Archive for patch

The Tao of the Korean World of Warcraft Site

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , on January 26, 2010 by Mark Pannell

Earlier this week, broke the story that the Patch 3.3.2 patch notes had been posted on the official Korean site. Not content to just read their translation, I decided to head on over to the Korean World of Warcraft site to snoop around a bit myself.

Now, please understand that I can neither read nor speak Korean. My curiosity pertained to the aesthetics of the site rather than the content. I clicked around a bit, finding some familiar and unfamiliar imagery. Almost immediately, I discovered this little gem: a beginner’s manual in a region-specific artistic style. Don’t strain your eyes. Those images are clickable.

Continue reading

Dungeon Finder: Two Perspectives (Part 2)

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2010 by Mark Pannell

As you may recall, I devoted my last post to crying like a little girl with a skinned knee about the injustices that we’ve been served via WoW’s new Dungeon Finder tool. This time around, we’re going to dig into the more positive aspects of said tool. So, without further space-filling text in the first paragraph, let’s put on a happy face!

Part 2: The Good

I could spend literally all day discussing the multitudes of little benefits that the new system provides, but I’ll instead focus on the three that affect me the most personally… cuz this is my blog. Go get your own. Unless you already have your own. Then this is just awkward. Where was I? Oh yes, my top three reasons that Dungeon Finder is not the Antichrist. They are:

  1. More for My Gold
  2. More for My Money
  3. PvP… Yes, PvP!

I will now address each bullet point in its own paragraph with its associated heading, thus giving some order to this post and enhancing its aesthetic appeal. Go! Continue reading

Patch 3.0.9 and Some Caverns of Time (That Kinda Rhymes)

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2009 by Mark Pannell

Apparently, when the servers come back online today, we’ll be playing with patch 3.0.9. Not a whole lot to get excited about here. But something stood out to me:

Fixed an issue where players using nVidia 3D glasses were unable to see spell cooldowns.

As Gnomeaggedon pointed out last week in this post, we’re still without live instance maps four years after the game’s release. Yet the developer’s are devoting resources to correcting an issue being experienced by 1/100th of 1% of the game’s demographic? And a bunch of 3D glasses-wearing noobtards at that. Wow. Just… wow.

Aside from that, our Arcane brethren are about the only members of the Mage community to be affected by the patch. I’ll be interested to read Larisa’s thoughts in a few days. Oddly, Death Knights were completely untouched for the first time since the release of Wrath. Looks like Blizzard might be reaching a comfort zone with their controversial Hero Class.

As minor is it may seem, I’m pretty pumped about this one:

Fixed a player movement error in which other players were appearing to move erratically when traveling beside them.

Earlier this week, Drkdmon and I were running Torgath through Escape from Durnholde Keep. None of us had done it on those particular toons, so we needed to knock it out so we could run him through Opening the Dark Portal later that day. Once we freed Thrall and defeated Captain Skarloc, we galloped off to Tarren Mill. As we traveled, Drkdmon kept phasing in and out next to me. His glitchy movements were driving me nuts. Good bug fix, Blizz. You have my stamp of approval.

As an interesting sidenote, we had to run Durnholde two-and-a-half times. The first time, I forgot to accept the quest from Andormu. I talked with him. I opened the quest dialogue box. I even read it, which is a rarity for me. I just didn’t accept it. We figured this out as we attempted to enter the Dark Portal section of CoT and I just galloped in place as the other two entered the instance.

The second time in, we had a couple of setbacks. Drkdmon wiped us as we were setting the Incendiary Bombs in the Internment Lodges. I grabbed aggro from the first group of mobs and pulled them away from the others. I noticed that at some point, Torgath’s heals weren’t coming as frequently. Before I had a chance to figure out why, I had mobs attacking me from behind. I glanced at Torgath’s health as he slumped to the ground dead. It was at that point that I noticed Drkdmon battling the second group of mobs.

“How did you guys pull aggro from a whole different set of mobs?” I asked.

“Steve (Drkdmon) attacked a whole different set of mobs. He didn’t even go after the ones you did,” Torgath replied.

“Nice job, ass hat,” I said.

Corpse run. Second verse, not quite the same as the first. A little bit different, but a little bit worse. After destroying the five Lodges and defeating Lieutenant Drake, I told the guys to hold up in the basement of Durnholde Keep. I was the only one with the quest anyhow. I had a plumber coming over to the house to look at a clogged drain pipe. I knew that it was only going to take a few minutes with a power snake, so I knew the guys would be OK with it. As Torgath and I entered Durnholde Keep, Drkdmon went missing. His little blue party dot was right by us, but he was nowhere to be found. As we knocked out the last few mobs on the main floor, Thrall shot past us and down the hallway to the front door.

