Friday, October 19, 2007

Hallow's End events...

Hallow's End is upon us, and there are some fun things to do in Azeroth for the next couple of weeks.

The best new events involve the Headless Horseman, pictured at right with his head still attached. Hmm.... The "newb" event involves being in some of the starter villages of Azeroth (Razor Hill, Brill, or near Silvermoon, for the Horde) when the Headless Horseman attacks. He flies into the town and throws flaming pumpkins onto buildings. You form a "bucket brigade" and help to save the village. It would seem that when the fires are out, he lands and can be attacked. (I'm not sure if this is timed or because of the fires being put out.) After killing him (he seemed to be one-shot when I did the event), everyone in the area can loot his head and it gives some silly items for you to use with very short timers. Have fun with them.

The "uber" event involves getting four level-70-ish friends and heading into the Scarlett Monstary's Graveyard wing. (Its the far left -- northern? -- door for those that haven't been in there in a while). You interact with a pumpkin shrine and a grave and start the event where you need to defeat the Headless Horseman -- and friends -- in order to win the loot.

I won't spoil the details and you can find information about the event on WoWWiki and elsewhere if you really want. It's a pretty fun event and can be repeated daily by each member of your party. It counts against your 10 daily quests. The loot is actually quite good (3 epic rings and an epic plate helm, primariy) and there's the chance for a couple of fun items, including various magic broom mounts (ground and flying) and a Hallow's End-themed non-combat pet.

If you haven't been back to Azeroth in a while, it's worth a trip to have some fun in Hallow's End. Don't forget to trick-or-treat innkeepers, too!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Patch 2.3 PTR Highlights...

Yup... I'm still here. For my few regular readers... sorry 'bout the hiatus. Not sure how much my posting pace will pick up in the next few weeks, but I'll try to get some more info up.

For those that don't follow this stuff until it comes out, I thought I would post my thoughts about changes that jumped out at me from the recently posted patch notes for v2.3 of WoW. These changes are on the PTR now. I'm still in the process of getting my character(s) copied over to have a quick loot. I'd actually like to try to get into Zul'Aman and learn the first boss or two to help my guild prepare.

