31 October, 2005

Paladin effort at BlizzCon!

Suicidal Zebra alerted in the comments below of an excellent write up by Lemmiwinks which you can read here. Hot damn, it's on the second page where the goodies start:
I really have to give it up for all the pallies out there. I have no idea if it was a combined effort, or just sheer damn determination, but you made it up to the microphone a good 3-4 times more than any other class there that weekend. And don’t worry, you forum paladins, they didn’t let you down. If anyone let the Devs have a taste of player anger, it was the paladin class...
There are so many quotables there I could quote the entire thing!

Heck, even ScuttleMonkey on Slashdot writes about it on his visit:
The class discussion panel actually spent about 2/3 of the alloted time talking about and answering questions regarding the paladin.

Raising the Paladin DPS

Paladin DPS raise in plan?

Brahma says:
A Rogue who attended Blizzcon asked questions mostly about upcoming changes to Rogues, and Paladins were brought up...
And here's the actual quote:
Pallies will get there review in 1.9 and Blizzard would like to make pallies dps closer to that of the warrior. I kid you not. Though if they up pally dps they may make pallies lose an invul shield or two.
That's it: 1.9 *is* a complete and total revamp of the class, nonetheless. They're even, as it looks like, considering to raise our damage output.


Quote of the day, 10/21/05

Berethor on that we've learned Blizzard designed the Paladin to be the game's easiest class:
...if i wanted ez id make a shaman

30 October, 2005

BlizzCon's over!

BlizzCon's over now and the expansion is now finally announced. To be honest, there wasn't that much info released that we already didn't know. The leaked Italian article basically had all the info already, except a couple of little omissions. Nevertheless the cat it out of the bag and it's finally time to move on and roll our thumbs for 1.9!

Both Paxx and Jonichiro emailed me, as well as Lord Vir and Nemof who wrote in the comments below -- looks like there's some info in the upcoming Paladin improvements! (courtesy of Atomic MPC)
Staying with Paladins, they will definitely be getting an upgrade in patch 1.9. [WoW Lead Designer Tom Chilton] has said that some blessing, seals and judgements will be combined so that they can be improved with less talent expenditure, and a group blessing spell that when cast on a character in a raid or group will cast that same blessing on all other characters of that class. There was also talk of extending the duration on all blessings to 10 minutes (or even 15).
And continues with the points...
* Paladins were designed to be the game's easiest class. This was done because the designers believed (correctly) that it would be a popular class (warrior and healer in one) and didn't want new gamers to be put off by a tricky class.

* Ironically, one slide at the presentation said that druids are the only true hybrid class, going against common thought (rumour really).
Already angry people at Chilton's comments on the class. Heck, this guy even found a screenshot of the presentation where it said "easy class".

Also... our Tier 2 set will get a deserved facelift. Here's a screenshot, and here's another screenshot.

28 October, 2005

BlizzCon thread

I won't be at the computer during the actual announcement, so here's a thread in advance!

Oh... And Fangtooth play Arathi Basin and prefers the Fiery Enchant.

Premature Pre-BlizzCon Predictions Preview

Here's my revised list. I had written one last night and thought I had posted it, but appearantly my browser crashed before I could save it. Damn you bugs! Anyways, here it is again:

  • The Expansion will be announced at BlizzCon today, it will be called the Burning Crusade. Release date is unknown, but I've heard May 2006.

  • Visitors to BlizzCon will automatically get to join the beta test.

  • Level cap raised to 70! (Private Meles!) How talent trees will work with this is unknown, but I've heard that they will actually extend beyond their current size right now.

  • There *will* be new races. Blood Elves for Horde (*sigh*), unknown for Alliance -- hopefully not Pandaren.

  • No new classes. As I said earlier, it would be hard to make an additional class with a group role that isn't already taken.

  • There won't be a new faction. Please.

  • Might include upgraded graphics. There's something fishy going on this front.

  • New profession(s): Jewelcrafting, kinda like the gems and sockets from Diablo 2.

  • New content for players/characters of all levels, but mostly tilted towards end-game.

  • There won't be ways to learn how to speak to the other faction. "Not gonna happen!"

  • The new continent will be the Outlands. Apparently that's the main focus of the expansion. It will be pretty big apparently. Rumors going around that you'll get to meet Illidan as well. It's looking dim on whether the Undermine and Northrend is going to be in, seems to me like they're saving that for another expansion.

  • New dungeons: Caverns of Time, Medivh's Tower and much more. What might be included is the raid dungeon of Naxxramas which stores the actual book of Medivh needed to activate the portal to the Outlands.

  • Weather effects will be included, but it will be released for vanilla as well.

  • A new flying mount is available to be only used in the Outlands.

  • Hero classes won't be included. It will be released in vanilla in a regular content pack. Quests to take the path of becoming a hero will be available around the same time as the expansion release. Blizzard might even put it on hold longer than that because they really want things to be perfect.

  • Player housing looks dim. I still have my bets on it and hopefully we'll see it, but I'm not so sure anymore.

  • Built in voice communication software *might* happen. My crystal ball is foggy. It might be that they haven't decided yet on whether to include it or not until the last minute of the announcement (i.e. it might've been cut already, I don't know for certain).

