Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Changing Factions in World of Warcraft

Well, it is finally in the works. Yesterday, Blizzard announced that a system which would allow players to switch from Alliance to Horde and vice-versa is in the works. Though it was made clear that this change was still early in the development cycle, that has not stopped an explosive response from the Warcraft player base. Check out the official announcement thread here.

From the sound of things, this will be a for cash service similar to server transfers rather than an in game mechanic like the Barber Shop. Though I understand Blizzard's desire to accommodate players who are isolated from their friends dueo to poor faction planning, I believe this change will do more harm than good.

Many servers currently suffer severe faction imbalances not only in terms total of population, but also in terms of the active raiding population. Though paid faction changes may not appreciably contribute to general population imbalance, it will almost certainly add to differences in active raiding populations. Currently, many hardcore players use paid server transfers to escape a server where there faction is inferior. Those who stay either simply do not want to pay for a character transfer or have no desire to abandon their server. Paid faction changes will add the latter to an already marked faction based skilled player exodus being experienced on many imbalanced servers.

Obviously there is plenty of time for Blizzard to craft its new feature to combat this unfortunate effect, but considering the transfers will be paid there is little incentive for Blizzard to burden its use. As a faction on a particular server falls further into the gutter, more players will pay for transfers which increases the profitability of the new system. With the world PvP currently being nearly non-existent and instance based PvP being based on Battle Groups, players on the overwhelmingly powerful server will have little to complain about. Hopefully this service gets canned before it is released, but considering it has already been announced I am far from optimistic.

Friday, June 26, 2009

3.2 Emblem Change: Welfare Epics?

Though there are many exciting, interesting, and occasionally controversial changes coming in Warcraft Patch 3.2, few changes have spurred as much debate as the coming adjustments to the emblem currency system. In a nut shell, the emblems once reserved for 25 man WotLK raids will now drop in Heroics and 10 man raids as well as in all pre-3.2 25 man raids. A new, higher ranking Emblem of Triumph will now drop in the Crusaders' Coliseum instances and be available as a reward for completing both normal and heroic daily dungeon quests. Feel free to check out the thread announcing the change here.

Since the announcement the classic feud over who is entitled to endgame gear and who isn't has been put back on the table. The debate has been renewed now that the Public Test Realms for 3.2 are open and players are beginning to see the changes first hand. Having trolled countless forum posts on the subject and mulled the issue during the quiet moments of everyday life, I have finally decided to weigh in on the subject.

Blizzard's mantra since the release of Wrath of the Lich King has been "making content accessible." Despite some hardcore cries to the contrary, I think it is a great direction for the game to move in. World of Warcraft's player base is gigantic. It's hardcore player base (those who raid endgame content multiple evenings per week) represents a small, though rabid, segment of that broader population. It does not make sense for Blizzard to design complex raiding experiences to only be experienced by a small segment of the game's players. More intense players will always be the first to clear new content and, ultimately, the best at clearing it. In my opinion, this is the reward for being one of Azeroth's elite.

Unfortunately, many players view loot as the endgame raider's reward. Some admit this openly, while others veil their lust for loot, whether to themselves or the world at large, as some other skill, time, or dedication based concern. Regardless, there is a rather pervasive disdain amongst the hardcore community towards any change which makes epic loot easier to come by. In my opinion, this antipathy is misguided.

Good gear does not grantee passage into one of World of Warcraft's top guilds. A player must also be skilled in his or her class and have the time and patience necessary to grind away at fresh, difficult content. Having the gear to make clearing endgame content a possibility is quite a distance away from being in a position to actually do so.

As Warcraft equipment system has introduced more and more tiers of player gear, making endgame content a possibility gear-wise has become an increasingly arduous task. That task has ultimately become a problem as players on the cusp of entering endgame content find themselves needing gear from dungeons which the hardcore have no incentive to run and the casual cannot handle. Though this does not present a dead end, it does transform a player's gearing up experience from play to a chore.

