Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ulduar: Kologarn Boss Preview

Update: As of 15th April 2009, this preview is quite outdated. For the actual guide, check out the Ulduar: Kologarn Boss Strategy Guide post.

Kologarn is the sixth boss encounter in Ulduar. He guards the Shattered Walkway into central Ulduar where not only is he protecting the bridge, he is the bridge. Players fight not only him but two detachable arms that appear to be separate mobs that can be broken off of him.

Ulduar Boss Kologarn 01

Ulduar Boss Kologarn 02

Ulduar Boss Kologarn 03

Ulduar Boss Kologarn 04 Ulduar Boss Kologarn 05

Friday, March 6, 2009

World of Warcraft: Hodir nerfed on PTR

With the latest PTR patch, Hodir’s HP was nerfed. While his HP was reduced by 11 million HP, the amount of time before he destroys a crate was increased to an yet unknown amount. There were no changes announced to the NPCs.

Basically this means, the boss becomes even easier on normal more and the insane dps race in Hard modes was reduced. Additionally the Flash Freeze area effect is better visible now for players with “Projected Textures” video options turned on.

Also the duration of the Storm Power (100% critical chance buff, which is added by one of the Elemental Shaman NPCs) has been increased from 15 to 30  seconds.

World of Warcraft: Thorim Strategy Guide (Updated)

Thorim is one of the boss encounters in Ulduar. In order to defeat Thorim, players must go through a gauntlet starting off with a Combat Jormungar Behemoth and a rush of iron dwarves.

General Statistics:

  • Race: Titan (Giant)
  • Health Points: 11,300,000 (Heroic Mode)
  • Level: ?? (boss)
  • Melee Damage: Approximately 8,000 (Heroic Mode), on a plate wearing tank in full Heroic Naxxramas gear (need more data to get more accurate numbers).
  • Swing Timer: Need information on this.
  • Enrage: Refer abilities Lighting Charge and Berserk.



  • Stormhammer: Throws a stormhammer, dealing 2451 to 2551 damage to an enemy, knocking down and stunning the target for 2 sec, and causing a deafening thunderclap to all enemies nearby the target.
    • Deafening Thunder: Inflicts 4625 to 5375 Nature damage to enemies standing in close proximity to a Stormhammer strike, preventing spell casting for 6 sec.
  • Berserk: Empowers allies with the full might of Thorim. Damage done increased by 500%. Attack and cast speed increased by 200%. Health increased by 300%.
    • He will use this within 5 minutes of the raid killing the Jormungar Behemoth (need more info to confirm the exact point when this timer begins).
  • Unbalancing Strike: Inflicts 250% weapon damage and leaves the target unbalanced, reducing their defense skill by 200 for 15 sec.
  • Lightning Charge: Absorbs a torrent of electrical energy, inflicting Nature damage to enemies in a cone between the caster and the power source, and increasing the caster’s melee damage and attack speed by 20%.

Gauntlet NPCs

  • Jormungar Behemoth:
    • Average Melee Hit: 12,400 (Heroic Mode)
    • Acid Breath: Spews acidic bile at a target and nearby enemies, inflicting 12000 Nature damage and 1500 additional damage every 2 sec. for 18 sec.
    • Sweep: Sweeps at the legs of an enemy, dealing 6000 damage and causing knockdown for 3 sec.
  • Captured Horde/Alliance Soldier:
    • Average Melee Hit: 2,600 (Heroic Mode)
    • Average Ranged Hit: 2,400 (Heroic Mode)
    • Barbed Shot: Fires an arrow that pierces an enemy’s flesh, inflicting 4,513 to 4,987 Physical damage and causing 500 damage per 3 sec. for 12 sec.
  • Captured Horde/Alliance Soldier:
    • Average Melee Hit: 9,100 (Heroic Mode)
    • Heroic Strike: A strong attack that increases melee damage by 5,088 to 5,912 and causes a high amount of threat.
      • Based on WWS reports, the average hit seems to be around 12,500 (Heroic Mode).
    • Devastate: Sunders the target’s armor causing the Sunder Armor effect. In addition, causes 50% of weapon damage plus 90 for each application of Sunder Armor on the target. The Sunder Armor effect can stack up to 5 times.
      • Based on WWS reports, the average hit seems to be around 4,800 (Heroic Mode).
  • Captured Horde/Alliance Healer (need confirmation of the actual NPC name):
    • Some form of AoE heal (need more info on this)
  • Dark Rune Acolyte:
    • Holy Smite: Smites an enemy inflicting holy damage.
      • Based on WWS reports, the average hit seems to be around 7,500 (Heroic Mode).
    • Greater Heal: Call upon holy magic to heal an ally.
      • Based on WWS reports, the average amount healed seems to be around 86,500 (Heroic Mode), although there seems to be as high hits as 300,000 (more information is needed on this).
    • Renew: Heals a friendly target for 13650 to 14350 (Heroic Mode), 9,263 to 9,737 (Normal Mode) per 3 sec. for 15 sec.
  • Dark Rune Champion:
    • Average Melee Hit: 8,000 (Heroic Mode)
    • Whirlwind: Attacks nearby enemies in a whirlwind of steel that inflicts normal damage plus 100.
    • Mortal Strike: Inflicts 250% weapon damage and leaves the target wounded, reducing the effectiveness of any healing by 50% for 5 sec.
      • Based on WWS reports, the average hit seems to be around 12,300 (Heroic Mode).
    • Charge: Charges an enemy, inflicting normal damage plus 120 knocking the enemy back.
  • Dark Rune Evoker:
    • Runic Lightning: Strikes an enemy with a blast of runic lightning, inflicting 7,875 to 10,125 (Heroic Mode), 6,563 to 8,437 (Normal Mode), Nature damage.
    • Runic Mending: Heals an ally for 18,500 to 21,500 (Heroic Mode), 11,563 to 13,437 (Normal Mode) , then heals for an additional 6,000 (Heroic Mode), 4,000 (Normal Mode), every 1 sec. for 15 sec.
  • Dark Rune Commoner:
    • Low Blow: Lands a cheap shot on an enemy, inflicting Physical damage and reducing the target’s damage dealt by 3% for 20 sec.
    • Pummel: Pummels an enemy and interrupts the spell being cast for 5 sec.
  • Dark Rune Warbringer:
    • Average Melee Hit: 5,000 (Heroic Mode)
    • Runic Strike: Strikes at an enemy with an electrified weapon, inflicting Nature damage equal to weapon damage plus 1000.
  • Iron Honor Guard:
    • Average Melee Hit: 2,700 (Heroic Mode) Shield Smash: Inflicts 5088 to 5912 Physical damage to an enemy, stunning it for 3 sec.
    • Cleave: Inflicts 150% of normal melee damage to an enemy and its nearest ally.
    • Hamstring: Inflicts 50% of normal melee damage to an enemy, reducing it’s movement speed by 50% for 6 sec.
  • Iron Ring Guard:
    • Average Melee Hit: 3,300 (Heroic Mode)
    • Whirling Trip: Knocks down nearby enemies, stunning them for 2 sec. and inflicting increased weapon damage.
    • Impale: Deals a vicious attack that causes the target to bleed profusely until healed past 90% of its maximum health. Deals 1750 (Heroic Mode), 1125 (Normal Mode), damage every 2 sec. for 1 min or until removed via healing.
  • Ancient Rune Giant:
    • Average Melee Hit: 4,700 (Heroic Mode)
    • Stomp: Stomps the ground, inflicting normal damage to nearby enemies and knocking them down for 2 sec.
  • Runic Colossus:
    • Average Melee Hit: 5,200 (Heroic Mode)
    • Smash: Smashes the target, inflicting 13875 to 16125 (Heroic Mode) damage and knocking them up.
    • Charge: Charges an enemy, inflicting normal damage plus 120 knocking the enemy back.
    • Runic Barrier: A shield of runic power surrounds the caster, reducing Physical damage taken by 50% and inflicting 2000 Arcane damage to attackers.