  • Shady rumor: "The Black Morass" will be a new quest hub for expansion and vanilla players, but primarily expansion owners. Why this doesn't make sense is for us to learn, apparently.

  • Shady rumor: Explorers League and Elder Court might get a bigger role. I said shady!

  • Shady rumor: Gadgetzan PVP dome?

  • Here's the thing: seems to me a ton of stuff, such as Hero Classes, weather effects, quests and stuff is going to be released for vanilla too! I mean, how big is this expansion really going to be? Hopefully we'll get to find out, but right now -- I don't know; seems a bit dry unless the Outlands is much bigger than what I've seen of it.

    Oh, and here's a generally comprehensive list of rumors on what's to come, from the Wikipedia website.

    27 October, 2005

    Better than Arcanite Reaper?

    I've been shot an email from Vaelin saying that as we count down for BlizzCon, there's a new mace which you can get from the spoils bag quest in Silithus:
    Crystal Spiked Maul
    Binds when equipped
    Two-Hand Mace
    168 - 252 Damage Speed 3.90
    (53.8 damage per second)
    +16 Strength
    Durability 100 / 100
    Requires Level 58
    Equip: Improves your chance to get a critical strike
    by 2%.
    Vaelin comments:
    While Warrior mace spec isn't very attractive due to diminishing returns on stuns, this looks to be a godly Pally weapon with such a slow speed and high max damage. Some are saying it's better than the Arcanite Reaper.
    Check it out further on Allakhazam or Thottbot.

    Looks pretty sweet!

    26 October, 2005

    Still nothing!

    CmdrTaco plays a Paladin

    CmdrTaco, famous for being the founder of the very popular website Slashdot encountered some problems recently and decided to write about it. He doesn't hold a grudge against Blizzard per se, but rather felt kind of violated because he couldn't use his nickname which he's grown attached to over all these years.

    He plays a Paladin as well, like all cool people do!

    Slashdot had a heavy topic regarding Blizzard only a month ago with the "interview scandal" that I wrote about .

    Edit: Spelling corrections. I'm not that fluent in Latin!

    Tomorrow's the last day

    Two days until BlizzCon. Wow.

    I plan to have a revised list of predictions on what's to be included in the expansion up by tomorrow evening, CET time.

    First thing is that there's so much more information available than just 20 days ago, the list needs to be more up-to-date. Second reason is that there's been requests for it, which is always fun!

    Man, that's just so much goodies that might come in the expansion pack. I can't wait!

    Fangtooth's on a roll!

    Fangtooth explains the information process work:
    In a nutshell, the process is as follows. We gather feedback from you on the forums, and we present it to the developers. They then come down and talk with us, describing their thoughts on what we bring to them, and what they feel the best course of action would be. We also ask other employees who have high levels of the class being discussed what their views are, and go from there. After that, we write up a mini report on the feedback, and once it is approved (which can take some time going back and forth), we present it to you.
    Fangtooth still has no info:
    I would love to tell you anything about the upcoming changes, but they have not told us anything. I know it is difficult to wait, but right now there really is nothing we can tell you.
    Phew! Paladin's still up for 1.9:
    We have not released any patch notes for any upcoming patches at this time. We are still planning on Paladin's getting reviewed and improved with this patch, as far as I know.
    Fang gives some tips to a bored Paladin on what to do at level 32.
    And... Fangtooth has some fun!

    25 October, 2005

    Judgement of Command (!) is hotfixed!

    Weirdest thing ever?

    Totally weird.

    A recent hotfix that was made did not get properly fixed. This has now been fixed and reapplied.
    Judgment of Command should now work correctly.
    The guy who first replied, said it right:
    Who cares? It's USELESS!!
    I have to agree. It's a pretty dang useless judgement. Anybody who use it should be slapped.

    1. It's overly expensive. As someone said: "Seal on 175mana, Judgement 165mana and stun 100 mana so,around 500 mana wasted on 84dmg !!!!"
    2. It does miniscule damage. 84 Holy damage, omg!
    3. It's an overly complicated process. Activate Seal. Get in to range. Judge target. Launch Stun or Seal and hope it proccs.
    4. The invested time, clicks, button pushing and mana is not worth the damage output.
    5. Due to the diminishing returns of stuns, it's effectiveness is reduced severely. "84 Damage! IMMUNE! IMMUNE!"

    Turns out, things get worse: The hotfix was to change back Judgement of Command to it's original, useless state. Apparently you could do damage on to someone with Seal of Justice through Judgement of Command, despite the diminishing returns. So in other words; it was an extra 82 damage on every strike (even if it showed IMMUNE flash up on them!).

    Wow. That made it so much more uselfull.

    Still no update

    I talked to the developers today, but they do not have anything ready for us to give back to you at this time. I have not heard anything saying that we are not still on target for the 1.9 patch, so that is good.

    24 October, 2005

    All I Wanna Do

    Wow.... Today is the sixth day I've had the counter up on the website, and -- wowza! I had much more visitors than I thought! Not going to share the numbers just yet. Going to wait until next weak to really give out any form of numbers to let them stabilize (though it's really a bad week due to BlizzCon, which most likely is going to create a visitor spike).

