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WoW Mountain Dew ad was directed by Tarsem Singh - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST
A number of sites have done a post-mortem on the Mountain Dew WoW Game Fuel ad (featuring two ladies battling it out through their WoW characters in a live-action supermarket), and they've uncovered a really interesting fact: the ad was actually directed by Indian director Tarsem Singh, one of my favorites -- he not only did the visually stunning sci-fi/horror flick The Cell a few years ago, but more recently made The Fall, which is an very well-done kind of mirror-life fairy tale. He's directed a number of commercials before, including some for Nike and Levi's, and teamed up with a company called Zoic Studios (they've done a few other spots for video games already) for this WoW commercial.

The original CGI models for the ad did come from Blizzard (I'd guess that they're the original models from the WoW CGI trailer), though they were spruced up quite a bit by Zoic to add facial expressions and dynamic costumes and hair. They were then connected to motion captures from stunt artists (which were probably also tweaked to seem a little more than human, and then composited all together in the supermarket scene.

Very cool stuff. This isn't the first time WoW characters have been used to sell soda, but hopefully we'll see more fun sequences like this come out of the deals between Blizzard and their partners.

WoW Mountain Dew ad was directed by Tarsem Singh originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Headless Horseman mount cast time clarification - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST

I'm sure lots of you guys who trust datamining saw MMO Champion's list of changes in the latest PTR update for Patch 3.2 and raised an eyebrow at the Headless Horseman's Mount being instant cast. "And lo, thus did the Horseman's steed become the de facto PVP mount!", you exclaimed, prostrate in exultation.

Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you may have just found out what "prostrate" or "exultation" mean. The bad news is that the mount isn't instant-cast. Zarhym explains:

The Headless Horseman's Mount has a variable cast time depending upon how it is used: 1.5 seconds as a ground mount and 3.0 seconds as a flying mount. However, due to technological limitations the tooltip reads as if the spell were instant.

The question of how the cast times will function in areas where flying isn't allowed came up, and he clarified that as well:

Yes, the cast time will depend on your riding skill and the area you're in. So, if you're in Outland or Northrend (no-fly zones excluded), the mount will require a 3-second cast time. If you're in Azeroth, a no-fly zone or do not have a flying skill, your cast time will be 1.5 seconds.

Well, cool! It's not instant-cast, but it'll do. Nice to see that Blizzard is making sure your vanity mounts kept up to speed with the rest of the rapidly-evolving World of Warcraft.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Headless Horseman mount cast time clarification originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Clarification on upcoming Engineering changes in 3.2 - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST

Hot on the heels of yesterday's great news about Engineering in Patch 3.2, Community Manager Zarhym has clarified a number of changes and what they mean for Engineers.

The first clarification was for those concerned about how to acquired the schematic for Jeeves, the new multitalented robot butler. The list of changes indicated that the schematic could be acquired from "inside" another Northrend mechanical. Zarhym expounded when pressed about it:

Just to clarify, the Jeeves schematic has a chance to be "skinned" by engineers off of any level 70+ mechanical units. The drop rate starts incredibly low, but increases substantially based on the level and difficulty of the mechanical unit. So Ulduar bosses that can be "skinned" by engineers have a much better chance of dropping the schematic than lower-level mechanical units found in Northrend.

That's great news! It's available for non-raiders at (Zarhym says) a very reasonable drop rate, but since raiders will get the most use out of it, mechanical raid bosses are much more likely to drop it than a mechagnome in Borean Tundra.

Following that, he also announced a number of changes, which are listed after the break.

Continue reading Clarification on upcoming Engineering changes in 3.2

Clarification on upcoming Engineering changes in 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Making your own items, Killing Spree, and more - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST

We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

The Daily Quest: Making your own items, Killing Spree, and more originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Minutes of Fame: The Craft Dinner gang - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

I really can't think of a more enjoyable way to game than in the same room as your friends. Even back in the EverQuest era, when my husband's Monk and my own Magician actively avoided one another outside of raids (incompatible characters, incompatible playstyles - we couldn't have been a worse mix), we got plenty of kicks and giggles from keeping an eye on one another's screens. These days, raid nights at our house mean not two but four players (three in my office, one upstairs - more, if friends with laptops are here). AFK breaks spawn a queue at the fridge that inevitably coalesces into a rowdy debate over the evening's tactics and drops.

So when I spotted these kindred spirits in a news tip from Khaz Modan-US, I knew I'd found a group of players who could show WoW.com readers the glories of playing in the same room. "We're a group of eight friends in real life that get together once a week for what we call 'Craft Dinner,' which involves lugging all our gear to one of our houses, sharing a meal together, then hitting up a 10-man raid (we PuG the last two to three spots, generally)," wrote Stumpsky. "Last night, we just cleared 10-man Naxx for the first time -- which was a big accomplishment, as we just started to raid as a full group at the beginning of May. We don't use Vent, because we're all in the same room, and we all find it the most enjoyable way to play the game we love."

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: The Craft Dinner gang

15 Minutes of Fame: The Craft Dinner gang originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: RaF'd dailies are delicious - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

I have to admit, o' faithful Queue readers, that I considered pawning off answering questions today to someone else so I could have more time to catch up on other work. Patch days can get quite busy around the WoW.com head quarters.

