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Race to World First Documentary

Documentary on how the top WoW guilds compete against each other, insight on strategies and a few more things, check it out, definitely worth a watch.

While Blood Legion is consistently one of the top-ranked guilds in the United States, it has so far been unable to defeat the EU guild Paragon. Race to World First documents the struggles, triumphs, and frustrations of Blood Legion as it prepares to beat the newest bosses released in World of Warcraft.

This is a global battle between 12 million people, and competition is intense. As the race gets underway, the film broadens in scope to include players from Finland, Russia, Australia, Great Britain, Greece, Canada, and Germany. They discuss what it takes to compete at the highest level, and the rivalries and life/game conflicts that inevitably arise.

Race to World First is the inside story of a community that remains largely hidden from the general public, and is negatively stereotyped in the media. The film redefines the image of the gamer, focusing on the commitment, cooperation, and tremendous diversity within this culture, and on the many positive aspects of the massively multi-player online (MMO) community.

For gamers both proud and closeted, it is about time.

LFG Productions
John Keating and Zachary Henderson founded Looking for Group Productions in 2009 after working alongside each other on various New York City film and television productions for six years. Their goal was to create films that they believed in, and to simply have fun.

The term "looking for group" has been in use since the advent of online gaming, and describes the search for like-minded people with whom to have an adventure.

John Keating, originally from Rockford, IL, headed east at the age of 20 to study at the New York Film Academy. Upon graduation, he learned his trade as a lighting and camera technician working on productions throughout the city. He joined IATSE Local 52 in 2001 and has since worked with Martin Scorsese, the Coen Brothers, Errol Morris, Robert DeNiro and others.

As a documentary filmmaker, John admires Jamie Johnson's Born Rich (2003) and Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line (1988). His love of fantasy began with Raiders of the Lost Ark and Blade Runner, and the early MMO games Star Wars Galaxies and Eve Online.

John began playing World of Warcraft in 2007 and has continued to play, when time permits, ever since. His character, "Cameraguy," is a Discipline Priest who is used mainly for player-versus-player battles. He also plays Starcraft 2 and is looking forward to Diablo 3.

When he is not working at LFG Productions, John is a gadget geek who is constantly looking for ways to upgrade and tweak his editing suite. He lives in Queens with his wife Cassandra, a makeup artist for television and film. They are expecting twins.

Zach Henderson, a native of Jacksonville, FL, always dreamed of working in show business. After graduating from Florida State University in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in Theater, he moved to New York City to work as a lighting and camera technician. He became a member of IATSE Local 52 in 2005 and has worked with Errol Morris, Steven Spielberg, and the Coen Brothers, and on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

Race to World First is Zach's second documentary feature. In 2005, he shot, edited, and produced Cure Paralysis Now, a single-camera diary piece that follows a grass-roots movement for spinal cord injury research from Florida to Washington, DC. Among those featured were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator John Kerry, and the late Dana Reeve.

Zach's gaming experience began as a kid, when he played Dungeons & Dragons in the back room of Dragon's Tale comic-book store in Atlantic Beach, FL. Rolling dice soon progressed to playing video games with early NES games Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, and Faxanadu.

Since the release of Diablo in 1996, Zach has been hooked on Blizzard games. He is in the process of leveling up his latest World of Warcraft character, "BCamera," and hopes to make up for lost time after the release of Race to World First.

Zach lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lynne and their Shih-Tzu Leo.

John Keating/Zachary Henderson
Looking for Group Productions LLC
(917)945-6542/ (646)785-6154
P.O. Box 5868
Astoria, NY 11105

вовдата пандария

Developers on Faction Favoritism

For the Horde

For the Horde =)

Supposedly this isn't a cover-up for the music played @ Blizzcon and such. More about in-game bias that's been happening lately (???). Are we going to see lots of Alliance favoritism now? Probably. Gotta wait and see.

One of our earliest design goals with World of Warcraft was to ensure a healthy rivalry between the Alliance and the Horde. Cross-faction communication was banned outright, even where it made little or no sense in the lore. Entire realms are dedicated to PvP. Battlegrounds and quest hubs feature prominent Alliance and Horde iconography. We want to foster a sense of factional pride, a real identity with your brothers and sisters in arms.

We want players to be proud of their faction, even at the expense of personal dignity. One time I was driving my wife home from dinner. She leaned out of the car window, threw the horns, and screamed “FOR THE HORDE!” at some dude who was standing outside the restaurant in his Horde hockey jersey. Poor guy probably forgot he was wearing it. We peeled off in a thick cloud of blue tire smoke, and I think we made him pee.

That’s what I’m talking about.

So when it comes to the game’s ongoing story developments, it’s no surprise that Alliance and Horde fans are “keeping score.” Maps and charts of territory gained and lost started showing up around the time the Cataclysm shook the world to its foundations. Southshore plagued? Taurajo burned? Oh no they didn’t!

Implicit amidst most of the grumbling from either side is the assumption that Blizzard should be fairly treating both factions. Then there’s the more explicit assumption: if one faction is losing ground, then Blizzard must be biased.

Are we?

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Of Warcraft.

Maybe we are. A quick survey of Azeroth’s history reveals that we’ve been punishing the Alliance for generations. Stormwind was razed by orcs back in Warcraft I. Then Lordaeron fell to the plague in Warcraft III, its inhabitants turned into a mindless mob of undead. High-elven allies were besieged by the scourge and had their city sacked and their source of power corrupted. (The survivors of both these atrocities found solace in the Horde.) The gnomish capital was irradiated. The dwarven kingdoms were shattered by a terrible civil war. I’m surprised there’s an Alliance left at all.

On the other hand, those humans got off easy -- at least they still have a planet. The orc homeworld was overrun with demons and obliterated. Almost the entire race was poisoned by demonic blood. By the end of Warcraft II, what little remained of the orc race was stranded on an alien world, defeated, sullen, weak, and locked away in human-controlled internment camps.

I’m sure glad we didn’t have orc forums back then! Imagine the outrage.

In truth, a historical account of the Warcraft universe reads like a war crimes trial. Empires topple, leaders are corrupted, populations are massacred, entire civilizations fall to ruin (often at their peak of power)… Warcraft is a dark place. Just ask the Draenei: We trashed their homeworld and tortured its last uncorrupted children for tens of thousands of years. We’re downright cruel. I’ve never met a more sadistic team of story folk.

Suffering is the gasoline that drives our story engine. Why is that?

The Hero Factory

Here at Blizzard, we often talk about what we’re trying to build with the fiction of the Warcraft universe. The phrase “Hero Factory” frequently comes up across all of our franchises. We want the players to feel like heroes.

The primordial soup that creates heroes never tastes of rainbows -- it’s a lumpy gumbo of suffering and evil. Heroes are born from darkness, because we desperately need someone to light the way.

It’s an unfair world that cries out for heroes. To bring order out of chaos and justice to the downtrodden is the hero’s call. Is it any wonder that Azeroth is an unfair place? It’s monstrously unfair. And it’s going to stay that way.

Of Story Arcs and Storied Orcs

We can guarantee an unfair and inequitable treatment of both factions for now and in the foreseeable future. This allows us to have richer long-term story arcs, another idea that we’ve been experimenting with since the build-up to Cataclysm. To see the factions ebb and flow as their leaders get embroiled in all manner of heroism or skullduggery is like a reward for long-time players.

Speaking of faction leaders, that’s one area where I think we can do better: Giving everyone a chance to interact with their heroes throughout the story. In creating this universe, I’ll admit that we at Blizzard often fall into a trap of thinking of our main characters as “world” characters and not individual faction characters.

For example, the events of the cataclysm put in motion some major story developments for Thrall, who’d been sitting relatively idle in Orgrimmar since the events of Warcraft III. He was forced to choose between his role as warchief and as a shaman who could potentially save the world. He set aside the warchief’s mantle and, with your help, he’ll play an instrumental role in bringing an end to Deathwing.

But there’s a price to pay. Thrall sacrificed something.

The Horde has gone through a story arc of its own, since the days when the ragged refugee orcs first stumbled onto the beaches of Kalimdor and decided to found a new capital. The Horde races have united and consolidated. The Forsaken, no longer tormented by the Lich King, have secured their borders. The tauren have settled a homeland. The Darkspear trolls, once on the brink of extinction thanks to murlocs (murlocs!), have rallied together and founded a capital. The blood elves have survived the destruction of their home, moved beyond the defection of their leader, and reclaimed the Sunwell. The Horde is absolutely ascendant.

