Merry Christmas! - 12.24.2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you're enjoying the holidays as much as I am! Soon I'll be back to posting regularly! For now, here's a little holiday song!

The Twelve Days Of Warcraft

On the twelfth day of Warcraft, Blizzard gave to me…

Twelve angry murlocs,
Eleven nagas swimming,
Ten priests renewing,
Nine ‘locks-a-sharding,
Eight moonkin dancing,
Seven rogues-a-gankin’,
Six night elves naked,
Five lazy peons…
Four calling nerfs,
Three ranging hunters,
Two exploding sheep,
and a pally in the retribution tree!

-Matt Graham

Hello? Anyone there? - 11.30.2008

"[...] My resolution for the next year is to attempt to post at least once every other day."

Okay, so it didn't exactly go as planned. Longtime readers of mine will know that usually November to early February is my busy season in which I hardly post anything at all. During those few months, I am literally 100x busier than the other parts of the year. Now, it just so happened that this "busy time" began a month earlier than normal this time. Since mid-October, I've barely been gaming at all, I've not even had a lot of time to talk to/be with friends and family, and I sure as hell haven't been able to post on blogs. I apologize for seemingly disappearing out of nowhere. I'm sure it seemed like to some that I was gone for good. Well, I am not.

I'm going to try and post whenever I get a chance, but there aren't any guarantees that you'll even see the next post before February. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it goes. Life > Internet

-Matt Graham

Blogcraft Turns 2 - 10.13.2008


Exactly two years ago today, I thought up the idea of doing a blog based on World of Warcraft. I had seen others doing it and it seemed like it could be fun, so I tried it out for myself. The goal was to at least make one post every other day. Well, just by scanning the post calendar to the left you can see that it didn't really turn out that way. :p But, I try. I post when I can. I'm not getting paid for this and site traffic isn't a big deal to me, so my philosophy is, "Why force myself to post? I'll post when it's fun for me to do." I've stuck by that, and I still do. However, even with that said, my resolution for the next year is to attempt to post at least once every other day. I can't make any promises, but I'll see what I can do. If it begins to feel like work instead of fun, I'll stop. There'd be no reason to kill myself over it.

So, that's not all I hope to bring you, the reader. Hopefully, coming really soon, I will be able to reveal a surprise. This "surprise" is not yet set in stone, but I'm working things out. :D

These first two years have been amazing! I'd like to thank all my loyal readers! Now here's to another great year!

-Matt Graham

Here's What Day Two Looks Like - 10.11.2008

It looks like today is gunna be the good stuff. PvP panel, Raid and Dungeon panel, another Class panel, general Q&A, etc. Sounds great to me! So, here's today's schedule. (Again, keep in mind that all times are EST.)

1.5 PM - 2.5 PM: WoW PvP Panel (and DVD Production)
3 PM - 4 PM - WoW Raids and Dungeons Panel
4.5 PM - 5.5 PM - WoW Q&A (and The Guild)
6 PM - 7 PM - WoW Class Panel Part 2

Also, like yesterday, the WoW Arena tournaments and open gaming stations will be going on all day.

The events above are hyperlinked to audio streams from WoW Radio. If you click on the event during its running time, you'll be directed to the event via audio. Enjoy!

-Matt Graham

Finally! Some Confirmation! - 10.10.2008

MMO-Champion is reporting that, "Blizzard's "secret project" confirmed to be a new MMO with a brand new universe, but we won't hear anything about it before a while."

Interesting...

Meanwhile, the WoW UI Panel is starting now. Have a listen!

-Matt Graham

Here it is... Wizard? - 10.10.2008

The opening ceremony was only about 20-25 minutes, as opposed to Blizzard's usual hour long ones. The usual "big" announcement at this BlizzCon was the Wizard class for Diablo III. This was kind of expected. :(

-Matt Graham

Get Ready! - 10.10.2008

With BlizzCon starting in just 10 minutes, I thought I'd link you all to some sites that I have tabbed in Firefox, ready to be spammed with F5.

WoW Insider - Of course you gotta have the WoW Insider locked a loaded!
MMO-Champion - Seemingly not as great BlizzCon coverage as last year, but, like WoW Insider, you always gotta have MMO-Champion ready.
World of War - WorldOfWar.Net is liveblogging the event, so it should be pretty good.
Twitter - Following Patrick, Scott Johnson, etc.
The Geek Media - Leto and I will be bringing you the news!
WoW Radio - WoW Radio promises quality audio streaming from the BlizzCon floor. Currently 10 minutes remain beofore the event begins and no streams are up, so we'll have to see what happens. If they do manage to deliver, it should be good.

Now, of course, Blogcraft should be the first tab in your browser. ;p

-Matt Graham

T-Minus Two Hours - 10.10.2008

Just over two hours remain until the beginning of the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2008 in Anaheim. Here's the schedule for today that you, as a WoW player, don't want to miss! (All times are in EST!)

2 PM - 3 PM: Opening Ceremony
3 PM - 4 PM: WoW UI Panel Discussion
4.5 PM - 5.5 PM: WoW Class Panel Discussion
6 PM - 7 PM: WoW Art
9 PM - 12 PM: Contests (Machinima, Costume, Dance, /Silly, etc.)

WoW Arena tournaments and open gaming stations will be going on all day during both days as well.

I'll be AFK for a few hours in the evening, but every other minute of today and tomorrow, I'll be getting constant updates and feeding you all with news and info!

-Matt Graham

1 Day 'Till BlizzCon 2008 - 10.9.2008


Well, I'm back from my short, unannounced hiatus just in time for BlizzCon 2008! I apologize to everyone that may have been disappointed with me going AFK unannounced. The past month has been crazy busy. But, I'm now back, and hopefully I'm here to stay.

So, what do you guys think the big announcement will be at BlizzCon this year? At each of the past two BlizzCon events, '05 and '07, a new expansion for WoW was announced. However, it just doesn't seem like it'd make sense for Blizzard to do the same this year because we don't even have Wrath of the Lich King yet! While I'd love for the "Big Announcement" to be WoW-related, it appears as though it won't be this time. Now, what else could it be then, you ask? The only thing that I can think of for a possible big announcement is a new MMO for the Starcraft or Diablo universes, or for a new IP (intellectual property). If I remember correctly, after the announcement of Diablo III at the last Worldwide Invitational, the only remaining unannounced project, that we are aware of, is Blizzard's "next-gen MMO".

I gotta say, this has to be the first BlizzCon that Blizzard has really kept under wraps. All the big announcements from their events (including WWI's) seem to be leaked a few day ahead of time. Now, with the convention starting in about 24 hours from now, we have ZERO knowledge of what will be seen at BlizzCon (besides, of course, the game panels and demo stations that are always announced ahead of time).

I guess it's also possible that there won't be a "Big Announcement" this time, but I just can't picture Blizzard leaving the players hanging like that.

-Matt Graham

WotLK Beta Journal Entry #1 - 9.13.2008

WARNING! THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM THE WRATH OF THE LICH KING BETA!


So, the first thing I did with the Wrath of the Lich King beta was roll a Death Knight. Here is just about everything that I did in the starting zone and beyond in great detail. Enjoy!

After a short cutscene describing Death Knights and Acherus, I first spawned in the necropolis with the Lich King right in front of my face. Beginning with no weapon, I talk to the Lich King who then directs me to Instructor Razuvious. Razuvious then tells me of the importance of a runeblade to a Death Knight. After a few quests, I receive my first runeblade and runeforging skills. I'm then told to test my skills on some prisoners. A bit later, I return to the Lich King who orders me to look through the Eye of Acherus and scout out the below Scarlet Crusade town of New Avalon. After the scouting trip, I go to Mograine who points me towards Scourge Commander Thalanor who was found hovering above the ground on a Scourge Gryphon. I'm told to take a Scourge Gryphon taxi down to Death's Breach where I can find Prince Valanar.

Once in Death's Breach, I have a chance to do a few side quests, such as the quest that grants me my Deathcharger mount. So, after doing a few of those quests, I'm told to hide in a box of ore by the mine. There, I'm taken by a Scarlet Crusade peasant to a harbor where they are loading ore. The area is covered with hundred of member of the Scarlet Crusade, but because of my disguise, I make it onto a ship without anyone noticing. Then, I jump out of the box I was in and grab a hold of a canon. I fire upon the spawns of crusaders on the beach until I kill 100 of them. I then call on a Scourge Gryphon to take me safely back to Death's Breach.

