Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Haunted Children

Well, Happy Halloween folks! In honor of the day I present you with the Haunted Children of Goldshire. You may have heard about them. In Goldshire there's a house where periodically (they sometimes leave the building) you may find six children on the second floor standing in an odd Pentagram formation:

This short video shows you the creep factor:

Players have been trying to figure this out for eons. They go into the building as a ghost, they stealth, they use sense undead. All trying to figure out whatever Easter Egg this is. But they come up with nothing. To this day, no one knows what this is.

Here a player follows the kids on their periodic journey to Stormwind:

You can see the path of the center child, Cameron, here:
Thottbot map of his Elwynn Forest Journey and the Stormwind Version.

I leave you with that mystery. Enjoy!

Updated 8/9/2007 to fix broken Thottbot links.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Heroes of Azeroth

The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game is now available for purchase.

More Links:

  • Here is a link to the Upper Deck website and Loot FAQ.
  • Wikipedia link.
  • WoWInsider provided a lot of previews of the TCG cards.

  • Sunday, October 29, 2006

    Hallow's End Round Up

    There's still a few days left to Hallow's End; it's scheduled to run through Tuesday.

    It's been quite eventful so far. We've poked a little fun at it. Here are the events we've covered:

  • Bob for Apples
  • Scare Some Monsters
  • Enjoy the Decorations
  • Trick or Treat an Innkeeper
  • Do the Orphan Candy Quests
  • Visit the Wickerman Festival
  • Participate in the Southshore Quests
  • Buy Candy or Treats from the Special NPC

  • Links:
    Hallow's End Pages from Blizzard and wowwiki.

    Saturday, October 28, 2006

    Hallow's End - Fright

    I noticed a nice surprise from the Pumpkin Treats. You know, the ones that are quest rewards for so many of the Hallow's End quests and that you can buy from the Candy Shopkeepers.

    Well if you're "on the candy" while you're fighting (they last 20 minutes a pop) there's a chance that you'll "Spook" your enemy as shown in this picture:

    Hallow's End - Southshore

    There are a few Hallow's End quests with action that takes place in Southshore. It's a well chosen location for Horde and Alliance because there are gathering points for each rather close together:

    Stinky Quests:
    The Horde quest: Stinking Up Southshore which is given by Darkcaller Yank, you may remember I mentioned her in the Wickerman Festival post. The goal of the quest is to get Horde players to go to the Alliance town of Southshore and throw stink bombs. (She also gives you this Southshore quest: Rotten Eggs.)

    The Alliance Quest:
    Alliance characters are asked to take the quest "The Power of Pine" in which they are given a tool to clean up the stink bombs from the Horde. The tool has a 24 hour timer.

    Now if the Alliance folks would just not kill every Hordey that tries to flow a stinkbomb there might just be some stink to clean up.

    Update 10/30/06:
    I went back with another character to take a screenshot of the 24 hour timer on the Stink Bomb Cleaner and was surprised to find at that very moment a Horde player threw a stink bomb. I never ran so fast to clean anything in my life:

    There was one consequence of finishing the quest though - you become PVP flagged (something my interface rarely, if ever, sees).

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    Hallow's End - Trick or Treats

    You can visit any Innkeeper once an hour to Trick or Treat. But the results are random - you don't know which you'll get - Trick or Treat:

    For a brief period of time (less than a minute) you may be turned into a toad, a cat, or other familiars:

    You may also be given a random costume which lasts an hour:
    This is me as a wisp Hearthing:

    I also like that you can dance in the same form as your costume:

    You can ride a mount or fly while you're in most disguises:

    Unless your disguise is a Shape Shift:

    (Yeah I was not happy.)

    Hopefully what you'll get is a Treat. Masks, costume wands or candy.

    Here are some masks in action:

    The candy as Doeg put it "the best food in the game." They restore 3% of Health and Mana per second for 25 seconds.

  • Lollipops
  • Candy Bars
  • Candy Corns
  • Hallow's End - Wickerman Festival

    Outside of the Undercity (to the west side) is the Wickerman Festival. An NPC, Darkcaller Yanka, let's anyone who stops by know that the festival happens every night at 8:00 pm (according to your server).

    At 8pm the Banshee Queen shows up (actually apparently Banshee-time is 2 minutes earlier than Server-time):

    And she reminds everyone about the purpose of the Wickerman Festival: (She's met with many cheers of course.)

    Here's more of the speech:

    Children of the Night, heed your Queen's call!

