Thursday, December 31, 2009

News: You can't hide from Big Brother, nor Blizzard

What do you guys think about this? Let us know either in the comments section here or on Kombo.
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Commentary: Contrarian Thinking and Gaming

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool." — William Shakespeare.

In this day of contrarian thinking, I find solace in this quote.


We all want to be special. We all want to be different. And as much as I want to believe that is the case with me, I know it isn't. However, there are a lot of people that I have surrounded myself — either purposely or purposelessly — that affirm my need for contrarian thinking.

I'm not this, or at least the working habits of the protagonist in this game. I am aware. It is unknown whether or not the husband/worker is aware, so it is up to us to draw a conclusion. I argue that it is not the husband/worker who becomes aware, but the player.

All that aside, I do not take my work life home. The way I see it, I spend the better part of my day either away from my wife and kids or sleeping in preparation for the next day. Do you want to know why this country's divorce rate is so high? It has nothing to do with religion or a lack of family values. It has everything to do with the fact that people spend 8-12 hours working and 6-9 hours sleeping. That doesn't leave a lot of time for family. Then again, due to the monotony of it all, it leads to a stress-filled life where the time one spends with one's family is often burdened by pressures of the daily grind.

My father-in-law is very successful in the grind. In fact, he's extremely successful due to the fact that he is head-strong and ambitious. However, this past year he took up flying. A pilots license and a purchased plane later, and you can barely get the guy out of the air. Don't misunderstand me, he's still goal-driven, but he's always looking to the sky now.

It's not because he likes sitting behind a steering column of a plane. It's the solace. In the air, he doesn't have to worry about anything. Life — for those moments with the clouds — is limitless and beautiful. And that is living. All of his successes in the business world are just a means to an end. It is in the clouds where life begins and ends.

I guess that is what gaming is to me. Gaming allows me to to push away all of life's bullshit. Not only that, but it sometimes — when I am lucky — provides a vehicle for further contrarian thinking. Instead of just mindless frat-boy games, I can become enveloped in a literal thinking man's game — Shadow of the Colossus and Silent Hill 2. Gaming is my cloud. It's where I can go and seek refuge.

Other gamers are also crucial in this system that I have developed for myself. I surround myself with like-minded people. People who also seek the clouds and look to further the discourse of the abstract. The abstract that — to a lot of people — doesn't matter in the great chain of events.

If I had a hat, I would tip it to my fellow dreamers and stargazers. I'm talking about the ones that spend their work days behind a computer reading gaming blogs and forums. I'm talking about the ones who wait to enter the clouds each night until they've kissed their wife/husband and children goodnight.

/salute

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

News: Xbox LIVE catches home invader

Logging into Xbox LIVE caused a man to get arrested in the Bronx. The catch, it wasn’t his Xbox 360. Jeremiah Gilliam, 22, has been charged with multiple counts of grand larceny after police tracked the IP address of a stolen Xbox 360. The victim noticed that his account was logged in after it had been stolen. Among the items confiscated from the location was video games, laptops, and GPS devices stolen from as many as 200 cars. Apparently Gilliam was already under investigation for thirteen robberies of unlocked cars.

Source: NY Post
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Monday, December 28, 2009

News: Steam-Powered Holiday Sale thru Jan. 3rd

Steam has slashed prices again this Holiday season! Titles have been marked down as much as 80% in some cases and the list of games is far better than one might expect.

Between now and January 3, 2010, you can pick up Dead Space for $29.99, The Orange Box for $14.99, Torchlight for $9.99, Bioshock or Killing Floor for just $4.99 and the list goes on and on.


Jump over to the Steam Holiday Sale page to see the full selection of amazing deals.
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Preview: Mass Effect 2 — 'Killing is an Art'

Seriously, can Mass Effect 2 get any cooler? Bioware has been pumping out the teaser vids and have continued with the assassin and savage videos. Hit the jump to see the new hotness.






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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: Every Day the Same Dream

It takes quite a game to elicit a genuine emotional response from me. But here I am, typing away, and hating every minute of it. The reason is quite simple: I just finished (yes, there is an end) Paolo Pedercini's Every Day the Same Dream. This indie game, which borders more on pure art and poetry than game, is a must play for any wage slave. Follow this link to play for free and don't forget to hit the jump to read my full review.

First off, let's get through the logistics. You control the main character with the left and right keys and use the spacebar to interact with things in the game world when prompted. The story is just as simple, merely take part in this character's life as he wakes up, says goodbye to his wife before driving to work. All leading up to the chance to do it all over again.

The music, composed by Jesse Stiles, is both haunting and beautiful at the same time. It is the perfect tonal depiction of what this game is and the message behind its delivery.

Without revealing too much, I will say that for the first minute or two, I was just simply playing the game for the sake of playing it. After that, I was playing because I was emotionally attached.

Every Day the Same Dream is a cynical look at our modern world, filled with empty emotions of predetermined establishments and the inevitable grind and lure of the cubicle. It didn't take long playing this game before I started looking for anyway to break the monotony. I just knew there had to be a way to help the faceless, voiceless avatar. I wanted out. I wanted to breathe.


There was one point in the game that really hit me involving a tree. To see such beauty never return was a harsh reality to accept. Every day that I returned to that point in the game, I longed for the experience that I once had. Sadly, there was no going back.

I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that it left me feeling quite empty and alone. Perdicini's message is heard even clearer as I realize that I am still sitting at my keyboard at work typing this and loathing every keystroke.

Well, it's time for me to chase the leaf. It's actually too early for me to clock out for the day, but at this point, who cares. Point received, Perdicini.

Maybe art really is dangerous.

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Radio: ICP Live! Episode 31: "Festivus" Edition

It's a special last minute holiday gift for all of our readers and listeners. ICP Live! is going on air, once again, tonight! And, boy, do we have a show for you. Assassin's Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, New Super Mario Bros. Wii; you name it, we've got it. Instant message us during tonight's show and join in on the conversation. You can listen to ICP Live! tonight at 9 p.m. EST on UltraWorld Radio. On tonight's show:


• Witches and Modern Warfare 2 go hand in hand.

• We'll tell you which video game developer is on Santa's Naughty List.

• We explore all of this past week's hottest gaming headlines and game releases, as well as this week's worst power-up.

• And we talk shop with Nintendo DS developer Fernando De La Cruz.


If you have any questions or comments, post them on this story and we will try to get to them when we are on-air. You can also reach us on Yahoo instant messenger @ incomingpull or hit us up on any of the numerous ways to contact us (hint: you can see the list in the sidebar on the right).

Seriously, it's a LIVE show. Why not IM us and join in the conversation?

"Do not fear the darkness, but welcome its embrace."

As always, you can stream the entire show in the player below, or you can click the download link under the player to save it to your hard drive for eternity. You can also subscribe to the ICP Live! podcast and be alerted when a new show is posted or even listen in on your iPod.





alt: Incoming Pull Live: Episode 31

[Download The Podcast]

Make sure you check out DJ Kestral every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on UltraWorld Radio.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Preview: Cool off with Mr. Freeze

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."

Now that I've gotten you in the mood for something cold, jump on over to Kombo to read my news release on the new concept art for DC Universe's Mr. Freeze.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Review: Assassin's Creed 2, a Renaissance masterpiece

It seems a rarity in the industry when a particular title hits on all cylinders, where gameplay, presentation, story and sound all find a relative balance akin to the writings of Lao Tzu. However, Ubisoft was able to find this balance — with stunning results — in Assassin's Creed 2.

The follow-up to 2007's hit third person action-adventure title, Assassin's Creed 2 — which is available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — puts the player, once again, in the role of Desmond Miles as he relives the adventures of his assassin heritage. Unlike the first game, which took place during The Crusades — letting players control Altaïr ibn La-Ahad — Desmond this time around takes the guise of Italian nobleman, Ezio Auditore da Firenze during the 15th century Renaissance.


The story is filled with intrigue and conspiracy as players work to uncover — and stop — the zealous plot of the Knights Templar to control Italy. The non-linear gameplay allows players to explore the story at will, giving them a wonderful open-world environment to reconnoiter. And what a gorgeous open-world it is.

Rendered beautifully, the Italian backdrop of Assassin's Creed 2 is a stunning sight to behold. Throughout each city and town are view points that can be selected from atop towers. Doing so results in a beautiful 360 degree panoramic view of the area, allowing the player a few seconds to take in the game's aesthetic.

Unlike other titles in the genre, such as The Saboteur, the open-world in Assassin's Creed 2 is not a hurdle for the player to cross. Instead, it's a playground. Ezio's ability to traverse the towns with l'art du déplacement, or parkour, makes the buildings in the game very easy to cross over.

The fluidity of the parkour is continued in the combat. This is how cinematic combat should be. While other games — I'm looking at you Batman: Arkham Asylum — boast alike combat, Assassin's Creed 2 does more than just turn the action into a rampant exercise of button mashing by letting the player use strategy and timing to overcome odds. Button mashing in Assassin's Creed 2 will, more likely than not, result in constant parries from enemies. Therefore, players must exercise patience and time their parry and riposte perfectly in order to deliver the cinematic death blow.

It is no different for stealth activities, which is where Assassin's Creed 2 really shines. Ezio is able to deliver death to his targets through multiple means. His iconic weapon, the hidden blade, protracts and retracts through a bracer and lets Ezio entrust his foes with one-hit kills. And entrust he will. From behind, from above, from below and from concealed locations, players have numerous way to dispatch enemies. However, unlike other games where players must get into stealth mode — a.k.a. crouching — Assassin's Creed 2 has a wonderful "blending" mechanism that allows Ezio to appear as just another townsperson walking down the road. This allows the player to get as close as they need to deliver their stealth kill.

Weapons are varied and include daggers, swords, warhammers and poison. Sure to be a fan favorite, Ezio is equipped with a second hidden blade. This allows Ezio to deliver two simultaneous death blows to unsuspecting targets. This can be done from the front, behind or from above.


With the help of Leonardo da Vinci, Ezio is able to learn additional techniques and weapons. One of these include the hidden gun, which is fastened to the back of Ezio's hidden blade bracer. While historically blasphemous, the enjoyment in dispatching enemies from afar using the hidden gun quickly allows the player to temporarily suspend disbelief. No matter what Ezio is doing, the gameplay remains smooth and elegant. This includes the horse riding and the control of da Vinci's short lived flying machine.

The music, which is composed by Jesper Kyd (Borderlands, Assassin's Creed, Hitman, The Chronicles of Spellborn), provides a subtle and layered backdrop to the Italian setting. At no point does the music or other sound effects become overwhelming. Just like the gameplay, everything is presented with balance.


With hundreds of secrets to find and uncover, players have many things to occupy their time with. A fiefdom is also introduced, where the players can purchase upgrades to their family's town to make it more prosperous. Doing so will net the player with a steady of level of income to use as they see fit. This economical gameplay element is both simple and quick, meaning that there's hardly any learning curve involved. Once again, showing that Ubisoft found just the right level of balance for the system's inclusion.

