Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Ask a Beta Tester: Dalaran and UI updates


We're starting out today with a question on everyone's favorite mystical city: Dalaran. (That is your favorite mystical city, right? Because otherwise we'll have to start all over...)

Alc asked....

How does Blizzard account for all the wanton slaughter of Dalaran folk by the Horde? How would a hordie get into Dalaran because of this?

Not being Chris Metzen, it's tricky to answer this question. Dalaran was not treated kindly by the Horde in the Second War and even today in Silverpine Forest and Hillsbrad Foothills, Horde questlines encourage the killing of Dalaran's mages. So how exactly is Blizzard working around this minor problem? WoWWiki claims that Dalaran has been neutral since the Lands in Conflict RPG sourcebook, but provides no additional details. How Blizzard is going to make lore mesh with reality? We aren't sure yet, but we're keeping out eyes open.

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.


I see in the UI we get two new buttons. I would like to know what they are for. And is there an option to disable the calender display, and use the old Sun/Moon indicator instead? I don't need the calender, and I like the Sun/Moon indicator better.

I'm not entirely sure what you're referring to about new buttons, so I'll talk about a couple of places where I know there have been changes in the standard game interface. First up, the mini-map. The world map and tracking type are the same things as they are on live and the submit feedback button brings up a menu specific to Blizzard's test realms. Nothing to see here, folks, move along! What is new is the calendar in the upper right and the clock on the bottom. The calendar icon can be clicked to open the in-game calendar to schedule instances or other events with your friends. (And there's no option to disable it or replace it with the current moon/stars icon.) The clock can be toggled off or on and when you mouse over it, it displays your local time (per your computer's clock) as well as realm time.

Next, the mini-bar. From let to right, you have character info, spellbook & abilities, talents, achievements, quest log, social, player vs. player (this brings up the window that's currently a tab in your character information -- but in Wrath it has its own special place), looking for group, options, and help request.

Dro asked...

Have there been any changes to the LFG tool? If so, anything PvP related? My big hope is that battlegrounds will be added at some point. Dungeon/quest/zone is good, but what about those of us who want to find a PvP group?

Right now the only change to the LFG tool is the addition of new Wrath dungeons and quests.

Angus and Zuukal both wanted to know....

Has Sylvanas' model has been changed?

I'm afraid Sylvanas is still sporting that same old Night Elf model. My thought is that if they were going to change her model, they would have done it with Burning Crusade, when they added in Blood Elf models. (Anyone at Blizzard is more than welcome to prove me wrong, however!)

Angus asked....

Is Sylvanas actually going to Northrend? When people get to fight Arthas, she should be there working to kill him. Illidan had lore characters after his butt. If anyone deserves to be in an Arthas fight it's her!

At present, there is no sign of Sylvanas in Northrend. However, the highest level zones are not yet open for play and we've yet to encounter Arthas, so there are still plenty of places she could be hiding.

Aler asked....

Any news on tailoring specialization? I assume the other specializations get new goodies in WotLK. How about tailoring?

Though we did get a lot of new tailoring patterns from the new beta build last night, we don't have anything on specializations yet. There are no patterns at the current tailoring trainers that require any sort of specialization, nor are there specialization trainers in either Dalaran or the starting towns where the normal tailoring trainers are found.

And if you meant specialization as in tailoring itself, rather than the specialized branches in tailoring, I can safely say that tailors are getting some very cool stuff. Though the recipes currently at the trainer aren't very exciting, but there is the Flying Carpet, mentioned in the latest Blizzcast, to look forward to!

Both Shadowcloth and Spellcloth can only be made at particular locations in Outland - any word on what's happening to these in Northrend? Maybe new types of cloth?

Like Mooncloth before them (the normal kind, not the primal kind), I imagine that Shadowcloth, Spellcloth, and Primal Mooncloth will stick around -- but only as materials for Outland level crafting, not for new stuff. Currently, all new patterns use either Frostweave or Imbued Frostweave, though Wowhead does list another new cloth, Spellweave, that is not yet in the game. Neither Frostweave nor Imbued Frostweave seem to require you to be anywhere special to craft them, though I have no details on Spellweave.

Lori asked....

I envisioned siege weapons to be akin to medieval siege engines that were stationary contraptions used to lob rocks, burning pitch and dead bodies at or over castle walls. Some were platforms that were moved manually to enable soldiers to get over castle walls. It seemed that one faction might be defending a castle while the other attacked it. The defenders would kill enemy players with ranged attacks or destroy the siege engines. The attackers would kill enemy players with ranged attacks and try to gain access to the castle, by breaching walls, at which point normal PvP would begin. Now it sounds like siege weapons means nothing more than motorized PvP. Is there more to it than that?

Siege weapons do seem to be "motorized PvP," as you've put it. They're mobile bases providing PvPers with extra speed, armor, and firepower while attempting to eliminate their opponents. Though there are destructable buildings (it seems as though only certain types of vehicles are capable of such destruction) and a base-capturing element to Wintergrasp, it is not, in its current state, as elaborate as you describe.I'd say it's PvP with vehicles.

However, Wintergrasp is, at present, full of bugs and is likely to undergo significant work before it goes live. (In fact, to make it a fun experience, some of its issues really have to be ironed out.) Anything could happen.

Sephran asked...

I have warrior friends qq'ing about being useless in wrath. Have you grouped with any warrior tanks? Are they as "useless" as warriors believe?

For an answer to this question, I turned to our Warrior expert, Matt Rossi. Here's what he had to say:

Useless, no. As useful as any other tanking class? Also no. Paladins are still leagues better AoE tanks and have been upgraded to be at least as good at every other facet of the game, ferals can still out-DPS a prot warrior (not as badly, it's true, Protection DPS is up significantly) and DK's... well, okay, so far no DK I've run with has wanted to tank. Shockwave is very good, Sword and Board is a lovely talent (although I've had it bug out a few times) and in general, Prot's in good shape but warriors have lost a decent amount of their 'best bag of tricks' tanking status and haven't gotten anything to make up for it.

As a warrior in a DPS role, neither arms nor fury has gotten anything that works as well as it looks like it should. Heroic Leap is very hard to use, doesn't seem to be effectively targetable, and both Bladestorm and Titan's Grip are better on paper than they actually work out to be in game. I've gone out of my way to gear my tauren to make Titan's Grip work, and while I've done very well soloing and grinding (I think Titan's Grip as it stands may be the best talent for leveling, as I've out leveled both our resident DK and Paladin speed machine levelers) in an instance it's an intensely hit or miss ability at the current time. Very easy to run out of rage, white damage slightly lower than it would be with two 1h weapons.

I know everyone hates to hear it, but Warriors need significant buffs to be on par with the other tanks, and maybe Druids do too.

Randal asked....

I have a question about the warrior's Rend ability. It's a joke now, but it seems as though they are trying to make Arms warriors more bleed oriented. Is Rend still a joke in Wrath, or is it being improved to the point of being useful with talents such as Trauma?

Again, I called in the experts for this one and asked resident Warrior expert Matt Rossi. He said, "It's better than it is on live... but it's not really awesome yet. We're still missing some stuff that's supposed to benefit from it, though."

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!

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr