WowStead Guild Hosting services to close down

Guild Hosting service WowStead is closing its doors, in order to change members over to a system that provides a better service. WowStead sent out an email to users this morning informing them of such, and giving them time to transfer over to the GuildLaunch service.

Without having access to any more information it is difficult indeed to postulate about the reasons behind the shift, but nonetheless, if your guild is hosted with WowStead, you will need to think about a new solution. The GuildLaunch transfer site asserts that it will make the move as easy as possible, and honor any payments made, but there are always other options, and maybe this is the time to consider them. There are a huge number of services out there, as a cursory google search will reveal, so choose wisely, or take the transfer option, but whatever you decide, enjoy your new home!

Patch 5.4 PTR: More details on the Celestial Tournament

If you’re interested in knowing more about patch 5.4′s Celestial Tournament, Wowhead has the full details on this PTR petstraviganza. And while PTR details are always subject to change, here’s what we know so far:

  • You can compete in the tournament once a week through the quest The Celestial Tournament.
  • The tournament has two rounds: in the first you fight against 3 pet trainers with 3 legendary battle pets each and in the second you’re up against 4 legendary elite battle pets.
  • These opponents are random and will change week to week, but expect to see familiar faces like Blingtron 4000 and Wrathion.
  • For winning, you get a Celestial Coin, which can be used to buy unique pets and other items.

Pet battle enthusiasts will also be pleased to know that patch 5.4 is packed with new battle pets: Wowhead has found over 20. Of the many new available pets, though, we’re most on the lookout for our own Lil’ Bling, who will clearly dazzle opponents into submission.

WoW Patch 5.4: Prepared for Arena Changes?

Patch 5.4 is the last forthcoming content patch in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. It will be released mid September, if testing goes smooth. Blizzard announced several changes being deployed to the PvP System.

Participating has been made more convenient and competitive than before.
Competition is limited to realms within a Battlegroup, and the ability to participate in the Arena system requires players from the same realm.

You can now play with any player, regardless of their realm. You’ll just add their Real ID and that’s it! If you want to compete, you need to create an Arena Team.

No need to create Arena Teams. Queuing works similarly to Rated Battlegrounds. You will be able to queue for an Arena battle in a party of the appropriate size (2v2, 3v3, 5v5). Opponents are selected based on the average Match Making Rating of your party.

Mechanics in the Arena system remain as they were. You will lose personal rating based on your wins and losses, but the Conquest Point cap will be based on your Personal Rating. Rating requirements to purchase items will also be based on your Personal Rating.

The Arena Ladder wiis not sorted according to a certain Battlegroup. Just like RBGs and normal BGs, Arenas will be region-wide.

Patch 5.3: Purely Pandaria Profession Leveling!

Patch 5.3 seems to be a bit of a melting pot where Blizzard’s devs are trying out various different ideas for the game, and one of those new ideas is encapsulated in the changes coming in for two of World of Warcraft’s gathering professions, Mining and Herbalism.

To sum up the change, a catch-up mechanic has now been introduced for max-level characters, where they can herb and mine their way from level one to Zen Master just on the continent of Pandaria. There’s no need to visit a single old world node, no need to ever take the teleport back to your home city, the days of stranglekelp and copper ore are dead and gone.

Instead, you will now be mining and herbing the current herbs and ores, just very, very slowly. I took my max-level patch 5.3 PTR warlock, and dropped her professions to pick up herbalism and mining, then went to find a node or two.

Why not choose a monk ?

World of Warcraft has a character class for every type of player… though you may have to hunt around to find the class that’s a perfect fit for you. So if you’re in the market for a new character — whether you’re a new player or an old hand — let’s talk about why a monk should be at the top of your to-play list.

Monks are masters of weaponless combat who have learned to harness their chi hurt their enemies or heal their friends. While they fight bare-handed, they can (and should!) equip weapons: they can use fist weapons, one-handed axes, one-handed maces, one-handed swords, polearms, and staves and can dual-wield one-handed weaponry. They use cloth and leather armor and, though monks originated in Pandaria (and you’ll need the Mists of Pandaria expansion to play one), the class is open to pandaren, dwarf, human, blood elf, tauren, undead, draenei, gnome, night elf, orc, and troll.

They’re a true hybrid class who can tank (brewmaster monks), heal (mistweaver monks), and DPS (windwalker monks). For resources, monks have health, energy (for brewmasters and windwalkers), mana (for mistwalkers), and chi. Chi is unique resource to monks: you have four possible points of it and start combat with zero. Some of your attacks will generate chi while others will use it, meaning monks take careful resource balancing.


Patch 5.3 PTR: Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster items

The Darkspear Rebellion has begun on the patch 5.3 PTR — Vol’jin and his forces are attempting to lay siege to Orgrimmar itself. The content spans the breadth of Northern Barrens at this point, with quests and story for both Alliance and Horde players along the way. But what’s a new set of quests without a new selection of goodies to be had? Sure, Vol’jin, someone will help you out … but give some cool stuff for the effort, okay?

And it appears at the moment that there are quite a few new items to grab. There are plenty of new toys, a new pet, and a host of gear to be gathered from the Darkspear Rebellion quartermaster — and we’ve compiled a list of screenshots for all of it. As of right now, there doesn’t appear to be a reputation requirement for any of the new items. Simply gather a truckload of Kor’kron Supplies and turn them in for the rewards at hand. There are two exceptions to this — the new battle pet Gahz’rooki requires a Radical Mojo to purchase, which is currently a reward for a weekly supplies-gathering quest. In addition, the Raptorhide Boxing Gloves require a Radical Mojo to purchase, as well as Brawler’s Guild membership to start the quest that they offer.