After my victories at Death's Breach, Valanar orders me to see Mograine in Acherus. Immediately, Mograine send me back to Valanar at Death's Breach. This is the first time I experience phasing (instancing without actually going through an instance), or at least the first time I notice it happening. Valanar is found on a platform in front of about 25 Death Knights who are bowing to him. Salanar, another lead Death Knight at Death's Breach, is now right next to him to right of his platform. Further on, I notice that Havenshire, a Scarlet Crusade town right next to Death's Breach, is now in flames and ruins and Gothik the Harvester is patrolling around. Moving on, I find Noth the Plaguebringer hanging out in a pumpkin patch asking me to help him prepare a cauldron. Adjacent to the pumpkin patch is the Crypt of Remembrance, and there I speak to Prince Keleseth and Baron Rivendare who both gave me quests. While I was there, I should have spoken to Baron Rivendare about the annoying times he's given my main.

The next group of quests takes place in New Avalon, a city infested with the Scarlet Crusade. I'm sent to kill citizens, as well as crusaders and the mayor, and I also have to pick a few things up. The citizens just stand there scared shitless when they see me, and the crusaders don't have too much health, so I took them down fast. The mayor himself is basically just as easy as a regular crusader. After that, Prince Keleseth sends me out to receive information from crusaders regarding the "Crimson Dawn".

After that, I visit a small tavern that the Death Knight's have taken over in New Avalon. I'm sent to the main hold in New Avalon to do a few quests there before I'm then told to meet up with a group of Death Knight's at a nearby chapel. The band of Death Knights has destroyed that chapel and found a Scarlet Crusade prison nearby full of members of the Argent Dawn. I, being a male Human, am ordered to kill a female Human who happened to be an old friend of mine. She tries to save me, but the Lich King's powers are too much - I kill her right then and there.

Next, I'm sent to kill a courier and get his belongings. Using what he dropped, I disguise myself as a member of the Scarlet Crusade to receive information from someone at the harbor. After returning to the tavern, a portal back to Acherus is opened for me. I step through and speak to Mograine about my findings. Mograine tells me to speak to the Lich King - this time he's at Death's Breach.

This time at Death's Breach, the Lich King is up high on a platform with Prince Valanar and Prince Keleseth on each side of him. The Lich King provides me with a horn that calls a Frost Wyrm for me to ride into battle with. On the back of the Frost Wyrm, I'm commanded to deliver the final blow to the Scarlet Crusade of New Avalon. After I finished off New Avalon, the Lich King provides me with the last piece of the full second set of Death Knight gear and then orders me to go through a cave behind him and into the Noxious Glade. From there, I went to the Browman Mill and prepared for the final battle against Light's Hope Chapel.

I really don't want to give too much away. The end of the final battle is one of the coolest things I've ever seen in WoW. To try and tell you the basics of it without giving away the whole thing, Mograine and the rest of the Knights of the Ebon Blade are betrayed by Arthas as he basically calls them his pawns used only to get to Tirion Fordring and his men, Mograine passes the Ashbringer to Fordring, and Fordring then announces an alliance of the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn - creating the Argent Crusade. As the Knights of the Ebon Blade are betrayed by Arthas, they too, sort of "unofficially", join the alliance as a part of the Argent Crusade.

After the battle and conversation between factions, I create a Death Gate back to Acherus. There, Mograine commands me and the other Death Knights to team up and kill the remaining Scourge in the Ebon Hold, including Patchwerk. Upon returning to Mograine when the deed is done, he reminds me of my past as a hero of the Alliance. Mograine tells me that Tirion Fordring gave him a letter that is to be delivered to King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind. As I was once a member of the Alliance, Mograine orders me to take the portal behind him to Stormwind and deliver the letter myself.

Upon entering Stormwind, the guards and civilians throw rotten fruit at me, spit on me, and call me names. After reaching the King of Stormwind, we speak for a brief moment and come to an agreement of an alliance between the Death Knights and the forces of good, against the Lich King. There ends the beginning quest chain for the Death Knight hero class.


I gotta say, the Death Knight starting area might be the best thing I've ever experience in WoW. I'll probably write a follow-up post to this one that will be specifically my opinion on the awesomeness of the Death Knight starting zone. If I get around to it, it'll be out within the next couple of days.

-Matt Graham

Finally... - 9.10.2008


No, I'm not dead. I just haven't been playing WoW a whole lot and I've been pissy because I haven't gotten into the WotLK beta, however, that all changes now...

I AM SO EXCITED! I JUST got my beta invitation in my e-mail box and I started downloading the client within a minute of seeing "Inbox (1)".

I gotta say, I haven't been this excited about something in a long time. I cannot wait to give you guys some awesome reviews from my experiences in beta! Honestly, I never expected to get a beta invite after it had been this long without getting one, so I never planned anything for the blog if I got in. With that said, I quickly decided that I'll probably do a day-by-day journal type of thing, while alternating the characters I play quite often.

Expect the first article sometime in the late afternoon tomorrow or on Friday night!

-Matt Graham

The WotLK Crapematic - 8.21.2008


What crap. I mean, ya it looks pretty and sounds great, but Blizzard cinematics always do.

This is one of the most boring cinematics I've ever seen Blizzard put out. They should be embarrassed by it. We don't need to see Arthas in every minute of every Blizzard cinematic. We know his story, we don't need to hear it yet again. Where were new player abilities in the cinematic? Where were the Death Knights (besides Arthas of course)? Where was the catch phrase?

Where were there any varieties of races and classes? I only saw three things. Arthas/Lich King (wow, haven't seen that before), a Frost Wyrm (okay, so that was new and kinda cool), and a horde of generic Scourge soldiers (BORING).

I wanted to see a few Death Knight's fighting Nerubians in Azjol-Nerub as they make their way to Anub'arak. I wanted to see an Orc Warrior utilizing Titan's Grip. I wanted to see Tirion Fordring wielding the Ashbringer and leading a charge of Paladins into a demon infested area. etc.

It just seems to me that Blizzard looked at everything that we like in the cinematics and took it out.

My final grade? 4/10 King Terenas' monologue "saved" it from being a complete pile of crap.

-Matt Graham

WotLK Cinematic in 3 Days - 8.18.2008


WoW Insider is reporting that they are getting reports (>.<) that the Wrath of the Lich King cinematic will be premiering at the Leipzig Gaming Convention on August 21st at 1:00 PM. That's in 3 days and almost two months earlier than most people expected; most thought that we'd see it at BlizzCon. What a great way for Blizzard to steal the spotlight so they can hold it for two months before it shines on them again!

For one, this is pretty awesome. It's a very unexpected surprise - something that we don't usually see with Blizzard. Also, this makes room for more announcements concerning WoW at BlizzCon.

Hopefully Gnome will finally make an appearance! :D

-Matt Graham

WoW Movie of the Year - 8.12.2008

The following embedded machinima is called "Born Again Ret". It's by a Holy Paladin turned Retribution named Lakez. It has my vote for "WoW Movie of the Year". And yes, I had to check and make sure that Tales of the Past III was released back in 2007 before I made that statement.


Born again Ret from Lakez Coffy on Vimeo.

-Matt Graham

Past "WoW Killers" - 8.9.2008


Wow. They sure were off.

"Out of all the upcoming MMOs, Dungeons and Dragons Online stands the best chance of being able to go head-to-head with World of Warcraft. D&D is not just a popular franchise but it is the father of all RPGs, will actually provide stories, and will innovate the industry with extremely deep game play."

"Look for [Lord of the Rings Online] to easily surpass Star Wars Galaxies if it captures the magic of the franchise[,] but it will probably not be a genre-buster like Dungeons and Dragons Online."

"
[Auto Assault] should provide plenty of excitement and carve out a nice little nice as a car combat MMO."

"
[RF Online is a] Sci-fi/fantasy MMO that is sure to turn heads when it is released due to the awesome looking robot battle units that you can control and jaw-dropping graphics. The blend of fantasy and sci-fi has a little bit of a Japanese cartoon feel to it that should set RF Online apart from other major games in the genre."

"
Without question, a pirate MMO[, Pirates of the Burning Sea,] is a welcome change since fantasy and sci-fi seem to be done to death these days. Who wouldn't want to sail the high seas looking for adventures, ship battles, and stealing booty. Look for this one to be a leader in the non-fantasy niche."

