Monthly Archives: March 2012

a few new MoP glyphs

Beta has started! I got my beta invite, but I’m still working on installing the game.
I’m starting to go through the spell lists to try and pull out glyphs from the game files posted on mmo-champion’s
This is what I found so far for resto druids. The balance druid glyphs overall don’t seem to have changed much in the files I have access to. Once I have more complete druid info, I’ll be posting a LOT more info over the next few days/weeks/months. Expect the glyph info to change, since I pulled these out of spell lists and not out of the actual implemented content.
  • Glyph of Lifebloom

While not in Tree of Life Form, casting Lifebloom on a new target grants that target as many applications as the old target had.

  • Glyph of Rejuvenation

When you have Rejuvenation active on three or more targets, the cast time of your Nourish spell is reduced by 30%.

  • Glyph of Regrowth

Increases the critical strike chance of your Regrowth by 40%, but removes the periodic component of the spell.

  • Glyph of Stars

Your Moonkin Form ability is replaced with Astral Form, conferring all the same benefits, but now appearing as an astrally enhanced version of your normal humanoid form.

Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Written By Lissanna

MoP press info: Things to do outside of raids

So, with raiding not changing all that much, I thought I would spend a brief post talking about things we’ll be able to do outside of raids in Mists of Pandaria. Right now, when I’m not raiding, I tend to log in the game and just fly around stormwind. What excites me the most about Mists of Pandaria is an emphasis on trying to give us stuff to do outside of the normal raids & PvP. In addition, these activities are pretty much all perfect for people with crazy busy schedules that just want something short they can do.

Pet Battles

While some people dislike the idea of this feature, it will make a great time-filler.  Here are some of the features that will fill your time:

  • You get to give each pet an individual name. If you have 150 pets, then you can name each of those 150 pets.
  • They are adding in new pets for all the pet collectors to go farm. Now that you have a real incentive to want to find the best pet, you will have a real reason to go farm for pets.
  • You will be able to sell most of the pets on the AH for more money, even after you’ve leveled it. The value of the non-combat pets will increase with the level of that pet. According to the Blizzcon preview, you can level up the pet in the pet battles and then set it out into the world, and make money off your already leveled pet. Then, you can get a new one and start over. For people that don’t form attachments to the particular pets, this is a nice feature. On the other hand, I’ll probably just lose tons of gold on buying pets, lol.
  • When you join a random pet battle game, you won’t know who you are playing against, so the random troll #158 can’t come over to your server and harass you. So, you don’t have to deal with a social situation like most PUG PvE. You’ll just throw your pets in the arena and beat the snot out of someone else’s pets. The system also won’t track losses so you only have to worry about winning.
  • You can still play with your friends. You should be able to challenge your friends to a pet battle.
  • You can spend all day working out what your 3’s pet team will be (ie. 3 cats, 3 different druid shapeshift model pets, 3 murlocs, something totally random, etc).

Grow Plants in your Farm

If you don’t like pet battles, you can focus on your new… farm! Haven’t heard much about this feature? Well, I haven’t either. According to WoWinsider:

  • Your farm is “mini-phased”, so that you always have access to it (ie. you don’t have to wait for player B to finish with his).
  • As you grow your farm, you can make cooking ingredients, consumable food, and more! If you are an herbalist, you can farm herb nodes in your farm instead of having to fly around the world. There are other features that we should learn about soon.

Challenge Modes

For people who want something a little more hard-core than pet battles and farming at your farm, they put in challenge mode dungeons.

  • This equalizes all your gear so you can’t out-gear the challenges. If you beat the challenge, it’s because you had the skill, and not just the gear.
  • Earn gold, silver,  or bronze medals based on your speed of completing the challenge. The faster the better!
  • Earn cosmetic features for your success. The prizes here will allow you to show off your excellence by giving you cosmetic rewards to proudly display.
  • This is going to work best for a group of friends or guild members who usually run things together and can work well as a team.


Don’t have an organized group of friends to tackle challenge modes with? Well, you can run these scenarios instead. I’m pretty sure I will accidentally call this feature “skirmishes” a lot, because the name and the concept of this feature is really similar to skirmishes from LOTRO.