“What the f**k?” Torgath asked?

“Who the f**K let Thrall out of the prison?” I demanded.

“Steve,” Torgath answered.

“Jesus Christ! You’re killing me, Steve. I’m the only one with the quest… a quest that I can now no longer turn in,” I barked.

“Let him die,” Torgath offered.

“Steve or Thrall?” I asked.

“Both,” Torgath laughed.

And so we did. Our first run at the Dark Portal wasn’t much better. Torgath trained every Jaguar, Tarantula, and Crocolisk from the entrance to the instance to Medivh. We didn’t actually wipe. We just watched Medivh die as I fought every creature known to man in front of him. Drkdmon compunded the problem by attempting to knock out the Rift Lords and all of their adds by himself without heals. His rationale was that it would prevent the other Infinite-named mobs from spawning. Decent logic, but not exactly what you want to hear when you’ve got fifty spiders and kitty cats all up ons. Lesson learned: kill all of the trash on the way to Medivh. They have no tether point.

Okie-doke, kiddos. Servers should be back up now. I’m off to level Devv a bit.

Update: Maintenance extended by two hours. Why am I not surprised? Maybe they hadn’t worked out all of the kinks on that nVidia 3D glasses bug fix.

Patch 3.0.8, Nothing Cool Rhymes With That

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , on December 13, 2008 by Mark Pannell

In the short time that I’ve maintained this blog, the most popular post in terms of views has been Patch 3.0.3, Find Out What it Means to Me. With the official PTR patch notes dropping for 3.0.8 earlier this week, I figured we’d return to the same format. But this time around, I’m interested in more than just the Mage-lovins. Without further delay, the patch notes that interest me the most.

Racial restrictions on mounts have now been lifted. Night elves on mechanostrider? Tauren on raptor? You’re not seeing things.

Oh… snap! I’ve gotta get Raulduke to level 30 with a quickness. I can’t imagine anything funnier than a male Draenei on a Mechanostrider. Hells yes! On a serious note, this will make it easier for Devv to get the Leading the Calvary achievement and the Albino Drake reward. That’s six additional mounts that I didn’t have access to before. I’m already halfway there without some of the home faction mounts and none of the PvP mounts. This is gonna be cake! Onto the Death Knight goodies.

All multi-rune abilities generate 15 runic power.

I treat my runic power like a mana pool. There’s nothing cooler than seeing Death Coil light up when the ol’ runic power battery gets recharged.

Blood Presence now grants 2/4% instead of 1/2% healing.

Predatore barely dies as it is. I thought this was supposed to be the great DK nerf that everybody was whining about. So far, so good.

Dark Command: Range increased to 30 yards.

Well, this will certainly make pulls a little easier. I just recently acquired this skill, so I’m still learning how to use it effectively. Sounds good to me though.

Death Knights have access to unique death-knight only facial textures and skin tones. These can be selected at the character creation screen.

Uh… OK. I was pretty sure that Death Knight facial features and skin tones were unique to them to begin with. I guess we’ll see what this means soon enough. But it seems a little late to implement this feature at this point. With millions of DK’s already created, the character creation screen is well into the rear view mirror.

Horn of Winter now has no cost and grants 10 runic power in addition to its stat buff, but has a 30 sec cooldown.

So far, nothing but good news on the DK front. I could care less about the CD. Zero cost plus additional runic power equals badass!

Pestilence no longer has a 10 seconds cooldown.

That one never made sense to me to begin with. This seems more like a correction to an oversight rather than an adjustment to gameplay.

Raise Dead has now been split into two spells:

  • Raise Dead now raises a ghoul or pet ghoul (if talented). Requires corpse dust if no humanoid corpse is nearby.
  • Raise Ally now raises a fallen party member as a ghoul  and has no reagent. Available at level 72. This should now last for 4 minutes. 

I hate to say it, but I’m really looking forward to seeing a party member die after 3.0.8 is released just to see the new Raise Ally spell. I’m just curious what the implications will be on that party member’s ability to release and rez. In other words, will raising your ally as a ghoul prevent him from releasing until the effect is over? If you’re standing right next to a GY, will it be possible for your ally to release, rez, and fight right alongside the ghoul created from his corpse? This could be interesting. Onto the limited Mage changes.

