October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!



Sure, some of you saw it on Friendship Day, but let's face it. Even if it came out in August, it's still a Halloween special from my favorite WoW machinima creators over at Oblivious Films.

Say it with me: "Mister Teeth, Mister Teeth, Mister Teeth!"

October 30, 2007

Mage Leveling in Outlands: A Black Tie Affair?

Today's post comes from a reader Caiti of One Among Many, who left me a message in yesterday's comments section. She writes:

Quick question - I've discovered my long lost lvl 60 mage. So dusty in fact that there are no talents and gear...probably a mishap with the ex long ago...


To my point - suggestions? I'm on a pvp realm with him. The only upside is I've got 300 enchanting and tailoring already...but no mats and literally no gear...


I have a tux though...I logged in and thus - was perfectly dressed for a night on the town. Does that count?


Suggestions as to how I should fix this situation? (I'm almost afraid to kill things in outlands due to lack of gear...)


- One Among Many

Dear OAM,

Ouch. Maybe you could ask a hellboar for a dinner date? (Just kidding.)

I wrote some advice on mage leveling specs the other week, and although it only went up to 58, you should still be able to use it to get an idea of what might work best for you. I personally recommend frost for leveling these days, and if you're undergeared (or not at all geared, in your case), it's particularly powerful. You may not kill things fast, but you can probably keep them from hitting you until they finally die.

As for finding some more suitable outerwear for Outlands: I'd keep leveling tailoring, and have a [Netherweave Belt] and [Netherweave Bracers] ready for as soon as you hit 61. But Hellfire Penninsula is your best source for gear upgrades ([Goldweave Tunic], anyone?), so don't be afraid to don the tuxedo and dodge some felreavers. I took my hunter out at level 58, and he was still wearing a level 31 cloak and assorted pieces from Zul'Farrak. You may find it a little more painful, but within two hours you'll probably have filled out most of your empty slots. And if you die a few times in the meantime, well . . . at least you'll die well-dressed.

Best of luck,

- GMW

October 29, 2007

Patch 2.3 Loot Preview, Part 2: Zul'Aman DPS Caster Gear

This weekend's round of troll-killing was cut unexpectedly short by PTR server maintenance, so I spent the rest of my time analyzing DPS caster drops in ZA. Each boss in Zul'Aman drops one item and one badge of justice. Killing an animal boss (Nalorakk, Akil'Zon, Jan'Alai, or Halazzi) within the 20-minute sacrifice timer will reward you with an additional bonus loot chest. (The Amani War Bear mount is one of several items that appear to be part of a shared timed-event loot table.) So, what can DPS casters look forward to in Zul'Aman? Put on your robe and your wizard hat, and let's go down the list:

Weapons
With 217 spell damage on each, all four of the Zul'Aman dps caster weapons fall somewhere between the [Nathrezim Mindblade] from Karazhan and the [Fang of the Leviathan] from SSC. The Merciless Gladiator weapons are still generally better, but if you don't PvP enough to pick one up, it's time to start figuring out which ZA weapon is best for you.

  • [Wub's Cursed Hexblade] Jan'alai the dragonhawk drops this dagger, which may be favored by elemental shamans.
  • [Amani Punisher] If you're looking to pick up one of these maces, you may have to contend with a tanking pally or two, but solid stats and spell hit make this drop from Akil'zon the eagle boss a decent choice for spooky priests or moonkin.
  • [Blade of Twisted Visions] My mage is eying this haste-heavy sword from Zul'jin, the final boss in ZA.
  • [Amani Divining Staff] Generally speaking, even when you gem it up this won't put out as much damage as any of the current one-handed weapon + offhand combos, but I know lots of mages who are looking at this as the new +int choice for evocation weapon swaps.

Gear
Zul'Aman gear for dps casters features a lot of spell haste, which is more valuable the longer the length of your average spell cast or channel. While you should never wear a crappy piece of gear just because it has spell haste on it, current theorycrafting suggests that in 2.3, haste may be the next thing to stack once you've reached the hit cap. That is, unless you're a shadow priest, since Blizzard loves you guys, but hates itemizing for you.
  • [Footpads of Madness] Dropped by Jan'alai the dragonhawk, these are decent for a caster putting together a haste set, and may be especially valuable to non-tailors who don't have access to [Boots of Blasting].
  • [Signet of Ancient Magics] This ring can be socketed with a +dmg gem, and like the Mana-Attuned Band is one of the best rings in the game before BT/Hyjal.
  • [Mana Attuned Band] Spell haste is pretty worthless for shadow priests, but for the rest of us, it may well be the next best thing to stack after +hit. This ring has both, plus a ton of +dmg, and seems to be part of the timed loot table.
  • [Fury of the Ursine] Better than Veteran PvP gear, but not as good as the [Mindstorm Wristbands] off of A'lar. Depending on your class and spec, you may find these a better or worse choice than the [Runed Spell-cuffs], which will be purchasable with 35 Badges of Justice in 2.3.
  • [Hex Shrunken Head] Hex Lord Malacrass drops this trinket, which gives 53 damage on equip and has a two minute cooldown on its +dmg use.
  • [Hood of Hexing] As with Tier 5, I'd break a Spellstrike set for this hat. It's lacking a meta slot, which makes it pretty similar to the [Cowl of the Grand Engineer] off Void Reaver.
  • [Loop of Cursed Bones] An extremely nice BT/Hyjal level necklace for everyone except shadow priests, this will be a must for any +haste set. It drops off Zul'jin.
  • [Mantle of Ill Intent] Another heavy-hitting haste item, but without any sockets, I expect most people will stick with their Tier shoulders instead of these.
  • [Moon-walkers] Moonkin gear! Yes, you read that right. Note the two red sockets and spell hit bonus — why are moonkin the only ones who get decently itemized socket bonuses? What's that you say? The [Footpads of Madness] are actually slightly better for an oomkin? Oh. Well. At least they're leather, right?
  • [Robe of Departed Spirits] Another unsocketed haste-heavy piece of gear. I'm really looking forward to seeing some more number crunching on the relative value of increasing amounts of haste after capping spell hit, but I don't think this will be a huge upgrade, at least for tailors.
  • [Shadowcaster's Drape] Like the Loop of Cursed Bones, the cloak spot's an excellent place to stack some haste if you're hit-capped and of a class and spec that benefits from it. In relation to other gear, this appears to be roughly on par with the [Brute Cloak of the Ogre Magi] off of Maulgar, but there just aren't that many good PvE cloaks in game at the moment, so it's a welcome addition.
  • [Tiny Voodoo Mask] The Barov Peasant Caller of TBC, this trinket summons three tiny voodoo gnomes, which bite off the kneecaps — I mean, uh, cast little lightning bolts at your enemy. Sadly, the timer on this is too long for it to be used in arenas.

