Diablo 3 - Release Launch Times, Customization, Loot Mooching, Graphics, Blue Posts

Zandalari Island Area Preview
In previous posts, on the Blizzcon Pandaria map, and in interviews, a Zandalari Island off the coast of Pandaria has been mentioned, which might be the unlabeled island in the northwest corner of the current World Map.

Important - As usual, this is WORK IN PROGRESS. The screenshots and video do not reflect the final version of the area.

Misc Beta Changes - Guild Perks, Scenarios, and more
The last few patches have added a few small but interesting things to the game.

Guild Perks
New Scenario Objectives
  • Rescue the villagers from the 6 nearby houses.
  • Defeat Vengeful Hui
  • Bring Brewmaster Bo to the Unga Ingoo Brewing Cauldron.
  • Bring 100 Jungle Brew to the Brewing Cauldron.
  • Defeat Captain Ook.
New Scenarios
  • Klaxxi Island
  • Brewmaster 04
New Guild Challenges
  • Scenario - 5 per week at 10,000 guild XP each. Rewards 125 gold.
  • Challenge Mode Dungeon - 3 per week at 10,000 guild XP each. Rewards 250 gold.

Cloud Serpent Questing Area
A previous interview mentioned that you would be able to raise your own cloud serpent through ~20 days of daily quests, which would involve things like racing. One area of Jade Forest has trainers, cloud serpents in training, race spectators, and an island right off the coast with level 90 mobs and an instructor.

There are also several NPCs that mention joining the training program after you have some more experience. One of the NPCs in this area of The Arboretum has a quest that is not accessible yet at level 87. It is likely that this area will be the area you do some of the Cloud Serpent questing in.

Leaders of Azeroth: Velen Short Story Now Available
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Not long ago, the prophet Velen and a number of draenei resettled on Azeroth, hoping to put a halt to the Legion’s murderous activities in Outland. Sensing great courage in the Alliance, the draenei pledged themselves to this noble faction.

Yet much time has passed since then. The Legion's forces in Outland have been greatly diminished. Now, Velen must guide his people into an uncertain future and decide what role, if any, the draenei will play in the Alliance.

The Seat of the Naaru's soaring energies inspired inner peace from the most bloodthirsty of warrior pilgrims, awe from even the most jaded of Azeroth's inhabitants. The figure floating before the Seat had long taken comfort from this column of Light. Velen looked out from his meditation chamber, seeking insight. . . in all the connections, great and small, where he might perceive the lines of the future. For the past several months, those lines had increasingly felt fragmented.

As the Prophet of the draenei meditated -- his legs crossed beneath him, his hands resting on his ancient knees -- the crystals that reflected his energies glowed and pulsed and swirled around him, not in patterns but in chaos. And the visions, the endless possibilities of tomorrows, assaulted him.

Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the latest entry in the "Leaders of Azeroth" short story series: Prophet's Lesson!

Reminder: WoW Annual Pass – Last Chance
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As adventurers gear up to battle demonic hordes with the impending launch of Diablo III, the World of Warcraft Annual Pass offer will soon close to new sign ups. If you plan on questing in both Sanctuary and Azeroth in the coming year and haven’t signed up yet, the Annual Pass is a great value that should not be missed.

You have until Monday, April 30 to sign up for the WoW: Annual Pass, which includes a 12 month subscription commitment to World of Warcraft, a free digital version of Diablo III (available when the game launches), the Tyrael’s Charger flying mount for WoW (available immediately), and other epic benefits. If you’ve been waiting for the last possible moment to sign up for the Annual Pass, this is it! After April 30, this offer will no longer be available.

