In which WoW gets cross-realm raiding, Markco gets banned, and Johnnie gets drunk with power

That’s right, people, there’s a new sheriff in town!

Actually, there’s only a temporary stand-in sheriff, and your original favourite sheriff will be back in a few days. Hugh is taking a well-deserved break and spending a few days in Paris, the lucky so-and-so. That means the Pot is in the temporarily-empowered hands of yer uncle Johnnie.

So. Let’s see what’s happening out there in MMO-land … oh, look! A patch!

WoW Patch 4.3.2 is live, and has brought with it the possibility of (admittedly limited) cross-realm raiding, and the blogosphere has stepped up to the plate to provide a couple of really great tools to help with organising cross-realm raids. First up is LFRaid.com, a brand new site from Reliq of Azeroth Observer. Signing up to the site will allow you to create a profile, find a raid, or recruit additional players for your own raid. It’s early days yet (the site is still very firmly in Beta) but Reliq tells us that new features are planned for the very near future, including advice on sharing RealID and the ability to manage teams and send out your own invites. This looks like it could become a great tool for finding an LFR raid that doesn’t make you want to get a PhD in Advanced Theoretical Computing so that you can find a way to entirely digitize yourself, then transfer yourself to an electronic medium so that you can fly down your ethernet cable right into the homes of every one of those twenty-four idiots and beat them about the head until they learn to stop using the phrase “ffs tnak sux”.

Ahem. Apologies. I may be projecting there, every so slightly.

Along similar lines to LFRaid.com, a few prominent WoW twitterers have set up Twitterland, a dedicated portal for WoW-playing Twitter users to come together and organise raids. They’re using the Enjin guild website portal, which Rebecca reviewed in early 2011 and it looks like it’s perfectly suited to the task. They’re a friendly group, so pop by and say hi.

The Diablo 3 Beta team, it seems, are distinctly less friendly. Markco (a well-known and sometimes controversial WoW gold blogger, who Hugh interviewed last year) has now moved onto the Diablo 3 Beta, and is blogging gold-making strategies over at the Diablo 3 Gold Guide. Of course, Diablo 3 will feature real-world money trading, which makes Markco’s skills potentially very profitable. Perhaps too profitable: Markco was banned from the D3 beta test , seemingly for the crime of just being too darned good at what he does.

Today I received confirmation that my use of the tools Blizzard provides every player were considered exploitative of the Diablo 3 Beta economy. I have been asked to tell customer support about my ideas for making gold or real money BEFORE trying them in the retail version of the game.

Blizzard, and this goes for whoever makes the policy over there for banning accounts, are you kidding me? Because I used my brain and got materials from salvaging vendor items and gimped my character’s survivability with 145% gold find gear I should be banned?

This is distressing stuff, because it could potentially lead to accounts being banned in retail simply because they are better at the economic game than 99% of the player-base. Now I will have to be careful not to make “too much” gold while playing.

It’s perhaps inevitable that Blizzard would need to iron out some wrinkles from the trading and gold-making aspects of Diablo 3 – that’s what a Beta is for, after all – but if Markco has indeed been banned for simply making too much gold too quickly, it’s a bit disappointing. Blizzard knew what a can of worms they were opening in allowing real-world money to enter the D3 economy. They must have known, also, that it would attract a lot of skilled WoW auctioneers looking to turn their skills into a real-life income stream. Imposing an arbitrary limit on the amount of money that can be made goes against the spirit of that intent.

Read more →

Appearance is everything

Now that the news of the forthcoming Transmogrification tools in WoW Patch 4.3 has settled in, many bloggers are starting to speculate about which bit of gear has the best look. I can the impression that a lot of people are planning their perfect appearance in advance, with some players even starting to grind old world instances already.

The Dreamy Druid has a list of best picks for druids. I’ve always thought that druids have been lucky enough to have some of the best tier sets over the years, and Melyanna’s selection shows them all off well.

What could be cooler than killing baddies in metaphorical high heels?

For hunters, Morynnne at Marks-365 continues her Hunter Tier Transmogrification Guide with a list of belts and boots. There are some great images here, particularly in the main guide. I don’t think Id’ even seen the hunter Tier 1 set before, but I like it.

Even WoW Insider is getting in on the act, with a post today looking at the different warlock tiers. There’s a definate aura of warlockophelia in the air:

[O]h, tier 5. This is perhaps the signature warlock tier set for many players. It offers everything that you could ever want out of a set: It’s excessively dark, it shows that warlocks will do whatever it takes to defeat their enemies, and just overall is the core of what makes a warlock a warlock and not a weak-willed mage.

If you are a ‘weak-willed mage’, you might be interested in Disciplinary Action’s list of Mage, Warlock and Priest tier gear. This one’s pretty extensive, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Personally, I’m more excited about changing the appearance of weapons that I am of gear. My Warmace of Menethil was hard-won, and it pained me to have to stop using it. It’ll be nice to have it back, even if only in appearance.

I’ll leave you with one final post from Markco at Just My Two Copper. I’m not even going to pretend that there’s a link to any of today’s other posts, but when one of the best gold-making bloggers out there posts a list of 400 WoW Gold Tips I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you in his direction.

Quotes, as always, taken directly from the relevant posts.

Have you picked your perfect outfit yet? Have you started farming old content? Let us know in the comments.

Read more →

Gold Making Links For Veterans And New Players Alike

I’ve just stumbled upon a couple of posts which are nowt short of gold dust.  Handy really, as they’re all about how you can rake in the coppers.

First up is Markco’s “gold post” Carnival over at Just My Two Copper. He’s gone on a spree collecting 33 quality gold-related articles from different blogs. Need basic market tips? Sure. Want ideas on farming for gold? Markco’s got a blog for you. Want a tutorial on where to start with this gold stuff? Check the lengthy tutorials list to find one for you.

Which brings me to the second sprinkle of gold dust: Jaedia over at The Lazy Sniper’s covering on how to start making gold for beginners.

Interesting looking items of clothing, for example, will sell much better on RP servers than on non-RP servers. When you’re getting started, you’ll want to focus on just a few items. Use your professions, choose something that will sell, like Belt Buckles, Netherweave Bags, flasks…

She’s got solid advice on various goldmaking basics like questing, auction house, banking and useful addons, and links to a few resourcse herself. Markco’s post does link to Jaedia’s but it’s such a great starting point for anyone who doesn’t know where to start with making ends meet in WoW that I’m highlighting Jaedia’s post here too. I wish it’d had been around a couple of months ago when I was introducing a friend to WoW!

Read more →