Suggested Raid Composition:

  • Normal Mode:
    • 2 tanks - Ideally one of your tanks should be one which isn’t affected greatly by silence effects.
    • 2-3 healers - Depending on the strength of your healers you should be ok with only 2 although if you feel that healing is too much for one of the two fight sections you may wise to bring a third.
    • 6-7 dps - In the colosseum section of the encounter non-caster dps classes have a clear advantage due to the silence so you will want a balanced group of casters and melee/hunters.
  • Heroic Mode:
    • 4 tanks - Like in Normal Mode you will ideally want to have two tanks which are not greatly affected by silence effects.
    • 6-7 healers - With 6 healers you should have no difficulty with this encounter, but you can always bring one more if you feel that healing is too much for one of the two fight sections.
    • 14-15 dps - Like in Normal Mode, in the colosseum section of the encounter non-caster dps classes have a clear advantage due to the silence so you will want a balanced group of casters and melee/hunters.


The encounter begins with your raid engaging a 5 man group of the opposing faction fighting a Jormunger Behemoth. Killing them is fairly straight forward, simply tank the Behemoth turned away from the raid and kill the opposing faction healer while the rest of the adds are tanked.

Once that is over your raid will need to split in two. One group will be staying in the colosseum and dealing with the various Dark Rune adds, while the other fights their way up the gauntlet to Thorim past the Iron Guards, Anicent Rune Giants, and the Runic Collossi. You will ideally want to organize the groups before the pull, and they will need to consist of two balanced raid groups with 2 tanks in each and 3 healers in each. On top of that you will want all your caster dps to go into the gauntlet and your melee/Hunters to stay in the arena as they won’t be affected by the silence.

The group that stays in the arena will simply need to survive while the other group fights to Thorim. The healers for the colosseum group will need to spread out so that only one healer can be silenced at a time as a silence on all the healers will easily cause a wipe.

The gauntlet group will be going to the left of the entrance down the gauntlet where they will be fighting there way to Thorim. The gate to the gauntlet seems to stay open for only a short duration so the whole group should stand at the very edge and be ready for someone to open it then run in as it is better if everyone gets inside at the same time and they begin pulling right away. While going up this gauntlet they will come across Runic Collossi which have a considerable amount of health and serve as mini-bosses that will need to be killed. Once you reach Thorim you will be paralyzed twice, by large magical bubbles, while walking to him, and during the second time he will jump down into the raid and begin to engage the group in the Colosseum. The gauntlet group them simply follows him and jumps down and then the whole raid will face him.

Now the fight turns into a fairly straightforward dps race against the Lightning Charge which will allow Thorim to one shot the tanks if he isn’t killed fast enough. In addition to this, Thorim does Unbalancing Strike which will require tanks to switch off on him for the duration of the debuff. In the later stages of the fight the healers will really need to spam heal the tanks once the charges begin to stack very high.

In the last stage of the fight it really is up to dps to kill him quickly and the healers to keep the tanks alive, although if you are able to get to Thorim then the encounter with him isn’t very complicated.

Hard Mode / Additional Loot:

According to a GM, the encounter normal mode is meant to have the whole raid follow into the gauntlet unlike the above strategy, and the above strategy would then be the hardmode version of the fight.

“For normal mode, you want to enter the gate to the left by using a lever. Once you enter the mobs will despawn and a massive orb of lightning will fly towards you. Now you need to stick to the side and avoid it completely, then proceed to the gate.”

Although that may be true, the original testing and kills were doing the so called “Hard Mode” so we will see the exact meaning of the Hard vs Normal Mode of this encounter once some more testing is done or when Ulduar goes live.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

World of Warcraft: Yogg-Saron - Brain's Room (Spoilers!!)

If you listened to the sound files included in the last PTR patch, you probably noticed that most of the sounds used during the fight against Yogg-Saron are here.

Some of these files are named "YSVisOne" "YSVisTwo" "YSVisThree" and seems to be related to something I didn't news yet, the Yogg-Saron Brain's room. You will most likely be teleported to this room during the fight and will witness past events of the Warcraft lore ... Needless to say that you shouldn't check the video or read the text below if you're scared of spoilers.

Vision One


  • UR_Garona_YSVisOne01.wav - Bad news, sire
  • UR_Garona_YSVisOne02.wav - The clans are united under Blackhand in this assault. They will stand together until Stormwind has fallen
  • UR_Garona_YSVisOne03.wav - Gul'dan is bringing up his warlocks by nightfall. Until then, the Blackrock Clan will be trying to take the eastern wall
  • UR_Garona_YSVisOne04.wav - The orc leaders agree with your assessment.

King Llane

  • UR_Llane_YSVisOne01.wav - And we will hold until the reinforcements come. As long as men with stout hearts are manning the walls and the throne, Stormwind will hold


  • UR_YoggSaron_YSVisOne01.wav - A thousand deaths ...
    UR_YoggSaron_YSVisOne02.wav - Or one murder ...
    UR_YoggSaron_YSVisOne03.wav - Your petty quarrels only make me stronger.

Vision Two


  • UR_NeltharionYS_YSVisTwo01.wav - It is done. All have given that which must be given. I now seal the Dragon Soul (WoWWiki) forever.
  • UR_NeltharionYS_YSVisTwo02.wav - For it to be as it must, yes.


  • UR_Malygos_YSVisTwo01.wav - It is a weapon like no other. It must be like no other.


  • UR_Ysera_YSVisTwo01.wav - That terrible gloom ... Should that be?


  • UR_YoggSaron_YSVisTwo03.wav - His brood learned their lesson before too long. You will soon learn yours!

Vision Three

Arthas (Prisoner)

  • UR_ArthasPrisoner_YSVisThree02.wav - *Choking* I ... AM NOT AFRAID OF YOU!

Lich King

  • UR_Lich King_YSVisThree01.wav - Your resilience ... is admirable ...
  • UR_Lich King_YSVisThree02.wav - I will break you as I broke him.


  • UR_YoggSaron_YSVisThree01.wav - *Foreign language*
  • UR_YoggSaron_YSVisThree02.wav - You will learn, no king rules forever! Only death is eternal!


(Bosses freed from the influence of Yogg-Saron helping you throughout the fight)

  • UR_Thorim_YSHelp01.wav - Golganoth, lend me your strength. Grant my mortal allies the power of thunder!
  • UR_Mimiron_YSHelp01.wav - Combat matrix enhanced! Behold wonderous rapidity!
  • UR_Freya_YSHelp01.wav - Eonar, your servant calls for your blessing
  • UR_Hodir_YSHelp01.wav - The veil of winter will protect you, champions!

World of Warcraft: How Flame Leviathan Gear Scaling Works - Formula Cracked

As mentioned in The Flame Leviathan Strategy & Tactics Guide, the formula for the HP bonus calculation of the vehicles used in this encounter was cracked.

How Vehicle Gear Scaling works

25-man scaling is same as in 10-man.

  • Shirt, tabard, offhand, and ranged/relic slots do not affect vehicle scaling
  • This does mean an ilvl 226 1 hand weapon is better than an ilvl 213 2 hander
  • Enchants and gems do not affect it either, it is based solely off item level
  • An ilvl 200 blue is equivalent to an ilvl 187 epic. Experimenting with other combos of blue/epic gear gave me reasonable confidence that a blue item is equivalent to an epic 13 levels lower
  • An empty slot is equivalent to an ilvl 0 epic. This does mean equipping an ilvl 0 blue such as Insignia of the Scourge will be worse than having nothing at all in the slot
  • Empirically, taking the average ilvl of your gear (subtract 13 for each blue, 26 for each green) and dividing by 15 (total number of applicable slots), then subtracting 170 will give you the percent increase of the health points of your vehicle compared to base - it cannot be decreased though (naked is a 0% increase)
  • Thus: All ilvl 200 epic gear => 200-170 => 30% increase in vehicle hp. All 226 would be a 56% increase,

There are some limited testing of vehicle damage:

  • Naked: 2148 average attack with 171 attacks average
  • 213 gear: 3038 average attack with 160 attacks 3038/2148 = 41.4% so that seems to be within the margin of error for the expected value of 43%

World of Warcraft: Alagon hard-more speculations confirmed

Looks like the speculations about Algalon hard more were right.

The sound files from the MPQs in the last PTR build confirms all of the guesses about the hard modes and the Algalon encounter. Check them out for yourselves as many of them are funny to listen to.

