Monthly Archives: October 2010

Wrathful Gear Now Available To All

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Wrathful Gladiator’s gear – the final tier of PvP gear – is now available to be purchased without an Arena rating.  All PvPers can upgrade the majority of their gear to Wrathful using Honor Points.

The text on the gear is still red, and the rating requirement is still there, but you can buy it.  The only exceptions I’ve found so far have been the Shoulders, which require a 2000 rating.  The headpiece, which only requires a 1950, is certainly purchasable.  I am out of Honor Points to try for some weapons, but will PvP a bit this weekend and test them out.  (I was able to purchase a wand, but that’s a lower rating requirement than many of the weapons.)  I assume the tabard is also out of reach.

So… go forth!  Upgrade your gear!

I will be posting updates to the 4.0.1 PvP gear guide as I find out more.

Special thanks to Gnomeaggedon and Hints in the comments for passing this along!

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Blizzard Killed My Dog


Shaggy always did have a sweet tooth.

I was looking forward to Patch 4.0.1.  There’s something exciting about having things change; new things to learn, new ways to do things, new stories to tell.  Sure, there was apprehension, because changes that you don’t know about can be scary, but in general I think change is necessary.  It forces you to adapt.

My enthusiasm even kept me going through problems with the patch download, the first time I’ve ever had problems there.  Even though the servers have been up for about 12 hours, I still haven’t gotten to log in because my installer can’t handle baby murloc noises.  Maybe they’re too cute?  I don’t know for sure, but I’m reinstalling from scratch to see if maybe a fresh installation will do it.

But my enthusiasm vanished when I heard that warlock minions had been renamed in 4.0.1.  Last night it was temporary; today it is permanent.  When you summon your demons, you may have one of them keep the same name, but the rest… are all new.

Helola HATED that I put her in this shot. Heh. I called her Penguin-Girl for weeks!

Warlocks don’t get to choose their demon’s names.  We find out their names as part of the summoning rituals, of enslaving them to our will.  And while they’re our slaves, servants, and minions, they are also our constant companions.  They adventure with us, they fight for us, they die for us, they come back for us; we didn’t choose them, they didn’t choose us, but together, we’re a team.

Cynwise’s demons are part of her, part of her character.  Her relationship with each one of them is complicated and unique.  Part of the story that I’ve spun as I’ve played this crazy game has been around those demons; lesser characters, but characters in their own rights.  They make each warlock unique; no matter how you try to replicate them, the demons distinguish us from each other.

The names may not be unique, but they make the warlock unique.

But now, without warning, that part of my character is gone.  The sinister, sexy Helola who graced the pages of Arren’s site, the one who provides the dark reflection of Cynwise’s personality? Gone. Thoglos, the voidwalker who always stands on my questgivers, the one who shields ‘wise when she hurls herself into melee?  Gone.  Chojub, her imp with a sense of humor who randomly pulls bosses? See ya.  Skelzeras, the grumpy Felguard who was really quite a pushover?  Thanks for the help in ICC, buddy.

And Shaagrym, dear Shaggy, Cynwise’s felpuppy, the rage magnet, the reason Affliction is so feared in battlegrounds… my companion in so many of these fights that you’ve read about on this site. Shaggy is gone, too.

From the blue post:

We apologise for any inconvenience these name changes might cause and thank you for your patience and understanding.

Patience? Understanding?

You killed my dog and replaced him with a lookalike, and you want my understanding?

I’m a Wrathbaby; started playing in November 2008.  In two years, I’ve grown really attached to my demons.  I can only imagine what it’s like for warlocks who started playing in 2004.

This is changing my character, without my consent.  In RP terms it would be godmodding. Even though I don’t RP with others, I do experience the story of Warcraft through the view of my character; and now a fundamental part of that character is gone.

Chojub LOVES Chaos Bolts!

I shouldn’t be this angry.  I shouldn’t let myself get so upset over something that I do for fun, for something that I do to amuse myself in my idle time.

But I am.

I’ve been an IT professional for 15 years with experience in large enterprises. Professionally, I understand that there are likely technical reasons behind this, and that the mistake, once made, is irrecoverable.  The names were probably not permanently stored, but randomly assigned and it’s that random assignment that was lost.  There were significant changes to the way in which demons were handled, and summoned… I get that.