Overall, Assassin's Creed 2 comes off as a well-polished masterpiece, deserving of every bit of praise it gets. This is what open-world games, as well as cinematic combat and gameplay, should be like. Assassin's Creed 2 should be the benchmark for a new Renaissance of open-world games.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Radio: ICP Live! Episode 30: "Year In Review" Edition

Other gaming sites may boast that Game X is the best of 2009, but gaming is more than just what's best here at Incoming Pull. For us, any game that made a positive impression on us is worth mentioning. What about you? What 2009 games stand out for you? Instant message us during tonight's show and let us know what you think. You can listen to ICP Live! tonight at 9 p.m. EST on UltraWorld Radio. On tonight's show:


• Mega Man 10... now with sheep!

• Wanna go to gaming Purgatory? Sign up for the everlasting free Age of Conan trial today.

• We explore all of this past week's hottest gaming headlines and game releases, as well as this week's worst power-up.

• And we talk about what 2009 had to offer to gamers.


If you have any questions or comments, post them on this story and we will try to get to them when we are on-air. You can also reach us on Yahoo instant messenger @ incomingpull or hit us up on any of the numerous ways to contact us (hint: you can see the list in the sidebar on the right).

Seriously, it's a LIVE show. Why not IM us and join in the conversation?

"It's a sad thing that your adventures have ended here."

As always, you can stream the entire show in the player below, or you can click the download link under the player to save it to your hard drive for eternity. You can also subscribe to the ICP Live! podcast and be alerted when a new show is posted or even listen in on your iPod.





alt: Incoming Pull Live: Episode 30

[Download The Podcast]

Make sure you check out DJ Kestral every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on UltraWorld Radio.

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Review: Fallen Earth gets social with taverns

My MMO gaming attention is still on Fallen Earth right now. It’s a nice palate cleanse from all the high fantasy that I have played over the past few years, plus the game shows a lot of promise. I don’t think that it will ever reach the mountaintop that is World of Warcraft, but it might just do well enough to be the niche hit that EVE Online is.

Patch 1.2 just dropped this week. Let’s stop for a second and realize that the game has only been out for three months and has already reached its second major update. Icarus studios are small, compared to other game development companies. I am convinced that updating the game as much as they do, they must have their programmers and QA department strapped down with their eyes propped open Clockwork Orange style.

Regardless, the big feature in patch 1.2 is what they are calling the Social Patch. The full patch notes can be found here, you will need to sign up for the forums to read them, though. There are two big highlights in the patch notes.

The first big update is camps. This is a new trade skill tab (because the 7 they had before the patch was clearly not enough), that lets you set up a temporary base of operation. Not only will the camp give you a temporary buff, but it gives a chance for players to set up their own spots in the game world. So if there is a quest area that you are farming or are prepping to take over a conflict town, then an advanced breach head can be established. This is a fascinating idea for in game dynamics.

The second big update on the social side is taverns. Reclaimed underground bunkers have been turned into casinos, with slot machines and video blackjack. I did a brief video walkthrough on the taverns here.



Finally, Fallen Earth Lead Designer, Lee Hammock, was on the Lagwar podcast this week, and the podcast is almost 90 minutes of the most animated interview that I have heard in quite a while. Not only is the podcast itself great, the interview itself is quite good. It can’t even be described, just experience. If you haven’t played this game yet, this podcast might just change your mind.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Feature: Wii... Rock you a Merry Christmas

If you think that you've seen and maybe done all there is to do with your Guitar Hero skills, then I invite... no challenge you to step up your game to the next level. Just because you can rock out with a 100% on Expert mode doesn't mean that you've reached the pinnacle of stardom just yet.

You may be very close to becoming a guitar Hero, but do you pale in comparison to the... Christmas Light Hero! Hit the jump and stand in awe of its greatness.







p.s. Just in case you're wondering, yes, the lights on the garage door match up with the easy mode pattern for the Guitar Hero 3 version of “Cliffs of Dover.”

Merry Christmas!


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Monday, December 14, 2009

News: Army of Two: The 40th Day demo available this Thursday

It's time to find a friend and knock some heads as EA Montreal announced today that a demo for the upcoming Army of Two: The 40th Day will be available for download on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Players will be able to take control of the iconic Salem and Rios throughout most of the first level, which takes place in Shanghai.

The sequel looks at continuing the co-op shooter gameplay that kept gamers entertained in the first title. And of course, what would an Army of Two game be without the ability to pimp your gun.


“The 40th Day is non-stop action in an explosive Shanghai," said executive producer Reid Schneider. "The game has been designed with a focus on co-op gameplay and it has been our goal to refine this core experience in all aspects of the game. The demo will give players the opportunity to experience this evolution and the new co-op moves and tactics available to players at any time in the game.”

Army of Two: The 40th Day will hit store shelves on Jan. 13 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and the Playstation Portable.

For more information, visit www.armyoftwo.com.

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News: World Premiere Extravaganza!

This past Saturday's Spike Video Game Awards 2009 did two things: it showed how awesome Jack Black can truly be and it gave a nice peak into what gaming will look like in 2010. Hit the jump for all the videos.

Thanks to Gametrailers for the great exclusives.





















Check out GT for more exclusive trailers.

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News: Arkham has moved

Hot off the heels of a teaser shown at the Spike VGA's Saturday night, Warner Bros. Interactive announced today that they have secured the rights to publish a sequel to Rocksteady Studios' hit Batman: Arkham Asylum.

“We are thrilled to build a global game franchise from Batman: Arkham Asylum, which is receiving an incredible response from gamers and fans of Batman around the world,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Rocksteady has taken Batman to a new level in the video game space and we are committed to delivering a sequel the fans will love.”

The team at Rocksteady are back again, this time spilling the gothic setting of Arkham into the streets of Gotham.

“Getting the opportunity to create Batman: Arkham Asylum and seeing its success has been a dream come true for the team,” said Sefton Hill, Game Director, Rocksteady Studios. “We are honoured to create the next chapter in this compelling story and promise to deliver another game worthy of the Dark Knight.”

You would be hard pressed to find anyone who didn't enjoy Arkham Asylum. Hopefully, Rocksteady will improve upon the first game's formula. Just a suggestion: do something about Detective Mode. Making Detective Mode key to survival is not only a nuisance, but a disservice to your art team. Also, some more creative boss fights wouldn't hurt either.



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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Preview: Are you ready to enter the Void?

Capcom is gearing up to turn the third-person shooter genre on its head with its vertical shooter innovation in Dark Void. Take that, mix with two parts epic boss battles and you have a game that looks to be promising.




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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Preview: Bioware using real stars in Mass Effect 2

On Thursday, Incoming Pull reported on Bioware's announcement regarding the star-studded list of voice actors for Mass Effect 2. Well, Friday the developer released a trailer to provide even further details. Hit the jump to see.





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Friday, December 11, 2009

Review: 1 vs. 100, season 2

A while back I did a review of the Xbox Live game 1 vs. 100. While I liked the social aspect of the game, there was a couple of things that caught my eye that I was hoping that the game would fix when it launched in its final form. Well, season two has started, some changes are good and some still need to be implemented.

In the first review, I mentioned the countdown timer. While it’s still the same timer from the last game, there are some changes. Now after the timer runs out and the correct answer is revealed it shows, in seconds, how long it took you to answer. Instant answer returns, but now I know that I have to answer in less than one second to qualify. I still don’t like this, but not for the twitch answer reason. The “instant” in instant answer is based off of when the correct answer revealed, regardless of which answer you pick. So if the first answer is correct, but you instant answer the third answer, it shows as an instant answer, but then times you on when the first answer was revealed. While this doesn’t affect you in the long run (since the answer was wrong), it’s still quite odd.

Achievements are new to the second season. Two-hundred points are up for grabs, since it’s a live game. Nothing really jumps out about them, outside of the fact that they are there. A couple might be hard to get, since they require a full four player group and/or really long correct answer streaks. While I like getting achievements, they are nothing I have gone out of my way to get. But still, it’s nice to have to make the game “official.”

My biggest problem with the game from the first review is that you can’t change your answer. Sadly, this is still the case. Now that you can get achievements from correct answer streaks, being able to change your answer is more important, especially since you get so little time to answer. If you are going for an instant answer, that means pushing the button within the first second of its reveal. Passing on the option of instant answer bonuses to let the question is a risk, but so is having the wrong answer.

Still, 1 vs. 100 is a great social experience. It can be a lot of fun to be grouped up with your friends, answer questions and taunting each other when they get an obvious answer wrong. Since it’s a free game and you still have the chance of prizes, it’s worth checking out.

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Preview: Get schooled in the Art of War

It's Friday morning and what better way to start the weekend early than watching some sweet video game videos of THQ's upcoming Darksiders. Hit the jump for all your procrastination goodness.

Here's a special thanks to GT for hosting the videos.










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Thursday, December 10, 2009

News: Can you withstand the will of a tyrant?

Sony is offering past subscribers of Everquest 2 to journey back into Norrath throughout the month of December. Beginning today, players who left the game with their account in good standing — over the past two years — are invited to participate in the pre-launch event of the game's newest expansion, Sentinel's Fate.

According to Sony's press release, players will have the chance to take part in the event, titled Will of the Tyrant.


"In Freeport, Lucan D'Lere is missing and the city has erupted in chaos. The rule of law is gone and blood runs in the streets as Lucan's would-be successors vie for power over the great city. Players must uncover the mystery behind his disappearance and who is responsible for this unprovoked attack.

The city of Qeynos is unharmed for now, but enemies of the city hide in plain sight everywhere awaiting the perfect moment to unleash their plan. One of Antonia Bayle's closes advisors has gone missing, and it is up to the players to help find him."

Former players in good standing can choose to log in for free until Dec. 31 to receive access to The Shadow Odyssey expansion. If the player decides to continue playing after the month is over, they can receive an exclusive in-game item — the Marble Effigy of Al'Kabor — if they choose to purchase the upcoming Sentinel's Fate expansion.

The players will also gain access to the expansion's beta on or around Jan. 19.

The Will of the Tyrant contains:

• EverQuest II Sentinel’s Fate Pre-Launch Event #2 – Roehn Theer’s minions are on the move leaving destruction in their path. Players must uncover their evil plot and stop them from destroying another city.

• City Festivals are Back! –Festivals started by the Far Seas Trading Company are scheduled to begin in January 2010.

• New Daily Tradeskill Missions in Kunark! – Players can seek out Assistant Volwon in Bathezid’s Watch to participate.

• 300 quest bugs, plus an additional 300 miscellaneous bugs have been fixed.

• Many creatures throughout Norrath that previously did not grant Alternate Advancement experience now do.

• Erollisi's Lost Longbow, the Longbow of Valor, the Buckler of the Broken Heart and the Tower of Love can now each be turned into a trophy item to be placed within player homes.

• Item tooltips will now give information about gains and losses over currently equipped items.

For more details, visit http://everquest2.station.sony.com/expansions/sentinelsfate/index.vm.

If is wasn't for January being such a busy month for game releases — Darksiders, Bayonetta, Army of Two: 40th Day, Dark Void, No More Heroes 2 and Mass Effect 2 — I would be signing up today to get back into one of my all-time favorite MMOs.

It's a shame, really. I miss my time playing MMOs, but there are just too many other games that I still need to play. It's bad enough that I still have Borderlands and Dragon Age: Origins sitting on my desk, unopened.

