Archive for August, 2009

Spread the Rawr and Win Gear with RawrCast’s RawrCon Giveaway!

Peanut_Swirl_Brownies

Of all of the World of Warcraft-related podcasts and shows that I follow, easily one of the most entertaining is RawrCast, hosted by Haf and Stompalina. Together they make up quite a dynamic duo, and even when they have guests on the show is always lively, interesting, and generally the most hilarious couple of hours you could possibly spend on a Saturday afternoon.

If you’re not listening, you should subscribe, or drop by and listen live via LiveStream on Saturdays at 4pm Central to find out what the fuss is about. But before the end of this week – and literally there’s only three days left – you can enter to rin a Razer Lycosa keyboard and a Razer Death Adder Mouse for RawrCast’s big Brownie Point Giveaway!

True to form, Stompalina and Haf are giving back to the fan community, and all you have to do is spread the Rawr – which shouldn’t be hard, the show is fantastic and anyone who drops in to listen won’t be disappointed.

To enter the contest, all you have to do is:

Earn a Brownie Point by
posting a link to our calender of upcoming upcoming Guests and events on a WoW Community Site or Blog – LINK: http://rawrcast.forumotion.com/calendar.forum
– or –
posting a link to our RAWRCON: Blizzcon Saturday post on a WoW Community Site or Blog – LINK: http://rawrcast.forumotion.com/upcoming-f1/episode-34-rawrcon-live-from-blizzcon-t225.htm
– or –
writing a blog post on YOUR blog about an upcoming guest on Rawrcast!

or click here to learn more about how to earn your brownie points!

The crew is accepting Twitter shout-outs, blog posts, you name it – and the list of contenders is getting pretty large, so make sure to get your entry in today!

Me? Yes, I guess this could count as an entry, but I get to review keyboards and mice all the time and keep some of them – you should get out there and enter yourself: once you have some real gaming gear on your desktop while you’re raiding, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

Onyxia’s Back, With a Vengeance

onyxia

The brood queen herself is back, so sayeth the Blizzard!

To celebrate World of Warcraft’s 5th anniversary, Blizzard has completely updated and re-worked the Onyxia dungeon and encounter for 10 and 25-man groups, complete with the same gear just updated for level 80 raiders, and tweaked to present a challenge to endgamers now! The announcement was made last night by Zarhym on the official WoW forums:

She has lurked in her lair and done battle with the many brave adventurers who travelled to that familiar location over the years. Now, in honor of the World of Warcraft 5-year anniversary, the dreaded brood mother Onyxia is being revamped to make a return to the forefront of Azeroth, as part of our big plans for the upcoming 3.2.2 content patch.

This permanent update to Onyxia will convert the dungeon into 10- and 25-player modes. We will be adding new items to Onyxia’s loot table that have the same model as some of the classic loot from this dungeon, like Tier 2 helms, with stats updated to match the current level of content. There will be a special new item too: a normal drake-sized 310% speed flying mount modeled after Onyxia herself called Brood of Onyxia. We will also be updating the encounter mechanics to be more fitting for modern raiding, but we can guarantee players will get to experience the frightening horror of deep breaths once again.

Then for a limited time, after the 5-year anniversary event officially begins in November, anybody who logs in will receive an Onyxia Brood Whelpling pet.

We’re very excited to bring this classic encounter back to provide a fun new experience for both new and veteran players. Further details will be available in the near future, and we will be setting up the Public Test Realms soon to help test out this fight along with all the new content we have planned for the patch. Keep an eye on the forums for updates!

Happy 5th, World of Warcraft! I can’t think of a more fitting way for Blizzard to celebrate the event with us – I for one look forward to taking Onyxia’s head. Again.

Never Stay Tuned 4

I came in on this series a bit late, and wound up downloading the entire thing in all of its 20 minute glory from Warcraft Movies, and I’d suggest you do the same if you’re a fan of this type of machinima. Complete with Arthas dancing, naked blood elf ladies (definitely NSFW), multi-lingual glory, gnome armies, and Draenei rushing out to buy vibrating gnomes, Never Stay Tuned 4 has probably some of the funniest skits I’ve seen in a WoW video, including a House spoof that’s right on the money.

