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Hi guys, long time no see.

Today at the blizzcon art department the new login screen for Cataclysm was introduced.

Here’s a video:

Now, all whining about having another roaring dragon at login, I have to say one thing: That roar is horrible. Compare it to Deathwing’s roar in the same setting at 2:12 in the Cataclysm introduction cinematic (You should watch the whole thing though, because it’s awesome):

Doesn’t that roar just sound much cooler? So much more badass? In the login screen, Deathwing sounds like he has a bad case of laryngitis.

I’m hoping it’s just the fact that it was the big hall speakers providing the audio that made it sound strange, and that it will be better once it goes live on December 7th.

In other news, the final class of Diablo 3 was announced, along with PvP arenas. Considering I’ve never played Diablo before, I’ve taken a bit of an interest in it.

Sadly, there was no news about the next Starcraft 2 expansion, Heart of the Swarm (which looks like it might not be released for another 18 months) or Blizzard’s new MMO IP that they’ve been keeping under wraps. All in all, not many exciting things were announced this year, so hopefully we’ll be getting some new tidbits of info at nex year’s Blizzcon.

The 3.3.5 Arcane Mage Cheat Sheet

Note: With the release of 4.0 and Cataclysm, this information is now OUT OF DATE. Thanks!

So, you want some tips on being an Arcane mage? Well, you’ve come to the right place! This post will have all sorts of great info for the polymorphing, strudel conjuring magic flinger!

*This guide will focus mainly on level 80 PvE characters. Arcane is a terrible hassle to level with and I do not recommend it.

The Spec

According to wowpopular.com57/3/11is the most popular mage spec in World of Warcraft right now.

You don’t necessarily need to grab Slow or Student of the Mind, and could put those talent points elsewhere, such as Magic Attunement and Arcane Stability. More range means you reach casting range sooner, and cast sooner, which means more DPS. Or so I have read.

In Patch 3.3.3, Incanter’s Absorption will be nerfed to work only with Mana Shield, Ice Barrier, and Fire/Frost Wards, so our beautiful partnership with Disco Priests shall be no more. I’m pretty sure this is a big nerf, so the talent will be less appealing to take.

Also in Patch 3.3.3, Arcane Empowerment is being changed to a constant +3% damage aura, instead of a proc off crits, so it’ll take a load off of the combat log and hopefully cut down a bit on lag.

Glyphs

You should always use these three glyphs as an Arcane Mage:

  • Glyph of Arcane Blast – Increases the damage from your Arcane Blast buff by 3%
  • Glyph of Arcane Missiles – Increases the critical strike damage bonus of Arcane Missiles by 25%
  • Glyph of Molten Armor – Your Molten Armor grants an additional 20% of your spirit as critical strike rating.

These three glyphs are the best glyphs you can use and should always be the glyphs filling your major glyph slots.

Minor Glyphs don’t do nearly as much as Major Glyphs, so you can take whichever you feel suits you.

Things to Know

The spec above comes with a few cool abilities you should use when you need to boost your damage and give you an edge on the fight.

  1. Presence of Mind – Activating this spell makes your next spell with a cast time less than ten seconds instant cast. Perfect for when you need to get cast a quick polymorph or arcane blast.
  2. Focus Magic – Cast this on another spell casting class to increase their spell crit chance by 3%. When they crit with a spell (which can be either damage or healing), you gain a ten second buff that also increases your crit chance by 3%.
  3. Arcane Power – This ability increases the damage your arcane spells deal by 20%, while also increasing the mana cost by 20% as well. ‘Nuff said.
  4. Icy Veins – Icy Veins is important too! It’ll give you a buff that increases your casting speed. Learn to love it and use it often.

Note: Arcane Power and Presence of Mind can NOT be active at the same time.

Rotation

Arcane mages have a very simple rotation.

  1. Cast Arcane Blast
  2. Keep Casting Arcane Blast until the Arcane Blast Debuff reaches 4 stacks.
  3. If Missile Barrage is up, cast Arcane Missiles.
  4. Repeat until the target dies.

If Missile Barrage doesn’t proc, you have to choose whether to just cast Arcane Missiles anyway, or continue to cast Arcane Blast until it does proc.

Stats

  1. Spell Power – Spell Power is the most important stat an arcane mage can have. Unlike other stats like haste and crit, Spell Power does not lose value the more of it you have.
  2. Haste Rating – This makes your spells cast faster. Pretty darn important. And way more fun.
  3. Crit Rating – Arcane doesn’t rely on crit rating as much as Frost or Fire does, so you don’t have to worry about it as much.
  4. Hit Rating – Hit rating is your most important stat to get capped, but is utterly useless afterwards. If you have the talent spec above, you will need 289 hit rating to hit a raid boss 100% of the time.