This concludes part two of Girl Meets WoW's three part series on dps caster loot in patch 2.3. You can read part one on Badge of Justice rewards here (soon to be updated with mouseover tooltips and moonkin gear). For the last post in this series, I'll be analyzing the upgrades to level 10-60 dps caster gear in the patch. Check back later this week to read it!

October 27, 2007

WoW Item Links - Now With Mouseover!












image by rsgranne

Double thanks are in order for my furry friend BigBearButt, who not only showed us all how to put Wowhead item data onto a blog, but also shared a great WoW blog I hadn't heard of, Okoloth's Armory Musings site. Okoloth's top-secret ArmorySpidering Technology™ appears to have yielded him an almost sickening amount of mined data on WoW players. If you've ever wanted to see a census on every active player in your class with breakdowns by spec, profession, reputation, or even the most popular pieces of gear for each slot, you may find yourself sucked in by sheer information overload. (I for one am intrigued by arcane mages' minority preference for the [Red Linen Shirt].)

So thank you, Okoloth and BBB, for helping us make the WoW blogosphere a better place, one [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker] at a time.

October 26, 2007

Attack of the Llamas
















I had a nice post I was starting to work on for today when I got aggroed by guild drama last night. The good news is that in spite of (or perhaps because of) having around 350 accounts, my guild is exceptionally stable, and this sort of thing is actually pretty rare. The bad news is I was the senior officer online when certain things made contact with the fan. So it's been a busy 24 hours, but tomorrow I get to go back on the PTR to take it out on a certain instance full of trolls. And Zul'Aman pwns drama llamas any day.

October 25, 2007

Mad Alchemist's Potion Proc Disappointingly Low

The PTRs got a patch today, which gave me the chance to load up my shadow priest and take a look at the new alchemist's only potion being added in 2.3. As I discussed on Tuesday, the Mad Alchemist's potion is a cheap version of the super rejuvenation potion that restores health and mana, and "sometimes has side effects." Drysc elaborated on this yesterday: the potions will occasionally give a random elixir buff when used, but "won't replace existing elixir buffs though, if you already have one on."

I headed onto Test to burn through my ragveil supply. The recipe is indeed trainable in Honor Hold and Thrallmar; it costs 3 gold 15 silver to learn. Naturally, I had some questions: will the "random elixir buff" count against your guardian or battle elixir count? Will the potion fail to proc if you already have elixirs up? If you get the random buff, can you then drink a different elixir in the same elixir family to have them stack?

I'd love to say I have some answers for you, but you know what? I've downed 23 of the damn things this morning, and they haven't procced once.

I think I'm going back to being a mad alchemist.

Note: this potion was later fixed on the PTRs. Jagoex does a great rundown of its effects at Warlock Therapy.

October 24, 2007

Engineering Flying Mount Preview



YouTube user jmanko has uploaded this short but excellent video showcasing not just the looks, but also the sounds and animations for the engineering flying mount. I'd seen some Turbo-Charged Flying Machines on the test realm, but I hadn't realized they made such excellent noises starting up, or that they could sputter and stall. Nice touch!

Hallow's End Alt Fun

















I rolled a Draenei paladin today in preparation for patch 2.3 — a bunch of us are creating bank alts which will each lead their own one-person guilds. Then we can use them to purchase 3 guild vault tabs of our very own to hold all our characters' excess stuff. At 110 gold plus bag costs, I expect it'll be a popular new storage strategy.

The only challenge for me was coming up with a name — since my server's several years old now, a lot of the good mule names have already been snatched up. I took a stab at 'Acquisition' and 'Depository' before finally scoring a win with 'Stockpile,' then played around a bit on Azuremyst Isle.

Leveling another Draenei gives me a chance to appreciate just how much effort Blizzard put into the 1-20 starter quests. The Stillpine Furbolg quests and the quest that has you disguise yourself as a tree are favorites of mine, but even just some of the NPC conversation text out here is particularly well-written. If you've never ventured out into this starter area before, you owe it to yourself next time you're thinking of rolling a new character. The novelty alone almost makes up for that eventual long trek to Ironforge.

October 23, 2007

Mad Alchemist's Pots Pacify Potion-Makers

The latest update on the PTR patch notes page suggests that Blizzard's heard the complaints of angry alchemists dissatisfied with only getting a new unique sound for cauldrons in 2.3. We alchemists were mad, and we weren't going to take it anymore!

The developers' response? Mad alchemist potions, a super rejuvenation potion for alchemists only which promises some mysterious "other side effects." As always, MMO-Champion has the latest, but so far my priest hasn't been able to located the recipe on the test server. Still, it's cheap, it's trainable, and it finally gives us a use for ragveil. Suddenly I'm not feeling so mad after all.

October 22, 2007

Spec For Success - Mage Leveling Builds

Patch 2.3 is more than just Zul'Aman, easier to acquire heroic keys, ret pally buffs, or the disappearance of the hunter dead zone. It's a chance to take advantage of all the Azerothian leveling changes by breaking out that sporadically-played alt and finally making the push to 58. But wait! Before you drop everything and head to Dustwallow Marsh, have you looked at your talents lately? Did you know what you were doing when you put that spec together, or were you just filling in points haphazardly? Now's the perfect time for a tune-up, so if you've got a mage alt in the wings, let's talk pre-Outlands talent trees.

Keep reading for my rationale on what talents to take when for each spec, or just use the links below to hop straight to a talent calculator for my recommendations for arcane, arcane/fire, fire, or frost leveling specs.



Arcane


Ten points in arcane has long been a favorite start for fire and arcane builds alike, but it's only since the Before the Storm patch that arcane has become more than just a support tree. You can actually put together a really solid leveling build of arcane talents, but after 45 points, I strongly recommend you take a look at expanding into the fire tree. Here are my thoughts:

Your first five points should go into Improved Arcane Missiles, and your second five into Arcane Concentration for clearcasting. From there, pick up 2/2 Magic Attunement (and remember to keep Dampen Magic up while you're soloing) and 3/3 Arcane Impact, which will give you enough points to fill out 3/3 Arcane Meditation (after patch 2.3, this will give 30% mana regeneration in combat instead of just 15%). Put two points in Improved Counterspell, and you'll have opened up Presence of Mind. Snag it (and start using it for insta-fireballs), and you should now have your talents set through level 30.

If you're continuing straight down the arcane tree, your next stop is to max out Arcane Mind for a 15% intellect increase. Put your next three points into Arcane Instability, then one point into Arcane Potency, which lets you take Arcane Power. At this point you're level 40 with a lot of great talents at hand, but the very first thing you should be dumping points into is 3/3 Empowered Arcane Missiles — this talent is critical to real arcane dps, so take it first, and then stick your two points into Spell Power. From there you can put 4/5 into Mind Mastery, pick up Slow, and then hop back up to finish the 5/5.