The summary:

  • Algalon does in fact require the 4 Watcher sigils to access.
    Freya’s hard mode involves keeping the 3 Elders up
  • Hodir’s hard mode is to kill him before breaking the first cache. The design of the fight is to utilize the NPC adds for this goal
  • Thorim’s hard mode is to get to him fast enough (while controlling the adds in both the “pit” and the tunnel) that ‘Sif’ (a false image of his dead wife) does not despawn before you reach him. So, timed event here too
  • Mimiron’s hard mode is to kill him before the Corridors of Ingenuity explode in 10 minutes

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

World of Warcraft: Dual spec will not effect game design decitions

Dual specs have been one of several hot topics while we watch patch 3.1 progress on the PTR. People have waffled about whether they mean to spend the 1,000 gold it's going to cost, we've learned that you'll be able to do it anywhere and at level 40, and players of all ten classes are pondering what to use their second spec slot for. However, according to Ghostcrawler, Blizzard is pretending dual spec does not exist.

Maybe I should clarify: with respect to design decisions, they're pretending dual spec does not exist. Raids and talent trees will be balanced without reference to the fact that some players will be able to easily swap out. GC gives some specific examples of things the devs will not be doing, such as "Have a fight that requires 8 tanks, because you know, half the raid can change specs," or "Let Arms be the PvP tree and Fury be the PvE tree, because warriors can just switch out."

This is good news to many, including myself. Although if I had been asked to guess, I would probably have predicted they would take this direction, it's good to know that (for instance) raiders won't be effectively required to take spec X and spec Y in order to complete encounter Z. Dual specs are there to offer us more flexibility, not as another way the devs can make us jump through hoops. And I know I'll be taking it on at least a few of my characters.

Darkfall Online: IRC Interview with Brannoc

A few days ago there was an IRC interview with the Aventurine Community Manager Brannoc during one of the shutdowns where a patch was applied.

Many concerns are address/answered here, such as the why the forums where take down while the patch was applied, macroing, payment and preorder questions. Not all of the Questions/Answers are really “serious”, but still some give interesting information.

<Keta>I left my luggage in the forums. And now I have nothing to wear.

<@Brannoc> I shut the forums down because all they were doing was crashing and preventing us from getting information out
<@Brannoc> so...there's the love!

<Junkoe> hey brannoc am I alone in that my account is not inactive but I was playing before servers went down?

<@Brannoc> no Junkoe
<@Brannoc> if this were all a big scam I'd be saying "haha suckers" and drinking

<nox_> are you drinking at a bar?

<@Brannoc> I should be

<Sceleris> can you understand alot of the frustration?

<@Brannoc> of course I can Sceleris, I wanted to be playing by now too
<@Brannoc> no one is more disappointed than we are
<@Brannoc> playing would be a LOT more fun than keeping the forums and irc channel shutdown to keep you guys from crashing them
<@Brannoc> we Must have a way to communicate with people, we couldn't keep the forums online, so, I took the forums down

<RixuS> Brannoc, did they ever diagnose the issue of accounts that *were* active, but suddenly *stopped*?

<@Brannoc> that's on the list, RixuS

<Etherwar> maybe put up the forums but disable new posts?

<@Brannoc> still uses a lot of resources, Etherwar
<@Brannoc> far more than this method

<[AOD]glockjs> Any news on the Credit Card issue?

<@Brannoc> which one, Glockjs?
<@Brannoc> there' at least 3

<Ssly|-W-> brannoc, know anything about the progress of creating more servers to handle the demand?

<@Brannoc> I don't, Ssly|-W-

<ShockWave> Brannoc i repeat do you know when the remaining ppl who preordered are getting in?

<@Brannoc> there is no ETA at this time
<@Brannoc> no ETA for new orders either, but that will come after the patch and after the pre-orders are all fixed

<bunghole> Brannoc,it's not really fair that I can't play and I paid... and others are playing

<@Brannoc> I agree it's not fair at all, bunghole
<@Brannoc> but we didn't do it on purpose

<Squatch> Brannoc are you getting a promotion after all this work?

<@Brannoc> what do you think Squatch

<ShockWave> atleast good you finaly take the time to talk to us Brannoc

<@Brannoc> I've been trying to do that all day, ShockWave

<[Yew]Greg> do your fucking job

<@Brannoc> I don't think you can be anymore informed than you are greg, I'd say your statement is mostly loaded with fail

<[AOD]glockjs> Brannoc, Is there a prob with debit cards with a CC logo that is known?

<@Brannoc> not that I've heard, glockjs

<wired> what is the time estimate for the servers coming back up?

<@Brannoc> I've heard a vague ETA, but if we release an ETA and miss it THEN how pissed will you be?

<wired> more vague than "servers will be up in the evening" like release day?

<@Brannoc> approx eta? 1-4 hours +/- 3

<[WSX]Chrismon> Brannoc are you aware of all the clans that got their citys via exploits?

<@Brannoc> I don't think ALL the clans got their cities by exploits, Chrismon, but we'll review that, last I saw not a single one had exploited
<@Brannoc> I really am highly doubtful of any major exploits taking place, maybe some pathing issues or guard tower issues
<@Brannoc> but I was playing earlier and didn't see any guilds with big cities fucking with bugs

<[WSX]Stig_Arius> Hey Brannoc - are they considering a wipe/reset - anything like that? Can you say whether it has even been brought up as an idea?

<@Brannoc> I don't know, Stig

<[Yew]Greg> Well here’s a little helpful piece of advise if you ladies plan on keeping any sort of player base. Even in the shittiest circumstances, at least tell us to just "fuck off we're working on it". That's all most of us want to know.

<@Brannoc> I'd be happy to tell you to go fuck yourselves! But a lot of people say that's bad PR
<@Brannoc> so...I'm trying not to

<Smoopidhead> how about you guys let people play until you get everything worked out(How ever long it takes), wipe the server. and allow for 30 days play from that date?

<@Brannoc> that'd be a shitty use of resources, Smoopidhead

<Deharakk> Brannoc: I suppose the devs never considered a system of ordering that just queued us to receive orders upon release?

<@Brannoc> I don't know, Deharakk

<Tenzy> Brannoc, do you have a preferred Darkfall race?

<@Brannoc> ork.

<[Lash]> yo b - are u gonna put ur update macro back on for #darkfall

<@Brannoc> nah, leaving the macro off while I'm awake and at the PC, Lash

<Kompressor> Is macroing a bannable offence?

<@Brannoc> not my place to state the official stance on macro'ing
<@Brannoc> but that's common sense, not an official stance
<@Brannoc> I'd say a common sense answer would be that...if you're not macro'ing to exploit the system or for commercial'll be left alone

<Xace> Brannoc, will we get a list of the fixes in the patch

<@Brannoc> should, Xace

<Keta> Bottom line is what can they do about macroing? Or how can they prove it?

<@Brannoc> exactly, Keta
<@Brannoc> macro'ing skill gain isn't very effective generally

<Keta> Bots are another story.

<@Brannoc> bots wouldn't be that hard to make
<@Brannoc> but they would be hard to keep alive and effective

<Dragon456> Brannoc, is 4-legged running still coming?

<@Brannoc> I don't know Dragon456

<[MC]Butch_T> What about non charged people

<@Brannoc> non-charged people are still on the to do list

<Zaffa> @Brannoc Do you know if prepaid credit cards are accepted for orders?

<@Brannoc> I honestly don't know, zaffa

<[100]Julius> Brannoc any news on the dead zones? This has caused many people to lose their characters permanently meaning they had to create a new character. I have guildies that have had to remake characters over 3 times!

<@Brannoc> should be fixed by the patch, Julius...I think

<Keta> Brannoc: Give people instructions on how to use REST.

<@Brannoc> what's hard about rest, Keta?
<@Brannoc> put it on your bar, use it

<nikki|-W> Brannoc, using ping plotter I consistently ping the DF server around 180ish. While I'm in game my ping ranges from 240-300.. and sometimes spikes. my fps is consistently above 100. What's up with that?

<@Brannoc> your megahurtz must be haxed, nikki!

<Ssly|-W-> brannoc, do you know if the over-filled chaos stone bug is also being worked on in the current patch?

