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New World of Warcraft Community Site Live Preview

New World of Warcraft Community Site Live Preview
(Blizzard, 0/0/2000)
The new World of Warcraft community site is live! Months in the making, this site will soon become the prime gathering spot for the community. We're very excited to finally open the doors and invite you into our new home. You can read more about the transition from our existing website to the new one in our original announcement.

As we're considering this a live preview, we want your feedback about the look and feel of the new digs. Head to the community site, check out the new forum categories, and follow the Website Feedback links to let your voice be heard. Go ahead. Check it out!

More World of Warcraft Comics

More World of Warcraft Comics
(Nebu, 12/4/2010)
We have some tasty leftovers from our community comic contest to share. This comic was submitted by Bludlemon. Check out the full gallery here.

World of Warcraft Mugs Now Available

World of Warcraft Mugs Now Available
(Nebu, 12/3/2010)
Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Or perhaps you need a not-so-subtle way to show your World of Warcraft enthusiasm at the office (since shouting "For the Horde!" at the top of your lungs during meetings doesn't always go over too well)? Taverncraft has the solution with today's debut of two new massive stoneware mugs. One mug is devoted to the Horde, featuring a panoramic image of Orgrimmar, with the other showcasing the Alliance stronghold Stormwind. Each full-color mug holds a hefty 18 oz. (.53 ltrs.) of your favorite hot or cold beverage, and costs $19.99 plus shipping/handling. The mugs are available now at www.wowsteins.com, with guaranteed holiday delivery within the contiguous United States, while supplies last, if ordered prior to December 15, 2010.

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9 November 2010 - Pre-Cataclysm Continues…

The next phase of the pre-Cataclysm event has begun, probably lasting a week. This adds a short questline to give you the warm fuzzy feeling that the Earthen Ring is actually on top of things. The Alliance quest gives a bit of foreshadowing of King Magni’s future. “Brann … did mention something about becoming one with the earth.” – Advisor Belgrum

Quest Given By Description Reward
What’s Shaking in Ironforge Earthen Ring Emissary (capital cities) Speak with Stormcaller Mylra in Ironforge
Tablets of the Earth Erunak Stonespeaker, Trade District, Stormwind Take the Tablets of Earth to Advisor Belgrum in Ironforge 22,050 xp (13.23 g)
Courier Tormun is located near the wagons at the south end of the docks (29.5, 48.1). Speak to him and volunteer to help him defend the crystal. This spawns a Mysterious Crystal next to him. Right-click on the crystal to gain 3 special elemental abilities. A Twilight Cultist will appear and create three elemental portals. Elementals will spawn from the portals; you need to target the elemental and use the appropriate ability to neutralize it. Fire is used against water elementals, water against fire, and shockwave against earth. After a few waves of this, the Cultist will give up and the Tablets will spawn next to Tormun. Right-click on them to pick them up. You will then need to hop on the tram (or portal or gryphon) to Ironforge. Belgrum stands at the back of the Library in the Explorer’s League district in Ironforge (77.1, 10.0).
Subduing the Elements Stormcaller Mylra Subdue 20 Agitated Earth Spirits 22,050 xp (13.23g)
After using the Sapta, you will have the ability to see Agitated Earth Spirits (small earth elementals) all around Ironforge. Use the Cleansing Totem and target the earth spirit with the targeting circle. The area of effect of the totem is actually a bit bigger than the circle, so close counts.
Tablets of Fire Earthmender Norsala, Valley of Strength, Orgrimmar Bring the Tablets of Fire to Earthmender Norsala in Orgrimmar 22,050 xp (13.23 g)
Durak Flamespeaker can be found near the pool due north of the Northrend zeppelin tower (41.6, 15.9). The encounter is the same as the Alliance version described above.
Subduing the Elements Earthmender Norsala Subdue 20 Agitated Fire Spirits 22,050 xp (13.23g)
After using the Sapta, you will have the ability to see Agitated Fire Spirits (small fire elementals) all around Orgrimmar. Use the Cleansing Totem and target the earth spirit with the targeting circle. The area of effect of the totem is actually a bit bigger than the circle, so close counts.
7 November 2010 - More AddOn Updates

With BlizzCon and the initial patch pain out of the way, most of our common AddOn set have been updated:

4 November 2010 - Tripping the Rift…

Every hour or so, elemental rifts are spawning throughout the known worlds (yes, including Outland and Northrend). What makes these interesting is that closing a rift (by killing the elementals it spawns) yields a buff and a daily turn-in (“Hammering It Out”, yielding 22,050 xp/13.63g at L80). If you manage to close rifts of all 4 element types, you will gain the “Tripping the Rifts” achievement. It’s expected that this achievement will be inaccessible after Cataclysm (and possibly after the Shattering).