    Funny thing is... All I did really to get the name out was add a link to my signature on the official WoW board. I didn't send any kind of emails to other websites to "plz link me k thx". Things just kinda took off.

    Another funny thing is that the name really works. It causes people to freak out. I saw people in the logs who searched for example "Burning Crusade" on a search engine and came here probably because they was wondering why the heck someone would name their blog "PaladinSucks.com". Most excellent!

    I've been pondering really what to do with the blog to spice things up. It sucks to not have original content, which I was good at the beginning. When I look back at, lets say, September -- I didn't pay that much attention or had the will to create unique content for that month. And frankly, that sucks. I want to have stuff that you can't normally find on other Blizzard websites.

    Much of the things I have planned has been put on hold right now, and many of the interviews and long articles I've done are several months old. I don't like that. Problem is though, is that, lets say I want to make another interview -- who the heck do I interview?

    Well... There is one person that I can interview. Not likely though since he probably thinks I'm some kind of a hump, or worse -- dweeb! Heck, the name of this place might turn him off from participating.

    But then again, all I really wanna do is have a some fun.

    23 October, 2005

    Goblin Undermine?

    21 October, 2005

    Quote of the day, 10/21/05

    One guild member of my guild said during a debate whether Paladins are eligible to roll for warrior or caster weapons:
    If [my character] could just grind by buffing, healing and Holy Shielding mobs to death, I could actually buy the "paladins don't need good melee weapons" argument.

    20 October, 2005

    Private Meles

    Wow... I break my rules all the time.

    Was browsing around on Wikipedia (which I do often, and I *love* it) and thought that I don't think I've ever shared this gem with you guys. This is from Wikipedia's article on the World of Warcraft expansion set on what's speculated to be included in it:
    In April 1st, 2005 Blizzard poked fun at their upcoming Battlegrounds feature. They featured screenshots of an Orc and Human who challenged each other to the battlegrounds. Originally one of the pictures showed that the human character was level 65. It was quickly replaced with a clearly edited photo where the level was lowered down to 60. The original picture is available here. Some people say Blizzard edited it because they didn't want there to be a discussion on why the character level was above the normally attainable.
    I helped to write a lot of the foundational content for that Wikipedia article, and the part above is actually written by me.

    You might ask... "Is this a tip of what's to come in the expansion?"

    Do I have to draw a diagram for you? Why do you think they had a level 65 character in the first place? It's not bloody likely they just "happened" to have a character who's level was above the normally attainable.

    The most interesting part is that most people don't really knows this. I find the whole ordeal quite amusing, actually. Kinda these small bits of trivia that will be fun to reflect back on when we finally get our hands on the expansion.

    One week countdown

    Only a week left until BlizzCon, so I'm going to hold off talking about the expansion just to cool down a little *. I personally have a test next thursday so most of my energy will go towards studying for it.

    One thing I have to add though surrounding the expansion is that the biggest guess -- or rather most talked about, was also the most close to the truth. Why this is the case we can always wonder. We'll probably get to understand that better next week.

    Edit: *I've already broken that rule, so disregard what I said about it. I take it back :p

    Still no new info

    First update on the Paladin in days... Fangtooth can't throw us a bone, and still says that the developers still haven't gotten any information that they're willing to release

    19 October, 2005

    Blood Elves won't be playable

    I don't think Blood Elves will be a playable race. This guy (thread's gone now though) pulled some stuff from the Warcraft Pen and Paper RPG:
    The Alliance represents all that the blood elves hate in the world. The humans led the exodus from Lordaeron, abandoning the blood elves to the Scourge, taking many high elves with them. The high elves are weak; they have potential to reach blood elf status, but they will not embrace the power and therefore are of little use. The night elves are remembered as the elves who banished them from their homes so very long ago, and those grudges still run deep. The other races are disliked merely for their representation in the Alliance - the friend of my enemy is my enemy, so to speak. The Alliance prefers that the blood elves stay neutral, as they do view them as dangerous (and mad, in some cases). The arcane spellcasters in the Alliance agree that the blood elves have gone too far in their quest for power - even the high elves are sickened and frightened by their former allies' loss of compassion and self-control. The blood elves have little use for the Alliance, and the downfall of this faction is next on their list after they have purged the Scourge from Lordaeron.
    But here's the part that most people would find surprising:
    The Horde distrusts the blood elves, as their addiction to magic makes the high elves look like amateurs. The blood elves are dangerous, and the Horde races can smell the rotten magic on them. In particular, the orcs revile the blood elves because they see them as descending down the same path toward damnation that so corrupted the orcish people - the orcs can smell the demon taint on the blood elves and know how badly it will twist them. The blood elves disdain the Horde as barbarians who refuse to grasp the power in front of them. They especially dislike the orcs, who should have been strong enough to control the power the demons gave them instead of falling under their command.
    Blood Elves are primarily used right now as neutral NPCs, which was one of the primary reasons why Alliance has Gnomes instead of Golbins ("...in the end, we decided that we'd used Goblins in so many spots as neutral NPCs that it would be tough to fit them into a two-faction system").

    I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard made them as one of the new races, but then again, it'll only raise questions as to why that is the case when they are so corrupted and both hate the Orcs and the Alliance.

