effective at weeding out the chaff from the grain.

What is nice about the new system is that it provides another tier of validation -- 1700. Players who achieve 1700 can actually take a small measure of pride and add it to the list of qualifications when, for example, they apply to an Arena team similar to how some players would apply to a guild. A 1700 personal rating is nothing to scoff at, specially not during the first week or two of the new Season. It's a pleasant change because players who manage to attain high enough ratings can actually display it. It's no longer just the shoulders, however "visually impacting" they may be. Of course, there's also the new goal of 1950 for Season 3 shoulders, which is still a respectable achievement.

With Season 4 shoulder pieces out of reach for most of the general WoW population, the most significant visual barometer for this season are the weapons. It is an even more important indicator because of the higher Arena point cost. If a player achieves 2050 and finds herself without the Arena points to purchase the weapon, she will need to maintain that rating for a few more weeks in order to accumulate enough currency (or stop playing that team for a while). Obtaining the Season 4 weapon takes a bit of planning so that players will have the points for it when they finally hit the 2050 benchmark.

Many players who saved up the maximum 5000 points over the course of the past weeks and months of Season 3 went hog wild at the vendors and purchased whatever they qualified for during the first week. It's like going shopping after payday. Don't blow all your cash (or Arena points, as it were) all at once, though. If you manage to climb high enough on your first few weeks, you might find yourself at the store with no money in your wallet. Planning out Brutal Gladiator purchases through the season requires a bit of confidence in yourself and your team's ability to climb the ladder.

While it's easy enough to climb to 1700 on the first week -- we already see quite a few players running around with Brutal Gladiator -- it will take some time for most players to reach the new benchmark of 2050. It will take an even longer time for the few players who will reach 2200 to get there, as games that actually grant points will be few and far between. Because teams will need to fight other teams within their ratings range in order to actually get significant gains, there is an artificial bottleneck for Arena PvP progression. In a way it's good because it allows an ordered distribution of gear, but at the same time it's bad because truly successful teams can't make any headway because they have to wait for other teams in their Battlegroup to catch up.

At the same time, the first few weeks of the season mean that many seasoned (and consequently, geared) players will be starting on the ground floor just like everyone else. This can be an unpleasant experience for teams just starting out or testing the Arena waters. It all evens out in the end, of course, but these first weeks of  Season 4  has  shown how the new system affects PvP progression. In the first week alone, a large number of players played just enough games to hit personal ratings in order to spend

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