You're now level 51, and you've got some choices to make. Find yourself fighting mobs a good bit higher level than you? The first tier talent Arcane Focus can increase your +hit with spells by up to 10%, but in my mind, it has marginal returns for leveling mages after 3/5 points due to the nature of the spell hit mechanic. Grouping more often, and finding yourself with uncomfortable amounts of aggro? 2/2 Arcane Subtlety will reduce your arcane spells' threat by a whopping 40%. If it were up to me though, I'd stick my last seven points into the fire tree if I hadn't gone arcane/fire already. 5/5 Improved Fireball followed by Ignite will increase your flexibility, and get you that much closer to the dreaded Arcane Power-POM-Pyroblast.



Arcane/Fire


Although I discuss dropping a few points into fire at the end of the pure arcane build, this build is aimed more at the mage who wants the mana regen benefits of arcane while casting a lot of fire spells. It's a solid combo for steady, efficient leveling, although in my mind there's a real advantage getting deep into a tree early on. Here's how it looks:

Put your first ten points into Improved Arcane Missiles and Arcane Concentration. Every time clearcasting procs, you should use it as an excuse to cast AM. Follow that up with five points in Improved Fireball and five points in Ignite, then swap back to arcane to pick up 2/2 Magic Attunement (again, keep Dampen Magic up while you're soloing), 3/3 Arcane Impact, 3/3 Arcane Meditation, and 2/2 Improved Counterspell. You're now specced through level 30, and your next two points will give you a powerful combo: Presence of Mind and Pyroblast. Use them together and use them often, but don't wait until your target is almost dead to use them -- most of the power of Pyroblast is in its DOT, after all.

You're now done with arcane and can go back to the fire tree. At this point I recommend increasing your range with 2/2 Flame Throwing, followed by 2/2 Incinerate and 3/3 Master of Elements. If you're experiencing a lot of pushbacks, you could take Burning Soul, but since you already have un-interruptable Improved Arcane Missiles, I suggest trying to change your playstyle instead of your build. Next, 2/3 Improved Scorch will open up Blast Wave, which is an awesome AOE talent. Drop your next three points into Critical Mass, and then finish out that last point in Scorch. Three points in Fire Power will take you to level 58, and from there it's on to Outlands.



Fire


Fire builds are all about raw damage — when you're playing a fire mage right, you should be able to kill your target in two or three shots, preferably before it even reaches you. The main challenge to doing this successfully in Azeroth is the lack of real +damage gear. (Fire scales extremely well with +dmg, which is part of why 10/48/3 is such a well-liked PvE spec.) That plus the fact that most pre-Outlands play is now soloing is why I tend to think frost is the strongest leveling build at the moment, but that doesn't mean fire can't be for you. If you don't mind drinking or dying a bit more often and enjoy lighting the furry creatures of the forest on fire, this spec can dish out a ton of damage and be a lot of fun to play. Here's how I'd build a fire mage:

Take 5/5 Improved Fireball and 5/5 Ignite, then snag an extra 6 yards of casting range with 2/2 Flame Throwing. Put your next two points into Incinerate, then pick up 2/2 Burning Soul to reduce pushbacks for when you can't quite kill a mob before it's beating you in the face. Improved Scorch and Master of Elements are the next talents to consider, and the order in which you take them is somewhat playstyle-dependent. Imp Scorch gives a lot of value for very little mana, but stacking scorch debuffs just isn't practical while soloing same-level regular mobs (it takes too long; they die too quickly). So it's a nice talent to have, but I'd put my first three points here into Master of Elements, then one point into Imp Scorch for now. This opens up Critical Mass at level 30.

Once you've taken 3/3 Critical Mass, I'd hop one more tier up and pick up Pyroblast so that you can take Blastwave next. (Yes, we could've taken Pyroblast earlier in this build, but it's a long, slow, mana inefficient spell that doesn't really shine while leveling unless you have Presence of Mind.) At this point you have two new talents open: Fire Power and Blazing Speed. Blazing Speed is fun, and a great PvP talent, but in my mind it's a distraction from the awesome dps talents we're working our way down towards. (Plus, you didn't roll a fire mage for the surviveability anyway, did you?) So take 5/5 Fire Power instead, and then pick up Combustion at level 40. From there I'd grab 3/3 Pyromaniac and put a first point into Molten Fury, which opens up the talent we've been working our way down to: Empowered Fireball. Max it out, and you can then pick up Dragon's Breath.

Finish up the bottom of the fire tree by putting your 42nd point into 2/2 Molten Fury, and now it's time to make some choices. Find yourself drinking a lot and/or fighting mobs a good bit higher level than you? You could hop over to the frost tree and put three points in Elemental Precision, an excellent talent that will increase your +hit with fire and frost spells by 3%, and reduce their mana cost by the same amount. Think you'd like a stun talent like the shadow priest's Blackout? 5/5 Impact is for you. Still want to play with Blazing Speed? Now's the time to pick it up.



Arcane/Frost


If you ask me (and you are reading my blog, after all), arcane/frost is a silly leveling spec. Frost is mana efficient enough on its own, so why go dumping ten points outside the tree? I'm told some people do it so that they can use AM on clearcasts, but the occasional free arcane missles just doesn't seem worth the cost to me. If you're determined to try it out, go ahead and put ten points into Imp Arcane Missles and Arcane Concentration, then use my frost spec to work your way down towards Ice Barrier, which you won't get for another ten levels because you decided you really wanted clearcasting, you fool!



Frost


I've never leveled as a frost mage, but when my boyfriend asked how he should spec his mage alt, I had no reservations telling him to go full frost. (He's level 69 now, and will be respeccing to fire at 70.) With Azeroth increasingly becoming a land of solo quest grinds, frost's control, survivability and mana efficiency make it a real winner for pre-Outlands leveling. Some talent guides out there are still focused on AOE grinding, but if you ask me that's 1) boring and 2) going to be much less XP efficient with the increase to quest XP in patch 2.3. So I'd spec a frost mage like this:

Five points in Improved Frostbolt gives you a primary source of dps. Next grab 2/2 Improved Frost Nova, and 5/5 Ice Shards. Three points in Piercing Ice opens up Shatter, and once you put five points in it you'll have a 50% chance to crit any frozen target. It's one of the critical talents in the frost tree, so pick this up as soon as possible. You're specced up to level 20, and have four excellent options to dump points into: the slowing talent Permafrost, the Frost Nova-like proc Frostbite, the mana/threat reduction talent Frost Channeling, and the increased range talent Arctic Reach. You'll want all four of these, but since I have to pick an order, well... take Arctic Reach first, then two points in Permafrost, then 2/3 Frostbite, then 3/3 Frost Channeling. We'll come back to finish off Permafrost and Frostbite, but before we do, at level 40 it's time to pick up the frost mage's favorite friend, Ice Barrier. Take Ice Block (fairly useless for solo grinding), then Ice Barrier. Add your new shield to your bar, and keep it up as much as possible.