The 3.2 emblem change fixes that problem in two ways. First, upper tier players now have an incentive to run lower tier content as that content is now tied to rewards which can be beneficial while working through endgame. This increases the player base interested in running lower tier content and makes finding groups easier, which ultimately enhances the player experience and increases player skill by allowing for more time in grouped content. Second, the change allows a player expedited advancement into endgame content on the shoulders of his or her own merit. Again, gear is only one ingredient used to bake an endgame raider. Without skill and dedication, all the gear in the world will not bring you into any of World of Warcraft's primear guilds. Additionally, I think that many hardcore players forget that this tool is available to their alts as well.

I am clearly in favor of the emblem changes. Though I am much more casual in my play currently, there was a time during which I was rather hardcore. (I was the first Druid on my server to land myself Leggings of Immersion afterall. Oh the memories!) As a result, I can certainly understand the hardcore mentality. To avoid giving legitimacy to the claims that hardcore players are elitist, it is important to keep in mind that World of Warcraft is a game. It is not a sport or an industry. Players should not invest time in World of Warcraft for some reward. Time should be spent in World of Warcraft because it is fun.

If you enjoy seeing new content first and spending long nights slugging away at difficult encounters with 25 of your closest friends, then you have the right kind of hardcore mindset. If, however, you have "worked hard" for your gear and do not want others to get epics easily, perhaps your time would be better spent concentrating on your real life job or studies. If you dislike the change, take a step back and really put your fingure on why. If you are honest with yourself, I can almost garuntee you will not like what you find.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3.2 PTR Now Open

Blizzard has finally lifted the gate for Public Testing of its next major content patch, 3.2 Call of the Crusade. Check out the official announcement thread here and the PTR Forums here.

As to be expected so close to its release, 3.2 on the PTR is full of bugs and imbalance. I am confident though that Blizzard will, at worst, iron most of them out before the official release. Also, I am exceptionally curious to see the early reports from the Crusader's Coliseum. Ever since its first mention I and many others have speculated that the Coliseum may very well much more than it appears. Perhaps a force of evil will derail the Crusader's tournament plans...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Enjoy the Ride in Patch 3.2

When looking at what is coming down the pipe for Warcraft patch 3.2, Call of the Crusade, there is certainly a great deal to get excited about. There is a new Battle Ground, the Crusader's Coliseum, an expanded Argent Tournament, profession buffs, and the return of Shamans just to name a few.

There are also big changes coming to transportation in World of Warcraft with mounts available at lower levels for less coin, a new airship, and a couple new portals. Though level 80 toons will occasionally take advantage of some of these transportation changes, they are largely aimed at facilitating quicker, easier leveling. What effect can we expect these changes to have on Azeroth and will our game experiences be better for it?

For those of us who have already made the trek to level 80, especially those who have been in Azeroth since Beta or vanilla WoW, these changes are largely positive. Though there will always be "I had to work for it" bitterness whenever something one person has done the hard way can be completed by others with less effort, that is an argument as to fairness, not fun. For players with level 80s, these modifications mean faster alt leveling which translates into less time wasted in content we have all seen a dozen times before. Hopefully you have already taken the opportunity to savor the scenery in the Barrens or Dark Shore and are now ready to blow past it at record speed.

For new players, the changes certainly make things easier, but that might not be for the best. Blizzard has gone a long way to make Azeroth a complete world and experiencing it on foot is a World of Warcraft shared experience that I am a bit sad to see go. It is certainly not efficient to run all the way across the Barrens, but the task has a certain nastolgic value that newcomers will now miss.

On the whole though, I appreciate the changes. Though that may simply be because I am addicted to alts.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Totems, Totems, Totems!

A new interface modification for World of Warcraft's Shamans has been announced on the WoW forums: the Totem Bar. Though you can check out the official announcement thread here, the followup thread here lays all of the changes out and provides additional information on the bars mechanics.