Rifts spawn approximately once an hour. They despawn in 10 minutes. To close a rift, you (and anyone who wants to help) must kill a certain number of elementals (12 reported for Outland rifts). The elementals that spawn are controlled by the zone of the rift – Icecrown rifts will always be water-type, for instance. There are multiple rifts per zone, and it appears that they are on staggered timers, so while each rift takes an hour to reset, you should almost always be able to find a rift active somewhere in the zone.

One set we identified all spawned at forty minutes after the hour:

  • Earth: Snowblind Hills, Storm Peaks – 35.4, 82.4 (north end of the gnoll camp, west of K3)
  • Air: Magmoth, Borean Tundra – 55.3, 15.8 (southern end, west of Fizzlecrank Airstrip)
  • Fire: Thrym’s End, Zul’drak – 16.2, 60.7 (near the center of the area)
  • Water: Sindragosa’s Fall, Icecrown – 72.2, 39.5 (in the snowy area just south of the ice)

Your mileage may vary! Good luck! WowHead has a growing list of elemental sites here

Read the rest of this entry »

2 November 2010 - New Pre-Shattering Questline Opens!

The Twilight’s Hammer cult is on the move across Azeroth. Doomsayers are recruiting followers, and Stormwind and Orgrimmar are threatened. A new questline to scout out the cult begins at Erunak Stonespeaker near the Stormwind Bank and Captain Anton in Stormwind Keep. For the Horde, Earthmender Norsala and Blood Guard Torek are both standing near the Orgrimmar Bank.

Hear me, citizens of [City]. We have long been in the dark. I beg you to open your eyes as I have! The end of our world nears, my brothers and sisters! Azeroth will be no more! Flames will consume the world. Storms will wash away all hope. The elements will reign at last! Do not despair! Turn away from the false Light, and instead embrace the hope and truth I offer you! [or – But do not despair, people of Orgrimmar! Join us and learn the truth!] Cast off your lives of war and drudgery, be reborn in elements and claim your rightful place in this new world! Calm down, friends. There will be plenty of time to answer all your questions. If you are interested in our message, I will be holding a gathering. Speak with me if you wish to know more, but beware, for [City] is full of people who would silence the truth. – Doomsayer

Read the rest of this entry »

23 October 2010 - BlizzCon Day Two!

Another BlizzCon draws to a close. Day Two was much like Day One, although with a noticeably reduced costume contingent. There were several key Q&As on the WoW front, including some interesting exchanges on class mechanics and balance. We spent much of our time in the Diablo III and Cataclysm demo areas, although at least one guild member stood in line for TCG packs at the Cryptologic booth. At one point, the line wrapped twice around the booth. One staff member said that the demand was completely unexpected – they did more business in the first day than all of last BlizzCon. By midday, they were beginning to run out of supply.

A tip for next year’s attendees: get your swag early! Those who stood in line to complete the vendor quests/redemptions on the first day had much shorter lines and full choice of merchandise. By the second day, the BlizzCon Stores had run out of several items. A related note – the two BlizzCon stores have separate inventory, so some items that were sold out of the south end store were still in stock at the north end store. In general, the north end store (furthest from the entrance) had shorter lines and had fewer sold out items. Also, the keynote was being shown on screens in the BlizzCon stores, so you could get the shopping done quickly while the rest of the audience was pausing in the main stage area.

We briefly spoke with an attendee who had been to every BlizzCon to date. In comparing them, he said he liked the first one the best because it was smaller (only ~5k attendees) and the Loot Bags were much better. He made the comment that as BlizzCon has grown, it’s tripled in size while only marginally increasing the event content, resulting in large batches of people moving around the floor en masse. He was seriously considering attending the virtual conference next year. It’s unclear whether additional commercial sponsors or more tracks of discussion could spread the crowds out more. Another attendee suggested a few male blood elf models, given that there was a reasonable percentage of female convention-goers. She did say that she would try to come in person next year regardless of that, though.

The expanded demo areas were nice – we never waited more than 30 minutes to get a seat (and we were allowed virtually unlimited play at the Diablo III station during the concert). All in all, we had a wonderful time and met many fellow Blizzard franchise fans. We’re definitely planning our return trip.

22 October 2010 - BlizzCon Day One!

We’ve come to the end of BlizzCon Day One, and a fine time was had by all guild members and our 17,000 closest friends. Among other things, the keynote announced that subscribers would be able to preorder Cataclysm directly from Blizzard and download the updated game files. This would allow players access to the new content as soon as the servers went live – midnight on December 7. Diablo fans got to see a preview (and cinematic) of the new Demon Hunter class as well as a demonstration of the new arena play. StarCraft II was heavily demoed throughout the floor, since patch 1.1 adds support for Nvidia 3D Vision. Nvidia and BradyGames had a set of interesting quests (scavenger hunts in a more pedestrian trade show) with t-shirts and possible gear as rewards. Dominating the floor were the three demo areas with over 300 stations of Diablo III, StarCraft II, and the Warcraft Cataclysm live beta.