And in this moment, as one of the most powerful groups of mortals on Azeroth seeks to define itself, Thrall is out of the picture. The Horde’s mission is being defined by Garrosh Hellscream. Thrall’s decision to leave him in charge is coming back to haunt him.

If you’re a die-hard Alliance player, I can understand if you feel left out of Thrall’s story arc. Thrall feels like “their guy,” and Thrall’s journey over the last couple of years may not feel like “your” story, even if his mistakes are about to send the whole world into a potential death spiral. Fair enough. Stick with Thrall as he fulfills his destiny at the end of Cataclysm, and I promise we’ll catch up with other characters -- from both factions -- as we pick up the pieces in the aftermath.

Garrosh Hellscream has a vision for the Horde, a vision of a united Kalimdor that can only be realized over the ashes of the Alliance. He’s craftier than any of his foes realize, and his grim determination to win at all costs -- even at the expense of his own people -- is plunging the world into chaos.

In the midst of this crisis, the Alliance is going to need to pull together like never before. At the BlizzCon lore panel we promised that key Alliance characters are going to get more time in the spotlight throughout Mists and the subsequent patches, and I wanted to reiterate that here. They’re going to come out of this stronger than ever, but the road ahead won’t be easy.

It’s going to get worse before it gets better. A lot worse. But that’s a good thing. It means we’re going to need a lot more heroes to bring justice to an unjust world. We’re going to need you to step up and reshape the world.

Just don’t expect a Happily Ever After. We just don’t do those here.

Dave “Fargo” Kosak


World of Warcraft Mobile Armory Updated

World of Warcraft Mobile Armory

World of Warcraft Mobile Armory Updated

Blizzard just released updates for the iOS and Android™ versions of the free World of Warcraft Mobile Armory app. Here are the improvements in the latest updates:

iOS (Mobile Armory Update 3.2.0):

  • Real-time realm status is now available from the main menu.
  • In the Browse Items interface, you can now view all items from a particular raid boss and sort items by class.
  • Support for Brazilian Portuguese
  • Various bug fixes
  • Android (Mobile Armory Update 2.2.2):

  • In the Browse Items interface, you can now view all items from a particular raid boss and sort items by class.
  • Android devices with smaller screen sizes (240x320) are now supported.
  • Support for Brazilian Portuguese
  • Various bug fixes
  • The World of Warcraft Mobile Armory app is available for free on the App Store℠ for iPhone® and iPod touch® and on the Android™ Market.

    App Store, iPhone, and iPod touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Portions of this page are reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.


    World of Warcraft Patch 4.3 – Hour of Twilight

    Hour of Twilight

    Patch 4.3 - Hour of Twilight

    World of Warcraft Patch 4.3: Hour of Twilight nears, and with it, Deathwing’s reign of terror will finally come to an end. Featuring a new raid, unexplored dungeons, a legendary rogue quest line, the latest raid tier armor sets, major story developments, the Transmogrification and Void Storage features, and much more, Hour of Twilight has something for everyone.

    Table of Contents

    Raid Finder
    Void Storage
    Fangs of the Father
    The All New Darkmoon Faire
    Dragon Soul Raid

    Raid Finder

    Raid Finder

    Raid Finder:

    We are working hard to introduce an exciting new feature to World of Warcraft in patch 4.3: the Raid Finder system. While it presents unprecedented technical hurdles and may change before it’s released, we wanted to provide you with an early look at what we hope to accomplish, and share some details that we’ve worked out, which will lend some insight as to how the new feature is planned to work.

    So what is the Raid Finder? It will be a brand new grouping feature that superficially works much like the Dungeon Finder. Instead of five-player dungeons, the Raid Finder is designed to help players quickly and easily form a pick-up raid for a specially tuned version of the current tier of raid content: the Dragon Soul raid. It’s not intended to replace organized raiding though. You’ll still need friends and guild members to help you conquer the toughest raiding challenges that patch 4.3 has to offer.

    As we currently plan to roll out the Raid Finder feature in patch 4.3, level-85 players will be able to use it to access a 25-player version of the Dragon Soul raid dungeon, which will culminate in a glorious battle against Deathwing himself. Dragon Soul will be split into three different difficulties. The Raid Finder provides access to a new tier of difficulty, which in this case has split the raid into two wings, each containing four boss encounters. Meanwhile, raiders will still need to join with friends and guildmates to face the more challenging normal and heroic versions of the raid, since the Raid Finder cannot be used to access those higher difficulty levels. Naturally, because they’re harder to defeat, the normal and heroic version of Dragon Soul will drop more powerful lootalong with prestigious rewards such as achievements, titles, and epic mounts. Rich rewards still await those who face the Raid Finder version, which we hope will introduce the thrills and epic experience of raiding to a broader audience than ever before.

    You can access the Raid Finder through the ‘Raid’ button in the menu at the bottom of the default user interface. The Raid Finder should feel familiar to Dungeon Finder users. Just fire it up, select your class role, click the ‘Find Raid’ button, and get ready to face Deathwing’s jaw of doom.

    Q. Raids aren’t dungeons. Who will keep things organized?
    A. A Raid Finder raid will require someone to queue as leader. The Raid Finder leader will have a very limited set of powers and cannot change loot type, nor do they have the ability to arbitrarily kick people from the raid. They do have the ability to mark targets and use /raid warning, and can promote other players to be leads as well. To be most successful, each Raid Finder group should have at least one leader who will explain the fights, assign raid markers, and make the tough calls, like who the main tank and off-tanks are.

    Q. How will loot be distributed?
    A. Automatic rolls and a special version of the Need Before Greed loot rules will apply in Raid Finder raids, just as they do in Dungeon Finder instances. Also, while Dungeon Finder raids aren’t locked, you are only eligible for loot from a boss once per week. This means that if you were present for the defeat of a boss, whether you receive loot or not, then you will automatically pass on loot that drops during later attempts on that boss during the same week.

    Q. How will Raid Finder loot differ?
    A. Loot acquired through the Raid Finder, including tier set pieces, will be of a lower item level than items acquired from normal or heroic mode versions of the Dragon Soul raid, and its appearance may differ. Also, there are certain items, as well as components for legendary weapons, which will not drop in Raid Finder raids. While individual bosses will not yield Valor Points as they would in other versions of the raid, you can still earn 250 Valor Points for beating the final boss in each wing of the instance.
    Tier armor that drops in Raid Finder raids still provides set bonuses, and those bonuses are compatible with the higher item level versions of the armor available in the normal and heroic mode versions of the raid. None of these tier sets will be available for purchase from a vendor via Valor Points.

    Q. Will there be an item level requirement to use the Raid Finder?
    A. Yes, accessing raids via the Raid Finder will require that participating characters be level 85 and have attained a certain item level, to help ensure that they are prepared for the content they’ll be facing.

    Q. Will the Raid Finder be cross-realm?
    A. Yes, the Raid Finder will draw players from all realms. As with the Dungeon Finder, it will place some priority on grouping players from the same realm, though not at the cost of increased queue times.

    Q. What kind of raid composition will the Raid Finder create?
    A. Each Raid Finder raid will include two tanks, six healers, and seventeen damage dealers. As the raid is assembled, the Raid Finder will attempt to balance the group according to armor type, which should help ensure a healthy mix of melee and ranged dps.

    Q. Why 25-player only?
    A. A 25-player group is actually easier and faster to fill than a smaller group would be, and allows for greater flexibility in raid creation, all of which will help contribute to lower queue times. Also, 25-player raids are less subject to issues with composition or player connectivity.
    The Raid Finder version of the Dragon Soul raid will be designed with pick-up raiding in mind. Normal and heroic difficulties will require the greater organization and teamwork found in guild raid groups.

    Q. Will I get Call to Arms benefits when using the Raid Finder?
    A. We don’t currently plan to apply Call to Arms benefits to the Raid Finder, though that may change in the future.

    Q. Will I be locked to a raid I join through the Raid Finder?
    A. Since the Raid Finder only offers access exclusively to a specially tuned version of the Dragon Soul raid instance, instance locks will not be enforced for that version. Instance locks will still be enforced for the normal and heroic versions of the raid.

    Q. Can I queue with my friends in a party or raid?
    A. Yes, you can queue for the Raid Finder individually, in a party, or in a raid. The Raid Finder can be a great tool to help fill those last few slots in a raid.

    Q. I’m a dedicated raider with an organized group, what good is the Raid Finder to me?
    A. Since instance locks aren’t in play, Raid Finder raids could provide a way for dedicated raiders to gear up alternate characters, fill gaps in their itemization, finish off elusive set bonuses, or just have some fun while preparing to face the normal or heroic version of the raid on the next reset.

    Q. Why aren’t other raids available?
    A. The Raid Finder is intended to help players experience the current tier of content. Also, many older raids don’t require a full complement of raiders, making the Raid Finder unnecessary. This is also the first rollout of the feature and we decided to start things simple, rather than potentially delay the feature’s introduction.
    If the Raid Finder proves popular, more raid instances may be added to it in the future.

    Q. Will Vote Kick still work in the Raid Finder?
    A. Yes, though many of the same requirements and restrictions will be in place. For example, kicking too many times can result in a Vote Kick cooldown. Also, the thresholds are different, and several players will need to agree on kicking a candidate before the vote begins. Successful kick votes will require a significant number of Yes votes to pass.

    Q. What happens if I leave a Raid Finder raid before it’s over?
    A. Players who leave the Raid prematurely will receive a Deserter Debuff, though it will likely be of longer duration than the one applied to users of the Dungeon Finder. This debuff will only apply to the Raid Finder system.




    You’ve been asking for it, and we were listening. In patch 4.3 you’ll be able to customize the appearance of your weapons and armor like never before.

    The Ethereals, emerging from the nether, will bring with them a new technology they call Transmogrification. They’re heading to the capital cities of Azeroth to set up shop and to offer adventurers a unique service -- copying the appearance of one magical item onto another. They only ask for a modest gold donation to recoup their costs.

    Visiting a Transmogrifier will present players with a new interface that will allow them to change the appearance of an item while retaining its original stats. This means that you can raid in your paladin tier 12 Immolation set, but look like you’re wearing Lightbringer, while priests can bring Benediction back -- at least in spirit. Hunters can once again roam the jungles of Stranglethorn Vale in their tier 2 Dragonstalker set. You could even slip into the saucy tailored Black Mageweave set for that matter. You know, with the thigh highs, and the little gloves, and the cute little… ahem.

    Placing an item into the Transmogrifier interface will offer a preview of how the item will appear once the change is applied. However, not all item pairings are compatible with Transmogrification. In general, only items that have stats can be used in the transmogrification process. You must also be able to wear both items when using this service. Ethereals don’t have much in the way of ethics, but allowing someone to appear as if they’re equipping unusable items crosses the line. Similarly, they won’t allow you to change weapon or armor types. Sneaky death knights can’t make that breastplate look like a cloth robe, and you can’t make a one-handed axe look like a two-handed axe, or transform a sword’s appearance into that of a mace. Guns, bows, and crossbows will be the exception to this rule. You will finally be able to retain your dwarf’s racial gun bonus while appearing with all the splendor and elegance of a bow wielder (or at least the relative silence of one).

    Placing items into the Transmogrify interface will increase the gold cost of the process, and clicking the Transmogrify button (assuming you have the necessary funds) will put the appearance change into effect. The process can be reversed by clicking the undo icon on each item, and then hitting the Transmogrify button once more to save the changes. Any item that’s transmogrified will have text indicating it’s been altered by the process for all to see, similar to the item tooltip callout for reforged items.

    Transmogrification encourages players to hold onto items with sentimental or aesthetic value, and the Ethereals anticipate that personal bag and bank space will be at a premium now that everyone will be hoarding their frilly pantaloons and leather jerkins. In anticipation of this new demand for additional storage space, they’ll be introducing a unique Void Storage service. What’s Void Storage, you ask? We’ll provide more details soon.

    Transmogrification Rules

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Void Storage:

    For quite some time now, players have been asking for a location in which to store important keepsakes including treasured armor sets, unique quest rewards, and gifts from friends, as well as other valuable items they've collected on their journeys throughout Azeroth.
    This is a feature we've wanted to add to the game for a while, so we're excited to announce that, thanks to the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of the Ethereals, a new long-term storage option will soon be available to completionists and collectors alike.

    Void Storage

    In patch 4.3, characters of all levels will be able to take advantage of a new technology known as "Void Storage," which will open up 80 slots of long-term storage space. Void Storage vaults will be available in both Stormwind and Orgrimmar and can be accessed simply by speaking with your local Vaultkeeper.

    A variety of items can be placed into Void Storage -- including soulbound items and Account Bound items -- making it the perfect location to store trophies from past conquests, as well as armor you may want to hold onto for Transmogrification. So, if you've been looking for a good home for those old tier sets or your vanity holiday items, Void Storage is it! And it's as easy to use as dragging and dropping.

    In return for this unique service, the Ethereals will require a small fee for each item deposited into or withdrawn from their Void Storage apparatus. Multiple items can be added and removed at once, and the cost of each transaction will be display at the bottom of the screen, updating dynamically as you select additional items to deposit or withdraw. Once an item is placed into Void Storage, it can remain there indefinitely for no additional cost.

    It's important to note that the goal of Void Storage isn't to be a second bank, but rather a place where players can safely store items they wish to keep for the life of the game, either for sentimental or aesthetic reasons. Since this particular storage option isn't really intended for belongings that you'd use on a regular basis (like your current set of raiding gear, for example), any item placed in Void Storage will be stripped of all its enhancements, including enchants, gems, sockets, and reforged stats, and some items will simply not be eligible for Void Storage at all. This will help us reduce the impact such storage can have on the game servers, and ultimately allows us to provide a lot of long-term storage space with minimal impact on everyone's play experience.

    Bag Search: Find What You Need, When You Need It

    Now, you might be thinking, "Alright, those Ethereals are pretty nifty, and having more storage is great! But what about actually being able to find what I own? Do you know how long I looked for that one stack of Papa Hummel's Pet Biscuits? Like, a year. Okay, maybe 15 minutes. Either way, not even a tiny, delicious fat baby raptor is worth that kind of effort, and I love fat baby raptors."
    Never fear, fellow tiny-limbed-corpulent-dinosaur enthusiast! We've got you covered. In addition to Void Storage, we're also adding a bag search feature in 4.3 that will allow players to search for items within their bags and bank space, all with just a few keystrokes.

    Integrated directly into the bag and bank UI, this new search feature will be incredibly quick and easy to use. To find an item in one of your bags, in your character's personal bank, guild bank, or Void Storage vault, you'll simply type the name of the item -- or a word in the item's name -- into a small search box located near the top of your main backpack, and your open inventory will be filtered accordingly. Only the items that match the word or name you've entered will display, making it easier than ever to find exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Void Storage

    Fangs of the Father:

    The Contract

    Patch 4.3 will offer the most deadly and experienced rogues the opportunity to finally play a central role in the fate of the world the rogue’s way: by manipulating key events from the shadows. Players will travel across continents to accomplish crucial missions of reconnaissance, burglary, infiltration and, of course, assassination. Those familiar with the events that unfolded in the Badlands since the Cataclysm struck may recall the story of Rheastrasza, the ambitious red dragon who acquired a black dragon egg and magically purified it, cleansing it of the Black Dragonflight’s corruption. While those events may lead to a more hopeful destiny for Azeroth, it will take cleverness, stealth, skill, and the help of a few friends to unravel the web of intrigue that will reveal what became of the egg… and determine the fate of Deathwing himself.


    Rogues willing to do whatever is necessary to ignite a brighter future must first delve into the Dragon’s Soul raid dungeon to begin the quest line. Those who prove their prowess within will be set on a collision course with Ravenholdt Manor and the enigmatic Black Prince, Wrathion. This shadowy figure could be the key to victory for the mortal races, but what is his true agenda? Before the truth behind these mysteries are revealed, enterprising assassins will need to fight tense raid battles against Deathwing’s most powerful minions, and embark alone on perilous missions to seal the fate of the Black Dragonflight. The quest culminates in the earth-scorching execution of Deathwing himself and a shocking revelation about the true nature of the mission.

    Fangs of the Father

    Fangs of the Father

    Fangs of the Father

    Fangs of the Father

    What’s in it for me?