"
Not only is Conan a large entertainment franchise, but it also should make a great MMO with its gritty and barbaric world. How brutal will the world be? You start out alone until you are strong enough to survive in the massive part of the game. Believe or not, but this game may actually do better than Lord of the Rings Online. In fact, Age of Conan has the second best chance of being a rival to WoW after D&D online."


Possible Killers Ranked by Potential Impact

  1. Dungeons and Dragons Online
  2. Age of Conan
  3. Huxley
  4. RF Online
  5. Lord of the Rings Online
  6. Pirates of the Burning Sea
  7. Auto Assault
  8. SUN
Wow...

-Matt Graham

/AFK - 8.1.2008

I'm gone until Wednesday night. See ya!

-Matt Graham

BFD Sucks... - 7.31.2008


Because I'm STILL not in the WotLK beta, I just don't have anything to post about. Lucky for you guys, I had such a terrible experience in WoW last night that I decided to post about it.

So, I joined a group for BFD last night because I knew it had some good Warrior drops (I was on my Warrior) and I had a quest with a reward of a nice shield. I had only run it once before on another character - which is weird for me because I LOVE running instances - so it felt like a new experience to me.

It all began with the realization that it might take a little while to begin the instance because out of the five in the group, only one was already in Kalimdor. Whatever, right? It'll just be an extra 15 minutes at the most to wait for a summon. Wrong. None of the other 4 had Menethil, Loch Modan, OR Astranaar flight paths. Joy.

Almost one hour later, I arrived at the meeting stone for BFD. Me and the other guy there summoned the 3 other group members. We jumped down into the instance and finally made our way to the portal. There first thing I saw was a lot of non-aggro mobs. Like in ZF, all these mobs ever do is cause groups trouble. The second someone casts any AoE, the group of mobs that you're currently fighting could go from 3 to 6 - in which case a wipe is very possible. These mobs, elite mobs, have absolutely no purpose to be in instances. Now, we never wiped because of these mobs, but we came very close when I accidentally clicked Thunder Clap when tanking the first boss - who is surrounded by about 10 non-aggro mobs.

Continuing on, while fighting naga after naga, we tried to avoid dying by running out of breath. It's not like we're idiots for almost dying because of that, it's just that we aren't use to having to pay attention to that extra hassle in an instance. This caused us the most trouble when fighting the boss Old Serra'kis, a Loch Ness Monster look-alike who lives in an underfreakingwater cave that you have to completely leave to regain your breath. My breath ran out while tanking and if it weren't for some lucky heals, we would have wiped.

A little bit before the encounter with Old Serra'kis, we fought Lorguss Jett, who is supposed to be a boss - according to WoWWiki. Guess what he dropped? Some Wool Cloth. Possibly the WORST boss drops in the entire freaking game.

Immediately after Old Serra'kis I left the instance - because I had to go somewhere, but that's besides the point. So, I didn't get the shield, and I'm not going to get it. I will never step into BFD, Blizzard's worst instance, ever again.

Believe it or not, I actually had a lot more to say about BFD regarding line of sight issues, overused frost nova, etc. Unfortunately, my nerd rage made me forget some stuff. >.>

/end rant

-Matt Graham

Vimeo To Ban “Game Videos” - 7.23.2008


After Stage 6 shut down, Vimeo became the best choice for streaming gaming videos. That' gunna change very soon. Starting September 1st, Vimeo will no longer allow "game videos" on their website. Blake Whitman wrote the post on the Vimeo blog.

"The Vimeo staff has decided that we are no longer going to allow gaming videos on Vimeo. Specifically, we are no longer going to allow game walk-throughs, game strategy videos, depictions of player vs player battles, raids, fraps, or any other video gaming videos that simply depict individuals playing a video game. Videos falling into this category will be subject to deletion as of September 1st; new videos of this type will be removed."

This is pretty big news. Vimeo was definitely my favorite choice to watch HD gaming videos. Oh well, I felt the same way when Stage 6 was shutting down. I'm sure a new site will pop up soon for us to use.

-Matt Graham

WotLK Beta Forums Open - 7.18.2008


The WotLK Beta Forums are now viewable by everyone! Enjoy!

-Matt Graham

Goodbye, NDA! - 7.17.2008


The WotLK NDA is officially out the window! MMO-Champion is preparing to feed us with MASSIVE amounts of WotLK information. Boubouille has begun by posting the Borean Tundra page - but that's just the beginning!

UPDATE: Boubouille's Howling Fjord page is now up as well!
UPDATE 2: The Grizzly Hills page is now up.
UPDATE 3: The Dragonblight page is now up.
UPDATE 4: Boubouille now has a page up for the instance called The Nexus.
UPDATE 5: Boubouille posted a great HD video of Utgarde Keep.


WotLK Preview - Utgarde Keep from Boubouille on Vimeo.

-Matt Graham

Wrath of the Lich King Beta Patch Notes - 7.17.2008

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King: Beta

    Welcome to the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Beta Test. The list below contains information on the current available content for testing and general information. This information is subject to change. Alpha testers should note that your characters have been temporarily locked out. In a few weeks time, we will unlock these characters and you will be able to continue to level them. Please visit the Beta forums to submit feedback and discuss the expansion development with others.

General

  • The continent of Northrend is now available! To travel there, visit one of four transportation masters in either Orgrimmar, Undercity, Stormwind Harbor,or Menethil Harbor.
  • The floating magical city of Dalaran is now available!
  • The Barber Shop has been implemented and you can now visit one of the Barber Shops in the major cities to change your appearance.
  • The all new Achievement System has been implemented.
  • Transportation between Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra can be found at the Tuskarr villages in those zones.
  • The level cap is currently set to 77.
  • Hit Rating, Critical Strike Rating, and Haste Rating now modify both melee attacks and spells.
  • Spellpower:
    • All items and effects which grant bonuses to spell damage and spell healing are being consolidated into a single stat, Spellpower. This stat will appear with the same values found on items which grant increased spell damage and healing such as on typical Mage and Warlock itemization.
    • For classes which do not heal, they should see no change in the character sheet other than new tooltip wording.
    • Healing characters will see their bonus healing numbers on the character sheet decrease, however, all healing spells have been modified to receive more benefit from spellpower than they received from bonus healing, with a net effect of no change to the amount healed by their spells. Some talents have had to be rebalanced to accommodate this change, but the amount healed will remain roughly the same. In addition, some talents will provide only healing spell power.
  • NPC Transportation Locations
    • Horde:
      • Undercity to Vengeance Landing (Howling Fjord)
      • Orgrimmar to Warsong Hold (Borean Tundra)
    • Alliance:
      • Menethil Harbor to Valgarde (Howling Fjord)
      • Stormwind Harbor to Valiance Keep (Borean Tundra)

Known Issues

  • The current patch notes are incomplete, but will be more progressively more comprehensive in each patch.

World Environment Zones

  • The following zones are available for testing: Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, and Grizzly Hills, Sholazar Basin, and Zul'Drak.

Dungeons

  • The following dungeons are available for testing:
    • Howling Fjord: Utgarde Keep (70-72)
    • Borean Tundra: The Nexus (70-72)
    • Dragonblight: Azjol-Nerub (72-74)
    • Grizzly Hills: DrakTharon Keep (74-76)
    • Storm Peaks: The Halls of Stone (77-79)

Classes

  • All Classes are available for play. Spells and talents will be available for testing past 70.
  • The Death Knight Hero class is now available for play.
    • Death Knights will now start with 0 talent points at level 55.
    • Creating a new Death Knight will start you at level 55 in Eastern Plaguelands.
    • The Death Knight start zone, Acherus, the Ebon Hold, is fully implemented and is located in the Eastern area of Eastern Plaguelands.