The Totem Bar will appear similar to a Druid's shapeshift bar, but will be customizable and able to hold up to one of each of a Shaman's elemental totems. It will also have a button for Totemic Call which is being renamed Call of Earth. The most interesting feature of the bar, however, is a button tied to a new Shaman ability: Call of Fire.

Available at level 30, Call of Fire will drop all totems on the Shaman's Totem Bar at once on a single global cooldown. The mana cost will be the same as if each totem were cast individually and any totems on cooldown will simply be skipped. New abilities Call of Water and Call of Air will also be trainable at higher levels and will function the same as Call of Fire. This will allow an endgame Shaman to design three preset totem dumps and call on them at will without blowing a ton of cooldowns.

Though this change doesn't address Shaman concerns about the survivability of totems, it sure goes a long way to help Shaman mobility without sacrificing the existing totem mechanics. I also would not be surprised if the Totem Bar that is introduced in the Public Test Realms will be a different creature than the one which ultimately drops in Patch 3.2 or beyond. Regardless, it is enough of a buff to make me revisit my Shaman alt. Frost Shock!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

3.2 Profession Changes

Every World of Warcraft profession will be getting a bump in their related perks with the release of patch 3.2. Check out the announcement thread here.

Blacksmiths will have new epic gems to fill their bonus sockets and both Toughness and Master of Anatomy will receive numeric bumps. Enchanter's ring enchants will also be getting a stat boost while Jewel Crafters will see increased returns on their Dragon's Eye gems. The Inscription profession will see a bump to their exclusive shoulder inscriptions while Tailors will have access to improved embroidery options. Engineering glove enhancements have also been targeted for improvement.

Alchemists and Herbalists will see the most involved changes. For Alchemists, Mixologists will be able to get more out of Northrend flasks. A new profession specific recipe for a PvP flask will also be available for purchase. Lastly, in a semi-debuff, Endless Healing Potions and Endless Mana Potions will be more potent and have a shorter cooldown, but they will also be banned from the Arenas. Sorry Alchemists.

Herbalists, on the other hand, will see a new and much improved Lifeblood which scales with maximum health, doesn't trigger a global cool-down, and has a higher base heal. Congratulations Herbalists.

Obviously it is hard to gauge the effect of these changes before specific numbers are available, but aside from Alchemists (sorry again) there is certainly nothing to worry about here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Moonkin Spell Rotation

Recently, I have gotten a couple questions about what Moonkin spell rotation produces the best dps under the current build of World of Warcraft. Moonkin rotations are a bit less complicated than Feral dps rotations and also allow for a little more flexibility both in terms of personal taste and situation. It is then more than fair to say that there is no single optimal rotation for Balance Druids in World of Warcraft. There are, however, four basic form rotations which should give you decent bang for your Balance buck.

Standard Lunar Eclipse

This is the rotation you will see most balance druids using, especially in raids. It sports solid dps output and goes relatively easy on your mana bar. You lead with Improved Fairy Fire, followed by Insect Swarm and Moonfire. You then spam Wrath until Lunar Eclipse procs and lay down as many Starfire casts as you can have hit your target before the Eclipse proc fades. Refresh your debuffs whenever they are about to fade, rinse and repeat. This is a rotation you will want to try primarily on single target sustained dps fights.

Standard Solar Eclipse

The Solar Eclipse rotation is pretty much the same as its Lunar brother only instead of following your debuffs with a chain of Wraths, you open with Starfires and hop to Wrath when Solar Eclipse procs. As with before, you will need to keep your debuffs up at all times. I have spoken with several endgame Druids who claim slightly higher damage numbers using this rotation, the only problem is it is a bit harder on your mana bar than the Lunar Rotation. The Solar Eclipse Rotation is then well suited to shorter single target encounters and may also be worth swaping into for burn phases if your mana bar can handle the extra pressure.