Yet, as a player, I can’t get past that my dog is dead.  I might have a new dog, just as good as my old one.

But I don’t want a new dog.  I want my old one.

See, Shaggy wasn’t just a mobile DoT with special abilities I could keybind.  From a development perspective I can see treating him as such, but from that perspective, my warlock is just a mob that accepts player instructions with a defined set of abilities that can be executed in specific sequences with specific results.  This perspective, while absolutely factual and correct, ignores the elements of imagination that make us want to participate in this game.

I could play a little floating box that casts a damage over time spell that inflicts 40-80 points of Shadow Damage every 3 seconds for 18 seconds.  Or, I could play Cynwise the warlock, the ambitious girl from Northshire who was jealous of her sisters and forged her own dark path to power.  And who mastered a series of increasingly powerful demons, bending them to her will.

Which one is more interesting to you?

The first time I met Skelzeras, he helped me kill Ony-60. Thanks, you big lug!

Each and every warlock has a story to tell about their demons.  Cynwise didn’t meet Skelzeras, the Felguard, until she needed to spec Demonology to take on Onyxia at level 60.  Now, a year later, I’ve been raiding ICC as Demonology for 9 months and depend on the big lug to do major damage and provide the buffs our raid needs.  He is the one who pulls Lady Deathwhisper, who charges ahead of the tank on Marrowgar, who is the sign to every tank in the raid that Cyn is pulling, get ready to fight to hold threat.

Skelzeras is impressed by the decor, not the boss. Don't let his expression fool you.

For someone who I didn’t expect to like very much, Skezel has grown on me.  He and I have seen a lot of things together I’d never thought I’d see in the game.

Thoglos is my Voidwalker, first my leveling companion, later my best friend against rogues and other melee classes.  Thog has tanked entire instances for me, rounding up all the mobs for me to then Shadowfury and Hellfire down. He shares every Voidwalker’s tendency to stand on quest givers, but he was always apologetic.

Thog, COME DOWN FROM THERE! I can't take you ANYWHERE!

He just never moved unless I told him to.

CHOJUB LOVES FIRE! YES, MISTRESS!

Chojub is my imp.  He pulls bosses and then pretends he had nothing to do with it.

You know no one in the guild believes you, Chojub?  You do know that, right?

Oh, whatever.  He doesn’t care if they know or not, he’ll keep on causing trouble no matter what.

"Mistress, surely I can find you a date somewhere else?"

Helola was the most evil of all of Cynwise’s demons.  Malicious, ruthless, manipulative, always willing to do whatever was necessary, Helola is the dark side of Cynwise, always tempting her to do what is effective versus what is right.

She’s also really good at Seduce-nuking people to death.  Damn, she was good at that.

Shaggy likes the Underbelly. He's got a bed there and everything.

This is my dog, Shaggy.

There are many felhunters like him, but this one is mine.

Remember when we pulled Deathspeaker’s Camp together, Shaggy?  Good times.

Chojub likes to practice his skateboarding when I'm not looking.

I know that there are probably technical reasons why it’s impossible to go back, why when I log in I’ll be faced with at least 4 strange new demons.  With Cataclysm on the horizon there may be no resources available for this kind of a bug fix, and even the simple fix – giving warlocks the ability to rename their demons – might be too much to handle with a major deadline approaching.

I don’t care. My practical, professional side can go shove it.  I don’t care.

Blizzard killed my warlock’s dog.  And her blueberry, and her sexy whip-cracker, and her big guy with the axe, and the little dude who throws fire.  If I’m lucky, I get to keep one of them, but the rest are all gone.

There was a story there, a story I was looking forward to continuing to tell, of seeing the new lands of Cataclysm.  My demons were a part of that story… or they were, until now.

Warlocks are the single least played class in Warcraft.  They’re tough to master, hated by opponents in PvP, hated by tanks and healers in PvE.  They are complex, confusing, squishy.  Players who not only play them, but love playing them, are a minority.

And Blizzard just killed our dogs.

