Archive for the ‘WoW’ tag
Life as a WoW Insider writerFrom Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We’re giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.
What’s it like when World of Warcraft becomes your job? This week, 15 Minutes of Fame zooms in for the second half of a behind-the-scenes interview with a handful of WoW Insider staffers. We’ll muse over what it’s like to write about WoW for work, what it’s like to play WoW for work, the rewards and frustrations of writing for a living — and the No. 1 question we get asked by readers: How can someone get started writing about gaming?
* Zach Yonzon pens The Art of War(craft) every week and creates many of the graphic images you see on our home page, guides and posts. * Matthew Rossi, one of the most seasoned hands on the WoW Insider crew, is our resident warrior expert who also writes about game lore and general news. * Michael Sacco, a senior editor, started writing at WoW Insider after working at Blizzard itself. * Alex Ziebart started out as a weekend blogger and is now a senior editor. * Fox Van Allen joined WoW Insider early this year and writes the shadow priest portion of our priest column. * Lisa Poisso (that’s me) started out writing the professions column three years ago and now works behind the scenes as an editor and turning out several weekly columns.
Be sure to catch part 1 of our interview from last week.
15 Minutes of Fame: Do you still play WoW for fun, or has it become merely something you do for work, or is it a combination?
Zach: Right now, it’s mostly work. A lot of the fun died for me when a lot of my friends left, and especially when my wife decided she couldn’t devote time to the game and justify paying the monthly subscription fee. On the other hand, I find the beta extremely fun and I’m looking forward to Cataclysm. I’m excited at the prospect of it rekindling our love for the game — it’s just such a new and different experience that I can’t wait for my wife to go through it. We’ll probably rush our mains to 85 and then roll our goblins. Until then, though, I log on and sometimes PvP in an embarrassingly mechanical fashion. I haven’t even bothered to upgrade my gear on my main, spending most of my time on alts.
Matt: It’s a combination. There have been times where I have wanted to take a break from the game but haven’t because it’s something I get paid to do. But sometimes I think that’s more an excuse I trot out for others rather than the truth. When I level yet another warrior “to test out this spec idea” am I really doing it for work or just because I’m demented and love warriors?
I think in the end, I play WoW for fun — and I just grump because, well, that’s who I am.
Mike: I was a progression raider for quite a while in Wrath. I still play for fun, but I’ve long since burned out on raiding in this expansion. I’ve been playing copious amounts of the Cataclysm beta to keep myself psyched for the expansion’s release.
Alex: I play WoW for fun significantly less than I used to, but that’s not entirely the fault of WoW Insider. Part of it is because you don’t want work and play to overlap too much and I can’t dedicate every waking hour to WoW, but it’s not exclusively because of that reason. I also play less because it’s the end-of-an-expansion cycle, and the last thing I want to do after writing about Cataclysm is log in and go do Argent Tournament dailies. Once Cataclysm actually launches, I will probably be playing the game more again. But it will never reach the same level that it was before I started working for WoW Insider. Playing that many hours of WoW a week while also writing about WoW for a living? Good lord, no.
I think how I play the game has changed significantly. I don’t log on and just immerse myself in the glory of the game like I did previously. The fun comes from picking apart the games I play and looking at them critically. What about this do I like? What do I dislike? Why did the developers choose to do what they did here?
Fox: I do still play WoW for fun. In fact, I promised myself that if it ever stopped being fun, I’d give it up, because it’d show through in my writing. We all have our own little complaints about the game, but at the end of the day, we’re all hooked on it. And based on what I’ve seen in Cataclysm, we’re only going to get hooked even worse.
Lisa: Right now, it’s all about work projects. I’m hoping for an infusion of energy with Cataclysm, and I’m trying my best not to let work news spoiler my enthusiasm.
I had absolutely no idea when I started this work that I would end up …
Zach: … playing this game in an embarrassingly mechanical fashion. It’s not that I don’t enjoy or love the game — I do, I still think it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played — but things change when you’re not playing with friends. I know I moved one character to a realm with friends, but I wish I could move all my characters. I’m still waiting for Blizzard to give us a wholesale deal, since $25 per character is stupidly expensive for someone who lives in the third world.
Matt: Dangling by my fingertips over a volcano while Ziebart cackled maniacally above me, the detonator in his hand.
Mike: Being in a senior position on the site. I originally intended for this job to be a temporary stop-gap measure to provide me with food money until I got another job, but I’m happy to have been proven wrong.
Alex: … so invested in the job. This isn’t a job that is only around during the hours I’m on the clock. I’m always on the clock, and I’m always concerned about whether or not things are operating smoothly, both for the site and the staff. The achievements are real, and so are the disappointments. There are times when we’re happy and there are times when we’re angry. Sometimes there’s even a little fear. When I first started here, I figured I would just be turning in my assignments and moving on with life each week. I never expected I would sink so much emotion into a job. I wouldn’t trade it for anything … so here’s hoping for many more years of WoW, and many more years of WoW Insider.
Fox: Being a low-grade internet celebrity? Going to BlizzCon? Actually having people read what I write? Talking to Lisa Poisso about myself for a 15 Minutes column?
Lisa: … having this become anything more than a pleasurable distraction from my “real” writing.
Gallery: 15 Minutes of Fame: Lisa PoissoEarly MC clearBah, Bog LordsBeneath RagnarosDate nightThe gang’s all hereWhat’s a little fish among enemies?
In terms of what you do at WoW Insider, what do you find most enjoyable on a day-to-day basis?