Last night for example. Alex, Mike Sacco, and I had heard that there was a new raid lockout extension feature in place, so we rushed onto the Patch 3.2 PTR to grab some screenshots. Of course that meant we had to deal with the thing crashing every few minutes. And once we finally did make it into ZG to get a quick boss kill, Sacco disconnected and the server announced a shutdown in 5 minutes. But hey, we got the kill off and the screenshots captured with 15 seconds left until the shutdown. We won!

Aideros asked...

"When are more "hero classes", like the Death Knight, coming out? What are the speculations? Has anything been said about them since WotLK?"

Continue reading The Queue: RaF'd dailies are delicious

The Queue: RaF'd dailies are delicious originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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European weekly maintenance: 1st July 2009 - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


The heat is on here in the UK and we've actually got a summer. Shocking, I know. But, rather than send people outside to soak up the rays the blistering heat and humidity has forced most inside. Suddenly Azeroth is that much more appealing, you can't get sunstroke in there, oh no. After Alex's terrible German accent last week (I'm really sorry about that, German readers, it won't happen again), things have settled down and we're back to the normal cycle of weekly maintenance.

Of course, this means that rather than rolling restarts, all the European realms will be offline from 5:00am until 11:00am, Paris time (CEST). But that's not all, Blizzard are also going to be performing maintenance on their website (this includes the Armory, the main website, the forums and the Blizzard Store) between 3:00am and 7:00am Paris time (CEST). So if you want to check Turpster's stats, buy Diablo II, whinge about (insert class here) being nerfed or just recruit a friend, you might want to do so outside of these times.

Daniel has once again crafted a fantastic little post to keep you entertained and don't forget we'll be giving away some shiny Fields of Honor loot cards in the morning, just for you (don't tell the sleeping Americans). Just keep your eye on the front page and you could win your own chicken mount. In honor of that, I finally met the virtual form of Turpster on the PTR (you can find us both on Fordring). He wanted to practice the lesser known sport of chicken jousting but this mention of that noble and ancient sport caused the world server to crash. As I starred at the blank screen I couldn't help but wonder. Do you think he's trying to compensate for something? What could it be?

European weekly maintenance: 1st July 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2: Argent Coliseum raid story and encounters (SPOILERS) - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


There's been a lot of speculation as to what Patch 3.2's new raid instance, the Argent Coliseum, will contain. We got a taste of what bosses we might fight a little while back when the 3.2 PTR launched and some Achievement information was datamined, but I've taken it all one step further.

As with my previous post on the 5-man content in the Coliseum, I've datamined a ton of information from the PTR game files, including NPC and spell data (another massive thanks to Boubouille of MMO-Champion for his help), to determine not only who we're facing up against (for sure), but how exactly the encounters will go down once we've gotten our epicly-clad heinies into the octagon Coliseum.

The same disclaimer as last time applies. The encounters could change at any time, datamining isn't an exact science, I could be misinterpreting files, etc, etc. But I'm pretty solid on what I've written down, and anything I'm speculating on will be noted as such.

Any spell or ability listed in this guide will likely be a random rank, given the spell database's knack for throwing me 10-man and 25-man spells in the same area! Don't assume that the damage values are accurate until you get killed by them!

Remember: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD!

Ready? Let's go!

Continue reading Patch 3.2: Argent Coliseum raid story and encounters (SPOILERS)

Patch 3.2: Argent Coliseum raid story and encounters (SPOILERS) originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Ulduar: Defiance Trailer - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Dynash of Doomhammer (EU) tipped us off to the Ulduar: Defiance trailer. This movie trailer is created by Atraira, who you might remember from the hilarious music video for Boombox and the epic cinematic version of Ashbringer: The Return of Tirion Fordring. Atraira has a flair for creating art from pre-existing game files, and he's used that talent toward highlighting the Ulduar raid instance.

Of course, this is a trailer, and not a movie in its own right. That means it's heir to all the usual trouble a trailer can have. It can be a little vague, and you're never quite sure if the subject of its preview is ever going to materialize. All that being said, though, I really loved Atraira's work here. The use of voice-overs from the game's files is well executed and appropriately dramatic. The sweeping score he used in the background is inspiring. The way he pieced together each scene is motivating. It really came together very well.

Atraira's made me want to grab my sword and go fight them critters in Ulduar. If Ulduar: Defiance is as good as the trailer, it'll be something we look forward to with each installment.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Ulduar: Defiance Trailer originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New pet and mounts achievements coming soon - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 11:30:00 EST
You're a pet and mount maniac. You've hunted down every noncombat pet you can find, gotten a lucky roll on every rare mount you can possibly pick up, and after long last, you've earned both the "Lil' Game Hunter" and "Mountain o' Mounts" achievements. But still, you want more for some reason. More pets, more mounts, more achievement points.

Good news: Bornakk says that there will still be more to find. While he says they won't be upping the achievements every time they bring out a patch that has more pets and mounts to collect, they will definitely add in new achievements periodically for collecting both noncombat pets and mounts (and, though he doesn't say so, we'd assume they'll add in extra rewards besides the achievement points, including extra pets or mounts to be earned at each level).

So if you are in fact a collecting master and have already earned the 75 pets and 100 mounts (a much easier feat than it used to be) for both maximum achievements currently in the game, just be patient. There'll be new goals to go after soon.

New pet and mounts achievements coming soon originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2: Argent Coliseum 5-man story and encounters (SPOILERS) - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST

Okay, gonna say this right now.

This article is so full of spoilers you'll think you're in a movie with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. The Argent Coliseum will be so spoiled that its parents bought it a car before it could drive. There will be less mystery to the Argent Coliseum than in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village."