  • These are basically 3-man dungeons that don’t require a tank or a healer (but you can still join them as a tank or a healer if you want to).
  • You just blitz your way through the scenario with hopefully not having to use too much coordination. They are designed to be short (like 10 to 20 minutes hopefully).
  • They will require less of a commitment and less coordination than the normal PUG 5-mans.
  • These will award valor points & gear rewards, and offer an alternative to mix up with your 5-man runs. However, it’s still likely that the joy in these will fade after they start to feel “old”, since most dungeon crawls usually stop being interesting when you no longer get interesting rewards from them.


This gives you a taste of what the range of new features will be. Each of them cater to a slightly different audience (ie. maybe you just do challenge modes and forget about pets. Maybe you spend your whole day battling pets and tending your farm). At the very least, everything listed above should hopefully have good re-playability across the expansion, at least I think that is Blizzard’s goal. In MoP, instead of finding me in Stormwind, I hope to be prancing around my farm in stag form. Then again, I also thought archeology would hold my attention for Cataclysm, and that definitely didn’t pan out. Once we’re in beta (soon), I will definitely be testing out these features and I’ll let you know what I find.

Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Written By Lissanna

The MoP press release: New druid forms & Perma-tree is back!

I was able to glean a tiny bit of information from the news sources to focus on what we all care about the most….

  • Glyph of Stars:Transforms your Moonkin Form into Astral Form. This glyph essentially makes your character appear as a spirit instead of a moonkin. You look very nearly like you do while dead — but people can see you this time. And your armor, for that matter.
  • Glyph of the Orca: Transforms your Aquatic Form into an orca. This one is pretty straightforward. Remember those orcas in Northrend? Yeah. Much better than your weird snarling rubbery seal.
  • Glyph of the Chameleon:Gives you a random appearance when you shift into Bear or Cat Form. Essentially, this one gives you a random coloring every time you shift. Great for breaking up the monotony of locked-in bear/cat coloring.
  • Glyph of the Stag:Transforms your Travel Form into a stag that other players can mount. Yes, that’s right. Your pals can ride you while you’re in Travel Form, and you’re also a stag instead of the clearly-inferior cheetah.
  • Glyph of the Treant: Allows you to shapeshift into Treant Form. The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of movement slowing effects. (Confirmed: This is indeed your perma-tree back! From Blizzplanet: This is an actual form on your skill bar you can choose and walk around in your leisure at. It has nothing to do with the Tree of Life spell.”)
  • Glyph of the Moonbeast: You can now cast Healing Touch, Rejuvenation, and Tranquility without canceling Moonkin Form. This essentially turns me into the restokin I’ve always wanted to be. lol.

And honestly, if they did nothing else, we’d all buy an expansion just for these, right? I mean, people have been trying to mount my travel form for so many years, I don’t even remember. Want a ride? Sure, hop on my back! Hate the outdated sealform? Then be an orca! You miss perma-tree? Okay here you go!

I had to be awake at 3:00 AM (running on 4:30 AM) to bring you these things, since I didn’t get to do the press event myself. So, I’m a little bit totally exhausted. When my reading comprehension abilities kick in sometime later today, I’ll start doing more analysis of the other piles of data released across all the various fansites (wowinsider, wowhead, etc). I’m pretty sure, however, that the news you really wanted was about perma-tree form. lol.

The glyph I’m the least happy about is definitely glyph of stars. It basically just gives you some version of shadow form. It’s not really a shapeshift at all. I would have preferred an updated moonkin form or some way to customize your actual moonkin form. This glyph isn’t shadow-moonkin. It’s NO moonkin, just yourself (seeing your gear) in a shadowy form. Taking the moonkin out of balance druids just feels like the wrong approach. Something that enhanced how moonkin looked (while not just using a modified priest shadow form) would have been way better.

NOTE: The mmo-champion description of Glyph of Stars is wrong. Astral Form is your humanoid form with a ghosting effect so you can see your transmog gear.