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News: Vigil provides first glimpse of Warhammer 40k MMO

There's been a lot of talk and speculation concerning the long-anticipated Warhammer 40k MMO(WH40K), currently in development by Austin-based Vigil Games. While they've leaked a few tidbits about their plans for the game since it was first announced in March 2007, it was only this week that they finally released some concept art to our friends over at Kotaku.






Ultramarines Reprazent!

The art features some very promising images of an Ultramarine, Space Marine Bolter pistol, two different angles of an Ork fighter, what looks like an early render of an Imperial Warhound, a Rhino Troop Transport and several other beautiful example of the Adeptus Astarte's awesome firepower.

Can you say "Orks in SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE?"

The game is set for a release in 2012 and Vigil promises that any race that a 40K fan would find important will be in the game. A statement which sets this gamer's heart aflutter with anticipation. And while there is sure to be heavy gunplay, Vigil has eluded that the game will bear a stronger kinship to an RPG than an FPS.

A Bolter pistol will leave a fist-sized hole clean through you...and that's not even with explosive bolts!

Creative director Joe Madureira stated in an April 2008 interview "there will be "Tons of stuff hanging off your character, weapons, scrolls ... we are going to have the coolest looking characters of any MMO, ever." Anyone who's ever painted a squad of Space Marines or their Chaos adversaries (to name just two likely races) will tell you how important this visual element is to the WH40k universe, and it will be even more important to help differentiate between players that will in theory be wearing mostly identical suits of battle armor most of the time with a few exceptions (Imperial Inquisitors, Orks).

Rest assured as more is revealed about Vigil's plans for their flagship MMO, we'll have all the details for you right here.


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News: What's in a voice?

Bioware today announced that they have an all-star cast of voice actors that will appear in Mass Effect 2, many of which return to reprise their roles from the original. Hit the jump to read the official release.

Guildford, UK., (December 10, 2009) – BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), today revealed the voice actors performing in Mass Effect 2, the second act of the award-winning science fiction trilogy. The game features Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Martin Sheen (“The West Wing”, “Apocalypse Now”), 2009 Emmy Award-winner Shohreh Aghdashloo (“House of Saddam”), comedic actor Seth Green (“Austin Powers”), “Chuck” stars Yvonne Strahovski and Adam Baldwin, Keith David (“Crash”) and sci-fi favorites Michael Dorn (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”), Michael Hogan (“Battlestar Galactica”) and Carrie-Anne Moss (“The Matrix”).

“Emotionally engaging narrative is a key design pillar for BioWare, and the top-notch voice talent in Mass Effect 2 helps drive this goal,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder, BioWare and Group General Manager of the RPG/MMO Group of EA. “Credible, powerful personalities are vital to delivering a compelling story experience in BioWare’s games, and we have assembled an amazing ensemble cast that surpasses the very high bar set in the original Mass Effect!”

Esteemed actor Martin Sheen stars as the mysterious Illusive Man who commands Cerberus, a secretive paramilitary organization dedicated to protecting human interests in the galaxy. Yvonne Strahovski plays deadly Cerberus operative Miranda Lawson, who has been genetically engineered for superior mental and physical traits. Returning to the cast from the original Mass Effect is Seth Green as Joker and Keith David as Admiral David Anderson. And rounding out the vocal roster are Tricia Helfer as EDI, the voice of the new Normandy; Carrie-Ann Moss as Aria T’Loak, the crime lord who rules the planet Omega; Shohreh Aghdashloo as Admiral Shala'Raan vas Tonbay; Michael Hogan as Captain Bailey; Adam Baldwin as Kal ‘Reegar; and Michael Dorn as Gatatog Uvenk.

The Mass Effect trilogy is an emotionally charged science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players will once again step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, commanding their crew of some of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a mission so challenging that it’s potentially suicidal. Featuring intense shooter action, a rich futuristic storyline, space exploration and emotionally engaging character interaction, the game delivers an unparalleled cinematic experience.

Mass Effect 2 will be available on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC on January 26, 2010 in North America and January 29, 2010 in Europe. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/masseffect2. For more information on Mass Effect 2, go to http://masseffect.bioware.com/.


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News: Mega Man 10 Confirmed for WiiWare

The January issue of Nintendo Power magazine (on sale 12/22/2009) will announce that Capcom has confirmed the release of Mega Man 10 for WiiWare. Following the success of Mega Man 9, Capcom has decided that the WiiWare channel is the perfect fit for the old school graphics and play style that Mega Man 10 will offer. This time around, players will be able to play as Mega Man, Proto Man, or a third character which hasn't been announced yet.

According to the magazine article, "Like Mega Man 9 (released for WiiWare in 2008), Mega Man 10 remains true to the series's roots with 8-bit-style graphics and sound and tried-and-true Mega Man gameplay." It goes on to say that, "Though the concept remains the same in Mega Man 10... this time you're fighting to find parts of a vaccine-making device needed to cure robots of Robotenza - a virus that causes infected 'bots to overheat and go out of control."


I don't know about you guys, but Mega Man was one of my favorite games to play on both NES and SNES, so this sounds like a title that I'm just going to have to check out.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Radio: ICP Live! Episode 29: "The Birthday Cake Is A Lie" Edition

It is popular belief around gaming circles that Nintendo has abandoned its loyal and hardcore gamers, focusing more on shovelware that is reminiscent of the video game crash of '84. But what can Nintendo do to show that they are still conscious of its fans of old? Instant message us during tonight's show and let us know what you think. You can listen to ICP Live! tonight at 9 p.m. EST on UltraWorld Radio. On tonight's show:


• The Saboteur has nipples!

• Fall of the Lich King lands on World of Warcraft's servers.

• We explore all of this past week's hottest gaming headlines and game releases, as well as this week's worst power-up.

• And we talk about what Nintendo could do with the Wii.


If you have any questions or comments, post them on this story and we will try to get to them when we are on-air. You can also reach us on Yahoo instant messenger @ incomingpull or hit us up on any of the numerous ways to contact us (hint: you can see the list in the sidebar on the right).

Seriously, it's a LIVE show. Why not IM us and join in the conversation?

"It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I'm all out of gum."


As always, you can stream the entire show in the player below, or you can click the download link under the player to save it to your hard drive for eternity. You can also subscribe to the ICP Live! podcast and be alerted when a new show is posted or even listen in on your iPod.





alt: Incoming Pull Live: Episode 29

[Download The Podcast]

Make sure you check out DJ Kestral every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on UltraWorld Radio.

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Preview: Lair of the Demon Dragon raid video

Looking for a little MMO raid action to get you through hump day? Look no further. Hit the jump to see the latest raid video from Runes of Magic's "Lair of the Demon Dragon."



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News: Rocksteady! Brütal Legend to get more content

Grab your axe and prepare to bring down the hammer, Electronic Arts and Double Fine announced today that they are releasing a second downloadable content pack for Brütal Legend, titled Hammer of Infinite Fate.

Gamers can look to purchase the DLC on Thursday, Dec. 17 for 480 MS Points (Xbox 360) or $4.99 on the Sony Playstation Network.

The DLC will include a series of new skins, weapon upgrades, multiplayer maps and new achievements.

“I’m excited about the beard, or course, and the new achievements and trophies,” said Tim Schafer, President of Double Fine Productions. “But the thing I really can’t wait to get my hands on is that Oculus of the Lost. Using it to find the last Bound Serpent isn’t cheating, because it looks so cool on my car.”

As far as new skins, players will be able to customize Eddie Riggs with three new outfits; the Mountain Man, Black Metal and Zaulia Threads. The Deuce will also see four new paint jobs and four new upgrades, including the omnipotent Oculus of the Lost, an all-seeing GPS for the world. Players can also expect to see the Eye of Sorrow, which harnesses the energy of the Sea of Black Tears, launching "black projectiles of doom" at enemies.

According to the release, "Hammer of Infinite Fate further expands the Brütal Legend Stage Battle multiplayer experience with four new mind-melting multiplayer maps; the Altar of Blood, Coiled Remains, Crucible of the Titans and The Amplified Cliffs. Each map features a completely unique environment tailored to the Gods of Metal, with an in-game element of surprise that puts a strategic twist to every Stage Battle."

Just in case you missed the first DLC, Tears of the Hextadon, you can find it for 400 MS Points or $4.99 on PSN.

For more information, visit www.brutallegend.com.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News: World of Warcraft: Fall of the Lich King

Today is patch day at Blizzard. Patch 3.3.0 is being rolled out as I type this post. The patch title... Fall of the Lich King. Yes that's right... this evening will mark the beginning of the many marches on Icecrown Citadel to the Frozen Throne of the Lich King himself.

"Looming over the stark wastes of Northrend, Icecrown Citadel awaits those who would see the Lich King and his Scourge brought low and the threat they pose wiped from the face of Azeroth. The heroes who venture within will face some of the greatest horrors yet seen."

This new content patch will bring with it, not only Arthas and his Scourge, but a list of other great enhancements for the game including the Cross-Realm Dungeon Finder tool to replace the antiquated Looking For Group tool, New built-in Quest Tracking features and unique Totem art for Troll and Orc Shamans. Plus, all mobile and Blizzard authenticator users are receiving a free Core Hound Pup non-combat pet in their mailboxes. If you're not already an authenticator user, don't worry, you'll even get your pet if you sign up for one now.

"Tirion Fordring and the Argent Crusade have forged an accord with Darion Mograine and the Knights of the Ebon Blade to form the Ashen Verdict. This coalition's strongest combatants, along with the champions of the Alliance and the Horde, will lead the charge against the citadel. In the new Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon, Azeroth's mightiest will face terrifying challenges before ascending to the Frozen Throne, where the Lich King and his runeblade, Frostmourne, await to deliver the heroes to their deaths...."

I won't repost the entire contents of the patch notes this time around, but you can always check out the complete list of changes at the official World of Warcraft Patch Notes page.

This patch almost makes me regret cancelling my account two days ago.


UPDATE: Due to some reports of the official site being up and down for updating, I've decided to go ahead and post the full 3.3 patch notes here for our loyal readers.


Live Patch Notes Disclaimer: While we make every effort to include all upcoming changes in our patch notes, please be aware that occasionally some changes are unintentionally omitted.


World of Warcraft Client Patch 3.3.0: Fall of the Lich King

The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html

The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/

Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Halls

Looming over the stark wastes of Northrend, Icecrown Citadel awaits those who would see the Lich King and his Scourge brought low and the threat they pose wiped from the face of Azeroth. The heroes who venture within will face some of the greatest horrors yet seen. But before you burst into the front gate of the citadel, an alternate means of entry beckons. Journey through three separate wings of the new five-player dungeon, Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Halls, and follow Jaina Proudmoore or Sylvanas Windrunner into the Lich King's domain.

Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Throne

All across Northrend, many battles have been fought against the vile Scourge. Countless lives have been lost since the Alliance and the Horde first reached these frozen wastes, but the champions of Azeroth continue to march forward -- and Icecrown Citadel, the cornerstone of the Scourge's power and the home base of the Lich King, is their final target. Tirion Fordring and the Argent Crusade have forged an accord with Darion Mograine and the Knights of the Ebon Blade to form the Ashen Verdict. This coalition's strongest combatants, along with the champions of the Alliance and the Horde, will lead the charge against the citadel. In the new Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon, Azeroth's mightiest will face terrifying challenges before ascending to the Frozen Throne, where the Lich King and his runeblade, Frostmourne, await to deliver the heroes to their deaths....