Save the Children Charity Marathon
The Dragon Soul Challenge a few days ago was successful in helping to raise money for hungry children in the Horn of Africa, so we are doing it again! Nik and Kevin are going to be streaming monk leveling from 1-87 starting on Friday, April 27th at 8 PM CET

This article was originally published in forum thread: Zandalari Island Preview, Misc Beta Changes, Cloud Serpent Questing Area, Blue Posts started by chaud View original post
Comments 158 Comments
  1. AbalDarkwind's Avatar
    Calling it now: the big, Mogu building with the portal is really a Titan complex that holds the Old God of Pandaria.
  1. istrain's Avatar
    No more HGWT? Now I can go back to being one of the only people who goes to the raid instance in advance and helps summon the lazy people. I'm not sure how that encourages people to go out in the world more but ok.
  1. Isharii's Avatar
    I dont feel as iff the Flight Point speed increase is anywhere close enough to a replacement. Most of the time a 280/310 flying mount in a straight line is going to be faster anyway. All this does is help you level I guess?
  1. littlewisp's Avatar
    The guild perk changes are pretty disappointing. I've posted on the beta forums about how they don't need to be changed, but I guess myself and others just weren't convincing enough. Definitely won't be feeling the urge to get the guild to max level this time around! I do hope they lessen the amount of herbs needed for flasks. For my ten man I'm the one who farms -- our server is small, and you can't guarantee there will be herbs or fish on the AH at any time, so we have to farm our mats. There's a lot I want to do outside of WoW these days, and so I was hoping the time spent farming might decrease, not increase (as is unless they up how long flasks last I'd have to farm double just to make sure we have enough for the raid nights).
  1. Shaede's Avatar
    the removal of have group will travel is going to suck. Getting people to come help out with the ring of blood, and amphitheater is going to be just dreadful now as usually you are the only person in the zone. I feel people were more inclined to come because they knew they could just get summon, do the deal, and hearth out. Also, summoning people to help out or kill rares is just going to go back to the painful, waste of time it used to be. I feel like some people int his thread are trying to say that being on a flight master route somehow makes the game feel bigger? You still have 1 destination, and flying from path to path, hopping on boat to switch continent, hopping on another long, drawn out flight path again just makes the world seem slow, boring and if you have to go too far then somewhat discouraging. Back when you couldn't fly and I had to get somewhere really far, either for a holiday achievement or what have you, I was more inclined to just call it a wrap, then to waste an hour of my life getting to a different section of the game.

    On a side note...how the hell did Have Group Will Travel become such a big problem?
  1. davep's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ambigiouslynamed View Post
    so...blizz wants us to waste more time, shocking, truly shocking
    What an ignorant statement. You are playing an MMO, it's full of time wasters.

    ---------- Post added 2012-04-24 at 12:29 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Zik3l View Post
    Wait what, removing mass summon?!? That's one of the few good things blizzard have done lately!
    They removed Mass Summon because it kept people from actually exploring the world and moving around. I literally hop on at raid time and wait for a summon to the instance, now I actually have to do the work myself.
  1. Glub's Avatar
    I bet that they will replace Have Group Will Travel with something similar, such as placing that mechaninc in the summoning stones, for example. If not, they will eventually put it back in the game after a while, when they think people is fed up of "seeing the world" (*if* that was the motivation to remove it, in the first place, which I doubt)...
  1. Rito's Avatar
    Wow, that Save the Children Charity Marathon graphic is awesome! Love the contrast.
  1. Dispirit's Avatar
    the art and landscapes in MoP are sooo beautiful. Right now it's the only reason I'm considering buying the expansion. Pandaren are "eh" and the monk class just isn't nearly as exciting to me as the monk in D3 is.
  1. haiimjoe's Avatar
    no more chug a lug or happy hour.... WHAT THE FUCK BLIZZ
  1. kazso's Avatar
    Starting the Marathon just 1 hour before Guild Wars 2 beta starts? What a coincidence
  1. aggression's Avatar
    I want a new beta-patch. I'm so bored atm. No D3-beta and nothing fun on live WoW....gief me something! ABSTINENS!
  1. Mazzic518's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hagen09 View Post
    The removal of chug a lug made mr glad I did not get the annual pass. I spend enough time grinding as it is today. But as we don't know what cauldrons Will be like it might be too early to say I will quit. They might have remodeled them to what they are today with the perks. But I still think it is à cheap way to make us spend more time in game (on rly boring stuff).

