Archive for September, 2009

50 Warchiefs Better than Garrosh

WoW_LoginScreen

Another find on the forums from WoW.com that’s simply too good not to share: Garrosh is Not Well Liked.

So you’ve all probably heard the rumor that in the events leading to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Cairne Bloodhoof is framed for some wrongdoing and is subsequently killed, Thrall becomes the Guardian of Trisfal and has to leave his position as Warchief of the Horde. Stepping in for him? Garrosh Hellscream, the violent, petulent, warmongering orc that follows Thrall everywhere and complains about how everything is the Alliance’s fault.

Garrosh…is no one’s first choice, apparently. He’s certainly not my first choice, but some fine folks on the official forums have put together a list of 50 Warchiefs better than Garrosh, which has subsequently expanded to be almost 200 in game characters, models, or objects that would leave the horde better than Garrosh ever could.

Some of the superstars on the list? Sicky Gazelle. Hogger. Egbert. Lost Barrens Kodo. High-Oracle Soo-Say. The list goes on, in incredible hilarity. Oh, and as shown above, “The Login Dragon” is indeed a candidate.

Click the jump to see the rest of the top 50 list, and head over to the forums to see the entire 200 in all their glory. Do you have any favorite NPCs that would be better leaders of the Horde than Garrosh? Let us know in the comments!

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Decrypt Macros with Fitzcairn’s Macro Explain-O-Matic

Macro_Explainer

There are tons of macro resources around the Web, most of them give you a basic description of what the macro does, who it’s for, and the macro text that you can copy/paste into your macro keyboard’s macro editor or into the WoW macro-editor. But what do you do if you come across a macro that’s supposed to be the best thing ever and make your life easier but you don’t really understand how it does what it’s supposed to do? Or even what it’s supposed to do?

Enter Fitzcairn’s Macro Explain-O-Matic! This handy little tool lets you paste in your macro text and get a step by step explanation of what the macro does at each line. It’s perfect if you want to take someone’s pre-written macro and edit it to do exactly what you want it to do or add steps to include more actions without breaking the macro.

Ulduar: Defiance

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCG2Q8iQzEE[/youtube]

I picked this one up thanks to WoW.com, who highlighted it in a recent Moviewatch segment. The video, which is the first part in a trilogy (the other two parts haven’t been released yet) is incredibly well done: the only dialogue in the video is voicework from World of Warcraft set to music and sequences from Ulduar.

Backing up a bit, the premise of Ulduar: Defiance is that a Paladin, after suffering nightmares of fighting the scourge as they attack Lorderon, sees visions and hears voices beckoning her to Ulduar in her dreams. She collects her friends and fellow champions and together they march on the city, intent on fulfilling their destiny. The video is incredibly dramatic, and scene by scene we’re taken through Ulduar as she and her friends go forth and tear up some bosses.

The music is incredible and fantastically timed to the video, and I can’t emphasize how wonderful it is that the video creators allowed the characters and the in-game video they took to show emotion and expression all by itself – they didn’t dub over horribly mixed audio to create dialogue, and the only voices you hear are ones already in the game, professionally done, that sound fabulous. Head over to YouTube to watch Ulduar: Defiance in all it’s glory if the above isn’t enough for you.

Blizzard Completes Upgrades: Additional Instances Can Now Be Launched

datacenter2

The beauty of my post, Additional Instances Cannot Be Launched: A Technical Perspective, is that it appeared to come right on the heels of Blizzard completing its datacenter upgrade to add capacity and rid themselves and their players of the dreaded “Additional Instances Cannot Be Launched” error forever.

In a blue post on the official forums, Crygil announces that you all shouldn’t see this error ever again and that the upgrades should all be complete. Seeing is believing of course, but so far so good in my experience, and I haven’t heard people complaining about it recently, which means there must have been an impact. Blizzard’s done good by their customers on this one, especially if the errors really are gone – people have been complaining about this for a good long time, half of them demanding Blizzard keep them updated daily on the status of the changes and requesting way more vision into the back end of World of Warcraft than I think any company gives its users, but we should see that furor die down now that the upgrades are complete – assuming the upgrades have managed to rid us of the error.