Modified Solar/Lunar Eclipse

One way to spice up either of the above rotations is to add a Starfall cast right at your Eclipse procs whenever your cooldown allows. Starfall will reliably provide you with a steady stream of crits meaning you will have Nature's Grace up for the duration of your Eclipse. I do not need to tell you what sort of effect this will have on your dps, especially in a Solar Rotation where you will be machine gunning boosted Wraths. This modification appreciably ups mana consumption for either rotation. It is then ideal for fights which already call for AoE or even for single target fights for which mana conservation is not an issue.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mount Changes Confirmed

Bornakk's hints have rather quickly matured into cold hard facts regarding mount changes coming up in the next major World of Warcraft content patch. Check out the thread detailing the changes here.

Long story short, mount required levels and prices have been dropped across the board. Regular mounts can now be purchased at level 20 for a total cost of 5 gold (for training and the mount itself). Epic mounts can be bought at level 40 for 60 gold. Flying mounts are available at level 60 for 650 gold. Lastly, epic flying mounts can be purchased at level 70 for 5,100 gold. Faction discounts also now apply to flying mounts.

There have also been some tweaks to flying mount speeds. Regular flying mounts now increase speed by 150% in the air and 60% on the ground while epic fliers clock in at 280% and 100% respectively. Obviously Druid flight form and Paladin/Warlock mount summoning spells have also had their minimum level requirements reduced. You will also be able to mount up in 1.5 seconds rather than 3.

This should make the leveling process much more painless post 3.2. Though many have thus far focused on the benefit to players level 20-30, I would imagine the biggest difference will apply to characters from level 40-70. Being able to go at 100% speed from level 40-60 will make the longest leveling haul in the game much more bearable. Also, being able to fly the moment you set foot in Outland is certainly nothing to scoff at.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Incoming Mount Changes?

Blizzard poster Bornakk tipped his hand ever so slightly today revealing that some sort of mount change for lower level players is on the way in the relatively near future. Though he remained tight lipped on any of the details, he did very clearly assert that an announcement regarding mounts would be coming soon. Check out the thread in which he let's things slip here.

The safe bet would be to assume another drop in minimum mount level from 30 to perhaps 20 or 25. The fact that the change is at least buzz-worthy, however, means that low level World of Warcraft players may be in for a very pleasant surprise. Could epic mounts soon be available at lower levels? Consider me and my many alts incredibly interested.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Retribution Paladins Lose Vindication

Well, not entirely, but it certainly was beaten into submission by the nerf stick. Yesterday, Blizzard dropped a hot-fix to make Retribution Paladins less lethal in the arenas. With the fix, popular Retribution talent Vindication no longer reduces Stamina or Intelligence. Check out the thread announcing the fix here.

To be honest, a certain portion of Blizzard's reasoning makes a great deal of sense. The combination Vindication and Hammer of Wrath really does allow Retribution Paladins to burn their enemies' candles at both ends. What has caused significant outcry, however, aside from the fact that it is a substantial nerf, is that the change is purportedly being made to help "balance the ability out, especially in the lower arena brackets." This has given rise to a huge debate over whether PvP should be primarily balanced at the highest levels, or, alternatively, balanced to even the experience for the largest pool of players which currently rest in lower brackets. In addition to the original thread, check out some other fiery debates on the topic here, here, and here.

It seems as if most players' positions on the change are grounded in their own personal experience. Lower rank PvPers who are tired of getting obliterated by Retribution Paladins love the change. Retribution Paladins and upper level PVPers who like a variety of opponents hate it. Regardless of public opinion, the change has happened and it is likely to stick around for a while. I would not be surprised, however, if we see a compensatory PvP bone being thrown to Ret Paladins' way sometime in the near future, perhaps as early as the next patch.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hot Video: Karazhan on Piano

Today's video post is a marvelous piano rendition of the parlor music from Karazhan. As a piano player myself I am always looking to learn tunes from my favorite games and this one sounds worth the effort. Aside from being on a piano rather than a harpsichord, it sounds spot on and is definitely worth a listen.

As an added bonus, you can download the sheet music for the tune here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Blizzard and E3: No Love Lost

Another E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) has come and gone without any participation from Blizzard. Though Activision was well represented at the popular gaming trade show, the PC juggernaut Blizzard decided to once again save it all for their own event, Blizzcon.