    18 October, 2005

    Leaked screenshot from the expansion on the loose

    Yesteday I saw a screenshot from that definetly was World of Warcraft alright. I could clearly see on the water, on the sky and on the overall "look" of it that it was WoW and not another game.

    It showed something (in an area) that definetly isn't in the game we're playing right now. It didn't show too much, but interesting nevertheless because you can clearly figure out if you where the picture takes place. I don't think this picture could be fake since what's shown is too complicated to really be made by fans. It's definetly not photoshop work either.

    I've been trying to track down where it came from to validate it further. So far no results.

    I'm not going to link to it because Blizzard definetly does not approve of such practices, sorry. Only nine days left anyways.

    Edit: I've seen more now, two more to be exact. These definetly are leaks.

    17 October, 2005

    Increased level cap in the expansion?

    Will Molten Core be easier?

    Got it from this thread off of the Worldofwar.net boards.

    Edit: I was wondering why the hell the link they gave wasn't making any sense. It didn't have a pic or anything of what they were describing. But it got explained to me when Rushster later says in the WWN forum thread:
    Gyus, I mailed Blizzard EU PR for a comment on this and all of asudden the mag cover was changed. This was probably a huge error by the magazine and it should never have been put live. Whoops! Well we all know now
    I.e. this information is pretty much confirmed now. Woot! Raised level cap.

    More interesting info by user Suicidal Zebra:
    The lack of Hero classes though... now that is interesting.
    Looks like hero classes are still slated for vanilla. (Edit 4: okay, that was just his assumption. The new info did not reveal whether Hero classes would be in the expansion or not, as you can see below)

    Edit 2: A clever person on the official board found a Google cache of the missing onfo (though not of the pic where it said "the 70th level").

    Edit 3: Found a link to the pic! (bottom left corner). Courtesy of Mendios, from my server's forum.

    However... This made me think:

    Is it wrong by me to link to this, considering the fact that they've retracted it? I mean, they probably don't want people to talk about it. The magazine slipped up big and wanted to undo the damage. They have all right to try to patch up a mistake they made because they don't want to anger Blizzard.

    But they forgot that this is the internet... Information travels at lightning speed. Even if I wouldn't have linked to this picture, the raised level cap in the expansion is already an established fact, is already now discussed and is common knowledge by WoW-fans all over the world. So, in essence, does it really matter if I do? My opinion is: no. I'm a curious man myself. One of the few ways and most common practice used by todays scientists is to gain knowledge through the practice of observation -- empiricism if you will.

    This is why I am linking to it. It's common knowledge and you guys have the right to see the source material. If there are any objections to this, please send me an email or give a comment below.

    16 October, 2005

    A feature you probably didn't know about

    The expansion will likely have new cool stuff... Voice communication (rumored), weather effects (basically confirmed), player housing (dumb not to!), etc. Much of this, if not all, was planned during the development of the original game, but at one point or another got pushed back or shelved as "expansion material".

    But, there's one feature that was planned which never is talked about. It's been rarely mentioned... If ever -- during these expansion talks. It's despite that been widely reported and discussed by Blizzard themselves! They're not denying that they're working or planning on it at all. What is that feature? Surnames!

    Don't believe me? Here's a sample:

    According to Blizzard the ability to add a surname to your character has been undecided and they are not sure if you should be able to so it at character creation or perhaps at a later character level...
    Official FAQ:
    Last names are something we would like to implement in the future for our players, but at this time we do not know if, or when, that might occur and what the criteria would be for acquiring one.
    More from the Support site:
    ...Last names for characters have not been implemented at this time, as the criteria for last names have not yet been determined.
    Old WoW website:
    We are planning on implementing last names, however, the criteria for obtaining one has not been determined.
    Developer Q&A:
    We’re still discussing the factors involved with implementing last names, but there’s no additional news at this time.
    You get the general idea.

    Will this feature be in the expansion pack? I don't know. There's been, as I said above, zero talks about it. But maybe it will. Hopefully in a cool way.

    Blessing of Sanctuary animation removed!

    It first came in 1.6 (though with a bugged animation). Outcries of "Purge me!" appear.

    Then it got fixed in 1.7. No more annoy people at IF anymore or getting fooled that there's loot left on corpses.

    But in 1.8 it's been removed! I noticed it earlier tonight as I was getting the chain ready in Silithus to do the Emissary (the boots you get as one of the rewards is better than Lightforge! Me need). I love Silithus by the way...

    But -- huh? Maybe they took in consideration of many of the comments people made. However, keep in mind that Blessing of Freedom still has it's similar animation (it's in a slightly different color).

    15 October, 2005

    Need more Helm Smiths!

    I know it's common for Paladin players to complain about the lack of +int Plate items. To be honest, I haven't been able to complain that much about it. Sure, not *all* gear we wear has to have int on it, but generally it's been an okay situation for me.

    But, I've noticed that when it comes to helms we've got VERY little options:

    - Two blues. (Whitesoul is crafted -- Healadin gear, Lightforge is the best all-around helm)
    - Two epics. (Molten Core, BWL -- both are for the Healadin)
    - The occasional green. (Is that the only one? Wow!)
    And to top it off... Our PVP helms are void of +int, canyoubelieveit?

    14 October, 2005

    1.9 will be it!

