As I mentioned around a month ago, I have a new addition to the family who is demanding a great deal of my time and attention at the moment. This, combined with the fact my guild has been on a small summer break (students… exams… never a good combination) has made this blog rather devoid of content for the last couple of weeks. Summer raiding woes have kicked in for many guilds it seems and it feels like a lot of players are just kicking back and waiting for Cataclysm to go live.
I’m going to try and summarise what has been happening in WoW since my last blog, in regards to Cataclysm news, PTR testing and live updates.
AVR Will Be Broken in the Next Patch
I discussed this addon in a blog entry here and I made my views pretty clear on the subject. For me, one of the challenges of PvE raiding is the ability to react to the environmental events surrounding us. Part of learning new encounters is waiting for everyone in your raid group to learn what they are looking for and how to respond correctly to that trigger. The concept of drawing shapes into the game world was, for me, ludicrous and unacceptable.
Thankfully, Blizzard apparently agreed and announced here that as of patch 3.3.5 this addon should no longer work. They also stated that should the addon continue to work or should either the AVR developers or another mod arise that aims to perform the same function, they would take more drastic action to disable these kinds of mods.
AVR created quite a stir within the WoW community, partly due to the publicity it received from mmo-champion and partly due to how invasive and revolutionary it was. Most people seemed to be either firmly in favour of, or firmly against the idea of this addon. As such the news of it’s impending doom was met with equal controversy. I would never have supported anyone within my own guild choosing to use this addon and I’m personally glad, for the future of raiding in WoW, that it’s coming to and end. Perception and reaction are trainable and help improve your personal skill as a raider. For me, bettering myself as a player is always superior to looking for a quick fix that can encourage me to be lazy.
Ruby Sanctum Testing and Loot
Testing for the final raid content of the Wrath expansion is now well under way and we have preliminary loot tables. When Ruby Sanctum was first announced months ago (after it’s files were data mined from another PTR patch), it was confirmed that much like Obsidian Sanctum, we would be seeing some nice trinkets appear from this content. Sadly but predictably for the ten man guilds out there, these appear to be restricted to the twenty five man version of the instance, once again placing them off limits for any guilds abiding by the ten man strict policies outlined by guildox. (Though I also suspect that as Cataclysm grows closers, we’ll probably see more of these guilds sacrifice their rankings to allow their members the chance of obtaining some of those best in slot items that they have thus far been denied.)
The caster trinket can be seen above and is undoubtedly very, very nice though naturally, slightly inferior to the heroic version of the dislodged foreign object seen below.
Using the above trinkets together, however, will allow for new haste highs to be reached.
In addition to the new trinket, a new mail belt is also dropping from the twenty five man version of the encounter, boasting superior stats to the emblem of frost belt, the waistband of despair. A comparison of the two belts can be seen below.
The final offering from twenty five man Ruby Sanctum comes in the form of the following cloak.
For those of us bound by the strict ten man rules, the loot tables from Ruby Sanctum are much less exciting. There is the appearance of a caster hit belt, but it’s boasting crit rather than haste and is inferior to the emblem of frost belt mentioned above. For reference, it’s shown below.
Once again, there has been, in my opinion, a huge error made in regards to the loot tables. The same mistake seen in Trial of the Crusader with the reign trinkets is being made once again where no alternative is offered for the ten man guilds. At least Cataclysm will finally address the imbalance of loot tables and stop actively neglecting the players choosing to raid in smaller environments.
Remote Auction House Beta
A feature that was mentioned at Blizzcon 2009 has finally appeared in it’s beta incarnation. A remote auction house functionality has been added to both the armoury and to the armoury application available for the iphone. This application allows players to access the in game auction house without logging into WoW itself. For now, it’s limited to 25 transactions per day but once live, this will be increased (I believe it was to 200 but I can’t find the source of this for now.)
Once beta is completed, this functionality will fall into the category of a premium service and as such, will carry a $2.99 subscription fee per month. This shows a strong continuation of the micro transaction philosophy that Blizzard appear to be supporting as of late.
This is an interesting idea for me. As someone who spends a lot of time playing the auction house, it intrigues me undoubtedly. For many people, the economic side of WoW can be a reason to play all by itself. Will I be subscribing to this service? Yes, though as my primary market of interest is glyphs, the relatively small number of transactions will limit it’s use for me personally. (Glyphs, while lucrative, are very space intensive due to the sheer volume of glyphs you need to carry.)
Some features of the remote auction house will be enabled for all players, regardless of their choice to pay an additional fee. These are as follows:-
- Browse the auction house
- Get real-time notifications when your auctions sell or expire
- Get real-time notifications when you win auctions or when you are outbid
- View your characters’ current gold
- View the status of your auctions and search for similar auctions
- View the items you can sell in your bags, bank, and mailbox
- View the status of auctions you are bidding on
- View the items you’ve sold in the auction house
- View your expired auctions
- View the status of auctions you created
- View your successful auctions
The additional subscription only features are as follows:-
- Bid on auctions
- Buy out auctions
- Create auctions from items in your bags, bank, and mailbox
- Collect gold from successful auctions
- Collect gold from unsuccessful bids
- Collect all outstanding gold with a single click
- Cancel your auctions
- Relist items for sale from your expired auctions
I don’t imagine this service will be in beta for long, so it should be live relatively soon. (The thought of sneakily under cutting my competition while I’m out at lunch on a Saturday is vindictively enticing.)
Icecrown Citadel Buff Increased to 20%
Finally, in predictable news, the potency of the Icecrown Citadel Hellscream’s Warsong and Strength of Wrynn buffs has been increased to 20%. In addition, the number of attempts allocated to the final wing bosses has been increased to 50.
That just about covers the main news for the last couple of weeks. There are still screenshots of the new areas in Cataclysm being released on a daily basis and I’d urge anyone interested in checking those out to visit mmo-champion.com regularly. Cataclysm is still in it’s alpha stages of testing and still covered by a no disclosure policy so the amount of information coming forth has slowed to a trickle rather than the deluge we saw a month ago.
Personal apologies go out for the lack of updates on this blog recently. The puppy has been incredibly time demanding and coupled with my guild’s raiding break (and my own time being dedicated a great deal to the Starcraft II beta test), I have lacked the time to sit down and really write. I hope all my readers are still enjoying a steady rate of progress and that the summer raiding woes haven’t hit everyone too hard just yet!