So hit > spellpower > hate > crit

Intellect will generally be on all your stuff, as will spirit. Avoid Mp5 when possible, because it is mostly useless. Kings > Wisdom!!

~~~~~

I think that’s all the basics you’ll need to know right now. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out

Laggin’ on Razorscale

So I seem to have encountered a dilemma.

Much like Euripides seems to have once had, I can’t seem to get my computer to work at the same pace as the server. Especially in raid.

This saturday we went into Ulduar to see how far we could get, and when we started to fight Razorscale, I disconnected. Not to mention I was stuck with everything frozen, running in place for a minute straight (I’m not exaggerating). When I logged back in (since I disconnected as soon as we pulled) I was tanking the floor under Razorscale’s feet.

I disconnected three times during our guild’s first Razorscale downing. And I’m the raid leader.

Another interesting thing to mention. Apparently since I disconnected a bunch, the raid decided to tell me I was not in it, despite the fact that I clearly was. I could see everyone in the raid tabs, but could not access Raid chat, and when I tried to type in it it told me I wasn’t in a raid. We had to have everyone leave and get me invited by another guildie to get me back in the instance!

This has been going on since saturday night, and my connection has been terrible (In the realm of 600-5000ms latency) so often that I’ve been forced to stay off of my higher level characters. Not that I mind too much, since I can work on my troll hunter, but I kind of like my mage and still want to spend some time on him.

I’ve been looking at some solutions, like a really long wire from my (very far away (as in down the stairs, around the corner, very far away away)) modem to the PC tower, but that would be impractical. Another thought would be a wireless signal booster, but I’ve read that that actually makes your connection worse if you use it, not better.

I’m not very sure what to do at the moment. Any ideas?

Patch 3.3.5 Patch Notes

New patch notes for the PTR be here. For some reason the Mmochampion Blue Tracker will not bring me to the original post, so I’ll copy/paste from the tracker itself.

World of Warcraft PTR Patch 3.3.5

The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/

The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html

General

  • The Ruby Sanctum, an all-new 10- and 25-player raid featuring normal and Heroic difficulties, is now available for testing! Players will find the dungeon entrance below Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight.
  • Copied Test Realm characters are not copied with their achievement history in order to better facilitate the character copy process.

User Interface
Chat Frame

  • Players can now right-click on any chat type (Whisper, Trade, General, Party, Raid, etc.) and choose the Pop Out Chat option. This will move that chat type to a separate tab in the Chat frame which can be undocked and moved anywhere on the screen.
  • Using the Pop Out Chat option on a Whisper will place the conversation with that player in a separate tab.
  • Any time a conversation with another player is put into its own tab, the tab will glow when a new message is received.
  • Hovering over the Chat Frame and using the mouse wheel will allow players to scroll through chat text.
  • Players can select Classic Mode under Interface Options to keep the Chat Frame functionality closer to what it was prior to patch 3.3.5.
  • The Simple Chat User Interface option has been removed.

Friends List

  • A new icon has been added to the top left of the Chat Frame which will open up the Friends list.
  • In addition to its current functionality, the Friends List will now allow players to add Battle.net accounts (Real ID). Players will have to confirm that they are friends in order for a Real ID to be added. Once Real ID friends, players can communicate cross-game, cross-faction and cross-realm.
  • A new Pending tab has been added where players can accept or decline a Real ID friend request, or select the Report Spam or Block Communications buttons.
  • Players can now select from three statuses which will be visible to their friends: Available, Away and Busy.
  • A Broadcast window has been added to the top of the frame. Players can use this to broadcast a message to all of their Real ID friends online. This message will also be displayed under the broadcaster’s Real ID information in each friend’s list.

For additional notes on Lua and XML changes please visit the UI & Macros Forum:http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/board.html?sid=1&forumId=11114

All in all, not that much on the mage front. Other than the Ruby Sanctum, of course. But the thing we’ll most be looking forward to are the changes to friends and communication.

Given that Real ID will be used to communicate between Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft (and possibly Diablo 3 and whatever future games Blizzard comes up with), I’m predicting this patch to be released the week of the Starcraft 2 release, on June the 29th.

I can hardly wait. :P

So a ton of new things have been revealed the last couple of days. For instance:

This banner was discovered on the World of Warcraft main site by Boubouille at MMOChampion. Just letting ya know, this DOES NOT mean the Beta has started. It’s just the Friends & Family Alpha, so unless you know someone who works at Blizzard, you’re not getting to play Cataclysm any time soon.

Also, looks like the release date for Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty has been announced, as anyone who has the WoW Launcher turned on will notice.

I’ll try not to post about anything that’s leaked. All it takes is one jerk on the internet to ruin everyone’s fun. Plus, I don’t feel like getting sued. Other than that, I really don’t feel like there’s much to update y’all on.

May the Fourth be with you. :P

Screenshot of the Day

This… is Blasted Lands. Maybe.