There. So. Thanks to Boubouille of MMO-Champion's help, I've spent the past few days digging through the spell and NPC data in patch 3.2's current PTR game files, slogging through thousands of new entries to find out how exactly the new encounters in the Argent Coliseum will be like (and who they'll be!). Well, I've been mostly successful in that regard, and I'm prepared to spoil about 90% of the Coliseum's encounters for you. But that's not all! This latest PTR patch was also kind enough to provide me with a ton of sound files related to the Coliseum and its set of instances, which has given me a very firm insight into what happens around the encounters. This particular article will focus on the 5-man instance.

Basic caveats apply: The encounters could change at any time, datamining isn't an exact science, I could be misinterpreting files, etc, etc. But I'm pretty solid on what I've written down, and anything I'm speculating on will be noted as such.

Any spell or ability listed in this guide will likely be a random rank, given the spell database's knack for throwing me 10-man and 25-man spells in the same area! Don't assume that the damage values are accurate for your favored raid size!

Remember, BIG SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP. But if you can't contain yourself, then go right ahead, dear readers. Let's go down the rabbit hole.

Continue reading Patch 3.2: Argent Coliseum 5-man story and encounters (SPOILERS)

Patch 3.2: Argent Coliseum 5-man story and encounters (SPOILERS) originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Waiting on StarCraft II? Blame WoW - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 10:30:00 EST
Like many other Blizzard fans, you're probably super excited about the upcoming release of StarCraft II -- it was "about time" when we first heard about the game, and now, this close to actually having the game out, anticipation is higher than ever. So why have you been waiting so long? According to Eurogamer's latest interview with Rob Pardo, you can blame none other than World of Warcraft for the delay. He and StarCraft II's lead designer both confirm that quite a bit of the RTS team were called back in to working on Blizzard's MMO. Artists and class and map balance guys alike were put back on WoW, resulting in the StarCraft title's delay for more than a year. Taken at face value, they're saying you could have started playing the new RTS last November if it wasn't for the whole Azeroth thing.

It's worth noting, though, that when they say "working on WoW," they don't mean developing the Crusaders' Coliseum or even Outland -- they're talking about the original design of World of Warcraft for the release way back in 2004. Even though Blizzard didn't announce the next StarCraft until a few years ago in 2007, production actually started seriously (with multiplayer first, strangely enough) right after the launch of WoW, in 2005. Which makes the choice all the more intriguing: they decided to delay the RTS even before they knew WoW would be the runaway success that it is today.

Guess the choice paid off. The beta of StarCraft II should be kicking off any day now (you all got keys at last year's BlizzCon, remember?), so even though that year delay was caused by WoW way back at launch, we'll see if they've had the time since to make a game that'll meet players' expectations.

Waiting on StarCraft II? Blame WoW originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Ring around the rosy - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


The Ironforge chapter of Gnomes Against Repression By Larger Entities (G.A.R.B.L.E.) is going to have a field day with this incident at the Midsummer Fire Festival. Roxxii of <Legacy of the Kirin Tor> on Velen just wanted to dress up in her summer finery and watch the pretty flames. Instead, she ended up being the focus of a cruel game of Burning Gnome Tetherball between a couple of summoned fire elementals, tied to the pole and forced to run in circles to keep from being burned. Those draenei shamans can get pretty Eredar-like after a couple of drinks.

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Ring around the rosy originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video of new Night Elf Druid forms in 3.2 - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


And here are the Night Elf forms! I think I've avoided some of the annoying audio issues from the video on the 3.2 Tauren Druid forms, and I've also included an extended shot of the NE cat form's run animation, as it's one of the things that really distinguishes the bigger, sleeker cat model from its live counterpart. Unfortunately, they haven't fixed the bug where one of the bear models (the one linked to the NE's green hair) is unavailable (you'll get the black bear form instead), so only 4 of the 5 new bear colors could be included here.

If you're unable to play this with audio, the pertinent commentary is that: a). I tried to keep the camera as close as possible to help people appreciate the detail, mostly because: b). A lot of the subtler color distinctions just don't come across very well on the capture, and I think I spent too much time trying to get every angle as a result: c). The forms are really gorgeous, and the NE cat in motion is lovely, and: d). I'm still a dork.

UPDATE: A new PTR build went live late last night after the video was completed and uploaded, and Blizzard fixed the bug where one of the Night Elf bear forms was unavailable. I've included pictures past the cut.

Continue reading Video of new Night Elf Druid forms in 3.2

Video of new Night Elf Druid forms in 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 08:30:00 EST


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Mythic employees shocked at Mark Jacobs' departure
Mythic employees were surprised by their boss' departure, sources told me today. I spoke with a former employee, who asked to remain anonymous, about what they and their old co-workers thought regarding today's announcement that Mark Jacobs, the vice president and general manager of EA Mythic, will be leaving the company due to a new partnership with BioWare.
Australian network filtering promises to reach out to block games, online games and more
Australian Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has promised to extend Australia's proposed network-level content filtering regime to block games, online games, downloadable games, and websites that sell or allow download of games that are deemed not to be suitable for a 15-year-old audience. This, despite research by the IEAA (the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia) that the average age of Australian Gamers is 30.
Highlights from the SOE Fan Faire 2009 community address
Sony Online Entertainment Fan Faire 2009 is happening in Las Vegas, and of course they've had a number of things to unveil so far. SOE president John Smedley gave his community address last evening, and other speakers made an appearance as well. We've got a few highlights from SOE Fan Faire 2009 for you:
Massively Exclusive: 5 million accounts, vehicles & more in FusionFall
This past January, Cartoon Network launched their first foray into the MMO space with the wildly successful FusionFall, offering families who like to game together a great deal at $9.95 a month for up to four separate MMO accounts. Since those exciting first days of launch, they've given away all manner of funky swag, racked up over 5 million accounts, and started a whole new generation of explorers down the road of MMO enjoyment.