    Rogues who succeed will receive a paired set of daggers that will become increasingly lethal as their bearer progresses along the legendary quest. At the height of their strength, they will be imbued with the vile essence of the Old Gods, as well as the maddened fury of the Black Dragonflight -- bestowing great power upon their bearer. These powers include a stacking increase to Agility which builds until dark wings unfurl from the rogue’s back, removing the combo point cost and increasing damage of finishing moves for a short time. In addition, the wings which can be spread on command (with no combat benefit) to slow a rapid descent, allowing the rogue to slowly fall to the ground… or enact a little death from above! When it comes to dealing death, the Fangs of the Father promise legendary killing power to rogues of any specialization.

    An incredible adventure and legendary rewards await. The future of all life on Azeroth hangs in the balance. Better get moving.

    The All New Darkmoon Faire:

    New Darkmoon Faire

    New Darkmoon Faire

    Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Step right up and prepare to be amazed!

    It’s incredible! It’s unbelievable! You’ll be dazzled. You’ll be amazed! You aren’t prepared for the Darkmoon Faire, ‘cause it’s like nothing you’ve seen before! Don’t be shy now, don’t be bashful, step right up for a tantalizing glimpse of what we’ve got in store for you when patch 4.3 arrives!

    That old thing?

    No, no, no, Clem. The Darkmoon Faire ain’t what it used to be and it ain’t where it used to be. The management hasn’t changed but the Faire certainly has. It’s a whole new animal. Tickets? You don’t need those old tickets, just rip ‘em right up, ‘cause we’ve got new tickets! Out with the old, in with the new -- new quests, that is! Things have changed ‘round here: we’ve got an island all to ourselves now, and what an island it is. Mist-shrouded Darkmoon Island is a conundrum wrapped in an enigma. It’s a place of mystery and wonder, and you wouldn’t believe the deals we made to get it… or who we made ‘em with. But never mind that, just follow me right through here and I’ll show you what the Darkmoon Faire is all about.

    All new! All spectacular!

    Catch a show at the marvelous main stage or witness a dazzling fireworks display. But don’t stare too long or you might miss the stunning spectacles that surround you. Gaze in awe of our magical menagerie, get your fortune told by the amazing Sayge, go on a pony ride, experience the healthful effects of carnival food, and more!

    Of course, there’s more to the Darkmoon Faire than just fantastic shows and culinary delights. You can still turn in your Darkmoon Cards, but you wouldn’t just come here for measly ol’ cards when there’s so much more to see, experience, and win. Yes, win! You like dancing bears, right? Everybody likes dancing bears. Even bears like dancing bears. How about a dancing bear… you can ride!

    That’s not all! We have adorable companion pets includin’ a fez-wearing monkey, a plethora of profession recipes, toys, balloons, souvenirs, delectable carnival snacks and beverages, heirlooms for the little ones, and even replicas of long-lost suits of armor that we’re offering for your Transmogrification needs. You can also make your mark with new achievements and titles. All it takes to earn these fabulous rewards is a few Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets and a good reputation with the carnies. How do ya get your grubby mitts on some tickets? I’m glad you asked!

    Step right up! Try your luck! Everyone’s a winner!

    Have we got games? You bet we’ve got games, and they’re so easy to play an orc could do it. Just head on over to the midway, buy some Darkmoon Game Tokens, and get ready to play. Easy to learn, difficult to master, anyone can play and everyone can win. Just lay your tokens down for a chance at winning Darkmoon Prize Tickets playing games like Whack-a-Gnoll, the Tonk Battle Royale, the Cannon, Ring Toss, the Shooting Gallery, and more! Five games are there to test your skills at any one time. The better you play, the easier it is to win a bucket of Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets! Once a month, you’ve got a shot at tickets, and the fun never stops ‘cause you can play as many times as you like. But that’s not the only way to win big!

    The Darkmoon Faire Field Guide

    It’s your passport to riches, my friend. Y’see, we need a few things -- just some junk, nothing valuable to a big hero like you. We call ‘em Darkmoon Artifacts, and there’s all different kinds to be found all over Azeroth. The Darkmoon Field Guide helps you discover artifacts while you’re explorin’ dungeons, slayin’ monsters, and fightin’ in Battlegrounds. Without a guide, you’d never notice ‘em, and it’ll help keep you focused on the stuff we want. Whether you just reached level 10, or you’ve crushed the biggest baddies in the land, we need somethin’ from nearly everybody. You won’t have to go too far out of your way to get ‘em and each month you’ll get a new opportunity to seek out an Artifact for us. What do you get out of the deal? Don’t you worry, you’ll get your cut. When you bring a Darkmoon Artifact back to us, you’ll get valuable experience (it builds character, you know!), earn a better reputation, and possibly earn precious Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets too!
    Oh, did I mention that you can use the Field Guide to get to Darkmoon Island whenever the Darkmoon Faire’s monthly extravaganza is up and running?

    So, you want to work in show business?

    Maybe you’d like a little peek behind the scenes, eh? Want to see what it takes to run the greatest show on Azeroth? Well, it’s not all sunshine and cotton candy, my friend. There are beasts to heal, food to cook, and buildings to fix. If you’re willing to help keep the show going and put your skills to work, you’ll not only impress us, but you can get experience, Darkmoon Prize Tickets, and even polish up your skills -- up to five skill points per profession, per Faire week, if you’re good at what you do!

    Darkmoon Deathmatch!

    Like any good carnival, the Darkmoon Faire has a shady side. You can leave the skilled labor to the suckers and go for a faster score instead. If you’ve got the minerals, the Darkmoon Deathmatch offers an experience unparalleled since the Gurubashi Arena. Pitmaster Pei has a big old treasure chest just brimming with goodies and Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets that he’ll drag out into the Darkmoon Deathmatch Pit every three hours or so. Everybody wants it, so if you want a piece of the action you’ll just have to jump in and prove that you’re the toughest one in the Pit.

    Oh, the Faire is perfectly safe, Clem. Just don’t wander into the woods.

    Now, now, don’t panic. Darkmoon Isle might be a bit spooky, but except for the Deathmatch Pit, the Faire itself is completely safe, I guarantee it. It’s a sanctuary even, and we won’t let anybody’s beef ruin the fun. The shadowy woods surroundin’ the fair are another thing entirely, though. I wouldn’t say that people have disappeared into those woods never to return, but, well… people disappear into those woods never to return. So watch your step, and your back, when you leave the Faire. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

    Mark your calendar

    Now that you know how amazing the new Darkmoon Faire is, you won’t want to miss it. Just take a look at your in-game calendar, and the Darkmoon Faire dates will show up there on the first week of every month. Darkmoon Faire barkers and displays will also pop up in every capital city to herald the arrival of the Faire. Silas Darkmoon himself has even started up a mailer to make sure that no one misses out!

    Hitch a ride

    During the first week of each month, convenient Darkmoon Faire outposts with Darkmoon Portals will appear in Elwynn Forest and Mulgore, offering free rides to Darkmoon Island and the Faire!

    Darkmoon Mages in capital cities and on Darkmoon Island will also be around to help you get between the Faire and various capital cities. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so naturally you’re obliged to compensate them for their services.
    The all new Darkmoon Faire is coming to Darkmoon Island in patch 4.3. Don’t miss it!

    New Darkmoon Faire

    New Darkmoon Faire

    New Darkmoon Faire

    New Darkmoon Faire

    New Darkmoon Faire

    New Darkmoon Faire

    New Darkmoon Faire

    New Darkmoon Faire

    Dragon Soul Raid:

    Dragon Soul Raid

    Dragon Soul Raid

    World of Warcraft patch 4.3 will offer players the opportunity to take the fight to Wyrmrest Temple and beyond, assisting Thrall and the Dragon Aspects as they seek to bring an end to the Black Dragonflight once and for all. 10- and 25-person raids will get to take on Deathwing himself, with three levels of difficulty to consider and epic gear to claim.

    Forged by Deathwing during the War of the Ancients, the Dragon Soul harnessed the power of the other dragonflights, until it was ultimately destroyed. After recovering a version of the artifact from the Caverns of Time, Thrall and the allied dragonflights now rally at Wyrmrest Temple in a desperate bid to use its might to defeat Deathwing.

    Created by the titans as a sanctuary for all Dragonkind, the crumbling Wyrmrest Temple is now the final hope for the forces allied against the black dragon Neltharion, once the Earth-Warder and protector of Azeroth, now Deathwing the Destroyer. It is here that the remaining aspects -- Alexstrasza, Ysera, Nozdormu, Kalecgos, and Thrall -- have gathered to empower the Dragon Soul -- Azeroth's last chance to stop the great behemoth. As they begin to charge the Dragon Soul with energy, Deathwing and his entire army assault Wyrmrest Temple. Players must thwart the attacking forces long enough for Thrall to charge the Dragon Soul.

    Before you face Deathwing the Destroyer, you must prevail against six mighty bosses.
    The most powerful elemental still under Deathwing's sway, Morchok -- once a passive guardian -- is now convinced that his only respite will come with Azeroth's demise. Morchok rages against the foundation of Wyrmrest Temple, Azeroth's last beacon of hope in the Hour of Twilight.
    Countless ages ago, Warlord Zon'ozz and his soldiers waged endless war against the forces of C'Thun and Yogg-Saron. Millennia have passed, but the warlord still serves the chaotic might of the Old God N'Zoth. Deathwing has now unleashed this legendary faceless one to crush the defenders of Wyrmrest Temple.

    Since the fall of the Bastion of Twilight, Yor'sahj the Unsleeping has eagerly assisted Deathwing, providing the Destroyer with the means to release more faceless ones from their prisons deep beneath the earth. Their numbers are endless and their power is beyond reckoning, and Yor'sahj intends to reap a grim reward for his faithful service.

    Hagara the Binder, one of the first students of arcane magic under the Forsaken, showed surprising potential for one who had started learning so late in life. But in her undisciplined attempts to bind elementals into servitude, she was ensnared and twisted by the Windlord, Al'Akir. Now fiercely loyal to the Twilight's Hammer, Hagara binds others for her elemental masters to torment.

    More an abomination of dark energy than a dragon, Ultraxion has spent his short life absorbing the essence of captured nether dragons. Ultraxion is the only twilight dragon Deathwing has praised, and his arrogance is overshadowed only by the crackling energies surging through his twisted form. Loyal to his master, Ultraxion swears to bring about the fall of Wyrmrest Temple.

    Though once vast in number, only a few dozen twilight dragons now remain. Astride these hardened survivors are the last vestiges of the Twilight's Hammer's army: the elite drake riders of Deathwing's personal escort. Led by the insidious Warmaster Blackhorn, they move with unholy purpose, driven to protect their dark master.

    When Deathwing first channeled the Dragon Soul's power against the other dragonflights, the massive energies that he unleashed threatened to break him apart. Rather than forgo this weapon, he had adamantium plates fused to his scales to hold his body together. Later reinforced with elementium, these plates are now his weakness -- the sole vulnerability to Deathwing's lethal presence.

    Your assault on the massive Deathwing will begin a battle unlike any other. It is a fight so wide-ranging and intense that it comprises two unique encounters, taking place across Azeroth. Taking to the skies, players will parachute from soaring gunships to attack the monster mid-flight and attempt to weaken him by ripping away his armor, exposing the molten flesh beneath. Should they succeed, they will plunge into the depths of the Maelstrom for the final encounter.



    Valor Changes

    Tier 13 Sets & Visual Retrospective

    Warlock Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Warlock – Faceless Shroud

    Hunter Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Hunter – Wyrmstalker Battlegear

    Mage Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Mage - Timelord Regalia

    Druid Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Druid - Deep Earth Vestments

    Shaman Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Shaman - Spiritwalker’s Vestments

    Warrior Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Warrior – Colossal Dragonplate

    Rogue Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Rogue - Blackfang Battleweave

    Paladin Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Paladin - Battleplate of Radiant Glory

    Death Knight Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Death Knight – Necrotic Boneplate

    Priest Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective

    Priest - Vestments of Dying Light

    Patch 4.3: Tier 13 Set Bonuses

    Death Knight

    • Blood, 2P -- When an attack drops your health below 35%, one of your Blood Runes will immediately activate and convert into a Death Rune for the next 20 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once every 45 sec.
    • Blood, 4P -- Your Vampiric Blood ability also affects all party and raid members for 50% of the effect it has on you.
    • DPS, 2P -- Sudden Doom has a 30% chance and Rime has a 60% chance to grant 2 charges when triggered instead of 1.
    • DPS, 4P -- Runic Empowerment has a 25% chance and Runic Corruption has a 40% chance to also grant 710 mastery rating for 12 sec when activated.


    • Balance, 2P -- Insect Swarm increases all damage done by your Starfire, Starsurge, and Wrath spells against that target by 3%.
    • Balance, 4P -- Reduces the cooldown of Starsurge by 5 sec.
    • Feral, 2P -- Pulverize now also grants your Mangle (Bear) critical strikes a 100% chance to trigger Savage Defense, and your Blood in the Water talent now causes Ferocious Bite to refresh the duration of your Rip on targets with 60% or less health.
    • Feral, 4P -- Frenzied Regeneration also affects all raid and party members. This effect cannot be triggered if you have been in Bear Form for less than 15 sec. In addition, your Stampede talent now grants two charges after using Feral Charge (Cat).
    • Restoration, 2P -- After using Innervate, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for 15 sec.
    • Restoration, 4P -- Your Rejuvenation and Regrowth spells have a 10% chance to Timeslip and have double the normal duration.


    • 2P -- Steady Shot and Cobra Shot generate double the amount of focus.
    • 4P -- Your Arcane Shot ability has a chance to grant 30% haste to you and your pet for 10 sec.


    • 2P -- Your Arcane Blast has a 100% chance, and your Fireball and Frostbolt spells have a 50% chance to grant Stolen Time, increasing your haste rating by 50 for 30 sec and stacking up to 10 times. When Arcane Power, Combustion, or Icy Veins expires, all stacks of Stolen Time are lost.
    • 4P -- Each stack of Stolen Time also reduces the cooldown of Arcane Power by 7 sec, Combustion by 4 sec, and Icy Veins by 6 sec.


    • Holy, 2P -- After using Divine Favor, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for 15 sec.
    • Holy, 4P -- Increases the healing done by your Holy Radiance spell by 20%.
    • Protection, 2P -- Your Judgement ability now also grants a physical absorb shield equal to 25% of the damage it dealt.
    • Protection, 4P -- Reduces the cooldown of Divine Guardian by 60 sec and increases the radius of its effect by 70 yards.
    • Retribution, 2P -- Your Judgement ability now also generates 1 Holy Power.
    • Retribution, 4P -- While Zealotry is active your abilities deal 12% more damage.


    • Healer, 2P -- After using Power Infusion or Divine Hymn, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for [10|23] sec. (10 sec for Discipline, 23 for non-Discipline.)
    • Healer, 4P -- Your Power Word: Shield has a 10% chance to absorb 100% additional damage and increase the mana granted by Rapture by 100%, and the duration of your Holy Word abilities is increased by 20%.
    • Shadow, 2P -- Shadow Word: Death deals an additional 55% damage, and reduces the damage you take from your own Shadow Word: Death when the target fails to die by 95%.
    • Shadow, 4P -- Your Shadowfiend and Shadowy Apparitions have a 100% chance to grant you 3 Shadow Orbs each time they deal damage.


    • 2P -- After triggering Tricks of the Trade, your abilities cost 20% less energy for 6 sec.
    • 4P -- Increases the duration of Shadow Dance by 2 sec, Adrenaline Rush by 3 sec, and Vendetta by 9 sec.


    • Elemental, 2P -- Elemental Mastery also grants you 2000 mastery rating 15 sec.
    • Elemental, 4P -- Each time Elemental Overload triggers, you gain 250 haste rating for 4 sec, stacking up to 3 times.
    • Enhancement, 2P -- While you have any stacks of Maelstrom Weapon, your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and healing spells deal 20% more healing or damage.
    • Enhancement, 4P -- Your Feral Spirits have a 45% chance to grant you a charge of Maelstrom Weapon each time they deal damage.
    • Restoration, 2P -- After using Mana Tide Totem, the cost of your healing spells are reduced by 25% for 15 sec.
    • Restoration, 4P -- Increases the duration of Spiritwalker's Grace by 5 sec, and you gain 30% haste while Spiritwalker's grace is active.


    • 2P -- The duration of your Doomguard and Infernal summons is increased by [20|30] sec and the cooldown of of those spells is reduced by 4 min. (20 for Demonology, 30 for non-Demonology.)
    • 4P -- Soulburn grants a 10% increase to your spell power for 10 sec, and Soul Fire cast with Soulburn active now grants a Soul Shard.


