I polled the team for their opinion on Wrath's graphics. "They've done something, that's for sure," Daniel says. "Pretty much everything looks prettier, cooler, or more elaborate without being gaudy, blocky, or pixelated." Alex pointed out, "They're really pushing their engine in Wrath." No one, however, is quite certain what they've done and Blizzard hasn't gone out of their way to explain it to us. The official Wrath of the Lich King FAQ informs us, "We're currently working on some technical enhancements to the game's graphics, and we'll be discussing these further in the months ahead." But regardless of when Blizzard decides to let us in on what's going on with the game's graphics in Wrath, we can currently report that the game is looking great.
(To everyone who's asked about the game's system requirements: we just don't know. Blizzard's FAQ only states that they haven't made the "final determination" on system specs yet. All I can say for sure is that it's running fine on everyone's computers here at WoW Insider HQ.)
Radiophonic wants to know....
Mages get there at 71 but others have to wait three more levels? How is that fair?
There are also Mage class trainers in Dalaran -- but no other class trainers anywhere in Northrend, at least not that I've found so far. Is it perfectly fair? Maybe not. But it fits entirely with the game's lore, in which Dalaran
is a city populated by Mages and ruled by a magocracy
of the Kirin Tor
. Giving Mages a special place in the city makes Dalaran's story more real, and provides Mages with a minor convenience. (Because, really, it's not a huge deal to find someone willing to port or summon you to Dalaran if you really want to be there. And there are certainly no quests or gameplay reasons that require you to be there sooner than you can get there. And if you need a class trainer, this is no worse than Outland was, as Blizzard still seems to want a reason to send players back home to Azeroth from time to time.)Chris
came to us with two technical questions, which I'll tackle one at a time....
Currently, spell haste rating lowers the global cooldown by a small amount, but melee haste rating does not. Since both stats are being consolidated into 'haste rating' in Wrath, how is haste rating working on the GCD in the beta right now?
The melee GCD is currently unaffected by haste rating.
Currently, item-based mounts can be used independently of the GCD, while spell-based mounts (warlock, paladin, and druid flight forms) cannot. Are the new mounts-as-spells castable while the GCD is running? (If you're curious why I ask, ignoring the GCD means you can make a useful, simple, one-button macro to cast any instant-cast spell and mount up. Water Shield, MotW, Inner Fire, even Crusader Aura, if you forgo the use of your Charger for an item-based mount.)
I just logged on to test this... and then I tested it again to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me. In the present beta build, spell-based mounts do not activate the global cooldown and thus can be summoned while you're under the GCD. However, mounts that aren't spell-based do activate the GDC and thus cannot be summoned while under the GCD. I can't begin to guess why Blizzard would have made that change, but that's the way it is right now.
I was wondering if mining has been implemented yet and if so, what new ores are available?
Right now there are a few new types of ore: Cobalt, Saronite, and Titanium. There's also Titansteel, created from Titanium. However, in the present beta build, only Cobalt is smeltable.
On a different note, has First Aid been upgraded to include Frostweave?
Yes! There are currently Frostweve Bandages (learnable from your trainer), Heavy Frostweave Bandages (learned from a random drop manual), and Dense Frostweave Bandages (learned from a random drop manual).
Is there an Auction house in Dalaran?
At present, no. Blizzard seems to be continuing with the Outland philosophy that drives all players back to Azeroth for certain key functions -- like buying and selling.
Are there any special modes of travel between the areas, like zeppelins?
The most interesting thing I've encountered so far is the Tuskarr
's boats, which will take you from one encampment of Tuskarr to another. They're actually giant turtles with a deck lashed to their shells! (If you dive into the water, you can see their fins propelling them along.) How do the Tuskarr compel these massive beasts to carry them around? With a bundle of carrots dangling forever in front of the poor turtle's nose, always looking tasty, but forever out of reach.
The Wrath of the Lich King beta is in full swing, and the WoW Insider crew is here to sate your curiosity with Ask a Beta Tester! Leave your beta questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em! And if you can't get enough Wrath, don't forget to check WoW Insider's Wrath Roundup page for anything we haven't answered here!