Zach: Ironically? That it still leads me to log on to World of Warcraft. That sounds worse than it actually is because the game is still amazing for me, it’s only gotten terribly lonely and disconnecting. I’d imagine the aimless wandering I’m doing at this point is what ronin did after losing their lords. I find it truly enjoyable because it forces a new perspective upon me, and I enjoy the game for what it is, rather than merely for its social aspect. The Art of War(craft) also forces me to revisit my views on a lot of things, not least of which is my approach to PvP. It’s gotten a lot more introspective. Or maybe I’m just at that junction in life, who knows?
Matt: I really enjoy writing TCAFOW. I named it; I’ve been the sole writer on the column for its entire existence; I’ve (to my knowledge) never missed a week on it. I’ve tanked, PvPed and fury DPSed on various warriors while writing it, and it feels like something I could probably keep doing until WoW itself finally ended.
Mike: I work with a lot of great people, and I’m grateful that our staff is so agreeable and easy to work with. I’m gifted with wonderful managers and a talented editorial team. And I’m happy that we’re the only site that does what we do — we’re not just about raiding or datamining or blue-tracking theorycrafting. We offer something for WoW players of all stripes, and I think we’re pretty good at it.
Alex: Managing the team. Working with a team of skilled people is something I absolutely love. It’s why I didn’t hate working at Hollywood Video or other retail outlets. You have a team, you have a goal and you need to figure out how to reach those goals and keep your team organized and motivated. Every single member of your team has strong points and weak points and you need to figure out how to best utilize those skills. It’s a challenge and is consistently rewarding when your team achieves something great.
Fox: The people are what really make the job. I went to the Scott Pilgrim premiere with Mike Sacco. I went drinking in New York with Mat McCurley and Rich Maloy. I have rivalous e-shouting matches with Dawn Moore. I cannot wait for BlizzCon, when I can finally meet all the rest of this ragtag, misfit bunch in person.
Lisa: Writing for me is about hitchhiking on other people’s passions. I feed off interviewing other people. There’s nothing more fascinating than having someone fling open the proverbial doors to his life, to dig up and spill out the kernel of what drives his passion for what he does. Editing offers much the same type of reward. Sure, slogging through sloppy typos and mistakes isn’t fun — but making sure one of Matt Rossi’s legendary essays really grabs readers by the short hairs? It’s like riding the tiger.
Is there anything in your job that you’ve found to be especially frustrating?
Zach: Probably only that it’s as close as I can get to working for Blizzard. Being a fan of the company for a long time — such that the only video games I really play with any intensity or devotion are Blizzard games — writing about one of its games is practically a dream come true. “Frustrating” probably isn’t the right word, considering I’ve got about the most awesome job as it is, but one can’t help but imagine being on the other side. WoW Insider has one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with, though. If anything, the most frustrating thing for me is the fact that I haven’t been able to give WoW Insider as much effort as it deserves.
Matt: My own strange grammatical and stylistic hobby horses. Just ask someone about my love of parentheses some time, or why I can’t spell “Cataclysm.”
Alex: The first is that I need to constantly remind myself that not everybody at WoW Insider is here full time. In fact, most people aren’t. I often find myself frustrated that I don’t have X number of people around on major patch days to lend a hand, but the reason they aren’t there is because they have other jobs and other responsibilities, not because they’re neglecting WoW Insider.
The other frustrating thing is the timing of those patches. A lot of our workload is dependent on Blizzard’s timing. When Blizzard decides to put the PTR up at 10 p.m. on a Friday night, we have to react accordingly. There’s very little we can do proactively when it comes to patches; it’s almost all reactive. If Blizzard decides to put a major content patch on the PTR at 10 p.m. on a Friday while the editors are out at the movies or a bar or whatever else, then we need to drop everything and run home. It wouldn’t be so bad if we could plan for that, but Blizzard will do what Blizzard will do.
There’s also the little issue with being unable to talk to my family about what I do. They don’t understand what I get paid to do, and they never will. “So … You write about some game? How do you write so much about one game? Why do people read this stuff? What maniacs would pay you to do that?”
Fox: The most frustrating thing is always the same thing: deciding what to write about. Some weeks, there are about a hundred different things on my plate, and I can’t decide which to tackle first; some weeks, I’m spending a sleepless night trying to come up with a topic that’ll inspire me. The hardest part is really taking what I want to write about and reconciling that with what I think the readers are going to want to read. (Sometimes, I have to toss in a few The Fresh Prince of Bel Air references to make the medicine go down more smoothly.)
Lisa: Ugly, clueless or antagonistic comments are always frustrating.
Memorable WoW Insider-related moment — go:
Zach: Nothing can be more memorable for me than meeting the wonderful people I work with in person. Given the nature of our work, that’s actually a pretty rare thing … and I’m halfway across the world, to boot! So seeing Adam [Holisky], Alex, Liz [Harper, former editor-in-chief], Dan [O'Halloran], Robin [Torres], Michael Gray, Chase [Christian], Matt Low and even Mike Schramm (while he was still with WoW Insider) in the flesh stands out as the highlight of my time here at WoW Insider. Oh, and the same night we all had dinner, I actually got to within an inch of Felicia Day. It’s pretty hard to top that.
Matt: I haven’t gotten to go to any of the BlizzCons or anything, so I guess the most memorable moment for me is a toss up between the various “wow, you have a lot of chest hair” comments from when I posted a picture my wife took of me as my About the Bloggers pic, or the time someone actually impersonated me to try and hit people up on various servers.
Mike: The “Ask a Faction Leader” column was created when I was dosed up on painkillers from a toothache. I came into our team chat and started rattling off insane column ideas to [then Editor-in-Chief] Liz Harper, but one of them (AAFL) ended up sticking. I haven’t tried repeating the process. Lightning striking twice and all that.