    • Protection, 2P -- Your Revenge ability now also grants a physical absorption shield equal to 20% of the damage done by Revenge.
    • Protection, 4P -- Your Shield Wall ability now grants 50% of its effect to all party and raid members.
    • DPS, 2P -- Heroic Strike costs 10 less rage while Inner Rage is active.
    • DPS, 4P -- Your Raging Blow and Mortal Strike abilities have a 13% chance to apply the Colossus Smash effect on your target for 6 sec.

    New Dungeon Preview:

    Patch 4.3 Dungeons Preview, Part One: End Time
    Patch 4.3 Dungeons Preview, Part Two: Well of Eternity
    Patch 4.3 Dungeons Preview, Part Three: Hour of Twilight


    The Deathwing Raid: Interview with Scott Mercer
    Dev Watercooler -- Bloody Mitigation
    Dev Watercooler -- Rate of Change
    Explanation of 4.3 Balance Changes, Part One
    Explanation of 4.3 Balance Changes, Part Two

    Media Coverage:

    Kotaku Dragon Soul Ushers in a New Age of Casual Raiding
    IGN Blizzard Introducing New Easier Raid Mode
    GameSpot Game director Tom Chilton details what's next for Blizzard MMO game
    Game Informer Cataclysm's Last Patch Takes Players To The End Of The World Of Warcraft
    Escapist Magazine WoW Producer Discusses Killing Deathwing, Raid Finder and Everything Patch 4.3
    GameSpy Blizzard Details World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 4.3
    Ten Ton Hammer Patch 4.3 Interview with Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street
    MMO-Champion Patch 4.3 Interview with Greg Street (Ghostcrawler)
    TankSpot Interview with Greg Street, AKA Ghostcrawler
    Joystiq Blizzard talks about patch 4.3 and the future of World of Warcraft
    Eurogamer Killing Deathwing in WOW Patch 4.3 - Blizzard's Tom Chilton tells us all about it.

    Copyright (c) Blizzard

    fangs of the father wings

    Black Friday Sale – 50% Off StarCraft II

    StarCraft II

    StarCraft II

    woot! Blizzard just posted news about Black Friday, they are putting StarCraft II on -50% sale, grab your copy now! Wish they did this with WoW gametime, but SC will do I guess.

    Originally Posted by Blizzard

    Give the gift of StarCraft!

    Like it or not, it’s pretty much the law that you have to buy gifts for everyone at this time of year. Thankfully, Blizzard has your back, because now you can deliver a $60 gift for less than 30 bucks.  For a limited time, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is available for a mere $29.99 -- that’s 50% off the suggested retail price. 

    Click here for details, but don’t delay; this offer ends Monday November 28th.



    Summer 2012 Blizzard Entertainment Internships

    Originally Posted by Blizzard

    What’s better than playing Blizzard games? Shaping them!

    Blizzard Entertainment’s internship program is designed to give college students an opportunity to work directly with development teams and business operations departments to gain hands-on experience.

    We have opportunities in departments throughout the company, including development, licensing, eSports, publishing, and quality assurance.

    Internship Program At-A-Glance

    • Applicants must be currently studying at a university or college in the United States and planning to return to school in the fall of 2012 after the internship
    • 12-week paid opportunities during the summer
    • Located at Blizzard headquarters in Irvine, CA
    • Applications must be submitted no later than January 31, 2012

    If you’re a student, or know of one who’d be interested, head on over to the Internships page to submit your application!

    Summer 2012 internship are now posted! Please see below for a full list of internship opportunities. Interested students should apply by submitting their application materials through our online application system. If you're interested in applying for more than one internship, we highly recommend you tailor your application materials for each position.

    The application deadline is January 31, 2012!

    Game Development Programming

    Software Engineer Intern, Game Programming
    Software Engineer Intern, Console
    Software Engineer Intern, Server
    Software Engineer Intern, User Interface

    Other Product Development Programming

    Software Engineer Intern,
    Software Engineer Intern, Cinematics
    Software Engineer Intern, Corporate Applications
    Software Engineer Intern, Mobile
    Software Engineer Intern, Platform Technology

    Software Engineer Intern, Test Automation
    Software Engineer Intern, Web

    Quality Assurance

    Game Tester Intern


    Items In Bulk Now Available on the Auction House – Diablo3

    Originally Posted by Lylirra
    As of the latest patch, stackable items can now be bought and sold on the gold Auction House. We're introducing crafting materials as the first stackable item, which includes Common Scraps, Subtle Essence, Fallen Teeth, and Petrified Bark. In the future, players will be able to trade a variety of stackable items including dyes, books, and gems.

    So, what makes stackable items different?

    In terms of the Auction House, stackable items are designed to make your life easier when it comes to buying or selling in bulk. Rather than having to hunt through pages of listings yourself to find the best-priced stack, you can instead select the stackable item type you're looking for, type in the amount of the item you want, and then buy that amount for the lowest price currently available to the market. This may mean that you're buying from multiple sellers at many different price points, and the Auction House will manage all of those individual purchases for you automatically.

    Similarly, you can use the Auction House to quickly place your stackable items up for sale. Simply choose the amount you'd like to sell, type in the sale price for an individual item, and your auction is ready to go. Since the Auction House manages how others will purchase your items, there's no need to separate your items into smaller stacks or list them individually.

    In part, this system in general is meant to mimic commodities in the real world. You buy generic goods, from many people, and the price of the units adapt over time as supply and demand change. To provide an example, let's say you want 50 Common Scraps. Based on a hypothetical market, you could end up buying:

    • 25 Common Scraps for 0.45 apiece from Bob
    • 15 Common Scraps for 0.46 apiece from Steve
    • And 10 Common Scraps for 0.55 apiece from George

    The Auction House will make each of these individual purchases for you based on your original order.

    It's important to note that you will always buy all of the stackable items listed at the lowest available price first before moving on to the more expensive ones. Also, before you buy, you will be presented with an "invoice" for your order which includes the amount and price of each item before you make your purchase. So, in this example, if there are 50 Common Scraps available at 0.45 apiece, you would be presented with an invoice showing you that you're buying 50 at that price point, as well as a dialogue box to confirm the total purchase for 22.50.

    We encourage you to test out this new system at your convenience and then let us know what you think! For general feedback, go ahead and drop us a line here or in the Beta Feedback forum. For issues using the Auction House or buying/selling stackable items, please post in the Beta Bug Report forum.


    Tagged as: , , No Comments

    Star Wars: The Old Republic Review by Trollsbane

    star wars the old republic

    Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR)

    Trollsbane over at MMO-Champion has posted a nice review on the new Star Wars franchise, The Old Republic.


    -Been gaming since Atari
    -RPGs are the only thing I play anymore
    -Love the story in games, and thus love Bioware games. Baldur's Gate is still one of the best games I've ever played.
    -Played WoW from Vanilla till ICC, left, came back for Cata to try it, left again during first raiding tier
    -Was GM and raid leader for years
    -Played multiple other MMOs looking for enjoyment, but not really finding it.
    -Hate alts in MMOs
    -HATE questing
    -Love PvP
    -Like to read books
    -Don't like Hollywood big graphics movies, would prefer a great story
    -Like linear play, as it adds to and enhances the story
    -Don't care for sandbox games
    -Played TOR for 3 different full-time beta builds or so


    I'm a fan of simple UIs and usually use the one the game ships with. Being used to WoW's UI for so long, I was a bit bewildered by TOR's at first. After settling in and giving it a chance, I found that I liked the setup quite well. The chat box in the upper left was weird, and I changed it right away to the standard lower left corner. After a while I decided to move it back, because something just didn't feel right about it. After giving it time, I actually came to enjoy it being in the default location while having my raid frames in the lower left position above the companion slot.
    I liked the 4 different bars available, but didn't like that they couldn't be shortened or moved. I hope they change that.

    Many people want customization options, and I feel Bioware is making a big mistake in not allowing this. While their UI setup serves a purpose, it's not what's best for everyone and a rather simple change could make it exactly what everyone wants for their own experiences. This needs to be allowed if for no other reason than there's just not a reason not to have it.

