PTR 3.1 Dual Talent Spec Feature

For those who haven’t had access to the PTR 3.1, we got screenshots and video of the Dual Talent Spec Feature. In order to benefit from this feature, you must go to a class trainer.  The trainer now has a new option below the unlearn talents option.  Select the Dual-spec option. You will be prompted to pay 1000 gold to learn this new feature.

   

Once done, you will automatically gain a new achievement. Open your Talent Tree window by pressing (N).  Nothing changes within the Talent Tree Window, except now you see a second button tab on the top-right of the window. The first button is your primary talent spec. The button below is your secondary talent spec.  Each has its own set of three talent trees and a glyph window.  Each glyph window is associated with any of the specs. So you can have two sets of glyphs.

   

 

Assign points to your talent trees for your primary spec.  Press the second button at the top-right to access the secondary spec window. You need to activate it before you can assign points.  Press the large red button at the top titled: “Activate these talents”. You will see a spellbar casting “Activate Secondary Spec”. Your mana pool will be completely depleted. Now you can set talent points to any of your secondary spec’s three talent trees.

Watch the video below to see all these steps and how it works.

PTR 3.1 Patch Notes

I just logged in into Broxigar PvE server to bring you coverage, screenshots and video of PTR 3.1—so stay tuned for any updates. In the meantime, below are the full patch notes. Remember, Blizzard hasn’t added all the Class changes to this patch. It will be added in upcoming PTR patches.

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

The latest patch notes can always be found at
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/

General

  • All Ground Mounts may now swim without dismounting the rider. Flying
      Mounts still may NOT, and will dismount the rider upon entering water.

  • Ulduar is now available for limited testing.  Please visit the Public
      Test Realms for more details.
      http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/board.html?forumId=11572

  • Players at maximum level will now be able to visit their trainer to
      pay a one-time fee and access the dual talent spec feature.

  • A new Gear Manager feature has been added.  Players will now be able
      to save gear sets for easy gear switching.

PvP

  • Battlegrounds
      Players will now be able to queue for battlegrounds from any
      location.
      Seaforium Barrels can be looted while mounted, can now be seen from
      anywhere in the zone, and can now be found at the Central Graveyard.
      Teleporters can now be used while mounted and can now be seen from
      anywhere in the zone

Read the Class Changes below …

Classes: General

  • Hysteria, Tricks of the Trade, Enrage, Wrecking Crew, Death Wish,
      Arcane Power, Owlkin Frenzy, Beast Within, Avenging Wrath and
      Hysteria damage bonuses no longer stack together.

Death Knights

PTR 3.1 Installer Available

Around 3am EST, waves of fans started downloading the PTR 3.1 You can download it at the following link once you have logged in to your WoW Account. First, you needed to download the old PTR designated:

WoW-3.0.1.8874-PTR-US-Installer-downloader (old PTR installer)

Once you installed it, you would be prompted to download an updated Launcher. That’s when you actually download the PTR 3.1 which takes an approximate download time of 30 minutes on DSL/Cable.

PTR 3.1 US Character Copy Available

PTR 3.1 Character copy is available on US Realms with a queue downed to 4 days. Seems to be available randomly depending on how many people are copying their characters at certain intervals.  I have been checking every few minutes, reloading the page.

I was able to copy two characters on to Broxigar PvE server. The PvP server is named Anasterian. I will report an update once the installer is available. It is not at the moment. Keep trying to copy your character every now and then. Knowing how many people wishes to join, queues will be full often.

 

Review: World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King

I finished reading the book and I am ready to tell fans my experience without spoiling much. At least nothing you haven’t already seen in Warcraft III. For those catching up, we got some World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King galleys to giveaway to fans—courtesy of Simon & Schuster and Blizzard Entertainment.  A galley is an uncorrected proof (a special advance reader’s edition not-for-sale).  The advantage is that you get to read the book nearly two months ahead before they hit bookstores.

On to the review, Christie Golden has done an excellent work researching many previous books by other authors, and playing Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its Frozen Throne expansion. We get to see Arthas at age 9 and how his life and experiences shaped up what one day would be a Prince sacrificing everything zealously for his people, to be able to claim Frostmourne in order to defeat the dreadlord Mal’Ganis.

We see Sir Anduin Lothar, Khadgar and a young Prince Varian Wrynn arriving at Capital City to inform about the fall of Stormwind—an exact scene from World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness by Aaron Rosenberg—but from the point of view of a young Arthas hiding on the upper gallery to witness the scene. We see how Varian and Arthas play together, except Varian had been trained since childhood, while Arthas was overprotected from such trainings by his father.