Druid

  • Brambles (Balance): Now increases the damage done by your Treants, and also damage caused from your Treants and Barkskin has a 5/10/15% chance to Daze the target for 3 sec.
  • Celestial Focus (Balance): The stun proc now works with Starfall.
  • Entangling Roots: Can now be used indoors.
  • Faerie Fire (Feral): Now an 11-point talent, down from being a 21-point talent.
  • Feral Charge (Feral) is now a 21-point talent, up from being a 11-point talent.
  • Feral Charge (Feral): Can now be used in Cat form.
  • Feral Instinct (Feral) no longer increases threat generated in Bear form, but now increases damage done by your Swipe ability by 5/10/15%.
  • Focused Starlight (Balance): Now also works with Starfall.
  • Force of Nature (Balance): Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes, down from 3.
  • Hurricane: No longer has a cooldown (was 1 minute).
  • Improved Faerie Fire (Feral): Now also works with spell hit, in addition to ranged and melee hit %.
  • Improved Mark of the Wild (Restoration): Now a 2-point talent, down from a 5-point talent.
  • Improved Tranquility (Restoration): Now also reduces the cooldown of your Tranquility spell by 25/50%.
  • Mangle (Feral): Now increases the damage done by Maul in addition to Shred.
  • Moonglow (Balance): Now also works with Starfall.
  • Moonkin Form (Balance) no longer increases your attack power or causes you to regenerate mana off melee attacks, but now has a chance to cause you to instantly regenerate 2% of your total mana every time you critically hit with a spell.
  • Nature's Focus (Restoration): Now a 3 point talent, down from a 5-point talent. Also moved to Tier 1, up from Tier 2. Now also includes Nourish.
  • Nature's Grace (Balance): Now also reduces the global cooldown of your Wrath spell by 50% while in effect.
  • Nature's Grasp (Balance): Can now be used and can proc indoors.
  • Nature's Reach (Balance): Now also reduces threat generated by Balance spells by 15/30%.
  • New Spell: Revive - Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with health and mana. Cannot be cast when in combat. (Ranks 1-7 added)
  • Omen of Clarity (Restoration): Now a passive spell. Now also works for spells (healing and damage). Proc rate is roughly 6% with a 10 second internal cooldown.
  • Primal Tenacity (Feral) now reduces damage while stunned by 5/10/15%, and reduces the duration of fear effects by 5/10/15%.
  • Remove Curse can now be used in Tree of Life form.
  • Soothe Animal can now be used on Dragonkin as well as Beasts.
  • Soothe Animal is now instant cast.
  • Subtlety (Restoration): Now a 3-point talent, down from a 5-point talent. Also moved to Tier 2, up from Tier 3. Also now only reduced threat for Restoration spells, and reduces the chance that your healing over time spells (Lifebloom, Regrowth and Rejuvenation) will be dispelled, rather than all Druid spells. Threat management for Balance can now be found in the Balance tree, within Nature's Reach.
  • Survival of the Fittest (Feral): Increased to 2/4/6%, up from 1/2/3%.
  • The mana regeneration penalty when in Bear Form, Dire Bear Form and Cat Form has been removed.
  • Tranquil Spirit (Restoration) now also includes Nourish.
  • Tree of Life (Restoration): 30% snare penalty has been removed.
  • Tree of Life (Restoration): Can now cast Dispel Curse.
  • Tree of Life (Restoration): You can now cast all Restoration spells (Healing Touch) in the form, but Tree of Life now only reduces the mana cost of your healing over time spells (Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, Regrowth and Flourish) by 20%.
  • Vengeance (Balance): Now also works with Starfall.

Hunter

  • All pet families now have one unique ability. New abilities have been added for families such as bears and sporebats.
  • Aspects now no longer cost mana.
  • Avoidance, Dash / Dive and Cobra Reflexes are now pet talents instead of pet skills.
  • Bite now has no cooldown, does the same damage and costs the same Focus as Claw, so works as a Focus dump.
  • Clever Traps (Survival) has been renamed "Trap Mastery."
  • Concussive Barrage (Marksmanship) - Can now proc from Volley attacks.
  • Deterrence (Survival) - Cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, and now also increases your chance to resist spells by 60%. Now has a new spell effect.
  • Every hunter pet can learn Growl, Cower and either Bite or Claw (never both).
  • Hunter pets can now learn talents in one of three trees depending on family. Pets gain talent points starting at level 20 and earn an extra talent point every 4 levels.
  • If a hunter tames a pet that is more than five levels beneath than the hunter's level, then the pet jumps to five levels beneath than the hunter's level.
  • Improved Feign Death (Survival): Now also reduces damage taken during Feign Death by 15/30%.
  • Loyalty, Training Points and the hunter Beast Training button no longer exist. Hunter pets can now learn all skills at their level. They will get new ranks automatically as they gain levels.
  • Master Tactician (Survival) - Chance to proc increased to 10%, up from 6%.
  • Monster Slaying (Survival) and Humanoid Slaying (Survival) has been combined into "Improved Tracking".
  • New Talent - Improved Tracking (Survival) - Increases all damage done to targets that are being tracked 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Steady Shot now uses ammo. In result, its bonus damage has been slightly reduced. Players can notice a damage increase based upon what ammo they use.
  • Surefooted (Survival) now reduces the duration of movement impairing effects by 10/20/30% (instead of resist % chance).
  • Trap Mastery (Survival) has been removed.

Mage

  • Arcane Focus (Arcane) is now 3 ranks and increases chance to hit and reduces mana cost of Arcane spells by 1/2/3%.
  • Counterspell now costs 9% of base mana.
  • Frost Armor, Ice Armor, Mage Armor and Molten Armor are no longer Magic effects and cannot be dispelled.
  • Invisibility now makes the caster invisible after 3 seconds, reduced from 5 seconds.
  • Magic Attunement (Arcane) now also increases the range of your Arcane spells by 3/6 yards.
  • Polymorph now costs 12% of base mana.
  • Portal spells now cost 18% of base mana.
  • Prismatic Cloak (Arcane) now also reduces the fade time of Invisibility by 1/2 seconds.
  • Slow Fall now costs 6% of base mana.
  • Teleport spells now cost 9% of base mana.

Paladin

  • All Auras now affect all party and raid members within the area of effect.
  • Anticipation (Protection) moved to tier 1, now increases chance to dodge by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Avenger's Shield (Protection) cast time reduced to .5 seconds, duration increased to 10 seconds.
  • Avenging Wrath no longer causes Forebearance, damage increase reduced to 20%, now increases healing done by 20%.
  • Blessing of Freedom renamed Hand of Freedom. Only one Hand spell can be on the target per paladin at any one time. Now costs 6% of base mana.
  • Blessing of Light and Greater Blessing of Light removed. Their effects have been folded into all relevant abilities.
  • Blessing of Protection renamed Hand of Protection. Only one Hand spell can be on the target per paladin at any one time. All ranks now cost 6% of base mana.
  • Blessing of Sacrifice renamed Hand of Sacrifice, is now only 1 rank and transfers 20% of the damage taken to the caster, duration reduced to 12 seconds, cooldown increased to 2 minutes. Only one Hand spell can be on the target per paladin at any one time. Now costs 6% of base mana.
  • Blessing of Salvation renamed Hand of Salvation, now reduces total threat on the target by 2% per second for 10 seconds while also reducing all damage and healing done by 10%. Only one Hand spell can be on the target per paladin at any one time. Now costs 6% of base mana.
  • Conviction (Retribution) now increases critical chance with all spells and melee attacks.
  • Divine Intellect (Holy) moved to tier 2, increases total Intellect by 3/6/9/12/15%.
  • Divine Intervention cooldown reduced to 20 minutes.
  • Divine Protection and Divine Shield now cost 3% of base mana.
  • Divine Purpose (Retribution) now reduces chance to be hit by spells and ranged attacks by 1/2/3%.
  • Divine Strength (Holy) moved to tier 1 in the Protection tree.
  • Greater Blessing of Salvation removed.
  • Hammer of Justice now costs 3% of base mana.
  • Hammer of Wrath is now considered a Retribution spell, moved from Holy, mana cost reduced, missile speed increased, now usable on targets below 35% health.
  • Healing Light (Holy) moved to tier 2.
  • Holy Shield (Protection) cooldown reduced to 8 seconds.
  • Holy Shock (Holy) range changed to 20/40 yards when used on enemies/friends respectively, cooldown reduced to 6 seconds.
  • Holy Wrath is now instant cast, causes a 3 second stun, cooldown reduced to 30 seconds, radius reduced to 10 yards.
  • Illumination (Holy) moved to tier 3.
  • Improved Concentration Aura (Protection) moved to the Holy tree.
  • Improved Concentration Aura moved from the Protection tree to tier 4 in the Holy tree.
  • Improved Devotion Aura (Protection) moved to tier 4, reduced to 3 ranks, now increases armor of Devotion Aura by 17/34/50% and increases all healing done to units affected by Devotion Aura by 1/2/3%.
  • Improved Hammer of Justice (Protection) now reduces cooldwon by 10/20/30 secs.
  • Improved Righteous Fury (Protection) threat bonus folded into base spell, talent still reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6%.
  • Improved Sanctity Aura (Retribution) renamed Sanctified Retribution, now causes all units affected by Retribution Aura to cause 2% more damage.
  • Improved Seal of Righteousness (Holy) moved to tier 1, renamed XXX, now affects Seal of Righteousness, Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption.
  • Improved Seal of the Crusader (Retribution) renamed Heart of the Crusader and the effects now apply to all Judgement spells.
  • Judgement of Justice will no longer prevent Fear effects, only prevent NPCs from fleeing (e.g. at low health).
  • Lay on Hands no longer drains all mana, cooldown reduced to 20 minutes.
  • Pure of Heart (Holy) reduced to 2 ranks, now reduces duration of Curse and Disease effects by 25/50%.
  • Redoubt (Protection) moved to tier 2.
  • Repentance (Retribution) mana cost changed to 9% of base, duration increased to 1 minute (10 second PvP duration), now usable against Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids and Undead.
  • Retribution Aura damage increased and now gains damage based on Holy spell power.
  • Righteous Fury now increases threat caused by Holy damage by 90%.
  • Sanctified Light (Holy) now also increases the critical chance of Holy Shock.
  • Sanctity Aura (Retribution) removed.
  • Seal of Justice/Judgement reduced to 1 rank with all the effects of the previous rank 2, the Judgement effect no longer prevents Fear.
  • Seal of the Crusader has been removed. The effects of Judgement of the Crusader have been folded into all relevant abilities.
  • Seal of Vengeance damage over time effect duration increased to 18 seconds.
  • Spiritual Focus (Holy) moved to tier 1.
  • Stoicism (Protection) moved to tier 2, now reduces duration of Stun effects by 10/20/30% and reduces chance your spells will be resisted by 10/20/30%.
  • Toughness (Protection) moved to tier 3.
  • Turn Undead (ranks 1 and 2) removed. Turn Evil now granted at level 24, mana cost changed to 9% of base.
  • Unyielding Faith (Holy) moved to tier 2.