The first Blizzcon was back in 2005 and was attended by just over 8,000 of Blizzards closest fans. The initial event was enough of a success to two warrant holding two more, one in 2007 and the other in 2008. Blizzcon 2008 attracted nearly double the crowd drawn only three years earlier. A third Blizzcon is set for this coming August and it is all but certain ticket sales will meet, if not surpass, those from last years event.

In contrast, E3 has been occuring yearly since 1995. E3 2005 drew in more than 70,000 attendees, but a switch to an invitation only format and more limited offerings sharply cut subsequent offerings. In 2007 only 10,000 guests made the trip and in 2008 that number was slashed to approximately 5,000. This year, however, in an attempt to reclaim its prior prominence in the video game world, E3 grew by leaps and bounds attracting an estimated 41,000 attendees.

Looking to the past, it seems as though Blizzard was downright brilliant in abandoning E3. Format changes and bad venues nearly sunk the entire show and, in 2007 and 2008, Blizzard was actually able to draw more fans to its own event than the entire industry managed to drum up for E3. Looking forward, however, the days of Blizzard dodging E3 may be over.

First and foremost, it is very clear that E3 is on the way back to prominence. This year's event was a success by nearly every measure and it is safe to assume that there will not be a reversion to the failed format experiments of the past. Second, it is almost certain that Activision would like nothing more than to parade its shiny new gem before retailers and the gaming press. What is the point of having a hot new girlfriend if she refuses to go to the prom with you? (get your heads out of the gutter...)

I would imagine we will see many more Blizzcons in the future, but I would suspect it will no longer be Blizzards exclusive unveiling party, but instead a gathering of Blizzard fans to talk shop, get goodies, and compete. I would be incredibly surprised if Blizzard were not at next years E3 unveiling the next World of Warcraft expansion rather than saving it for Blizzcon. Unfortunately, only time will tell.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Great Post: Kologarn and Yogg-Saron

I came across a great thread in the Warcraft General Discussion Forums earlier today and wanted to share it with everyone. It is a hypothetical discussion between Kologarn and Yogg-Saron discussing the need to guard the Shattered Walkway. I find it hilarious and it is definitely worth a quick read. Well done Crawford of Gorefiend.

This post simply begs for a machinima adaptation. I'll be crossing my fingers that someone will run with it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Druid Forms Art: Part Four

Today, Blizzard revealed the fourth and final set of new textures for Druid Feral forms: Night Elf Cat. Check out the official update page here.

These new textures manage to maintain the feel of the old model while still being an impressive upgrade. Sure, if I were a feline trying to sneak up on prey, I probably would not wear a glowing necklace, but it does look cool.

Since all the models have been revealed the time has come to give Blizzard a big pat on the back for a job well done. Obviously, complaints about the connection between hair/fur color and model assignments remain, but it seems as if most can agree that the new models are a quality product and far superior to what Druids had before. Also, there is always the hope that Blizzard will figure out how to make form texture selection an independent choice before the next patch.

New Druid Forms Art: Part One

New Druid Forms Art: Part Two

New Druid Forms Art: Part Three

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Druid Forms Art: Part Three

Earlier today, Blizzard revealed the next batch of new Druid form Art: the shiny new Tauren Kitty forms. The official reveal page can be found here.

This was perhaps the most anticipated of the reveals as the old model has always been simply hideous. A quick perusal of the feedback thread reveals that most Druids are more than happy with the results of the makeover. I would imagine that the Wyverns are also especially excited to have their face back.

All gripes about the mechanics aside, Blizzard has created some exceptionally good looking models. All that remains to be seen are the new Night Elf Cat models. The original model was widely regarded as one of the best Feral looks prior to the modification, so let's hope Blizzard sticks the landing and doesn't reinvent the wheel.