    Basically... 1.9 will be the patch we've been waiting for. As said below, those four things they've been talking about was great but what I was really missing was aura viability...


    As Kyosei friendly noted in the comments, Eyonix has said the following:
    We are currently reviewing each of the three Paladin talent trees, along with conducting a comprehensive review to their Seal and Judgment system. What we're keeping in mind during these reviews primarily concerns healing speed, cost and efficiency, along with DPS control and burst damage. In addition, we're looking into Aura versatility and Blessing duration. When we have more information on the specifics of change, we'll post the information for everyone to view.

    What I do know is the talent changes are slated to hit patch version 1.9 (next content patch).
    In other words... Patch 1.9 will basically be a total review (aka overhaul) of the class.


    Looks like it's the patch we've been waiting for.

    What's the deal?

    Mega spoiler alert! If you don't like spoilers, this one ain't for you:

    What has the Silithid, the constant collection of Power Crystals, the Twilight Hammer, Razelikh and his fellow Dreadlords got to do with each other?

    All of the them... For example the Bloodsail Buccaneers, Defias Brotherhood, Twilight Hammer, Scarlet Crusade -- have a common thread with each other. The storyline of World of Warcraft is amazing. Pure genius. It's all happening right beneath our noses when we play the game, but we don't think about it.

    Most likely the expansion will reveal a lot of what's been going. That's my bets. Chris Metzen is awesome... if he only would reveal why Kul'tiras doesn't seem to exist anymore (courtesy of Blizzplanet).

    13 October, 2005

    Morning stuff

    European developer feedback response

    Developer feedback response from the EU list! Click here to read. It brings up four things:
    - They're investigating for more controllable DPS.
    - They're investigating blessing length.
    - They're investigating the Judgment system.
    - They're still telling a talent review is soon coming.

    Reminds you of something?

    The only thing I miss is the talk about making auras better and more distinct -- right now arguably most of us just stick to Devotion.

    I have to say... Looks like all of our concerns regarding the class is going to be fixed in one way or another. Sweet!

    12 October, 2005

    Server restarts

    The server restarts this morning removed the BoE req. on the Paladin sword, as well as the extra talent point Warriors for some ambiguous reason was able to get. Just for your information.

    Judgments got screwed with the patch though.

    Judgements now cause aggro

    Paxx shot me an email and alerted me on a new stealth "nerf" to Judgements: turns out Judgements now cause aggro! In other words, if you slap on Judgement of Wisdom on Onyxia and have players shoot her with their wands, they will everytime the judgement effect procs be bumped further up on the aggro list. Woah!

    This made me think... I wonder how good Judgement of Wisdom and Seal of Fury might be for tanking now!

    And might it be related to this?

    Odin's day

    Sweet. Fangtooth gives the list the developers are paying close attention to:
    More controlable DPS
    Blessing duration
    Seal/Judgements system
    Talent trees
    Basically our four main problems. Hopefully next patch we'll start to see some changes to them.

    Someone asked Fangie if he's having fun yet. His response is positive.

    Check this out.... A weird CM stalkers page. If I was a CM I'd be turned off from doing my job when I would realize people are analyzing every little bit of a word I was saying (hey -- guilty as charged! Sorry). Got it from this thread.

    Leaked talents? This guy says they were online for a brief couple of minutes, then taken down. I wouldn't be surprised to see the preview come up within a couple of days! *holds thumbs*

    Paladin Quest Rewards fun

    One of the items from the Paladin quest added in this patch? It's an item level 52 sword, but with NO level requirement. It's also BoE! Read more about it here. And you can always check Thottbot.

    11 October, 2005

    Beyond the expansion pack, today's for 1.8

    Besides the good rumor below, 1.8 is released today. Severs aren't online yet since they've been delayed by a couple of hours. Nevertheless I can't wait to try out the new Druid talent trees. It's going to *absolutely* rock!

    First thing I'm going to do is to head down to Silithus and fool around. Weeeeee!

    Expansion info!

    One of my guild members alerted this. And... Wooooaaaaahhhhhhh! Not that many days left, and it's about time we're starting to see more "dirt" appear as we draw closer.

    Jeff Green's blog has it:
    Yay! I can almost start talking about it. Yeah, sorry, that was a bit of a tease, wasn't it? Well, the issue is due out in about two weeks. Blizzard would probably rip me a new one, and, even worse, disable my WoW account, if I started leaking information here. The only other person who knows anything is my daughter, who also plays WoW and can't keep a secret. So, if you can figure out which of the millions of players she is online and hit her up, I'm sure she's spill. :)

    I got to see pretty much everything---except for whatever the new race for the Alliance will be. That one they're either keeping a secret or, more quite possibly, haven't figured out themselves yet. But everything else I know. And while, like I said, I can't spill details yet, I can tell you it is *huge*--tons of new content for all levels. It definitely got me motivated to get Eggbert, my gnome warlock, up to 60 ASAP. So I have many nights of serious "work" ahead of me. Yay!

    So, as soon as Blizzard gives me the okay, I will replace my desktop picture with our December cover, which pictures an awesome painting from one of the Blizzard artist's of the new Horde race. I hate being a tease (well, okay, it's a little fun), but I just can't tell ya yet. But soon!
    New content for all levels (though this has been reported before) as well as new races apparently. Point five on my list looks correct, whereas 13 looks like it won't be.

