World of Warcraft # 21

The World of Warcraft # 21 front cover features the legendary first Ogre-magi transformed by Gul’dan with the Runestone of Caer Darrow Isle … Cho’gall—leader of the Twilight’s Hammer Clan.

Blizzard Quote:
King Varian is so focused on The Lich King and the recent Scourge attacks that he fails to notice Cho

Exorcism can no longer be used on players

WoW-Europe CM Vaneras posted a lengthy explanation to justify the removal of Exorcism in PvP.  If you haven’t read it yet, or tested PvP yet, Paladins can no longer attack players with Exorcism.  It is now a PvE only spell.  At least for the time being.  At a later point, when the developers have figured out a way to overhaul the Paladin’s burst damage, Exorcism might be brought back into the PvP scenario.

Blizzard Quote:
Vaneras: We made a change in the 3.1.1 patch to prevent Exorcism from being used on players. We didn

Speculation Galore: The Return of Gnomeregan

Before anyone goes “Medievaldragon is looking wayyyyyyy too much into it” or “ZOMG what a wild stretch, N00b”, I will go ahead and say that myself. In fact, I will tag this in my mind as a no-news item.  Crygil came out with a thread that to be honest was very random and no apparent purpose at first glimpse.  The poll thread in question is titled … How Do You Feel About Gnomes?. Remember that other thread about Gilneas where a few employees had a posting spree teasing Gilneas?  Yea, that other “stretch post”. [ /facepalm ]

This new one deserves some attention out of curiosity and amusement. They are probably bored with the thousands-a-day threads they have to moderate, and are having some fun.  Or maybe … just mayyyybe, are leaking stuff in a playful way? Hmm.  Don’t mind me.  I am not on psychiatric treatment unfortunately.

Nethaera and Bornakk jumped into Crygil’s thread to add their answers about How Do You Feel About Gnomes?.  So we have two pseudo-teases now:  Gilneas and Gnomeregan Part 2?  That makes me scratch my forehead to the point I could open a hole there.

With the new Phase Technology used at the Wrathgate and at the Battle For Undercity (to name a few examples) and taking in mind there is a dropdown tool to choose whether you want to enter a normal or heroic dungeon—what if there could be two versions of Gnomeregan?  The normal dungeon [lvl 28-35], and a new open dungeon like Hall of Champions where you could enter the restored Gnomeregan as a new city, with NPCs, quest-givers, High Tinker Mekkatorque sitting at its Gnomeregan Throne.

Maybe a new Battlegrounds within Gnomeregan … that would be a great and deserved story progression.  And a very nice touch to the evolution of the MMO.

We claimed Gnomeregan back by defeating Mekgineer Thermaplugg, but we have no way to see Gnomeregan restored as a open to everyone city. Phase Technology is a very good tool to make it happen. Without making Undercity a dungeon, they created a phase where a level 40 character could be turning in the Razorfen Down quest to Dreadlord Varimathras. And at that very moment in time/space, a level 80 can be smacking the heck out of Varimathras and fighting King Varian Wrynn alongside Thrall and Sylvanas in The Battle For Undercity.  Technically, there is no need to instance Gnomeregan.  It could all be arranged with the Phase Technology so that after you do a quest, you become flagged, and from that moment forth you can only see the restored Gnomeregan as an open city where any Allliance player could go to interact with other players and NPCs like you do in Stormwind or Ironforge.

I am certain there would be a lot of Gnome players who would love this to happen.  The New World of Warcraft is an evolving immersive world. Not a static one.  We have now King Varian Wrynn involved in the world … past the Missing Diplomat questline for example.  The battle at the Wrathgate is no more. Now we see Alexstrasza and Krasus sitting there.  The same phase technology could be used around the world of Azeroth and Outland in very nice ways … say like the Emerald Dream, or adding new content and quests to places we have conquered in the past.

Is Crygil’s thread a stretch?  Sure it could be. Still … it does bring up a good speculation and community discussion topic.  Should Blizzard bring back Gnomeregan with Phase Technology? New Quests? New Battlegrounds within Gnomeregan City?  Hell, It’s About Time !

Blizzard Quote:
Crygil: How do you feel about Gnomes?

Bornakk: Destruction. Pure, unstoppable, maniacal, destruction.

Nethaera: I voted “hug”, but only because they make great cookies!

What the ….? They are spending too much time with Bashiok. [ROFL] (For the record, I met Bashiok and Nethaera at WWI 2008 and Blizzcon 2008 during the Fansites dinners, very nice and friendly folks … and fun.)

Patch 3.1.1 – Non-Fixed Ulduar Known Issues

Blizzard is sharing with fans a list of known Ulduar [specific

] bugs they are aware of, but no hotfixes or solutions have been found at this moment to address them, which means these are on queue for a upcoming patch.

Blizzard Quote:
Here’s the current issues with Ulduar we’re currently investigating or are known and have no current fix.

Siege Engines that use Steam Rush while on a ramp sometimes fall through the world.
We currently have no fix for this, the workaround is simply to not cast Steam Rush on the ramps. The ability works fine in the Flame Leviathan fight and other flat ground.

Ignis sometimes will slag pot the offtank dealing with constructs.
The protections in place work most of the time, but we’re still investigating reports on this. Note that the protection is only granted if the tank is actively being melee’d by the construct. If players immobilize the construct and the tank backs away, the tank will not have the slag pot protection.

Kologarn can Stone Grip someone at the exact same time his right arm dies, leaving the player gripped for an extended time.
This is really rare, we located the issue, but a fix will have to wait for a future patch.

Kologarn can sometimes not respawn after a wipe.
UPDATE: We’re investigating this, but the current workaround is to soft reset the zone.

Mimiron will sometimes spray the room with his P3W X2 ability in phase 4.
UPDATE: We’re checking into this currently, and we’re combing through reports to try and nail down the specifics can trigger this.

Mimiron’s Aerial Command Unit can sometimes switch targets from the normal ranged tank to a different target in phase 4.
UPDATE: This behavior can be caused by the ranged tank moving outside the range of the Plasma Ball ability, which is 30 yards. We’ll update this in a future patch to create a phase 4 version of the spell with a longer range. The current spell has the shorter range to allow the ranged tank to move the Command Unit more easily in Phase 3.

Mimiron’s Assault Bots corpses don’t despawn after phase 3 ends, and they can hide mines with their bodies.
UPDATE: We’re going to have them vaporize after phase 3 in a future patch.

Some of the XT-002 Deconstructor adds can evade.
UPDATE: We’re investigating these reports.

The above isn’t the total list of all issues we’re checking out and fixing, some are visual only or are very rare.

New Hofixes After Patch 3.1.1

The amount of work the Blizzard Developers and CMs have put into this patch is staggering, and not only with the release of patch 3.1 and the minor patch 3.1.1—they continue to apply hotfixes left and right.  Bornakk has reported this week at least three hotfixes, the latest one posted yesterday April 21 right after the patch. Below and “after the break” you can see the very large number of 40 new hotfixes.  If you missed the previous two lists of hotfixes I reported recently you can check them out here and here.

  • The Saronite Animus in the heroic General Vezax encounter has had its health increased.
  • The Mimiron hard mode has received the following changes: increased damage from Flames, increased damage from Frost Bomb (in heroic), increased damage from Water Spray, and increased the health and damage bonuses he receives from Emergency Mode.
  • The damage bonus of the Frozen Power talent should no longer affect boss creatures.
  • The buff players receive from Tenacity in Wintergrasp is now stronger.
  • Stoneclaw Totem should no longer put a shield on hostile targets.
  • For the trash mobs leading to Mimiron: the damage from a Clockwork Sapper

World of Warcraft Basket Auction By The Peninsula Education Foundation

The Peninsula Education Foundation has started an Auction of a basket containing various top notch Blizzard items such as the three World of Warcraft Collector’s Editions including the original and its expansions, the oh-so-lovely-so-wanted Murloc Plush Toy, an Arthas Helm by Sideshow Collectibles (wait, when were these on sale?) and many other Limited Edition items.

The opening bid starts at $ 1,1000 and bids close on April 27 at 5pm PDT. The purpose of this auction is to benefit and support all schools in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.  It is a noble aim to help students obtain an education, in times of recession, that may provide them a good employment opportunity.  This auction is not endorsed or supported by Blizzard Entertainment.

Online Auction Open! Let the Bidding Begin!

Make Your Bid to Support Peninsula Education Foundation!

Now is your chance to not only get all the great items you want, but to do it knowing you are helping support our organization and mission.

The Main Event is now open.  The auction will run from April 17, 2009 to April 27, 2009, with proceeds going to Peninsula Education Foundation in order to support all schools in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.  Auction items range from exotic vacation getaways to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise.  So, tell your friends, family, community. Let the bidding begin!

They have an item of particular interest to World of Warcraft fans they

Wow 3.1.1 Patch Notes

Patch 3.1.1 has been released, and Blizzard has provided the patch notes.  There wasn’t a whole lot of bugs fixed, but certainly the main issue concerning dual-specs was ironed out. Another substantial fix was addressed for owners of GeForce2/ATI 7 Series. Check the patch notes below.

[blue]The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/
The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html

General

  • In order to address issues with the dual talent specialization system, all players will have their talents points refunded. Players who have purchased dual talent specializations will have both specializations reset. Glyphs will not be affected by this reset.

Bugs

  • Characters who are not of the same race or class are once again able to view each others’ professions linked in chat.
  • Fixed an issue in which player and pet nameplates were appearing larger than normal.
  • Thrall

World of Warcraft: Arthas Released

The highly hyped novel by Christie Golden, WORLD OF WARCRAFT: ARTHAS, RISE OF THE LICH KING is available today at your local bookstore or online. Get yours hands on it, or get one of the 10,000 copies of the Collector’s Edition here.