Blizzard is starting up the Screenshot of the Day again, showing screenshots from Azeroth, post-Cataclysm.

Bornakk said this is Blasted Lands. I’m not sure about that, but I am guessing it might be the new Twilight Highlands.

It seems like while I was asleep Blizzard announced the upcoming changes to the emblem and honor systems in Cataclysm. Here are some highlights from the blue post announcement:

PvE
Hero Points — Low-tier, easier-to-get PVE points. Maximum cap to how
many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can earn them. Earned
from most dungeons. (most like the current Emblem of Triumph)
Valor Points — High-tier, harder-to-get PvE points. Maximum cap to
how many you can own, as well as a cap to how many you can earn per
week. Earned from Dungeon Finder daily Heroic and from raids. (most
like the current Emblem of Frost)

PvP
Honor Points — Low-tier, easier-to-get PVP points. There will be a
maximum cap to how many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can
earn them. Earned from most PvP activities.
Conquest Points — High-tier, harder-to-get PvP points. There will be
a maximum cap to how many you can own, and a cap to how many you can
earn per week. Earned from winning Rated Battlegrounds or Arenas.
(currently called Arena Points)

When a new tier of raiding gear is released or a new PvP season
begins, your higher tier of points will be converted into the lower
tier.

As noted for Conquest points, the Rated Battlegrounds and Arenas will
be sharing this same point type.

I don’t know too much about PvP because I avoid it like the plague, but I’m sure there are hardcore arena folks who will complain about not being different from their battleground cousins.

I actually don’t mind the way they’re handling it with this, making them revert from the higher currency to the lower. Now if this included heirloom items I wouldn’t have to deal with converting emblems all the way from triumph to heroism.

So it seems that earlier today it was announced that with Cataclysm, Blizzard will be “streamlining” the raiding system. This includes making 10 and 25 man raids share a lockout, be closer in difficulty, as well as making all the loot dropped from the normal encounters of both versions exactly the same. And that fact is exactly what is at the heart of the matter.

So, for people like me who run a ten man only raid, this’ll be kind of awesome. I’m curious about whether ten man guilds will be able to get legendaries like the 25’s do now.

Then again, on the other hand we might be seeing things like 25 man guilds are going to die out because ten mans are just easier to assemble. There are already 143 pages in the blue post detailing the changes, most of which are complaining that 25’s are dead. Lissanna over at Restokin has already made her case against the changes. With the same gear coming from the relatively easier to organize and progress ten mans, it will become even more difficult to recruit for a 25 man guild when Cata comes out than it is in the pre-xpac slump now, to the point where no one will run twenty-five mans.

Personally, I’ve never wanted to raid twenty-five mans. The only time I ever went into a raid that big was a PuG and it flopped miserably. I’ll admit that it is a headache to organize the ten man raids my guild does, especially when we get people to sign up but they don’t show up on time, and that organizing a regular weekly 25 man raid must be even more of a pain, and I really do sympathize with Lissanna, since I know how difficult it is to get raiding going when you don’t have enough people.

I do, however, have a bit of a problem with the shared lockouts. We schedule our raids toward the last half of the raid lockout period, so what if a key member runs off and does a PuG Land of Fire (or whatever the new agnaros raid will be) 25 man and ends up being unable to come on the guild run? I won’t be a very happy panda.

All in all though, I guess I’m not really against it. While it does take some of the lustre of 25 man raiding away, Blizz is still trying to make sure people go to them by giving more shinies.

~~

In non raiding news, FIgurePrints is now selling busts of World of Warcraft characters for $70 bucks a pop. Truthfully, I think they’re hideous.

Oh, and FigurePrints isn’t paying me to diss them.

Thor is Here!

As if they didn’t give me enough reason to get Starcraft 2. Now Blizzard’s assured they’ll take a hundred of my hard-earned dollars, and I’ll be smiling every minute of it.

Right, a little background for those of you that haven’t played Starcraft.

Basically, the Thor is a giant mech unit that appears in Starcraft 2. In the Collector’s Edition of the game they’ll have a ton of cool stuff, like different profile portraits, an 176 page art book, a behind the scenes dvd, the soundtrack CD, and a “A World of Warcraft mini Thor in-game pet that can be applied to all World of Warcraft characters on a single Battle.net account”. Oh not to mention a fancy “Super-Thor” model to replace the regular one in the Collector’s Edition.

For Comparison: Regular Thor on the left, and SUPER THOR on the right.

I am so getting this. :P

So yesterday Blizzard started selling the Celestial Steed on the Blizzard Online Store. Predictably, the WoW Blogosphere blew up in criticism and bouts of “omg slippery slope” and claimed that WoW is on the path to self-destruction. (Okay, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated)

I’m not sure that I agree about the whole “path to destruction” thing, but I think it’s clear Blizzard’s RMT model is here to stay. It’s true they haven’t sold anything that makes a change in a player’s skill, and I doubt they would ever do that or risk a massive rejection by their player base.

Thee things are all over the place. I could easily spot six around me at any one time in the Trade District of Stormwind.

Now excuse me while I go hunt down 25 dollars to get me one of these things. C’MON, IT SPARKLES!!

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