Okay, got Ice Barrier going? Good. Hop back up the tree and stick those last two points into Frostbite and Permafrost. You could also pick up Cold Snap at this point, and to be honest, many frost mages seem to like it, but I just can't see a 10 minute cooldown being worth a whole talent point for a leveling mage, so I'd put your next two points in Ice Floes instead. This will open up Empowered Frostbolt; max it out. Level 50 gets a bit lonely grinding out in the Blasted Lands all alone, doesn't it? I thought so, which is why I'm having you put your next point into Summon Water Elemental, the frost mage pet. Aww, isn't he cute? He's on a three minute cooldown, so you can use him as an emergency tank or a damage boost.

We've worked our way down to the bottom of the tree, but there are still valuable talents aplenty in it. Elemental Precision is a good choice for your next three points, and I'd choose Arctic Winds for your final five.

Congratulations, you're 58! Go kill some hellboars.

October 21, 2007

Fighting Nalorakk: You Got Your Troll in My Bear! No, You Got Your Bear in My Troll!

Ok, neither bears nor trolls are great tastes, but when it comes to the Amani lord of bears, they go together whether you like it or not. My 10 man raid spent Friday night fighting the good fight against finnicky PTR instance servers and the first boss of Zul'Aman, and here's what I've got to report.

Nalorakk isn't a pushover, but he's not an especially complicated boss either. Best of all, you only have to clear about six pulls to get to him: one AOE pull after you talk to Harrison Jones (it'll have two elites, too), a double troll pat, a couple of angry bears, and then some packs of trolls and trolls riding bears that Nalorakk sends at you as you get closer to him. Quick tip on the bear-riding trolls: their bears' growl debuff stacks, so be sure to space your tanks far enough away from each other.

Once you get through that trash, you'll need two tanks for the bear boss himself; one for each phase. Nalorakk will start as a troll, and alternate between troll and bear form. In troll form he casts mangle, which increases bleed effects. Then in bear form he hits whoever's tanking him with a lacerate and rend. (You can remove his mangle with stoneform, but if you've got it, save it for that emergency missed taunt.) Put your better geared tank on bear form, and have your tanks swap each time Nalorakk shifts to bear or troll. Finally, you want your tanks to stand on top of each other so that when he uses his 14k brutal swipe attack, its damage will be split between both of them.

Aside from the tanking, it's pretty straightforward. In troll form he'll charge at random and can cleave anyone around his target, so spread out. In bear form his deafening roar will damage everyone for ~1.3k and silence the raid for two seconds. Other than that, he's a tank and spank with 1.7 million health, so pile on the damage. The best kind of bear-troll-thing is a dead bear-troll-thing, after all.

October 19, 2007

What's Your /Played Time?














I'm coming up on three years of playing World of Warcraft, with two 70s and a third not far behind. Hardly the most astounding figures, I know, but then again, most WoW players don't even have one character character running 25-mans, much less two. So I thought I'd take a moment to dig through all the toons above level three on my account and see what my /played time is at. Scary? Awe-inspiring? You be the judge. And the characters are:

  1. 70 mage (main)
  2. 70 priest (spooky raid alt)
  3. 66 hunter (I'm a terrible hunter, but I'm leveling him anyway)
  4. 25 warrior (long ago, on a server far far away)
  5. 25 druid (should pick her back up sometime)
  6. 26 shaman (waiting patiently for patch 2.3's leveling changes)
  7. 12 warlock (bank alt)
  8. 19 warrior (in my guild's Horde alt guild)
  9. 4 warrior (10-man raid bank alt)
  10. 7 rogue (I got bored with roguery pretty quickly)
Total: 4053.82 hours, or 168 days, 21 hours, and 49 minutes.

I think maybe I'll take tomorrow off.

October 18, 2007

Hallow's End Costumes are Here!

With Hallow's End finally here, I've compiled a guide on how to obtain all the different costumes you'll soon be seeing on display, as well as some of the cool effects they have.

Trick or Treat at an Inn
Trick or treating prompts the innkeepers to either give you a treat bag, turn you into something for 30 seconds, or give you a costume with a 60 minute duration. You can only trick or treat once every hour.

Tricks

  • 30 Second Debuffs: mini-Diablo, skeleton, ghost, bat, frog, kitten, snake
  • 60 minute Costumes: leper gnome, pirate, ninja, bat, pirate, skeleton, wisp
Treats
  • Flimsy Masks that let you dress up as a different race or faction
  • Hallowed wands that you can cast on a member of your party to give them one of the 60 minute costumes
  • Candy

Hallow's End Pumpkin Treats
These candies cause you to take on one of four random forms, each of which has a special effect. You can right-click to dispell the form, or the form can be dispelled (might be handy to have a few of these for PvP). You get them from innkeepers or from completing Hallow's End quests. The four pumpkin treat costumes are:

If you're looking to get more candy (and who isn't?), you'll definitely want to do the orphan quest: Hallow's End Treats for Jesper! on Alliance, or Hallow's End Treats for Spoops! for Horde. You can pick the quest up at the Ogrimmar or Stormwind orphanages, and it will send you to innkeepers in each of your faction's major Azerothian cities. Once you complete the orphan quest, you'll receive 30 Hallow's End Pumpkin Treats, and will be able to purchase more from a special holiday vendor. Horde can buy them from Rachelle Gothena by the AH in Orgrimmar, and Alliance from Katrina Shimmerstar, who's located right outside the Ironforge bank.

What's New in the WoW Blogosphere

What's new with GMW, you might be wondering? Well, I'm seeing a ton of traffic to my post on how to summon the Headless Horseman (so much so, in fact, that it appears I've exceeded my bandwidth on the Google Pages account that hosts my blogroll and my banner image... working to get those back up asap!), my guild is hard at work trying to take down Vashj, and when I'm not raiding, I've been poking around on the PTR checking out all the new goodies. But it looks like I'm not the only one...

Szilia on the World of Raids forums has scooped the post I'd been putting together on the new Dustwallow Marsh quests. (He doesn't include a map though; that's me, all me!) They're currently only partly implemented on the PTR; you can accept them, but most of them don't actually complete. One of the nice things about the new UI changes is that your cursor will now tell you if someone has a quest for you when you mouse over them, even if your level is too high for (!) to display over their heads. It's not quite as good as a pink exclamation point, but it's still a welcome change.