Priest

  • Circle of Healing (Holy): Now works on any targets in the caster's raid, and is now a "smart" heal and chooses the lowest health targets to heal first within it's range. Also now has a 6 second cooldown. Also no longer will heal summoned Snakes from Hunter's Snake Trap.
  • Enlightenment (Discipline): Now also gives 1% spell damage and 1% heal per point.
  • Focused Will (Discipline): Now increases healing effects on you by 3/4/5%, down from 4/7/10%.
  • Force of Will (Discipline): This talent now increases your spell damage by a flat amount, rather than increasing your spells by a %. (Now increases school %, rather than selected spells damage %). In other words, your spell damage gained from this talent is now reflected on your character sheet, rather than the skill tool-tips.
  • Holy Fire: Cast time reduced to to 2 seconds, down from 3.5. Damage increased roughly 60%. Duration for the damage over time effect reduced to 7 seconds, down from 10. Holy Fire now has a 10 second cooldown.
  • Improved Inner Fire (Discipline) - Now also increases the bonus healing on your Inner Fire spell by 10/20/30%.
  • Improved Shadow Word: Pain (Shadow) - Now increases damage done by your Shadow Word: Pain by 5/10%, but no longer increases the duration of your Shadow Word: Pain.
  • Levitate now costs 3% of base mana.
  • Lightwell (Holy): Cast time reduced to .5 sec, down from 1.5 sec. Charges increased to 10, up from 5. Now breaks from any attack that hits you for 30% or more of your total health. Cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, down from 5.
  • Mind Control now has only one rank and costs 12% of base mana.
  • Mind Soothe now has only one rank, costs 6% of base mana and has no max target level.
  • Mind Vision now costs 3% of base mana.
  • New Talent: Improved Spirit Tap (Shadow) - Gives you a 50/100% chance to gain a 50% bonus to your Spirit after gaining a critical effect chance from your Mind Blast or Shadow Word: Death spells. For the duration, your mana will regenreate at a 25% rate while casting. Lasts 8 sec.
  • New Talent: Twin Faiths (Discipline) - Increases your damage and healing by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Pain Suppression (Discipline): Cooldown increased to 3 minutes, up from 2.
  • Power Infusion (Discipline): Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes, down from 3.
  • Psychic Scream now costs 15% of base mana.
  • Searing Light (Holy): Now also increases the damage of your Holy Nova and Penance spells.
  • Shackle Undead now costs 9% of base mana.
  • Shadow Focus (Shadow): Now a 3 point talent, down from 5. Now also reduces the mana cost of your Shadow spells by 2/4/6%.
  • Shadow Resilience (Shadow): Now reduces physical damage taken by 2/4%, but no longer reduces the chance to be critically hit by spells.
  • Shadowform (Shadow): Now has an innate 30% threat reduction. Now has a shapeshift UI.
  • Silent Resolve (Discipline): Now a 3 point talent, down from 5 points.
  • Spirit Tap (Shadow) - Talent reduced to 3 points, down from 5. Now also leads into "Improved Spirit Tap"
  • Wand Specialization (Discipline) has been removed.

Rogue

  • Blade Twisting (Combat) now cause all damaging melee attacks to have a 10% chance to daze for 4/8 seconds.
  • Deadened Nerves (Assassination) now reduces all damage taken by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Fleet Footed (Assassination) now reduces duration of movement impairing effects by 25/50% rather than increasing resist chance.
  • Gouge is now only 1 rank and causes damage based on attack power.
  • Kick is now only 1 rank and no longer causes damage.
  • Nerves of Steel (Combat) now reduces the duration of all Stun and Fear effects by 15/30%.
  • Pick Lock and Disarm Trap no longer require Thieve's Tools.
  • Premeditation (Subtlety) duration increased to 20 seconds.
  • Riposte (Combat) now slows the target's melee attacks by 20% instead of disarming them.
  • Setup (Subtlety) chance to gain a combo point increased to 33/66/100%.
  • Vanish no longer requires the reagent Flash Powder.
  • Vile Poisons (Assassination) reduced to 3 ranks, now increases damage of poisons and Eviscerate by 7/14/20% and increases dispel resistance by 10/20/30%.

Shaman

  • All totems are now considered on the "Physical" school, and no longer magical spells.
  • Ancestral Knowledge (Enhancement): Now increases your Intellect by 2/4/6%, instead of increasing your total Mana by 2/4/6/8/10%.
  • Call of Flame (Elemental): Now also increases the damage of your Lava Burst spell by 2/4/6%.
  • Call of Thunder (Elemental) now also increases the critical strike chance of your Thunder spell.
  • Concussion (Elemental) now increases the damage of your Thunder and Lava Burst spells.
  • Convection (Elemental) is now a 3-point talent, down from a 5-point talent. Now lowers the mana cost of Thunder and Lava Burst.
  • Earth's Grasp (Elemental) is now a tier-1 talent, up from tier-2.
  • Elemental Detestation (Elemental) is now a tier-2 talent, up from tier-4.
  • Elemental Focus (Restoration): Now also can proc off Lesser Healing Wave and Healing Wave, and can be used on all healing spells.
  • Elemental Fury (Elemental) now requires Elemental Focus as a pre-requisite
  • Elemental Precision (Elemental): Chance to hit reduced to 1/2/3% from 2/4/6%, but threat reduction increased to 10/20/30% up from 4/7/10%.
  • Enhancing (Enhancement) Totems is now a Tier 1 talent, up from Tier-2.
  • Flametongue Totem is now a flat spell damage totem. All ranks have been modified.
  • Frostbrand's snare effect has been increased to 50%, up from 25%.
  • Ghost Wolf's mana cost is now 13% base.
  • Grace of Air Totem has been removed. (Agility has been rolled over into Strength of Earth Totem)
  • Improved Fire Totems (Elemental) is now (again) Improved Fire Nova Totem. It now has a 50/100% chance to stun all targets for 2 sec.
  • Improved Lightning Shield (Enhancement) is now Elemental Shields, and is in Tier-1.
  • New ranks have been added of Water Shield, starting at level 20. (Level 20, 27, 34, 41, 48, 55, 62, 69)
  • New Spell: Earthliving Weapon - Imbue the Shaman's weapon with earthen life. Increases healing done by x and each heal has a 20% chance to proc Earthliving on the target, healing an additionaly over 12 sec. Lasts 30 minutes.
  • New Talent: Cleanse Spirit (Restoration) - Cleanse the spirit of a friendly target, removing 1 poison effect, 1 disease effect, and 1 curse effect.
  • New Talent: Elemental Shields (Enhancement): Increases the damage done by your Lightning Shield orbs by 5/10/15%, increases the amount of mana gained from your Mana Shield orbs by 5/10/15% and increases the amount of healing done by your Earth Shield orbs by 5/10/15%.
  • New Talent: Mental Dexterity (Enhancement) - Increases your Attack Power by 33/66/100% of your Intellect.
  • Rockbiter ranks 5 through 9 have been removed. Windfury Weapon is intended to replace Rockbiter at level 30.
  • Shapeshifting will no longer cancel Water Walking.
  • Shield Specialization (Enhancement) - Now a 2-point talent, and increases the chance to block with attacks by 10/20%, and increases the amount blocked by 5/10%.
  • Stoneskin Totem now increases armor instead of reducing physical damage.
  • Storm Reach (Elemental): Now also increases the radius of your Thunder spell by 10/20%.
  • Strength of Earth Totem now also increases agility.
  • Tranquil Air Totem has been removed. (Threat is being addressed by modifications to the base threat of players and/or "baked" into tanking abilities.)
  • Unleashed Rage is now raid wide.
  • Windfury Totem is now a flat 20% melee haste totem. All ranks have been modified.
  • Windwall Totem has been removed.
  • Wrath of Air is now a flat 10% spell haste totem.