    0/0/0 build

    Additional updates

    Aveena asks why we can't control combat. Fangooth replies with that the developers are working on a solution. Reintroduce Strikes, perhaps?

    Personally I would like to see the entire Judgement system changed. Judgement would be called Strike. Instead of Judging someone, you Strike with the activated Seal. Instead of waiting for Seal of Command to proc, you hit Strike and dish out the damage when you want to. The longer the Seal had been activated, the more damage you get to do with the Strike (just brainstormed this one).

    Cecily asks what our role is in groups. Fangtooth replies with that our role is being a support class, using our blessings and auras effectively and such. Because nobody had responded to Fang's response, I had to add the fact that -- really, when it comes down to things all classes are support classes. Tanking is support. Crowd control is support. Damage is support. You can do a Tribute run with no Warrior. You can do a tribute run with no Rogue or Mage or Warlock (probably).

    And as I said, the word "support" is notoriously absent from the Class page (the only difference between us and the Shaman is that we're a melee hybrid and they being a caster hybrid). It's used once on the Paladin description page and it's in the sentence "...their auras, seals, heals and resurrection spells give them the chance to act as a support healer.".

    The thing is... Is that I don't think the people who first played their Paladin really expected end-game to be the way it is. That's why there are so many Paladins who still, in end-game, spec the Retribution tree (which focuses on our weakness). There's a reason why so many Paladins never switch auras in mid-battle, bother to bless that much or heal other players. They expect the class to be a Holy Warrior, not a Holy Buffer -- but they just haven't realized it yet.

    The patch is going live today

    Fangtooth once again says that when he gets more info on the changes, he will share them. Being a Community Manager is repetitive work!

    He also wants a Hunter to elaborate why he can kite 10 000 Paladins, given enough time.

    By the way, 1.9 will be released today. The downtime has been extended with two hours. Always a good sign, eh?

    I expect that around the next two weeks now we will be seeing the new Paladin talent changes. I.e. Patch 1.7 was released at 9/13 whereas the Druid preview of 1.8 was released just ten days later.

    10 October, 2005

    Why is the Shaman last on the list?

    Fangtooth answers why the Shaman is going to be reviewed probably last, "...they're pretty good in relation to other classes."

    Take that!

    Old, but relevant warning

    Just read this thread from the test server forum where Tyren says it's against the Terms of Use to use third party programs to mine and publish information regarding World of Warcraft.

    To be honest, I had no idea you couldn't use programs to peek in to the data files. I guess everybody else don't know either -- Tyren's note was posted the 15th of April this year. I haven't really seen that much pressure on it being enforced.

    08 October, 2005

    Quote of the day, 10/08/05

    That Seal of Command can't be commanded? I mean, what the hell does the title mean? What's it referring too? What does it command exactly? Patience?

    Don't Expect 1.9 Too Soon

    Helios reports a thread Tigole made, here's a shorted down version:
    [Patch 1.8 is] live on the Test Server right now which means it should be making its live debut in the next week or two. We appreciate everyone who ... [helped] tune the 4 green dragons ... these dragons are supposed to be more difficult than Azuregos or Kazzak, yet not as difficult as some of the hardest encounters in the game.

    ...Patch 1.9 is going to be one of our biggest content updates to date featuring .... two raid zones. The Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (20 person raid zone) will be on par with Zul'Gurub in difficulty... The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj (40 person raid zone) is absolutely massive... [the] zone [is] on par with BWL.

    We're also hard at work on a pretty epic world event that will lead to the opening of the gates of Ahn'Qiraj. More information will be coming out about this from our community team in the near future...

    Because of the sheer scope of what we're going to include in 1.9.0 the development cycle might take slightly longer than the 1.8.0 cycle.
    Crap. (emphasis mine)

    In other words, don't expect to play your Pally on the 1.9 test server for quite a while. Hopefully though not too long after the release of 1.8 we'll see a preview of the updated talent, just like Hunters got theirs quite a while in advance.

    Vaneras Paladin summary

    Stupid me. How could I've missed this? Two days ago Vaneras summarised the Paladin concerns on the European Paladin forum. Sweet!

    What miss from that list though would be more options to dump mana in to damage/offense. Strikes I guess are the answer to that though.

    Phriday *delayed* update

    Basically only two things I play games on anymore: My Powerbook with WoW and my Nintendo DS. Nintendogs arrived in the mail yesterday. I ordered it just because I thought'd it be fun to play this new game since I heard alot of good stuff regarding it. And I didn't know that much about it beforehand either except that you could record voice commands and learn them tricks.

    I found the game more scary than awesome: what's the need for a dog when you've got it simulated? You only need to take care of it when you feel like to. You don't have to spend any money on it. You don't have to clean up the crap it does. It never grows up -- hence forever keeps its "innocence".

    Oh, and when I was going to record the voice command for the dogs name, my brother kept messing it up by yelling "Hitler!"

    Nevermind, here's the good stuff:

    Fangtooth likes Engineering for his Paladin. Who doesn't? Some people say it's even mandatory if you want to do stuff. Personally I'm no Engineer, but sometimes I wish I was.