Evocation: Cooldown reduced to 4 min.

As if the glyph that added health regeneration to Evocation wasn’t cool enough, we now get this gem. This will be the change that affects me the most. As it stands, I no longer conjure food and water when I log on. Ever since applying the glyph, I’ve survived on the food and water that I’ve acquired from drops and the Evocation spell. I may never conjure food and water in a solo PvE setting again!

Slow Fall is now castable on others.

Yet another spell made even cooler with a glyph. This would have come in quite handy last week. I wonder if your target needs to be friendly. If not, it might be worth installing Fraps again if I could cast Slow Fall on an unsuspecting mob, then Blast Wave them off the edge of a cliff. Speaking of Blast Wave…

 Glyph of Blast Wave — The mana cost of your Blast Wave spell is reduced by 15%, but it no longer knocks enemies back.

Both parts of this new glyph seem to benefit raiders. It grants a reduced mana cost and adds more control over a decent AoE. PvP and solo PvE players will have to consider the trade-off. What’s more important? The impact on your mana pool or the separation that the knockback gives you?

Players can now open clams while riding a vehicle, sitting, mounted, stealthed, and invisible.

As dumb as this “improvement” sounds, it’s actually very cool. It says to me that nothing is too mundane for Blizzard to correct. I’m sure it’s only a couple lines of code, but it’s good to see they’re willing to make tiny little adjustments like this to satisfy their player base.

All in all, it sounds like a pretty solid patch. It’s not as game-altering as 3.0.3, but there are still some golden nuggets to be had. Evocation continues to become more and more useful to the Mage class and Death Knights haven’t been nerfed to the ground… yet. I think a lot of people might be disappointed that we’re not getting dual-spec yet, but I’m not. Why? Because there’s a lot of kinks to work out before this miracle of modern science becomes part of our daily lives. Will our action bars and key-bindings automatically switch when we toggle between specs? Will we be able to swap out armor sets as quickly as we can switch specs? How much will re-specs cost given the ability to carry two? There’s a lot to consider and I’d rather Blizzard get it right than get it done quickly. And rest assured, it’s coming.

Patch 3.0.3, Find Out What it Means to Me

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , on November 4, 2008 by Mark Pannell

When the servers finally come back online this afternoon (God willing), Echoes of Doom will get the fixes it so badly needs. Here are the changes which will affect me the most.

Removed “A Mask for All Occassions” as criteria for the “Hallowed Be thy Name” meta achievement.

Yeah, I’m good with that. I’m assuming I’ll get the fancy schmancy little “Devv completed the Hallowed Be Thy Name Achievement” message when I log in later today. I’m kind of pumped to finally have a title. If you’re on SIlvermoon Alliance side, keep your eyes peeled for Devv The Hallowed. Word, yo.

Blast Wave: no longer receives double the intended critical strike bonus from Combustion.

Kinda figured this one was too good to be true. Well, I guess it was fun while it lasted. As long as they don’t take away my knock back animation, I’m OK with this.

Burnout: Now consumes extra mana as intended when Living Bomb gets a critical strike.

Oh yeah. I almost forgot that I took Living Bomb. Note to self: re-spec away from the bottom of the Fire tree and further into the Arcane Tree. Living Bomb is not as cool as it sounded on paper.

Living Bomb: Mana cost reduced to be the same as Arcane Explosion.. It no longer causes the caster to stand up when the final explosion occurs and it is now possible for each mage to have Living Bomb active on a target.

Reduced mana cost. Bah! Forget it. I wants me some Presence of Mind. This little dangling carrot isn’t enough for me to stay that deep in the Fire tree.

Reduced the mana cost of Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Explosion.

Oh… snap! This is the single most exciting development for me. I started using Fireball less in my rotation when Patch 3.0.2 dropped because it seemed so mana inefficient. If I re-spec all the way down to PoM in the Arcane tree, two Fireball crits will be the beginning of the end for whatever I’m targeting. Fireball, Fireball, instant Pyroblast, instant Pyroblast, fat lady sings. Boo-yah!

And if these fabulous prizes weren’t enough, we got some material to file under irony. The fact that the following two notes were in close proximity to one another on the list only adds to my amusement. The first listing under the “Items” category is:

The war against spelling errors continues: many items have had typos removed or their functionality clarified.

Nine bullet point below, we find:

Discerning Eye of the Besat procs should now be more obvious.