Cross-Realm Dungeon Finder

The Dungeon Finder is now available, providing players with quick and easy access to five-player parties. This feature connects all realms within a battlegroup using an advanced matchmaking system, making it easier for players of all levels to find a dungeon group. In addition, players can reap additional rewards through the Dungeon Finder by choosing the Random option, which is available to both pick-up and pre-formed groups. Check out the User Interface section for more details.

Getting Started and Quest Tracking

A number of changes have been made to World of Warcraft's introductory experience, including updated character and class information at the character-selection screen, more robust tooltips with images, improved health and mana regeneration at lower levels, and adjustments to various classes designed to make it easier for players to get started. In addition, all-new quest-tracking features have been added to assist players in finding objectives, including new interface functionality in the quest log, the map ("M" key), and the Objectives pane.

General

  • Icecrown Citadel
    • Three separate 5-player dungeons -- The Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of Reflection -- containing all new challenges and missions of discovery, await players in normal and Heroic modes.
    • 10- and 25-player challenges await players in Icecrown Citadel. Only when all challenges have been overcome in the raid dungeon can players unlock hard modes for individual bosses. For more information on how the Icecrown Citadel raid content will be made available, please visit our Dungeons & Raids forum.
  • Character Creation: The descriptions for races, classes, and race/class combinations have been improved to provide new players with a better idea of the roles and advantages of each class and race.
  • Dazed: Creatures attacking a player from behind can no longer cause players level 1-5 to be dazed, and have a reduced chance to cause players level 6-10 to be dazed.
  • Knockbacks no longer dismount players. If on a flying mount, you will be knocked back a short distance before being able to resume flying.
  • The existing /welcome emote now greets/welcomes targets (character says "hello"), while the new /yw is for saying "you're welcome."
  • Many of the tail sweeps with knockback effects will no longer hit players' pets.
  • Level 1 characters no longer start with food or water in their inventory.
  • Attack is now called Auto Attack. The tooltip has been changed to reflect that the player will continue automatically attacking a target.
  • Meeting Stones: To use any Meeting Stone, it is only required that the character's minimum level be 15. There is no maximum character level requirement for any Meeting Stone.

Classes: General

  • Area-of-Effect Damage Caps: We've redesigned the way area damage is capped when hitting many targets. Instead of a hard cap on total damage done, the game now caps the total damage done at a value equal to the damage the spell would do if it hit 10 targets. In other words, if a spell does 1000 damage to each target, it would hit up to 10 targets for 1000 each, but with more than 10 targets, each target would take 1000 damage divided by the number of targets. 20 targets would be hit for 500 damage each in that example.
  • Attack: Level 1 druids, mages, priests, and warlocks will no longer start with the Attack button placed on their action bars by default.
  • Default Equipment: Starting weapons are now more uniform. Rogues now start with a pair of daggers equipped. All other classes except shamans start with a 2-handed weapon equipped and the required skill already known. Shamans start with a 1-handed weapon and a shield, as they benefit more from the shield than they would from a 2-handed weapon.
  • Glancing Blows: The mage, warlock, and priest classes no longer have an increased chance for their melee attacks to be glancing blows; and the damage penalty due to their glancing blows is the same as for other classes.
  • Health and Mana Regeneration: These regeneration rates have been increased by up to 200% for low level characters. As a player's level increases, the regeneration rates gradually reduce, returning to normal rates at level 15.
  • Pet Resilience: All player pets now get 100% of their master's resilience.
  • Spell Mana Costs: These costs have been reduced for almost all lower level spell ranks. In general, if a spell decreased in cost with a higher level rank in patch 3.2.0, that spell now has the decreased cost at all ranks. In addition, spells learned before level 20 with reduced cast times and/or durations have even further reduced mana costs, proportionate to their reduction in cast time or damage.
  • Taunt Diminishing Returns: We've revised the system for diminishing returns on Taunt so that creatures do not become immune to Taunt until after 5 Taunts have landed. The duration of the Taunt effect will be reduced by 35% instead of 50% for each taunt landed. In addition, most creatures in the world will not be affected by Taunt diminishing returns at all. Creatures will only have Taunt diminishing returns if they have been specifically flagged for that behavior based on the design of a given encounter.

Races: General

  • Orc and troll shamans now have their own unique totem art.
  • Racial Attribute Bonuses: These bonuses have been recalibrated to even out the amount of starting health on the various races. All races start with a standardized level of stamina, except for orcs, dwarves, and tauren who now start with 1 extra point of stamina. For each class, bonuses and penalties to all attributes have been adjusted so that each race has an equal attribute total.
  • Will of the Forsaken now shares a 45-second cooldown with similar effects, including the Medallion of the Horde, Titan-Forged runes, Insignia of the Horde, etc.

PvP

  • Arenas
    • All abilities that have base cooldowns of 10 minutes or longer cannot be used in Arenas, down from 15 minutes.
  • Battlegrounds
    • Battleground Experience: Battleground experience gained is now based on the level of the player gaining experience, rather than the highest possible player level in that Battleground.
    • All level 71-80 Battleground daily quests will now award 25 Arena points in addition to their current rewards.
  • Wintergrasp
    • You must now have the following ranks to build or pilot siege vehicles:
      • Rank 2: Build/pilot Catapults.
      • Rank 3: Build/pilot Demolishers.
      • Rank 3: Build/pilot Siege Engines.

Dungeons & Raids

  • Naxxramas
    • Players no longer need to kill the final bosses in all four wings of this dungeon in order to teleport to Sapphiron. Teleportation orbs have been added to allow players access back and forth from Sapphiron's lair.
  • Oculus
    • Azure Ring Guardians agro distance changed from 50 to 40 yards.
    • Many bosses and creatures have had their total health reduced.
    • Several bosses and creatures have had cooldowns on specific abilities increased, effect durations reduced, and damage on some of these abilities reduced.
    • Ring-Lord Conjurers and Sorceresses now hang out in packs of 4 instead of packs of 5.
    • Vehicle scaling on the drakes based on the rider's item level has been increased to make them more powerful.

Death Knights

  • Army of the Dead: The cooldown on this ability has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Army Ghoul damage dropped by 50%. Cannot be used in Arenas.
  • Raise Ally: The cooldown on this ability has been reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
  • Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle: There is now a 1-handed version of this rune in addition to the current 2-handed rune.
  • Rune Strike: Threat generated by this ability increased by approximately 17%.
  • Talents
    • Unholy
      • Night of the Dead: Now reduces the damage your pet takes from area-of-effect damage by 45/90%, but no longer applies to area-of-effect damage caused by other players. In addition, this talent now reduces the cooldown of Army of the Dead by 2/4 minutes, down from 5/10 minutes.
      • Scourge Strike: Redesigned. The base ability now deals 50% weapon damage plus an additional amount as physical damage. However, for each disease the death knight has on the target, the target will take additional shadow damage equal to 25% of the physical damage done.
      • Unholy Blight: This talent now deals only 10% of Death Coil damage as a damage-over-time effect on the target.

Druids

  • Prowl: This ability no longer has multiple ranks and penalizes movement speed by 30%.
  • Rebirth: The cooldown on this spell has been lowered from 20 minutes down to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
  • Rejuvenation: The base duration on all ranks of this spell is now 15 seconds.
  • Tranquility: The cooldown on this spell has been reduced to 8 minutes, down from 10 minutes.
  • Talents
    • Balance
      • Eclipse: This effect will not activate again within 15 seconds of either type of Eclipse effect firing, in addition to the existing 30-second cooldown for each type of Eclipse. In addition, Eclipse now grants a 40% critical strike chance to Starfire and 40% increased damage to Wrath, up from 30%.
      • Force of Nature: Health on the treants has been increased.
    • Feral Combat
      • Predatory Strikes: The Predatory Swiftness buff from this talent now has an 8-second duration.
    • Restoration
      • Gift of the Earthmother: Redesigned. This talent now increases spell haste by 2/4/6/8/10% and reduces the base global cooldown of Lifebloom by 2/4/6/8/10% instead of its previous effects.
  • Pets
    • Avoidance (passive): Now reduces the damage your pets take from area-of-effect damage by 90%, but no longer applies to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.

Hunters

  • Call Stabled Pet: Cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
  • Deterrence: Now also increases the chance for ranged attacks to miss the hunter by 100% while under its effect.
  • Misdirection: Redesigned. Instead of having finite charges, it now begins a 4-second timer when the hunter using Misdirection performs a threat-generating attack, during which all threat generated by the hunter goes to the friendly target. In addition, multiple hunters can now misdirect threat to the same friendly target simultaneously.
  • Talents
    • Beast Mastery
      • Intimidation: If the hunter's pet is in melee range of its target, the stun from Intimidation will now be applied immediately instead of on the pet's next swing or attack.
  • Pets
    • Avoidance: This talent has been replaced by Culling the Herd. Hunter pets now innately take 90% less damage from area-of-effect abilities like all other class pets. This does not apply to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
    • Cower: Redesigned. This ability no longer affects threat, and instead reduces damage taken by the pet by 40% for 6 seconds with a 45-second cooldown. While cowering, the pet's movement speed is 50% of normal speed. Cower now only has a single rank and is available at pet level 20.
    • Culling the Herd: This pet talent has replaced the Avoidance talent in the pet trees (Hunter pets now gain that benefit automatically without expenditure of talent points). Culling the Herd increases pet and hunter damage by 1/2/3% for 10 seconds each time the pet deals a critical strike with Claw, Bite, or Smack.
    • Demoralizing Screech: The attack power reduction from this ability has been increased by 40%, equaling the maximum possible attack power reduction from the abilities of other classes.
    • Improved Cower: Redesigned. This ability now reduces the movement penalty of Cower by 50%/100%.
    • Pet Leveling: Hunter pets now need only 5% of the experience a player needs to level, down from 10%.
    • Venom Web Spray: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
    • Web: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
    • Wolverine Bite: This talent is now enabled when the pet lands a critical strike rather than from the target dodging the pet's attacks. In addition, this talent no longer has a prerequisite.

Mages

  • Talents
    • Arcane
      • Arcane Empowerment: This talent now also grants 1/2/3% increased damage done by the mage's party or raid for 10 seconds after the mage gets a critical strike with Arcane Explosion, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Barrage, or Arcane Blast. This effect is exclusive with Ferocious Inspiration and Sanctified Retribution.
    • Fire
      • Blast Wave: The mana cost of this talent has been significantly reduced.
      • Burning Determination: The duration of interrupt immunity granted by this talent is now 20 seconds.
      • Dragon's Breath: The mana cost of this talent has been significantly reduced.
      • Firestarter: When this talent is triggered, it makes the next Flamestrike cost no mana in addition to being instant.
      • Improved Scorch: The debuff from this talent no longer stacks, and instead can apply the full effect from a single cast of Scorch.
    • Frost
      • Deep Freeze: This spell now deals a large amount of damage to targets permanently immune to stuns. In addition, when this ability deals damage it will no longer consume two charges of Fingers of Frost for those mages with the Shatter talent.
      • Fingers of Frost: This talent now triggers immediately on casting a spell rather than being delayed until the spell strikes the target.
  • Pets
    • Avoidance (passive): Now reduces the damage your pets take from area-of-effect damage by 90%, but no longer applies to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
    • Mirror Image: Health on the mirror images has been increased.
    • Water Elemental: Waterbolt mana cost reduced by 80%.

