Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stormwind Harbor Update

I realised that I never put up the updated shots of Stormwind Harbor. So, here they are!

The entrance to the harbour

As seen from the top

A view of the harbour

From the docks looking back towards the city

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Sunday, September 28, 2008

8982 Builds

Death Knight
54/17/0 Blood DPS

0/55/16 Feral Combat DPS

0/59/12 Marksmanship

20/51/0 Deep Fire

0/58/13 Protection

14/57/0 Holy

53/0/18 PvP Mutilate

56/5/10 Elemental DPS

0/63/8 Fury DPS

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Glyphs Continued

I decided to post a few glyphs that interest me for each class. Bearing in mind that you can only have three major and three minor glyphs active at any one time, there may be the occasion where you choose to swap glyphs out, as some are very situational. I'm sure that the cost of major glyphs will help to determine just how often you swap them out (ie. replace them) at any given time.

Death Knight
Major Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Death Strike
Glyph of Obliterate
Glyph of Rune Tap
Glyph of the Ghoul
Glyph of Vampiric Blood

Minor Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Death's Embrace
Glyph of Raise Dead

Major Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Mangle
Glyph of Rake
Glyph of Rip
Glyph of Shred

Minor Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Aquatic Form
Glyph of Dash
Glyph of Thorns
Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth

Major Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Aimed Shot
Glyph of Arcane Shot
Glyph of Aspect of the Viper
Glyph of Freezing Trap
Glyph of Hunter's Mark
Glyph of Multi-Shot
Glyph of Rapid Fire
Glyph of Steady Shot
Glyph of Trueshot Aura
Glyph of Volley

Minor Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Feign Death
Glyph of Mend Pet
Glyph of Scare Beast

Major Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Arcane Explosion
Glyph of Evocation
Glyph of Fireball
Glyph of Improved Scorch
Glyph of Mana Gem
Glyph of Polymorph

Minor Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Slow Fall
Glyph of the Bear Cub
Glyph of the Penguin

Major Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Avenger's Shield
Glyph of Consecration
Glyph of Righteous Defense

Minor Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Lay on Hands
Glyph of Sense Undead
Glyph of the Warhorse

Major Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Fade
Glyph of Flash Heal
Glyph of Power Word: Shield
Glyph of Prayer of Healing
Glyph of Renew
Glyph of Spirit of Redemption

Minor Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Fading
Glyph of Levitate
Glyph of Shadow Protection

Yes, I decided to continue playing my priest as holy. I may yet level as shadow, but I enjoy healing too much to switch to shadow full time at 80. Besides, it is harder to play PvE shadow than it is to heal -- too many DoTs to keep track of. :o

Major Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Evasion
Glyph of Hemorrhage
Glyph of Preparation
Glyph of Sap
Glyph of Sprint

Minor Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Blurred Speed
Glyph of Safe Fall
Glyph of Vanish

Major Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Chain Lightning
Glyph of Flame Shock
Glyph of Lightning Bolt

Minor Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Water Breathing
Glyph of Water Mastery
Glyph of Water Walking

Major Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Bloodthirst
Glyph of Execution
Glyph of Sweeping Strikes
Glyph of Victory Rush

Minor Glyphs of interest
Glyph of Battle
Glyph of Bloodrage
Glyph of Charge
Glyph of Enduring Victory

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Higher, Oh! Glyph

I did a quick search around the place and couldn't find much information about Glyphs, which are crafted through the new profession, Inscription, and alter spells and skills in some way. So here is my self-gathered information from beta.

Your character has three major and three minor glyph slots. There is a tab in your Spellbook which switches to your glyphs. To equip a glyph, you must be near a Lexicon of Power. Just ask a guard in any city where you can find one. The one in Ironforge is in Thistlefuzz Arcanery, floating above the table on the first floor.

When you click your glyph to apply it, the Spellbook opens automatically to the glyph tab and the appropriate glyph slots begin pulsing -- ie. if you click a major glyph, the three major glyph slots will pulse.

To apply the glyph, just click on the appropriate glyph slot. You will cast for about three seconds to apply it, then the grid will light up and the new glyph will appear. You can Shift Right Click to remove any glyph. Once removed, you will have to buy a new glyph to replace it because the glyphs themselves are consumed upon application.

My recommendation is to choose wisely what glyphs you wish to use, unless you are an inscriber and can craft your own. I have no idea what any given glyph will sell for when the expansion goes live, but because they are consumable, they shouldn't be too expensive -- at least after the initial boom in the market dies down and prices normalise.

It's also great that you can essentially have six glyphs equipped at any given time (seven, if you are an inscriber). This allows for great flexibility in the dynamics of any class!