Continue reading MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast topic: When Blizzard listens - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST
For years it has been a running joke that the level 11 elite Hogger should be a high level raid boss. Every server will have heard talk of a 40-man Hogger run or re-rolling a bunch of level 1's just to tackle this insurmountable foe. He is surely the scourge of Alliance toons everywhere simply because he is the first elite we encounter as we explore Elwynn. Well, it seems Blizzard have listened, Boubouille over at MMO Champion has been datamining the 3.2 patch files and has discovered tidbits about some of the bosses we'll be fighting. Indeed the most interesting part involves memories of past encounters -- including Hogger. Yes, you can also fight Algalon, Onyxia, Illidan and Edwin VanCleef but Hogger is the most important. What confuses me though is whose memories are you fighting? Those of your own past encounters or those of one of the Argent Crusade? If it's the former, what happens if you've not fought said boss? What if you're Horde?

But I digress. While you can bet Hogger won't be a level 11 anymore, it's a shocking revelation. While we know Blizzard pays attention to what WoW players are saying, it's nice to be reminded of that. So I want to know your reactions? Is it a good thing for Blizzard to pander to player's whims? Do you think reminding players where they came from and their past triumphs is a good thing? Not so keen? Is it just an excuse to be lazy and rehash old content? Tell us, constant readers, and drop your thoughts in the box below.

Breakfast topic: When Blizzard listens originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday Morning Post: Racial Roulette edition - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 05:30:00 EST
So we're swimming in news again this week, what with the patch 3.2 PTR well underway (you can check out the latest patch notes right here) and all, but the biggest piece of news for me, remains the faction changes. If nothing else, this should pave the way for me to be able to switch every single one of my characters to the High Elf race once they're finally implemented. Of course, that's not the only race-related news bouncing around this week. It also looks like the Tauren may be looking to make some waves in lore.

But anyhow, we have some nice long maintenance today, so you should have plenty of time to read the above stories and all the awesome news coming out of the PTR while you're at it. Check out a list of some of the highlights of the past 7 days below, and be sure to stick around throughout the day. There's bound to be more patch 3.2 news trickling in.

Continue reading Tuesday Morning Post: Racial Roulette edition

Tuesday Morning Post: Racial Roulette edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 05:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exodus punished for exploiting Yogg-Saron encounter - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 22:47:00 EST


As previously reported, there were accusations that US guild Exodus used an exploit to obtain the World First of the last unclaimed Hard Mode in Ulduar -- Alone in the Darkness. As it turns out, these accusations were true and blue poster Daelo posted on the official forums that the Yogg-Saron encounter was hotfixed on all servers to prevent this from happening in the future. Owing to this, Exodus' kill is no longer recognized by some achievement trackers.

Contrary to some reports, however, Exodus released a statement on their website that members of their guild were not banned, clarifying that Blizzard meted out a 72-hour suspension for their abuse of game mechanics. They argue that the encounter wasn't beatable to begin with, similar to the C'thun fight in Ahn'Qiraj before it was fixed, prompting the exploit. In the same statement, Exodus also points at Ensidia's arguably hypocritical stance of complaining about the abuse considering Ensidia used similar questionable methods to achieve other World Firsts. Serennia mentions this behavior in his column at wowriot, as well, bringing into question Blizzard's apparent double standard when meting out punishment.

Exodus punished for exploiting Yogg-Saron encounter originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 22:47:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2: Raid lockouts extendable - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 22:35:00 EST

Man, what a crazy news day this has been, and the day's not even over yet. Blizzard just rolled out a new PTR build, so we took a quick trip to the Patch 3.2 PTR and discovered a whole new mechanic that Blizzard hasn't mentioned yet. It's yet another change to how raiding works, and it's pretty cool.

We killed Venoxis in Zul'Gurub and, upon being saved to the instance, noticed that we now had the option to extend our raid lockout -- that is, to make it last twice as long or until the next week's lockout would end.

This means that, if your casual guild is a scrappy bunch working on Ulduar, but you can only get to Mimiron each week before the lockout expires, you can extend your current lockout into the following week to get more practice on the bosses you don't get to see as often.

Now -- ostensibly -- once you've done what you need to do with your lockout, you can actually remove the raid lockout extension and use your current week's lockout too. We haven't gotten to try it yet, but it looks like the functionality is there. Pretty cool!

We'll wait to see what Blizzard has to say about it, but this is great news for smaller or more casual guilds who really want to clear instances and don't mind less loot per week.

More shots of the functionality after the jump.

Continue reading Patch 3.2: Raid lockouts extendable

Patch 3.2: Raid lockouts extendable originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 22:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 brings universal tier armor tokens - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST

I had concerns when Blizzard first announced the way bosses would be unlocked in Patch 3.2's new raid instance, the Argent Coliseum. Blizzard has announced that while the first boss is available immediately, other bosses will be unlocked week-by-week. It's not the first time an artificial barrier has been put up for raid progression -- hello Sunwell -- so I guess I'm not shocked by it, but progression wasn't really what I was concerned about.