I don’t know if I’m going to play Cynwise at this point.  I feel that strongly about this, that I just don’t know.  I may as well race and faction change her, since she’s not the character I was playing this weekend.  In game, and in the pages of this weblog, I tried to create a strong female character who represents a way of looking at battlegrounds – and her demons are part of that.

It’s odd for me to write that.  Cynwise is my main, and I really had no intentions of changing that.  But Cynwise without Chojub, Shaagrym, Helola, Thoglos, and even that big lug Skelzeras?

She’s just as strange to me as these replacements are now.

Damnit.

I can’t believe they killed my dog.

—-

UPDATE: Blizzard is at least looking into this now.  Blue post:

The Warlock naming issues is still under investigation but thus far it appears that the change was not intended but an after effect.

Under investigation, at this time, is if the name change can be reversed. Though that may not be possible, we await more information.

Let’s hope it can be reversed.
—-
BIG HUGE UPDATE: Blizzard found our minions!  From Bornakk, who I could hug right now:
Since the release of 4.0.1, more than a few warlocks have noticed that their pets are in fact no longer their familiar demonic servants, and instead appear to be new entities with different names. We’ve been able to pinpoint the cause of the issue, which should be resolved by tomorrow for any warlocks that log in for the first time from then on. We’ve also been able to determine that we will be able to restore any renamed warlock pets to their original pre-4.0.1 names during next week’s scheduled maintenance.
For those of you who like your new pet names, we’re working on a feature for a future patch that will allow you to refresh your summons and essentially generate a random pet name without having to level a new warlock.
I’ve left the original post as-is, because it’s basically a love letter to my demon minions and is worth keeping.  I ❤ you guys!
—-

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Battleground PvP Gear in 4.0.1

Looking good in the starting areas is important, people!

Patch 4.0.1 is here; the patch that starts wrapping up Wrath of the Lich King, and gets us ready for Cataclysm.  This patch brings some major changes to the abilities and talents of every class, the combat statistics on gear, and how gear is purchased.  The next two months will be filled with adapting to those changes before Cataclysm is released.  We are in for some interesting times!

The class changes are going to take some time to get our collective heads around.  Personally, I enjoy periods of experimentation, where players creatively tinker with new possibilities and challenge previous assumptions.  (From the perspective of my own main class, Warlocks using Imps in PvP seems like a terrible idea, but it’s working fantastically.)   The stat changes, too, will require some time and experimentation to understand.  Gear at all levels will change, and what was once Best-In-Slot for leveling PvPers may not be anymore.  There’s lots of work to be done there.

RESILIENCE

The biggest change to PvP gear is that Resilience will no longer reduce your chance to be Critically Hit; it just reduces damage taken from other players.  This makes Crit-heavy builds even more viable, so you may want to experiment with swapping out Haste gear for Crit gear if you’re overloaded.

ENDGAME GEAR

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 6 months since the last substantial change to endgame PvP gear.

The currency changes I noted in Preparing for Rated Battlgrounds are now in effect, which has some great implications for battleground players.  Only Honor Points are available, and since higher tier Conquest Points will only become available when Cataclysm launches, all gear that’s available in Wrath is now available for purchase through Honor Points.

Unfortunately, the top level gear still requires ratings, so you can’t get a full Wrathful set from running normal battlegrounds.  You can, however, get Relentless gear without a rating, so this still represents a step up.  I’m a little disappointed that the Wrathful set still requires a rating (since the Arena season is over), but not entirely surprised.

Update: Wrathful gear, up to rating level 2000, can now be purchased without an Arena rating. My previous information is now out of date, and you can get nearly an entire Wrathful kit, sans the shoulders, some weapons, and the tabard. I’ve updated the list below to reflect this change.

Here’s what the full PvP kit will cost you in the new system.