Paladins

  • Divine Intervention: This ability now also removes Exhaustion or Sated from a target if the recipient is out of combat when the effect ends. In addition, the cooldown on this ability has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
  • Flash of Light: This spell no longer causes a heal-over-time effect unless the player has the Infusion of Light talent.
  • Lay on Hands: This ability will place Forbearance on the paladin if used on his or herself. It will not place Forbearance on others.
  • Talents
    • Holy
      • Aura Mastery: This effect of this talent has been reduced in duration to 6 seconds.
      • Infusion of Light: This talent now causes the paladin's Flash of Light spells to heal the target for 50/100% of the Flash of Light healing amount over 12 seconds.
    • Protection
      • Divine Guardian: This talent no longer increases the amount of damage transferred to the paladin from Divine Sacrifice. Instead it causes all raid and party members to take 10/20% reduced damage while Divine Sacrifice is active. In addition, the duration has been changed to 6 seconds, however the effect does not terminate when Divine Sacrifice is removed before its full duration.
      • Divine Sacrifice: Redesigned. The effect of Divine Sacrifice is now party-only and the maximum damage which can be transferred is now limited to 40% of the paladin's health multiplied by the number of party members. In addition, the bug which allowed Divine Sacrifice to sometimes persist despite reaching its maximum damage has been fixed. Divine Sacrifice will now cancel as soon as its maximum damage value is exceeded in all cases. Finally, damage which reduces the paladin's health below 20% now cancels the effect early.
    • Retribution
      • Repentance: This crowd control effect will no longer break early from the damage done by Righteous Vengeance.

Priests

  • Divine Hymn: The cooldown on this spell has been reduced to 8 minutes, down from 10 minutes.
  • Power Word: Shield: This spell can now be cast on non-raid/party friendly targets.
  • Talents
    • Shadow
      • Improved Devouring Plague: This spell now deals 10/20/30% of its total periodic effect instantly, up from 5/10/15%.
      • Mind Flay: The range of this ability has been increased to 30 yards, up from 20.
      • Shadowform: This talent also now causes Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch to benefit from haste. Both the period length and the duration of these spells will be reduced by haste. In addition, the mana cost has been reduced from 32% to 13% of base mana.
      • Vampiric Embrace: This talent now provides a 30-minute buff that cannot be dispelled, instead of a target debuff and only generates healing for single-target shadow damage spells.
  • Pet
    • Avoidance (passive): Now reduces the damage your pet takes from area-of-effect damage by 90%, but no longer applies to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.

Rogues

  • Deadly Poison: In addition to its existing effects, when a rogue applies Deadly Poison to a target which has already reached the maximum number of applications, this will also trigger the poison which the rogue is using on his or her other weapon.
  • Dual Wield: Rogues now know this ability upon logging into the game at level 1.
  • Stealth: This ability no longer has multiple ranks. While active, the single rank of this ability (available at level 1) allows rogues to move at 70% movement speed.
  • Talents
    • Assassination
      • Improved Poisons: Bonus chance to trigger Deadly Poison from this talent increased.
      • Murder: This talent now provides a flat damage increase of 2/4% against all targets, instead of only targets which do not appear in Icecrown.
    • Subtlety
      • Preparation: The cooldown on this ability has been reduced to 8 minutes, down from 10 minutes.
      • Filthy Tricks: The cooldown reduction this talent provides for Preparation has been reduced to 1.5/3 minutes, down from 2.5/5 minutes.

Shamans

  • Earth Elemental Totem: The cooldown for this totem has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
  • Fire Elemental Totem: The cooldown for this totem has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
  • Fire Nova Totem: This totem has been replaced with a new spell, Fire Nova, which is available at the same ranks as the old Fire Nova Totem. Existing characters will automatically learn this new spell in place of the totem. With a Fire Totem active, shamans will be able to use Fire Nova (fire magic) to emit the same area-of-effect damage as the old Fire Nova Totem from the active Fire Totem, not consuming the totem in the process. Fire Nova will activate a 1.5-second global cooldown when used and has a 10-second spell cooldown. The caster must be within 30 yards of the totem to use this ability, but does not need to be within line of sight of the totem.
  • Reincarnation: The cooldown on this spell has been lowered from 60 minutes down to 30 minutes.
  • Talents
    • Elemental Combat
      • Elemental Mastery: This talent now increases spell haste by 15% instead of critical strike chance while active.
      • Improved Fire Nova Totem: Renamed Improved Fire Nova. This talent now provides an additional 10/20% damage to the spell and reduces the cooldown by 2/4 seconds.
    • Enhancement
      • Earth's Grasp: This talent now also reduces the cooldown of the Stoneclaw and Earthbind totems by 15/30%.
    • Restoration
      • Improved Reincarnation: This talent now reduces the cooldown of Reincarnation by 7/15 minutes, down from 10/20 minutes. Reincarnation cannot be used in Arenas.

Warlocks

  • Create Soulstone: The cooldown on this spell and duration of its buff have been lowered from 30 minutes down to 15 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
  • Talents
    • Affliction
      • Improved Drain Soul: This talent now reduces threat by 10%/20%, up from 5%/10%.
      • Improved Felhunter: This talent now also reduces the cooldown on the felhunter's Shadow Bite ability by 2/4 seconds.
      • Shadow Mastery: This talent now also increases the damage done by the felhunter's Shadow Bite ability by 3/6/9/12/15%.
    • Demonology
      • Decimation: Redesigned. When Shadowbolt, Incinerate or Soul Fire hit a target that is at or below 35% health, the cast time of Soul Fire is reduced by 20/40% for 8 seconds. Soul Fires cast under the effect of Decimation cost no shards.
      • Demonic Pact: This talent now also increases the warlock's spell damage by 1/2/3/4/5%.
      • Molten Core: Redesigned. This talent now increases the duration of Immolate by 3/6/9 seconds and provides a 4/8/12% chance to gain the Molten Core effect when Corruption deals damage. The Molten Core effect empowers the next 3 Incinerate or Soul Fire spells cast within 15 seconds (Incinerate: increases damage done by 6/12/18% and reduces cast time by 10/20/30%; Soul Fire: increases damage done by 6/12/18% and increases critical strike chance by 5/10/15%). Molten Core now has a new spell effect.
    • Destruction
      • Conflagrate: Redesigned. This talent now consumes an Immolate or Shadowflame effect on the enemy target to instantly deal damage equal to 9 seconds of Immolate or 8 seconds of Shadowflame, and causes additional damage over 3 seconds equal to 3 seconds of Immolate or 2 seconds of Shadowflame. In addition, the periodic damage of Conflagrate is capable of critically striking the afflicted target.
      • Destructive Reach: This talent now reduces threat by 10%/20%, up from 5%/10%.
      • Ruin: This talent now also increases the critical strike damage bonus of the imp's Firebolt spell by 100%.
  • Pets
    • Avoidance (passive): Now reduces the damage your pets take from area-of-effect damage by 90%, but no longer applies to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
    • Doomguard/Infernal: These pets now innately have Avoidance like all other warlock pets.
    • Inferno: The cooldown on this summoning spell has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
    • Shadow Bite: This pet ability now does 15% increased damage for each of the warlock's damage-over-time effects on the target.
    • Summon Imp: This ability is now available from the trainer for level 1 warlocks and no longer requires a quest to learn.

Warriors

  • Victory Rush: This ability is now trainable at level 6.
  • Talents
    • Protection
      • Damage Shield: This ability will no longer trigger any chance-on-hit effects from the warrior or the opponent it damages.