In our current raiding system, each boss drops a pre-determined set of loot. Some bosses drop a token which can be turned in for a piece of armor matching that particular slot, and the boss will always drop this same slot token. Thorim will always drop a shoulder token in Ulduar 10, for example.

So the issue is, with the Coliseum officially being our new tier of raiding, with gear that far outclasses Ulduar gear, and with the Coliseum bosses being unlocked each week, it means that players could get screwed out of upgrades. Your chestpiece might not be the greatest, so if you were looking forward to upgrading it, you'd be pretty crushed to find out that the T9 chest token only drops off of the final Coliseum boss -- which will only be available (at best) a month or (at worst) several weeks more than that due to RNG.

It turns out that Blizzard was thinking the same thing I was. That's why, with 3.2, Coliseum bosses all drop one of three universal armor tokens -- the Regalia of the Grand Protector, Vanquisher, or Conqueror.

Continue reading Patch 3.2 brings universal tier armor tokens

Patch 3.2 brings universal tier armor tokens originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Best in slot - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

The Daily Quest: Best in slot originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Extended Maintenance for Tuesday, June 30th - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 20:30:00 EST
Once again, we have maintenance off the port bow. You'd almost think this is a weekly scheduled thing, eh?

This week, though, is one of those special extended maintenance weeks, with servers down from 3 AM to 11 AM Pacific. No, despite the extended maintenance, we aren't expecting patch 3.2 yet.

In addition, other servers will be down an extra 2 hours starting at 1 AM Pacific time.

We have the full list of said servers after the break, and it's actually a somewhat long one.

Continue reading Extended Maintenance for Tuesday, June 30th

Extended Maintenance for Tuesday, June 30th originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 PTR Patch Notes updated - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


The Patch 3.2 PTR Patch Notes from the official sites have been updated this evening. There are a few notable changes, and you can read the full new patch notes after the break.

Some of the key changes include:
  • Item Level: A new option has been added under Display in the Interface Options to show the item level on item tooltips.
  • The frame rate for those with Shadow Effects enabled under the Ultra Video settings has been improved.
  • The Engineering changes previous covered.
  • Bloodsurge: Notification that Slam has become instant now appears in floating combat text.
  • Devastate: Weapon damage increased to 60% and bonus per Sunder Armor on the target increased by 20%.
  • Shield Specialization: Now provides 5 rage on a block, dodge or parry instead of 2 rage on a block.
The full notes after the break!

This post is currently being edited. Thanks for your patience.

Continue reading Patch 3.2 PTR Patch Notes updated

Patch 3.2 PTR Patch Notes updated originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spiritual Guidance: Tier 9 healing bonuses - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:50:00 EST

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI and addons blog for WoW. A brief look at the tier 9 sets and the origins of those who it is named after: Velen and Zabra Hexx.

We're getting more news as the weeks go by. Last week, tier 9 information was released. As some of you may know, the upcoming Crusader's Coliseum is slated to drop tier 9 items. All classes are getting three levels of the latest tier. I'm assuming one set drops from normal (10-man), heroic (25-man), and heroic hard mode.

Continue reading Spiritual Guidance: Tier 9 healing bonuses

Spiritual Guidance: Tier 9 healing bonuses originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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China bans gold farming - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:40:00 EST

Gold farmers! They're everywhere, right? We get spammed by them, we run into them farming Dire Maul, we put them on ignore. Lazy people with too much disposable income buy gold from them in a show of crass consumerism. Blizzard has done their best to stamp out gold-farming services, but litigation is difficult due to the fact that most of the major gold-farming companies are based in China or other parts of Asia. They've instead opted to try to control and stop gold farmers from being able to complete transactions via other methods.

This time, though, it looks like Blizzard may have an unlikely ally in, of all things, the Chinese government. They announced today that the trading of virtual goods for real money is now illegal in China. This ruling reaches farther than just gold farming, though. It also bans the sale of prepaid time cards for MMOs or other online games, as well as numerous technicalities we're sure to hear about in the weeks to come.

To give you an idea of how much an economic impact this will have on China, gold farming alone generates nearly one billion dollars a year worldwide, with China's specific numbers growing at a reported rate of 20% per year. It's estimated that 80 to 85 percent of gold farmers reside in China, so this ruling is massive and, to be frank, pretty troubling.

From a gamer's perspective, yes, it'll be nice to worry about this kind of service a little less, but from a human perspective this places hundreds of thousands of Chinese people in one of two kinds of serious trouble: the first is financial hardship from the "honest" gold-farming companies that will close down after this ban, and the second is legal issues from the companies who don't close down because they can't afford not to do what they've been doing.

It's not my intention to defend gold farming as an industry, because I used to have to deal with its more nefarious effects every day -- compromised accounts stripped of gold and gear, keyloggers, disruptive spam, all of that. But life isn't easy for many Chinese people working jobs like this. Many gold farming centers are much cleaner and safer, in relative terms, than other places in China where one on the bottom rung of the financial ladder might seek work, so while I appreciate the change as only a white first-world male can, I worry about what will happen to the underprivileged working-class Chinese people behind the spam ads and dead gnomes when this law starts getting enforced.

NOTE: Comments are now disabled for this post.