    Tseric is awesome. First time I've ever seen a CM answer to the issue of the blessing length without defending it of some sorts (such as "The five minute length is good for PVP when you need to rebless in the heat of battle", etc). I'm really glad that the developers are aware of the absolutely ludicrous situation of reblessing an entire raid every dang five minutes. It's nuts. It's not fun. It's a chore. And it's super-boring.

    Battle.net is open with a new design! The old designed dated back several years. This new one is -- very advanced.

    As I was typing this, someone mysterious contacted me on ICQ again. It was the same person who sent me weird smiley messages to me a couple of days back. A search on his ICQ number on Google found it to be connected to WoW. He asked me "Want PL service?". I responded back with "What's PL service?". He answered "Power leveling service". So naturally I said "No thanks".

    I had no idea they would go to the extent to privately contact you over an IM-service just to smooch money off of you. Interesting nevertheless to see how organized these guys are and what tools they use. I mean, I've encountered spam and messages on fan boards, but this is really it at a new level.

    07 October, 2005

    Battle.net countdown!

    Fellow guild member Tanis pointed this out on Battle.net. Hmm... I wonder what it can mean? Definitely Starcraft related.

    Edit: Ahh... Different screen every time you reload, from Starcraft Terran to Undead Lich.

    06 October, 2005

    Thursday schmursay

    WoW Expansion will be playable at BlizzCon. Sweet -- now if I only had a couple of hundred dollars available to buy the airplane and entry tickets, food and hotel costs I'd be all set. So sweet... I hope they arrange another one next year; I'm going to be so totally there.

    Vaelin shot me an email telling me that the celebrity representative of the Paladin community is Bruce Willis, which I figure is due to this ytmnd.

    Thinking about posting links of pictures to unexplored areas of the game on the community forums? Perma-ban for you! Seems awfully harsh for something that's allowed by describing it with a thousand words (i.e. you get no ban for doing it in text form).

    Fangie's been awfully persistent at saying he has "no information at this time" but that he will provide it as more is available. Me thinks this is because he's gotten to know information that he will get information at an upcoming date. Hopefully not too distant from now considering 1.8 goes out live this Tuesday (huge guess on my part).

    He also explains a question asked often, but that's as often explained quickly. You can't gain holy resistance. I hope our Paladin revamp is about giving us more Holy damage spells. We're unique as in we've only got one school, compared to the Shaman for example who got several different schools with different magics. I hope the developers take that in to account to create a more distinct uniqueness of the class.

    04 October, 2005

    Blue maniac!

    Consecration is really two spells:
    The first part's the holy light-envigorated cloud of methane which emits from the lower part your body. This cloud is of such foul stench that it causes a large amount of aggro, thus is a requirement for the tanking Paladin.
    The second part's the burning cracks on the ground which come pass due to the methane being heated up by the holy light. These fissures damage you over time on a dedicated area.
    In other words, Consecration both an AoE spell (Area of Effect) and a DoT spell (Damage over Time).

    Bredo asks why every single AoE spell interrupts flag catching in Arathi Basin, except Consecrate. Fangtooth replies with a question wondering if there are any DoT's that interrupt -- making a good point. I don't have have the spell, so I'm not sure if the cloud part of it interrupts the flag capturer. Anyone knows who uses it?

    Esandarius was brave enough to ask if our Seal-system was going to be looked at as well. Fang answers with that he doesn't know -- but if he gets more info on it, he'll tell us.

    Dodin asks if Fang's got a new update on his Pally. He replies:
    I did not get a lot of play time this weekend, but I did get a few good uses out of my Seal of Command. Soloing in Duskwood is so much fun as a Paladin! Those undead monsters do not stand a chance against the Light, especially when a Paladin representing the Light is wielding Verigan's Fist!

    After a while, I went to help my friend in Arathi Highlands, and then to the Southshore area. We got caught in a cave, pinned between the Yetis and the Horde. A few distress calls were sent out, reinforcements appeared on both sides, and a battle broke loose. We won (I think), and I got a few kills. It was great!
    After a ton of replies saying that it's not going to be fun after level 40 he says:
    Since I see this comment pop up every time I post, I know that Paladins "stop becoming fun" after level 40. This weekend, I had other obligations, so that is why my play time was not very long.

    I enjoy using Seal of Command. I honestly do like the randomness of the proc. I have not gotten higher than rank 1 of it so far, so I cannot comment on the usefulness of judging it at higher levels, but it is something I am going to be looking for.
    After people questioning his opinion regarding the randomness of Seal of Command (!):
    I understand that the proc is a chance on hit, and not supposed to happen every time. Because of that understanding I am able to enjoy the skill for what it is.
    Replying to a (quite) negative post by Ironeye who said that he should admit Paladins "blow" and should "get back to his Shaman or Rogue":
    Ironeye, I do not have a Shaman or a Rogue character. I have a Priest, Paladin, Warrior, and Druid. My Priest is 60, my Warrior is in his 30s, and the other two are in their 20s. The only one I am currently playing, is my Paladin.
    Two thoughts:
    1. Seal of Command's randomness isn't fun, I absolutely detest that Seal. Unfortunately it's the only one worth using if you want to do damage. Fortunately I get enough Honor Points by just healing and Cleansing in Arathi Basin as a Pally who would spec with a two-hander and try to kill.
    2. I'm still amazed Fangtooth still cares about the Paladin community after so many negative comments.