    Exploration, Datacrons, and the world:

    Remember now, I don't like sandbox games, and exploration is not a key feature for me. I honestly think games like Skyrim overdo it and it actually detracts from a game. I'm not saying it's wrong, it's just not ideal for me. That said, I don't care much for datacrons. Unfortunately, I'll need to find them all for the stat boosts. I will be one of those people that waits for a list of them all, and then goes grinding to get them. It's neat when you find them by chance, but not neat enough for people like me to go looking for them. For an example, (this has changed a bit since then) one on Tatooine required you to make your way to a high point and jump on a jawa balloon that encircles the entire map. Then you had to jump off at a certain point to get a datacron. The problem (at the time) was that this process took about an hour. Yeah, but no thanks. lol I know many people love this kind of thing, but I'm not one of them.

    The world though is a different story. It is alive. There are ships and manta rays flying over head, explosions and crashing ships, wandering mobs and packs of them doing their thing, conversations between NPCs, etc. Now, these things don't happen everywhere and with everybody, but they are out there. I really like the stylized art style Bioware went with the game, and it makes the world look gorgeous. The style is one that won't look dated in a couple years like the games that go for a realistic look. This is crisp and clean.
    Did you know that the difference between low and high settings results in practically a new looking world? It's true. If you put the settings low and look at the world around you, then change them to high, new things actually appear. Grass blades are present, tree branches and leaves appear, rocks stick out with real angles, lighting is dynamic and shadows fall from things overhead. It's actually quite amazing. Running the game on low settings gives you the basic look of the world and allows more people to play. Running on high will give you a rich new experience with details otherwise unseen. It's the most beautiful world(s) I've ever seen in an MMO so far, though GW2 will make that same statement when it's released.

    Questing, voice acting, dialogue and choices, and story:

    As I said, I hate questing in MMOs. I have to do stupid things that mean nothing and have no reason other than to gain XP. This is where TOR changes the entire market for the future. Gone are the days of click quest giver > spam button > don't care > go kill/collect. Though if you prefer that method, it's still available to you.
    As someone who enjoys the story element above all else except gameplay, this is a smash hit. I was engrossed in my characters from the very beginning. I didn't notice that the cut scenes took me out of the leveling world for a bit. All I noticed is that the NPC, the reason, and my character were all important. The story drew me in so deeply that I forgot I should be out killing things to move an XP bar, or collecting things for crafting. I forgot that MMOs of the past didn't do this, and many people consider it a stupid mechanic for this type of game. I forgot that I wasn't playing a game for fun on my own time, but was in an MMO where others wanted me to level up so I can raid with them. I remembered what an RPG game should be like; immersive and fun.

    The voice acting is top notch. Hardly anyone says otherwise, and I'm no exception. Some people will not like that your own character is fully voiced, because it's not what they wanted that character to sound like. I can understand that. But to me, hearing my character talk with personality was awesome. I'd give him an idea based off the conversation wheel, and he'd say something along the lines of my choice. It was fun to actually hear my character express my own thoughts.
    I do wish the dialogue wheel had more than 3 options. If in no other place, I believe the character's personal story should have more options. I can understand that shared world quests could do without 6 options, but the class quests felt like they missed an opportunity. I'm not saying they are bad, because the stories are awesome. But when my smuggler only has 3 options to choose from, and none of them are flirt, threaten, persuade, bribe, etc, and instead the basics of yes, no, kill, don't kill, it makes me sad. It could have been so much more.

    The story though, is amazing. 8 different stories to choose from, light and dark side choices on top of that, and all of them enthralling. That's a lot of options and for the first time in my MMO history, I actually want to have alts. I want to play every class. And if this game makes someone like me want to do that, I think they did something very right. If I kill someone at level 10, there's a decent chance that someone ambushes me for it later on. or if I save a child, the mother might come and reward me for it later. Things like this that add to the overall enjoyment for me.
    I can understand some people will be pissed that no matter what choices you make, you really end up at the same point anyway. But those people need to remember that this is an MMO, and not a single player game. People need to end up in the same place in order to be on equal footing at end game. There's no save button, and that limits the amount of different endings and choices along the way.

    Combat, controls, animations, and companions:

    When I watch videos of other people playing TOR, I think it looks like garbage. The animations look weird, the combat looks out of whack, and it looks like the controls don't function well. It's a huge turnoff.
    When I play it myself, I feel 100% different.
    The controls are like every MMO of this style out before this. If you played WoW, you pretty much know how TOR will play. Personally, I'm happy about that because that has always been my favorite combat style. Imo, actual play is just as responsive as WoW. There are things that TOR does differently though, like no auto attack, that make it seem weird for a bit when making comparisons. Though I will say, as you level and learn your toon, you won't feel that way anymore.

    With the way TOR does combat animations and the lack of auto attack, people will brand it as clunky. That's not really the case though. Once you learn your characters moves and rotations/priorities, combat doesn't slow down. Stringing together your spells is possible and brings life to the feeling. If you don't know what you are doing, it will show, and it will seem unimpressive. There's no denying that. You can't just waste all your resources and have to spam basic attack and hope the game works well. You need to use that noggin of yours. Though the exact can be said about every game in the world. Unfortunately, everyone seems to forget this and just want to trash on it. Double standards and turning a blind eye must be fun. /shrug

    The animations in this game are so-so. Well, let me rephrase that. Some of them are so-so. The character animations out of combat aren't anything special. Jumping looks strange, running is hit or miss depending on your gear (Yeah really, gear changes it a lot. Watch your character run at level 1, and then compare that to level 20. It's strange.) and weapon, and some cut scenes are almost lifeless. Though I will say that even the lifeless cut scenes are just as good as any other game out there doing the same thing. It's something their entire industry needs to work on.

    The combat animations on the other hand are hands down the best I've ever seen in an MMO. There is no need to hide poor animations behind tons of flashy lights and explosions. It's motion capture technology at work, and they did this very well. The subtle things are what really impressed me. Things like pivoting of a foot, wrist movement, head sways, recoil, facial expression changes, etc, really add a flavor to this game that is only seen in single player games. The lightsaber parries are awesome to watch. And the sheer amount of animations is outstanding. Every single move has its own unique animation. One thing that TOR does that initially throws people off is having one attack do a few different animations. Take the Warrior for example. One move makes him hit 3 different times over a couple seconds. At first, it feels off. but that's just because it hasn't been done before in an MMO. Once you get used to this game doing things differently, I believe you'll drop the thought of it being clunky and weird looking.

    Companions make combat, and the game, stand out and outshine other games. You want to level as a healer in WoW, you better have the patience of a coma patient. You want to level as a healer in TOR, you'll go just as fast as a DPS. This is because of the added companion at your side. They compliment your role and add to the enjoyability of questing. They also are there to enhance the story, do jobs for you, and give you additional quests. I'll go into some of that a bit more later. The companions can be micromanaged as much or as little as you like, which is good for everyone. You toggle on which skills you want to use, then leave them alone to help you, or you can have their bar showing at all times (instead of the collapsed version) and can manually click their skills when you want them to use them. Also, the companions can leave your side to sell your junk items at any time. They'll be gone for 60 seconds, and you now have more credits and bag space. Yay!

    Just remember, that like any other game, combat can be fast and furious, or slow as molasses. The controls are in your hands, and you are the one that dictates it.

    Flashpoints, Operations, Single player, and being a MMO:

    I can't remember a dungeon where I was thinking to myself, "wow, that was pretty fucking epic." in any game I've ever played. TOR changed that for me. The added story element and reasoning to do things enhances this feature so much. The alive feeling of the flashpoints, such as infiltrator pods crashing into the spaceship releasing droids, ships flying overhead and being shot down in front of you, ground troops running in through side passages, etc, brought the classic dungeon crawl to new levels of immersion and enjoyment.

    As for difficulty, you've all heard varying reports. The first build I was in has every boss tank and spank. The next added more enemy abilities, and the next added even more. Now, some of you are even hearing of groups getting slaughtered by the first flashpoint bosses. While I wouldn't go so far as to say they are hard, they definitely are not loleasymode unless you are in a group with people that are experienced. There are challenges to be had for sure. With 15 or so in the game at launch, and the hard modes of those at level 50, along with the 2 initial Operations (raids) at launch, there is a lot of PvE to be had outside of questing. Operations also come in varying degrees of difficulty, so there is a version to be played based on your skill and desire. Depending on how they do lockouts and the mode of gear progression and new content, a lot of people will be split on this. Running the same place on 8man reg, hard, nightmare, then on 16man, reg, hard, nightmare could get old really fast. We'll need to wait and see the final implication though.