China bans gold farming originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World first of "Alone in the Darkness" a possible exploit - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST
We reported last week that a guild named Exodus on the US realm of Ysondre had come out of nowhere to topple the world first of the Heroic: Alone in the Darkness achievement, which requires that you bring down the biggest bad currently in the game, Yogg-Saron, with no help from any of the Keepers in Ulduar. But not so fast, says Serennia over at WoWRiot -- over on their forums Ensidia is claiming that Exodus used an exploit, and that their kill doesn't count at all. Apparently, having Thorim help on the fight keeps the "Immortal Guardians" in the last phase of the fight from being a problem, and without Thorim, you have to not only do the fight without his extra 10% damage bonus (each Keeper ups your DPS that much), but you have to deal with the Guardians messing up your melee classes, and oh yeah: they both heal and get healed by Yogg. Not that it's impossible to do it, but it's definitely not easy, and Ensidia claims that Exodus found a known exploit that allows you to evade the Guardians out completely, thus turning the last phase into a straight tank-and-spank, obviously much easier.

After that, it gets into some guild back and forth (Ensidia apparently did something that might have been an exploit on Hodir, and when people call them out on that, they say that the exploits were different -- Ensidia's tactic was just an interesting use of game mechanics, while the exploit Exodus is suspected of using is more of a cheat), but the fact remains that Exodus is clearly not a guild that anyone expected to clear what might be the toughest raiding achievement in the game before anyone else, and yet that's exactly what they did. Ensidia says they won't be killing Yogg for the achievement using the exploit, and that they've reported the Exodus kill to the devs, so we'll have to see if the devs decide that Exodus did cheat, or if they let Exodus keep their achievements and mounts. We're not sure how much it all matters, with world first kills not being all that important any more (and that's exactly what the devs might say as well), but Ensidia is claiming that an exploit took place -- we'll have to see if that turns out to be true.

Thanks, Nimrod!

World first of "Alone in the Darkness" a possible exploit originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2: Tier 9 set bonuses changed in new PTR build - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:21:00 EST


The Patch 3.2 PTR has been updated to a new build, and the set bonuses for many Tier 9 sets have been changed or updated. In the update, they made the priest set bonuses not terrible! And the updated Elemental shaman ones aren't terrible now either!

I guess the feedback from the threads Ghostcrawler posted has been going to good use. But don't forget -- if you're still unsatisfied, say so on the proper forums and make your voice heard.

Otherwise, check 'em out below! Thanks to WOTLKWiki.info for mining these so quickly.

Continue reading Patch 3.2: Tier 9 set bonuses changed in new PTR build

Patch 3.2: Tier 9 set bonuses changed in new PTR build originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Goodnight, sweet prince - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:05:00 EST
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

This weekend marked the end of an era, my friends. A champion (cheater) of the people (Gnomes) has fallen from grace (the thumbnails at the top of our site). The people (you guys) have shouted to the rooftops (our comments), "Down with oppression (martial arts techniques)! Down with corruption (GM lewts)!"

So it is done.

JustSaying asked...


"Can someone please change those 4 pictures near the top of WoW.com's page? I'm tired of seeing that stupid gnome head every time I come to this site."

Since you asked so nicely, Karatechop has been replaced.

Spidey asked...

"I've been leveling an alt (Troll Hunter) recently and decided to go mining/engineering, mostly for the bow/gun enchants and the like. I just leveled engineering to 200 and decided to go grab my Goblin Engineering membership. While doing the quest for membership I realized that the Alliance have Gnomes as a playable class, but how come the Horde doesn't have Goblins? In fact, Alliance has two "small people" races (Gnomes and Dwarves). Any chance the Horde will ever get Goblins or anything smaller than the Forsaken? I think Goblins would be cool, or dare I say, Murlocs as playable races."

Continue reading The Queue: Goodnight, sweet prince

The Queue: Goodnight, sweet prince originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Faction changes coming to the World of Warcraft - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:06:00 EST


As if the Engineering changes today weren't enough for you, Nethaera has just announced a major bombshell:

Blizzard is implementing a faction switching service.

There is no immediate indication if this will be a free service or a pay service, however based on their past name change, character appearance, and server transfer services it likely will carry with it a small fee.

People have been talking about the ability for characters to switch races and factions for a long time. It appears to finally be here. Neth mentions that "the basic idea is that players will be able to use the service to transform an existing character into a roughly equivalent character of the opposing faction on the same realm."

She goes on to say that this will be carefully orchestrated to limit the impact in gameplay, and that they don't have all the details worked out yet. There are a lot of things to work out in this - mounts, quests, tabards, pets, achievements, etc... You don't really want to see a Blood Elf Paladin riding around on a Human Charger.

Stay tuned for more information on this very cool change as it's released.

The full announcement after the break.

Continue reading Faction changes coming to the World of Warcraft

Faction changes coming to the World of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Spirit Beast pet found - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST


Hunters, patch 3.2 also means a new spirit beast for you to obsessively tame. Once again Mania's Arcania proves itself to be the go-to site for information about new pets. Since I know I'm going to be spending a lot of time wandering around looking for this new pet model, here's the skinny: there will be a new spirit beast in patch 3.2, it's name is Skoll and unlike the current spirit beasts Loque'nahak and Gondria, this one uses a saberworg model (the new Northrend worg model introduced in Wrath of the Lich King). It's still a spirit beast with prowl and spirit strike.

All we know so far is that it is apparently a non-hostile tameable mob when you first encounter it and that you'll need to comb the Storm Peaks Snowdrift Plains for a chance to tame it. All I can say is good luck, you obsessive pet collectors, and even better luck to those of us who know one. I predict a lot of time spent taming things in the snow.