Since Friday evening includes the costume contest, there were many attendees made up as their favorite character from the various Blizzard franchises. For anyone who’s been to Comicon or other SF/F fan conventions, the percentage of garbed attendees was actually kind of low – but the quality of most of the costumes was excellent.

Logistically, the convention ran reasonably efficiently. There was the usual backup at entry time – if you came much later than 10, you were definitely in the bottom half of the pack. There were multiple parking lots open, all pretty much standardized at $12/day. The parking at the convention center itself didn’t fill up until well after the 10 am opening. If you’re not desperate to get play time, we’d suggest parking at the convention center around 9 and going out for a leisurely breakfast; by 11 o’clock, there was virtually no wait for admittance.

First glance at pictures from the show can be seen here.

14 October 2010 - Earning Points

For those who are interested, here’s the current point rewards:

  • Heroic Lich King dungeons yield 16 Justice Points per boss (was 1 Emblem of Triumph)
  • First Heroic Random of the day yields a bonus 23 Justice Points (was 2 Emblem of Frost)
  • First Regular Random of the day yields a bonus 12 Justice Points (was 2 Emblem of Triumph)
  • Weekly yields 138 Justice Points (was 5 Triumph, 5 Frost)
  • Wintergrasp quests earn 16 Honor Points (was 3754 Honor, 10 Stone Keeper’s Shards)
  • Killing bosses while your faction holds Wintergrasp yields 5 Honor Points for Regular, 15 for Heroic (was 1 or 3 Stone Keeper’s Shards)
  • First Random or Call to Arms battleground win gets a bonus 90 Honor Points, losses get 15 Honor Points

Valor Points will be available when new PvE content drops. Conquest points will be available with the start of the new Arena season (probably when Cataclysm drops). Enjoy the grind – 4000 points doesn’t seem too hard.

12 October 2010 - A New Day (Sort of) Dawns

Patch 4.0.1 is slowly bloating to completion. The official patch notes page hasn’t been updated yet, but you should be able to review our local copy here. You may also want to check out WowHead’s comprehensive Cataclysm Systems Guide. Good luck and good hunting, all! Mastery has been added as a new item stat, and Reforging a new service to modify item stats. Glyphs have been reworked, and many items have modified stats. Besides a complete revamping of character talents, forcing us to relearn, respec, and redesign helper mods, there are some significant mechanics changes. One of the major changes is to currency. The systems are being consolidated to two levels of points: Valor and Justice points for PvE and Conquest and Honor points for PvP. All gear will be sold for points, and the prices have been adjusted to be comparable to the old emblem prices. Nethaera posted in this forum thread the following conversion information:

Your New Honor Points total will be the sum of the following amounts:

  • Old Honor * 0.024
  • Old Arena Points * 0.85
  • Battleground Mark of Honor * 2.976
  • Wintergrasp Mark of Honor * 19.08
  • Stone Keeper’s Shard * 1.6
  • Venture Coin * 3
  • Spirit Shard * 1

Your Justice Points total will be equal to (Emblems of Triumph + Emblems of Frost) * 11.58

Again, the softcap for both Honor and Justice conversions is 4000 points. This means that if a character converts to above 4,000 points, it will not be possible for them to earn more until they fall below the 4,000 cap.

Common add-ons that have been updated as of this posting include:

10 October 2010 - BlizzCon 2010 60-hour Presale!

Those who managed to buy BlizzCon tickets this year can get in on a merchandise presale that might cut down a little on those lines at the convention itself. The sale is running from 10 am Sunday, 10/10, until midnight Tuesday, 10/12 (Pacific Time). A second presale will begin 10 am Wednesday, 10/13 until 10 am Friday. Please note that only the battle.net store account that purchased the tickets will be able to access the items (so if you got your tickets second-hand, you need to pester the friend who bought your ticket or you’ll just have to wait in line.

A nice photo gallery of the items for sale has been posted at WoW Insider. Some of the items have already sold out, but may be refreshed in time for the convention itself. Happy shopping!

20 September 2010 - Hoist an Old Stein to Brewfest

Brewfest is upon us, virtually unchanged from last season (when it got its big L80 update). As with Ahune, you can queue for the Direbrew boss encounter and will earn 2 Emblems of Frost (and the rare loot bag) the first time you queue. You can also get there via Direbrew’s Remote (if you build your party all from your server) or the old-fashioned way through BRD. Direbrew still drops Emblem of Heroism level gear, but does have some nice bling trinkets as well as the mount drops. This year, there doesn’t appear to be a souvenir stein as in previous years, although you do still get the Achivement (feat of strength) for having the Green Stein from last year. Ein, Zwei, G’suffa!