Archive for July, 2010

SDCC 2010

Last week was a wash for me regarding blogging about WoW. Between work, travel, San Diego Comic Con, and more travel, the chance to sit down (with functional internet) was nearly impossible. So here is a run down of all of the WoW related stuff I encountered while at the San Diego Comic Con this year.

Preview Night: Oh, see, I have a confession to make. I love Murlocs. I know, I know. They are such a pita when you’re playing the game with large aggro radius’, casters, socially aggro (meaning if they’re too close you get many instead of one), and the damn healing caster Murlocs (I said this already didn’t I??). Ugh! Believe me, I feel your pain. I really really do. My love for them came when I did those quests where you have to wrangle up the babies in a Murloc costume and for some time they follow you around googooing, laughing, and generally being omgsocute!! Yeah, I was a goner and I loved the little buggers. Somewhere in the middle of the mad dash for the boyfriend and I to snag each and every exclusive we had on our lists, I saw someone wearing a plush Murloc. Um, wut?!! Yes, and adorably cute plush Murloc. Oh hell, what the hell do I have to do to get me one of those!! I was desperate! It now became my sole focus, to get me one of those cute adorable plushie Murlocs. I was not leaving the con without one!

The catch was that I had to sign up for a year of the World of Warcraft magazine for $39.99, but the magazine does not feature any advertising and is all WoW related. Plus, they promised me the cute Murloc plushie right then and there! Hell yes! Quite possibly the most expensive plushie I’ve ever purchased, but lookit how cute he is!! He now sits on my desk at home and often gets random hugs from this very adult human female.

Wow Panel: I was late in attending the World of Warcraft: Epic Loot panel, and was a little saddened by this. My boyfriend and I had a bit of a hotel issue regarding shuffling from one to the other, and missed out on the beginning of the panel. The best part about catching even just the tail end of it is getting to hear some of the creative staff mention that there is and always has been a larger plan for World of Warcraft. Cataclysm will rock the old world and as players we’ve been hearing and seeing the changes over the course of months. I wish I could remember who was speaking (but I missed the introductions and was stuck at one of the furthest in the back points of the room), but they pointed out that all things in the game are happening for a reason. Even if it isn’t apparent on the surface, or even with the introduction of Cataclysm, the bigger story is always at work. The ebb and flow of the game will continue on, and even as Cataclysm takes out so much of the game that we once knew, that there is always change.

Exhibition Hall: I’m going to take a stab in the dark here and guess that the lack of more WoW related paraphernalia was due in large part to Cataclysm coming out soon(ish) and Starcraft II’s release a few days after SDCC ended. I found a handful of boxed figures and one or two of the trading card booths had WoWTCG boosters and starters, but for the most part, there was very little.

I did, however, enjoy immensely walking up and down Artist’s Alley within the Exhibition Hall if for no other reason than to see all of the beautiful artwork! I wish I had infinite amounts of money (for many reasons, but in particular) so I could buy lots and lots of artwork and line my walls with it all. I picked up a print by Emily Warren. And a few others, but it didn’t compare to stumbling across some of the artwork by Samwise. At first it was his wife manning the table and the art. My boyfriend and I chatted with her, asking if she played WoW (she did/does). She shared that one of the prints was modeled after her character. When Samwise returned we chatted with him as well. I picked a piece and asked him to sign it for me as a gift. The boyfriend asked some Cataclysm questions which both promptly shared they could not talk about (without giving up her first born child, her words, not mine). The following day (or was it 2 days later) I went back and bought another print. This one was for me. It is far lovelier in person.

Conclusion: The con was a success. We spent a lot of money, got a lot of epic loot, and some new armor, and was happy with all of the art purchases.

And wouldn’t you know it that when the boyfriend took off for the hour long trek to the nearest Best Buy to pick up the Startcraft II Collector’s Edition sets he preordered for us, that he’d return home only to have me flipping through the artbook after unboxing and yelping. On the first page is an introduction to the book and what to expect… written by the Senior Art Director of Blizzard… Samwise.

Well color me dumbfounded!! I’m glad I didn’t make a complete spectacle of myself while he was around and kept the uber-fangirl to a minimum. Ha!

Have an Authenticator? You’ll Need it for the Forums

If you have an authenticator (and if you don’t, you should probably get one! Here’s what they’re all about.) you’ll get a special treat in the coming days, as Blizzard changes the forums to require that, for players that already have authenticators only, that they periodically authenticate using their authenticator to the forums in order to post.

Essentially, all this means is that if you already have an authenticator, that level of account security will extend to your activity on the forums the same way it does to the community site and your account.

The change is something of a non-issue and I would leave it there if there weren’t some needless confusion about the topic of authenticators and the forums. For example, over at the World of Warcraft livejournal community, one frequent poster took this to mean that if you don’t have an authenticator you can’t use the forums, which is absolutely false. (That same poster seems to have a resistance to authenticators in general, whose concerns I addressed in a column last year called Why the Resistance to Authenticators?)

So before everyone goes off terrified of authenticators and complaining that Blizzard is moving to a model where authenticators are essentially required to play the game (which frankly, I think they should considering the number of people who play and the economy around hacked characters, gold farming, and account sales – the problem is that if an authenticator is essentially required for games, they should give them away to anyone who wants one free of charge…they’re already close by making the apps available for the iPhone and Android for free) keep in mind that this is a change that applies only to people who have an authenticator, and means nothing will change to the people who don’t have one.

And if you don’t have one, seriously, you should get one.

Blizzcon Virtual Tickets on Sale

If you didn’t snag a ticket to Blizzcon and you still want to attend, you have two options: try and score a ticket between now and the convention from someone who has a spare or is willing to sell theirs, or buy a virtual ticket to stream the event from DirecTV, who will be broadcasting much of the event live on the Web. Tickets for access to the stream are $39.95 USD.

