Tag Archives: Patch 3.3

5 Things to Do in Patch 3.3

the five

While I still plan on posting my ToGC Faction Champs strat, we’re all still high from Patch 3.3, so let’s take this week’s Five from Fall of the Lich King.

Before we start the list, though (psyche!), let’s link the Patch 3.3 cinematic in case you haven’t seen it:

Now, the list:

1.  Try the Random Dungeon.  Go ahead, roll the dice.  It’s fun!  So far, I haven’t had too  much bad luck doing the random heroic.  In fact, I’ve found some pretty decent people along the way, some of them from other realms.  I find it kind of exciting.  I haven’t tried it on my low-level toons yet, but several people have said they’ve been running Ragefire Chasm, Deadmines, and the Stockade on their low-level toons and loving it, even to the point of leveling through the Dungeon Finder tool.

2.  Do the Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of Reflection Quests.  These instances became fast favorites.  They’re quick, relatively easy with a good group, and extremely story-rich.  Halls of Reflections especially was a big one for me, as I had the privilege to go in there with a group who didn’t ruin the storyline for me.  If you want pretty nice epic loots (got an awesome sword for my mage in H FoS) and a great story leading into Icecrown Citadel, you have to try this.

Halls of Reflection opening event

3.  Using the LFG channel instead of Trade.  The way the Looking For Group chat channel used to work made it reasonable to post your group recruitment messages in both LFG and Trade.  LFG only extended to people already in the Looking For Group system, but there were plenty of times that some priest at the auction house in Ironforge would see the call go out for a healer for Heroic Violet Hold and decide to come.  Contrary to Durotan’s infamous Dollarsign, neglecting to recruit in Trade meant possibly missing out on spur-of-the-moment invites.

Now, thank goodness, the LFG channel works just like the Trade channel.  It’s in every city all the time, making it completely unnecessary (and in fact, a little too redundant) to spam in Trade.  Use the new LFG channel and put people like Dollarsign out of business.

4.  Get a reputation.  WotLK reputation has never been easier to acquire.  Not only can you still do dailies and turn-ins, you can also buy commendation badges with Emblems of Triumph and they’ve increased the rep you get from all sources.  Don’t have a toon exalted with Sons of Hodir yet?  Now’s the time.  Also, once you have 1 toon exalted with a faction that sells enchants (such as Kirin Tor’s head enchant or one of the Sons of Hodir exalted shoulder enchants), you can now buy those enchants for your other toons, as they have gone from Bind on Pickup to Bind on Account.

5.  Kill Lord Marrowgar.  We did this on 25-man in 2 shots.  On our 10-man group, it took 4 to get everyone paying attention.  Either way, this is totally doable.  Get some guildies together, form a 10-man, and go bring down the first boss in Icecrown.  Heck, while you’re at it, take a few shots at Lady Deathwhisper, too.  You might get a lot further than you think, and Ashen Verdict rep is FTW.

let's go kill Marrowgar!

Hope you guys are enjoying the patch!

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Get Ready, Get Set, Get Arthas! Patch 3.3: Wrap-up

Professions

  • Enchanting
    • Enchant Weapon – Black Magic: This enchantment now sometimes increases haste rating for the caster rather than inflicting the caster’s target with a damage-over-time effect. It is also now triggered by landing any harmful spell rather than inflicting damage with a spell.
    • Enchant Weapon – Unholy: This enchantment now inflicts Shadow damage in addition to its original effect.

From all the numbers I’ve seen, you won’t be suddenly dropping Spellpower for Black Magic if you’re a Moonkin.

  • First Aid
    • The training costs for most bandages have been reduced.
  • Fishing
    • The all-new Kalu’ak Fishing Derby, a test of fishing skill with a healthy dash of luck, has come to Northrend! Every Wednesday beginning at 8 PM players can try to catch the elusive Blacktip Shark. Elder Clearwater sits in Dalaran for one hour awaiting the return of the quickest, most experienced fisher to bring him this shark. This champion fisher will be rewarded in-kind for returning with the first catch. Those who aren’t able to return with the first catch will still receive just reward for getting the Blacktip Shark to Elder Clearwater before he takes his leave. It is said that these sharks’ favorite meal are the bite-sized Pygmy Suckerfish. Perhaps a hook in their waters will do the trick.

