State of Azeroth: Love Fool edition
Welcome to the second publication of the State of Azeroth! This is the special Love Fool edition where I will touch on the two holidays this month, however there are some bigger things to discuss (killing the Lich King for example) and even some fun offbeat things! But first, on to Patch 3.3.2!
Since last month, we’ve had the rest of Icecrown Citadel unlocked with patch 3.3.2 opening up the Frostwing Halls and letting us finally get our hands on Arthas! As always patch notes are here in case you’ve missed them. Along with this, we also have some big spoilers with the fall of the Lich King ending cinematic being leaked onto the web. Now I got the chance to watch it before Blizzard had the video pulled from YouTube for copyright, and if you haven’t made it yet, it’s pretty impressive and I think a great ending for the expansion while leaving it open at the same time.
There has also already been some drama surrounding the killing of the Lich King. On February 4th, Ensidia reported that they had received the world first for downing the Lich King in 25-man mode. However it soon came to light that they were able to do this with the help of some Saronite Bombs that through a glitch Blizzard seemed to have not caught in which the bombs help to bypass certain mechanics of the Lich King fight. Ensidia claims that they didn’t know about this, however that fell on deaf ears at Blizzard and all achievements were revoked and they were suspended for 72 hours. Blizzard did wind up doing a hotfix to correct the glitch, but it’s amazing that they wouldn’t have caught something like that. Ensidia did not rest long after the suspension and they soon killed Arthas again. And also a big grats to Blood Legion for scoring the world first 10-man Lich King kill!
Now if you haven’t seen what the loot tables are, MMO-Champion has a great listing here (note: not all items from the Lich King are there yet), and aside from some armor and weapons upgrades I really want Invincible! Hey I’m working towards 100 mounts and it’d be a nice addition even though I’m still unsure about those wings.
Now in case you haven’t noticed pink hearts everywhere and the talk in trade about SFK groups, Love is in the Air has hit Azeroth! For achievement junkies like myself, many have been doing the daily quests to get Love Tokens to turn in for items to help in finishing off achevement requirements. Now if you’re stuck, I’m always a fan of WoWHead.com‘s holiday guides and you can check out their Love is in the Air one here.
Now we’re doing double duity this month as the Lunar Festival is also upon us as of today and both holidays will overlap for a week. WoWHead.com also has a guide up, but it is being compiled as information is being sent in on any changes that may have happened since last year. I recommend checking in with that later in the day just to make sure everything is up to date.
Hope you all become Love Fools and Respect your Elders!
In the News
Over the past month Blizzard released a couple of interesting articles. One was on the development of the Gunship Battle for Icecrown. The battle itself is pretty interesting and gives new purpose to the Skybreaker (Alliance) and Orgrim’s Hammer (Horde) which we’ve all come to know during dailies in Icecrown. The article is a good read into how the process went, but I have to say I think my favorite part of that battle has been the invention of rocket-bear.
There is also a nice developer interview here with Scott Mercer and Greg Street where they discuss their inspirations for the Rise and Fall of the Lich King. It was interesting to read how they had initially thought that Arthas wouldn’t have such a big impact in the game as he does now. They also discuss how after Burning Crusade they wanted to change things for this patch and make the relationship between the players and the Lich King more personal than the overall looming threat of Illidan. And of course they also touch on Cataclysm at the end.
Blizzard has also added some new functionality for Facebook users with an armory app that lets you post your character’s actions to your wall for all of your friends to read. Personally I disabled most of that and keep it to look at my friends who have it installed and play on other servers to see what they’re up to. Also, there is now an authenticator app for Android users! I’m looking forward to not have to dig for my iPod touch anymore. Now how about they work on an official armory app for Android?
In future news, it was announced that Blizzard plans to add Auction House functionality to the Armory! Not only that, but they’d make it possible to use on the mobile armory for iPhone and iPod touch! But before you get too excited, Bornakk has this to say:
This is a fairly complex service to develop, due in large part to its unprecedented integration with the game, so we don’t have an exact release date yet. It’s important to note here that certain elements of the service will be premium-based, which we’ll go into more detail on once the service functionality is finalized. As with all of the services we offer, we plan to integrate the Auction House and Armory in a way that won’t disrupt the gameplay experience, and we won’t release it until it meets the quality standards that we’ve set for our other features and services.
Now I do hope that they take their time and make sure the app works smoothly. And it will be great to not have to log into the game just to check auctions.