New Druid Forms Art: Part One

New Druid Forms Art: Part Two

New Druid Forms Art: Part Four

Raid Boss Rundown

Endgame content in World of Warcraft has always been a moving target as Blizzard has made a point of assuring that there is always a new "ultimate" enemy target if not in Azeroth, than at the least on its horizon. With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to look at the different raid bosses which have tormented adventurers throughout the game's history. For each boss, I will identify the instance they call home, when they were added to the game, a brief explanation on why they deserve slaying, and score their relative theoretical (not mechanical) power on a scale from 1 to 10.

Home: Onyxia's Lair
Added: Available at Launch

Why does Onyxia deserve to die? She is broodmother of the Black Dragonflight, plain and simple. Ever since their descent into madness, the Black Dragonflight has stood for nothing but destruction and evil. Using guile rather than the brute force exhibited by her father, Black Dragonflight leader Deathwing, Onyxia is insidious in the havoc she reeks, even infiltrating Stormwind's political system as her alter-ego Lady Prestor. She wants you and all you love to die, so why not return the favor?

Power Score: 2
Sure, Onyxia is clever and deceptive. She is also an adult dragon and a first generation descendant of a Dragon Aspect. Even though she may have once been a formidable opponent, Azeroth currently faces threats from several different dragons, many of whom put this broodmother to shame.

Ragnaros the Firelord
Home: Molten Core
Added: Available at Launch

Why ought Ragnaros be Destroyed? If Ragnaros had his way, all of Azeroth would be burned to a charred crisp. Sure, in his own embittered way, he is just doing the work of any decent Fire Elemental Lord, but such plots are prime for dramatic stopping. He also does not treat his employees very well. Poor Executus...

Power Score: 4
As an Elemental Lord, he certainly holds some god-like sway with respect to all that is fire. Unfortunately though, he has just seen his but kicked far to many times to warrant any significant street cred. First, he backed the Old Gods and was banished by the Titans. He also cannot even manage to take all of Blackrock Mountain for himself, let alone make any kind of move towards obliterating all life on Azeroth. Sure he one shotted Thunderaan, but let's be honest, who hasn't?

Home: Blackwing Lair
Added: Patch 1.6

Why should Nefarian's wings be clipped? As with his sister Onyixia, Nefarian suffers from an incurable case of being member of the Black Dragonflight. In fact, since his father, Deathwing, is out of the picture, Nefarian is the closest thing to a leader the Black Dragonflight currently has. Combine his evil predispositions, his position of relative power, and his crazy army generating experiments and you have a recipe for disaster ripe for quashing.

Power Score: 4
Sure he has more going for him than his little sister, but he is still nothing more than a well connected and quite evil dragon. He has built himself an impressive power base made up of assorted members of the Black Dragonflight, his own Chromatic dragon creations, and Rend Blackhand's Dark Horde. Perhaps if he weren't so preoccupied by his tiff with Ragnaros he could expand his reach more significantly beyond his lair.

Home: Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
Added: Patch 1.9

Why send C'Thun packing? Well, if you believe Skeram's Prophecy, C'Thun is "a being of unimaginable evil and power." Not only is he one of the chaotic Old Gods who once ravaged Azeroth, but he now has a monstrous chip on his shoulder that only total annihilation can remove. Unless you are one of his insectoid followers, this eyeball has got to go.

Power Score: 9
The Old Gods are arguably the most powerful entities that ever walked Azeroth. The Titans would obviously beg to differ as they won the war, but even so, C'Thun is rumored to have actually felled one of the legendary Titans and lived to tell the tale. Now with a massive Quiraj army to command, C'Thun is a force to recon with and the first true threat to Azeroth's very existence players ever faced.

Home: Naxxramas
Added: Patch 1.11 and Reintroduced in WotLK

Why does Kel'Thuzad deserve to be killed...again? Well, he is a powerful sorceror who serves at the right hand of the Lich King. As far as references on your resume of evil, the Lich Kings name certainly opens doors. He also slaughters the innocent and leads massive scourge armies in a constant effort to destroy the living. Long story short, he is an easy Lich to hate.

