||Assessing the gear-crafting trades
BWJ seized the opportunity to present his vision for more robust professions in World of Warcraft. "God, where to start?" he began. "Professions really got the short end of the stick, in Wrath, with the exception of Jewelcrafting. I have a lot of alts and I make stuff for them leveling up, but most of the time I just dump the mats on the AH now. In BC, you could make some great stuff -- the tailoring epics alone were worth making, and gathering the mats to sell to others making them. How much gold was made farming motes for them?
"Now? I could(n't) care (less). I have a max-level Tailor, Enchanter and Leatherworker, am working on a Jeweler and am about to give up on Blacksmithing yet again. Blacksmithing needs a complete overhaul. Period. Also, some of the stuff makes no sense. Leatherworkers make mail. But the two main leather-wearing classes, Rogues and Druids, can't wear it. Jewelcrafters make settings and and other items from metal -- those should be made by Blacksmiths. There is no shield-crafting specialty, even though multiple classes use them.
"There also should be a woodworker. They would make paper, scrolls, polearms, wooden shields, bows and arrows. They could also make gun stocks, axe handles that boost axes and mats for other professions, like barrels for alchemists, who could craft barrels that distribute drinks to a raid or party. They could make chests for the bank slots.
"Tailors should be able to make all kinds of stuff, on top of what they do already. Hello? Tabards? Leatherworkers should be able to make scabbards and sheaths (item enhancement), saddles and reins. Wineskins. They could also make vellum (paper made from animal skin). How about saddlebags, which are bags only accessible when mounted?
"Blacksmiths should be able to make horseshoes, which could be speed boosts or resists to keep from being dismounted.
"Engineering -- I won't even go there. All I have to say is one word: flashlight. Says it all, really.
"Oh well. Maybe in the future, things will improve, but right now, I'm very meh about professions in Wrath."
What changes in the crafting system would get you excited about professions?
||Star Trek references in the World of Warcraft
I'm old enough to have watched Star Trek during its original run -- and I did. It's a little bit like having played World of Warcraft in beta and original release: you discover the delightful little idiosyncrasies even as they develop, and they become "yours," since there are no web sites yet for fans to share and dissect discoveries.
Noratul shared this delightful little Star Trek Easter egg. "There's a quest in Bloodmyst where you are sent to find out what happened to a survey team that was sent to examine some Naga ruins on the coast. When you get there, they're all dead. What makes this a reference is the fact that all of the dead landing team were wearing red shirts."
Yeah, I /chuckled.
||Uber epic DPS
Here's a sincere question from a reader seeking advice from readers who have more to offer than flames and misplaced bravado: "Ok, DPS leets, tell me where I might be going wrong," asked failknight. "I play a DK running in all epics (mostly 213 stuff), and I rarely break 3k DPS in 25s. In 10s, I get like 2.6k. I'm using the basic Blood spec EJ recommended, running the rotation they recommend, but I just can't break 2.6k.
"Obviously I'm doing something wrong, so save calling me a noob. If you were having this issue, where's the first place you'd look? The only thing I can think of is that I'm the clean-up guy for my raid -- when our tanks miss a mob (or worse still, dies), I'm the guy switching to Frost and blow my CDs to pick up the slack. I also don't really ever bother with AOE damage, because it seems like a waste.
"I ask because there's another DK in my guild who blows me away on DPS charts with mostly worse gear (she has a BIS weapon, but everything else is worse). She's in UH spec, so I guess she's better suited to AOE damage?
"Should I be doing 4k DPS like all the other magical DKs I hear about? Should I switch out of Blood, go UH and start spamming DnD? Is that a better service to my guild than single-target DPS and cleanup crew?"
Should failknight chalk it up and respec so he can make a bigger splash with bigger numbers, or is he filling a valuable role for his guild?
||Blizzard legal censures Shakes and Fidget
Are popular comics like Shakes and Fidget too similar to WoW's original content for copyright comfort? "Well, as you know, copyright law in particular has a lot of grey zones where the exact subject matter is debatable," mused nobbie. "Whenever this is case, the unwritten 'sleeping dog' rule applies. Talk too loud (read: be too greedy), and the dog wakes up. I think that in the case of S&F, the current employer Computec Media AG is the one to blame here, and not the artist(s).
