Archive for November, 2009

A PSA: Save the Murlocs


For just 10 copper a day – that’s just 3 silver a month, you can support a family of murlocs for an entire year. Did you know how many are mercilessly killed every day at the hands of adventurers? It’s amazing, and thankfully the D.E.H.T.A. and J!NX have joined forces to raise awareness and do something about this incredibly important problem plaguing Azeroth. Together, they’ve produced this video and launched the Save the Murlocs campaign!

Adopt a murloc today. And enjoy the hilarious PSA video above – it really is fantastic…especially the outtakes at the end! Although the achievement in the middle and the shots in Ironforge are pretty hilarious too!

Blizzard Unveils Warcraft Anniversary Site


Blizzard recently opened up a Warcraft Anniversary minisite to celebrate the 5th anniversary of World of Warcraft and the 15th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise, starting with the original Warcraft game back in 1994 – featuring two races pitted in combat: Orcs and Humans.

The site is the new home to the Battlecry contest, where fans can submit photos of themselves hoisting the Horde or Alliance crest at random places to win prizes, and a video feature with Blizzard developer interviews. As the celebration progresses, the site looks to have some more interviews coming soon, and a very special edition of the Blizzcast podcast, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, make sure you log in to the game during the celebration to pick up your achievement and Onxyian Whelpling pet!

Time’s Running Out to Get Your Plump Turkey!


See that little guy up there? He’s my new baby. He’s a little squeamish, and a little skittish, but he’s mine all mine, and he actually didn’t take too long to get!

By now I would hope that those of you who are interested in getting the Plump Turkey and the Pilgrim title from the Pilgrim’s Bounty event, but if you haven’t it’s not too late! You still have a day to wrap up all the achievements, which remarkably didn’t take terribly long.

Best of all, even if you’re not interested in the achievements but really do want to level up your cooking, you can get some serious skillups by making the PIlgrim’s Bounty food, and the recipes and mats are INCREDIBLY cheap. So get in there! If you need help, check out this guide from Wowhead.

Discussion: Happy 5th Birthday, World of Warcraft!


If you haven’t logged in to get the 5th anniversary achievement and your very own Onyxian Whelpling (shown here), make sure you log in now! The achievement is still available, and all you have to do to get it is log in to the game – the whelpling will be waiting for you in your mailbox. Each character logged in will get one, and the little guy is bind-to-account, so you’ll get one on any character you create.

Perhaps more importantly though, this weekend marked the 5th birthday of World of Warcraft – five years ago the beta was ending and the game was going live; it’s hard to believe it’s really been that long, and it’s been just over a year since Wrath of the Lich King went live as well.

I remember the end of the beta of vanilla WoW, when GMs and monsters alike ran rampant through the beta realms just to give all of the players a suitably epic send-off into live play. I remember my first ever character, a poor Tauren Druid, back when I was so new to the game and there were no resources to help that I actually had to ask people where quest items could be found (there was no Wowhead or WoW Wiki back then) and there was no looking for group channel. Back when I thought professions were optional and not required to really experience the game.

Sheesh – it’s been a long long road. What about you? How long have you been playing, and what are some of your earliest memories of the World of Warcraft? How are you celebrating, aside from picking up your whelpling and diving into the Pilgrim’s Bounty quests? Shout it out in the comments.

World of Warcraft EU Unveils Icecrown Bosstiary


Well ahead of the release of patch 3.3, if you’re curious about some of the bosses you’ll be facing when you get a crack at Icecrown Citadel, you can head over to the WoW Europe site to see some of the bosses at the Icecrown Bosstiary. So far the site has information on the Forge of Souls, the Pit of Saron, and the Halls of Reflection, and you can click each to see a map of the dungeon and where the bosses are located. Hover the mouse over each boss to read about who it is.

At the top of the page there’s a wealth of additional data about Icecrown and what to expect in patch 3.3, so if you’re not in the loop about what’s in store, click around to read more about the story, major characters, the quest for Quel’Delar, and more!

Gnomeregan News Network


This one’s a little old since the content is pre-Wrath and from when Burning Crusade was new stuff, but it’s still hilarious, especially if you’ve played through BC and enjoyed it. I particularly like the gnome who gives the environmental report. He clearly has better things to do with his time, and uh…I guess I don’t blame him.

Enter The Mohawk Grenade


That’s right folks, the Night-Elf Mohawk Grenade is active in live realms – pick one up and give ANYONE, regardless of their race in-game, a night-elf mohawk. And we’re not talking about taking their existing hair and making it a mohawk, we’re talking about making their heads a night elf with a mohawk, Mr. T style.

The video above is a commercial for World of Warcraft that features the grenade and features Mr. T advertising the in-game item that only he could market. You’ll have to visit a mohawk grenade vendor outside of one of the starting zones to get one, but once you’re all stocked up you’re ready to party in your next raid or battleground! Personally, I love the things – I’ve seen some hate for em, but then again, haters are gonna hate no matter what, so I say sit back, relax, and lob a mohawk grenade at ’em.

On that note though, I love how his first target is a gnome. Hee! They’re just such easy targets!