I absolutely love that there is a new fishing contest.  I absolutely hate that it starts at raid time.

  • Mining
    • Enchanted Thorium: This ability now uses the Mining skill and is learned from trainers at a skill level of 250.

Quests

  • Weekly raid quests are now available from Archmage Lan’dalock in Dalaran. Every Tuesday at 3 AM the Council of Six will choose a different strategic target that must die from either: The Obsidian Sanctum, Naxxramas, The Eye of Eternity, Ulduar, Trial of the Crusader, or Icecrown Citadel.

Doing the daily raid rewards Emblems of Frost.  In theory, you can get a full T10 set this way, but it would take months and months and months and months and…you get the idea.  For raiders going for their T10 set in Icecrown, though; this is a nice boost.

druid tier 10

Druid T10

  • For the various Icecrown Bomber quests at Aldur’thar: The Desolation Gate, players can now choose to eject from their bomber seats mid-run. If you do so, a rescue vehicle will transport your character back to the safety of your infra-green platform.
  • Azure Drakes and Dragons will now attack back when attacked by characters not riding Wyrmrest Defenders.
  • Brittle Revenants, quest creatures fought for the Sons of Hodir daily quest “Hot and Cold,” no longer cast Shield Slam.

Achievements

  • The Achievements to get exalted with the Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and Alterac Valley factions have been removed from their respective “Master of” Meta-Achievements. Special titles will be offered to those who reach exalted with these factions.
  • “The Party’s Over” has been removed from Achievements and is no longer a part of the “Glory of the Hero” Meta-Achievement.
  • “Master Angler of Stranglethorn” has been changed to “Master Angler of Azeroth” and can be achieved by winning either the Kalu’ak Fishing Derby or the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza.

Yay!  I never did manage to win the Stranglethorn fishing tournament.  Mostly because once my husband won his interest in helping me declined leaps and bounds.

Reputation

  • Commendation Badges which award reputation with various Wrath of the Lich King factions can be purchased with Emblems of Triumph in Dalaran. Each badge costs 1 Emblem of Triumph.

Wow.  I hadn’t caught wind of this yet.  This is going to seriously decrease the amount of time you spend grinding rep.  If you run ToC 10 once a week, you’ll be able to buy 15 commendation badges.  My guess is that, like the ones that used to be rewarded from the regular daily, they’ll be worth 250 rep each (or 500 for Hodir).  That would be 3750 rep a week in addition to wearing your tabard (or a whopping 7500 a week for Hodir in addition to the dailies).

  • Gaining reputation with the Ashen Verdict in Icecrown Citadel will grant players access to upgradeable rings from Ormus the Penitent. Players can switch between the type of ring (melee/caster/tank/healer) at any point in the upgrade path for 200g.

Ah, yay!  I always loved the rings I got from raids like Kara and Hyjal.  Glad to see this make a comeback.

  • The following reputations have been sped up by roughly 30%:
    • Argent Crusade
    • Alliance Vanguard
    • Horde Expedition
    • Kirin Tor
    • Knights of the Ebon Blade
    • Sons of Hodir
    • Wyrmrest Accord
  • Sons of Hodir quests now give more reputation overall.

While I think the grind is certainly worthwhile, as heavily as we have to rely on these factions for raiding, I can see why they’ve done this, especially on the last tier of content.

  • Top-level helm and shoulder faction-related enchants are now available as Bind-on-Account items that do not require any faction to use once purchased (they still require the appropriate faction level to purchase).