Alex: BlizzCon is consistently great. I like working in a virtual space, but BlizzCon brings our virtual team into the real world and reinforces the work we do. We’re real people doing real work as part of a real team. It’s a bonding experience. We work our asses off at BlizzCon, and it feels great. The WoW Insider party makes it feel even better. Last year, we expected 200-300 people to attend our party. Over the course of the night, well over 1,000 people passed through, including the cast of The Guild and a few other notables who shall go unnamed for their own sake. There is no greater inspiration to keep doing what we do than that.
Fox: The best day I ever had working at WoW Insider was probably April 1st — April’s Fools Day. For a brief, two-hour period, WoW Insider became Twilight Insider, and I got to kick things off with an incredible, sexually charged picture of Taylor Lautner and John McCain in my kitchen. It was the epic beginning of a rather public love affair between myself and Taylor Lautner, especially if you believe the blind items on all those celebrity gossip websites. And you should always believe the blind items you read on celebrity gossip websites.
Lisa: When I made the change from columnist to way-overloaded columnist and finally to editor, I discovered the gold mine of nonsense I’d been missing by not being in our chat room as much as I am now. Gaming writers blowing off steam in chat — yeah, it’s every bit as entertaining as it sounds. I couldn’t possibly pin down a single moment in that ongoing stream of hilarity.What would you say to someone who wanted to get into writing about games?
Zach: What’s stopping you?
Perhaps not everyone will manage to get a gig writing for WoW Insider or Massively, but if you want to write, the best way to start is by actually writing. It’s easy enough to get a free blog and kick it off from there. It’s quite disingenuous of me to give that advice, considering the only reason I’m writing about gaming is because I lucked out on my WoW Insider application, but knowing what I do now after years of working with WoW Insider, I see the value of personal blogs about World of Warcraft or other games. There’s so much to write about, and not even WoW Insider can cover it all (although we try our darned best to). There’s always a niche that needs to be filled somewhere about some game.
Many of our current crop of writers made a name for themselves writing their own blogs, such as Matticus or Frostheim and even past writers such as BRK. You could say that these writers made an impact on the playing community with or without WoW Insider, and that’s the way it should be. Everyone has something to contribute, and that’s the beauty of a democratized medium — everyone has a fair chance of being read. You don’t need to work for a well-known gaming blog. That’s a blessing and a bonus if it happens. What’s important is that you share your thoughts and your knowledge. Do it often enough and well enough, then maybe it can lead to something bigger. If it doesn’t, your work is still out there … and if it helps just one player become better or grants some insight to someone somewhere, then it’s worth it.
Matt: The same thing I’d say to anyone trying to get into any kind of writing job: deadlines. Meet them. Everything else you hear people say is important … Learn to take criticism, always try and improve, take everything as a chance to grow … But man, meet those deadlines.
Mike: I’m probably a bad person to ask this question, given that my original Blizzard position (entry-level GM work) fell into my lap and that securing my original position for the site was in no small part due to my Blizzard position. But: write a lot! Start a personal blog. You don’t even need to talk about games all the time. Showing that you’re able to provide quality content at a consistent pace puts you above 90 percent of other applicants for these kinds of jobs.
Alex: Just write and be passionate about it. Start a blog of your own and write about things that strike your fancy. Even if you don’t get a substantial following on your blog, you’ll be training yourself for the real deal. If someone wants writing samples from you, you already have practice doing it. Do you really think you’re going to do a good job submitting writing samples when you’ve barely written anything ever? You’re not. Get writing, post it somewhere and get into the habit of doing so. Being damn good at what you do and being passionate about it are the two most important things for getting your foot in the door when it comes to writing about games. There are very few other requirements.
Fox: So, you want to be a famous, world-renown author? With Fox-level talent and Fox-level groupies? Awesome, let’s get to work!
* Step 1: Get some writing talent. * Step 2: Go write about games.
That’s all it takes. Seriously. What’s stopping you? Writing about games was probably a heck of a lot harder 10 or 20 years ago back when the same 100 people were fighting for the same 50 jobs at GamePro and Nintendo Power. Nowadays, you can just publish yourself. The audience is bigger and always hungry for new content. Go get a blog. The bells and whistles aren’t important – it’s the content, stupid.
If you’re good at what you do, an audience will find you. It may be a thankless job at first, but if you’re entertaining enough, and have something worth reading, there will be people out there who will find what you have to say. (You may have to do a little bit of shameless self-promotion first.) Heck, if you’re really good, one of your favorite class writers at WoW Insider will find your blog and link to it. And don’t forget The Daily Quest.
Lisa: Keep the stardust out of your eyes. If you can’t manage to post on your own blog regularly (even when you don’t feel like writing, even when you can’t think of anything to say), what makes you think you’ll enjoy meeting deadlines every single day? If you fall apart or blow up when someone suggests a change to something you’ve written, how do you think you’ll feel with a team of editors swarming over your articles? If you don’t especially want to write about a topic or take a particular angle but your editor tells you that that’s the assignment, can you turn out a good piece despite your personal feelings? Can you write when you’re sick as a dog, when everyone else is on vacation, when your internet connection is down and you have to head to Starbucks just to make deadline? Romanticizing the process is only setting you up for a huge let-down. Writing a lot now is not only a way to get your feet wet (and a foot in the door) but also to make sure you won’t feel like pulling out your own toenails after you’ve done it for a year or more. If you still love it after all that, then you may just be in for one helluva great ride.