DirecTV has expanded their coverage of the event this year with four different channels of content from different areas of the con, so you don’t have to worry about missing a penel or an event that you desperately want to see because another event is being streamed instead. Granted, four channels isn’t nearly enough to show you everything going on at the convention, but it’s a huge step up from last year’s single-channel coverage, where if it wasn’t on screen and it was happening at the same time, you were missing it.

Discussion: What Are You Most Excited About in Cataclysm?

What are you most excited about, now that Cataclysm is on the horizon?

Maybe you’re all set to roll a werewolf. Perhaps you can’t wait to be a Goblin. Maybe you’re not really interested in the new races and you want to see all of the zones that have been changed, or wrap yourself in the lore that will come rushing to the forefront when Deathwing is free. Maybe you’re just itching to see what Hyjal looks like now, or chat with Malfurion Stormrage now that he’s back?

Personally? While I’m thrilled about the opportunity to roll a Worgen, I’m just as excited about the new zones and the new quests, and I really want to see how the starting areas have changed and do all of the new starting quests. I get the feeling I’ll be rolling a lot of new alts and joining a lot of new guilds when the expansion finally lands.

So what about you? What are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

Video: Cataclysm Hunter Sneak Peek


I admit I’m a bit biased here because my main is a hunter, and I also admit that I’m biased because I haven’t gotten into the Cataclysm beta yet, but this video preview from Frostheim (originally posted at his hunter column) had me all but salivating for the changes we’ll see coming in Cataclysm.

The changes to the stable interface and some of the new animals you can tame are great, I really dig the new pet “stay” command (especially since I’m known for pet sniping in PVP), but above all else? Flying in Ironforge, kids. It’s so on.

Discussion :: How’s That 3.3.5 Working Out for You?

So! A little tradition we’d slipped away from for a bit (but mostly because there haven’t been many major content patches since) but want to keep going strong are our “How’s that working out for you” posts when new content patches are released.

Now that 3.3.5 is out and about, Real ID has been added to the game (although it’s not making its way to the forums) and you can communicate with your friends across-realm (even though their friends can see you too,) and now that the Ruby Sanctum is open, how’s the content working out for you?

Have you downed Halion yet? Are you planning to, or is the Ruby Sanctum just not enough to bring you out of your post-Lich King-kill hiatus? Or maybe it’s Real ID that’s keeping you away from the game? Let us know in the comments!

Video :: Cataclysm Spoiler :: Garrosh and Vol’Jin Have a Chat

Well, since the only responses I’ve seen both here and on Twitter (you can follow me @halophoenix) to the topic of spoilers is that you want to keep them coming – as long as they’re avoidable, like hiding videos and screenshots under a cut and so forth – I’m going to go ahead and post one of the most interesting ones I’ve seen from Cataclysm so far: a little discussion between Garrosh and Vol’Jin that you get to see in the new troll starting area.

Click the jump to see the video and see my thoughts, but fair warnings, spoilers abound beneath that link!


Healing Druid: Oh, Leveling.

Warning: This is likely to be a bit long-winded. For that, I apologize.

First I have to state my unbelieveable hatred with cows. I don’t hate cows the animal, I hate the race Tauren. I don’t hate them in the way most people hate Blood Elves, but I hate their size. I hate their mounts. And I hate how much screen real estate they possess. That being said, the majority of my toons are Horde. I made myself a druid cow, and truly had no idea what I was doing. At level 18, I hated it. I shelved the toon in favor of leveling something else (see: Bubble Pally). The boyfriend and I are on a very Horde heavy server. Any time the balance between Horde and Alliance is tipped that far, it means that since the majority if the population is on one side, it also means the majority of the, uh, “not nice” (see: douchebag) players are also on that faction. The boyfriend and I rolled Alliance toons. I can’t speak for him, but I gladly went Alliance because I was so tired of the douche-baggery prevalent on Horde side.

On Alliance, since the boyfriend made a warrior I decided to try my hand at healing… as a druid. I hit 80 recently, and have been slowly working at obtaining gear. I have to say, I love it. I love playing a druid! LOVE!


Discussion :: How Do You Feel about Cataclysm Spoilers?

We’ve been tempted here several times to discuss some pretty significant Cataclysm spoilers – a lot has come to light now that the beta invites have started flowing and more and more people have been getting their accounts, logging in, and working their way through the quest chains. Some of those spoilers and videos have been so good that I’ve been actively trying not to post them, even though a number of other sites have (I know, I could just post them behind jumps, but still, that just increases the temptation to click, you know?)

So what do you guys think? Are Cataclysm spoilers just unavoidable at this stage in the game? Is there any hope for anyone who wants to install the expansion when it’s released and play it all through seeing all of the sights and reading all of the stories for the first time ever? Or are you holding out hope that there are some community sites that haven’t resorted to posting spoilers, even though we may talk about Cataclysm anyway?

To that end, should we go ahead and post videos and reports from the beta that may contain spoilers? (under a cut, of course!) Let’s hear your thoughts about spoilers (and of course, whether we should post them) in the comments!

Video :: Azeroth – A Dedication


Now that Cataclysm is nearly upon us, everything in old Azeroth is about to change. We’ve been told over and over again that the entire shape of the world will change, the landscape will be different, the zones will be different, and the entire game experience from level 1 on up will be different.

So for those folks who have been playing for a long time (folks like me, who have been playing since Vanilla) there’s a rich and massive world to look back on and experience before it’s all either gone or changed.

To help, a few enterprising folks put together this beautiful video, Azeroth – A Dedication to take us back through some of the familiar sights and sounds that got us into World of Warcraft, some of which will likely be the same, and others we may never see on live servers again.

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