Power Score: 3
Sure, Kel'Thuzad is an incredibly powerful Necromancer with and army of the undead serving beneath him, but when it really boils down to it, he is just a decent magic user with a very powerful friend. Time and time again, whenever Kel'Thuzad has found himself without his King, he ultimately gets his but kicked and must run home to daddy with his tail between his legs. Without his super evil benefactor, Kel'Thuzad would be just another face Dalaran's massive bureaucracy.

Gruul the Dragonkiller
Home: Gruul's Lair
Added: BC Release

Why should Gruul be taken down a couple pegs? Really, Gruul is just trying to keep what is his. He wants to maintain his territory and protect his descendants, the Gronn. He is big, ugly, and comes off a little slow, but he is not particularly despicable. He may be violent, but he is not evil per say. Maybe if he did not carry around such appealing loot he could have avoided many unnecessary killings.

Power Score: 2
Gruul's status as a "Dragonkiller" comes from ripping the wings off of many dragons unfortunate enough to find themselves on the business side of the Dark Portal. When confronted with a Dragon Aspect, however, he did not fare so well. He is big, he is strong, and he has a large (in all meanings of the word) family backing him up. Other than that, he is just....big.

Home: Magtheridon's Lair
Added: BC Release

Why should Martheridon be deposed from his position of life? The tyrannical former ruler of Outland is all kinds of evil. I also speculate that he may have had weapons of mass destruction. Since being subjugated, he is now just one more source of power for Illidan. This evil battery has got to go.

Power Score: 2
Owned by Illidan and kept as a pet by a group of Orcs, Magtheridon has lost a lot of credibility in the relatively recent past. Only in glimmers of his former glory behind the reigns of an entire chaotic realm does Magtheridon's power show. He is old news.

Lady Vashj
Home: Serpentshrine Cavern
Added: BC Release

Why should Lady Vashj sleep with the fishes? She is a stalwart ally of Illidan and one of the key reasons behind his rise to power. Currently she enjoys sowing seeds of chaos, commanding the Naga race, and destroying the ecology of the Zangarmarsh.

Power Score: 2
Lady Vashj is to Illidan as Hadji was to Jonny Quest. Sure she has some neat tricks and is exceptionally useful, but really she is not the center of the show. If not for her massive Naga armies and powerful evil allies, she would not have much to brag about. Her fish boobs are spectacular though. Sim, sim, salabim!

Kael'thas Sunstrider
Home: The Eye in Tempest Keep and later in Magisters' Terrace
Added: BC Release

Why should we put out Kael'thas Sunstrider's lights? Swearing allegiance to Kil'jaeden is never a step on the path to goodness. Also, kidnapping a Naru is probably one of the most evil things you could do in Azeroth. In a world that is ripe with "betrayers," Kael'thas still manages to stand out and is ready for a hearty helping of righteous vengeance.

Power Score: 2
Keal'thas is a powerful magic user and one of Azeroth's most capable mercenaries, always ready to sell himself out to the one providing the most magic for him to feast on. Though his frequent side-switching tends to keep him at the top of the power curve, it is generally not through any special capabilities of his own. If not for his allies, his score would plummet like the hopes the Blood Elves once had for him.

Home: Archimonde is dead, but he can be visited in time at The Battle of Mount Hyjal
Added: BC Release

Why has Archimonde already been killed? He was a principal servant of Sargeras, the most powerful source of evil in Azeroth's universe. If any more reason was needed to bring him down, I am certain attempting to obliterate the World Tree would be just cause.

Power Score: 5
Sure he got owned by a bunch of wisps, but even super evil Eredar have bad days. When you take one of the most powerful sorcerers from one of the most powerful races of sorcerers and give him the backing of the most destructive evil force in existence you have one formidable opponent. Thank goodness he is already dead.