Personally, I’m curious if the strategy I laid out in my article turned out to be true, but more importantly, I’m just glad I don’t have to sit outside an instance for a half-hour waiting to get in. What about you? Have you been able to get into all of your instances now that the server upgrades are finished?

Blizzard Brings Cataclysm to PAX!

worgen_PAX

Over at the World of Warcraft Livejournal Community, user Tisoi went to PAX and posted some great photo spoils from Blizzard’s presence at the convention. Among other things, Blizzard brought Diablo III, Starcraft 2, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in playable form and set up kiosks so visitors to the convention could get some hands-on time with their upcoming offerings.

The photos are pretty nice and pretty large (you can click the one above to embiggen), and show the Worgen and Goblin starting areas in pretty good detail. It’s clear that the Worgen and the Goblin models are different from the ones already in-game and are already much more detailed. Things look pretty polished right now, which I imagine would fool some people into thinking that the expansion is close to release, but I still think we’re looking at a November 2010 release at the earliest.

In any event, head over to the thread at the WoW LJ community to see the photos like the one above, and drool with me.

Of Gundams and Tier Armor Sets

mobilesuithuntertier-2DragonStalker

This is like worlds colliding for me. Yes, I’ll happily admit that I’m a Mobile Suit Gundam fan – the franchise has been around longer than I have and will likely live longer than I do; and it’s spawned so many really sharp and fun series and spinoffs that I could never watch them all. And of course, I love World of Warcraft, or else I wouldn’t be here.

So, someone thought, what if class tier armor sets looked more like mobile suits? They set in to work, and turned out a whole series of images that put World of Warcraft tier armor sets into Gundam-style mech designs. This forum thread has tons of them, but it’s not where the art originated – I don’t know who the original artist is (if any of you know, shout it out in the comments and I’ll update the post!) but I wish I did so I could thank them for this.

It all started with the Mobile Suit Paladin Tier-2 “Judgement,” which was submitted and subsequently published over at Blizzard’s Fan Art page. That one looks really good, but above is a tier set that’s close to my own heart: the hunter’s Dragonstalker set, a set close to my own heart, and one that I think this re-imagining makes look pretty awesome.

I also like the Shaman set; it’s pretty bulky like I would expect. I also really dig the Druid set as well. Is your set listed? Do you dig it? Let us know in the comments!

Holy Cow: It’s a Tauren Paladin!

Cadistra_TaurenPaladin

Cadistra, artist and author of WoW, Eh? and all around awesome person, put together her interpretation of what a Tauren Paladin might look like once Cataclysm comes out and we have a whole slew of additional race/class combinations to choose from. One of the more interesting race/class combos we’ll get is the Tauren Paladin – which might immediately seem contradictory to the lore but apparently already has the framework laid in quests on the PTRs – one called An Injured Colleague.

The story is essentially that the Tauren see the druidic teachings of the Night Elves as only part of the picture – not that it’s bad in any way, but the Tauren revere the Earthmother, and the moon is only one of her two eyes (well established in the lore). The other eye of the Earthmother is the Sun, and the Tauren, being a people who strive for balance in all things, have at least a few who seek to walk the path of the Sun (and in turn, of the light) as opposed to the druidic path of the moon (as in, with the Night Elves and the druids of Moonglade and the Cenarion Circle).

In An Injured Colleague, we speak to a Tauren Warrior and a Tauren Druid who share their doubts about the path they’re both on – presumably two characters we may see become the first Tauren Paladin and the first Tauren Priest, and a blue post seemed to hint that the name of the new light-following Tauren would be “Sunwalkers.”

There is a similar Alliance quest that re-introduces the Highborne to the Night Elves, thus paving the way for Night Elf mages. The quest is called “A Cautious Return,” and there are screenshots of it on the PTR in the link to “An Injured Colleague” above.

In any event though, if Cadistra’s interpretation of what a Tauren Paladin will look like is near the mark, I’m looking forward to rolling one when Cataclysm is released. And even if it’s not near the mark, I still love it: Cadistra’s work is always impressive. Check out her DeviantArt account for a larger version of this image!

Faction Changes Now Available!