However, for resto druids, perma-tree form is like the best news ever.

 Info on the actual glyphs from this post comes from copy/pastes of all the various wowinsider, wowhead, & Blizzplanet news info I could find about the new forms.

Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Written By Lissanna

Thinking about Diablo 3 for WoW players

So, one of the neat benefits of WoW’s annual pass is that we get a copy of Diablo III for free whenever it goes live. Approximately a million or so people signed up for the annual pass, according to what we heard before. In addition, I know that a lot of WoW players are looking forward to that game coming out – regardless of whether or not they played  the earlier Diablo games.

I have been playing around with the D3 beta over the last few months. With having another week to wait until they release more information about MoP, I figured today would be a good day to talk a little about some differences I had to adjust to when I first started playing the beta for D3, since WoW is really the only Blizzard game I’ve spent any significant amount of time playing. So, lets look at a couple of differences between WoW & Diablo III that a WoW player should keep in mind if you aren’t familiar with the Diablo franchise.

Diablo III is darker than WoW (both in artistic style and content).

The goal in Diablo III is to kill lots and lots of undead or rather vile opponents. However, unlike WoW, those dead things tend to explode in the most grotesque sorts of ways. The gore-level isn’t too bad overall. However, I don’t like playing the Witch Doctor just because the spell effects include things like summoning a bunch of worm-like creatures that do damage or root opponents. Instead, I prefer the wizard that uses more familiar arcane/frost damage to make things… gruesomely explode. While WoW has a cute cartoonish feel and low amounts of gore overall, Diablo is just a much darker game and isn’t really kid-appropriate at all.

However, that darkness is part of what makes the game good. It really feels like danger is lurking in the corners of the world, and things can pop out from anywhere to try and kill you. It makes the whole world feel much different than Azeroth.

Diablo III has a different User Interface and mechanics.

One of the things to get used to is that, as of now, there isn’t any auto-run button. You have to use the mouse to move. You also use the mouse to shoot at things. You also don’t have control over what your camera angle is. There also isn’t a global cooldown on spells, so sometimes I’ve mapped my main attack to my keyboard buttons (once I’d unlocked those ability slots) so that I could give my clicker-finger a break. Note from comments: in one of the last patches, they allowed you to map a button to “move” on your keyboard, which you can hold and it will run you in a straight line. At this point, you still have to use your mouse to actually turn and have any real control over where you are going. We’ll talk more about the UI features once they’ve finalized them a little better. 🙂

Overall, the first handful of levels do a really good job of introducing the game, so that you don’t feel too overwhelmed at the start as you adjust to the new system.

You also don’t get to customize the look of your character when you first create it. That’s totally intentional. You get to choose: class, gender, and name. Everything else is the same across characters when you first create it. That is just part of the style of the game and is done intentionally by Blizzard.

Some modes aren’t designed for everyone.

We just got our first crack at Hardcore mode in beta in the last few days. I made it to about level 4 in HC mode before the threat of death and having to start over again if I died overwhelmed me. I much prefer normal-mode where things like going AFK to play on the forums won’t lead to my character suffering permanent death. If the thought of losing your character is too much for you – then don’t play hardcore mode. However, the game provides options,  so you can just play on regular mode and be able to come back to life after you die. I think I’ll just stay in normal-mode and save myself from the stress associated with accidentally running into huge packs of mobs. 🙂

Blasting zombies with lasers is super fun.

Overall, I wasn’t sure what to think when I first started playing Beta. However, I really fell for the game almost instantly. I’ve played that first starting area many, many times just because I enjoy the game overall. Some days, I’ll sit down at the computer and just decide that blasting the undead monsters in the face with my wizard spells is way more fun than anything else, even if I run out of story content around level 10.

I’ll probably write more specifics about the game as D3’s release gets closer and more of the systems are finalized. You should also expect a flurry of posting related to MoP once the press event info is released by the bigger fan sites. I figured that posting about MoP this week would be pointless since everything will likely change in a few days anyway.

Posted in Diablo III, Written By Lissanna


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