    "It's just a single player game". Are you high? In WoW, or any MMO I've even played (that does not force grouping, like FF) it's a single player game throughout the entire leveling process. So why is this game being bashed for the same thing? My only guess is because it actually has a story. Other than that, it boggles my mind when people say these things. TOR actually has more group content than any other game I've played. Every planet has multiple group questing areas where you need a group of people to complete them. You level faster and get better rewards if you are grouped. You get social points by grouping and answering dialogue options, that give you access to some rather good gear for the cost of credits. You have your warzones, and a few open world PvP areas and objectives for PvP, your flashpoints, your operations, so I really have no clue at all how people can question the "MMOness" of the game. It's got everything the other games have, plus more, to promote grouping.


    I enjoyed PvP in other games more than PvE. Not that I didn't enjoy PvE, cause I did, but PvP, especially battlegrounds, were amazingly enjoyable for me. Unfortunately, WoW went the wrong way with it. Too many things were done that left me scratching my head and sucked the fun out of it for me. Lucky for me though, warzones in TOR were amazing fun for me. I did warzones exclusively for an entire month on my level 50 Bounty Hunter tank. Huttball was easily my favorite of them all. WSG was my favorite WoW battleground, and Huttball was the same sort of thing; get the ball and get to the objective to win. As a tank, I was a ball carrying machine.

    Regardless of what some people will tell you, I found TOR to be the most balanced PvP of any game I've ever played. Now, that's not saying they were perfect, or that they won't totally screw it up down the road, but on the overall, it was pretty darned balanced. The ratio of damage output vs incoming was what impressed me. As a tank, if I stood toe to toe with a DPS and we both stood there going through rotations, he would usually win, but he'd be almost dead by the end of it. I'd hit for less, but soak more damage. He'd hit for more, but would also take more damage. And thus a long forgotten thing is reborn in TOR.
    To those saying snipers had no place in PvP because of cover, or healers weren't lasting long enough (hah), or tanks couldn't do anything, or knockback abilities rule Huttball, or Sorcerers could beat anyone, or that spec is obviously the best, etc, all I have to say about that is you need more time to learn how to play, and how to play smartly. I've seen all those things, and I've also seen all of those thoughts blown up. Use your head in this game. it counts for more than other games you are used to playing. All the "OP skills" have counters. All the "OP classes" can be managed. All the "too weak" mechanics can be mastered. It's up to you to learn them, not the game designers.

    The slower combat is a huge turn-on for me. If you like WoW's 3 hit kills, you may not like this game. Strategy and timing has a lot to do with TOR's PvP. You can't run into a group all by yourself and nuke down one of their players and expect it to work well. You can't global a lone guy defending a node and take it real fast. PvP is different.

    Are there problems? Yes. The resolve bar keeps getting tweaked, and they have yet to nail it down perfectly. There is a lot of CC in warzones. And it gets really frustrating when a team knows how to use it. The bar needs to fill up a bit faster and once it's filled, it needs to break you out of your CC immediately and give you your 8 seconds of immunity. That's the only way I see it really helping. The last time I played (and I believe it was changed again since then) by the time you had immunity, you were already dead anyway. It was far too slow for group play, and was rarely even a factor in 1v1 because it wouldn't get high enough to fill.

    Balance needs to be had. I played builds that they were tweaking things and made some classes really OP. The build before Troopers and BHs were mirrors, Troopers were OP as all hell. They had too much burst, and they healed for too much. The next build it was Sorcs and Sages. They dominated pretty well. They did say that sorcs/sages were where they wanted them to be in that build, and other classes would be brought in line with them in the future. I hope they don't fail in that.

    PvP gear currently is awesome. It works well for leveling when you need a cetain peice replaced, and in PvP it only gives about a 10% advantage, which is really small when you factor in strategy to the equation. What the worry is, is that once the raiding gear starts getting better, the PvP gear will need to do the same or the advantage is null and void. Also last I saw, there were no PvP mods. The PvP stat was on a couple mod slots, so you couldn't switch out those mods for better stats, or you'd lose the PvP stat, which was the main reason for the gear in the first place. I hope this changes.
    Overall though, as a PvP lover, I was highly impressed with the amount of fun I had in TOR.

    Crafting and crew skills:

    I hate crafting. I always have and never devote time to it to make it anything more than a stat boost. TOR won't make that different for me. I still will not devote time to crafting. I'll let my guildmates do it instead. It's not that I think the system is bad, it's just not one of my interests.
    The way it works is similar to how Aion did it. You can crit items to make better versions of the items. That's neat I guess, but overall you'll just end up with a lot of vendor trash since people will only want the crit versions. You can reverse engineer (DE) certain items and that will give you some mats back, as well as a chance to crit and learn a higher quality item recipe. I'm unsure how far that goes atm, but I do know a green can net you a blue recipe, and blue can net you a purple recipe. It may or may not actually stop there.

    Crewskills are what the entire system is called because you have your crew do it for you. Darth Vader didn't spend time making his own boots, he had his minions do it. The same is true for TOR. When you want to craft and item, or 20, your companions do that for you. Gone are the days of watching your character's hands wiggle back and forth with a bar timer overhead. And thank you for that, Bioware. Sending companions out for a chance of credits, materials, etc is also a cool feature and a gold sink. You can easily go broke if you're overdoing it. =)


    The sounds and music are incredible. The codex is a lore junkie’s wet-dream come true. The map is the most impressive I've ever seen. Enemy AI is pretty good. When you encounter a group of 4 mobs, the melee one will rush you, one ranged will roll for cover, another will run the opposite way for cover, and the last might stand where he is and open fire. It really adds dimension to the combat cause you're not just standing still doing your things and letting all the mobs come to you. You need to be active and go get them yourself. Tanking is more reactive than it was for me in WoW. I had to actually work to keep aggro on groups, get them together, position them the best way, etc. I had a lot of fun tanking. Healing is still getting tweaked a bit, but I enjoyed my time as a Sorc. Resource management is crucial in some fights, and I was on my toes in group activity. Mouse over macros would surely save the day here though. Manually clicking the people or raid icons was fine for me, but I know many healers will be pissed about it. Space combat is stupid, for me. Though I'd have been even more disappointed if they actually invested time and resources to make it a full fledged game like so many people are crying about. TOR is a game about your character, on the ground, playing out your story. It's not, nor was it ever going to be, a spacecraft simulator. I'd loathe building my character to be a leveled up powerhouse that I love, then disregarding all of that work to be in a spaceship with totally different abilities and more crap to level and skill up to be able to compete.


    It's no surprise coming from me, but I am in love with this game and can’t wait to get in there with my guild. In my opinion, this is Bioware's best ever; their crowned jewel. It's been a long time since I've had real fun in an MMO, and I'm glad that TOR delivered for what my personal tastes are. It won't be for everyone. Some people will hate it passionately for their own reasons. But overall, I see the game becoming a huge success. The story aspect adds an incredible replay value to the game for people that like to play single player games, and a big chance that people will roll alts, even the ones like me that have always hated rolling them. The linear gameplay doesn't bother me one bit. Because after all, WoW was the pretty much same. Just because I could pick Darnassus or Stormwind did not mean I took much of a different path. after 1 time through each continent, it was all the same. And at level 60 and onward, it was pretty much all the same, just like TOR. The shared world quests may get tiring for most people, but that's what your spacebar is for. Skip the dialogue after you've already done it (or don't care to ever see it). No one is making you watch them each time, so the room for complaining about cut scenes is a thin one imo.

    The biggest surprise of this game was when I tried to go play other games after playing TOR. I tried every free-to-play MMO there is, as well as a few sub based ones when I was done with TOR. I couldn't get into or have fun with a single one of them; even the ones I've enjoyed in the past. That was the real kicker for me.

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    World of Warcraft Law Enforcement Guide Leaked?

    This pdf-format document titled "Law Enforcement Guide to Requests for Information" is purported to be an internal Blizzard document outlining the company's policy on dealing with requests from law enforcement organizations for information about World of Warcraft players. According to Kotaku this was part of a data dump by the Antisec wing of Anonymous as part of their war with their "white hat" counterparts. The document outlines what data they retain, how long the data are stored, and under what circumstances it can be revealed. While it is not confirmed that this is genuine, it does seem plausible, though the way it is interspersed with WoW-themed cartoons is curious.



    Chuck Norris is a Hunter

    The new Blizzard TV advert features Chuck Norris being a Hunter.

    Update: High quality video has been added.

    Better quality video will be added once it's available.

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