Cataclysm to be Announced at BlizzCon 2009
Third:BlizzCon Cataclysm to be announced at BlizzCon 2009, close sources to X-Gaming says.
Fully details about BlizzCon Cataclysm expansion will be revealed at BlizzCon 2009. Including the new races:& goblin and other features.
There is alot of evidence that saysBlizzCon Cataclysm will be revealed at BlizzCon 2009.
BlizzCon Cataclysm Facts:
Blizzard Trademarks Cataclysm
Forum is UP
wowcataclysm.com is registered by Blizzard Entertainment
Two Races found in MPQ Data files
Time is perfect to BlizzCon 2009 announcement
All the information revealed about the BlizzCon Cataclysm and simply because it will be to late to announce it at BlizzCon 2010 due toschedule.
The Great Sundering (BlizzCon Cataclysm) including:
epic storyline will continue into Mealstrom, 10.000 years before Azeroth.
Predicted BlizzCon Cataclysm Expansion details:
New Classes (New)
New Level Cap (85)
New Epic Dungeons & Bosses
Rewamp of Azeroth & New Content
Flying mounths in old Azeroth
New Monsters & Pets
…and Alot more
Read more about BlizzCon Cataclysm at mmo-champion
Stay tuned for the Cataclysm BlizzCon 2009 announcement!
* & Worgen for 3rd Expansion: BlizzCon Cataclysm? Goblin & Worgen New Races for 3rd WoW Expansion:BlizzCon Cataclysm?
* Third WoW Expansion: New Race in BlizzCon Cataclysm? Third WoW Expansion: New Race in Cataclysm?
* : Cataclysm 2010 Release Date : Cataclysm 2010 Release Date
* Blizzards New Trademark: Third (WoW): The Cataclysm Blizzards New Trademark: Third World of Warcraft Expansion (WoW): The BlizzCon Cataclysm
World of Warcraft Cataclysm: a Guide before the Release DateAs we all know,Blizzard have development many game,all of this are have many fans,like
World of Warcraft Cataclysm: a Guide before the Release DateCataclysm is very different from the other two addons because the modifications from this one are done to the game core; nothing will be left the same, we could surely say that we are talking about a brand new game, not the WoW we know but a meaner, bearded WoW that was in the Corps and now drinks a lot of beer. It also tells the story of Deathwing, a big bad dragon that has rabies and attacks the entire world being the main bad guy in Cataclysm just like Arthas in WotLK and Illidan in TBC.As I stated earlier, WoW Cataclysm will bring a lot of new stuff, from gameplay mechanics to brand new content so let’s see what this is all about.The New content in the next World of Warcraft add-on includes two new races: the Worgen for the Alliance and the Goblins for the Horde.The Worgen are a race of werewolves, once residents of the famous City of Gilneas, a city that was isolated from the world. When a terrible plague struck Gilneas, all its inhabitants were transformed in these “Lovely” Puppies. These classes are available for the Worgen race: Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Warrior, Warlock and Rogue. The Worgen also has brand new and interesting racials like Darkflight which increases your movement speed by 70% for about 6 seconds with a 3 minutes cooldown and True Form which transforms you from human to werewolf and vice versa.The Goblins, well we already know of them. They are the funny masterminds of the Horde,the green Gnomes of the dark faction. These tiny guys are fantastic to play in my opinion and I think they deserve their place in the War between The Horde and The Alliance. The Goblins also received new racials like Best Deals Anywhere, this racial allows you to buy with a 20% discount any reputation item regardless of your reputation with the faction your buying from, and Pack Hobgoblin which calls your personal servant that stores any item in way much similar to the bank. You get access to the Pack Hobgoblin every 30 minutes. Also here are the classes available for the funny Goblins: Warrior, Warlock, Hunter, Death Knight, Rogue, Priest, Mage and Shaman.Int WoW: Cataclysm, the maximum level cap is increased to 85. This is to ensure the brand new content has its meaning. A new addition to the increased level cap is the automatic upgrade of spells. A major change done to the mechanics of the game making it much easier not needing to upgrade your spells at your trainer at each level and saving some cash for something else like….beer?The majority of zones will be altered, and brand new ones will also be implemented like Gilneas (Starting Zone for The Worgen), the Lost Isles (Starting Zone for The Goblins), Mount Hyjal, Uldum and others.We know Blizzard has a tradition with implementing new professions in each add-on. While The Burning Crusade made jewelcrafters out of us and Wrath of the Lich King scribes, well Cataclysm will bring the Archeological part of us to the surface. Grab your picks and start digging because the ancient world is about to be revealed.Also all professions will get brand new recipes and the profession cap has been increased to 525 with a new rank: The Illustrious. Archeology lets you discover lost artifacts and restore them to recreate powerful new items. We hope Blizzard will release more details for this feature.A new feature available in the Cataclysm is the Mastery System. Similar to the Talent Tree, this system will give you bonuses for your talents of choice, an odd and complex system that I think will become a very important part of the WoW mechanics.The Masterminds of Blizzard thought that socialization between players in Cataclysm will bring them much joy and happiness so they implemented new stuff for Guilds. Some of these new features include a brand new Guild Interface, making it much easier to recruit and maintain a guild, Guild Achievements for those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; this means an easier way to keep track of what they need to do next. A new and fun feature is the Guild Experience & Leveling (Boy! Blizzard brain storming is very efficient) with a level cap of 20, leveling up also includes a brand new Talent Tree for the Guild with talents like this: more gold looted from bosses/mobs, cheaper repair costs, a mass resurrection spell that can revive an entire raid (of course with a 30min cooldown), a summon portal for your raid and many other. Another new Guild feature is the implementing of some sort of guild currency, currency that allows you to buy special and unique items but with a twist: these items are guild bound meaning the moment you leave the guild these are transferred to the Guild Bank.In Cataclysm you can also dedicate yourself to a titan. This feature named the Path of the Titans is available only at max level (85) and will help you unlock 10 Ancient Glyph slots and some talent