Illidan Stormrage
Home: The Black Temple
Added: Patch 2.1

Why should Illidan Stormrage never see another day? While Kael'thas may have been a betrayer, only Illidan has the distinction of being The Betrayer. All in all, his actions could be attributed to a lust for power which seems to run through nearly all elves. Regardless, his motives are, as they have been before, contrary to those of the rest of the mortal races. As long as he lives, a potential ally for any lurking evil remains.

Power Score: 4
Most of Illidan's personal power is drawn both from his own affinities and from magics he has absorbed either by theft (The Skull of Gul'dam) or gift (the flaming eyes from Sargeras). Like many of Azeroth's villains, his might is sharply augmented by the company he keeps.

Home: Sunwell Plateau
Added: Patch 2.4

Why should Kil'Jaeden be stuffed down a magic hole? He is the current supreme commander of the Burning Legion whose goal is to subjugate all mortal races into his demonic army. He is also Sargeras' principal agent. What more reason do you need to melt his face?

Power Score: 6
Kil'jaeden is basically a slightly improved version of Archimonde. He has more power, more responsibility, and more impressive credentials. There is a reason Sargeras favored this particular Eredar turned Demon Lord, he is super beefy.

Sartharion the Onyx Guardian
Home: The Obsidian Sanctum
Added: WotLK Release

Why does Sarharion deserve to burn? He is a massive member of the Black Dragonflight watching over a clutch of Black Dragonfligh eggs. Haven't we been over the whole Black Dragonflight thing before? Oh yeah, I remember, they are evil.

Power Score: 2
He is a big bad black dragon, but unlike Nefarian, he does not even have an army at his command. Sure his mouthy Drake servants Tenebron, Shadron, and Vesperon add to his power base, but really he is nothing exceptional.

Home: The Eye of Eternity
Added: WotLK Release

Why does Malygos deserve a Dragon's death? Malygos has decided that mortals shouldn't use magic. We could all just lay down our wands to avoid his wrath. On the other hand, if we are feeling feisty, we could storm his sanctuary and obliterate him. I know which one I would choose.

Power Score: 5
Malygos, as one of the five Dragon Aspects, is leader of the Blue Dragonflight. Likely the oldest Dragon in existence and imbued with ridiculous magical aptitude by the Titan Norgganon, he is a force to be reckonned with. Unlike the other Dragons sitting amongst Azeroth's top raid targets, Malygos is genuinely something much much more.

Emalon the Stone Watcher
Home: The Vault of Archavon
Added: Patch 3.1

Why should we watch Emalon die? He is big, iron, and full of loot. There is really no reason to kill Emalon except for the fact that he is there and apparently hostile to those who charge into his home in an attempt to murder him.

Power Score: 1
However powerful an Iron Giant manages to be, they are still just an Iron Giant. This guy was not even powerful enough to have the Vault he inhabits named after him. If he were anything special I would imagine he would have won Wintergrasp by now.

Home: Ulduar
Added: Patch 3.1

Why doom Yogg-Saron? Yogg-Saron is the Old God of Death and a beacon of chaos and insanity. The Titans locked this hunk of evil up for a reason and unless death and destruction for all of Azeroth's mortal races sounds appealing, it is best to put this ancient terror down.

Power Score: 8
Yogg-Saron sits beside C'Thun as one of the most powerful entities in the history of Azeroth's universe. The only difference between the two is that Yogg-Saron was able to be captured and imprisoned by the Titans while C'Thun managed to fall off the map. Is Yogg-Saron more evil? Possibly. Is he more powerful? Probably not.

Algalon the Observer

Home: Ulduar
Added: Patch 3.1

Why should Algalon's processes be terminated? Algalon is about to deliver a report on the state of Azeroth and things are not looking good. If that report is submitted to the Titans, all life on Azeroth may very well cease to exist. Algalon is not evil per se, just a disinterested observer who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Power Score: 3
The Titans certainly wouldn't send a slouch on such an important mission, but Algalon is really nothing more than a pencil-pushing gopher. The fact that he has some pretty potent bosses does, however, warrant a few jumps up the power score scale.