Discerning Eye of the Besat? The Besat? I wonder if they made the procs more obvious for Discerning Eye of the Beast as well. Gotta love Blizz. Anyhow, those are my thoughts this afternoon. Hope ya’ll got what you wanted out of 3.0.3.

Damnit, Blizz!

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , on October 15, 2008 by Mark Pannell

I woke up at about 8:00 am yesterday. The first thing that ran through my mind was, “nine hours left until I can check out patch 3.0.2.” Generally speaking, I don’t mind Tuesday maintenance. I have every Tuesday off from work. My wife works Monday through Friday, so Tuesdays are just for my son and me. But he usually takes a nap at around 1:00 pm. From 1:00 to 2:00, I usually knock out some household chores, leaving me about three hours for some WoW goodness. My boy usually sleeps til mommy gets home at 5:00, so my whole afternoon is usually an uninterrupted romp through Azeroth. In contrast, a 12 hour maintenance day sucks. A lot.

Since we just moved into a new house, we have plenty of unpacking and organizing to do, so I kept myself pretty busy most of the day. As a special treat for my son, we dropped mommy off at work in the morning, so we had to go get her at 5:00. I figured that should give Blizz plenty of time to get the servers back up and running. Wrong. Silvermoon didn’t even show up in the list of realms til nearly 6:00 pm. By then, Blizz had issued the statement that all realms should be up and playable by 6:00 pm EST. Wrong again. I finally logged into an Oceanic server, created a Human, and hauled ass into Stormwind to check out Stormwind Harbor. It was actually cooler than I had expected. I couldn’t believe how massive it was. Sadly, I’ll probably never lay eyes on Menethil Harbor again.

While roaming around Stormwind as one of about 500 level 1 Humans, I also got a free haircut. I’m pretty sure this was a glitch because the lowest priced haircut for Ellyza was around 10S this morning. At any rate, I was surprised to see some of the Blood Elf hair styles available for Human men. They actually looked kinda cool. Paired with a bushy goatee and a quick dye job, my throwaway Oceanic duder actually looked pretty sweet. Oddly, that was his name… Theduder. With a fresh set of locks, Theduder plopped down in the middle of a high traffic area to check out some of the new integrated features. I could see myself getting very dependant upon the new calendar.

The Achievements menu is pretty easy to use once you get used to it. I could see myself getting completely addicted to Achievements. When I logged into Devv this morning, she had three Feats of Strength, two of which are no longer attainable. The first title that I’ll be going after is “Ambassador.” Exalted in Darnassus, Devv has all of the remaining home factions most of the way through Revered. A little bit of low level questing, some cloth donations, and the miracle of rep spillover should put her over the top. I hate to QQ, but the rest of the Achievements with associated rewards, titles, or tabards all seem pretty time-consuming if not downright difficult. I’d really like to eventually earn the “Diplomat” title if for no other reason than to get some of the Old World rewards that come with Exalted status with the associated factions.

I wasn’t too pleased to discover that Bongos was no longer functional after the new patch. I’d gotten pretty attached to my interface. But I made the decision to customize the default Blizz UI to my liking for future-proofing reasons. I’m assuming that there will be a lot of patches coming until Wrath hits and beyond. If I have to re-configure my UI every time a minor patch drops, it’s gonna get pretty old. Using the Blizz default, I’ll be able to get into the game much quicker after each subsequent patch. Once the dual-spec patch drops, I’ll probably move back to a Bongos or Bartender-type customization tool.

So, onto the talent trees! The first time I logged into Devv, I attempted to assign all of her talent points with no success whatsoever. Every time I clicked on a talent, nothing happened. I wrapped myself up in this exercise in futility for about two or three minutes before the server crashed. Boooo! Shortly before bedtime, I finally got my points assigned. As a level 67 Mage, I went with a 7/51/0 Fire build. Living Bomb is probably pretty sweet. I couldn’t honestly tell you. As I was assigning all of my spells to action bars, the server crashed again. It never came up again before I went to bed. When I logged in this morning, I just took a quick peek at a couple things without leaving the safety of the inn. When I get home from work tonight, every mob within 100 yards of me and six yards of some buddies is going to be a Living… F’in… Bomb! I just need to make sure that I don’t get into too big of a hurry to slaughter the fine residents of Nagrand. The last time I made some UI adjustments, I completely forgot to assign Arcane Missiles. It bothered me so much that I couldn’t let it go. I scrolled through all of my action bar pages, searching for it frantically. In my desperate search, a provoked Talbuk Stag patiently went about killing me. Lesson learned: take your time customizing your action bars.