points. You can gain Ancient Glyphs through Archaeology. There are ten paths with ten titans. Choosing one and following his path will unlock all of the above, and by following his path, we mean PVP, raiding, raising your Archaeology skill, doing daily quest and so on. Some sort of new Lore. If you ask me, Blizzard employees are out of their minds, but in a good way.Now we’ve reached the core modifications. New core implements are done to PvP, Raiding, Item Stats and Class changes. Let’s start with the obvious: .This is what makes WoW top dog in my opinion. A balanced combat system with a lot of “pepper” (variety) and “salt” (balance).We will get many modifications to our favorite way to bash and slay our cyber nemesis in WoW. These mods include the implementation of new battlegrounds and arena locations, rated battlegrounds, new rewards system and a brand new Pvp Zone just like in WotLK with Wintergrasp.We didn’t receive any news about arena locations, no number or location just the fact that there will be a sum of them included. We will see.As for battlegrounds we know about just one: The Battle for Gilneas. It has a 40 men cap with a level range between 81 and 85.This battleground is based on capturing sectors of the city faster then the opposing faction.As I stated earlier, in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we will also have a little something called rated battleground. So Blizzard wants to make battlegrounds as official combat location just like arenas. This means they will implement a ladder system for these two hence removing battlegrounds for the unofficial PvP “bashing” scheme. Of course this was followed with the implementation of new rewards like new epic ground mounts, arena points and the comeback of Honor Titles.The new PvP zone is an island called Tol Barad, positioned in the middle of Baradin Bay in Eastern Kingdoms. The main objective of this island is a prison that, when captured, will allow the winning faction to do all sorts of special daily quests. The losing faction also get some dailies but not like the winning one. Oh and I forgot: if you capture the prison it allows you to do a raid instance just like Wintergrasp in WotLK with VoA.Prizes!!! Blizzard will also implement a new PvP reward system. They used the raiding reward system as inspiration with two types of points: low-end and high-end ones. The low-end points are called Honor Points and are easily obtainable through most PvP activities with a limit of how much you can have. The higher ones are called Conquest Points, available onlt through Rated Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds. These ones will be limited also on the number you can have and how fast you can get them. You already think by know: “How the heck is this similar to the Raiding System you dumb sh*t?” The answer is simple: there will always be two tiers of PvP items on the market: the low end ones which you will buy with honor points and the high end ones which you will buy with conquest points. When a new tier of PvP items hits the market the low end ones become obsolete and the high end ones take the place of the obsolete ones thus the new tier will become available for conquest points and the high end will become available for honor points and so on. Thus concludes the new PvP System, personally I think this deserves only strait As. Oh and I forgot you will have the opportunity to chance Honor Points into Hero Points (PvE) and vice-versa. Now let’s move on.Now in other news: Raids and Dungeons. The amount of new content in Cataclysm is staggering and includes new Raids and Dungeons. We will get four new raids with Cataclysm, with another two to be implemented later with patches. Also, 8 new dungeons and 2 Heroic old Dungeons will be implemented. Read and let the nostalgia sweep you of your old vanilla WoW fan feet.Also the core raiding system will be severely altered. Let’s see how:If you played WotLK you know of the 10man/25man system and heroic mode, well this will benefit most of the modifications. 10man and 25man raids will drop the same loot with more loot for the 25man raid; also they will share the same cooldown. Of course heroic mode will drop much better loot then normal mode. You can now change from normal to heroic mode in the raid, with the possibility to unlock heroic mode after you defeat that boss. So this means you can defeat a boss on normal mode and can choose to defeat the next one on heroic without forming another raid. This also means that raiding achievements will share the 10man and 25man feats.The reward system is almost the same. Only difference is that from now one there will be no more new badges, just two of them: Hero Points and Valor Points.Hero Points will be the low end badges awarded, these badges will have a limit you can carry but you can get them very quick. While Valor points will be the high end badges, these ones will have a limit you can earn and you will have a limited way to earn them to.To make it easier for you guys. If you played WotLK prior to 3.1.0 you remember the Emblems of Heroism and Emblems of Valor, it’s almost the same with them two and also with the tier armor like Heroes X and Valorous X but after patch 3.1.0 Emblem of Conquest appeared and took the place of Emblem of Valor for the high end badge. Well this won’t happen from now on. When a new type of PvE armor is released all you Valor points well be converted into Hero points so you cannot stockpile them for further usage and you can begin to loot new Valor points so you can get that new shiny armor. This wasn’t mentioned but even a blind man can foretell this: there will always be two armor sets released a high end one and a low end one or maybe the old Valor set will be purchased after the release of the new set with Hero points.We’ll come back to you WoW fans with some Cataclysm class guides in the following days.
wow cataclysm path of the titans
Here’s all the information you need to know about Path of the
Path of the
As you will have read in our last articleArchaeology, there will be a new secondary profession in Azeroth when the new expansion comes out. This profession will allow all players to find and uncover secrets which have been unearthed after the cataclysmic event which has destroyed much of Azeroth.
The glyphs that will be created by players, as well as the discoveries that they will uncover will eventually lead to them beginning a questline which, at level 85 (max level), will mean that every player will be able to customize his player’s history and style more and more. But what are these questlines? They are the Path of the Titans!