<@Brannoc> I don' know ssly

<Ket> Problem is Brannoc, we are paying customers now, your companies failure to keep the server going is a poor mark on you part

<@Brannoc> I never said it wasn't ket
<@Brannoc> but I have said we're doing the absolute best we can with all the resources we have

<[MC]Butch_T> What is the dev sleep schedule like, brannoc

<@Brannoc> Tasos sleeps 1-3 hours every 16 hours
<@Brannoc> Ricki is about the same
<@Brannoc> so like I said, the team is working as hard as they possibly can to make this work

<T> Brannoc: how much do YOU sleep?

<@Brannoc> about 3 hours a night T

<Vlash> sucks to have paid for the game and not being able to play it

<@Brannoc> I agree vlash
<@Brannoc> Darkfall has been a bigger dream for the developers than for the fans
<@Brannoc> they're giving everything they can because it's their dream, not because they want to "omgmakemoney!" off it...making money is just a nice side effect

<Ket> Yes, thing is, now you all need to take care of the customers if you wish to keep your dream alive

<@Brannoc> we're doing the best we can Ket
<@Brannoc> no patch that has to be done on release day is "easy"

<wired> technically release day was yesterday.

<Mudkipslolwu> Brannoc can i get you to comment on the nude photos that have recently surfaced including both you and tasos?

<@Brannoc> my p*nis is bigger, Mudkipslolwu

Darkfall Online: Developer talking about first weeks impressions

Tasos, one of the Darkfall Online developers, posted on the official forums about the current state of the game servers, answered a few questions regarded macroing and released a few information about the release of more CD Keys.

Latest: 10.25 GMT
We have brought down the servers for scheduled maintenance and patching. We apologize for the abrupt take-down. New ETA is 3 hours, we'll try to be up as soon as possible.

The game has been up consistently without much incident. We are monitoring the situation and keeping track of any issues players have to report.

We will bring down the servers for a patch in a few hours. Estimated downtime will be up to 2 hours for this. The patch contains optimizations of the server and client and various fixes to issues we’ve noticed in the game.

To address an issue reported by players: We generally frown on unattended macroing and if you use macros you do so at your own risk, but it should be mentioned that spamming spells and any macroing WITHIN the protective radius of the guard towers in the starting areas will result in a kick, and repeated offenses could result in a ban.

Support structures will also be available within the next couple of days to improve our responsiveness to your reported issues.

About Darkfall availability, we will give advanced notice for when more copies will be available. We need to run a few tests first to make sure things have improved and we will let you know when we officially make more copies of the game available. Availability is throttled because we need to make sure that the server population is having as good an experience as possible before we introduce more people and more servers. We hoped to be further along but have been held back by the account management system. We’ve made several optimizations since, and we’re working on a permanent solution as soon as possible.

Communication is still at a bare minimum, but this will improve steadily as things smooth out in the next few days and weeks. The forum downtime in the first 36 hours happened because of extreme load, making the forum unusable. We had to bring it down in order to be able to post status reports, and decided to keep it down until we were done fighting through our initial setbacks.

We’ll keep you posted on any developments.

Thank you
The Darkfall Team

Source: Darkfall Forums

World of Warcraft: The Dapper Sapper – Strand of the Ancients Achievement Exploit

There is a little exploit with the The Dapper Sapper Achievement, which will make it very easy and quickly to plan the 100 Seaforium charges for this achievement.

It tells

Plant 100 Seaforium charges which successfully damage a wall

This suggest that it is supposed to be used on the walls before they are broken. However, it’s currently bugged. So you get even credit for it, if you place it near a broken wall (gate).

Knowing that, you can just “bomb” down the broken wall until you have all 100. As there are two walls/gates, it’s best to take the gate where no other allies are and after 1-2 min usually no one is anymore at the strand. This means, you can simply pick up the Seaforium (wordplay on C4 (pronounced similar to sea for) charge and place it and repeat. This way it’s possible to plant 8-14 charges/battle depending how fast your faction needs to win the round.

Update: It also works with Explosive Expert Achievement

Darkfall Online: First Review of the Release Version

Today, RoganBlackheart posted his impressions and reviews of the current post-release state of Darkfall Online.

Hello folks, many of you may know me from the pre-release AOC Boards, the Irth Online Boards, or the pre-release / beta Dark and Light boards. I have tried to infuse some good ideas into the MMORPGs by fostering discussions on unique ideas not seen in most mmorpgs, especially in the games I heavily supported in the past, such as the three above. That being said they were all failures of epic proportion, so when it came to my new hope, Darkfall, I just shut my mouth in hopes I wouldn't jink another release. You will not see any positive or negative posts by me regarding this game anyone, period. I see a lot of misinformation flying around these boards, and it mainly seems to stem from people that are having account issues, or were unable to preorder / order Darkfall, and are for lack of a better term pissed. While I was not in beta, I was lucky enough to get a preorder. After getting a fairly good handle on things, I wanted to post a review for the folks coming here HOPING that Darkfall was the be all end all game, and have no idea what to think since 99% of the posts on this board seem to be uninformative garbage, flames, and rants.


I can assure you for those not in the game yet and left wondering... hopefully this information will be worth the read.

I also want to emphasize one last point. This is a review of the GAME. I am not reviewing the poor beta process, the poor preorder process, or the poor launch that plagued the first 2 days or so of game play. The game absolutely had all of these problems. Now they are over. 6 months from now they will be all but forgotten. For those of you that cannot play and want to order, this will be corrected in time as well, but I do feel your pain. This is the same mentality though that I see on Cnet, for example, when comparing electronics. They will claim that one TV for instance, has a much higher quality picture than another. But because its $400 more expensive than the lesser quality TV, that somehow makes the lesser quality TV more desirable and therefore a higher rating score? In my opinion this is complete bull shit. I intend the review the product and leave the rest out.

While I do love games in general, once I was introduced to MMORPGs (Ultima Online being my first) I simply couldn't go back. Playing a game with thousands of people that never really ended was just simply for me. Through my mmorpg experiences I think its easy to break down mmorpg players into 3 categories:

-Veterans: Those that have been around when it was creative and fun gameplay that kept these games going, not graphics and hype. For instance, Ultima Online now over 10 years old with its shitty graphics and aging UI STILL has hovered 100,000 active subscriptions to this day.

-Level Based MMORPGers: This group discovered these games after skill based games like UO and Asherons Call. World of Warcraft being the most obvious instance that brought all sorts of gamers from all over the world into the fray.

-Everyone else: Anyone who has never played an MMORPG can be put into this category.

In my opinion if you are a veteran you will want to read more. If you are a Level Based MMORPGer and you feel you have mastered all there is to master in this style of game, you will want to read more. For everyone else, I think this game is simply not for you as it most likely will be too difficult to understand the mechanics, the "What do I do now" feeling, and the general frustration of learning something of this magnitude.

First and foremost this is a not a level based game. Your character is nothing more than a sum of his skills, NOT his level. That may be hard for non veterans to understand. Its much like life if I see someone across the street staring me down, I can try and assess the person the best I can. But in all reality if I never had seen a Jackie Chan movie before and he was the individual staring me down, I would think he looked like a huge pussy. I would of course be wrong, and have my ass handed to me in the process. This is the core element of Darkfall that you must understand. Maybe the guy standing next to me is the best warrior in all the land, and maybe he just has a more expensive suit of armor than me, has shit skill and is a complete pussy. You simply don't know and this adds an element that you simply never find in level based games. The spills over into NPC enemies as well. There is no gauge to spoon feed you the difficulty of the mob so you can know the outcome of the fight without ever fighting it.

So how do I distinguish myself from someone else you may be asking. The character customization in a game like this is fairly huge on several different scales. The first being that you are not bound by any predeterminded notion of what you should be. You have no predefined role. Its very much like life. The harder you work at something the better you become. But working on Swords for instance, does not mean that you now get stronger in something that has nothing to do with swinging a sword, like magic. Where in level based games when you "level up" all of your abilities level with you, whether you actually used them or not. This means that you simply can become better at what you enjoy, and leave the rest alone. If you decide to forgo magic and crafting all together, and just want to swing swords, then you can do so. And your skill in swords will reflect that. There is no limit to the amount of skills you can learn. Its simply using the skill makes you better in that skill. So forget earning "XP" all together.