    I join you in celebration of this most revered of nights - the night we Forsaken broke the Scourge's yoke of oppression ! It is this night that our enemies fear us the most. It is THIS night that we show our enemies what it means to stand against the Forsaken!

    Now is the time to shake the world to its foundations! NOW is the time to remind those who would enslave us that we shall never yield!

    NOW is the time of the Forsaken! Power to the Forsaken - NOW AND FOREVER!!!

    And then the effigy lights on fire. As he burns, piles of embers show up on the ground. If you open one you can "smear them on your face like warpaint" (nope, it doesn't show up on your character) and get a wicked Wickerman Buff. I caught the granting of the buff on screen here:

    Your body does a really cool quickening kind of pose for a second there when you're zapped. The buff is called the Invocation of the Wickerman and it provides for Increased Health and Mana regeneration by 25% and Stamina by 25% for 2 hours.

    The related alliance quest is to Crash the Wickerman Festival. (Beware thar 3 be Wickerman Guardians there.)

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Hallow's End - Orphan Quest

    One of the Hallow's End quests is an Orphan Quest.

    Here's my cheat sheet:
    (You'll need 2 open quest slots)

    Phase 1
    Get Starter Quest
    Go to the Human Orphanage - Located in one of the free standing buildings in Cathedral Square in Stormwind.Go to the Orc Orphanage - Located in the Valley of Honor in Orgrimmar. It's a building to the left of the mining trainer. (71,22)
    Starter Quest Link on ThottbotStarter Quest Link on Thottbot
    Phase 2
    Pick up the Candy
    (No xp.)
    Visit 3 different Inns. Get the quest from the Innkeeper and do the requested emote to get the candy.
    • Stormwind (/flex for Nougat)
    • Ironforge (/chicken for Mint)
    • Darnassus (/dance for Marzipan)
    • Orgrimmar (/flex for Nougat)
    • Undercity (/chicken for Mint)
    • Thunderbluff (/dance for Marzipan)
    • Find Talvash del Kissel
      (Mystic Ward of Ironforge 36,3)
    • Get quest then do the /train emote for a gumdrop.
    • Find Kali Remik
      (Sen'jin Village Durotar 56,74)
    • Get quest then do the /train emote for a gumdrop.
    Phase 3
    Take Candy to Orphan
    (1,650 xp+
    100 Faction and 30 Treats
    Return all 4 pieces of candy to the Orphan at the Orphanage

    And here's me willing to look like an idiot for a piece of candy:

    Hallow's End - Bob for Apples

    Throughout the holiday Innkeepers also have a barrel of Apples to bob. You can hold five (one dunking's worth) of Apples at a time but no more. In some cases the barrel is not exactly next to the Innkeeper. In Ironforge, for example, it's upstairs.

    Here's the Apple Barrel in the Undercity:

    And here's the Apple Barrel in Stormwind:

    What is that they say about the Horde players generally being more mature?

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Hallow's End - Candy Shops

    During Hallow's End two vendor's show up and sell some unique treats:

  • Katrina Shimmerstar in Iron Forge
  • Rachelle Gathena in Orgrimmar

  • You can even buy those fun Hallow's End Pumpkin Treats (that are quest rewards for a number of other Hallow's End quests) from them.

    Hallow's End - Decorations

    Hallow's End doesn't pull any punches when it comes to decorations. The pumpkins, candles, hats, skeletons, skull lights, ghosts, witches hats, etc.). appear everywhere. I collected some pictures from around Azeroth:

    Undercity:(Which gets my vote for best Hallow's End decorations)


    Stormwind Fountain:

    Ghost in Thunderbluff:

    Table in Goldshire: (I don't remember the paper Skeleton and the Witches Hat from last year.)

    Pumpkra in Undercity: Now that's a big pumpkin. Seriously you have to see this thing.

    Skull Closeup: (I saw these orange lights hanging around and wanted a closeup to see what it was - turns out they're skulls.)

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Burning Crusade Release Estimate Changes to January 2007

    I have to mention this. I first saw it on WoW Insider this morning. Burning Crusade release date was previously Q4 2006. Now it's January 2007.

    The link they provided is this post from Eyonix (emphasis is mine):

    IRVINE, Calif. -- Blizzard Entertainment® today announced that the release date for World of Warcraft®: The Burning Crusade™, the highly anticipated expansion for World of Warcraft, will be in January 2007. By adding a few extra weeks to the development cycle beyond its original target date, Blizzard will be able to extend the closed beta test and further refine the new content that will ship with the game.