User Interface

  • Many of the default Interface Options settings have been changed for greater ease of use by new players. Existing players who create new characters may want to review the Interface Options in the event that the default settings feel different.
  • Quest Tracking Feature
    • Players can now track quest objectives on the map ('M' key).
    • Quest Log
      • A Show Map button has been added to the Quest Log. Selecting a quest and pressing this button will open the map for the zone in which the quest objective is located displaying the associated area of interest. Any other active quests in a player's Quest Log for that zone will also be displayed.
    • Map
      • The map interface has been separated into four separate panes: a map pane (left), a pane listing active quest names for the zone being viewed (right), a pane listing the full quest text for any highlighted quest (bottom left), and a pane listing the quest rewards for any highlighted quest (bottom right).
      • All active quests listed in the right pane for the zone being viewed on the map will be assigned a number. These numbers will be displayed on the map according to the areas of interest for each quest.
      • Highlighting a quest name in the right pane will highlight the corresponding area of interest on the map in the left pane, show its quest text in the lower left pane, and list the quest rewards in the lower right pane.
      • Given that some quest objectives can be achieved in multiple locations within a given zone, highlighting such a quest will highlight an area of interest closest in proximity to the character's current location.
      • This feature can be disabled by un-checking the Show Quest Objectives box in the bottom right corner of the new map interface, restoring the map to its standard full-screen display.
      • Clicking on the arrow in the top right corner of the new map interface will hide all but the map pane, bringing the map out of full-screen mode and allowing players to leave it open while navigating a zone or engaging in combat.
    • Objectives Tracking
      • This frame has been improved to offer new functionality and can be used with the new shrunken map option.
      • The Objectives frame is now docked below the mini-map next to the right 2 action bars and will track up to 10 quests for a zone.
      • Numbers have been added next to each quest name and objective corresponding with those areas of interest displayed on the map.
      • If a quest objective has been completed, the number will be replaced with a yellow question mark symbol.
      • The arrow button in the top right corner of the Objectives frame can be used to toggle between minimizing and maximizing the quest objective display.
    • Quest Difficulty Tracking
      • This feature is off by default and can be enabled in the Objectives window from the Interface Options menu. Turning this feature on will color-code all quest names displayed in the map interface according to difficulty (grey, green, yellow, orange, and red).
  • Dungeon Finder
    • This feature has replaced the Looking For Group tool and provides all-new dungeon party creation functionality.
      • Players can join as individuals, as a full group, or a partial group to look for additional party members.
      • Groups using this tool will be able to teleport directly to the selected instance. Upon leaving the instance, players will be returned to their original location. If any party member needs to temporarily leave the instance for reagents or repairs, they will have the option to teleport back to the instance.
      • Players can choose the Random Dungeon option.
        • The Heroic Wrath of the Lich King Daily Random Dungeon option will award two Emblems of Frost no more than once a day.
        • The normal Wrath of the Lich King Daily Random Dungeon option will award two Emblems of Triumph no more than once a day.
        • Continuing to complete Wrath of the Lich King Heroic instances using the Daily Random Dungeon option will award players two additional Emblems of Triumph each time.
        • Daily Heroic and normal dungeon quests have been removed. These quests have been replaced with weekly raid quests (see the "Quests" section for details).
        • Level-appropriate rewards will be offered to players who choose the Random Dungeon option for pre-Wrath of the Lich King dungeons.
        • Players can be placed in a group for a random dungeon no more than once every 15 minutes.
        • Random Dungeon rewards will be placed in each player's inventory automatically upon completion of the dungeon (final boss killed). A pop-up notification will display any rewards earned through the Dungeon Finder.
      • Instead of choosing a random dungeon, players can also choose specific dungeons appropriate for their level range. Multiple instances can be selected at one time. The feature no longer limits the choice to look for only 3 dungeon groups at one time.
      • Pick-Up Groups
        • Cross-realm instances are now available and use an improved matchmaking system to assist players in looking for additional party members. As with Battlegrounds, the realms in each Battlegroup are connected.
        • As part of the matchmaking system, some of the more difficult dungeons will have a minimum gear requirement. Players also need to meet the requirements for dungeons that require attunement, such as keys or quests. If a player does not meet the requirements for a particular dungeon, a lock icon will be displayed next to that dungeon. Hovering over this icon will display the requirements which have not been met.
        • Only conjured items and loot dropped in a dungeon for which other party members are eligible can be traded between players from different realms.
        • A Vote Kick feature will be available in the event a member of a party is not performing to the expectations of the other members.
        • Players who leave the group prematurely are subject to a Deserter debuff preventing them from using the Dungeon Finder for 15 minutes.
        • If an existing group loses a member, the leader will be asked if he or she wants to continue the dungeon. Choosing to continue will automatically place the group back into the Dungeon Finder queue.
        • A Player will not be placed in a group with people on his or her Ignore list.
        • Players who take part in groups who have one or more members who have been matched with them randomly from within the Dungeon Finder will receive extra rewards, up to and including the coveted Perky Pug non-combat pet. The more random players with whom one groups, the faster the pet can be obtained.
        • The Need Before Greed loot system will be the unalterable default looting system for pick-up groups in the Dungeon Finder and has been updated.
          • Need Before Greed will now recognize gear appropriate for a class in three ways: the class must be able to equip the item, pure melee will be unable to roll on spell power items, and classes are limited to their dominant armor type (ex. paladins for plate). All items will still be available via Greed rolls as well as the new Disenchant option should no member be able to use the item.
          • Players will be able to roll on items with a required minimum level higher than a player's current level.
  • Looking For Raid
    • There is a new Looking For Raid option available to players that can be accessed via the Raid Information screen in the interface or by typing "/LFR."
      • Players will be able to browse the system manually for any other players looking for a raid dungeon group.
      • While browsing LFR players may sort the list ascending or descending by left-clicking the following headers: Name, Level, Class, Tank Role, Healer Role, and Damage Role. The crown is the Leader Role (representing a raid group with 2 or more people). Players can left-click on this header to sort the list with groups at the top or at the bottom.
      • Hovering over players listed in LFR will display their name, class, level, roles and comments. Hovering over a raid/group will display the leader's name, the raid information (number of people in the raid), comments, if there are any bosses dead (and which ones), and if there are any friends from your Friends list or ignored players from your Ignore list in the raid group.
  • The Looking For Group chat channel has returned and can be accessed in all major cities (similar to the Trade chat channel) without the use of the Dungeon Finder interface.
  • Players may only be queued or listed in one of the following systems at a time: Dungeons, LFR, Battlegrounds, or Arenas.
  • Ignore List: The amount of characters a person can ignore has been increased to 50. In addition, players on other realms can be placed on the Ignore list.
  • Buffs and Debuffs: This is a new section added to Interface Options.
    • New option - Castable Debuffs: Enabling this will cause only debuffs you have cast on an enemy target to appear.
    • New option - Consolidate Buffs: Enabling this adds a buff consolidation box near the mini-map. Very short term buffs (e.g. Replenishment) and very long term buffs (e.g. Prayer of Fortitude) are filtered into the buff box. The icons are stacked here, but they can still be seen by moving the mouse cursor over the buff box. Long term buffs will move out of the box when they are about to expire. Buffs such as important procs (e.g. Art of War, Maelstrom Weapon), cooldowns (e.g. Bloodlust / Heroism, Combustion) or limited in range (e.g. totems and paladin auras) are always displayed.
  • Tutorial System: The tutorial pop-ups are now larger, contain images, and better try to direct players to the relevant locations or user interface elements on the screen. In addition, several new tips have been added, while some existing tips will now appear at more appropriate times for new players.
  • Dungeon & Raid Difficult Display: A group's dungeon or raid difficulty setting will now be displayed via an icon off of the mini-map.
  • Group Disenchanting Option: In addition to rolling Need or Greed on items, players now have the option to elect for an item to be disenchanted if an enchanter of the appropriate skill level is in the group. Disenchant works exactly like Greed except if a player wins the Greed roll, they will receive the disenchanted materials instead. Players who choose Need will always win the item and will always beat those that choose Greed or Disenchant.
  • Lag Reports: Players can now report high latency or lag by accessing the Help Request menu.
  • Unit Nameplates
    • The range at which players can see unit nameplates has been increased by 40 yards.
    • Unit nameplates are now subject to line-of-sightlimitations in certain situations (this does not pertain to objects like Arena pillars or bridges).
    • Players can now adjust select unit nameplate display settings listed below under Interface Options via the Names tab.
      • Friendly/enemy pet nameplates can be toggled.
      • Enemy totem nameplates can be toggled (friendly totem nameplates are never displayed).
      • Players can choose whether or not unit nameplates overlap.
    • Unit nameplates for critters are never displayed.
  • Non spell-based tracking now persists through logout.
  • Any party member may mark targets (this does not apply to raid groups).
  • Players will be warned when their talents are reset due to a new patch.
  • "/Settitle" command has been added.
  • Instant quest text is on by default.
  • Tentative status added for calendar responses.
  • Players below level 10 may not join raids.
  • Ignore list expanded to 50 to match the friends list.
  • Unit frames added for special encounters.
  • Interface element added next to the mini-map to show what dungeon you are in (ex: 10- and 25-player Heroic dungeons marked with a skull).
  • Experience earned for a quest will display in the Quest Rewards section.
  • Confirmation box added when buying stable slots.
  • Macro Changes
    • Symbol "@" added as a synonym for "target=". For example: "/cast [@focus] Flash Heal".
    • New macro conditionals: "vehicleui" (if the player has a vehicle UI) and "unithasvehicleui" (if the target of the macro has a vehicle UI).
  • Addon Author Changes
    • "registerForClicks" added to XML buttons.
    • "MouseIsOver" has been converted to a "C" function for increased efficiency (e.g. /dump PlayerFrame:IsMouseOver() ).
    • When an addon file is loaded, the addon name and an addon table are passed to the file through '...'. The same addon table is passed to every file loaded by a particular TOC file (example at the top of a Lua file: "local addonName, addonTable = ...;".
    • "motionScriptsWhileDisabled" attribute added to buttons. This allows "OnEnter" and "OnLeave" to fire while the button is disabled.
    • "GetFileHeight()" and "GetFileWidth()" added to Texture objects. 0 is returned if no texture file is associated with the texture.
    • You can now query for a list of completed quests with "QueryQuestsCompleted()" then wait for the "QUEST_QUERY_COMPLETE" event, and call "etQuestsCompleted()".
  • For additional notes on Lua and XML changes please visit the UI & Macros forum.

Graphics

  • A new feature has been added to the D3D graphics engine to improve texture management (particularly for Windows XP users). If you are experiencing random crashes related to file read errors or out of memory, this new backend may help. To enable the new backend, add the following line to your Config.WTF file: SET gxApi "d3d9ex". For more information please visit our Technical Support forum.

Professions

  • Enchanting
    • Enchant Weapon - Black Magic: This enchantment now sometimes increases haste rating for the caster rather than inflicting the caster's target with a damage-over-time effect. It is also now triggered by landing any harmful spell rather than inflicting damage with a spell.
    • Enchant Weapon - Unholy: This enchantment now inflicts Shadow damage in addition to its original effect.
  • First Aid
    • The training costs for most bandages have been reduced.
  • Fishing
    • The all-new Kalu'ak Fishing Derby, a test of fishing skill with a healthy dash of luck, has come to Northrend! Every Saturday beginning at 2 PM players can try to catch the elusive Blacktip Shark. Elder Clearwater sits in Dalaran for one hour awaiting the return of the quickest, most experienced fisher to bring him this shark. This champion fisher will be rewarded in-kind for returning with the first catch. Those who aren't able to return with the first catch will still receive just reward for getting the Blacktip Shark to Elder Clearwater before he takes his leave. It is said that these sharks' favorite meal are the bite-sized Pygmy Suckerfish. Perhaps a hook in their waters will do the trick.
  • Mining
    • Enchanted Thorium: This ability now uses the Mining skill and is learned from trainers at a skill level of 250.

Quests

  • Weekly raid quests are now available from Archmage Lan'dalock in Dalaran. Every Tuesday at 3 AM the Council of Six will choose a different strategic target that must die from either: The Obsidian Sanctum, Naxxramas, The Eye of Eternity, Ulduar, Trial of the Crusader, or Icecrown Citadel.
  • For the various Icecrown Bomber quests at Aldur'thar: The Desolation Gate, players can now choose to eject from their bomber seats mid-run. If you do so, a rescue vehicle will transport your character back to the safety of your infra-green platform.
  • Azure Drakes and Dragons will now attack back when attacked by characters not riding Wyrmrest Defenders.
  • Brittle Revenants, quest creatures fought for the Sons of Hodir daily quest "Hot and Cold," no longer cast Shield Slam.

Achievements

  • The Achievements to get exalted with the Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and Alterac Valley factions have been removed from their respective "Master of" Meta-Achievements. Special titles will be offered to those who reach exalted with these factions.
  • "The Party's Over" has been removed from Achievements and is no longer a part of the "Glory of the Hero" Meta-Achievement.
  • "Master Angler of Stranglethorn" has been changed to "Master Angler of Azeroth" and can be achieved by winning either the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby or the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza.

Reputation

  • Commendation Badges which award reputation with various Wrath of the Lich King factions can be purchased with Emblems of Triumph in Dalaran. Each badge costs 1 Emblem of Triumph.
  • Gaining reputation with the Ashen Verdict in Icecrown Citadel will grant players access to upgradeable rings from Ormus the Penitent. Players can switch between the type of ring (melee/caster/tank/healer) at any point in the upgrade path for 200g.
  • The following reputations have been sped up by roughly 30%:
    • Argent Crusade
    • Alliance Vanguard
    • Horde Expedition
    • Kirin Tor
    • Knights of the Ebon Blade
    • Sons of Hodir
    • Wyrmrest Accord
  • Sons of Hodir quests now give more reputation overall.
  • Top-level helm and shoulder faction-related enchants are now available as Bind-on-Account items that do not require any faction to use once purchased (they still require the appropriate faction level to purchase).