Warlock

  • Aftermath (Destruction) - Now a 2-point talent, down from 5.
  • All demon abilities and spells will automatically be learned as pets gain levels. Demon Master trainers will be removed.
  • Blood Pact now works raid-wide (not just in party).
  • Cataclysm (Destruction) - Now also increases your chance to hit with Destruction spells by 1% per point.
  • Curse of Recklessness will no longer prevent Fear effects, only prevent NPCs from fleeing (e.g. at low health).
  • Dark Pact: Tooltip updated to be more consistent with other similar effects.
  • Demon Armor - Now increases healing done by spells and effects by 20%, but no longer has in-combat health regeneration.
  • Demon Skin, Demon Armor and Fel Armor are no longer Magic effects and cannot be dispelled.
  • Fel Armor - Now increases your spell damage equal to 30% of your total Spirit, but no longer increases healing done by spells and effects by 20%.
  • Fel Stamina (Demonology) has been merged with Fel Intellect into Fel Vitality.
  • Howl of Terror now costs 15% of base mana.
  • Improved Curse of Weakness (Affliction) is now "Frailty" - Increases the amount of attack power reduced by your Curse of Weakness spell by 10/20%, and increases the amount of armor reduced by your Curse of Recklessness by 10/20%.
  • Improved Enslave Demon (Demonology) is now a Tier 5 talent, up from Tier 4.
  • Improved Lash of Pain (Destruction) and Improved Firebolt (Destruction) have been merged into one talent, Demonic Power.
  • Improved Shadow Bolt (Destruction) - Now increases damage by your next Shadow damage spells by 3/6/9/12/15%, down from 4/8/12/16/20%.
  • Mana Feed: Tooltip updated to be more consistent with other similar effects.
  • Master Demonologist Felguard (Demonology) - Now increases all damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and reduces all damage done to you by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Master Demonologist Imp (Demonology) - Now increases Fire damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and critical hit chance with Fire spells by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Master Demonologist Succubus (Demonology) - Now increases Shadow damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and critical hit chance with Shadow spells by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Master Demonologist (Demonology) - Most effects have been altered.
  • New Talent: Demonic Empowerment (Demonology) - Grants your Summoned Demon power for a short time.
  • New Talent: Eradication (Affliction) - Your Corruption, Siphon Life and Curse of Agony ticks have a 5/10/15% chance to increase your spell haste by 20% for 8 sec. This effect has a 10 second cooldown.
  • New Talent: Molten Core (Destruction) - Your Shadow spells and damage over time effects have a 5/10/15% chance to increase the damage of your Fire spells by 10% for 6 sec.
  • Pyroclasm (Destruction) - Now also includes Conflagrate.
  • Shadowfury (Destruction) - Can now be cast while moving. Stun duration increased to 3 seconds, up from 2.
  • Soul Link (Demonology) is now an 11-point talent (used to be a 31-point talent), but the 5% bonus damage from this talent has been removed. In addition, the damage absorbed by Soul Link is now 15%, down from 20%.
  • Soul Siphon (Affliction): Now also increases the damage of your Drain Soul.
  • Suppression (Affliction) is now a 3-point talent, down from 5. Now increases your chance to hit with Affliction spells by 1/2/3%, down from 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Unstable Affliction (Affliction): Silence effect reduced to 3 seconds, down from 5.

Warrior

  • Anticipation (Protection) now increases chance to dodge by 1/2/3/4/5%, moved to tier 2.
  • Challenging Shout cooldown reduced to 3 minutes.
  • Death Wish (Fury) no longer makes you immune to Fear effects.
  • Death Wish and Sweeping Strikes have swapped locations in their respective talent trees.
  • Defensive Stance now increases threat by 45%.
  • Defiance (Protection) removed, replaced by Incite and moved to a new location on tier 2.
  • Hamstring now only has one rank and no longer causes damage.
  • Improved Bloodrage (Protection) now increases rage generation of both the instant and over-time effects by 25/50%.
  • Improved Disarm (Protection) now reduces the cooldown of Disarm and Shield Break by 5/10/15 seconds and increases damage taken by disarmed targets by 4/7/10%.
  • Improved Shield Block (Protection) now has 2 ranks and reduces cooldown of Shield Block by 5/10 secs. It no longer increases the number of blocks.
  • Iron Will (Arms) now has only 3 ranks, reducing the duration of Stun and Charm effects by 10/20/30%.
  • Last Stand (Protection) cooldown reduced to 6 minutes.
  • Mace Specialization (Arms) can no longer trigger more than once per 6 seconds.
  • Mocking Blow now only has one rank and causes weapon damage, cooldown reduced to 1 min and can now be used in Defensive Stance.
  • Overpower now only has one rank and no longer causes any bonus damage (i.e. weapon damage only).
  • Poleaxe Specialization (Arms) now also increases critical damage done by Axes and Polearms by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Pummel now only has one rank and no longer causes damage.
  • Shield Bash now only has one rank and will cause damage based on a % of AP.
  • Shield Block now increases chance to block and amount blocked by 100% for the next attack. Cooldown increased to 30 seconds.
  • Shield Slam is now available to all warriors, starting at level 40.
  • Shield Specialization (Protection) moved to Tier 1, now increases rage by 2 on a successful block.
  • Sword Specialization (Arms) can no longer trigger more than once per 6 seconds.
  • Toughness (Protection) moved to tier 3.

Professions

  • The following tradeskills are available to train up to 425: First Aid, Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Enchanting, and Leatherworking.

User Interface

  • The /cower emote now has an animation.
  • Macros and key bindings are now saved server-side so there is no longer a need to reconfigure them when logging in using another computer.
  • Shift-clicking to loot mail: You can now hold Shift and click on mail in your inbox to automatically loot any items and gold without opening the mail. This default behavior can be changed via Auto Loot Mail in the Interface Options (Controls).
  • Combat Log Changes:
    • The combat log now differentiates between a spell failure due to resistance and spell failure due to missing the target. Where once both events reported as a resist; a spell missing the target is now reported as a miss.
    • Overhealing is now reported in the combat log.
    • When a source of damage is entirely prevented (by a shield block, a full resist, or a damage shield like Power Word:Shield, the prevented amount will now be displayed.
-Matt Graham

Achievements - 7.17.2008


Achievements are now official! They will be coming with WotLK.

I'll post more about it later. Just wanted to point it out for now.

-Matt Graham

The Joyous Honor Grind - 7.16.2008


I gotta be honest. I'm playing WoW EXTREMELY casual right now. Basically, I'm just playing while I wait for Warhammer Online and/or Wrath of the Lich King. I'm pretty much just doing the honor grind in the battlegrounds trying to obtain my season 2 gear, that's all. I'm currently sporting 3/5 of the set with only the leggings and the gloves to go; I'll probably be getting the leggings tonight because I have all the marks and I'm only 2k honor away.