For those who have been wondering where those snazzy Creative WoW headsets are, WoW.com reported that they have finally been listed for pre-order! There is a wireless and USB connected versions in either Horde or Alliance colors. The USB version will run you about $119 and the wireless version will be $159. Both versions are currently available on Amazon for pre-order!
Apparently World of Warcraft is killing the porn industry. Well at least according to Richard Abowitz who wrote an article on The Daily Beast about the Top 5 things killing Porn for Profit. Now most of the points he brings up are valid, however online gaming is #4 on his list for the following reason:
One of the strangest challenges porn faces is competition from online games like World of Warcraft, though the connection may at first seem random. “It is all entertainment that you are getting involved in the same way as porn is entertainment,” said Aiden. “I won’t say everyone, but a lot of people in the industry play videogames. The games are competition for porn. Fans jerk off to porn and are done, but you can keep playing a game.”
Uhm… I honestly don’t think that WoW (or other online MMOs) really will have a hand in killing off porn for profit. I have to agree with Kotaku that this reason is really founded on some shaky logic.
Now here is something a bit more interesting. Recently someone posted images of a man who was at a Panera Bread playing WoW on an iMac, and Gizmodo was able to track him down and do an interview about why he has decided to take his iMac on the go and play out in public. The man, who seems real nice, doesn’t have internet at home and uses the iMac as it gives him a larger screen to play on. He seems to have a good relationship with the workers at the Panera he goes to, and he sits where he wouldn’t bother other customers. Heck I wouldn’t mind raiding while sipping on some of their soup!
And to round out this month’s offbeat section, I give you this great find from Kotaku where a Russian cologne ad has been heavily influenced by WoW. Both videos are on the site and it’s actually pretty funny. Maybe that’s the cologne Arthas prefers…
World of Warcraft Official Magazine
Since the first edition of State of Azeroth, Gaming Angels was contacted about checking out the official WoW magazine, and after seeing my first column thought it would be a great fit for me! So I quickly received the first issue, and I was actually very impressed. If you’re a dedicated WoW player, this is a great magazine for you to subscribe to. The first thing is that there are no ads to flip past. This makes it great as from cover to cover the magazine is chock full of information and interviews for you to read.
I really liked this first issue as it has some great retrospectives as it talks a lot about WoW’s 5th anniversary. There’s a great timeline of events, and an article on the 12 things you can’t live without but in the beginning didn’t have. But along with all of this reflection is talk about the current expansion as well as the upcoming Cataclysm. The interview with Mike Morhaime was one of my favorite reads as it’s a really nice in-depth article about the past, present and what he would love to see happen in the future. And for you arena junkies, there’s even a nice spread about managing your line of sight in the various arenas. There’s also two great articles on two of the Battlegrounds: Isle of Conquest and Arathi Basin.
I highly recommend signing up for a subscription. If you sign up before February 28th you’ll even receive the 1st issue! Each magazine is released quarterly (so 4 per year). A 1-year subscription will run you around $40 and a 2-year is $70. And if the first issue is any indication, each one will be chock full of information for the hardcore raider, PvPers and casual players. I will also have a special section in my State of Azeroth once I receive the latest edition so I can fill you all in on the highlights!
I decided to include a small section where I will include some interesting videos/songs/artwork that I come across each month. I also would love to encourage you readers to email me with any screen shots, artwork or videos you may find that you’d like to see featured!
First on my list for this month is the song “Invincible” that was released after a new panel from the WoW Battlecry mosaic was released. No, it’s not about Arthas’ horse, but it’s a beautiful and haunting melody. Fitting for the ending of one heck of a villian.
Second is the talented Isolte (great blog name!) who is behind the great songs “Shut up and Grind,” “Altoholic” and “Ninja Raiders.” All three songs are available on her site for download. There are even music videos that accompany them which have some great machinama in them! They’re linked for your amusement below:
Shut up and Grind
I also have to say it’s awesome seeing the Draenei being used a lot in the videos!
Call to readers!
If you have any tips, tricks, news or funnies you would like to send in to be included in the next State of Azeroth please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org! I’m also looking for any girls who are guild masters of an all female guild or members of an all female guild to do an interview with! If interested you can contact me at the above email address as well.
This is Steph signing off until next month. Glory to the Alliance and Lok’tar Ogar to my horde brethren!
Thanks to Necrotic Designs for the awesome banner! Now in Love is in the Air flavor.