It’s linked below, but you’ve really got to blow it up to full screen to see it in all of it’s glory. Just a final warning – this is probably not work safe. Okay, it’s definitely not work safe, but it’s oh so hilarious. To watch in HD, see it here at Vimeo.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/5920605[/vimeo]

New Expansion, New Races Leaked?

cataclysm_races_leak

So WoW.com had the scoop today: a full-on leak that the new expansion will be called World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and two new races will be introduced in the expansion: Horde will get Goblins, and Alliance will get Worgen. Huge news, right? A massive leak, right?

Well, a number of World of Warcraft blogs and sites have been speculating this to be the case for a while now in separate theories. First, when Blizzard trademarked the phrase “Cataclysm,” speculation ran wildly high that the next expansion would be called Cataclysm. Then, when someone dissected models from a recent update and discovered that pretty high quality male and female Goblin and male and female Worgen masks had been added for the Halloween event, speculation ran wildly high that they would be the next two playable races to make their way into World of Warcraft.

So the rumor mill has been turning furiously for the past several weeks, if not months, to the point where the discussion is all but a cacophany. Is WoW.com correct? Their anonymous sources have been right before, so there’s no reason to doubt them other than the fact that this is a completely unverified leak – and I don’t say that sarcastically. Until there’s an announcement from Blizzard, this is just more speculation. And something I’ve learned the hard way from being in the technology profession (and being a particular fan of Apple, for example) is that there are certainly spoilers and leaks available all over the Web, and no matter how many images and evidence you may have to support them, any spoiler at any time can just as quickly become what’s called a “foiler,” of a seed planted by a company to drum up discussion, support, and attention in advance of a major event.

Could Blizzard be leaking this information to drum up anticipation prior to Blizzcon? Sure. Could they walk out on stage at Blizzcon and say something completely different about the next expansion? Absolutely. We just don’t know yet, and shouldn’t pretend that we do. That being said, I have incredible respect for WoW.com and if there’s anyone in the Warcraft blogging world I trust and believe about something like this, it’s them. So it’s a double-edged sword. If there’s any source I consider credible that’s not Blizzard, it’s WoW.com, but I don’t want to make plans for a Worgen hunter or a Goblin rogue just yet.

In any event, if this is the case, I’m incredibly curious what the lore behind this will be. Both races already have a pretty well defined and well laid-out history and story in the World of Warcraft, and while the Worgen are semi-new to the universe, Goblins have been around for a good long while. Even so, just because we can explain how the races got into the game doesn’t mean we can explain their faction choices – for example, the Worgen were initially summoned and controlled by a Night Elf and used as essentially a private army. They then revolted. Why would they side with the Alliance? The Goblins have long been neutral – will they continue to be, or will there be Goblin factions where some are neutral and others have chosen a side?

There’s obviously more room to play with the Worgen than the Goblins, since the Goblins are essentially already in the game, but there’s only so many ways you can work the Worgen into the Alliance. Will they be another Draenei-like faction where the playable ones are the “good ones” and some corruption has turned all the other ones you essentially slaughter en masse in Darkshire “evil?” Will the Scythe of Elune – the one you learn about in Darkshire and essentially wind up unwittingly handing over to the Worgen in Grizzly Hills (who seem to be a more sentient, sapient type of Worgen that can disguise themselves as humans when necessary) – play a role? Where will the starting zones be, and should we expect the opening of the Greymane wall and the unlocking of Gilneas? What about the Goblins – where will they start?

Alternatively, we could be faced with something a bit more dark and sinister – the Alliance may not retain is’t pearly white veneer in the new expansion – the Draenei joined the Alliance because they thought of them as the “good guys,” and the Blood Elves, as misguided as they were, joined the Horde out of convenience and because they kind of fit over there. Maybe this time the Alliance get the “bad guys” because of Varian Wrynn’s opportunistic desire to use any means necessary to destroy the horde – maybe the Worgen are still under the influence of the Scythe? Maybe the Goblins are tired of taking a backseat to the action and decide to side with the cause they see is more righteous. Who knows.

cataclysm_titans

To that end, what about the “Cataclysm” itself? Does the Cataclysm represent what we all expected it to be, and allude to the Sundering? Do we get to push back the Naga, now eager to raise themselves and their queen from the bottom of the sea under the Maelstrom to reclaim the land and crush all those who live above the surface? Do they have a far more sinister plot?