Whether or not these items will remain available without a reputation requirement is unknown, but the rewards aren’t tied to Valor points, and they don’t appear to be powerful armor or weapon upgrades. What they are, however, is a whole lot of promising fun.

World of Warcraft: The Horde rebellion

Loyalty, and its limits, are pretty big underlying themes in WoW‘s current story arc. As of patch 5.1, the WoW poster child for complex loyalties and their consequences is Aethas Sunreaver. Aethas has a divided heart. He is a blood elf (and was, once upon a time, a high elf) and as such, he is loyal to Quel’Thalas. But he is also a citizen of Dalaran, it’s his adopted homeland, and he also wishes to be loyal to Dalaran. These are loyalties he has tried to juggle for three expansions now, and they finally, inevitably, came to a head. Aethas’ failure in patch 5.1 lies in either his own arrogance or naivete, that he couldn’t see the truth: in this day and age, in Azeroth, those loyalties were irreconcilable. Once Quel’Thalas had decided to ally with the Horde, a longtime enemy of Dalaran, it was only a matter of time before that political division bore consequences for individuals. Aethas’ own refusal to choose is ultimately what led to his choice being forced.

In this sense. Most people sympathize with his impulse toward reconciliation. Why shouldn’t he have tried? History was on his side. Quel’Thalas and Dalaran have, in fact, been traditional allies for quite a long time, much longer than they have been enemies. I don’t think his hope was unreasonable, but it did turn out to be impossible. There is just too much bad blood – on many sides – for any sort of truce to exist at this point, and it will likely be a very long time before those wounds are healed enough for bridges to be rebuilt. Sometimes compromise just isn’t an option.

Patch 5.2 tweaks talents across all classes

The latest patch for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria will fine-tune balance and tweak specific abilities across all classes, according to a series of posts on explaining the changes.

Unholy Death Knights have had their “quality of life” improved through several spell adjustments that make the battlefield easier to maneuver. Two player-versus-player abilities, Strangulate and Asphyxiate, now have reduced cooldown periods and a handful of other Blood-based attacks have been buffed.

Druids have received healing buffs across the board, and the Wild Mushroom item has been redesigned to collect Druids’ healing spells and unleash them all at once upon “blooming.” Hunters’ Marksmanship abilities now do increased damage and have a small boost applied to certain self-healing abilities.

Mage abilities across all class trees have been balanced for equal power, and a new Flameglow talent has been added, a passive defense ability that absorbs damage. Frost Mages have received power boosts for greater effect in PvE, and Blizzard will continue to deal with “overpowering” issues in the class’s PvP abilities after patch 5.2. Paladins’ Holy ability was too powerful in PvP, so that ability has also been lessened, while the Retribution ability has been given extra power buffs. Priests’ Discipline and Shadow abilities have also been tweaked to perform roughly the same in both PvP and PvE.

Rogues and Shamans have had their abilities balanced to be more effective in PvP, and several PvE abilities including the Rogue’s Smoke Bomb ability now provide damage reduction. Emphasis on pets has also been returned to the Warlock class.

The Warrior’s Taste for Blood ability now has less potency, countering an “overpowering” problem, and Monks who go down the Mistweaver path will become “melee healers,” with the ability to attack and heal allies simultaneously.

Pet Battle XP hotfixed

It’s reports of insane experience gains for players via winning pet battles. Because the XP being awarded was affected by heirlooms and XP buffs — like the Darkmoon Faire Carousel buff — people were leveling characters from 1 to 89 in a matter of hours. Experience for pet battles stops at level 89 and you get a chance for Lesser Charms of Good Fortune, instead.

The XP scales with your level and how close your pets are to the pets you defeat. XP is earned via battling pets in the wild, pet tamer NPCs, and other players in pet battle PvP. No experience is gained from pet battle duels or if your highest pet is more than 5 levels above the pets you are fighting. The amount received before the nerf was roughly what a character gets from completing the capital city cooking and fishing dailies.

Because you can get XP from battling level 1 wild pets, people were camping out in major cities and decimating the battle pet population while leveling their low level pets.

Expanded battleground queuing for select EU realms

If you play on an English or Spanish language EU realm, your battleground queues may be changing soon. As of February 25th, players of the same faction on some English realms and all Spanish realms will be able to form teams in battlegrounds. Blue poster Draztal explains that the change is being made in an effort to help improve low-level battleground queue times.

To help ease the transition Blizzard will be providing a glossary of common English and Spanish terms used in battleground PvP so newly interacting players can overcome the language barrier. Now if anyone gets on you about rotting your brain playing video games, just tell them you’re practicing your foreign language skills!

For the time being, Blizzard is also opening up the local-language only forum restriction for the Spanish realms affected. If you wish to team up with Spanish players but don’t really speak Spanish, now’s your chance to ask them in English and hope that nothing gets lost in translation. Happy bilingual battling!

The full blue post after the break.

As part of our effort to improve the PvP experience for players, over the coming weeks we’ll be making a change to the way English and Spanish realms interact with each other. Players within the same faction from select English and Spanish realms will be able to form teams when using the Battleground Finder.

We expect this change to have little impact for players at level 90, but it should improve the current queue times for low level battlegrounds on these realms.

We understand some of you may be worried about overcoming the language barrier for typical orders (such as warning your teammates of the opposition approaching Arathi Basin’s Lumber Mill) and to that end, we’ll be providing you with a glossary containing the most common terms used in each language soon.

Also, we’re temporarily allowing English posts on the Spanish PvP forums, allowing you to communicate with fellow Spanish players should you wish to team up.

After the upcoming scheduled realm maintenance on the week of February 25, players of the same faction on the following realms will be able to play together in random battlegrounds:

English Realms:
Bronze Dragonflight
Burning Steppes
Darkmoon Faire

Spanish Realms:
Colinas Pardas
Dun Modr
Los Errantes