The love triangle between Kael, Jaina and Arthas is explored in-depth throughout two chapters and a half. Christie works her usual magic here developing feelings and passions. We get to briefly see many characters of the Warcraft universe, and various scenes from the point of view of Arthas.  We get to see that scene in Day of the Dragon when Lord Daval Prestor (Deathwing) was chosen to marry Calia Menethil when she was age 16. A scene from World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal when Muradin walks in into Capital City to find a young Arthas playing make-believe attacking illusory orcs with his training sword. This leads Muradin to volunteer to train him.

Something I found quite refreshing was the use of World of Warcraft festivities throughout the length of the book. Noblegarden, the Midsummer Fire Festival, the Hallow’s End, and the Feast of Winter Veil to develop the relationship between Arthas and Jaina together as years go by. As some people know, Christie Golden has been a World of Warcraft player for the past years on a RP-server. She knows the game with a passion.

Arthas visiting Durnholde Keep on behalf of his father, as he starts taking bigger responsibilities as a Prince. Meeting Thrall fight other adversaries at the Gladiator Arena. His induction ceremony at the Cathedral of Light where he was ordained a Paladin of the Order of the Silver Hand.

You will love how accurately Christie depicts the scenes from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos word by word as things are said either in the mission briefings or the in-game engine’s cinematics—fleshing out those parts in between to connect with the next campaign maps.

For example, remember that scene where Arthas awaits Jaina? The soldier asks Arthas if they should help Jaina. Enter Jaina …. fleeing from Ogres. She turns around and handles them on her own with the help of a Water Elemental.

That scene when they find the plagued silo, find two elven priests and even a dwarven mortar team.  Then arrive to the granary and find an Abomination.

Jaina: “By the Light—- that creature looks like it was sewn together from different corpses!”

Arthas: “Let’s study it after we kill it, okay?”

The scene where Arthas calls Uther a traitor and disbands the Order of the Silver Hand. The Cunning of Stratholme. The search for Frostmourne and the apparent demise of Mal’Ganis. Walk the halls toward the throne room of Lordaeron Capital City. Find out what went through Arthas’ mind when touching the rose petals with his gloved fingers.

For continuity’s sake, we see Jaina Proudmoore and Magna Aegwynn (Medivh’s mother) in Theramore (from the pages of World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred by Keith R.A. DeCandido and the current DC comics / Wildstorm World of Warcraft Comic Book). As well as various scenes from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion with brief cameos of Tuskarr and Taunka races.

The book goes as far as Warcraft III: Frozen Throne’s Undead Campaign from start to end. There is only two major omissions that I have to acknowledge may have been due to space just 25 pages away from the last page. The lapse between fighting Sapphiron to entering the gates to the Inner Kingdom was completely skipped. And the major turn off is that the Forgotten One is not even mentioned as even happening.

The epilogue presents what happened these past four years with Arthas. He is been dreaming. And he awakes leading to the invasion to Orgrimmar and Stormwind and the events of Wrath of the Lich King. But what happened during those four years of dreaming? There has been an inner conflict within Arthas the Lich King’s head … between three minds striving for control: Ner’zhul, Arthas, and … who we are familiar with as Matthias Lehner (the ghost child). The end is shocking to say the least. And unexpected.

Except for those two events omitted, the book is accurate and loyal to the events of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. And offers much more with extra spice from Christie Golden. I can only say one thing about this. I (beep) love this book !!!

This book is an overdosed cocktail of lore and continuity that will numb your senses.

If you are a die-hard WarCraft lore fan you can’t miss this book.  If you are a World of Warcraft player who didn’t get to play previous Warcraft games—this book will be your best chance at catching up with Arthas’ past pre-Third War and it covers both: Warcraft III and its expansion accurately. Pre-Order World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King … on sale: April 21, 2009.

Watch our interview with Blizzard’s Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson at the 2009 New York Comic Con for details of World of Warcraft: Arthas and the World of Warcraft: Stormrage book.

New Rise of the Lich King Stein Collection

3 Point Entertainment had successful sales of the World of Warcraft Steins and launched a new series at the end of 2008.  They have established themselves so well in the World of Warcraft market that a new collectible series based on Wrath of the Lich King has been announced recently.

Featuring Arthas the Lich King, the new stein comes in two flavors: Epic Collection for $89.99 and the Legendary Collection for $174.99. These new steins will be available on late April and late May.