Perhaps the Cataclysm involves the words spoken by Loken when you kill him: “My death heralds the end of the world!” Effectively, in Ulduar, waiting for you is Algalon, who’s fight was described this way by Lesley Smith in a WoW.com post titled: “What Happens if Algalon Isn’t Defeated?” back in April:

Basically it goes like this: Algalon is an ethereal agent of the Titans, Azeroth’s creators. He’s detected the death of Loken (when Loken said: ‘My death heralds the end of the world’, he wasn’t kidding) and that Yogg-Saron has tried to escape his bindings. When you engage him, he is about to do a scan to determine whether Azeroth needs ‘reorganising’ by the Pantheon, his Titanic masters. Said scan takes an hour and you have that long to defeat him. If you fail he sends a signal and the fate of Azeroth is sealed.

Of course, some guilds have fought Algalon and won, others have lost and the timer runs out, but Azeroth is still here and the world hasn’t ended.

Or has it? I’m starting to think that the new expansion has more to do with this than anything else; since after all, when questioned on the forums about this very issue, about what the fate of Azeroth would be if Algalon weren’t defeated, CM Nethaera responded with this, quoted from the same WoW.com article:

[The] Results could be cataclysmic.

Blizzard’s Homage to Big Red Kitty

BRK-1000

Everyone’s favorite hunter, Big Red Kitty, now blogging personally over at Brain Needed Space, got a unique honor in patch 3.2 (shown above). Now I have to have one.

/salute – we miss you BRK, and wish you well!

How’s That Patch 3.2 Working Out For You?

new_bear_druid_forms

So we’re two days out from Patch 3.2, and most of the servers are back online for good and aren’t randomly restarting. Blizzard had a bit of emergency maintenance in the US yesterday, and add-on developers are scrambling to make sure their add-ons are updated for the live version of the patch. We’re all still getting used to it, the the bugs list is getting longer, and we’re all geting used to the patch now that it’s live.

So what about you? What are you the most excited about? New druid forms (shown above)? Totem bars? The new dungeons and the Call of the Crusade? Let us know in the comments!

Oh, and if you haven’t seen the trailer, check it out here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b4fE1S7gRo[/youtube]

Fruit of Elune: Underpants for Night Elves

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=legAzTWyfIs[/youtube]

Okay, this killed me. Literally had me struggling to keep from laughing at my desk at work so loud everyone in the office could hear. It doesn’t help that the video is made by the MyndFlame crew: the same folks who brought you the legendary Illegal Danish videos. Click play, or head over to YouTube to see the whole thing in all it’s widescreen glory!

Raise Your Cooking Skill with Nourish! The Azerothian Menu

broken_isles_iced_tea

The fair Cadistra, artist and author of WoW, Eh? turned me on to this site, and since then I’ve been blending my love for cooking with my love for World of Warcraft: Nourish! The Azerothian Menu.

She’s one of several authors at the site, posting delicious recipes that are sure to give you something better to eat while raiding than day-old pizza and cheetos, and most of them are WoW-themed. No, you won’t wind up blending Chilled Meat into some kind of crazy stew, but you will wind find easy and delicious dishes and drinks like Cadistra’s own Broken Isles Iced Tea, shown here, perfect to beat the heat.

Looking for something a little more toothsome? Try the Holy Fire Pasta, a kickin tasty dinner treat that’s sure to please even the spiciest palate. Me? I’m a huge wing fan, so I have every intention of trying Bom’Bay’s Echo Island Voodoo Chicken Wings as soon as I can.

Head on over, find something tasty, and make it!

Madness and Insanity: Yoggy Gets a Webcomic!

yoggy_header

The most adorable old god, Yogg-Saron, has gotten himself a webcomic: Madness and Insanity: The Trials and Fwibbulations of Yoggy.

The first comic is already up, and proves to me what I always suspected: he’s quite the deep sleeper! For more Yogg-ertainment, you really should follow him on Twitter: @yoggsaron; he’s a trip.

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