    Ironeye asks Fang's motive for playing a Pally (his second blue reply!). Fang responds with that he's playing one for his own reasons, that he used to have one in beta and that there are many at Blizzard who still play their Pallies even though they've been at level 60 for a long time, even outside of work. He also says only a few Blizzard employees are able to post as "blue" on the boards.

    Erith asks what's best: Sanctified Orb or Darkmoon Card: Maelstrom. Fang gives the tips that Sanctified Orb is awesome when you group with a Balance or Feral specced Druid.

    03 October, 2005

    Favourable stealth nerf

    Not only did 1.7 bring the price down for Pristine Black Diamonds ten-fold, the actual encounter in Scholomance has been nerfed as well, which is interesting because neither changes were detailed in the patch notes.

    02 October, 2005

    What to do when you're (not) playing your Paladin

    Interesting thread started by Vinco, asking what we've done during runs (and just playing) with our Paladin. While playing I've...

    - Watched TV, which is pretty common.
    - Surfed the web: chatting on forums, browsing around on websites.
    - Prepared for dinner, such as scrubbing potatoes, cooking, slicing vegetables and barbecuing.
    - Remote controlled my Paladin by letting my brother sit by the computer and telling him what to do over the cellphone.
    - Taken a crap in the bathroom (this is accomplished thanks to that I have a portable computer and a wireless internet connection).

    The best part is that nobody has ever noticed. I was initially afraid to tell about this since my guild membership and server reputation is at stake (!). But I thought -- eh, whattheheck... I'm not the first one to do it, all I am is being honest about it.

    What's the deal with the Burning Crusade?

    We all know by now that the expansion to World of Warcraft called "the Burning Crusade" (named after the long-planned invasion of the Burning Legion) will be announced at Blizzcon. Here's a list of what I've puzzled together:
    • It will be announced at Blizzcon. Doesn't everybody know this?

    • The people at Blizzcon will automatically get to join the beta test. Lucky ess-oh-bees.

    • It's a probability that it will include upgraded graphics. This is possible with the WoW game engine.

    • What we definitely know is that it will include new areas for new content. New areas will perhaps include the Goblin island Undermine, frosty continent of Northrend, the area below sea-level of Maelstorm and the troll filled, former elven continent of Quel'thalas (and even perhaps we get to know the powerful wizard who sunk and obliterated Kul'tiras from the face of Azeroth). It could be either any of them if they have decided they want more areas for future expansion packs.

    • New content for players/characters of all levels, but mostly tilted towards end-game.

    • The expansion will not include letting characters learn to speak other languages. Languages are in the game because they thought it'd be a nice feature to have -- and it still is for role-playing and lore reasons. However, it was scrapped during the beta test when they realized that because the game is built on the faction vs faction-design, letting them speak to each other just results in mindless trash talking.

    • Perhaps it will include weather effects, though it's possible it might be released for vanilla as well.

    • It will include player housing. Or guild housing, or whatever -- it'll be something with letting people have houses.

    • It will have hero classes. I speculate there's a reason why the class designers didn't do that much class-balance (such as reevaluating the class trees that they are doing now) after the games release, and it's because they've been busy constructing hero classes. It's possible it might be included for vanilla as well since they originally promised it to be in (if it's not, people will be outraged and call Blizzard sell-outs. The momentum for this is building up already and this is the scenario I am expecting to take place. It will be one of the major things talked about when the expansion is announced for good and bad.)

    • There will be a raised level cap. New content will be suited for players with higher levels. Molten Core and Blackwing Lair and such will still be balanced for the vanilla cap of 60, whereas the new content in the expansion will be balanced around the new level cap.

      Looks like I'm right on this one as of 10/17/05.

    • It's likely it will include it's own built-in voice communication software, such as Ventrilo or Teamspeak. Mac users will be really happy.

    • There won't be any new classes. A new class would be hard to give an adequate role considering many classes already have 'shady' group roles.

    • There won't be any new races. Nobody likes the idea of restarting characters just to play another race, not the designers or players. It causes too many problems, specifically faction problems and end-game player problems. It's not fun when people stop playing their Horde chars just to they can level up their new Ogre mage, specifically when thousands of other people do the same.

      First wrong guess: Completely wrong, as of 10/13/05.

    • There won't be a new faction. This one is a no-brainer: It won't be included because they'd have to redesign the entire game and content. Adding a third faction would be like salting a wound to servers with an already imbalanced faction population (which arguably is the majority of all servers).

    • It will include stuff that we haven't been able to figure out yet that will take people by surprise.

    • I am going to be so completely wrong on so many points that when I look back at this I'm going to look like a complete buttface.

    That's my list. I'm no Robert X. Cringley, but I did the exact same with Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne and I thought I did a pretty swell job of puzzling things out on what was going to be included in it... though the largest mistake I did was that I thought Illidan was the body the Lich King was going to take over, this was because I thought him taking over Arthas was too simple and obvious that it couldn't be true. I was completely mistaken.