New Spirit Beast pet found originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 upcoming Engineering changes - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:03:00 EST


Zarhym has just released some major Engineering changes for the upcoming Patch 3.2. These changes are a long time coming for those of the Engineering profession, and many folks will be quite pleased by them. There are 19 total changes that Zarhym announced - that's quite a lot for any patch.

Some of the ones that stand out include:
  • Mind Amplification Dish - Head enchant, allows engineers to control other humans. Does not work in Arenas, sometimes reverses targets.
  • Portable Wormhole Generator for Northrend - Allows the engineer to travel about Northrend Deep Space 9 style.
  • Repair Bot Jeeves - A repair bot for the entire raid, who also allows bank access for 350+ engineers. Jeeves is not destroyed on use, and can be summoned once per hour. Schematic is apparently randomly hidden within another summonable bot.
  • A Steam-Powered Auctioneer has been added to the Dalaran Like Clockwork engineering shop, allowing access to one's faction Auction House. The Steam-Powered Auctioneer was programmed with a superiority chip, and will only interact with Grand Master engineers.
Take a look after the break for the complete list.

Continue reading Patch 3.2 upcoming Engineering changes

Patch 3.2 upcoming Engineering changes originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fields of Honor on sale tomorrow - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


Ahh the smell of fresh loot in the air, it must be summer. Well, fans of loot cards and the official Trading Card Game, I bet you have your calendar marked. Tomorrow sees the release of the latest - and possibly greatest - TCG expansion Fields of Honor. Yes, you too could have your very own El Pollo Grande, the greatest mount in the entire history of Azeroth. We've mentioned this thing was rarer than a spectral tiger's tooth, right? Indeed our very own Turpster has been raving about his (insert slightly rude giant chicken joke here) all week.

The best part that is the cards were activated in an earlier patch so you can use them as soon as you find one. No more waiting for 3.1.x or even 3.2. Just to recap, the Fields of Honor loot consists of El Pollo Grande, the Ogre Pinata and the groovy Path of Cenarius. You can also take a peek at Upper Deck's loot card preview page for some really cool screenshots.

But here's the best part. After the success of our last EU giveaway, Upper Deck International here in the UK have very kindly given us a set of shiny European loot cards. Isn't that nice of them? We certainly think so! We're going to give them away during this week's maintenance so check back then.

Fields of Honor on sale tomorrow originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 96: Tips aplenty - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST
We went live with the WoW Insider Show yet again last Saturday, and this one was a good one: not only did Turpster and Lesley Smith join us, but we were also graced with the presence of Michelle Madison, of the podcasts Warcraft Outsiders and Video Game Outsiders. She was kind enough to make it past all of our inside jokes (she agreed it was prounounced "Fah-jord," which is as it should be) and mixed it up with some great discussion, including about the Midsummer Fire Festival, the new Tier 9 gear coming to the game (and the lore figures they named it after), and whether including quest objectives on the official map dumbs things down too much (spoiler: we basically said no).

It was an excellent show, and you can tune in to hear it by following any of the links below, or subscribing to our feed right over on iTunes itself (that guarantees you get the new shows every single Monday). We'll be back next week as always, so be sure to tune back in then.

Oh, and while we have you, keep an eye out soon for more information about what we're doing at BlizzCon. We've already scheduled our meetup on Thursday night around 8pm, but we haven't announced a location yet, so look for that soon. And if you aren't going to be in Anaheim, worry not -- we'll be streaming a special episode live from the meetup (with video, if everything works out as planned), so you'll be able to join us virtually. Will be really fun, so stay tuned.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

WoW Insider Show Episode 96: Tips aplenty originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fishing for profit - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


I'm an admitted and proud fishing junkie, but had long ago resigned myself to the fact that my favorite ingame pasttime was never going to be a source of revenue. But Alterac Volley has a great post on the degree to which fishing has actually (gasp, shock, horror) become a moneymaking endeavor in Wrath. While I'll grant that on most servers it's probably nothing compared to, say, Mining or Herbalism, there's gold to be made in them there streams -- and this is all the more true if your server hosts a large raiding population.

AV observes that there are four types of fish most likely to be lucrative, and it's no accident that three of them (the Musselback Sculpin, the Glacial Salmon, and the Nettlefish) are the main ingredients of the Fish Feast, a valuable (although generalized) raid buff. I spend roughly an hour a week fishing up the materials for these to cover our raids and had never even looked to see what they retailed for. After reading over AV's comments, I took a peek at my server's AH and had a /headdesk moment discovering that my main could have been a much wealthier character if I'd just spent a little time yanking up a few extra fish here and there.

So if your character is at or close to the Northrend fishing cap (and especially if you're still on the lookout for the Sea Turtle, which requires you to fish in Northrend pools anyway), give your AH a look and see how the fish are selling. You might be pleasantly surprised. And, as always, I highly recommend El's Extreme Anglin' as a great resource for the beginning and advanced fishermen out there.

Fishing for profit originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Hot-headed healers - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

A little healthy competition among your raiders can be a good thing. It encourages people to push to play their best, to show up completely prepared, and to gem and enchant their gear with the most effective possible options. A bit of banter can enliven your raids and ease the tension when your run is struggling. But what if your players take it too far? What if their drive for personal accomplishment becomes detrimental to your raid? This week's e-mail asks how to handle two healers -- and officers -- who are turning their personal competition into public drama.