I think that glyphs will affect how people spec -- at least, to a degree. I know that the Glyph of Fireball is going to be a priority choice for me, considering the advantage of proccing Hot Streak. Losing Fireball's bonus DoT is no big deal in the face of gaining more chance to proc Hot Streak and throw out a Pyroblast, which with World in Flames has a greater chance of critting in itself and throwing up a bigger DoT than Fireball ever could. That, plus you have more chance of getting an Ignite, which in itself makes this glyph very worthwhile. XD

Two final things of note: you cannot equip the same glyph in two sockets -- you will get an error message telling you that it is already equipped; also, tooltips are updated to reflect the changes to skills and spells, so there is no confusion as to the effect that each glyph has.

I look forward to this addition to the game. Polar Bear Cubs are so cute!

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Updated Builds

I do not have the time to test all of these proposed builds, but this is just a compilation of what interests me, and a preview of how I may spec my toons according to the current talent trees.

Death Knight
54/17/0 Dual Wield Blood DPS

Key Blood Talents
Bladed Armor
Dark Conviction
Bloody Strikes
Veteran of the Third War
Bloody Vengeance
Abomination's Might
Heart Strike
Might of Mograine
Blood Gorged

Key Frost Talents
Black Ice
Nerves of Cold Steel

0/52/19 Feral Combat Cat DPS

Key Feral Combat Talents
Savage Fury
Sharpened Claws
Shredding Attacks
Predatory Strikes
Primal Fury
Heart of the Wild
Leader of the Pack
Predatory Instincts
Rend and Tear

Key Restoration Talents
Omen of Clarity
Master Shapeshifter

0/63/8 Marksmanship

Key Marksmanship Talents
Lethal Shot
Careful Aim
Improved Hunter's Mark
Mortal Shots
Aimed Shot
Ranged Weapon Specialization
Piercing Shots
Trueshot Aura
Wild Quiver
Improved Steady Shot
Marked for Death
Chimera Shot

Key Survival Talents
Improved Tracking

0/53/18 or 20/51/0 Deep Fire

Key Fire Talents
Improved Fireball
Burning Soul
Improved Scorch
Playing with Fire
Critical Mass
Fire Power
Molten Fury
Empowered Fireball
Hot Streak

20/0/51 Deep Frost

Key Frost Talents
Improved Frostbolt
Ice Shards
Elemental Precision
Piercing Ice
Icy Veins
Frost Channeling
Cold Snap
Winter's Chill
Arctic Winds
Empowered Frostbolt
Fingers of Frost
Summon Water Elemental
Chilled to the Bone
Deep Freeze

Key Arcane Talents
Arcane Concentration
Focus Magic
Arcane Meditation

0/56/15 Protection

Key Protection Talents
One-handed Weapon Specialization
Holy Shield
Ardent Defender
Combat Expertise
Avenger's Shield
Hammer of the Righteous

Key Retribution Talents

14/0/57 PvE Shadow

Key Discipline Talents
Twin Disciplines
Inner Focus

Key Shadow Talents
Improved Spirit Tap
Shadow Affinity
Improved Shadow Word: Pain
Shadow Focus
Mind Flay
Shadow Weaving
Vampiric Embrace
Focused Mind
Mind Melt
Shadow Power
Vampiric Touch
Pain and Suffering
Twisted Faith

52/19/0 or 53/0/18 PvP Mutilate

Key Assassination Talents
Puncturing Wounds
Vile Poisons
Cold Blood
Seal Fate
Deadly Brew
Find Weakness
Master Poisoner
Hunger for Blood

20/0/51 PvP Shadow Dance

Key Subtlety Talents
Master of Deception
Serrated Blades
Dirty Deeds
Cheat Death
Sinister Calling
Shadow Dance

0/8/63 PvE Restoration

Key Restoration Talents
Improved Healing Wave
Tidal Force
Healing Grace
Tidal Mastery
Healing Way
Mana Tide Totem
Blessing of the Eternals
Improved Chain Heal
Nature's Blessing
Earth Shield
Tidal Waves

15/56/0 Fury DPS

Key Fury Talents
Armored to the Teeth
Commanding Presence
Dual Wield Specialization
Death Wish
Improved Berserker Stance
Titan's Grip

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Testing, Testing

I've been testing a level 80 mage recently. My initial impression of fire was a bit off for some reason. Maybe because I didn't stack up Scorch on the target dummy...

Anyway, you can read about my tests and conclusions over at the MMO-Champion forums. I am still weighing up Frost vs. Fire. I will do a little more testing of the two tonight, under real circumstances if possible (ie. a heroic instance).