I don't really hate the honor grind like most people, it just feels very robotic. I'm just doing it to either hold me over until WAR comes out or so I can grind through the beginning WotLK content quicker than I did with BC.

There hasn't been anything to post about recently - WoW-wise at least, my WAR blog is kickin'. Or, maybe I just haven't felt like it. Who knows? I'm just waiting for the Fall season to come to I'll know where I'll be for hopefully the next few years - be it WAR or WoW and it's expansions.

Is the end near?

-Matt Graham

Busy Week - 7.9.2008

This has been, and will continue to be, a busy week for me. Sorry for not posting recently, but I probably won't be back to posting until this weekend.

-Matt Graham

I Opted-In! - 7.3.2008


Hurry and visit your account management page now! You can opt-in for a chance to get into the Wrath of the Lich King beta like me! Now, you are not guaranteed a spot, but you might as well sign up, right?

Nobody knows when beta will actually start, but it sure seems like it'll be soon. My guess is late July/early August.

I was never in the original WoW or Burning Crusade beta, but I hope that I get into this one!

-Matt Graham

Stay Tuned... - 7.3.2008

Prepare to opt-in for the Wrath of the Lich King beta...

Stay tuned...

"Super soon"...


-Matt Graham

The New Runescape In HD - 7.3.2008


Before there was WoW, Runescape was my game. I loved it! I played it all the time. It's a really fun game, there is no doubt about it. However, being a simple browser game played with a Java client, it has become the butt of many MMO jokes. Even though I no longer play the game, I still (and always will) root for it - I want to see it do well.

For the first time is a LONG time, the Runescape graphics have been upgraded - as well as the main website itself. It's not a small upgrade either, on the contrary, it's HUGE! That's not all, though! The game is now playable in full screen! Now you may get the true MMO feel when playing! I may just have to load up my old character to check this out!

The below video is from Jagex. You may watch it here, but I recommened watching it on YouTube in HD.



-Matt Graham

The Mystery Ends - 6.29.2008


So, the mystery of the splash screen has ended. The new game is Diablo III. Thanks to my awesome ISP, I have been unable to post for the past few days - perfect timing, eh? So, I was wrong. I disagreed with the community, and was proven wrong. I should have learned this long ago with Blizzard, but you always have to believe what the community says. They are always right when it comes to saying what Blizzard will be announcing: Draenei, WotLK, Diablo III, etc.

Now, let me throw out my opinion on Diablo III. I could get flamed for this, but it's my blog so I don't care. :p In my eyes, the day of the "helicopter-view" RPG is dead. It's just plain dead. I don't want to see it anymore. It's slightly understandable with Diablo III because that's the "style", but sometimes gameplay must change to stay with the times. Let me just say that I CAN handle this type of gameplay on one condition. If this game shows up on the Xbox 360 with character movement via joystick, I WILL play it, but if it doesn't, I won't go near this game. I don't wanna sit at my computer, staring at at the top of my character's head, while spamming (and possibly breaking) my mouse button.

There you have it. Besides this post, I probably won't be covering Diablo III very much.

-Matt Graham

The Mystery Continues - 6.26.2008


The mystery of the splash page continues! Over at MMO-Champion, the original discussion is now at a MASSIVE 122 PAGES!

The splash has changed over the past few days, but it hasn't been worth posting again until now. You can see that the ice is being broken through and it seems like a small pair of eyes are now visible, but who knows. DiabloII.Net has already reported that they have confirmation, from a reliable source in the industry, that Diablo III will be announced at the World Wide Invitational on Saturday. I don't really know what to believe right now. Knowing Blizzard, something probably has been leaked, meaning that D3 would be announced. However, my gut feeling is that we won't be seeing D3 yet, if ever - but I've been wrong before. I'd like to see a new MMO. I'm not sure if I'd leave WoW or WAR for it, but it's always nice following new MMOs. Whatever it is, I'm sure that it'll be amazing. Blizzard has yet to disappoint me with a game.

-Matt Graham

The Mystery of the Splash Page - 6.23.2008


Most people probably now know about the mysterious splash page that has been spurring much conversation. Originally, it appeared only on the main Blizzard website, but now it seems to be on all Blizzard websites, including the main WoW site.

Basically, it's a big picture of ice - that's it. Some people are noticing "hidden" runes and pictures in the ice, but I don't really think it means anything - it's just coincidence. The main discussion seems to be a Diablo announcement vs. a WotLK announcement for the release date or beta. Now, my personal opinion is that it is an announcement for WotLK, but it's not for something as small as the beta and it's too far away for an actual release date (for Blizzard anyway). I think we'll be seeing a HUGE announcement for WotLK: another new hero class, another new profession, something completely new, etc.

Now, there is always the possibility of it being for a new franchise. However, I don't see Blizzard doing that right now because it could potentially take hype away from Starcraft II and WotLK. Plus, it's a picture of ICE for goodness' sake!

-Matt Graham

World of Workcraft - 6.22.2008

The below video is one of the better machinimas I've seen for a while. The basic story is a bunch of dragon-slaying heroes in Azeroth who enjoy coming home to "World of Workcraft" every night - paying 15 gold a month to play! While you might think that the concept is fairly simple and not extremely creative, the way it's carried out is pretty amazing. I HIGHLY recommend watching this anytime you want a good laugh.

UPDATE: I was not able to embed the video. Alternatively, you can watch it by going to this link.

-Matt Graham

Bloghammer Online - 6.20.2008


Well, Blizzard isn't the only one expanding.

I'd like to introduce you all to Bloghammer Online - my new Warhammer Online blog! Yes, my new obsession for WAR is true. It's kind of a weird situation though because the game isn't even out yet. I know that WoW won't be dying anytime soon, so I'll always have something to write about here on Blogcraft, but if Paul Barnett and the rest of EA Mythic end up screwing up, Bloghammer is out of commission. However, I'm gunna roll the dice on this one. I've never felt so good about a game before (besides WoW and it's expansions), so I really do think that this game will find its place in the always growing MMO world.

A perfect world (for players, definitely not developers) would be where WoW and WAR can coexist with 10 million subscribers each - at least for me anyways - but I think that's out of the question. There seems to be only room for one dominating MMO and I don't doubt that it'll be WoW for many years to come. My hope is that, well, WAR is a good game, but also that WAR can maintain a healthy population of committed players.

So, jump across the pond that is the internet, and visit my new blog about WAR, Bloghammer. Until the release, you'll probably find posts that are very similar to any of my posts about WoW expansions before release. I hope you enjoy!

-Matt Graham

The Beginning of the End...? - 6.19.2008


After my short-lived case of burnout from WoW two weeks ago, I ended up coming back and casually leveled my Dwarf Paladin from 36 to 40 in Dustwallow Marsh (and some STV). However, just days later I am once again sick of WoW. Possibly my new found distaste for WoW was created by my "discovery" of Warhammer Online.

A few months ago, I was one of the people that wanted to yell "FAIL!" every time they hear about Warhammer Online. My basic though of Warhammer Online was WoW with slightly more advanced PvP but WoW's PvE minus anything good. But really, in the end, even if it does end up being very similar to WoW, why is that really so bad? If WoW is amazingly fun, then why would a copy with new "skins" for different races, classes, and environments be any different? It wouldn't.

This is not the first time I've felt a lot of hype for another MMO, Age of Conan being the most recent, but it is definitely the most prolific. I honestly hope that this isn't the beginning of the end of my WoW career, but I am feeling different than I ever have before when taking a "break" from WoW. However, until I physically get my hands on WAR, I won't make any huge judgments, good or bad - so don't expect any absolute WoW > WAR or WAR >WoW posts for a while. :p

-Matt Graham

Blogcraft Asks: What do you wanna hear in a WoW podcast? - 6.10.2008


"Blogcraft Asks" is a new feature here on Blogcraft in which I ask the readers a question that they may comment about on this post. Before we get into the question, I would also like a special picture for this feature to put on the blog; So, if you are talented at making cool graphics and want to help out Blogcraft, send a "Blogcraft Asks" graphic to worldofblogcraft@gmail.com . If there are more than one entry, I'll pick the graphic I like the most. Don't worry though! Even if your graphic is not selected, you will be credited for your contribution! Okay, so now on to the question!


What do you wanna hear when listening to a WoW podcast? (Specific features or segments, discussions, etc.?)