Now... on with the highlights:
Experience: The amount of experience needed to gain a level has been decreased between levels 20 and 60. In addition, the amount of experience granted by quests has been increased between levels 30 and 60.
Well... this is just awesome. Whether you're new to the game or just waiting to level an alt -- like me -- this is a welcome (and frankly much-needed) change. Reports are that the decrease in experience needed is on the order of 15% and the increase to quest rewards around 30%. Not sure how much that reduces the total time to level -- math is hard -- but it should speed things up pretty dramatically.
Pets will try to get behind their targets when engaging in melee combat.
I can see this being both good and bad. We'll have to wait and see. My guild got to -- but didn't down -- The Prince in Karazhan this week. My pet being behind the Prince put him in range of the Infernals sometimes and meant I had to pull him out of the fight to keep him alive. Not sure what other fights this may affect. Gonna take a "wait-and-see" on this one.
Arcane Shot (Ranks 6 and above) now dispel 1 Magic effect in addition to their normal damage.
This is clearly a boon for PVP'ers. Not sure how much use it has in the raiding world. It's not really in my usual Aimed/Auto shot rotation, but I do pop it off occasionally. May have to start using it more and seeing if it helps. Can't think of any Kara fights where we're dispelling bosses.
Serpent Sting: The total damage dealt by this sting is now also increased by 10% of your ranged attack power.
This same change -- the RAP boosting damage -- is being made to most of the traps as well. I don't often drop traps for the damage they do, so this one is "meh" from a raiding perspective. Again... appears to be a PVP bonus and I'm betting that Survival and even Marksmen hunters are going to like this.
Players can now track fishing nodes. This ability is learned from a journal sometimes found in crates obtained through fishing.
Having recently levelled fishing up to usable levels, this will be great. I've moved on from Terrokar fishing and am into Nagrand, but I still need to fish in Terrokar to get [Golden Fish Sticks] for my friendly neighborhood Priest (and other healers as I have time).
* Stylin' hats no longer require Zhevra leather.
* Greatly increased the radius of the Drums of Battle, Drums of Restoration, Drums of Speed, and Drums of War.
* Removed the casting time from the Drums of Battle, Drums of Restoration, Drums of Speed, and Drums of War.
* Slightly increased the radius of Drums of Panic.
* Reduced the casting time of Drums of Panic and added a global cooldown equal to the casting time.
* Drums of Speed and Drums of Restoration are no longer world drop recipes, and can now be obtained from the Mag'har and Kurenai faction vendors with revered standing.
* A new recipe is available from Grand Master leatherworking trainers to create glove reinforcements, providing a substantial armor bonus. Reinforcements are a permanent enchantment and cannot be placed with other permanent enchantments.
* New recipes are available from Grand Master leatherworking trainers to make 20 slot quivers and ammo pouches.
* New recipes are available from the Honor Hold, Thrallmar, and Lower City quartermasters to create 24 slot quivers and ammo pouches.
Leatherworking is 2nd only to Engineering in the needs-a-little-love category, so these are some decent changes. They still need to add a bit more. I'd like to see some stats on quivers maybe that only LW'ers can use or just a little more "umph". I'll stick with it for now, even though re-spec'ing to Engineering is so tempting with their new mount.
The Chess Event chess in Karazhan now has a tap list so it can only be looted by players who were involved in the chess event.
This kinda sucks. In a few cases, we've summoned folks up to be able to loot an item. It's usually a raid member on an alt that needs/wants something. I guess this means more void crystals. Ppphhttt.
Aether rays can now be wrangled earlier.
Thank heaven! Hate getting off a (un)lucky crit and killing the buggers.
Items that have cooldowns will now display the base cooldown time in the item tooltip.
Guess I won't need OmniCC anymore?
You can now send up to 12 items in a single mail message.
Another add-on bites the dust! :)
Corpses that belong to someone in your party, but that you cannot loot will say in the corpse mouseover who has loot rights on that corpse. This will help skinners who want to know who to talk to in order to skin their corpse, as well as master looters when special loot drops on a normal monster. Everyone will then see that there is a monster that the master looter has loot rights on.
As an occasional master looter for my guild, this is awesome. Helps to see if something is sparkly because there's something *I* need to loot, or if someone's just being lazy about picking up their horse tails. :)

What's your favorite change from the patch notes?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

New Rig...

Yay! I've been a little absent from the blog for a few days (a week?) mostly because I've been spending a lot of time spec'ing out and now building a new computer. My existing desktop machine is a 5-year-old+ hunk-a-junk. Well... it's OK... it's just not cutting it anymore, even in WoW which isn't terribly demanding on hardware. My newer laptop does OK, but was having some difficulty with dropping me from WoW in certain critical spots (Karazhan for one). Another guildmate with a desktop computer had problems in the same spot and neither of us can figure it out. My household *needed* a new computer. I was starting to worry about losing years worth of digital photos and other items and it was just time.

I finally got the go-ahead, made up a list on NewEgg, and managed to get up the gumption to hit the "buy" button. (I don't spend money well.)

Parts all came yesterday and after about a 2 1/2 hour build, I was up and running with Vista -- yeah, I know -- and a new rig. Haven't had the chance to try anything too fancy in WoW yet, but lets just say it's like a whole new game when you can actually crank up all the fancy graphics settings *and* still get 60+ FPS. Quite nice. The world looks all new and shiny. 'Course the WoW install took longer than Vista with 8 CDs (versus 1 DVD) and a giant patch to get me from Burning Crusade to v2.2.2.

So far so good. I'll have a more directly related WoW post soon... I hope. I'm off for home to finish installing stuff. :)