    “We appreciate the enthusiasm surrounding World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and we’re excited about putting the finishing touches on all of the new content,” said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We feel confident that the extra time spent polishing the game will result in the high-quality experience that our players expect and deserve.”

    Blizzard began the closed-beta phase of testing on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade earlier this month. The January 2007 release window will allow extra time for current beta testers to participate in the final stages of development and continue providing valuable feedback.

    Further information on specific worldwide release dates, pricing, and other details will be announced in the near future.

    I was surprised Amazon responded so quickly - here's their message as of today:

    Note on release date: Blizzard has officially announced that The Burning Crusade expansion has been delayed until January 2007, and no other information is available at this time. Our listed release date of January 30 is an estimate and not official information. Please check this page later for updated information.

    I wonder how this decision impacts Blizzard's earnings. Is it better to have the influx of cash in 2007 vs. 2006? Does it squeeze out another few months of same ol' content from people who have time off at the holidays? Or does this risk players' giving up altogether for something unpredictable and too far away? And do they lose income from students who might have played it during their holiday but now can't?

    Was the lack of a Non-Disclosure agreement on the beta intentional to keep the excitement up?

    What will be on everyone's Christmas list now?


    Monday, October 23, 2006

    No Quest For You

    Sunday, October 22, 2006

    Slot Machine

    While I was in Lag Vegas I saw a Star Wars Slot Machine. (Video) The film mini clips/moving icons embedded into it were awesome to say the least. I've never been so excited to get a losing payout... but look it's Han Solo! (It was "New Hope" centric - we won't get into the whole first trilogy whips the butt of the second trilogy deal - but I'll just say I was very happy.)

    I of course immediately thought that there should be a WoW Slot Machine. Unfortunately I don't think we'll ever see one. Of the 7 million players I doubt half (a third?) of them would have legal access to a casino (age, proximity, laws, etc..). Plus I found these quotes in my research:

    Article about Themed machines:

    Generally, slot makers seek a theme that will cut them a wide slice of the market pie. "We use a recognized brand or mark or show ... that has some established familiarity, that can add an additional level of entertainment to a game," Rogich explains. "It brings instant recognizability and a fan base."
    "There is no dead-on template, such as 'only recognized stars' " make a viable slot theme, Bone says. He notes that his company's "target market is basically a 55-year-old woman with a certain level of disposable income." For that reason, he says, WMS has not done many games themed to male-oriented interests such as sports. Competitors have, however. One maker, Aristocrat, has a game based on Brazilian soccer superstar Pele.

    /sigh. Darn. Ok, so absent a real one, here's my imagination of what the main panel might look like:

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Aggro the White Tigers

    This picture I did not alter at all (except to crop it). Strangely it is a tribute to Siegfried and Roy.

    What is that there beside the heads? Is... is that supposed to be a mithril deposit? Were Siegfried and Roy miners (in addition to being hunters)? Perhaps one would hold aggro while the other did the mining. Hm. I had no idea their conservation efforts included minerals.

    S & R were a big deal at the Mirage for many years until the whole "tiger bites Roy" incident. Now if you go to the Mirage, there's no show but there's still a Dolphin and white tiger habitat (20 second video).

    By the way, I was sure to use a silver dragon border around the icon above which signifies a "rare spawn" for the white tiger rather than a gold dragon border which signifies "elite." (I only just learned that recently, I have to admit.)

    Thursday, October 19, 2006


    For a city in the middle of a desert, there were fountains EVERYWHERE in Las Vegas. My friend told me one night to "meet me by the fountain" but inside Caesar's alone there were about 8 fountains. This one was outside of Caesar's:

    But strangely, it just didn't look right. Not until I made it feel more like home:

    (For my Horde friends, roll an Alliance alt and put them in Stormwind for about 5 seconds, any time, any day. You'll quickly see what I mean.)

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Vegas in Signs

    Whenever I go on vacation and see a themepark I think of World of Warcraft. It's just destined to be turned into one. Vegas, however, just didn't have the right feel (imho).

    For example, if you're walking along the streets of WoW Vegas might they advertise their big "show" like this?:

    Or maybe in WoW Vegas instead of advertising Toni Braxton on the side of the Flamingo Casino, I imagined some Night Elf Magician show would be advertised (NE magician's on the left, Toni's on the right):

    Too nutty, I think. More than likely the most WoWish thing would be a nice Pandaren Express. (First time I actually saw one.)