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Ask a Beta Tester: Blacksmithing and socket slots


Today we're going to kick things off not with a question, but with a statement. Eldacar of Boulderfist wrote in to tell us that he's just managed to hit 450 skill in Blacksmithing and to report on the new sockets available to Blacksmiths. Several people have asked how the sockets work, but with my complete lack of Blacksmithing skills, I haven't had much to say on the subject. Here's what Eldacar had to tell us:

The bracer and glove sockets are Blacksmith-only and both add uncolored sockets that accept any color gem. They will add the socket even if the item already has a socket. Currently I have not tested if you can use these sockets to meet socket bonus requirements, however I have verified they do not cause problems if you have already met the requirements. The tradeable epic belt socket, Titanium Belt Buckle, is bugged and not currently applying the socket to your belt despite consuming the item, but it is safe to assume it will add an uncolored socket as well though.

For more of your questions -- and our answers! -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

Gnoa asked....

Can you confirm whether or not the motorcycles are indeed new mounts in Wrath, and if so do you have to be an Engineer to use them?

Though we've been teased with their awesome graphics, motorcycles are not yet in the beta. And while we have had the announcement of some new engineering patterns recently, the Grand Master Engineering Trainer in Dalaran doesn't currently offer to teach anything you haven't seen before.

whack had a couple of questions for us....

Does training for New Death Knights cost gold while questing for the Lich King? Can a Death Knight respec while under the control of the Lich King and will this also cost gold?

Yes and yes. It's like training for any other class.

If gold is indeed required for all of these (as I would guess it is), are there mailboxes in Ebon Hold where my Death Knight can receive gold and supplies from my higher level characters?

There aren't any mailboxes in Ebon Hold at present, during or after the starting quests (during which time you're in an instance and considered under the control of the Scourge). As commenter Xerous mentioned, there is a mailbox in the Argent Crusade town below Ebon Hold that you can interact with, though I haven't had the opportunity to test its ability to receive mail, it certainly behaved like an ordinary mailbox.

However (as Xerous also mentioned), you make a decent bit of gold while running the starting quests and should land in Azeroth with 20 to 30 gold to your name. (It may not sound like much, but you'll already have an epic mount, outstanding gear, and Outland quest gold awaits!)

Ian asked....

How far towards level 71 do your level 70 characters start out?

From what we can see, it doesn't look like anyone has an experience boost. My priest, whom I've taken no effort to level in Northrend, is about a third of a bubble into 71. Daniel reports that his warlock, whom he hasn't attempted to play yet, has exactly 3892 xp. This doesn't strike me as enough to make much difference.

Gerb asked....

Does the stealth animation of Rogues look like ice skating again? We've heard several times Blizzard is working on a totally new animation, I guess this is not in yet?

At present, my rogue's stealth animation is unchanged from what it is on the live realms. Not ice skating, but nothing new.

Bsquared asked....

I am a hunter that raids as BM spec and PvPs as MM spec. How will this affect my exotic pets? Will I be able to keep my exotic stabled without it releasing?

If you tame an exotic pet, you can keep it in your stable, but cannot bring it out unless you have the appropriate talent.

Mekro asked....

Is there any sign of Aldor/Scryer NPCs in Wrath?

No sign, and I don't expect there will be. (Though who knows -- they could always surprise us!) Near the end of the Burning Crusade, the Aldor and Scryers sort of merged to become the Shattered Sun Offensive and must still have their hands full fighting Kael'Thas.

Guy asked....

If the Death Knight starting area, etc, is instanced, can you party with friends or is it solo til after the epic ending?

It isn't instanced in the sense that you're all on your own. It is instanced in the sense that as the story progresses, the scenery progresses, and if you're near the end of the story you won't be able to interact with anyone who's just started. They'll be in a different instance that shows the world as it was before any of the events in the quest chain have happened.

The whole quest chain is completely soloable, so there are no worries about needing to find others who happen to be in the same part of the instance to group with -- but if you want to group, you certainly can. I did several quests grouped, for expediency's sake, when several people were lined up to kill a certain mob or the like.

KillerSteve asked....

Is all the gear you have with +healing and +damage changed to +spell power as soon as you log into Wrath? Just wondering because I want to know if I need a grinding set of gear for Wrath.

All existing gear will become spell power gear -- no need to collect a new set before the launch!

arrogance asked....

Are mounts and vanity pet slots unlimited in beta?

In the initial menu, you have a dozen vanity pet slots and a dozen mount slots. I haven't, as you can see, pushed beyond that particular number, but at the bottom of the page there are page numbers and buttons to scroll back and forth.

Since you can no longer use vanity pets or mounts from the items -- the items themselves just give you the ability to learn to summon the creatures -- I'm guessing storage is likely to be unlimited.

Bylak asked....

For someone who's interested in getting a head start on inscription, what kind of mats should I be farming? Is inscription/herbalism going the be the way to go?

Herbalism is definitely designed to be paired with inscription. The inks you will need to do different types of inscriptions are all made from herbs. Inscription is not yet fully implemented in the beta -- you only have patterns to go up a bit over 100 skill. (At present, this maximum level takes a few stacks of Silverleaf and Peacebloom, and a stack or two of the next higher level herb of your choice. For additional details on leveling inscription inWrath, check out our hands-on look at the profession's current incarnation.)

MaDaBr14 asked....

Is the Death Knight starting zone in the past? Some of the events and people in the instance has made myself and some friends wonder if you're starting in the past and once you leave its the current?

After a lengthy chat with Daniel on this subject, I think it's safe to say that we agree that th Death Knight starting zone is slightly in the past to anyone playing in Wrath. By the time you leave the instance, you'll have caught up to the events of present-day Azeroth.

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!

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