I have mixed feelings about this.  It will certainly make getting my alts their enchants easier, but also less rewarding.  I’m surprised that they decided to implement this even after making the rep gains so much easier to obtain.  But, I guess for most, if you’ve done the rep grind once you’ve done it enough.  (I’ve done it two and a half times, I should get an achievement!  Lol)

Items

  • Haris Pilton now sells a new 24-slot bag! She has stubbornly decided to remain in Shattrath City, so those interested should seek her out there.
  • Hatchlings: Leaping, Darting, Razormaw, and Ravasaur Hatchlings no longer drop from their associated rare creatures. Instead, there are now rare nests that spawn which contain these hatchlings. For example, the Leaping Hatchling can now be found in Takk’s Nest rather than as a drop from Takk the Leaper.
  • Sceptor of Celebras: Since this item is no longer needed as a key, Celebras will no longer give one out to a player who loses it. The item can now be sold or disenchanted as normal.

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Get Ready, Get Set, Get Arthas! Patch 3.3: The Interface

User Interface

Quest Tracking

This has a lot of different features, very similar in a lot of respects to Quest Helper, and since a lot of us are familiar with that, I’m going to use it as a reference point for some of these things.

QT – The Map

the new map interface w/ quest tracking turned on

On the top left is your map, pretty much the way you’re used to seeing it, just smaller.  On the right is a list of quests in that zone, and you can see the details of the selected quest on the bottom.  The quest-tracking part comes in with the numbering system.  I’ve got “Rider of Unholy” selected in my quest list, and it’s marked with a 1.  That 1 is lit up on the map at the location of the objective, in this case, a mob that needs some killing.

Similar to Quest Helper, if you have a quest objective that covers a zone (i.e., killing Plainstriders in the Barrens), selecting that quest will highlight an area of the map where that objective can be completed, but unlike QH it will choose the area closest to you rather than showing you where in the zone they spawn.

A “Show Map” button will be in your quest log on the upper right side, and if you select a quest and then click this button, it will show you the quest’s location on the map.  You can also minimize the quest tracking parts of the map and leave the map up on your screen, like so:

minimized map

Since a lot of you are going to want to know this, yes, you can turn this feature off.  If you clicked on the link to see the full-sized screenshot above, then you can see a checkbox in the lower right hand corner marked “Show Quest Objectives.”  Unchecking this will give you back the map you are accustomed to.

QT – Quest Objective Tracking

objective tracking

If you use the standard UI, then you know about quest tracking already.  They’ve updated it a bit, adding the corresponding numbers to the quest tracking UI.  When using the smaller map, this will, in theory, allow you to consult both while still navigating.

If you complete the quest, the number will be replaced by a gold question mark.

You can choose to display the difficulty of the quest, and those colors correspond to the quest log colors (gray, green, yellow, orange, and red).

And, similar to quest helper, you can minimize the quest tracking list by clicking on the small arrow just above and to the right of the list itself.

While I can totally understand why they’ve implemented this (go ahead, count 10 people in your guild that don’t use some kind of quest-tracking add-on), I still think there’s merit to new players doing it the old fashioned way.  But what do I know?  I’m just an old fart who found Westfall the first time while swimming.

Buffs & Debuffs

buffs&debuffs

As you can see from the screenshot, there’s a new interface section with options related to buffs.  Here’s what each one does if you enable it:

Buff Durations:  Does what it always has.  It shows how long is left on the buff or debuff.  I’ve had this turned on since Amber was level 35 and I don’t even think about it anymore.

Dispelable Buffs:  Shows only debuffs you can dispel from friendly targets while you are in a raid.  I have Grid for this.

Castable Buffs:  Shows only buffs you can cast on friendly targets while you are in a raid.  If you’re a druid with the tank targeted, for instance, you’ll see whether or not he has Mark of the Wild, but you won’t see his Fortitude.

Consolidate Buffs:  This takes all of the buffs you normally see on the top right hand of your screen and groups them up into one box.  There’s a counter on the box to tell you how many buffs you have and you can mouseover it and see.  Short term buffs, like Nature’s Grasp, Nature’s Splendor, or Eclipse will show up outside of the box, but long-term buffs, like Mark of the Wild, won’t show until it’s about to expire.  Then it will appear outside of the box so you’ll see it and refresh it.buff consolidator

Castable Debuff:  Shows only debuffs that you cast on a target.  This means if you’re a moonkin, you won’t see the SP’s Misery or the Hunter’s Mark on your target; you’ll only see FF, Earth & Moon, MF, and IS if they’re up.