Mania's Arcania has done some PTR testing on how hunter pets will get behind their targets in patch 2.3. Essentially, pets won't bother circling if they have aggro (though it would be funny to watch them try), but they will move to the side of the mob if someone else is tanking. Since they don't attack while repositioning, this could mean a fair bit of dps downtime on a boss with a large footprint.

AFK Gamer, as usual, has the most fantastic-looking screenshots up. That's his picture of the headless horseman's pumpkin shrine in Scarlet Monastery at left.

Big Bear Butt's got the news on druid itemization changes. His shiny new Earthwarden is getting an extra 156 attack power in the patch.

Matticus has a public service announcement for all raiders: use your cooldowns! He's right, too: stop waiting for an emergency and break out the big guns already.

Breana at Gun Lovin' Dwarf Chick has written an awesome post called How to Survive in a WoW Marriage. If you're not married like me, just pretend it's called How to Survive Playing WoW and Living in Sin. (*wicked grin*) The advice still applies.

I've got a date with 9 other people on the PTR this Friday, so unless the the PTRs go down, I hope to be back covered in troll's blood and riding a bear to deliver you all the latest on Zul'Aman sometime this weekend.

October 16, 2007

Defias in Dustwallow?

Defias in Duskwood
Fans of lore and enemies of incomplete quest lines were both intrigued by recent comments on the WoW boards that the King of Stormwind's disappearance (the subject of the Missing Diplomat quests for Alliance characters) may finally be revisited in WotLK. Think Drysc's comment about Northrend holding the answer is just more Ashbringer-style speculation? Could be, but I've come straight from the PTR with news that suggests Blizzard isn't forgetting their unfinished WoW story lines just yet. Among the changes in Dustwallow Marsh is the presence of a band of shipwrecked Defias Brotherhood operatives. The new Dustwallow quests aren't completely implemented yet, but outside of Theramore is one Captain Wymor who wants you to check out their encampment and retrieve their orders. Could these ruffians have more information on the king's whereabouts? Only time will tell.

Stopcasting in 2.3: A Return to Button-Mashing

New readers, please note! This post was based on theorycrafting from an old build of the patch 2.3 PTR. Button mashing is not viable in WoW 2.3. Instead, remove /stopcasting from your old macros, keep Quartz, and continue to try to start your next cast as soon as you enter latency phase. If you hit your button too early, it will not cause your current cast to fail (as it did in 2.2), but it may cause you to incur a global cooldown penalty.

GMW readers know I've talked about using /stopcasting macros with Quartz before, but with the PTRs up, it's time to take a look forward at how spell casts will be changing in patch 2.3. Here's the relevant portion of the patch notes:

"Client spell cast requests are now sent to the server even if your player is already casting another spell. This eliminates the need for /stopcasting in macros to compensate for latency."

How is this different from how casts in WoW work now?
Right now, casters who aren't using /stopcast macros lose cast time to lag on any spell which takes longer than the global cooldown to cast. Quartz is a cast bar mod with a built-in latency indicator which can currently be used to time when to hit a macro so that the client (your end) will let you force-stop your old spell and begin casting a spell before it heard back from the server saying that the spell was complete. Timed correctly, spell #1 would complete and spell #2 would start with minimal time lost due to your own lag or server latency. This requires a caster to carefully watch her cast bar and then hit her macro one time once the cast reaches the safe zone.

What does this mean for casters after the patch?
The change in 2.3 means that your client won't have to wait for a “go ahead” from the server in order for you to be able to start casting a new spell. The client will no longer lock you out of starting a new cast, which means that you'll be able to repeatedly hit your cast button until the server knows your last cast has finished. The first attempted cast which reaches the server after it registers your last cast as completed will go through. In essence, the effect will be like having v2.2 /stopcasts already macroed into all your spells. In practice, it means that we'll all get to go back to mashing our buttons instead of perfectly timing a single tap of our macros.

In spite of this change, Quartz will remain a useful tool, because it gives you a visual readout of when your spell should be finished. You can use the Quartz cast bar to spam your cast button just before the cast bar reaches the “safe zone.” Here's a look at the difference in the two approaches:

Summary
In 2.3, /stopcast macros will only be useful for interrupting spells (i.e., stopping your fireball cast to counterspell your target), and not for decreasing cast lag. Old macros which served the second function may now cancel your casts if used, so you should delete or alter them accordingly to remove /stopcast. To maximize your spell casts in 2.3 and beyond, get a cast bar with a latency indicator, and spam the button for your next spell when your cast bar approaches the latency phase.

October 15, 2007

Ritual of Refreshment Details

Last night I was finally able to get in some quality time with the PTR for patch 2.3, and picked up the new ritual of refreshment spell for my mage. That's a screenshot of the dispenser at left; a soulwell-like table which you can summon to dispense food and water to your raid. It cost me 10g 80s to learn, and is available to mages at level 70. Here's the spell text:

"Begins a ritual that creates a refreshment table. Raid members can click the table to acquire Conjured Manna Biscuits. The tables last for 2 min or 50 charges. Requires the caster and 2 additional party members to complete the ritual. In order to participate, all players must right-click the refreshment portal and not move until the ritual is complete."

I'm pretty pleased with this idea, even if the table does look a little silly. One rune of portals is an easy, cheap trade-off for five minutes of conjuring, evocating, conjuring, drinking, and conjuring more raid water. Plus, unlike with soulwell, ritual of refreshment actually has more charges than there are raid members. So even if you only have one mage in a 25-man, everyone gets two stacks of tasty, tasty manna biscuits.

October 14, 2007

How to Call the Headless Horseman

A former knight of the Silver Hand, the Headless Horseman is a cursed paladin who lurks within the Scarlet Monastery graveyard during Hallow's End (October 18th-November 1st). He's a fun fight with a small loot table of Heroic-level purples, plus fun things like temporary BOE broom mounts and a noncombat pumpkin pet. Sure, you may still be hungover from Brewfest or punch-drunk off the PTRs, but Halloween is on the way! Here's the Girl Meets WoW guide to summoning and defeating WoW's first five-man holiday boss.

First, find a group of level 70 players and take a field trip to the Scarlet Monastery. The graveyard is the first instance portal on the left, and you'll need to lazily clear through two hallways and a room to get to the horseman. On the right side of the SM GY grounds is a Pumpkin Shrine, which gives the daily quest [70] Call the Headless Horseman. Someone in your party must accept this quest, and then click on the Loosely Turned Soil behind the shrine to place a Dreary Candle.

The Horseman will then aggro on whoever placed the candle, starting the fight. Here's how the fight works:

Phase One
Allow your tank to pick up aggro on the Horseman, and dps him down (watch out for cleaves). At 1% he will toss his head in the air and then wander around disoriented (and immune to your attacks), and the Head of the Horseman will become active. It has ~27k health, and you'll need to take a third of that off to start the next phase.