I look forward to your comments on this post!

P.S. - This question is very important, so I hope you get a chance to answer!

-Matt Graham

Kil'Jaeden, The Deceiver - 6.7.2008


The final boss of The Burning Crusade (probably) has been defeated. Rejoice young ones; go forth into the streets and make merry with vast quantities of mead. Or alternatively, read my article! Either is good.

I was looking for a single phrase I could use to sum up this fight, and indeed the whole Sunwell instance, and whilst I came across many excellent choices; I think I will have to settle upon 'Short and Sweet'. It has a fairly nice ring to it, for starters, but it also expresses my feelings about Sunwell, and Kil'Jaeden, rather nicely.

Allow me to explain; the 'Short' obviously refers to the small number of bosses within the Sunwell, only 6 encounters are actually available to raid. In comparison to the last raid instance of Vanilla WoW, Naxxramas, which had a lovely 15 encounters, this is somewhat annoying. Top guilds can potentially clear the place in a few hours; hardly a fitting end to a superb expansion. Which leads me to believe there is more in store for the TBC raider, regardless of what Blizzard suggests. Secondly, it is a somewhat opinionated description of the Kil'Jaeden fight itself - I won't go into specifics, but i was hoping for a +15 minute epic encounter the likes of which raiders had never seen. Whilst there's no denying the encounter itself is very challenging, it can easily be done in under 11 minutes. I'm sure that sounds fairly long for many of you, but personally, I was hoping for something a bit more strenuous.

'Sweet' of course can be used to describe all the encounters within the Sunwell. All of them are particularly demanding for what they require from the raid group; unlike say, Shade of Akama in Black Temple, which you can pretty much AFK on these days. This demand for skilled play from the whole group is definitely what raiders have been looking for, and a special mention must go to M'uru and Kil'Jaeden, both very difficult boss fights. Kil'Jaeden specifically requires that special combination of spatial awareness and skill that separates the truly exceptional player from the good one. And for that I am glad; it is a testament to each guild that has downed him thus far.

Speaking of, the 'Epic Battle' between Nihilum and SK-Gaming was brought to a close on the 25th of May, with SK-Gaming clinching the world 1st with ease. A well deserved kill, SK has been following in the shadow of Nihilum (back when they were Curse/MyM) for a long while now, and it's refreshing to see them take pole position for once. Nihilum is still a force to be reckoned with of course, taking the world 3rd, after Method.

Will direct your attention to WoWProgress again for the most accurate Sunwell leading guild list, and also this nifty new feature - Detective, which basically tracks server transfers to and from your server. No more hiding behind another name!

I'd also like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to Blogcraft. I've decided to stop writing as I'm not planning to be raiding in the next expansion, and therefore wouldn't have much to write about! Would like to say thank you to Matt for letting me blog with him, and I hope Blogcraft lives on for many years to come. Best wishes to all readers, Joe.

-Joe Zara [Phoee]

Goodbye and Thanks, Joe - 6.6.2008

Joe Zara (Phoee) will be making his final post on Blogcraft tomorrow. The high end raider has decided that he has played enough of WoW - and he doesn't plan to return with WotLK. For him, it's time to leave Azeroth, but his legacy is not leaving with him. Joe is one of the more successful WoW players I've have contact with in my life - he's a raider in the world top 10 guild, Inner Sanctum. So, if you gunna go out, I guess it is the best time to do so. :p

I'd like to thank Joe for everything he's done for Blogcraft. He's been with the blog since last November and has put out 11 quality posts pertaining to the "hardcore" side of WoW. He brought a whole other dimension to the blog, and I can't thank him enough for that.

Good luck in your future endeavors, Joe!

P.S. - I know that you didn't really want me making a "goodbye post", but I just had to. >.<

-Matt Graham

Blogcraft Asks: What are the top five things you love most about WoW? - 6.5.2008


"Blogcraft Asks" is a new feature here on Blogcraft in which I ask the readers a question that they may comment about on this post. Before we get into the question, I would also like a special picture for this feature to put on the blog; So, if you are talented at making cool graphics and want to help out Blogcraft, send a "Blogcraft Asks" graphic to worldofblogcraft@gmail.com . If there are more than one entry, I'll pick the graphic I like the most. Don't worry though! Even if your graphic is not selected, you will be credited for your contribution! Okay, so now on to the question!

What are the top five things that you love most about World of Warcraft?




Here is my personal list:
1. Lore
2. Environments (Zones)
3. World PvP With Friends
4. Leveling Alts
5. Reaching Max Level

I look forward to your comments on this post!

-Matt Graham

Burnout - 6.5.2008


No, this post is not about a crazy, arcade-style racing game - although it could be.

I'm currently suffering from burnout in WoW. It's as simple as that. I haven't played WoW since maybe a week and a half before my recent vacation. The WoW posting isn't going to stop - I just simply won't be logging on for a while.

I'm going to take this time away from WoW to take care of some things in the real world, as well as casually game on my Xbox 360. Yesterday, I downloaded Fable from the Xbox Live Marketplace in the "Xbox Originals" section. I had never played Fable before, but I always wanted to. So, now I'll casually work my way through that, and when I finish, I hope to buy Pyschonauts through the same system - another game I have never played, but always wanted to.

So, that, and posting here on Blogcraft, is what I'll probably be doing for a little while. Hopefully WoW will feel very fresh and new when I get back to playing it in the future.

-Matt Graham

I'm Baaack - 6.4.2008

While I had a great trip, I'm happy to be back home. There truly is no place quite like home. Also, I'm no longer sick. So, everything is pretty great right now. =D

Expect some new posts coming soon!

-Matt Graham

AFK - 5.23.2008

Beginning tomorrow, I'll be out of town for 10 days with no computer. Possibly the worst timing ever for such a long trip, right? I'm still recovering from my virus and the WotLK news is still pouring out. Oh well - you win some, you lose some.

Plus, I guess wouldn't wanna be on the computer all the time during vacation anyways.

So, I'll see you all soon!

-Matt Graham

Championship Gaming Series - 5.23.2008


On Wednesday, I was contacted by the Championship Gaming Series, informing me of their upcoming 3v3 arena tournament. The top 1,000 arena teams from North America and Europe will compete June 9-22, and the top two teams will travel to Los Angeles on July 19 for the CGS World Final and a grand prize of $50,000!

LOS ANGELES – May 21, 2008 – Championship Gaming Series™ (CGS), the only worldwide professional video gaming league, announced its second annual World of Warcraft® Arena Championship, an invitational Arena tournament that will feature the top 1,000 Arena teams from North America and Europe in independent open-ladder competition from June 9 to June 22, 2008. The two highest-ranked teams from each region will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to battle against each other to determine the top team from Europe and North America and fight for their share of $50,000 in prize money. The final match between the North American champion team and the European champion team will be streamed live from Los Angeles, Saturday, July 19 at thecgs.com. The top finisher will be crowned CGS World of Warcraft Arena Champion and receive US$25,000.

The CGS World of Warcraft Arena Tournament will follow the same 3v3 rule set and competition structure used in Blizzard Entertainment®’s 2008 Arena Tournament. The top 1,000 eligible teams participating in that tournament will be invited to register for the 2008 CGS World of Warcraft Arena Championship. All players will be provided with tournament-specific accounts which allow access to the CGS Tournament Realm, created specifically for the competition. Players will have access to the same gear and configuration options used for the Blizzard Entertainment 2008 Arena Tournament.

Visit the official website of the Championship Gaming Series for more information!

PLEASE NOTE: The CGS wasn't inviting me to participate in their tournament (I suck at arenas), they just wanted me to post this for them to let more people know about it.

-Matt Graham

I Got Owned - 5.21.2008

On Monday I woke up feeling a little warm with a temperature of 98.9°F. That's not very far off from the normal 98.6°F, but I could feel something going wrong. Later that day, I found myself winding up with a temperature of 104°F. So, I did what anyone else would do - I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with the Flu, which, for the most part, isn't very serious.

I'm telling you this because I want to apologize for not being able to make any good posts in the past three days. So many amazing WotLK leaks came up since Monday, but I haven't been able to bring them to you because of this damn virus. Sorry, guys! Hopefully I'll be better soon and be able to bring you some great WoW news!

P.S. - Please forgive me if some of the wording in this post is weird. The fever has caused me to be really confused.

-Matt Graham