"When S&F started after WoW was launched in 2005, it began as fan-made, non-commercial WoW comic. They have been first promoted through several German WoW fan sites and finally internationally, too. The two main characters of the comic, Shakes and Fidget, are in fact actual WoW characters which are or have been played by the authors on the realms. The comic depicts a lot of WoW settings, stuff and characters like Ragnaros, Illidan and so forth, so this IS clearly a WoW comic.
"Two years ago, during the launch of TBC -- when WoW's enormous success became obvious -- a new Computec-owned competitor appeared on the German gaming market. They had bought BLASC, a popular WoW database with lots of daily visitors (read: profitable mouse-clicks) and built a new community site called Buffed.de with the usual mainstream WoW stuff around it. The database remains till today the main source of mouse-clicks which they sell to advertisers. Buffed has an online portal and a print magazine.
"In typical venture capitalist fashion, Computec then bought what they could to expand their newly established, profitable online portal, and among them were S&F. S&F were already very popular at this time across the whole WoW community, and each new episode brought lots of mouse clicks from old and new fans. Of course, Buffed and Computec saw the monetary potential of the WoW comic and hired S&F (for a good salary, methinks) under the condition that Computec gets the exclusive distribution rights.
"The contract was signed, and then Computec attorneys sent out letters to all (German) competitors such as inWoW.de, WorldofWar.de and so forth, that all S&F material has to be taken offline because Computec is now the exclusive owner and distributor.
"Then came the point, I think, where the line was crossed. The exclusive contract between Computec and S&F was signed quite a while ago (over one year, I believe), but during that time S&F had advanced from a simple online magazine gimmick (on Buffed.de) to one of the company's 'crown jewels' in terms of marketing. Now you can find them in all Computec-owned print magazines, ads for Buffed gaming PCs, cups, T-shirts, mouse pads and all other kinds of fan articles. You have, for example, T-shirts with S&F 'Hail to the King, Baby' prints on them (with a clear visual reference to Arthas/the Lich King), and so forth.
"So ask yourself the following: If you were Blizzard and see this happen, wouldn't you too send your attorneys and have them slap the wrists of the 'Ratte' (as Mike Schramm has put it correctly, with 'we smell a rat')? I think this is just what they did so far -- no more, no less. No multi-million dollar lawsuit, nothing.
"Before we judge about Blizzard or Activision's behavior here -- yes, big bad company -- we have to take a close look at the whole context of the deal, which is the bone of contention. I'm with Blizzard on this one, as the copyright infringement and exploit is evident in this case, considering the wide commercial use of Blizzard brands and ideas by the aforementioned companies."
Do nobbie's observations change your opinion on the matter?
||Stealth detection items nerfed
"I tried to make a 'stealth nerf' pun in the headline, but it just wasn't coming to me," admitted post author Eliah Hecht. Readers stepped up to the plate after the fact to offer up some possibilities for this post on the recent stealth nerf to stealth detection.
"Should've named it 'Never saw this nerf coming' or something to that effect," suggested skychilde012389.
"What about 'Stealth detection stealth nerf detected'?" asked Sharlyntria.
"Or 'Stealthy stealth detection nerf detected,'" added Malkavos.
peagle had what may have been the best idea yet (if our web site had been able to make sense of it): "Shouldn't have had a title for the article at all."
A stealthy headline, indeed.
"I've been reading the comments from some of our recent posts and realized that there is quite a bit of mismatch between players and guilds," observed WI's Amanda Dean. "There are casual players in hardcore guilds that find themselves being passed over in content. There are hardcore players in casual guilds that don't get to move on to things they want. Some players need a higher level of maturity."
If you suspect you're guilded in the wrong spot, here's your shot to connect with fellow WoW Insiders right here in [1.Local]. Check out the six pages of guild and player recruitment notices posted on this thread.