Phase Two
The Head and the Horseman will recombine at the start of Phase Two. During this phase, the Horseman can Conflagrate, so ranged and healers need to keep their distance. As before, dps him to 1%, he'll separate, and then you need take off another third of the head's health. Note that after he separates, the Horseman will also whirlwind this time, so spread out and drop the head as fast as you can.

Phase Three
Head and Horseman will recombine again, and will toss out four Pulsing Pumpkins, which grow into adds which can crit for about 1k on cloth. They have about 10k health apiece, so while you could AOE them, you might just want to have your tank pick them up and keep dpsing - they'll go away when he dies. Drop the Horseman back down to 1%, and he'll toss his head again - kill it, and you win.

How Many Times a Day Can You Summon the Horseman?
In theory, you could farm him indefinitely within the constraints of the four instances per hour limit, but keep in mind that he's summoned by a daily quest, so once everyone in your party has summoned him, you'll have to either bring someone new in, or wait 24 hours to be able to get the Call the Headless Horseman quest again.

What Does the Horseman Drop?
The Horseman's Helm - A dps plate helm.
The Horseman's Signet Ring - A dps caster ring.
Ring of Ghoulish Delight - A melee dps ring.
Witching Band - A healing ring.
Hallowed Helm - This has no stats; it's a pumpkin you can wear on your head.
Magic Broom - A temporary level 40 ground mount. The most likely to drop.
Swift Magic Broom - A temporary epic ground mount.
Flying Broom - A temporary regular flying mount.
Swift Flying Broom - A temporary epic flying mount. The rarest broom.
Sinister Squashling (BOP noncombat pet) - An evil-looking walking pumpkin pet. When idle, he folds up into himself and "sits down" as a jack-o-lantern.
Tricky Treat - Candy that increases your movement speed for 30 seconds.

Sound complicated? It's really not that bad, but if my walkthrough has you curious or if you just can't wait until the 18th, you can always go watch a video of the fight (warning: very odd music selection).

October 13, 2007

Is Tailoring Dead?

Since the release of the Burning Crusade, tailoring has widely been considered the most overpowered profession, enough so that many hardcore raiding guilds have required their casters to be tailors. Mages, warlocks and spooky priests with 375 tailoring skill can enjoy the benefits of the Spellfire or Shadoweave sets, which for PvE raiding may be wearable from pre-Karazhan up until Tier 5 or Tier 6. Part of this has been due to some poor itemization on Blizzard's part on the tier pieces (a subject familiar to any shadow priest who's ever looked sadly at the spell crit on her T4 gloves), which has helped reinforce the need for an item to be really good in order for it to be worth breaking the tailoring set bonus.

With the advent of Patch 2.3, however, tailoring's pedestal is starting to look a little shaky. Some of the new gear purchasable with badges of justice is on par with loot from the Black Temple, and at least two pieces of dps cloth overlap with Spellfire and Shadoweave. Could tailors just starting Magtheridon or SSC soon be looking at breaking their sets? Let's run some numbers.

The Spellfire set consists of a robe, gloves, and belt, all with arcane and fire damage, while Shadoweave boasts frost and shadow damage in the form of a robe, gloves, and boots. For the sake of this example, let's look at just these four slots: chest, hands, waist, and feet. If we want to compare the two sets, we can pick out some decent drops a dps caster just starting SSC might have by patch 2.3. I've chosen the Boots of Blasting, a BoP crafted item from Serpentshrine trash that my mage happens to be wearing, and the Voodoo-woven Belt, which can be purchased for 60 badges of justice after the patch.

Of course, if we want to look at replacing Spellfire or Shadoweave entirely, we need a chest and a set of gloves, too. I'm going to assume that our hypothetical dps caster has gotten his T4 chestpiece from Magtheridon, and that he's got the badges to pick up the awesome new Studious Wraps. Any of these chest/hands/waist/feet combinations will result in 6 sockets. Since we usually end up ignoring socket bonuses on our raiding gear, I'm going to go ahead and skip those in my math, along with the set bonuses on the tailoring for now, but we'll want to consider those carefully at the end.

What do the stats look like for each combination? The chart below compares all five options, with separate columns players wearing Spellfire + Boots of Blasting, Shadoweave + Voodoo-woven Belt, and (Studious Wraps, Voodoo-woven Belt, Boots of Blasting) + the mage, shadow priest, or warlock Tier 4 chestpiece.


So, is breaking your tailoring set worth it? The average tailor will lose about 50 points of damage by swapping in the pieces I've suggested. On the other hand, you can pick up quite a bit in the way of stats and hit. For a mage, I'd still have a hard time dropping 36 crit and 43 damage if I was already hit-capped, but if you're not quite there or struggling with low HP, 2.3 could be the time to take the plunge. And for those of you soldiering on without, it looks like this patch is going to make the difference between tailors and non-tailors a little less severe.

October 12, 2007

Patch 2.3 Brings New Badge of Justice Rewards

Those guys at MMO-Champion just keep churning out the patch data. The latest updates include some screenshots from Zul'Aman as well as a long list of new heroic rewards available from badge of justice turn-ins. We've heard talk of of Karazhan and Zul'Aman dropping badges in 2.3, but unless I'm mistaken, it didn't show up in the official patch notes. Hopefully it's still true though, because most of us are going to be wanting a lot more badges soon.

Dps caster items of note:

  • Audacity & Depravity - Two of several PvP-focused trinkets with a Lifegiving Gem type use; +47dmg or +40 spell crit is nothing to sneeze at.
  • Fetish of the Primal Gods - A pretty nice stat-heavy off-hand, with spell haste rating and 37 damage. This is probably an across-the-board upgrade from the spell school specific badge of justice rewards currently in game.
  • Cloak of Subjugated Power - An excellent purchasable PvP cloak, and a possible PvE upgrade from the Shawl of Shifting Probabilities. It has less crit, but more damage, some resilience, and a lot more stamina. For shadow priests, the Cloak of the Black Void will still win out when stacking straight spell damage, but if you're a dps caster who's been PvPing in your Sergeant's Heavy Cape, you're going to want one of these.
  • Runed Spell-cuffs - The Bracers of Nimble Thought are BoE crafted cloth wrists that can be made from a pattern which drops in Black Temple, and uses BT mats. Some guilds have been selling BoE crafted gear from BT, but it looks like they'll be less in demand now, since the cuffs are basically a slightly tuned-down version of them.
  • Studious Wraps - Imagine if your Tier 5 gloves had sockets on them. Good lord, these are going to be nice.
  • Voodoo-woven Belt - It's a nice belt, but it's not socketable like my Spellfire Belt is. It does have spell hit on it, and a lot of crit, but if I went back to fire I'd probably use Fire-Cord of the Magus, a trash drop in The Eye. The Belt of Divine Inspiration off of Maulgar also remains a good option for people not looking for more crit or hit, and is socketable.
  • Carved Witch Doctor's Stick - This is another real winner. It'll be the second socketable wand in the game (along with this quest item), and it's got 18 damage plus stats. Shadow priests will be able to socket it up to 27 dmg, making it better than a Black Temple drop. For my mage, I'd be torn between this and the Wand of the Forgotten Seer (which has no stats), but since Solarian hasn't dropped one of those for me yet, I'll be getting my badges ready anyway.
What does this mean for you, your guild, or the game in general? To start with, people may finally be breaking their tailoring sets without touching Tier 5 or Tier 6. Also, a lot of raiders are now going to be trying to pack in 25-man raiding, Zul'Aman, and heroics for a while, which may stretch us a little thin, but will probably be a good thing for more casual PvE players who've been having trouble finding crafters with primal nethers or people to run heroics with them. Really, I can't scoff at unexpected purchasable upgrades at all, but I'm going to have to find some time to fit in more five mans again.