Random UI Stuff

  • Lag Reports: Players can now report high latency or lag by accessing the Help Request menu.
  • Unit Nameplates
    • The range at which players can see unit nameplates has been increased by 40 yards.
    • Unit nameplates are now subject to line-of-sightlimitations in certain situations (this does not pertain to objects like Arena pillars or bridges).
    • Players can now adjust select unit nameplate display settings listed below under Interface Options via the Names tab.
      • Friendly/enemy pet nameplates can be toggled.
      • Enemy totem nameplates can be toggled (friendly totem nameplates are never displayed).
      • Players can choose whether or not unit nameplates overlap.
    • Unit nameplates for critters are never displayed.
  • Non spell-based tracking now persists through logout.
  • Any party member may mark targets (this does not apply to raid groups).
  • Players will be warned when their talents are reset due to a new patch.
  • “/Settitle” command has been added.
  • Tentative status added for calendar responses.
  • Unit frames added for special encounters.
  • Experience earned for a quest will display in the Quest Rewards section.
  • Confirmation box added when buying stable slots.

These are all self-explanatory.  There are some macro changes, but none of them seem very earth-shattering.  The two that stuck out to me were the new macro options to use “@” instead of “target=” (so you can do /cast @mouseover Nourish) and “/settitle” (now I can macro equipping my Chef’s Hat and changing my title to “Chef Ambermist” without scripting).

chef ambermist

Well, that took up a lot more space than I thought, so I guess you’ll get two posts on what will hopefully be Patch Day:  we will finally wrap up the 3.3 digest, and I’ll be posting the next installment of “A Cord of Two Strands.”

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Get Ready, Get Set, Get Arthas! Patch 3.3: Dungeons & Raids

Today the focus is on Dungeons and Raids.  There’s a LOT of info to cover, so let’s jump right in.

Dungeons and Raids

  • Naxxramas
    • Players no longer need to kill the final bosses in all four wings of this dungeon in order to teleport to Sapphiron. Teleportation orbs have been added to allow players access back and forth from Sapphiron’s lair.

I would expect to see groups forming just to take out Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad with this change.  Lots of people (including me) would love to run Naxx on their shiny new 80s but don’t necessarily have the hours to devote to what usually turns out to be a sloppy PuG that doesn’t finish anyway.

  • Oculus
    • Azure Ring Guardians agro distance changed from 50 to 40 yards.
    • Many bosses and creatures have had their total health reduced.
    • Several bosses and creatures have had cooldowns on specific abilities increased, effect durations reduced, and damage on some of these abilities reduced.
    • Ring-Lord Conjurers and Sorceresses now hang out in packs of 4 instead of packs of 5.
    • Vehicle scaling on the drakes based on the rider’s item level has been increased to make them more powerful.

This is a nerf to Oculus specifically to make it more accessible for people wanting to run the new random heroic.  I really don’t know how much this is going to change the success of the instance, as the first half never really is a problem.  The biggest problem with Oculus is having 5 members who fully understand the final boss vehicle mechanics and can also execute them correctly.  But maybe added drake health will make up for that; we’ll see.

Dungeon Finder (DF)

The notes on the new Dungeon Finder are extraordinarily long and detailed, so I’m not going to take up 3000 words of blog space with the notes as written.  Instead, I’m going to explain the whole thing in what is hopefully a smoother, easier read.

DF

Looking For Group as we know it will be gone.  In its place will be the Dungeon Finder tool from which you can queue for an instance regardless of party size.  It will then recruit the roles you need for the dungeon from people queued not only from your realm but from your entire battlegroup.  Once the group is filled and all party members are ready, the DF will teleport you all to the instance, and when you’re finished, it will teleport you back to your previous location.