Money and skills are directly intertwined in Darkfall in 2 ways. First, you must buy many of the skills. For instance if you want to become a weaponcrafter, you must buy the skill. Stuff in this game is expensive, and skills are one of the only things you can hold onto if you die. So its not like everyone can just go and buy all the skills, level them all to max, and be just like everyone else. You must carefully pick and choose based on your play style and your budget. This made me feel like I was really customizing my character, because I was presented with a LOT of choices, and a LOT to work towards as well. Secondly, some skills have "skills within skills"? Wtf does that mean? Well, take mining for example which you start with for free. Once you hit a certain skill level (75), you can buy another skill that improves the length of time it takes for you to mine, thus decreasing your gathering time significantly. So you can decide to improve something you are already good at, or you can choose to grab another skill and learn that one from scratch with your hard earned gold.

Yea yea yea, but how are the graphics? I'm a graphics WHORE! Heh if that fits your mentality then I think you will be pleasantly surprised. This game will not win awards in the graphics department. But that being said the graphics are indeed good. The mobs are fairly unique looking, the character models are ok. The world actually looks pretty nice at times. The engine runs NICE on just about any PC. I have a nice rig and I had everything maxed at 1680X1050 and I get close to 150fps, anywhere, crowded or not. I have a so so rig also that I tried and I was getting 70fps everywhere. That being said I do occasionally see some strange things. For instance when playing and the sun is hitting things pretty hard, distant objects begin to look funny and cartoony. Almost as though they are cell shaded cartoon graphics. This doesnt happen all the time and I can't tell if this is by design, my rig is set up poorly or some other optimizations need to be made. But all in all the graphics are adequate, and for those of us that were stuck playing skill based games with graphics from UP or Asheron's Call can rejoice! I have also seen some pretty big fights with about 50+ people on screen and I can say with a straight face that NO SLOWDOWN OCCURED. This is a very big positive checkmark in the game's corner.

How is the sound, immerisve? Sound for me is a mixed bag. While they are definitely adequate, there are currently 2 big sound issues that piss me off. First the sound in the game when scaled up or down changes your PCs master volume. This gets annoying when trying to use Ventrillo or another voip type application to talk with your in game buddies. The second is that fighting sounds (swords clanking, spells casing, etc) do not seem to scale properly with distance. I can hear fights WAY far away and I often have to check my health to make sure I am not being attacked. I really hope this gets fixed because this kills the immersion a little bit and its really damn annoying.

How is the combat! I want to kill... Well I can honestly say I have had more fun in combat than any mmorpg ever made. This is because it doesnt feel like an mmorpg. In fact, currently I have no weapon skills in my hotbar either . You control when you swing, when you block, essentially everything about the combat. While your skills do play a role in your damage and general combat success, they do not play a role in your hit ratio. Meaning you cannot physically "lock onto" an enemy and then your hit or miss is determine by a random roll of the dice. You must swing your sword on your own (no auto attack) and you also must aim. So if you go to swing at me and I back up quick enough you will whiff. This spills over into archery and magic even more so. This is because magic and archery are done from a first person perspective and it feels very much like a first person shooter. If I pull out my bow I physically have to aim it myself. The arrows also arc instead of firing straight forever. This means that you actually need "player skill" to hit a moving target with archery and magic, especially at a distance. I must say this is strange since this mechanic is virtually non existent in nearly all mmorpgs, but once you get used to the mechanic it just becomes so damn cool. This is the first time I have really seen a player's skill come into combat in an mmorpg and its a welcome change. And again, combat (at least to me) always is exciting because mobs behave differently. They actually will try to run behind you (which does more damage) and it's not uncommon for a mob to try and run away and you will see 4 or 5 PCs chasing that bastard down.

I live to own newbs! Tell me about PVP. Well this is the other core mechanic of Darkfall. As if you didnt already know, this game is hardcore PVP. This means that anyone can kill anyone, outside of town. Not only can you kill anyone, but you are also free to loot EVERY SINGLE ITEM they has on them at the time they died. This makes for a seriously immersive experience. Part of the reason this becomes such a big deal in the everyday life of Darkfall is because of one very little talked about fact: You can only have one character per server. So you are now completely in control of your characters reputation as well. This means that if you attack other players without reason, if you loot other peoples kills constantly, or you are just an annoying fucktard, this stays with you FOREVER. Their talking shit, PKing someone, and then logging onto another character and thus a completely different reputation. For all I know I am grouping with that very guy! Well these days are over. Players are quick to point out who PKed them for no reason, who not to group with / trust because they ninja loot everything, etc. PVP works by having several races being aligned, and all other enemy races free to kill. You have a single alignment status with your own racial alignment. Everyone is a "blue" by default. You lose status by killing members of your own alignment. If your status gets low enough, you turn "red". When red, anyone is free to attack and kill you without taking a status hit, even from your own racial alignment. To get your status back up and become a "blue" you have to go kill some enemy races for some positive alignment. This is a great system in my opinion because you CAN do what you want, with some penalties in place if you do so. So what I like to do is go kill a bunch of enemy races, build up a lot of faction, and then I have a few "few kills" on smacktards in my own racial alignment that I deem it necessary to cut their throats, and chop off their head (which you can in fact chop off their heads as a trophy). One thing that I am a bit up in the air about is the "rogue status" which is a grey category. If you attack a "blue" character then you go grey, which means anyone is free to kill you without penalty, and of course, loot your shit. This status is temporary, and lasts only 8 seconds or so at first. If you attack someone again before this is over with, the flag extends to a full 3 minutes. While this is neat on paper, it has strange results. Since we are all newbs at first, the newbie spawns are obviously fairly camped. So when something spawns and 500 people all attempt to hack away at the mob at the same time. Occasionally, you will miss the mob and hit a friendly player. This will trigger your "rogue status" and you will go grey, while you meant no mal intent. Whats worse is that most times players know it was an accident, but a few of them want to be fags and will attack you partly for fun, and partly because they can loot your shit without penalty. Other players will recognize the mistake, and just ignore it. While this doesnt sound like the best mechanic, I can honestly say I would rather have it than not. Because what you get sometimes will be players just being dicks in general, randomly attacking players when a mob gets close to dieing so the blue player runs in fear of dieing, and the now grey player kills the mob and loots it before the blue player returns to the fight. It's instances like this where I am glad to know I can kill punks like this when I encounter them. I have a feeling this mechanic will get tweaked as time goes on, but again, most times it works well and as intended. Other times issues can arrise.

I am a merchant tell me about crafting! Well this is going to be a mixed bag for people, and it primarily depends on which of the mmorpg categories I you fit into. If you are used to WOW crafting, then you may not like it much. This has a much different feel to it. But everything you can make is needed by someone, even at the early stages. For instance I decided to craft much more than fight initially. I knew that people liked the archery mechanic and that many people might flock towards armor crafting and weapon crafting, so I tried bowcrafting. I can honestly say that you can make a career in this game both as a harvester and as a crafter (or both!). While its not feasible to simply be crafter only, you CAN be a crafter and gatherer and never fight, if you don't want to. This is a welcome change from most games that place rare resources next to high end mobs that decimate most characters. Its nice how nearly everything you craft someone wants. And since everything eventually breaks, or you lose because someone killed you and you lost your stuff, this creates a neat little economy between crafters and players and becomes fairly cyclical. This is SOOO cool in my opinion because if you have a positive experience with someone and are fair with them, they actually become a "customer". Not in the sense that they just bought something from me, but because they now will actively seek me out when they run out of bows and arrows and are happy to buy from me again. Now many times I have people seeking me out instead of me seeking someone out to buy my goods. I havent seen this since Ultimate Online with player run vendors and shops. Furthermore, you feel as though you are building a business. Especially because crafting is HARD. It takes a long time to get good, almost to the point where newbie crafters may essentially drop out as your competition because they cant keep up skill wise or they do not have the will. So as you progress you really feel as though you are accomplishing something. That being said the communication tools you receive for selling your goods suck some major balls. There is no auction houses, which I like because it forces interaction between players and you have interesting exchanges like the ones described above. However, there does not appear to be a trade chat, and most people seem to just speak in their racial alignment chat. This means that if I have to more or less spam my goods in the open chat as my only means of selling. I hate spam, more than most so it makes me feel bad to have to do that. I try to keep it to one message every 5 or 10 minutes, but I can quickly see how this may become insane once more crafters get their footing. They really need to create a trading channel, or categories of trading channels.