    For me it is way up there with 1-60 revamp on stupid things Blizzard have done
    Really? Wow? The 1-60 revamp was AWESOME and much needed not only for new players but people like me that love alts.
  1. aggression's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kazso View Post
    Starting the Marathon just 1 hour before Guild Wars 2 beta starts? What a coincidence
    Doubt it will have more than maybe 20.000 (top) viewers anyhow. Not sure it will affect GW2 beta at all.
    Who wanna spend hours of watching someone (two competitors) level up a monk from 1-87? Only intresting part is 1-15 (or whenever you decide faction). 15-85 is known to everyone.

    1-till faction changing and then premade 85 monk till 87 would be more intresting.
  1. Zieda's Avatar
    I'm hoping we can get more than just one cloud serpent. I WANT THEM ALL.
  1. Prokne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cipero View Post
    On a side note...how the hell did Have Group Will Travel become such a big problem?
    My opinion is that they removed HGWT because of the world bosses. They dont want one guys alt camping the spawn and then summoning the entire 40 man group to the fight, they want all 40 to camp and maybe fight with the other faction.

    I dont think its too much to ask to have a HGWT that just summons your group. It would allow people to still get help with quests and summon to dungeons without a hassle. Even if you chain summoned it would take a while and be pretty cumbersome. The other option would be just to not allow you to use it within 1000yd or whatever of the area the boss spawns at.

    ---------- Post added 2012-04-24 at 07:22 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by davep View Post
    They removed Mass Summon because it kept people from actually exploring the world and moving around. I literally hop on at raid time and wait for a summon to the instance, now I actually have to do the work myself.
    No now you can hop on a few minutes before the raid and wait for 2 people to go summon or 2 people and a lock. The only difference is how long it takes to summon the raid.
  1. Kootabang's Avatar
    For everyone complaining about removing Have Group Will Travel..

    MMOs are more than logging in --> asking for a summon --> Raiding --> Hearthing//Logging off.

    I realize everyone has limited time to play the game, but this is an MMO. (MASSIVELY Multiplayer online) Stop being selfish. WoW's playerbase was spoiled from HGWT. As a raider myself, it was handy. Especially for times when I couldn't log in until ~5minutes prior to the start of a raid. But in the end, it's a change for the good.
  1. Jayeos's Avatar
    The island looks great so far. I also can't wait to get my first cloud serpent.
  1. eschatological's Avatar
    Everytime I hear people say "an MMO is more than just logging on to raid", I rage, because whenever I suggest there's more to the game than collecting vanity pets, people scream at me "for not letting [me] play like I want to play."

    Once again, Blizz is screwing over raiders (not only with removal of HGWT but with removal of Chug-a-lug) to appease casual players, because they know raiders will just shrug and take on the extra responsibility and the casuals will whine if they see a perceived benefit they're not getting because they can't be a productive member of a guild. It's not even like you have to belong to a serious, or even hardcore guild, after all, guild levels are much easier to get in large, anonymous social guilds.

    It's to the point now that my 2nd 90 that I'll be levelling in that first week will be my druid, just so I can farm for our first raid. A 4 hour raid, 3 times a week, removal of mixology, means we're going to need 12 cauldrons a week, and then extras for subs.
  1. Exoticazz's Avatar
    I think taking away HGWT is really antisocial. Most times i see it being used is to helpout someone with a quest who is for instance in the middle of Northrend, which takes way to long to get to unless he can summon you. Meaning asking for help is now turning again into half hour of your time instead of minutes. And when we are raiding and some rl thing happens or a long dc and we like to replace a person with someone on reserve. Which means that person has to now fly all the way to the raid, which can be brutal if his hs is on cd, and 24 people have to wait and do nothing. It was a great invention and it should not be removed imo

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