Items

  • Arena Set Bonuses: The two-piece set bonus for all Wrath of the Lich King Arena sets now provides 100 resilience and 29 spell power or 50 attack power. The current four-piece bonus will remain, however it also now provides 88 spell power or 150 attack power.
  • Bind-on-Account Items: Players can now mail Bind-on-Account items to characters on the same account and realm regardless of faction. Please note this only applies to Bind-on-Account items. Other items or gold cannot be sent via mail to characters on the same realm and account if they are from differing factions.
  • Death Knight Tier-9 4-Piece Bonus (Damage-Dealing): This set bonus no longer grants Frost Fever a chance to be a critical strike. It still grants that possibility to Blood Plague.
  • Glyphs
    • Death Knights
      • Glyph of Icy Touch: Instead of granting additional runic power, this glyph now causes Frost Fever to deal 20% additional damage.
    • Druids
      • Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation: This glyph allows for the druid's haste to reduce the time between the periodic healing effects of Rejuvenation.
    • Mages
      • Glyph of Improved Scorch: Renamed Glyph of Scorch. This glyph now increases the damage of Scorch by 20%.
      • Glyph of Eternal Water: This glyph allows for a summoned Water Elemental to last indefinitely, but it can no longer cast Freeze.
    • Priests
      • Glyph of Mind Flay: This glyph now increases the damage done by Mind Flay by 10% when the target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain.
      • Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain: The periodic damage ticks of Shadow Word: Pain now restore 1% of the priest's base mana with this glyph.
      • Glyph of Shadow: While in Shadowform, this glyph causes non-periodic spell critical strikes to increase spell power by 30%, up from 10%, of the priest's total spirit for 10 seconds.
    • Shamans
      • Glyph of Fire Nova Totem: Renamed Glyph of Fire Nova. This glyph now reduces the cooldown of Fire Nova by 3 seconds.
    • Warlocks
      • Glyph of Life Tap: The effect of this glyph now has a chance of activating when Dark Pact is used.
      • Glyph of Quick Decay: This glyph allows for the warlock's haste to reduce the time between periodic damage effects of Corruption.
    • Warriors
      • Glyph of Victory Rush: This glyph now increases the critical strike chance of Victory Rush by 30%, regardless of the percentage of the target's remaining health.
  • Haris Pilton now sells a new 24-slot bag! She has stubbornly decided to remain in Shattrath City, so those interested should seek her out there.
  • Hatchlings: Leaping, Darting, Razormaw, and Ravasaur Hatchlings no longer drop from their associated rare creatures. Instead, there are now rare nests that spawn which contain these hatchlings. For example, the Leaping Hatchling can now be found in Takk's Nest rather than as a drop from Takk the Leaper.
  • Icecrown Citadel Items: Normal and Heroic versions of Icecrown Citadel rings and trinkets are considered Unique-Equipped and cannot be used at the same time.
  • Sceptor of Celebras: Since this item is no longer needed as a key, Celebras will no longer give one out to a player who loses it. The item can now be sold or disenchanted as normal.
  • Shaman Tier-9 4-Piece Set Bonus (Elemental): This set bonus now does an additional 10% of Lava Burst's initial damage over time instead of increasing the size of the Lava Burst.