Description

Frostmourne.

It was caught in a hovering, jagged chunk of ice, the runes that ran the length of its blade glowing a cool blue. Below it was a dais of some sort, standing on a large gently raised mound that was covered in a dusting of snow. A soft light, coming from somewhere high above where the cavern was open to daylight, shone down on the runeblade. The icy prison hid some details of the sword’s shape and form, exaggerated others. It was revealed and concealed at the same time, and all the more tempting, like a new lover imperfectly glimpsed through a gauzy curtain. Arthas knew the blade—it was the selfsame sword he had seen in his dream when he first arrived. The sword that had not killed Invincible, but that had brought him back healed and healthy.

He’d thought it a good omen then, but now he knew it was a true sign. This was what he had come to find. This sword would change everything. Arthas stared raptly at it, his hands almost physically aching to grasp it, his fingers to wrap themselves around the hilt, his arms to feel the weapon swinging smoothly in the blow that would end Mal’Ganis, end the torment he had visited upon the people of Lordaeron, end this lust for revenge. Drawn, he stepped forward.

The uncanny elemental spirit drew its icy sword. “Turn away, before it is too late,” it intoned.

* * *

His evil is legend. Lord of the undead Scourge, wielder of the runeblade Frostmourne, and enemy of the free peoples of Azeroth. The Lich King is an entity of incalculable power and unparalleled malice—his icy soul utterly consumed by his plans to destroy all life on the World of Warcraft.

But it was not always so. Long before his soul was fused with that of the orc shaman Ner’zhul, the Lich King was Arthas Menethil, crown prince of Lordaeron and faithful paladin of the Silver Hand.

When a plague of undeath threatened all that he loved, Arthas was driven to pursue an ill-fated quest for a runeblade powerful enough to save his homeland. Yet the object of his search would exact a heavy price from its new master, beginning a horrifying descent into damnation. Arthas’s path would lead him through the arctic northern wastes toward the Frozen Throne, where he would face, at long last, the darkest of destinies.

VGL Interviews Jason Hayes

Video Games Live recently performed their concert show at Austin, Texas to play various game themes including Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III and World of Warcraft music soundtracks. Surprisingly, the VGL folks conducted a live interview with Jason Hayes at the concert over Skype. Find out what Jason Hayes said about his music composing experience in both Blizzard games. It is exciting to see Jason again after a long hiatus.

The composer left Blizzard a couple of years ago to pursue a new venture. I interviewed him back on 2005.

Recent In-Game Fixes – 4/16/09

Blizzard has hotfixed a few issues in Patch 3.1—some which might be considered nerfs by some, and a just action for others. Some could even be considered game breaking such as players killing Argent Tournament Quest NPCs.  This has been fixed.  Pets can now attack Kologarn, trash mobs before XT-002 Deconstructor are easier to kill after the first time (good, good), Blood Boil no longer penetrate Ice Block or Divine Shield (Some people still doing Black Temple?)  Hunter may not like to know now that their mana regeneration will be reduced a tadbit with the hotfix on Aspect of the Hawk. The Glyph of Envenom has been removed from the game. PvP Players … be ready to get disarmed 100% of the time during Psychic Horror.  It can no longer be dodged. There are other hotfixes performed a couple days ago. Check them out.

Blizzard Quote:
Bornakk: Listed below are recent fixes we have applied to the game.

  • We have made it so player cannot attack additional quest giver NPCs at the Argent Tournament.
  • Pets have been properly trained to now attack Kologarn when instructed.
  • Hunter pets should now have their talents refunded when a hunter switches talent specs, even if they are dismissed at the time.
  • When re-implemented into the game, the trash mobs before XT-002 Deconstructor should be a little easier to defeat.
  • Blood Boil should no longer penetrate Ice Block or Divine Shield.
  • Rank 2 of maim should now correctly provide an interrupt effect.
  • Improved Aspect of the Hawk should no longer allow Rapid Regeneration to provide additional mana beyond the intended scope of the ability.
  • Players killed or ghosts that move into Crystalsong Forest should now be on a spectral gryphon to ride back to their body.
  • Champion of the Frozen Wastes should now be able to be completed again.
  • Lifebloom can no longer be forced to bloom early.
  • Stunning a druid while not in cat form should no longer remove the Primal Tenacity buff.
  • The Glyph of Envenom was not supposed to be put into the game and has been removed.
  • Quest giving NPCs at the Argent Tournament should no longer be able to be attacked by players.
  • Certain fishing nodes for one of the fishing daily quests should no longer be spawned on land.
  • The book of glyph mastery has had its drop rate increased.
  • T.N.T. should now properly increase the damage of Explosive Trap.
  • The disarm effect from Psychic Horror should no longer be able to be dodged.
  • Players should no longer be able to equip and soulbind an item they aren

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