  • Head: Wrathful  – 1650 Honor Points
  • Neck: Wrathful – 725 Honor Points
  • Shoulder: Relentless/Titan-Forged – 695 Honor Points
  • Back: Wrathful  – 725 Honor Points
  • Chest: Wrathful – 1650 Honor Points
  • Wrist: Wrathful – 600 Honor Points
  • Hands: Wrathful  – 1040 Honor Points
  • Waist: Wrathful – 945 Honor Points
  • Legs: Wrathful – 1650 Honor Points
  • Feet: Wrathful – 945 Honor Points
  • 1st Ring: Wrathful – 725 Honor Points
  • 2nd Ring: Relentless  – 485 Honor Points
  • Trinket: Medallion of the Alliance/Horde  – 945 Honor Points
  • Trinket: Battlemaster – 725 Honor Points
  • Main-hand: None (still requires rating)
  • Off-hand: Possibly Wrathful 70-260+ Honor Points
  • Ranged: Possibly Wrathful – 260+ Honor Points

This entire kit will cost at least 14,025 Honor Points. If you’ve been working on your PvP set for some time, you’re only going to need to update a few items, so it should be pretty easy to bring yourself up to speed.

(I would also recommend that you not get the second PvP ring, and instead get the Ashen Verdict ring instead.)

PVP MOUNTS, ACCESSORIES, AND GEMS

There have been a few changes to the PvP vendors; pre-cut gems are gone, for one – but by in large all the gear you used to be able to get is still available for Honor Points.

Mounts are now 2000 Honor Points.  Depending on how much currency mount collectors carried over, this may be easier to get now than before in terms of time to acquire, but in general PvP mounts are as easy (or as difficult) to get as before.

Other accessories you might be interested in are below.

  • Battle Standard: 2550 Honor Points
  • Level 70 PvP Trinket: 140 Honor Points
  • Epic Gems: 165 Honor Points.

In general, the currency conversion is really the only thing that’s changed with PvP accessories.

 

The PvP Jewelcrafter is still in the game, so you can still PvP For Profit.  The rumors of his demise were much exaggerated.

Though, seriously – there are plenty of other ways to make money in Warcraft. Trust me.

LOW-LEVEL PVP GEAR

One of the pleasant side effects of the 3.3.3 removal of Marks of Honor was how accessible low-level PvP gear became.  At level 18, 28, 38, and 48, you can visit the Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin vendors and get awesome leveling gear for a pittance in terms of honor gained.  The prices are a little different now, and we’ll have to see how the costs scale with Honor Points gained in the leveling battlegrounds, but you should be able to get gear with the same minimum effort.

Those vendors are:

The AV gear continues to be good for the early 50s, but is quickly replaced by Outlands gear at 58.

The stat changes have some serious implications for lowbie twinks, which I’ll be covering in more detail over at Green Tinted Goggles when I have a chance to absorb all the changes.

PVP HEIRLOOM GEAR

The currency changes obviously affect how you purchase Heirloom Gear; Emblems and Stone Keeper’s Shards are out, Justice and Honor Points are in.  Champion’s Seals are still a viable currency from the Argent Tournament for the PvE gear, but the Stone Keeper’s Shards are gone as the way to get PvP heirlooms in Wintergrasp.

Interestingly, the costs of Heirlooms have been scaled up to account for the rate at which points should be earned at level 85, not at 80, so they are more expensive now than they were in 3.3.5.  So if you’re looking for PvE Heirlooms, the Champion’s Seals are probably your best bet right now.  For PvP Heirlooms, here’s what you’re looking at.

  • Shoulders, 1H DPS Weapon: 2175 Honor Points
  • 1H Caster Weapon: 2725 Honor Points
  • 2H Weapon, Ranged Weapon: 3500 Honor Points
  • Heirloom PvP Trinket: 2725 Honor Points

The stats have also changed somewhat on this gear, just like all the other gear.  Depending on your class, this is either great or terrible.

Hopefully, the Heirloom Items Scale will be updated soon to reflect all the new stats!

LEARNING TO PLAY AGAIN

One of the biggest challenges of the next two months is understanding the changes to the classes and combat systems 4.0.1 has brought us.  The currency we use to buy gear is different, and the stats on it might be altered — but the gear itself isn’t new.  That’s okay – we have enough to learn without having to worry about new types of gear.

That will all come soon enough, when Cataclysm launches.

Special thanks to @quaunaut and @zombiegopher for helping me check prices tonight, since my patch is currently stuck on the baby murloc wav files. Thanks, guys!

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