There will be an option to do a Random Lich King Heroic and a Random Lich King Dungeons.  By doing the Random instances once a day, you will receive emblems of Frost and Emblems of Triumph respectively.  Because of this new option, Heroic and Regular dailies are being removed.  Raid dailies will be added.  You’ll also get extra rewards for letting the Dungeon Finder choose your group for you randomly, including a Perky Pug pet.

Some of the harder heroics will have gear level requirements (so you won’t have someone in level 75 greens showing up for Heroic ToC5), and you will not be put in a group with anyone on your ignore list.  There’s also a feature being added to allow a party to vote someone out of the group.  If the party votes to kick a person from the group, they will be removed and teleported back to their previous location.

Only conjured items (i.e., healthstones and a mage’s mana food) and items that drop in the dungeon itself can be traded between two matched party members from different realms.

Looking For Raid (LFR)

This is being added in addition to the new Dungeon Finder tool.  This works more like the old LFG, but it’s only applicable to raids.

While looking through LFR, you’ll be able to sort by Name, Level, Class, and Role.  If you hover over a player’s name, you’ll see their name, class, level, selected roles, and comments.  Hovering over a group will display the leader’s name, the number of people in the raid, which bosses have already been killed (if any), and whether or not there are people from your friend and ignore lists in the raid group.

Other Dungeon, Raid, and Group Changes

Need before Greed is getting a boost.  (The following emphasis is all mine):  “Need before Greed will now recognize gear appropriate for a class.”  In other words, the rogue can’t ninja a ring with spellpower, and the hunter can’t roll need on plate.  Also, you will only be able to roll need on armor that is from your dominant armor type (druids won’t be able to roll need on cloth, only leather), but Greed is still open roll for everyone.

In addition to the above, a “Disenchant” button will appear if you have an appropriate-level enchanter in your group .  Using “Disenchant” is like rolling Greed, but you’ll receive the enchanting mats rather than the item itself.disenchant button

The LFG chat channel will be available any time you’re in a major city whether or not you’re using the DF/LFR tools.  In other words, it’s just like Trade chat, and in time, this might even eliminate people using Trade to find groups.  As we currently have a person on our server whose only mission for the past 5 months has been to inform everyone that he “wouldn’t join a group that recruits in trade,” this strikes me with keen interest.

You will only be able to be queued for one TYPE of group at a time.  If you are in LFR, you can’t also be queued in DF for a heroic.  If you’re in the Random DF queue, you can’t also be queued for an Arena or BG.  This kind of stinks, because I tend to throw myself in a lot of different things and just see which one pops first.

The difficulty of your instance (either regular or heroic, 10- or 25-man) will now be displayed on a mini-map icon, and players below level 10 won’t be able to join raids (so long, Level 1 Hogger raids, we loved you).

Ignore!The Ignore list will hold 50 people, and you can ignore people from other realms.  I love this so much I can’t stand it.

Tomorrow we’ll hit up the UI, Quest, Item, and Profession changes.  And then Tuesday…well, Tuesday is (probably) Patch Day!

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Get Ready, Get Set, Get Arthas! Patch 3.3: Icecrown & General Changes

The last numbers I saw about Patch 3.3 said that 75% of sites are predicting release this Tuesday, with the other 25% mostly settled on the following Tuesday.

IcecrownWith Icecrown Citadel now hovering ominously overhead, it’s time to break down Patch 3.3.  The truth is, there’s always an overwhelming amount of information available prior to these patches, and I find it helpful to shrink it down into tasty, more manageable morsels.  For those of you who are more detail oriented, I’ll provide links to more in-depth sources where appropriate.

General

  • Icecrown Citadel

There are 4 total instances in ICC:  three 5-man dungeons (regular and heroic), and one raid (10-man and 25-man).  The 5-mans are super quick; I did them on the PTR in ToC-level gear, and they don’t generally take more than 30 minutes each.

Probably the first boss you'll encounter in the 5-man dungeon Pit of Saron.

Rimefang

The last boss in Pit of Saron.

