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Ask a Beta Tester: Beta from A to Z


Today we've got achievements, zeppelins, and a few things in between. We'll start at the end of the alphabet and work forward from there with a question from tehvoid....

Any news about the come back of the boats and zeppelins' crews? Do boats in Northrend have a crew?

Yes! Well... sort of. Zeppelins currently have a single crew-member whom you cannot click on and doesn't speak. (Shown to the right -- and, yes, when the zeppelin moves, she pedals.) But the fact that they've bothered adding them in the first place suggests they do have plans for crewing these vessels.

For more of your beta questions -- and our beta 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.


Are achievements per character, or per account?

Currently, per character. (And before anyone asks, many of them are also retroactive, so if you've already explored every nook and cranny of the Eastern Kingdoms, you won't have to do it again to get your exploration achievement.)

Jerematic asked....

With spell power being a universal stat among healers and casters, is there an obvious itemization difference between the two roles? For example, spirit & mp5 for healers and hit & crit for casters? Or is it less obvious and may result in confusion when rolling for loot?

It's not completely obvious because so many stats can be useful in different ways for both healing and DPS roles. There are occasions when the mana regeneration given by spirit and MP5 would be useful for a healer or a DPS caster. And even spell crit can be useful for both parties, as both Priests and Shamans can pick up a talent that boosts the armor rating of their target after a critical heal. The only alarm bell differentiation at this point is +hit, which is absolutely useless for a healer.But even then, I imagine there could be arguments made by healers who may want the gear for the other stats it has.

Though I'm not a gambler by trade, I'd place good money on seeing a lot more loot-related debates post-Wrath without a clear differentiation between healing and casting gear. (This is where I'll kick back and be glad that I'm a healing Paladin -- there's not a lot of competition for plate with spell power on it.)

Wayne asked....

I know Blizzard has stated that they wanted to make pally tanking a little more responsive; have you experienced any change at all or has the tanking mechanics remained the same? Also, with the new Blessing of Sanctuary, does that mean that now, warriors and tankadins are looking for the same gear and the plate spell dmg gear is for the most part non-existent? Or would we still benefit more from spell dmg?

Alex here. I think they've succeeded at making Protadins more active, most definitely. Lots of new abilities to watch, new ways to generate threat, more ways to be proactive about incoming damage. I don't think spell damage gear is going to play much of a role in Prot Paladin tanking at all, except for maybe weapons still. We'll need to see how it pans out, and how well the Stamina -> Spell Damage thing scales in the end game. Looking at it right now, with no hard, tested numbers, I see no reason why Protection Paladins would need spell damage gear besides a weapon. Back to Elizabeth!

Several people pointed out an error in my comments about the barber shop recently. Specifically, Justin noted...

"The barber shop doesn't let you change facial features or skin tone -- a real shame."

Not entirely true. I just went in there and gave my undead a jaw that he has been missing for 3 years.

Let me go across the board this time: races without facial hair or piercing options will have an option to change whatever unique feature they have instead of those things. For Tauren and Trolls, it's horns and tusks. For Undead, it's their characteristic facial oddities. However, you can't turn your smile into a frown or make your green eyes blue. You're stuck with those until someone in Azeroth invents the contact lens.

MooGooGaiPan asked....

Regarding Glyphs, If we're only allowed a set number, how screwed are hybrid classes going to be? As a Druid, I often switch back between Feral and Resto. It's already a big pain to switch out gear, consumables etc, and now glyphs too? How expensive do you think the glyphs will be? I have a bad feeling the 'good' ones will be some sort of rare pattern like enchants, JC patterns, etc and it just won't be cost effective to switch back and forth repeatedly.

Without knowing exactly what materials are going to be for all of the Glyphs (the materials for many are currently placeholders), it's impossible to speculate on their costs. (Though it seems reasonable to say some are likely to be more rare than others.) However, though there's still too much we don't know, I've got a couple of possibilities that wouldn't involve an apocalyptic skyrocket of your regular playing costs.
  1. The two-talent spec system: discussed by Blizzard in the past, no such system has been implemented in Wrath... yet. When it is implemented, hybrids may see a drastic drop in the costs required to spec from raiding to PvP or DPS to healing. This may just shift hybrids' costs to Glyphs.
  2. The number of Glyphs: Six Glyphs (seven if you've taken Inscription yourself) is actually, well, a lot. Perhaps you'll be able to have the best of both healing and DPSing Glyphs equipped without need to swap.
I'd say it's to early to panic: there are a lot of question marks still surrounding Inscription and Glyphs.

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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