Each quest line or Path will lead to a number of quests and tasks for players. These paths the quests inCataclysm can unlock not only items and rewards, but also changes to your skills and talents. It will be a fully fledged top-level customization process, and everyone will be able to choose to be different. It is Blizzard’s plan that there will be fewer and fewer ‘clone’ builds between the same class in WoW Cataclysm, and more and more individuality and expressionism.
Each of the paths has an interesting name, which I will list here simply for information’s sake. The path of the titans lore will be very interesting to follow, as each path will be linked to a different hero! These heroes are:
Aman’Thul: The High Father , Golganneth: The Thunderer, Eonar: The Lifebinder, , Aggramar: The Avenger, Khaz’Goroth: The Shaper and Norgannon: The Dreamweaver. We can only imagine the different possibilities which each Path of Titans will open for players of Warcraft, and each class and race will be able to analyse and choose their own story related to their strengths, racials and desires.
That’s all the Path of the Titans in WoW Cataclysm info we have right now, but keep checking back (or RSS us) for more info as it comes out!
Burning with desire to slip into thebeta test, grab a goblin or worgen and run wild? Not these players. We asked readers to tell us why they do or do not want to participate in beta testing — and while plenty affirmed their beta aspirations with desperately ardent pleas, we found ourselves more intrigued by the reasoning of those who said they weren’t interested. Why would they pass up this opportunity of a gaming lifetime? What could they possibly hope to be doing for fun, instead? Read on to hear the opinions of three players on why, when it comes to Cataclysm beta testing, they will be opting out.
Using beta to create buzz
Beta tests are like a shiny, seductive piece of candy left in a painfully conspicuous place. Once we become aware that it exists, our desire for it almost overwhelms our good senses. We run in circles trying to find someone with a spare beta key, an easily winnable contest, or if we’re truly desperate, we hit eBay. Beta tests, like that piece of candy, are so tempting that we fail to ask important questions like “Why does this exist?” or “Why is there a box with a string attached over this?”
Why it’s there is simple enough., like many video game developers, seems to have realized the utility and liability inherent in beta testing. If they provide their beta testers with a noticeably glitchy or broken build, word will get out that the new expansion is terrible, broken, unplayable or worse. Small problems become magnified in the buzz, and one bad beta test can potentially sink an otherwise promising release. However, if the developers give their testers a well designed, fully functioning build of the game, then what’s being tested? That’s where the strings come in.
In the twenty-first century, a video game beta test is less an actual test than an interactive publicity stunt. Remember the Wrath beta and the fantastic stories you heard from the first of your friends to get in? And how near the end it felt like everyone but you had a key? What modern beta testers see is a mostly complete version of the final build. These testers aren’t so much testing as they are marveling, oohing and aahing and providing fuel for gamer gossip and the gaming media.
The only real testing beta testers do comes towards the end of the beta cycle: the dreaded stress test phase. This is when beta invites start going out en masse, seeming to blacken the skies of the internet with their multitudes. For a tester who thus far has been nothing but wowed and intrigued by the polished product they’ve been experiencing, stress tests are nothing but a teeth-clenching nightmare. Imagine the launch night of a major expansion, only worse. You’ll disconnect.will behave erratically. You’ll enter the very instance you’re trying to stress test, only to find yourself somewhere under the Stonetalon Mountains with no way back to the raid. These tests generate some of the most important data for developers but are nothing short of torturous for testers who have no bugs to report that aren’t already being reported by the 6,000 other players experiencing them simultaneously.
Of course, it does get worse. After all your fun of running around in new content and then the agony of stress tests, the game launches, your beta character gets deleted and you no longer possess any mystical new knowledge of the expansion that anyone who reads.com and has access to Wowhead doesn’t already have.
Still, that candy does look enticing, doesn’t it? — G. Chad Peters
Devouring the facts, savoring the experience
My name is Casey Monroe, but some of you may recognize me as Malgayne from Wowhead.com. When.com sent out their call to arms for submissions on the topic of beta participation a few days back, I jumped at the chance — after all, it was a topic that I had been hoping to post about on our own blog for some time.
I’m in sort of a unique position to answer this question, because in fact I’ve been in every beta since The Burning Crusade — whether I wanted to be or not. I’m lucky enough to have managing the content on Wowhead as my full-time job, which means that even if I didn’t love WoW, I’d still be in there, learning as much as I could about the new material.
But if I had to choose … now that’s a good question.
I’m at best a casual raider. I was head of a guild in BC thatKarazhan, and that was about it. We eventually dissolved into a larger guild, which enabled me to see SSC a few times. In Wrath, my performance was even more shameful — I’ve been in Naxx and ToC, but that’s about all. I have a ton of alts, and I flit between too many different games at a time to really perfect a single character; I suppose I just have a short attention span. I’m by no means a hardcore WoW player, so the appeal of beta testing cutting-edge, new content has always been lost on me. So that’s out.
But the other aspect of all this is the fact that I’m an authoritarian. I like to play by the rules. And when I’m experiencing the content that theteam has laid out for me, I like to experience the content in the manner they intended.
With a game like WoW, this is remarkably difficult. There’s no clear, single path through the game, after all. If you skip a quest, you might be breaking an important chain … but if you don’t skip any quests, then you’re going to be over-leveled for the content, which also alters the experience. Sometimes I would find myself saving up XP and then skipping entire zones — and that doesn’t even get into the issue of trying to fit instancing in there (a topic which I talked about some time ago in another editorial).