Unfortunately, the only time I actually got the chance to raid ICC, the boss didn’t spawn for us on 10-man, and the 25-man I got into failed miserably.  The thing I like about the raid is that it will be gated, releasing the bosses and wings of the instance in stages.  This ensures that those of us still looking to down heroic Anub will be able to progress into ICC and still finish up ToGC.  Click here to read how the ICC gating system will work.

  • Quel’Delar Quest Chain

I’m going to be bluntly honest.  Moonkin got screwed on this.  There are two caster weapons from which to choose if you do this quest chain:  a mace and a sword.  The mace is clearly a healer mace, with mp5.  And druids can’t use swords.  GG, Blizz.  Click here to see all the weapons available from completing this quest chain.

  • Knockbacks no longer dismount players. If on a flying mount, you will be knocked back a short distance before being able to resume flying.
  • The existing /welcome emote now greets/welcomes targets (character says “hello”), while the new /yw is for saying “you’re welcome.”
  • Many of the tail sweeps with knockback effects will no longer hit players’ pets.

My treants always seemed smart enough to move to the side of Onyxia (really, it’s kind of strange), but at least this ensures that my trees won’t be pulling any whelps.  Also, the addition to /yw emote is looooooong overdue.

  • Level 1 characters no longer start with food or water in their inventory.

I wasn’t going to mess with the leveling-related stuff (like how you won’t get dazed as much when you run away like a pansy at low levels), but this one caught me off guard.  However, they increasing mana regeneration by 200% for characters under level 15, so this might make the old drink-after-every-two-kills 1-10 not quite so bad.

summoning stone

Wonder how that worked out...

  • Meeting Stones: To use any Meeting Stone, it is only required that the character’s minimum level be 15. There is no maximum character level requirement for any Meeting Stone.

ABOUT FREAKING TIME, don’t you think?  Headless Horseman will be a lot easier next year, assuming SM’s summoning stone isn’t pooped on by Deathwing by that time.

Classes: General

  • Area-of-Effect Damage Caps: We’ve redesigned the way area damage is capped when hitting many targets. Instead of a hard cap on total damage done, the game now caps the total damage done at a value equal to the damage the spell would do if it hit 10 targets. In other words, if a spell does 1000 damage to each target, it would hit up to 10 targets for 1000 each, but with more than 10 targets, each target would take 1000 damage divided by the number of targets. 20 targets would be hit for 500 damage each in that example.

hurricaneI don’t know about you, but that’s way too many numbers in one bullet point for me.  Here’s what this basically means:  if you’re Hurricaning 10 mobs, they’ll each get hit for what they’re supposed to according to the spell.  If you’re Hurricaning more than 10, then each mob will get hit for less, based on how many there are.

This makes perfectly good sense to me.  Chances are, if you’re AoEing a trillion mobs, you’re probably grinding through a low-level zone for some reason and you don’t need much damage to kill them anyway.  If you really like numbers that much, here’s a full explanation of the AoE cap.

  • Pet Resilience: All player pets now get 100% of their master’s resilience.

I don’t PvP enough to know how big of a boom this is, but I imagine it’s pretty nice.  But as an aside, do people really try to kill pets in PvP?  Seems kind of like a waste of time to me; when my little baby hunter was a twink, I used to own people all the time because they’d get so caught up trying to kill my cat they’d forget I was there pinging arrows at their heads.

  • Taunt Diminishing Returns: We’ve revised the system for diminishing returns on Taunt so that creatures do not become immune to Taunt until after 5 Taunts have landed. The duration of the Taunt effect will be reduced by 35% instead of 50% for each taunt landed. In addition, most creatures in the world will not be affected by Taunt diminishing returns at all. Creatures will only have Taunt diminishing returns if they have been specifically flagged for that behavior based on the design of a given encounter.

Good news for tanks and their raids, I think.  Seeing a <<<Taunt Failed!  Target is now taunt immune!>>> macro pop up in a raid is seriously frightening.  Click here to see how tanks are responding to this change.

Part 2 coming tomorrow.  Right now, I have a daughter who is eager to see the Christmas tree go up in the living room!

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