Overall Stability. I heard it sucks wtf is the deal? I must say in terms of stability this is one of the most stable games I have ever played at launch. Now before you throw up all over that statement, I must preface it by saying there were BIG issues initially. First the servers went up for 20 minutes and right down again for like 12 hours. Then up for 10 minutes and then down again for 12 hours. There were all sorts of connection, account, and queing issues. Then they came back online for 10 hours or so but had all sorts of synch issues where mobs would just vanish but you were still getting attacked, or mobs wouldnt attack you at all and everything was a free kill. I stopped trying for 2 days and decided to wait until Saturday to play. And when I did the server was up and its been stable since. I have not crashed to desktop ever, I have had no game breaking issues that I have seen in many other mmorpgs, even after the initial release (player getting stuck, falling through world, warping worse than william shatner, etc.). Interestingly enough the server seems to be handling 6k -10k players at once fine, which is amazing, since most games I have played seem to crap out at half those numbers. Keep in mind that there is only one server currently, and that people seem to be playing from all over Europe and the US. I am on the West Coast of the United States and I have maintained a ping of 180 and have noticed to lag or delays whatsoever. Thats a fairly hefty statement in my opinion. So barring the initial launch fiasco they have this nailed hands down.

UI - The user interface takes some getting used to, and could (and probably will) definitely be tweaked in the future. But its slowly growing on my and you can tell that i was designed by gamers. For instance you have two modes, one for free looking and another that makes the mouse appear on the screen. You can set windows to appear in one mode and not the other. So I can be reading some info about my quests and WHAM someone slams be on the back of my head. I never saw it coming, with a single mouse click I switch to my free look mode and the quest window disappears while the windows I want remain. When I switch modes the quest window returns. Its really neat once you get used to it. That being said, there are clearly omissions here. There are a lot of functions of you use the /help command, I mean its fucking ridiculous how many there are with no explanation of anything. There are no buttons to add a group, you physically have to use commands. You can target someone and press a hotkey, but the question comes up time and time again in chat "How do I invite someone to a group", "How do I leave a group", "How do I trade with another player"? I often wonder how they could completely nail an immersive and fun world and completely miss out on obvious mechanics like these. So you must type things like /partyleave to quit the party. Its workable but it seems clunky. Its worse that you cant make text macros and place them on your hotbar. The chat takes a while to get used to as well. There are 2 main windows, and you can customize it more. But the "system" window and the "chat" windows cannot be combine (or at least I have not found a way to do this). This means that to see everything (that I want to see at least) requires 2 chat windows and that really eats up screen real estate. Suffice it to say they have some innovative features here and some ones that leave you saying... wtf?

But macros are ruining the game. DOOM! Let me tell you that this is pure nonsense and anyone that understands the mechanics of the game can attest to this. You can't really unattended macro in this game effectively. First, for harvesting there are several things that prevent this from being effective. Nodes run out of resources, and tools break over time. Unless someone wants to come up with a macro that sends you from node to node and changes tools when necessary and watches out for people that will PK you and steal all your resources when they realize you are macroing then this simply is not feasible. Magic is the next one. There are some rather sucky spells under the heading of "lesser magic" which is what you start with. Magic missile, healing, etc. While you can macro these to an extent, once you get above lesser magic all spells require reagents that are consumed, and expensive. So while you can continue to brazenly macro magic, you will quickly wind up in the poorhouse with no gold and no reagents to continue the macroing process with. Archery is the same thing. If you have unlimited resources then you could possibly macro archery. But truthfully arrows are expensive, and since money is fairly cyclical in this game you need to use your arrows on mobs, to get more gold to buy more arrows and so on. If you blow them on macroing you will again be broke fairly quick. And the last macroing concern, combat, is non existent. This is because you physically have to strike a pc or NPC to gain skill, so whiffing away won't do much. While there are other things that you can possibly macro (like running by running into a wall forever), these do not really have game breaking effects. This is a much better system than one that only allows me to gain every so often, or adding other stipulations that simply confuse how the underlying mechanics operate.

They need to vomit some ban sauce! Kick these cheaters. Another hot topic seems to be wiping the server to get rid of the first 10 hours of exploitation that allegedly occurred when mobs werent properly fighting back. While some people did gain more than others, this simply was not to any degree of legitimacy. I have a LOT of gold right now and it was mostly gotten through building up good relationships through crafting. If I just flashed my cash others may claim I exploited as well. But this is simply not the case and the game did not get ruined in 10 hours of broken game play. I can assure you . Life will go on.

Here are some other things worth mentioning, but not worth of their own category:

* Everything I wrote was from my own experience. Obviously your mileage may vary, but these are my ideas and my thoughts based on my experience. Take that for what its worth

* There will be people legitimately hate this game. Most will fit into category #3, or never really excelled at category #2. This game is not for everyone.

* For those that can't play, it doesnt mean the game sucks... it doesnt mean the game doesnt suck. It just means others are playing while you are not. Please leave your opinions to yourself until you get a chance to play. The fact is that it seems they only had enough money to launch one server. So they sold around 10k accounts on preorder, sold out and this is where we are at. What they claim really doesnt mean shit until they do it. So hopefully they will let more players in soon, but again, I attempted my best to review the game, and not with the problems getting into the game

* I hope you like my spelling / grammar mistakes. I dont give enough of a shit to proof read my own stuff. Deal with it.

* The last point I want to touch on is the fun factor. No matter how well I can detail my experiences, I simply cannot detail out well enough how much fun I am having. The more fun I am having in a game the more bs I am willing to deal with, thats the truth. The game is just fun. No matter what I am doing at any given time (especially exploring but I am running out of time to touch on that) I am just having a blast. This is more than the "new game" feel. It feels more like returning to world I once knew and loved, but was unwilling to return to... like UO and AC. Its like this game has sparked that magic that made me fall in love with mmorpgs in the first place. Darkfall just gets that aspect of the game right.

If you made it this far, I applaud you . I really hope some of this info may help some of you that cannot find legit reviews, or info about the game. I am glad to say I have found my new home. And I can honestly say that the problems the game does have, CAN be fixed. Unlike games like (again, in my opinion) Age of Conan, which are simply a broken core, albeit a pretty one, that simply cannot be fixed. Darkfall is like having a real hot girlfriend with small tits. The tits can be fixed. I doubt I will return to this thread to post anything else as Im sure it will at some point degrade into something ugly. But I do hope some of you got some value with it. Hope to see you all in Darkfall. Take care.

-Rogan Blackheart

World of Warcraft: Freya vs Undisputed Strategy Video

Here is the latest Video from PTR realms. This time from Undisputed!

Darkfall Online: How the Guild system works

Now that Darkfall is out for a while, many people may be interested in the Guild mechanics.

Main Menu

This is the main menu of the guild interface. Right away we can see that there are a wide variety of features that you won’t find in many other MMOs.  The interface has a built in message board system in the game for your guild, and a separate officer’s forum.  While I am sure most guilds that are remotely serious already have their own website with these, it is definitely an interesting addition.

Darkfall Online Guild Menu

Aside from the forums, we can see some other standard features like the general roster and guild bank management.  Depending on the nature of your guild, there is actually a built in KOS (Kill on Sight) list that some might want to utilize to make a note of who is at the top of your shit list.  If your guild is involved in the conquest side of the game, there is an interface to show your status with other guilds, and another to keep track of your guild’s conquest history.


This is the bread and butter screen of pretty much every guild interface in every MMO.  The roster in Darkfall contains a lot of the general information listing all of the members, their clan rank, race, gender, and online status.  Unique to Darkfall on this screen however is a listing of each members alignment, so that everyone can monitor how close to going red or blue each member is.

Darkfall Online Guild Roster

Across the top of the roster there are several tabs that provide even more information.  The “Fighting” tab shows a list of all kills that members of your guild have done to people who are on your KOS list or in guild which has been declared as enemy status.  We also see the “Support” tab which keeps tracks of players who have been revived (helping up an incapacitated player) by the guild members during a time of war.  Conversely, the “Ganking” tab tracks the ganks (final blows to incapacitated players) that members have performed to those on the KOS and enemy guild list.