Blizzard: Arenas Were a Mistake


I first heard the story (and snagged the headline, since the story makes for a better headline than it does a story) from an excellent post at on the matter – apparently the folks at Warcry managed to sit down with Rob Pardo of Blizzard to talk about what he thought some of World of Warcraft’s biggest mistakes have been. One of the notable mentions? Arenas:

We didn’t engineer the game and classes and balance around it, we just added it on, so it continues to be very difficult to balance. Is WoW a PvE cooperative game, or a competitive PvP game? There’s constant pressure on the class balance team, there’s pressure on the game itself, and a lot of times players who don’t PvP don’t understand why their classes are changing. I don’t think we ever foresaw how much tuning and tweaking we’d have to do to balance it in that direction.

I don’t think this is quite as controversial as and a lot of other bloggers do, and I also don’t think it’s as huge news as everyone seems to think it is, personally. I played on an arena team for a while there in season 2 and 3, back when it was still fun, and while I agree that 2v2 matches were horribly mismatched, I thought the strategy involved with 3v3 matches and the chaos that was your average 5v5 match was fun to participate in.

The downside of course, as Pardo explains, is that Blizzard had to keep balancing classes around one another so everyone had a relatively fair shot to participate in arenas in some regard, or else classes and specs would completely get left out for them. This is a concern that a lot of players raised over the course of arena seasons, and Blizzard did a really good job of trying to make changes so the classes could match up with one another, but in the end there’s just nothing you can do about it.

Pardo points out that the dichotomy to the game – whether World of Warcraft is a cooperative PvE game or a competitive PvP game – is difficult to manage and it’s almost impossible to balance classes and encounters so they can be both at the same time without obviously tipping their hand as to which direction they think the game should lean.

Personally, I think that Blizzard could have done just as well to spend more time balancing the classes for PvE as long as that’s the majority of the player base, and allow PvP players to carve out their own niche. It might be painful at first as a number of PvP players will whine and complain, but the truly skilled players would find a way around some of the obvious class imbalances and others would simply get by playing teams of the preferred classes instead.

It’s kind of a backhanded compliment to the people I used to play arenas with to suggest that the best thing Blizzard could do for arena PvP in World of Warcraft is to ignore it: they’d probably be the happiest making the game work for them instead of being handed changes by Blizzard, and of the arena players that would whine about class imbalances, they’d eventually get shouted down by players who managed to make skill their ultimate competitive weapon, but in the end, Blizzard has a choice – they can spend more development time on the PvE elements of the game that really draw in new players, or they can spend development hours tuning classes for PvP, which is great for people who enjoy it but it’s not adding to the core elements of the game.

Circling Back on the Shared Topic: RPG Nostalgia!


The post RPG Nostalgia: What Got You Into RPGs? was inspired by a shared topic post at the Blog Azeroth forums. The beauty of the shared topics is that several other amazing bloggers from the World of Warcraft community weigh in on those topics as well and share their experiences.

I shared mine, now go read theirs!

  • Triv, of the blog Raid Naked, and the one who originally suggested this amazing shared topic, whipped up an excellent post, and reading it I see he is totally right there with my love of MUDs of all shapes and stripes. But perhaps most importantly? We share a mutual love of Dungeons and Dragons! Thanks for dropping in and commenting on my post, Triv!
  • Naithin of Tank N’ Tree shares an excellent post about his history in MMOs heading all the way back to the original Asheron’s Call! Prior to that, he was known to play games that I loved just as much, like Descent and Mechwarrior 2!
  • Kirei, of A Gamer of Sorts, has a love of RPGs that’s deep seated and rooted in some truly amazing games that may sound old school, but maybe it just feels that way because I’m getting old: Mario World and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I have to admit, Mario World has some amazingly RPG-esque elements in addition to the classic platforming action we all know about – the whole opening up zones and moving between them, saving up special items and then going back to areas you’ve been through in order to get more goodies – nice call!
  • Rajjs of The Angry Alt had some choice words describing her gaming history, most notably that she picked up a love of RPGs from her mother, who was an avid MUD player! Way to go, mom! It was all downhill from there, eh Rajjs?
  • Ophelie from The Bossy Pally dropped in on my RPG nostalgia post to point out that couples that WoW together may not always stay together, but they at least have some fun when they play! Her RPG first loves are games like Final Fantasy VII and the venerable, amazing, glorious Might and Magic – a game that I remember loving when I played it as well.

What a great run around the WoW community on this one, and an amazing shared topic! Head over to the posts linked to read the perspectives of the other bloggers!

Find Jackasses on Your Realm with WoW Jackass


Looking to do a little research and determine if someone’s a loot ninja before you invite them to your run? Maybe you’re just as afraid of PUGs as the rest of us and you want to make sure that you’re not grouping with someone that everyone else on the server already knows is going to make your run miserable. Thankfully you can run their name through WoW Jackass, a community-fueled site where players report loot ninjas, bad tanks, horrible healers, hapless DPSers, and other all around assy players who are known to steal nodes out from under you when you’re mining or tag all of the quest mobs in the area just because they see you coming.

There’s a flip side to this kind of site though – because it’s all community generated information, you have no real guarantee that the person listed is the jackass or the person doing the listing is the jackass – there are always two sides to every story. So keep that in mind when you go hunting for jackasses – it’s one thing to be a ninja known across the server, it’s another thing to read someone’s personal account of when another player wronged them. But if you do come across some genuine jackasses, it’s worth getting their names up there so the rest of the world knows to avoid grouping with them.

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