What's that, you still require more patch loots to drool over? Very well. Have some Zul'Aman weapons.

PTR Waiting Game

So, I downloaded the PTR client last night to get a look at the test version of patch 2.3, with the intent of transferring my mage over this morning. Apparently the penalty for waiting 14 hours is a five day queue to get in.

So much for the ZA run I was putting together for Saturday morning. Bah. Get outta my line, you whippersnappers! I've got trolls to kill!

October 11, 2007

New Mount Pictures at MMO Champion!










MMO Champion has pictures of the new mounts in patch 2.3 - the bear mount from Zul'Aman, the engineering airplane mount, and all five colors of Cenarion Expedition hippogriffs. I must have a rideable bear. Must.

Nalorakk, prepare to face my lazers!

PTRs Are Going Up Tonight!

Hortus drops the bomb on the WoW boards. Looks like I might see some ZA this weekend! Meanwhile, salivate over some new tidbits I've plucked from the official 2.3 PTR patch notes:

Guild Banks

  • Will be accessed through "guild banker" NPCs.
  • Will have 6 "tabs" containing 98 item slots each. Each tab can be given separate access permissions as far as who can view, deposit, or withdraw gold or items, which the guild leader can set up.
  • Will keep a log of the last 50 banking transactions.
Weapon Skill and Expertise
  • Expertise rating appears to be the new weapon skill. Each point of expertise reduces the chance your opponent will dodge or parry your attack by 0.25%.
  • Most items with weapon skill have now been changed to grant expertise rating. Ranged weapon skill has been reitemized to +crit or +hit.
  • Dwarves will now gain +1% crit with guns instead of increased weapon skill.
  • Trolls will now gain +1% crit with bows and throwing weapons instead of increased weapon skill.
Reputation-Based Vendor Discounts
  • A change to the faction vendor system now gives increasing discounts as your rep goes up. 5% for friendly, 10% for honored, 15% for revered, 20% for exalted.
Pets
  • Will try to get behind their targets in melee now.
  • Will not trigger items or abilities that proc "on killing an enemy" when they die.
Auction House
  • Will now allow you to sell items for 12, 24, or 48 hours.
  • Now sports reorganized categories.
Mail
  • Will now let you send up to 12 items in a single message.
  • Right-click will now place an item in the outgoing mail.
Daily Quests
  • Will now show up as blue exclamation points.
  • Have been added to one random battleground each day, and can be picked up by the battlemasters in capital cities.
  • Have been added to Outlands 5-mans, as well as CoT. One random heroic and non-heroic dungeon a day.
  • There are now daily quests for fishing.

Fan Art Makes Me Feel Inadequate












The Blizzard fan art page really is an enormous cache of well-illustrated works of fandom, isn't it? Just browsing through there gets me all excited about this year's pumpkin carving contest. I'm tempted to submit a pumpkin myself, but I think the competition is a bit out of my league. Still, perhaps I should take up knife and gourd in the pursuit of fame, fortune, and shiny Logitech surround sound speakers. What do you think?

October 10, 2007

Are You Forgetting Your Free Gems?

I've got to admit it; when it comes to WoW, I can be incredibly forgetful. When you're trying to remember whether you've done a certain quest or still have that stack of terocone, having three characters in Outlands can make things awful confusing. (Instant mail between alts has been a godsend in this regard.) Just today, however, I remembered something really basic that I've forgotten to do on any of my characters lately -- going out to Nagrand every month to pick up my salary of free Consortium gems.

Didn't know you you'd been missing out? It's true. If you're friendly or higher with the Consortium, you can pick up a new set of gems from Gehze in Nagrand at the start of every month. The higher your reputation, the better your chances of getting good-quality gems. Even if you're only friendly, it's a nice little gift you can use to pay the repair bills or help level up your alt's jewelcrafting. But be forewarned: if you don't pick up your gems by the end of the month, they won't roll over to next month. So don't forget!

October 9, 2007

The Zen of Mage Macros

My class leader has long advocated the use of macros "to simplify your life and give you inner peace." While inner peace isn't usually a concept I associate with WoW, I do consider macros one of the basic tools every mage should have in his arsenal. The farther you progress on your mage, the more complex you may find your job -- in a high end raid, you could be chain sheeping one target, dpsing another, and casting detect magic on a third. The combination of spells, targets, and buttons to click can get rather complicated, which is where macros come in.

A good macro can combine several separate actions into one, allowing you to automatically cast trinkets when their cooldown wears off, polymorph your sheep target without losing your dps target, or cast all of your buffs on yourself with a single button. This post is focused on some of my favorite macros as a primarily PvE mage, and is greatly indebted to Zarakaar's Mage Macro Guide on the WoW forums, as well as Cogwheel's Complete Macro Guide. Oh, and if you've totally new to macros and looking for a basic introduction, check out the official World of Warcraft Macro Guide for some basic pointers.

Toggleable Rank 1/Rank 14 Frostbolt
Rank 1 Frostbolt is a handy kiting tool in PvP or PvE, since it takes 1.5 seconds to cast, only costs 25 mana, and creates the same 40% movement slowdown as higher rank Frostbolts (albeit for 5 seconds instead of 9). This macro will cast your highest rank Frostbolt unless you're holding down the alt key, in which case it'll cast rank 1.

#showtooltip
/stopcasting
/cast [modifier:alt] Frostbolt(Rank 1); Frostbolt
Here, "#showtooltip" allows your button to gray out if you're out of range, and "/stopcasting" gives you built-in functionality for use with the Quartz add-on. (Note: the need for /stopcasting is supposed to be fixed in Patch 2.3, and macros may have to be updated accordingly.)