Blizzard Quote:

Epic Collection

  • Shipping late April
  • Incredible Alex Horley artwork
  • Fine-grain stoneware with bas-relief sculpting
  • Sculpted pewter lid
  • Limited production
  • Purchase 2+ steins and pay only $12.95 shipping/handling on your total order!*

Legendary Collection

  • Shipping late May
  • Limited to only 750 steins worldwide
  • Hand signed by Alex Horley
  • Exquisite enhancements including premium hand painting (See FAQ for more details)
  • Limit 1 stein per customer
  • Purchase 2+ steins and pay only $12.95 shipping/handling on your total order!*

World of Warcraft # 16—The Return of Cho’gall

As revealed by Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson in our 2009 New York Comic Con video interview, The first Ogre Magi transformed by Gul’dan with the Runestone of Isle of Caer Darrow is back. Cho’gall did not die with the two axes to his chest, as depicted in the Pocket Star Book World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal.

Cho’gall is the leader of the Twilight’s Hammer Clan and in this upcoming issue # 16 he is at the chamber of … C’Thun in the Ahn’Qiraj Temple.

Blizzard Quote:
In the latest issue of the World of Warcraft comic, Broll receives a mysterious summons away from Theramore on the eve of the summit between King Varian and Thrall. Garona is taken captive by the Forsaken, but to what end? Plus, the return of Rehgar Earthfury! Check out the preview pages for yourself.

If you like what you see, you can visit Wildstorm for more information, locate a nearby comic store, or subscribe to the series directly.

Ulduar Lore

Patch 3.1 is coming underway imminently.  Blizzard has unleashed the lore behind the Ulduar dungeon.  A dungeon that will come in two flavors: 10-players and 25-players, including heroic-mode. This dungeon is set to be harder than Naxxramas and Obsidian Sanctuary, with a new badge system: Emblem of Conquest. Blizzard has also released images of some of the bosses to be found within Ulduar. Looks like we are fighting Giants of Frost, Fire, Life and more.

Ulduar

For countless millennia, Ulduar has remained undisturbed by mortals, far away from their concerns and their struggles. But since its recent discovery, many have wondered what the structure’s original purpose may have been. Some thought it a city, built to herald the glory of its makers; some thought it a vault containing innumerable treasures, perhaps even relics of the mighty Titans themselves. They were wrong. Beyond its gates lies no city, no treasure vault, no final answer to the Titan’s mysteries. All that awaits those who dare set foot in Ulduar is a horror even the Titans could not, would not destroy, an evil they merely… contained.

Beneath ancient Ulduar, the Old God of death lies, whispering…. Tread carefully, or his prison will become your tomb.

As the next step in tiered raid progression in Wrath of the Lich King, Ulduar is set to blow players away with gorgeous setpieces, sprawling battlefields, and innovative boss encounters. Ulduar’s design aims to provide a fun, unique, and innovative raid experience, but it also includes additional challenges – and rewards – for seasoned raiders. In this sneak-peek at World of Warcraft’s newest raid dungeon, we’ll take a look at some of the new content that makes Ulduar rise above the crop of amazing dungeons already available in World of Warcraft.

Welcome to Ulduar

Many players have already gotten their Wrath of the Lich King raiding feet wet in Naxxramas and the Sartharion raid, but Ulduar is the first example of the expansion’s much larger, truly epic scope of raiding, as will be evident from the second you set foot in the instance. The most obvious difference between Ulduar and its predecessors is that the dungeon actually comprises two separate raid areas. The first section is an epic battle against a vast army standing between you and the entrance of the dungeon proper; in the second area, you will dive into the heart of the dungeon itself and finally discover the secrets of Ulduar.

Ulduar’s new master has rallied his own massive Iron Army to guard the entrance to Ulduar and to prevent any unwanted guests – including you, especially you – from reaching the inner sanctum. Thankfully, you’ll be able to face the Iron Army on even footing: although the main Horde and Alliance forces are focused on the forces beyond the Wrathgate and on each other, some who are better able to appreciate the true magnitude of Ulduar’s threat have managed to scrap together a small fleet of siege vehicles to aid you in the assault.

You and your friends will have to use these vehicles wisely to break through Ulduar’s defenses. A mix of motorcycles, demolishers, and siege engines will be at your disposal, each granting unique abilities to the pilot and the passenger. Motorcycle drivers, for example, can create pools of liquid tar that snare opponents and can be set on fire by area effect attacks, while demolisher passengers can load themselves into the vehicle’s catapult so that the pilot can launch them into the distance. If used judiciously, these and other abilities will help decimate the Iron Army and any other threats lying in wait between you and Ulduar.