KOS List

The kill on sight list is the tool in which to declare a specific player an enemy of your guild.  I am sure we all have heard other players threatening other players with KOS lists in other games, but Darkfall actually has it built right into the game.  So if you were one of those people who kept the list next to the computer or had the list on your forums, you can put away the pen and paper.

Darkfall Online Kill-on-Sight (KOS) list

With this addition, now all of the members of your guild will have access to the individuals on your shit list.  The list will display data on the KOS individual including their name, guild, rank in that guild, and gender.  This makes for a useful tool to target a specific member of a certain guild without declaring war an their entire roster.  Although one would have to imagine that singling out and killing a certain member of a guild could lead to an escalation, but that is left up to the players to decide.

Guild Bank

This is the tool in the guild interface that allows the guild to track and monitor activity of member interaction with the guild bank.  The main screen can be sorted out between deposits and withdraws, and lists the item and the quantity in each transaction.

Darkfall Online Guild Bank

The amount of data listed can be sorted by time. You can decide to only see today’s transactions, or you can opt take see all the transactions digging back to a week, month, or all time.  Across the top we first see the “Resource” tab, which consolidates the transactions.  For example, instead of seeing 10 transactions from members adding 50 gold each, the resource tab simply consolidates it to 500 gold for easier viewing.  The “Current Items” tab is a complete inventory list of all the items that in the guild bank vault.


The diplomacy tab is a tool in the interface that displays your relationships with clans as defined by the guild.  Given how guild oriented the game can become, this tool helps you assign a value to guilds so that members can see the policy towards other guilds.  I like to think of this window much like the diplomacy adviser from Civ 4 in that it helps you untangle the web of relationships between your guild and the various others that you are bound to cross paths with as you play the game.

Darkfall Online Guild Diplomacy

Clan Empire

This is the tool in the interface that tracks activity relating to guild conquest.  Think of this an as event log that keeps track of various aspects and events during your wars with other clans.

Darkfall Online Guild Wars

Down the side of the tool, we can see that members are able to filter the list by wins, losses, treaties, and active conflicts.  Across the top of the screen, first we see the “Cities” tab.  This enables guild members to view all information regarding the cities the guild controls and destroyed.  The “Structures” tab lists all structures that the guild has either disabled or destroyed.

The Verdict

The Darkfall guild UI is definitely one of the most intricate my guild has seen in an MMO, and is the first we have seen in a while to give the Everquest 2 guild UI a run for its money.  The only issue is that it seems that opening it up can take a few seconds for it to load because it uses some form of HTML.  Hopefully this should give other guild leaders and future members an idea of the tools that we have at our disposal.  I mentioned in my beta review that to really experience all of what Darkfall has to offer, you should consider playing with friends or joining up with a guild.  I hope that this has provided you with some insight on that experience.  Aventurine has clearly spent a lot of time working on this side of the game, and as time goes on we will hopefully get a better idea of how all of this will come together.

Monday, March 2, 2009

World of Warcraft: Val’anyr, Gave of the Ancient Kings – The next legendary Item in Wrath of the Lich King

Val'anyr, Gavel of Ancient Kings

If you've been reading this site for more than 3 days, you probably know that a new Legendary Mace will be added to the game with Patch 3.1. Just like with Atiesh in Naxxramas, you will have to drop multiple Fragments of Val'anyr to be able to start the quest chain to rebuild the mace. The Shattered Fragments of Val'anyr will most likely drop from bosses in Ulduar, you need 40 of them to rebuild the mace.

When all fragments are in your possession, you will be able to start the following quest :

Ancient History

The pieces fit together to form an elegant hammer. Its construction appears to be at least partially Titan in nature. The console inside the Archivum might have some information regarding this artifact.

  • Bring the Shattered Fragments of Val'anyr to the Archivum Console in the Archivum in Ulduar.

The Archivum is the small room behind The Assembly of Iron (where the Iron Council is). After a small event the follow-up will require you to kill ... The old god Yogg-Saron in his prison!


Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings

The Archivum console has hinted at a possible way to rebind the fragments of Val'anyr: you must get the fragments inside the physical form of the being known as Yogg-Saron. It sounds like a long shot, but for an artifact of such power you think the risk might just be worth it.

  • Throw the Shattered Pieces of Val'anyr inside Yogg-Saron's exposed brain and defeat Yogg-Saron to recover the Reforged Hammer of Ancient Kings.

I couldn't find anything in the game files below this point, but I'll assume it doesn't take much after that to end up with the mace in your hands ... below is the (still unconfirmed) model.

World of Warcraft: Ulduar tactical map

There is an Ulduar tactical map, with all important rooms so people can have an idea where the bosses are located.


World of Warcraft: Latest 3.1.0 PTR Additions

Recently there were a few items added to the PTR Servers, Shirts, Tabard (finally some good looking stuff) and new Mounts/Rings. Take a look below:

Herb bags

Miscellaneous (weapons)




Tailoring patterns



Flying mounts

Small pets


World of Warcraft: Yogg-Saron and the story behind him

Yogg-Saron is an Old God imprisoned beneath Northrend by the Titans. He is responsible for much of the corruption in Grizzly Hills, including that of Ursoc. He has managed to sway Loken under his influence, using him to wage war with the rest of the Pantheon.


Yogg-Saron, along with the other Old Gods, created the Curse of Flesh to infect and assimilate the Titans’ creations, such as the Earthen. The Titans discovered that if the Old Gods were destroyed, any infected creations would also be destroyed. Alternatively, the Titans kept the Old Gods alive and imprisoned them beneath Azeroth.

Grizzly Hills

Yogg-Saron corrupted the world tree Vordrassil when its roots penetrated his lair. Druids destroyed the tree upon discovering its taint, but corruption continued to spread to the Grizzlemaw furbolgs which later inhabited the tree’s stump and attempted to regrow the world tree. The furbolgs used the corrupted magic of the tree to resurrect the bear god Ursoc, who in turn also became corrupted.


Saronite ore derives its name from Yogg-Saron. Tuskarr refer to it as “black blood of Yogg-Saron,” suggesting it may be a physical byproduct of the Old God. It is used by the Scourge as fuel, armament, weapons, and in constructing their buildings. The Scourge utter “Yogg-Saron” with contempt. Faceless ones also refer to Yogg-Saron in an unknown context.


There is an Old God within Ulduar, suggesting that Yogg-Saron may be an encounter. An area of Ulduar is titled “The Prison of Yogg-Saron,” but he is not found there currently due to only bosses that are being tested being spawned. It is also likely that he will end up coming out of the Saronite pool in his prison rather than be in plain site.

While traveling through Azjol-Nerub on his way to Icecrown, Arthas encountered and defeated a “forgotten one” which bears physical similarities to C’Thun (another Old God), and was defended by faceless ones. This may have been Yogg-Saron, which would mean that the faceless ones are allied with him. Furthermore, a faceless one is present in the Ymirheim Saronite Mines, where Yogg-Saron’s (presumably) whisper can be heard.

The nerubians were known to worship the Old Gods, those that have not been assimilated into the Scourge may still worship them.

The manner and contempt with which the Scourge proclaim “Yogg-Saron” suggests they may be at odds with him. On the other hand, they are reliant upon saronite which he produces.

Whispers of Old Gods

The whispers heard in Whisper Gulch from “unknown voice” may be produced by Yogg-Saron. They sound similar to the whispers of C’Thun, another Old God:

  • They are coming for you…
  • Give in to your fear…
  • Kill them all… before they kill you…
  • They have turned against you… now, take your revenge…
  • Tell yourself again that these are not truly your friends…
  • There is no escape… not in this life… not in the next…
  • You are a pawn of forces unseen…
  • It was your fault…

Other whispers:

  • You will be alone in the end…
  • Trust…is your weakness…
  • an illusion…
  • All you know…will fade…

The voices can also be heard in the Ymirheim Saronite Mines and Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom.