So with all these things in mind, well, no … I don’t think I would choose to be in the beta if I didn’t have to be. I like to understand all about the new systems in advance, to be sure — what the stats mean, what the new abilities do, how the new emblems are going to work. But the quests, the story, the flavor … all these are things I want to experience, not as a sneak peek or a leak or a preview but as a game. — Casey Monroe
What I’ll be doing instead
I will not be playing the beta. In my four years ofaddiction, I have never once felt the impulse to set my virtual foot inside any beta content, and I have still managed to level and raid and navigate new zones perfectly fine without it. Granted, I am aware that I owe my ease of discovery to the convenience of Wow.com and other informative websites, and thus indirectly to the hard work and diligent reporting of thousands of beta testers worldwide. To those tireless folk: I salute you. Thank you for your willingness to report bugs, endure unfinished landscapes and sacrifice months of work on a ‘toon, only to start again at launch with the rest of us.
However, if you think that just because I didn’t opt in for beta I’ll be lounging on a beach with a mojito until Cataclysm is released, you’re wrong. In fact, I will be spending my limited hours in WoW working very hard — and the gain to my character will be permanent. Here is what I will be doing during the beta period:
* Saying goodbye to four years of memories in the old world zones. Flying over Stranglethorn Vale for the first time in the zeppelin, seeing unexpected lushness … Standing as a ghost in Silithus, in awe of the gates of AQ opening event … Ganking and being ganked at the docks of Auberdine … Even as the expansions sent me farther away from Azeroth, I knew I could always come back for the strong feelings of nostalgia I knew I could get when I entered Ashenvale or Eastern Plaguelands. Alas, these places will never be the same.
* Finishing up endangered achievements and grinding endangered items. Though we have no official confirmation of which ones will be removed or sent to Feat-of-Strength Land, I am not going to take a chance on missing out on achievements and items I’ve been meaning to get for so long. I will be finishing Loremaster and trying to get Baron Rivendare’s mount, the ZG mounts, the Ravasaur pets and the epic recipe for Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimeric Chops.
* Saving gold. If two expansions have taught me anything, it’s that it really helps to have a gold buffer. (Knowing Blizzard, they’ll charge us a bundle to be able to fly in Azeroth.)
* Working on my PVP gear set. With the advent of rated battlegrounds awarding arena points, I might actually be able to buy gear that’s competitive in both battlegrounds and casual arena. I’m really looking forward to the new PvP system.
* Warning players of the cataclysm to come. I’ll be the one with the REPENT, THE END IS NEAR sandwich board in a city near you.
is not entirely unique in the amount of customization it allows players to make to just about everything under the sun, but I have to say that it is a large selling point for the game. Addons have been made for just about everything in the game at this point. You can get one for tracking, using the AH, leveling, managing non-combat pets, randomizing mounts, strange RP lines and pretty much anything else you can think of. My personal favorites are the complete re-skins that crop up from time to time. I have no idea why people want to look like Hello Kitty Island Adventure, but, apparently there are people that do. Just like the iPhone, there’s a mod for that. Beyond the pretty things, there are a multitude of mods that make the game that much easier to master, from things like boss ability announcements to telling you precisely which ability should come next in your rotation.
Like I think most people did, I went absolutely crazy when I first discovered the ability to customize my game; at least, I try to console my ego by thinking that. I grabbed anything and everything that I thought might be even remotely useful at the time. Heck, I didn’t even really know what half of the things I downloaded really did. I just knew that I was told lots of people were using them, meaning they had to be good. Getting your screen bogged down with “useless” information and addons is a pretty easy trap to fall into. Information in this game in a good thing, but too much of it can ruin your ability to play worse than just going with the standard. Not that I have anything against the standard , but there are so many ways that it can be made better. Not to mention the clutter. Your UI is your workspace. Like any workspace, you want it to be as neat and organized as possible. I’m probably the last person who should be telling people this, since I seem to thrive in chaos and am one of the most disorganized people in the world, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
What to do? How to tell the good mods from the bad? There aren’t any
Basics on choosing your mod
First and foremost, it is important to make sure that every addon you use has a specific function. This may seem silly, but it’s a pretty big deal and easy to forget at times. Before you download anything, make sure you know exactly what you are going to use it for. Ask yourself, do you really need an addon to do that for you? Do you already have an addon that can be tweaked to perform the same function? There are several addons out there that perform multiple tasks if you set them up properly. Having redundant addons more often than not won’t do anything more than bog down your machine. Always, always, always be 110% positive that you need to have an addon before you get it.
Second, shop around. Just as with buying a car, you don’t want to jump into the first shiny thing you see and drive off the lot. Instead you want to take your time, view all of the options and make sure you are choosing what fits your play style. An addon’s being popular doesn’t make it the best nor the right choice for you. Look at how easy to configure the addon is. There are some superb addons out there that are extremely popular but that also require a heavy investment in setting up properly. Also consider memory usage. For the most part, addons are fairly light, but there are some that can seriously slow down your computer, resulting in game play issues. Especially if you are running on an older machine, be aware of how much of a drain any addon is going to be on your system.
Last but not least is keeping an eye on clutter. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve already mentioned this part by now, but you can bet it won’t be the last time it happens.is the easiest of things to get trapped into. You start by finding one useful mod, then another, and another, and another and soon your whole screen is nothing but a first-grader’s art project. Avoid this as much as possible; I cannot stress that enough. Look for any means to consolidate as many functions into a single, easy-to-manage mod as you can. Find ways to hide or disable mods that aren’t important during the heat of a battle. For real, you don’t need to have Recount up and running in the middle of a boss fight. There will be plenty of time to look at it once it’s dead.
Basic mods useful for raiding
Some guilds will have their own required mods; some guilds won’t care what you use. Some people will prefer mod A over mod B. At the end of the day, though, there are certain basic raiding functions that are made thousands of times easier by common mods. Here’s a list of some to look into.
Deadly Boss Mods/BigWigs/etc. These mods will make any raider’s list without question. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to getting that need to know information out quickly and in an easy-to-read format. Boss mods cover every thing from ability timers to phase changes to raid warnings for incoming nastiness to marking important players. All of this is done automatically and with minimal setup. Which mod you choose to use is entirely up to your personal preference. DBM is probably the most commonly used mod, but that isn’t to say it is the best hands down. Even if you use nothing else, use one of these mods. They will make your raiding life so much easier.
X-perl/PitBull/Shadowed/etc. Unit frame mods are not a requirement by any means, but they can certainly make life a lot simpler for anyplayer out there, not just raiders. There are loads of diversity when it comes to altering your unit frames, so I would heavily suggest doing some exploring into all of the options out there before settling down.. This type of mod is great for helping to track buffs and debuffs on yourself and other players. Not only that, but the ability to re-size, move, sticky or adjust just about everything under the sun is a great utility that cannot be passed up. One really important thing to remember is that this is probably going to eat the most of your memory by far. Some of the unit frame mods out there can end up being quite large, so be careful that you don’t go overboard and end up lagging yourself to uselessness.
Grid/Clique/VuhDo/etc. While these are also unit frame mods to an extent, they usually operate entirely different from the group above. Mostly these mods are the go-to additions for healers, but they are great for any raiding class or spec, to be honest. They offer great consolidation when it comes to party/raid frames and offer amazing indicators for a variety of effects such as debuffs, buffs and HoTs. One of their best aspects is the ability to configure click or mouse-over macros seamlessly for a variety of abilities or commands. This is positively fantastic for using things like Remove Curse, Abolish Poison and even Innervate, as you can quickly cast the spell on the go without the need to actually select the target. That’s a huge plus for helping to increase your casting up time on a boss so you don’t have to waste time fumbling around with targeting. You just click and go. While I don’t want to suggest any as being better than the other nor discourage people from shopping around, I have to lend my support to VuhDo in this category. In my experience, I’ve found VuhDo to be the easiest to use for beginners and the easiest to customize. It offers loads of box options — not to say the others don’t too — that can be moved, re-sized and everything else super-efficiently. The true beauty of VuhDo, though, is how simple it is to create click macros for all of your abilities. It has a simple interface for every single action, with a wide variety of modifiers ranging from shift to left and right clicks. If writing macros isn’t your thing, then I would highly suggesting looking into getting VuhDo.
Omen The bread and butter of threat meters out there. There are certainly other options to take a look at, but Omen really is the current staple, and I haven’t come across anything fancy with other mods to cause me to switch. Knowing your threat on a target is paramount to success as a DPS in numerous ways. Simply put, this is key information that you need to know without question. Get Omen, use Omen. Or get something else; whatever you do, get a threat meter. Not only get it, but use it, watch it and live by it. A threat meter will save your life more often than you know if you actually pay attention to it.
Squawk and Awe/Power Auras/etc. Tracker mods such as these are certainly not a requirement, but they can be essential to many players. These mods will help you keep track of your DoTs, debuffs, cooldowns and Eclipse procs, all of which can be nothing short of a god-send in so many ways. Use them or don’t; they certainly aren’t a requirement by any means. That being said, in a hectic fight, they can really reduce the stress you are put under by tracking these things on your own. Anything that allows you to spend more time focusing on the encounter at hand and less time on your personal quips is a plus. One thing to keep in mind is that often these types of mods can be found meshed into another that you may already have. Unless you really like the additional customization or utility that a specific tracker mod offers, you might be better off going with one that’s built into something else. Your mileage may vary on this one.
A cast bar mod that’s been popular since as long as I can remember. Although many other mods now contain a cast bar mod themselves, I still find to hold its own weight in many respects. Not only does it allow you to fully customize your own cast bar (and your target’s as well), but it also comes with a built-in tracker mod that’s simple, efficient and easy to use. The latency tracking for each cast is also worth mentioning. Before the days of spell queuing, it was pretty much impossible to play without a cast bar mod such as . Although this perk has been slightly reduced in effectiveness, it is still helpful to have around for when you need to do some precise timing on the fly.
Additional UI tips
* Section off all of the important information. It may seem like a good idea to stick all of your various tracking bars, threat meters or what have you into one neat, consolidated space, but this can quickly lead to information overload. Instead of focusing everything into a specific spot on your screen, make the most of your screen space by placing everything into a generalized grouping. For example, keep all of your ability tracking bars grouped in one location that’s separated off from your boss tracking bars, to prevent yourself from easily confusing the two in the middle of combat. Keeping everything in scattered, yet organized, clusters goes a long way in helping to cope with all of the incoming information.
* Make sure to enable click-through on most of your tracking bars. This is especially true for things such as DBM bars, which many players have float out towards the middle of the screen. Keeping important things in a prominent location is useful, but always make sure that you won’t get caught in a situation where you’re stuck trying to click on a bar when you don’t mean to.
* Avoid clutter! Have I said it enough times yet? is beyond bad, yet many players end up falling into the clutter trap without even realizing it. Do not be one of these people. Keep your room, house, office, car or dog as messy as you want it to be, but always keep your UI organized.
* Familiarize yourself with any new mod you get before taking it into action. Changing up your UI for the better is a great thing, but don’t start doing it five minutes before your next raid. Take some time to get a feel for how all of your new toys work, and get used to playing with them being there by running a few easy group dungeons or spending some time farming.