Stop Everything and Counterspell!
Interrupts usually need to happen fast. This macro will interrupt your current cast and immediately CS your target. You can add an optional line like "/s %t Counterspelled!" if you need to coordinate your interrupts with other raiders.
#showtooltip
/stopcasting
/cast Counterspell
Someone Has to Keep Up Scorch
But why should it take up a button slot? Use this macro to cast Fireball, or hold down alt to cast Scorch.
#showtooltip
/stopcasting
/cast [modifier:alt] Scorch; Fireball
Arcane Missile Spam
If you're a button masher, this macro lets you spam your AM button without breaking your Arcane Missles before they finish.
/cast [noChanneling:Arcane Missiles] Arcane Missiles
One-Button Thermostat
Toggleable Frost or Fire Ward.
/cast [modifier:alt] Frost Ward; Fire Ward
Eat and Drink
Since you have an unlimited supply of food and water, why not combine eating and drinking into a single button?
/use [nomodifier] Conjured Glacier Water
/use [nomodifier] Conjured Croissant
Self Buff in a Can
This macro creates a single button you can hit to apply all of your self buffs. Note that Molten Armor can be replaced with Ice Armor, according to your preferences.
/castsequence [target=player] reset=60 Dampen Magic, Arcane Intellect, Molten Armor;
Mana Gems in a Can
Hit this macro repeatedly to conjure all five mana gems. (If you don't carry around all five -- and I didn't until I got my Serpent-Coil Braid -- you can delete the ones you don't want. I recommend carrying three for most people.)
/castsequence reset=60 Conjure Mana Emerald, Conjure Mana Ruby, Conjure Mana Citrine, Conjure Mana Jade, Conjure Mana Agate
Ready, Focus, Polymorph
This is a one-button sheeping macro which sets your current target as your focus if you don't already have a focus. Clicking it again will resheep your focus without changing your target. To manually change poly targets before your old focus is dead, hold down alt while hitting the macro button.
#show Polymorph
/clearfocus [modifier:alt]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/stopcasting
/cast [target=focus,exists,harm] Polymorph; Polymorph
Hoverable Decursing
When used with a raid frames set up to display curses, you can hover your mouse over a cursed player and hit this macro to decurse them. I was able to drop Decursive by using this with Grid.
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Remove Lesser Curse
Use My Trinket Whenever It's Up
This macro will try to use whatever trinket you have in your bottom trinket slot every time you cast Fireball. To specify a specific trinket instead of a slot, just write out its name, like "/use Xi'ri's Gift".
#showtooltip Fireball
/use 14
/stopcasting
/cast Fireball
The PoM Pyro 'I Win' Macro
For arcane/fire mages, this is a one-button macro which pops Presence of Mind, Arcane Power, and whatever trinkets you have equipped, and then insta-Pyroblasts your target. A simple way to put your enemies in a world of pain.
#showtooltip Pyroblast
/cast Presence of Mind
/stopcasting
/cast Arcane Power
/stopcasting
/use 13
/stopcasting
/use 14
/stopcasting
/cast Pyroblast
More Macro Tips
  • Macros are stored locally on your computer, so if you play on multiple computers, you'll need to copy them over from your account folder. (World of Warcraft\WTF\Account\Youraccountname\macros-cache.txt contains your general macros, and World of Warcraft\WTF\Account\Youraccountname\Yourrealmname\Yourcharactername\macros-cache.txt your character-specific macros.)
  • If you want to cast a particular rank of a spell, you can either shift-click or drag it from your spell book, or include in in parentheses -- i.e., "Frost Nova(Rank 1)". Without a rank specified, your character will automatically cast the highest spell rank.
  • I've used the Alt key as a modifier for all these, but you can replace that with other keys or with mouse buttons. For instance, "cast [button:2] Frostbolt; Fireball" would let you left click for Fireball and right click for Frostbolt.
  • For a more comprehensive list of mage macros, including more trinket and cooldown macros and PvP-focused macros, try the list of useful mage macros at Wowwiki.
Have a question, suggestion, or another good macro to share? Leave a comment below!

October 8, 2007

DEing Auction House Greens for Fun and Profit

Kat of Liquid Silver has a fascinating post up about how to make money off the Auction House by min bidding on tBC greens and disenchanting them. Even tipping her enchanter, she's making a 40% profit by only bidding on any level 64-70 green under 3g50s and reselling the disenchanted mats.

My mage is an enchanter, but he's also a tailor (aren't we all?), so in my constant hording of arcane dust for imbued netherweave, I usually forget just how profitable selling stacks of enchanting mats can be. I'll have to give this strategy a shot.

New Azeroth Quests Coming Soon!

Some great new information released on the tweaks to the pre-60 leveling curve today -- dungeon tweaks, some more on the increased Azeroth quest XP and decreased XP to level from 20-60. But what especially caught my eye was this note:

We've also added approximately 60 new quests in Dustwallow Marsh. This should help players who find themselves lacking quests in the 30-40 range. The Steamwheedle Cartel is building the new town of Mudsprocket in south-west Dustwallow Marsh, so you'll have to wait until construction is complete to learn more about these changes.
New level 30-40 content! No more killing panthers for Hemet Nesingwary until you want to cry. . . now you can go get ganked in Dustwallow, the new STV.


WoW + Facebook = Rupture.com



We all love the Armory, and many of us use Facebook. Although there's at least one widget out there that will show your characters' Armory data on your Facebook page, up until recently there was no real social networking site devoted to World of Warcraft. Rupture.com is that site -- a Facebook for WoW players.

The site design is quite similar to Facebook, except that in addition to your personal page, you also get profile screens for each of your characters, where you can friend guildies or pvp teammates, or upload your favorite screenshots. (The image above is the Rupture page for Spoh, a druid on the WSVG circuit.) Most of the data about your character is pulled from the Armory, but Rupture also has its own WoW add-on that will record and upload your /played time, your bank and bag inventories, your gear sets, tradeskill patterns, which add-ons you are using, and even the outcome of every battleground or arena match you play. You can even post to your character's Rupture blog from inside WoW itself by typing /rupture blog -- the next time you log out of game, your post will be automatically posted the next time your profile syncs. To read more about it or to download the Rupture profiler, visit their site.

October 7, 2007

There's No Trucks in World of Warcraft

I just watched this Toyota commercial, and I'm... well, I think I'm confused and awed. Leeroy Jenkins, you've gone mainstream, buddy.

"I am the lawgiver!"

October 6, 2007

How to Get to Level 70 in One Minute

I was checking through my search traffic last night, and I saw that someone had reached this blog searching for "how do I get to level 70 in one minute." Once I got done falling out of my chair laughing, I decided I should provide a helpful guide. So without further ado, here's Girl Meets Wow's three easy steps that will get YOU to level 70 in World of Warcraft... in one minute.

Step One: Buy the Burning Crusade expansion.
Step Two: Level your character to 99.9% of the way through level 69.
Step Three: Kill a wolf.