Also, I came across a funny blog, which I am adding to the side bar. It's called Angry Raid Leader and it is something that I can totally relate to, to a certain extent, having been a raid leader myself in the past. He needs to extend his bandwidth limit though, having advertised to various sites and pulled in a reasonable following!

Finally, check out the cool WotLK mounts. ;)

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mount Up and Roll Out!

Ok, I just worked out that with the current mounts plus the new flying carpets, my mage can have a total of 49 epic mounts, both land and flying. 50, if I was to grind the materials to get a Dark Riding Talbuk, or 51 if I am able to get the Brewfest mount next time it comes around. This also includes PvP mounts, which will be a total of 90 WSG and AB, and 140 AV tokens.

That leaves a minimum of 26 new mounts from the expansion. This shouldn't be too hard to get, considering there are new factions and will be new drops. And if I somehow managed to get a rare drop from somewhere, that would be one less mount to grind for or purchase. ;)

Of course, if by 75 mounts they also mean rare mounts, and rare mounts are not overwritten by epic mounts, then those 26 are already there for the taking. I would think that they mean all mounts and that you can have both rare and epic, even if you were to never use the rare ones.

I look forward to gaining Leading the Cavalry and my rare Albino Drake! IMO, it should increase flight speed by 310% and the mounts that count towards your 75 should have to be of epic quality -- provided there will be enough new mounts in the expansion; otherwise it will be impossible for anyone to get this achievement, considering how many more I -- a tailor with more mounts available to me -- must achieve.

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

My Precious

Check out these trinkets. /drool

There is way too much stuff to list that has been added in this latest patch. Check out MMO-Champion for the new faction rewards, craftable items, bind on account Heirlooms, mounts, dungeon drops, and arena gear (Deadly Gladiator -- iLev 213).

One thing I am looking forward to -- and I briefly mentioned this a while back -- are the flying carpets. Bring on my mage's Swift Spellfire Carpet!

Speaking of mounts, I like the new achievement that was added: Leading the Cavalry. I intend to attempt this one! The reward is an Albino Drake. :o

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Testing, Testing

Although I wasn't able to get any sort of recount system to function, I was able to test out both my rogue and priest. I specced my priest into shadow and headed to Howling Fjord. I didn't do much, as I haven't got any mods running and it was very laggy. What I did find out is that a. Shadow does decent damage; and b. Healing is still pretty good because of the addition of the attribute, spellpower. It will take me a while to get used to playing a shadow priest again. I look forward to levelling on live.

Next, I specced my rogue to mutilate. Some things have changed, and some things have been added. Gouge and Kick must be relearned, as these have changed in some way. Also, you can no longer make poisons; you have to purchase them from a vendor. Crippling and Mind-Numbing are no longer ranked, either.

There is a new talent, Dismantle. My rogue also has a new Herbalism talent, Lifeblood. And finally, there is a new PvP trinket replacement talent, Every Man for Himself. Anything that replaces a trinket is good!

I went to Borean Tundra this time. It's where I took my mage when I first tried the beta. I must say, mutilate does pretty amazing damage. There's a lot going on at once, and the change to mana / energy / rage regeneration makes things a little tricky at first, but I do know that with mutilate, poisons are just crazy. Also, Hunger for Blood and Cut to the Chase are just amazing talents. You can keep the Enrage effect up pretty much indefinitely. It refreshes to a 3 stack of 30sec if you do it once while the three stacks are still active -- and you don't even notice the 30 energy cost. You don't even have to attack the target you select to refresh it. ;)

Slice and Dice is very easy to keep up, as you simply need to Envenom or Eviscerate your target to renew it. And since you will always have Deadly Poison ticking on your target because of Deadly Brew, you can Envenom just about whenever you like.

I think that with the change of dynamics, if I was to stick with mutilate, it would take a wee bit to get used to, in terms of energy management and skill rotations.

I headed back to SW and respecced combat. I don't have very good weapons, but even taking that into account, there was a noticeable decrease in DPS. I think that either I fail at being a combat rogue or it just isn't as good as mutilate. Once I have tried out a Shadow Dance build, I will have a better idea of what I want to spec when the expansion goes live. For now, I am strongly leaning towards mutilate.

For now, I want to continue levelling my paladin on live and maybe explore a little bit on beta. I don't want to do a whole lot of quests because then they won't be as fun when it all goes live. Also, the default game interface is very lacklustre. It's hard to play without my addons and ui customisation.