  • Yogg-Saron’s name derived from Yog-Sothoth of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos
  • “Yogg” might also be an intentional misspelling of “Ygg”, referring to Yggdrasil, the World Tree of Norse mythology, tying in with Yogg-Saron’s corruption of Vordrassil

World of Warcraft: Algalon the Observer Preview (Ulduar Boss)

If you’ve been following things and watched the video, you no doubt have some basic knowledge of Algalon the Observer and that he’s only tuned as Hard Mode.  This fellow is essentially the conduit between the Titans (who have left Azeroth) and the Watchers (Freya, Mimiron, Hodir, etc.).  It turns out — thanks to some data on Wowhead from the 3.1 PTR — that Algalon is preparing to alert the Titans of what’s happening in Ulduar, and there’s an urgency to stop this.  If the Titans discover how dire the situation is, they may decide the only course of action is to wipe the slate clean by “sterilizing” the planet.

This information also makes it clear that you’ll only be able to access Algalon after redeeming the Watchers; there are a set of quests involved in it and turning in each of the sigils of the Watchers will grant you access to the Celestial Planetarium — Algalon’s chamber.

Algalon-related Quests

The first quest in the chain looks to be Archivum Data Disc (Heroic: Archivum Data Disc).  Where this comes from is still to be determined.  Since Algalon himself is only available in a Hard Mode version, it can be assumed these quests may only be completable from the Hard Modes of encounters in Ulduar.

The Celestial Planetarium (Heroic: The Celestial Planetarium)

Brann Bronzebeard has discovered that Algalon the Observer is going to be arriving in Ulduar soon and will likely send back information on what’s going on.

Listen, <lad/lass>! Azeroth’s fate is at stake here.

Our only chance is to get to the Celestial Planetarium in time to find this Algalon and stop him from beaming back any messages to his Titan masters.

Locate the Celestial Planetarium and come back with any information you get. We might still have some time to prepare for Algalon’s arrival.

Sigils of the Watchers

Next up you must obtain the Sigils of the Watchers so that you can use them to access the Celestial Planetarium and stop Algalon.

Algalon (Heroic: Algalon)

This looks to be the quest that will unlock the Celestial Planetarium, allowing access to the Algalon the Observer encounter.

You really did it, <name>. Take the sigils to the Archivum Console and see if you can gain access to the Celestial Planetarium.

You best hurry, <lad/lass>. Time is of the essence.

All Is Well That Ends Well (Heroic: All Is Well That Ends Well)

This is likely one of the last quests in the chain; you’re to take a code to Rhonin in Dalaran so it can be altered to let the Titans know that everything is peachy on Azeroth.

We’d best hurry now, <name>. We’re going to have to transmit the reply-code from the Dalaran.

Take it to Rhonin, I will meet you there.

World of Warcraft: Thorim (Ulduar) Strategy Guide

Background Story

Thorim protects Ulduar and the pacts between the races of frost from his throne within Temple of Storms, high above the Storm Peaks of Northrend.

thorim guide

After betraying the Pantheon Loken -Thorim’s brother- tricked him into betraying the frost giants by murdering his wife Sif and blaming it on the frost giant king. Thorim stroked out his allies and settled into a long stupor.

Years later, after discovering the truth, with the aid of players serving the Sons of Hodir, he recovered his shattered armor and weapon, and fought against his brother Loken. But it was a trapset by Loken to lure Thorim away from the Temple of Storms, where close to his dark masters power. Thorim and his proto-drake, Veranus, were captured and taken to “new dwellings”. Their fate thereafter is unknown.

His story is fleshed out in a long and expansive quest chain that eventually culminates in The Reckoning, where Thorim and Loken meet face to face, and Whatever it Takes!, where players enter the Halls of Lightning to destroy Loken and take his lying tongue.

It was announced on Feb 17, 2009 that Thorim is to be a raid encounter in the upcoming Ulduar dungeon. Once Thorim is defeated he is saved from the corruption and ports out to likely aid the players against Yogg-Saron later.


His name, title, and location are references to the Norse god Thor. Thorim’s hammer (Krolmir) is based on Thor’s hammer (Mjolnir) and Thor’s wife is also named Sif.

Trash Mobs

The fight takes place in The Clash of Thunder, an arena overwatched by Thorim himself. As you enter the arena you will see a Jormungar Behemoth (~1.2M HP) fighting a captured alliance/horde (opposing faction) team composed of 1 tank, 1 healer, and 3 damage dealers. Killing them is fairly easy, just make sure you take care of the AoE healing from the healer while fighting the NPC and try to avoid the large poison breath while fighting the Jormungar.

Jormungar Behemoth

Lieutenants and Soldiers

Once the NPCs and the Jormungar are dead, a lot of constructs (melee, casters, and healers) will jump into the arena from the stands and you will have to handle them with only one part of your raid while Thorim throws Stormhammers at them. He will also randomly activates the lightning orbs surrouding the arena, they will deal strong AoE damage to anyone near as soon as they are activated: run away from them!

Additionally, some mob (possibly Thorim or the Dark Rune Evoker, currently unknown) will cast Rune Detonation on players, necessitating the raid to spread out.

The 2nd part of the raid will have to go through the hallway to the left of the Arena and fight its way to Thorim. This hallways is also full of constructs and will also have you deal with two mini bosses (about 5M HP each), you only have 5 minutes to reach Thorim before he goes berserk and kills your raid.

As the raid makes its way through the gate and into the corridors preceding Thorim, some condition (rumour has it that it’s triggered by 0 people remaining in the room before the gate) causes a Lightning Orb to spawn and cast Lightning Destruction

Adds that are past the gate:

  • Ancient Rune Giant: Stomp + melee.
  • Runic Colossus: Uses Runic Barrier, Smash, and has a charge attack.

Thorim is originally on the balcony above the raid and can use all of the following:

  • Stormhammer - Thorim uses this attack semifrequently throughout the fight. Stormhammer procs Deafening Thunder which is further encouragement to stay spread out at the beginning of the fight and on the “worm side.”
  • Touch of Dominion - Thorim gets this at the beginning of the fight (possibly to illustrate that he’s lost his mind and the raid needs to “save” him)
  • Sheath of Lightning - Thorim gets this at the beginning of the fight so that the raid can’t DPS him on the balcony from their starting position.
  • A spell that Thorim uses to enrage the adds if the raid doesn’t make it to him in time (3 minutes?): Berserk Empowers allies with the full might of Thorim- Damage done increased by 500%, Attack and cast speed increased by 200%, Health increased by 300%.

SPECULATION: After clearing the robot adds in the hallway after the gate, the raid may be able to move upstairs to Thorim and pull him, presumably causing Sheath of Lightning to drop. Thorim’s abilities at this point are currently unknown to us. Method did down Thorim on the 27 February PTR and screenshots indicate that they were fighting him in the room adjacent to the balcony that he starts on, lending credence to this theory.

A strategy?

Here’s another perspective on a strategy. This came to us from the awesome Bibi, administrator of everyone’s favorite news site, MMO-Champion:

The fight take place in a kind of arena overwatched by Thorim himself. There is a hallway on the left leading to the Thorim area. In this arena, a Jormungar Behemoth is fighting with an captured alliance team (1 tank, 1 healer and 3 damage dealers).

The fight has three phase.

Phase 1

First you enter the arena and fight against the alliance team.

It’s really easy to manage, the healer have an big AoE heal and the Behemoth have large breath of poison.

Phase 2

Then, the real fight begins: a lot of constructs jump into the arena from the sidelines. There are three different kind of constructs: healer, melee, and caster. (ed note: dwarves?)

During this period, Thorim throws his Stormhammer at the raid, and the arena is surounded by lightning orb which does strong damage when Thorim activate them.

Part of your raid goes into the hallway and fights two more constructs and two minibosses. If you don’t reah Thorim within 5 minutes, he goes berserk.

Phase 3

When the hallway group reaches Thorim, he jumps into the arena and phase 3 begins.

He has rougthly 11M hitpoints and swing at 8k (at the beginning) on a well geared tank.

It’s a dps race, because he hits the tank with Unbalancing Strike, reducing their defense each time. Also, he gain a Lightning Charge every 15 sec giving him 20% dmg and haste each.


Well, to quote Kabhannah in Inner Sanctum on Silvermoon-EU:

Thorim might be ‘interesting’, but he’s also tuned to Shade of Akama challenge level. Tweak the numbers a bit and it could be good fun though.

Hard Mode

Unknown at this time, though we believe one exists due to the presence of an achievement icon for Thorim.

Thorim’s Sigil