One such threat is the Flame Leviathan. After you’ve plowed through the innumerable ranks of the Iron Army, you will be confronted by an enormous tank. Mimiron built the Flame Leviathan as part of the V0-L7R-0N weapons platform, which means that it packs quite a punch. Normal spells and abilities won’t be enough to take down this juggernaut, so you will have to rely on your siege vehicles to outmaneuver and defeat the boss. After wearing the massive war machine down, you will have to launch players onto the tank’s back to destroy its defense turrets and sabotage the Leviathan before you can move on. Of course, if you’d like an additional challenge beyond this naturally frantic (but extremely fun) fight, you can try your hand at one of the Flame Leviathan’s different Hard Modes (see sidebar).

Of course, the vehicle gauntlet, the Iron Army, and the battle against the Flame Leviathan are only the start of World of Warcraft’s most ambitious raid to date. Patch 3.1 will hit the Public Test Realms very soon, so you will be able to see for yourself what other challenges await beyond the gates of ancient Ulduar.

Hard Boiled

Ulduar brilliantly illustrates the new design challenges and innovations that come with the bigger scope of the expansion’s raids. In order to make raid content more accessible, it has to offer a lot of variety, but it also needs to include a very granular means for players to adjust a raid’s difficulty. This concept was first realized in the Burning Crusade with the introduction of Heroic mode, and Wrath of the Lich King is developing the idea even further with new Hard Modes.

Boss fights that have a Hard Mode are affected by certain variables which players can control and which change the encounter’s difficulty. For example, spread throughout Ulduar’s vehicle section are four defense towers you can destroy. The more towers you leave intact, the harder the encounter with the Flame Leviathan will be, but the loot will also be better.

Ulduar isn’t the first dungeon to include Hard Mode, but it certainly makes the most use of it. Out of 14 bosses, 11 will have a Hard Mode that offers additional challenges and rewards. Ulduar will appeal to a wide range of play styles, but the dungeon also has great longevity and a high replay value.
Ulduar’s new master has rallied his own massive Iron Army to guard the entrance to Ulduar and to prevent any unwanted guests – including you, especially you – from reaching the inner sanctum. Thankfully, you’ll be able to face the Iron Army on even footing: although the main Horde and Alliance forces are focused on the forces beyond the Wrathgate and on each other, some who are better able to appreciate the true magnitude of Ulduar’s threat have managed to scrap together a small fleet of siege vehicles to aid you in the assault.

You and your friends will have to use these vehicles wisely to break through Ulduar’s defenses. A mix of motorcycles, demolishers, and siege engines will be at your disposal, each granting unique abilities to the pilot and the passenger. Motorcycle drivers, for example, can create pools of liquid tar that snare opponents and can be set on fire by area effect attacks, while demolisher passengers can load themselves into the vehicle’s catapult so that the pilot can launch them into the distance. If used judiciously, these and other abilities will help decimate the Iron Army and any other threats lying in wait between you and Ulduar.

One such threat is the Flame Leviathan. After you’ve plowed through the innumerable ranks of the Iron Army, you will be confronted by an enormous tank. Mimiron built the Flame Leviathan as part of the V0-L7R-0N weapons platform, which means that it packs quite a punch. Normal spells and abilities won’t be enough to take down this juggernaut, so you will have to rely on your siege vehicles to outmaneuver and defeat the boss. After wearing the massive war machine down, you will have to launch players onto the tank’s back to destroy its defense turrets and sabotage the Leviathan before you can move on. Of course, if you’d like an additional challenge beyond this naturally frantic (but extremely fun) fight, you can try your hand at one of the Flame Leviathan’s different Hard Modes (see sidebar).

Of course, the vehicle gauntlet, the Iron Army, and the battle against the Flame Leviathan are only the start of World of Warcraft’s most ambitious raid to date. Patch 3.1 will hit the Public Test Realms very soon, so you will be able to see for yourself what other challenges await beyond the gates of ancient Ulduar.

Thx, HandClaw.

2009 New York Comic Con Coverage

You can check out all the Blizzard products showcased at the New York Comic Con in our coverage page. I was there in person, digital camcorder on hand to be your eyes and ears.

Tokyopop had a manga book signing session with Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Josh Elder and Grace Randolph. And showcased Warcraft Legends Vol. 3 and Starcraft Frontlines Vol. 2.

I interviewed Chris Metzen & Micky Neilson at the Simon & Schuster booth where they talked in-depth about World of Warcraft: Arthas and even awesome spoilers about World of Warcraft: Stormrage—heck, it is not even listed in Amazon.

DC Unlimited showcased the three new action figures: Lo’gosh, Night Elf Huntress Alathena Moonbreeze and Scourge Ghoul Rottingham.

DC Comics teased StarCraft # 1 comic book.

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