Bug Fixes

  • Items
    • Ancient Pickled Egg: This item can no longer be triggered by Life Tap.
    • Brutal Hauberk: The tooltip on this item no longer references granting energy (as energy-based classes cannot equip it).
    • Costumes: Various costumes from holidays, items, and quests that previously were cancelled by getting on a mount will now cause an error message when the player attempts to mount instead of cancelling the costume.
    • Carapace of the Old God: Now tradable using the Bind-on-Pickup trade system.
    • Crystalforged Trinket: Can now be refunded at its vendor.
    • Dragonslayer Set: No longer displays a duration on the Nature's Ally buff.
    • Drums of the Forgotten Kings: The buff from this item will no longer be cancelled when the player who used the item swaps talent specializations.
    • Drums of the Wild: The buff from this item will no longer be cancelled when the player who used the item swaps talent specializations.
    • Eating and Drinking: Eating and drinking are now cancelled and prevented while in a vehicle as a passenger.
    • Figurine: Emerald Owl: Now grants mana properly to druids in Bear Form, Cat Form, and Dire Bear Form.
    • Figurine: Talasite Owl: Now grants mana properly to druids in Bear Form, Cat Form, and Dire Bear Form.
    • Fire Hardened Hauberk: The tooltip on this item no longer references granting energy (as energy-based classes cannot equip it).
    • Giantstalker Set: No longer displays a duration on the Nature's Ally buff.
    • Gul'dan's Regalia Set: Tooltip corrected to indicate increased damage for all pet attacks, not just abilities.
    • Husk of the Old God: Now tradable using the Bind-on-Pickup trade system.
    • Idol of Flaring Growth: Now has a detailed combat log tooltip.
    • Idol of Lunar Fury: Now has a detailed Combat log tooltip.
    • Idol of The Corruptor: Now has a detailed Combat log tooltip.
    • Insignia of the Alliance: Item level changed to 60.
    • Insignia of the Horde: Item level changed to 60.
    • Level 58 PvP Items: A variety of PvP items with a minimum level of 58 were not being translated properly when a player used the Paid Faction Change service. That has been corrected. Paladin- and shaman-specific items still will not be translated, as there is no opposite version to translate them into.
    • Liadrin's Plate Set: No longer incorrectly reduces the cooldown on Divine Shield.
    • Lightning Capacitor: Combat log tooltip for Electrical Charge updated to include more detailed information.
    • Nightsong Regalia Set: The bonus to Rejuvenation from this set will now work properly with the Idol of Rejuvenation equipped. In addition, the instant heal provided now has a correct combat log tooltip.
    • Noggenfogger Elixir: Players shrunk while under the effects of this item will now be able to mount.
    • Quel'dorei Channeling Rod: Spelling error corrected.
    • Quel'dorei Sash: Spelling error corrected.
    • Quel'dorei Guard: Spelling error corrected.
    • Qiraji Bindings of Command: Now tradable using the Bind-on-Pickup trade system.
    • Qiraji Bindings of Dominance: Now tradable using the Bind-on-Pickup trade system.
    • Reclaimed Shadowstrike: No longer has a cooldown to create Reclaimed Thunderstrike.
    • Reinforced Shadowstrike: No longer has a cooldown to create Reinforced Thunderstrike.
    • Reins of the Swift Frostsaber: The mount learned from this item no longer triggers a global cooldown.
    • Runescroll of Fortitude: The buff from this item will no longer be cancelled when the player who used the item swaps talent specializations.
    • Seaspray Albatross: Now grants mana properly to druids in Bear Form, Cat Form, and Dire Bear Form.
    • Sigil of Virulence: Now has a detailed combat log tooltip.
    • Solace of the Defeated: Can no longer be triggered by spells with a base cost of 0.
    • Solace of the Fallen: Can no longer be triggered by spells with a base cost of 0.
    • Spirit of Eskhandar Set: This set no longer requires Eskhandar's Collar to complete (that item can no longer be acquired).
    • Swift Horde Wolf: The mount learned from this item no longer triggers a global cooldown.
    • The Egg of Mortal Essence: This item can no longer be triggered by Life Tap.
    • Tier 2 Helmets: Looting these items from Nefarion in Blackwing Lair will no longer trigger the Onyxia's Lair (level 60) Feat of Strength achievement.
    • Totem of Quaking Earth: This totem will no longer sometimes grant unintended bonus healing.
    • Turalyon's Plate Set: No longer incorrectly reduces the cooldown on Divine Shield.
    • Veklor's Diadem: Now tradable using the Bind-on-Pickup trade system.
    • Warmth of Forgiveness: Now grants mana properly to druids in Bear Form, Cat Form, and Dire Bear Form.
    • Windrunner Set: The set bonus which grants Greatness to the hunter's pet will no longer spuriously show the hunter also gaining that buff.
    • Worldbreaker Garb Set: The Electrified effect caused by this set now has detailed combat log tooltips.
  • Racial Abilities
    • Arcane Torrent: Updated tooltip to include the functionality that this ability also interrupts spellcasting on NPCs. In addition, this ability will now be properly noted and displayed as an interrupt in the cast bar UI.
    • Every Man for Himself: Disconnecting while rooted will no longer sometimes trigger this ability.
  • Classes
    • Death Knights
      • Bloody Strikes: Now properly increases the damage displayed in the tooltips of Blood Strike and Heart Strike.
      • Bone Shield: Tooltip corrected to indicate the player has the correct number of bones.
      • Chains of Ice: This ability will no longer appear to land on targets which are immune.
      • Desecration: The debuff from this ability will no longer sometimes appear as if it were cast by someone else. In addition, the visual and snare from this ability will now both dissipate at the same time. Further, this talent will now respect snare immunities, and no longer sometimes snare immune targets.
      • Frost Presence: The animation for activating this presence will no longer also have the animation for Blood Presence played at the same time.
      • Glyph of Bone Shield: Now updates the number of charges in the Bone Shield tooltip.
      • Glyph of Dark Death: Now updates the tooltip on Death Coil. In addition, its own tooltip has been clarified to indicate it also applies to healing from Death Coil.
      • Glyph of Death's Embrace: Now updates the tooltip on Death Coil to indicate runic power is refunded.
      • Glyph of Heart Strike: Now updates the tooltip on Heart Strike to indicate Heart Strike applies a movement snare.
      • Glyph of Icebound Fortitude: Now updates the tooltip on Icebound Fortitude to show increased damage reduction.
      • Glyph of Plague Strike: Now updates the damage shown in Plague Strike's tooltip.
      • Glyph of Unbreakable Armor: Now updates the tooltip on Unbreakable Armor. Tooltip on glyph modified to make its effect more clear as well.
      • Master of Ghouls: Tooltip typo corrected.
      • Night of the Dead: Tooltip typo corrected.
      • Obliterate: This ability will no longer sometimes fail to do additional damage based on diseases on the target.
      • Raise Ally: While this spell is active on a target, they will not be sent to the graveyard, prematurely ending the spell.
      • Raise Dead: It is no longer possible under some circumstances to use a Risen Ghoul to cause neutral guards to attack opposite faction players.
      • Strangulate: Updated tooltip to include the functionality that this ability also interrupts spellcasting on NPCs.
      • Taste of Blood: Corrected inaccurate information in combat log tooltip.
      • Unholy Presence: The animation for activating this presence will no longer also have the animation for Blood Presence played at the same time.
    • Druids
      • Glyph of Hurricane: Now modifies the spell tooltip on Hurricane to indicate the spell also applies a movement slowing effect.
      • Hurricane: When cast from Bear Form, Cat Form, or Dire Bear Form, this spell will now channel properly instead of stopping the channel as soon as the shapeshift is cancelled.
      • Infected Wounds: This ability is no longer considered to be in the magical defense category; therefore spell hit no longer applies to its activation. Tooltip error corrected.
      • Nature's Grace: The tooltip now correctly indicates that it will not be activated from periodic spell critical strikes.
      • Swipe (Bear): Tooltip corrected to display 8 yard range.
      • Rejuvenation: Druids will no longer get a more powerful spell error message when attempting to overwrite a Rejuvenation they cast.
    • Hunters
      • Concussive Barrage: This ability is no longer subject to spell reflects.
      • Explosive Trap: The damage from this trap will now scale properly with the hunter's attack power.
      • Glyph of Immolation Trap: Now properly increases damage by 100%. In addition, this glyph will now modify the tooltip of Immolation Trap correctly.
      • Glyph of Mending: This glyph will now modify the amount healed in the tooltip on Mend Pet.
      • Point of No Escape: It is no longer possible to gain benefit from this talent multiple times by having a target affected by multiple of the same hunter's traps. In addition, Freezing Arrow will no longer incorrectly provide a critical strike bonus to players beyond the hunter with this talent.
      • Roar of Sacrifice: Corrected tooltip error.
      • Silencing Shot: Updated tooltip to include the functionality that this ability also interrupts spellcasting on NPCs.
      • Volley: The tooltip for this ability will now update properly from haste.
    • Mages
      • Arcane Concentration: The interaction of this talent with Arcane Missiles has been restructured. Instead of an Arcane Missiles cast triggering the talent, each missile has an independent (but reduced) chance to trigger this talent. In addition, the talent will no longer sometimes be triggered from misses by Arcane Missiles, Arcane Blast, and Blizzard.
      • Blast Wave: Tooltip typo corrected.
      • Blizzard: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from all talents which increase its damage by a percentage. Also fixed a bug where some trinkets were not triggered by this spell.
      • Cone of Cold: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from all talents which increase its damage by a percentage.
      • Dalaran Intellect: Mages will now be properly blocked from casting this spell when the target has a more powerful version of the buff.
      • Deep Freeze: This spell will no longer consume two charges of Fingers of Frost when it misses its target.
      • Flame Strike: Some ranks of this spell had an incorrect cast time of 3 seconds. All ranks now share a 2-second cast time.
      • Frost Nova: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from all talents which increase its damage by a percentage.
      • Frostbolt: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from all talents which increase its damage by a percentage.
      • Glyph of Mirror Image: Now updates the tooltip on Mirror Image to show 4 images are summoned.
      • Ignite: Now correctly benefits from the dispel resistance granted by the Arcane Subtlety talent. In addition, this talent will now properly include in its damage calculation any damage of the initial fire critical strike that was absorbed.
      • Ice Lance: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from all talents which increase its damage by a percentage.
      • Improved Scorch: This talent no longer causes a bug that removes all resilience from pets.
      • Mirror Image: The mirror images summoned will no longer sometimes appear as shades before taking on the appearance of the casting mage.
      • Prismatic Cloak: Rank three of this talent will now properly modify the tooltip on Invisibility to indicate the effect is instant.
      • Slow Fall: This spell can now activate trinkets that can trigger from casting a helpful spell.
      • Winter's Chill: This talent no longer causes a bug that removes all resilience from pets.
    • Paladins
      • Aura Mastery: The animation for this ability will no longer be extra bright when used with Concentration Aura active.
      • Beacon of Light: The effect of this ability will no longer sometimes continue past the duration of its buff. In addition, the duration when used with the Glyph of Beacon of light will now correctly be 1.5 minutes. Finally, the tooltip was corrected to indicate benefitting targets must be in the paladin's party or raid.
      • Blessing of Kings: It is no longer possible to have multiple buff icons from this spell.
      • Blessing of Sacrifice: Damage transferred via this ability can now be prevented by damage absorption effects.
      • Blessing of Sanctuary: It is no longer possible to have multiple buff icons from this spell. In addition, the tooltip has been corrected to include 10% increased strength.
      • Devotion Aura: When in a party with another paladin using a different rank of this ability, it is no longer possible to see two different Devotion Aura icons displayed as buffs.
      • Divine Sacrifice: This ability now properly counts all damage transferred against its limit, instead of not counting some damage.
      • Greater Blessing of Kings: It is no longer possible to have multiple buff icons from this spell.
      • Greater Blessing of Sanctuary: It is no longer possible to have multiple buff icons from this spell. In addition, the tooltip has been corrected to include 10% increased strength.
      • Guardian's Favor: Corrected a tooltip error in rank 1 of this ability.
      • Hand of Freedom: It is no longer possible to use this ability while under the effects of the druid spell Cyclone. In addition, disconnecting while rooted will no longer sometimes trigger casting this on oneself.
      • Hand of Reckoning: Tooltip clarified to indicate taunt immune targets will not take damage from this ability.
      • Hand of Sacrifice: Damage transferred via this ability can now be prevented by damage absorption effects.
      • Heart of the Crusader: The effect of this talent is now always removed when the target no longer has an active Judgement debuff.
      • Judgements of the Just: The effect of this talent is now always removed when the target no longer has an active Judgement debuff.
      • Judgement of Righteousness: The damage from this ability will no longer sometimes increase when the paladin's agility increases (only occurred with low strength and high agility).
      • Judgement of Wisdom: Corrected incorrect information in the combat log tooltip.
      • Retribution Aura: It is no longer possible under some circumstances for the UI to display buffs from two different ranks of this ability.
      • Seal of Corruption: Tooltip corrected to list the actual amount of damage done instead of a higher number.
    • Priests
      • Glyph of Power Word: Shield: The heal caused by this glyph will now correctly use the casting priest's critical strike chance instead of the target's.
      • Inspiration: The tooltip now correctly indicates that it also functions with Prayer of Mending.
      • Levitate: This spell can now activate trinkets that can trigger from casting a helpful spell.
      • Mass Dispel: Some trinkets which were not triggered properly by this spell will now work correctly when Mass Dispel is cast.
      • Mind Flay: The rank 1 tooltip has been corrected to indicate the accurate damage and snare effect. In addition, this ability will now work correctly with [target=focus] and [target=mouseover] macros.
      • Prayer of Mending: Inspiration and Divine Aegis can no longer be incorrectly triggered by this spell for priests who do not have those talents.
      • Silence: Updated tooltip to include the functionality that this ability also interrupts spellcasting on NPCs.
      • Spirit Tap: This talent can no longer be triggered by the death of the priest's Jewelcrafter Stone Statues.
    • Rogues
      • Ambush: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from talents which increase its damage by a percentage.
      • Backstab: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from talents which increase its damage by a percentage.
      • Deadly Poison: Another rogue using a higher rank of this poison will no longer prevent the lower rank Deadly Poison from being applied to the target.
      • Eviscerate: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from talents which increase its damage by a percentage.
      • Glyph of Rupture: Now updates the duration on Rupture's tooltip.
      • Killing Spree: Entering a vehicle will now cause this ability to halt, and attempting to use it while on a vehicle will result in an error message.
      • Mutilate: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from talents which increase its damage by a percentage. In addition, the damage from this ability can now be blocked.
      • Sinister Strike: The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from talents which increase its damage by a percentage.
      • Slice and Dice: Improved Slice and Dice and Glyph of Slice and Dice now update the duration of this ability.
      • Throwing Specialization: Deadly Throw will no longer cause multiple spell interruption combat log entries when used with this talent.
    • Shamans
      • Glyph of Earthliving Weapon: Now updates the tooltip for Earthliving Weapon.
      • Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave: Tooltip and functionality corrected to ensure this glyph will cause extra healing from Lesser Healing Wave regardless of which shaman cast Earth Shield on the target.
      • Hex: Players are no longer able to use Battlemaster trinkets while under the effects of this spell.
      • Mana Tide Totem: The tooltip on this spell will now be modified properly by the Glyph of Mana Tide Totem.
      • Thunderstorm: It is no longer possible to use this ability while under the effects of the Druid spell Cyclone.
    • Warlocks
      • Conflagrate: This spell will no longer benefit inconsistently from the talents Emberstorm and Improved Immolate, as well as the Glyph of Immolate and Tier 9 set bonus. Just as for Immolate, all stacking percentage increases will be applied additively instead of multiplicatively (+10% and +20% make +30% instead of +32%). In addition, Conflagrate used with Shadowflame will now scale properly from spell power.
      • Curse of the Elements: Rank 4 has been increased to 11%, up from 10%.
      • Drain Soul: This spell now deals 4 times the normal damage for all ranks. Previously it was only ranks 6 and above.
      • Glyph of Conflagrate: Now updates the tooltip of Conflagrate to remove reference to Conflagrate removing an Immolate or Shadowflame effect on the target.
      • Glyph of Siphon Life: This glyph will now modify the tooltip on Siphon Life correctly.
      • Glyph of Unending Breath: Now updates the tooltip on Unending Breath to indicate it increases swim speed.
      • Hellfire: Dealing damage to another player with this ability will now put the Warlock in combat.
      • Improved Shadow Bolt: This talent no longer causes a bug that removes all resilience from pets.
      • Soul Link: Damage transferred via this ability can now be prevented by damage absorption effects.
      • Suffering (Voidwalker): Ranks 5-8 had the incorrect taunt radius of 5 yards and have all been adjusted to a 10-yard radius.
    • Warriors
      • Blood Frenzy: This debuff is no longer considered a Bleed effect that can be removed separately from the actual Bleed effect which caused it.
      • Bloodrage: Tooltip now adjusts to show effect of Anger Management on this ability.
      • Glyph of Cleaving: Now updates the tooltip of Cleave to show that more targets are struck by the ability.
      • Glyph of Hamstring: Now updates the tooltip of Hamstring to indicate it has a chance to immobilize.
      • Glyph of Vigilance: Now updates the tooltip on Vigilance to show that more threat is transferred.
      • Mocking Blow: Tooltip clarified to indicate taunt immune targets will not take damage from this ability.
      • Rampage: Rampage now behaves correctly as an Enrage effect when interacting with the Enraged Regeneration ability.
      • Recklessness: Heroic Throw and Shattering Throw will now benefit from this ability and consume charges of this ability. In addition, Recklessness now behaves correctly as an Enrage effect when interacting with the Enraged Regeneration ability.
      • Sudden Death: Corrected inaccurate information in combat log tooltip.
      • Sweeping Strikes: Corrected inaccurate information in combat log tooltip.
      • Vigilance: The threat transfer granted by this ability will now reactivate when Tricks of the Trade or Misdirection cast by the Vigilance target expires.
      • Warbringer: Tooltip typo corrected.
  • Game Systems
    • Target Effects: When this UI feature is activated, Fear, Silence, Frostbolt, and Hamstring will all now display text over the target's head indicating what type of effect has been applied.
  • Battlegrounds
    • Strand of the Ancients
      • The "Let the Battle for the Strand of the Ancients" message should no longer appear twice in round 2. It also now appears correctly at the beginning of round 1.
      • Storm the Beach should now be correctly granted to the Horde when they start round 1 on offense.
      • The east Antipersonnel Cannon at the Amethyst gate should no longer be able to shell the graveyard flag.
      • Fixed an order of operations issue where players would sometimes not be resurrected or clear their Inactive debuff at the end of the 1st round.

Mac Client Changes and Fixes

  • Rewrote OpenGL implementation for Intel Macs with Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later.
  • Fixed an issue with TrackPad scrolling on Macbooks/Macbook Pros behaving erratically.
  • Fixed the lightning effect on Thorim's hammer in Ulduar.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur on low-end Macs during the second phase of The Black Knight encounter.
  • Fixed a crash when recording in-game movies on Macs that have Intel GMA x3100 video chipsets.
  • Added support for mapping all 15 buttons on the SteelSeries World of Warcraft Mouse via the in-game key bindings.


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