Scott --

I'm the raid leader in a growing progression guild with some pretty hot-headed healers. While our raid healing shaman is competent and professional, I've started to suspect that the other healers (the paladins in particular) are engaging in behavior that hurts the raid and creates drama. As an example, one paladin healer in particular will overwrite the other paladin's Judgement of Light at every chance to inflate his numbers on the meters. Both of them vie for having "the biggest", whether it's mana pool, meter numbers, or SP; it's something new every week. This has also encouraged similar behavior in some of our other healers.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Hot-headed healers

Officers' Quarters: Hot-headed healers originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Raid Together, Die Alone 3 - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST

We featured the previous installment of Baron Soosdon's PvE movie series back in December 2008. Now, seven months later, the good Baron has released Raid Together, Die Alone 3. The video is a series of clips, raid fights, and other moments blended together against the backdrop of Soosdon's usual good taste in music. The good Baron warns that an absolute ton of murlocs were harmed in the process of making the video, though I'll be darned if I could find them.

Ultimately, this new Raid Together, Die Alone is another fun memoir video. It brings back memories of slamming our faces into Illidan Stormrage and the epic awesome that is the Eye of Eternity's unique setting. As WoW progresses forward with new content and new bosses, it's easy to forget to look back and fondly remember some of the things we've already done together. I think Raid Together, Die Alone is a fun scrapbook of WoW-to-date, and I'm thankful for the reminder.

You can check it out on WeGame or YouTube.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Raid Together, Die Alone 3 originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: From Naxx to Pinky Street - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by contacting our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) -- not-for-profit work only, please.

Is there somewhere in game that feels like home to your character? Reader Asphydel's characters hail from Pinky Street - literally. Pinky Street is a line of four-inch anime figurines that come with interchangeable parts, allowing you to create trendy, custom figures with your own look. The line encourages customizations, from swapping out parts and accessories to adding entirely new paint jobs.

Asphydel of Ghostlands-US took the look a step farther, bringing her figurine into the World of Warcraft with Pinkycized versions of her Priest and her boyfriend's Mage. "I actually have a background in art and had taken a class in 3D," she explains. "We had a small section on making molds, so it was pretty darn easy for me to follow various suggestions and ideas I had found online. I can imagine that it can be a little overwhelming for anyone who has never looking into it ... O_o I knew it was for me in my first classes."

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: From Naxx to Pinky Street

World of WarCrafts: From Naxx to Pinky Street originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Get along, little doggie - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


Hey! Watch it, dog. If you're thinking of doing to me what I saw you do to those other bushes near the wall, you better think twice. I'm dual-specced, baby. All I need is to cast Insect Swarm, Typhoon, and Wrath, and I've just given you the three things you fear most -- fleas, a bath, and an anesthesia-free neutering. (Thanks to Grza of <Karma Delivery Service> on Zangarmarsh for this pic from Naxx!)

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Get along, little doggie originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Blizzard Orc Statue and compass points of wisdom - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


Hey there WoW.com readers! You're probably wondering who the hell this guy is. And by this guy, I mean me. I'm a writer over at Joystiq, where we sometimes jealously watch all the fun stuff our sword and spell-wielding counterparts over here get to do. Luckily, and only by means of geographical location and the fact that they were showing off Starcraft 2, I got a chance to tour the Blzzard campus and take a lot of snaps if you know that I mean. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

These will be featured in a story over on Joystiq at some point today, but in the meantime here's a sneak preview just for WoW.com readers. You may already know about Blizzard's massive courtyard Orc statue that's in the process of being installed in the front of the main building, but you might not know about the tenets engraved on each of the eight compass points that tout Blizzard's mottos. There's a peek at all of 'em in the gallery below, and they're also listed just beyond the break.

Read on for more, check out the statue and points gallery below, and stay tuned today for the drool-worth tour photos.

Continue reading The Blizzard Orc Statue and compass points of wisdom

The Blizzard Orc Statue and compass points of wisdom originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What's your item set design preference? - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


It looks like we've got a sneak peek at what may be the new tier sets when MMO Champion uncovered some gear intended for Paladins, Death Knights, and Warriors. Just in case you didn't notice, that's all plate gear and, well, they all look alike. With Patch 3.2 seeing the return of faction-specific armor, a lot of people were thrilled except that most players (including myself) sort of forgot that faction-specific gear such as the old Level 60 PvP sets had shared models across armor types.

The reason most of us didn't notice was because this wasn't so apparent back then... the Alliance only had one mail-wearing class and the Horde only had one plate-wearing class. With Shamans and Paladins no longer restricted to one faction and with the introduction of Death Knights in Wrath of the Lich King, more classes appear to share the same item models -- there are three plate and two mail classes on both factions now. This has the downside of homogenizing appearance across classes but the upside of having the near-certainty of putting together a visually cohesive set as well as looking different from the enemy faction's counterparts.

So today's question is simple: what design philosophy do you think works best for World of Warcraft? Every path has its obvious benefits, of course. What appears to be the most appealing is something we still haven't seen... faction- and class-specific gear where each class has a completely unique model according to faction. It sounds great on paper but it's more work for the art team and an itemization nightmare -- imagine having to organize those drops in a dungeon! It might be easier to go the Sunwell Plateau route and be done with it! Or heck, do everything Emperor's New Clothes-style, where everyone goes commando! Good idea? No? So, uh, that was just me? Drat.

Breakfast Topic: What's your item set design preference? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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