WoW Faction Patches

WoW Faction Patches

Word came down yesterday that Blizzard’s awaited faction-change character feature is now live and ready for users: quietly, in the middle of the night. Blizzard didn’t make a huge fuss over it, and even waited until today to post an announcement about it, but right there along with all of the other character change features you can request, like changing gender or server, is the faction change request button.

The faction change seems to also give you the opportunity to change whatever else about your character that you may want to at the time, including their appearance and gender, and as predicted, the faction change feature is also a race change feature; but you’re not restricted to certain races. You can choose any race of the opposing faction that supports your class.

You have the option to customize your character’s appearance just like at the character creation screen, and you can change your character’s name if you choose – all of those features are included in your $30 fee.

More interestingly is the way that Blizzard has handled mounts, achievements, and rep: it was somewhat predictable, but Blizzard has defined certain “opposites” that will impact what happens to your character when you change. You can read all about them on the Faction Change FAQ, for example the opposite “city” to Darnassus is Undercity, which implies that anything specifically Night Elf you have will become Undead if you go Alliance to Horde.

The Faction Change pages even allow you to test changing from one race to another to see how your items, rep, mounts, and achievements will convert.

We put the question to you guys a while ago but never get tired of hearing: What would make you change faction? Are you ready and rearing to pick up your sword and fight the horde instead of fighting along with them? Or perhaps you’re tired of being Alliance scum and want to kill some instead? Let us know in the comments!

Brief Updates from MBHQ

You’ve no doubt by now noticed that the sites got a bit of a re-design and some things got changed around last week. We wanted to highlight two changes to make sure everyone knows what changed.

The first and biggest is COMMENTS! Registration is no longer required to post a comment on any post. Of course if you already have an account you can still login to ensure your comments are attributed to you, but those who don’t can now post a comment without any long term commitment. Also, on the right you can see some of the recent comments so you’ll always know what the active discussions are. This was the most requested thing we’ve heard from people since our last redesign and we’re excited to see where it leads.

The next change is also something that was heavily requested, and that is a change to the ADS on the sites. You’ll immediately notice fewer of them, but what might not be as obvious is those smaller square ones to the right are specific to this city only and are being sold for a flat rate for a period of time rather than a confusing CPM/traffic/network model. Depending on the city, these range from $7-$175 for a full week. If you purchase one, during that time your ad will be the only one in that spot and will show on every page. We set these up both to make it easier for smaller local businesses to get their ads on our site, and also to help us bring in ads that relate better to our local audiences. Also, keeping these sites online is expensive and every little bit helps.

There are a bunch of other things we changed but we’ll leave those to you to investigate and take advantage of. Hope you like it, and we look forward to seeing you in the comments!!

Love,
The folks at MBHQ

The Ballad of Mankrik’s Wife

ozzy-blizzcon

Courtesy of one of my favorite World of Warcraft blogs, Need More Rage, I now have this song in my head. With the modified lyrics.

See, my first character post-beta was a Tauren druid; and even though I play alliance mostly now, I’m more than familiar with the experience, with Barrens chat (back when it was REALLY bad), more than familiar with the old days and the Alliance’s endless raids on Crossroads (to the point where it was all but impossible to quest there), and of course, with the quest to find Mankrik’s wife.

So of course, what does Ratshag, main writer at Need More Rage, do for us? Recounts Ozzy’s special WoW-themed version of Iron Man. He says Ozzy performed it at Blizzcon. I don’t know if I believe him or think this came entirely out of his own twisted mind, but in any event, it’s fabulous. Remember, sing the lyrics out loud to the tune of Iron Man:

Where is Mankrik’s Wife?
Is she still fighting for her life?
Can she walk at all
Or is she nailed to a wall?
Is she live or dead?
Has she thoughts within her head?
We’ll cry on slash two
“What am I s’pposed to do?”

She was left behind
Somewhere near that archeologic find
When big orc Mankrik
Ran away like a dick

No one can find her
She just stares at the world
Maybe she still lives
Prisoner of the Quillboar

Check the original post and pay your respects to Ratshag for this bit of genius; and make sure to check out the rest of the blog – it’s fabulous.

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