I have yet to try out frost or arcane on my mage, and still have to try some level 80 builds with the premades I transferred. So much to do, so little time!

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Build 8962

There is a new build with a few changes here and there. I won't list them all. However, I want to try and test out a few builds on a few classes. If I can get Recount to work or can find a replacement for it, I will do some testing on the beta realms and post results somewhere.

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Death Knight Reservation

Last night, I did a Slave Pens run with my paladin and did a few quests in Zangarmarsh. Questing solo as a protection paladin is incredibly tedious. You take a long time to kill anything, and you have to drink after just about every fight. The advantage is that you can take on three mobs at once, but even that can be intense in "dps" gear.

Today, I sent everything from my bank toon to Gaiwyn, sold all her bags, sent the gold over, and proceeded to delete the toon. She had ten days, fifteen hours of play time.

With my free slot, I reserved my Death Knight name: Mordreth. I can't wait to roll on the live servers and level him! And yes, he will be an Aerthas clone:

They call him Mordreth

Well, back to sorting through everything that was once stored in my bank toon's many slots. :/

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

To the Grave

And thus concludes my Death Knight testing. There really is no point in continuing to level him at this stage. I will wait until they go live. I will roll a premade level 80 one if there are many significant changes between now and when the beta ends.

Level 60, yo

I will stick with blood when I create a live DK. I like the tree in terms of DPS, and it is fun. I will look into possibly dual-wielding at level 80, but am not quite sure yet. I better understand the class dynamics now, though. It will be great to level one from 55 to 80. ;)

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some More Screenshots

Once you get to Stormwind and speak to the King, you become friendly and it is the end of the Death Knight quests. This leaves pretty much the whole world open to you. Since you are now level 58, you could step through the Dark Portal and level through Outland. There's nothing like experiencing old content with a new class. ;)

Also, each time you get a new sword, don't forget to forge it with a new rune! I flew all the way from Ebon Hold to IF only to port back to Ebon hold to forge the sword I picked up in one of the later quests. :/

It's the Baron

'Sup Noth

Even Death Knights play dress-up

A frost wyrm. Rawr!

The Lich King visits Light's Hope Chapel

He's not too happy


How cool...

...is this!

Time to visit Stormwind

I get the feeling I'm not welcome

Back to playing! Time to hit Outland. XD

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Champion, Forge Thy Runeblade

I rolled a Death Knight.

You are prepared

Oh, the Lich King wants to greet me

Forge your blade and then...

...choose a rune

Activate the eye

Explore New Avalon, south-east of Tyr's Hand

Hey, it's Mograine and the Baron!

Kel'Thuzad's brother?

Time to leave Ebon Hold

A scourge gryphon ride down

This looks important

Mount acquired!

Gothik the Harvester gives me a quest. Cool.

I am a mine car

Did someone order gravel?

I am very very sneaky

Escaping the ship


Essentially, the starting quests for the Death Knight class are amazingly done. It is all very smooth and very cool. It is also very easy to level from 55 to 56, as you begin with rested XP and the quests give you a decent amount. You also receive talent points from particular quests along the way, to ease you into your role as a DK.

I look forward to playing some more. Just don't expect a whole lot more screenshots than this. I kinda got carried away as I quested.

Also, of note, is the announcement that the release date for the expansion is the 13th of November, so mark that down in your calendar, book three days off work or school, and be prepared to launch into Northrend in just two months time!

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tier 7!

So much Naxxramas gear has been coming out. /drool

It is easier to see from the stats the direction that game mechanics have taken for Lich King.

Naxxramas 10-man Tier 7 Sets

Mage Tier 7 Set

Shadow Priest Tier 7 Set

Rogue Tier 7 Set

Resto Shaman Tier 7 Set

Prot Paladin Tier 7 Set

DPS Warrior Tier 7 Set

Hunter Tier 7 Set

Naxxramas 25-man Tier 7 Sets

Mage Tier 7 Set

Shadow Priest Tier 7 Set

Rogue Tier 7 Set

Resto Shaman Tier 7 Set

Prot Paladin Tier 7 Set

DPS Warrior Tier 7 Set

Hunter Tier 7 Set

There are some more upcoming priest changes, too. Source.

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Scaleable Items

Some items have been added to the beta that bind to your account (meaning you can mail them to your other toons), are not unique and scale according to your level. They are purchasable with raid tokens. This is a cool idea. I hope that they keep it in! First they change enchanting so we can make items to either auction, sell directly (or give to friends) or send to our alts. Now we get weapons and armour that are account-bound. Good stuff. ;)

Dignified Headmaster's Charge

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore