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WoW Moviewatch: BLIND Fools' Day - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST


I can never tell if you folks are pranking me or not. This weekend, I received 4 emails telling me about this hot new video. Oh well. I guess if it's just a prank on me, then perhaps it has become a prank on you. Happy April Fools' Day! Here's another run of BLIND, since you've never ever heard of it. At least it's not a rickroll, I guess.

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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: BLIND Fools' Day originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Getting started made easy with our Rookie Guide - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST

With all of the late and end-game content we talk about daily, we have to admit that browsing WoW Insider isn't necessarily a newbie-friendly experience. That doesn't mean we want to leave new players out, but it can be challenging to find new player content mixed in with all the rest. So if you're just getting started with the game -- or you're trying to get a friend into it -- you ought to check out our newly-updated Rookie Guide. Here, we've compiled all of our best content for new players -- from what World of Warcraft is to player etiquette to breaking into PvP to getting started with dungeons and raids.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the Rookie Guide and start your adventures in Azeroth!

Getting started made easy with our Rookie Guide originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Kanrethad's defeat at mortal hands - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill celebrates one year at WoW Insider with a fel fire victory.

I promise, I won't put unfortunate spoilers in the header this time.

One of my favorite Blood Pacts to write was a narrative based around our spells and the hints of a fascinating possible subplot just for warlocks. Instead of writing a traditional, straightforward guide for the final boss in the quest for green fire -- Ackthal's already written a great one -- I want to celebrate my personal victory with the quest and another special occasion with this story post.

See, this is my 53rd Blood Pact. I believe a certain moonkin now owes me a crown for the longest reign as WoW Insider's Defense Against With the Dark Arts professor.

For the sake of space, I've obviously shortened the story down from my actual experience with the final fight. But many of the elements are there, from spell details to actual NPC roleplay (none of the NPCs' dialogue is mine). Jump behind the cut to catch the story.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Kanrethad's defeat at mortal hands

Blood Pact: Kanrethad's defeat at mortal hands originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Do the Harlem Shake with ElvUI for April Fools' Day - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST

The above video shows what awaits for ElvUI users when they log in today. I must say, I've been using addons and UI mods for years now in WoW, but as one YouTube commenter says, "Trolled by an addon, that's a first for me." Personally, I got a good kick out of seeing this on my main and I'm looking forward to logging onto my alts, at least just to see my dwarf scream "DO THE HARLEM SHAKE" to Zangarmarsh.

However, for those ElvUI users among you who may have been less than diligent about keeping on top of updates - and who can blame you really, I swear ElvUI goes out of date every three days - it seems that instead of the Harlem Shake, you get a message saying all your gold has been donated to the Orgrimmar orphanage. I personally can't confirm this, because for once I did update my UI as soon as it said to. Let us know if you can confirm/deny the orphanage joke!

Big thanks to @Vixsin_LiG5 for bringing the video to our attention, as well as the other commenters who tipped us on ElvUI's goofy prank. Happy April Fools' Day!

Do the Harlem Shake with ElvUI for April Fools' Day originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly Podcast Roundup: Mar. 25-31, 2013 - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

Every Monday evening, WoW Insider brings you a long list of WoW podcasts that were published the week and weekend before. If you don't see your favorite World of Warcraft podcast listed, just let us know in the comments. Be sure to leave a link to it, and we'll pick it up next week.

All podcasts and content belong to their owners. WoW Insider is not responsible for what you hear, and some of the content may not be safe for work.

Continue reading Weekly Podcast Roundup: Mar. 25-31, 2013

Weekly Podcast Roundup: Mar. 25-31, 2013 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Noblegarden 2013 has begun - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

This is a friendly neighborhood reminder from your local WoW Insider team that Noblegarden 2013 is underway. In fact it began yesterday, March 31st, and will run through the week until April 6th. This year looks to be pretty much the same as the last and there are no new updates to speak of, so if you've done it before, there's probably not a lot of incentive to do it again. However, a number of Noblegarden achievements are necessary for What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so if you're still working on your Violet Protodrake, don't miss out! In addition, battle pet collectors might be interested in the Spring Rabbit, if you haven't gotten it yet.

For those of you who are working on Nobelgarden achievements or items, WoW Insider's got you covered with our OverAchiever guide. Check it out, and happy spring!

Noblegarden 2013 has begun originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: No April Fools' gags here - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

You all keep wondering what our April Fools' Day gag is this year. We don't have one! Seriously! For serious. Serious serious.

thebl4ckd0g asked:

anybody else fought one of the legendary battle pets, but gotten absolutely nothing after beating them? I fought the fish one in kun-lai, beat him 3 times in a row, but got nothing. No loot. No gold. Not even xp for my lvl 24 pet.

Continue reading The Queue: No April Fools' gags here

The Queue: No April Fools' gags here originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: B teamed - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

This week's email comes from a player whose guild recently made the always-difficult, always-drama-fueling decision to form an A team out of their raiders. Is creating an A team the right move? When you wind up on the B team, what's next?

Hi Scott,

I'm a member of a medium-sized guild that has been running two raid teams simultaneously up until recently. These teams weren't fixed; group composition was mixed up every week. I rather enjoyed that, as it meant that I got to play and interact with lots of different guild members, and there was little room for cliquishness.

However, the other day guild leadership announced that this was all going to change. Going forward, most of the officers will be in a fixed "progression team" while the rest of us will be left to our own devices. There should still be enough of us left to form a second team, but we'd pretty much have to make it work ourselves.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: B teamed

Officers' Quarters: B teamed originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: If at first you don't succeed - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

Come see the giant mystery hole! Observe the wonders of the universe! But don't try to jump in. A young draenei lady, later identified through dental records as Korranne of Azeroth Social Society on Alterac Mountains (US-A), had trouble heeding this warning. After her first attempt ended in a fatal impact with the safety rail, she didn't even wait for her skeleton to fade away before giving it another try. But maybe the third time's the charm. She'll have to wait for her rez timer to be up before she can find out.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: If at first you don't succeed originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drama Mamas guide to preventing multiplayer gaming drama - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

Social drama -- sticky, sticky stuff. The problem with drama in a multiplayer game is that even acknowledging its existence usually engenders more. That's why so many guilds prohibit airing drama as well as any potentially controversial topic in public chat channels. Smart gamers don't manage social drama -- they dodge it.

The first line of defense against drama for most players is membership in an effective guild. Savvy guilds provide a drama-free zone by offering clear, explicit guidelines and rules on common bones of contention such as loot, raid attendance, and player behavior. Debate and controversy are handled in private chat channels or forums. Not at all an attempt to squash freedom of expression, a no-drama edict is designed to free players from being forced to bear witness to an outbreak of drama, allowing guild officers to clean up the mess quickly and effectively behind the scenes. (Learn more about the structure and habits of highly effective guilds in WoW Insider's weekly Officers' Quarters.)

But no guild can protect every player from the ravages of social drama. Where there are people, there will be drama. Fights with your mom or your spouse over game time, finding a guild whose definition of PG chat matches yours, handling an inappropriate player crush ... Let the Drama Mamas show you how to prevent most drama and dodge the rest.

Continue reading Drama Mamas guide to preventing multiplayer gaming drama

Drama Mamas guide to preventing multiplayer gaming drama originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Drops vs. tokens or points - Mon, 01 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

I'm a fairly methodical player. I dodge entire swaths of the game (pet battles and holiday events, I'm looking at you) because I don't have time to get sucked into the inevitable completionism. But despite a fondness for checklists and planning, I'm dissatisfied in a system centered on buying gear with tokens, points, or other currency systems. I'm a fan of throwing my fates to the wind and diving into an instance to see what luck may bring me. I like not knowing if or when a particular piece might come my way, and I'm fully open to the possibility that it might not ever come at all. (Although I reserve the right to grouse about it. That's part of the fun.)

For me, this bit of RNG design is part of what keeps the parameters of a game world feeling larger than the sum of my ambitions. The envy of seeing someone in town stroll by wielding the massive two-handed staff that I've always admired, the unchecked line item on my gear list ... I like knowing that there exist parts of this world that I can't manhandle into submission. After all, my dream gear list wouldn't be very dreamy if it were merely a shopping list.

We do need alternatives. We need ways to fill in holes for things that never drop, and we need drops for players who prefer not to run dungeons and raid content. (I wish more of that were based on player-made items, frankly -- but that's another Breakfast Topic.) Most assuredly, we need a selection of rewards for players whose souls crave predictable, regular infusions of upgrade juju.

I appreciate WoW's current mix of methods, although for my own tastes, things have slid a little too far to the predictable side of the equation. Knowing what my upgrades will be and when I will get them feels dully inevitable. I'd welcome a little more reliance on the RNG, with the opportunity for a little more chaos surrounding any given drop (and therefore a little more passionate hope beforehand and a little more unbridled joy afterwards). As Matt Rossi puts it, "loot is the carrot; not getting loot is the stick."

Open country vs. mapped road -- where do you stand? Do you prefer plotting your path to purple glory with gear that lies reliably in your path, or do you wish there were a little more crazy RNG splashed into the mix? Should the mix of gear acquisition methods balance differently in different areas of the game, and if so, do you think the game already does so with success? And most importantly, how has the mix of predictable vs. unpredictable gear upgrades worked out for you?

Breakfast Topic: Drops vs. tokens or points originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: The best of Tin-Foil Hats - Sun, 31 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

A funny thing happened this week. For the past two weeks, I've been working on Tinfoil Hat Editions of KYL -- fun, speculative posts that attempt to predict just what the heck is going on with the Warcraft universe. I was, in fact, working up to a super big reveal of an a-ha moment I'd had a couple of weeks ago regarding the nature of the mists surrounding Pandaria and what exactly happened to Emperor Shaohao.

Except that I was preempted, for want of a better word. The PTR hit for patch 5.3, and in all of the datamining of the sound files, that pet theory I'd been working with was addressed directly. On the one hand, it was nice to see that I'd been dead on and correct with what I was assuming. On the other, it meant I had half of an article written that I couldn't really publish. ... oops?

So Adam Holisky suggested in his infinite wisdom that this week, I look back on some old TFH editions of Know Your Lore -- a best-of recap of some of the wilder things I've pointed out. It seems as good a time as any!

Continue reading Know Your Lore: The best of Tin-Foil Hats

Know Your Lore: The best of Tin-Foil Hats originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 31 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Rabbit Stew - Sun, 31 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST

For whatever reason, there aren't many machinima videos about Easter. Rabbit Stew stands alone as a rare celebration of the Spring holiday. If you feel like following suit, don't worry: scrawling PWNT across an egg isn't that much work. Do it with a Sharpie.

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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: Rabbit Stew originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 31 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Addon Spotlight: Your addon questions - chat, pet battles, mounts, Dinomancers - Sun, 31 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST

Right, it's been quite some time since I last scoured the internet for obscure addons on behalf of the WoW Insider readership, and the mailbag has been filling up, so it's time for another edition of Your Addon Questions! As always, if you have questions, pop them in the comments or send me an email.

Wordgardener asked:
I'm using ElvUI, and every time I do a quest that awards honor or another currency, the gain isn't displayed in my logs. It used to show up where the XP and gold gain was. I couldn't find a setting today for it - any idea where this info is? How to turn it on/make it appear?
ElvUI is a sneaky devil with this. It seems to shift from window to window with every update, but there's a very simple way indeed to make sure it pops up where you need it, and what's more, it allows you to completely customize your chat panels.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: Your addon questions - chat, pet battles, mounts, Dinomancers

Addon Spotlight: Your addon questions - chat, pet battles, mounts, Dinomancers originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 31 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: He doesn't row - Sun, 31 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I finished BioShock Infinite last night and by golly was that a heck of an ending. Highly recommended. Rent it if you can't buy it.

John22 asked:

What is up with new pets dropping from old bosses (Karazan, SSC)? I'm not complaining, but could it be a sign of revamping to come? Heroic Kara? New area discovered? Those scary tombs?

Highly unlikely. Besides a few tweaks to make soloing or small-group play in those raids easier, no changes were made to the other old raids when they added pets to them. Not that I wouldn't love to do heroic Karazhan, mind you.

Continue reading The Queue: He doesn't row

The Queue: He doesn't row originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 31 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Contested Territory - Sun, 31 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST

Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

Over the next several months, SMF will spotlight a regularly updating WoW-related comic. To kick off the series is Contested Territory:

What happens when two small girls from either side of the war meet? What happens when they become best friends? Contested Territory is a story about just that; a young orc named Thook and a rescued night elf with no memories named Kithra. Instantly inseparable, the girls face the challenges of Azeroth together, testing the boundaries of friendship, family and faction as they learn what makes them so similar, yet so different.

Raised by loving but cautious Auntie and Uncle, Aguul and Kross, as well as a dear tauren friend, Winthir, Thook and Kithra learn what happens when two enemies meet before they are old enough to understand hatred.

This comic was originally written in 2008, with the prologue and chapters one and two taking place during Vanilla. The comic is done entirely by hand: pencil, pen, colored pencil, and scan.

Contested Territory uploads regularly on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: Contested Territory

Sunday Morning Funnies: Contested Territory originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 31 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Object impermanence - Sun, 31 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST

"If you do any kind of group content, you know about line of sight pulls," writes submitter Gimmlette of Spectacular Death on Llane (US-A). "Generally, the tank bonks a mob or group of mobs on the head and runs around the corner, out of sight, to get them to come to him. Everyone else stays away and just unloads once the tank has the mobs."

"Spectacular Death decided to apply that principle to the Primal Devilsaur guarding the troll boat on the Isle of Giants. They had cleared the boat to the top and then came back down to find the dino waiting for them outside. Warriorjoe volunteered to pull the dino. What could do wrong? Joe would just stay around the corner where the dino can't get him."

"After Joe was flattened, the dino went after Reckittmama, Hyperstoic, Mtwohb and Minaithelan. Guild leader Gimmlette agreed with Joe's comment, 'We're gonna need a bigger boat.'"

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Object impermanence originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 31 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Do you have a secret getaway character? - Sun, 31 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST

Guild tag every last character? Of course not! As an introvert by nature, I value the ability to log in and play free from social or performance pressures. True, most of my time these days is spent leveling in a dedicated duo in a guild full of chatterboxes. But I also spend a good chunk of time on a level 90 who remains untagged and unknown. She lets me unplug from the social and work-related aspects of WoW to tool around at whatever pace I please. Her sister character on a different faction and realm is also unguilded; she's more of a PvPer and oh, does she enjoy letting off a little steam!

As you might imagine, I haven't availed myself of Real ID. When I can choose an appear offline option, I'll undoubtedly check it out. Until then, though, I like having the option to log in completely anonymously.

Do you have one or more secret getaway characters? If you do, would you consider your primary getaway character your main, an alternative main, or an alt?

Breakfast Topic: Do you have a secret getaway character? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 31 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Mastering the Troves of the Thunder King as a paladin - Sat, 30 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Fortune and glory, kid. Nothing animates like the prospect of a massive pile of treasure, especially when you're racing against the clock and greedily snatching up as much as you can. The trick, in the end, is to be prepared for any obstacles thrown at you -- that is what separates the Indiana Joneses of this world from the Satipos. And if you prefer to be the former and exit the scenario with more gold than you can carry, you'll need to do your homework before you plunge into this exciting new feature from patch 5.2.

Thankfully, paladins tend to have a lot of tricks up their sleeves and with the new talent system that is doubly true. With the right preparation, we can make the most of our toolset and claw our way to the end of the loot run with a minimum of muss or fuss.

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: Mastering the Troves of the Thunder King as a paladin

The Light and How to Swing It: Mastering the Troves of the Thunder King as a paladin originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: TMNT: Tortos - Sat, 30 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST

It looks like Fifth Element laid low the boss known as Tortos, and they've created another astounding video to celebrate. Their machinima continues to be as amazing as ever. And while I could go on and on about how much I loved this video, I think I'll just quote Anne Stickney:
This is EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED TO SEE OUT OF A TORTOS KILL VID
Also, bonus points for the use of Vanilla Ice. Go ninja, go ninja, go!

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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: TMNT: Tortos originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 5.2 and warrior gear part 3 - Sat, 30 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

This has been something of a wild month for me. I started it playing a tauren warrior, and I'm ending it as a worgen. I've spent the month raiding Throne of Thunder and thinking about warrior gear I need to pick up as we progress through the place. The weird thing about gear is, it's really just a means to an end. You get gear to get better to progress through harder content, that's pretty much all there is to the gearing cycle. Each new patch, each new raid opens up new angles for progression, but it's really always heading towards that brass ring of "Beat X boss, get Y gear to beat Z boss." Until the expansion ends, anyway.

As one of the largest raids we've seen in a while, Throne of Thunder has a lot of gear. We covered six bosses last time, taking us to the mid point of the raid. Now we get to look at the remaining bosses. The Halls of Flesh Shaping and Pinnacle of Storms await. As before, I'm just going to list the 522 gear that drops in normal 10/25 - thunderforged variants are 6 ilevels higher, and thus are usually the best option in normal raids.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 5.2 and warrior gear part 3

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 5.2 and warrior gear part 3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Of dinosaurs and patches - Sat, 30 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST

No Hearthstone so we'll have to kill some time with a game that we all currently play. No, not Bioshock: Infinite. I'm talk about WoW, the dinosaurs, and that upcoming patch. I can't speak for anyone else, but any patch that gets me closers to laying a keg of beer upside Garrosh's oversized melon is a patch I like.

By the way, does it bother anyone else that the orc looks so smug picking on the gnome? I always thought orcs were kind of bullies anyway, but they don't need to laugh about it. It just looks mean.

Continue reading WRUP: Of dinosaurs and patches

WRUP: Of dinosaurs and patches originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Apex predator - Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I love this video. What a vicious monster!

drorraz asked:

With the new raiding with leashes pets dropping from SSC bosses, do we get to enter that place solo or do we still have to group for that part?

You can enter any pre-MoP raid without needing a raid group. You've actually been able to for a while!

Continue reading The Queue: Apex predator

The Queue: Apex predator originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Stolen moments - Sat, 30 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Anastarian of Altered Reality on Moon Guard (US-H) wanted to spend some time alone with his girlfriend. But sadly, they found every available bedroom, secluded overlook, isolated beach and coat check room in Northrend occupied. So they snuck out to the floor of Grizzlemaw for some cuddling, an activity mimicked by their pet phoenix. (Phoenixes? Phoenices? Well, it makes sense that phoenix wouldn't need a plural form.)

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Stolen moments originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: How do you talk to Blizzard? - Sat, 30 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST

When I left World of Warcraft, about two years ago, if you wanted to talk to Blizzard, you didn't have many options. You could submit an in-game ticket if you had a problem or post complaints or discussion in the forums and hope for a response. But response time for GMs was typically slow and you could never tell if a Blizzard employee would jump on responding to your forum thread. Having a conversation with a Blizzard employee seemed like a rare thing -- that involved a heck of a lot of luck

And while there's still no way to guarantee a blue response, when I came back to WoW, I was most surprised by how much communicating with Blizzard had changed. These days you can find Blizzard and Blizzard employees on the forums and in-game, of course, but you'll also find them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even Reddit. And they're not just there to talk official Blizzard business (though they certainly answer questions from time to time): you're just as likely to find them chatting and joking, just like anyone else on social networks.

So when you've got a burning question or a game problem that needs addressing, where do you go to talk about it? Do you stick to the classic official channels, or do you launch into a discussion on Twitter?

Breakfast Topic: How do you talk to Blizzard? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.2 hotfixes for March 29 - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 21:29:00 EST

Blizzard decided to ring in the weekend with a short and sweet list of hotfixes for patch 5.2. Today's list is pretty short, with just a few class tweaks and a couple of additional adjustments to raid bosses and items. Combat rogues may want to take a look at the adjustment made to Blade Flurry, however.

Rygarius
Classes
  • Mage
    • Tier-15 Fire/Frost 4-piece set bonus should now properly increase Frostbolt's chance to activate Fingers of Frost effect.
  • Priest
    • Tier-15 Discipline/Holy 4-piece set bonus should summon a Golden Apparition that now heals for the correct amount and can activate Divine Aegis.
  • Rogue
    • Combat
      • Blade Flurry now has a range of 8 yards, up from 5 yards, and will only hit targets that are within the Rogue's line-of-sight.
Raids, Dungeons and Scenarios
  • Ji-Kun's Feed Young ability should now be slightly easier to intercept.
  • To the Skies!: Fixed an issue where the Hail of Arrows debuff not being removed after defeating Beastmaster Horaki.
Items
  • Enchant Weapon - Glorious Tyranny can no longer be used on other player's weapons and will cause bind-on-equipped items to become soulbound.
  • Lightning-Imbued Chalice now has a greatly increased chance to generate Infinite Power.



Patch 5.2 hotfixes for March 29 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 21:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR: Epic cloaks point at a legendary reward - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST

Some fascinating new cloaks have been dug up in the patch 5.3 PTR by the intrepid explorers over at Wowhead -- and they may be more than they seem. There are six cloaks in all, each named with an indicator that points to the August Celestials as their inspiration. But what's really astonishing about these cloaks is the ilvl and stats. Each cloak has been designated with an ilvl of 600 -- far above anything we've encountered in game to date. And each has a whopping +918 to every secondary stat minus hit and expertise.

So what does it all mean? It means that these things are powerhouses of bonus stats -- and if you have a spec that doesn't use one particular side stat, you can reforge it to gain a healthy chunk of hit or expertise on the side. Because of the August Celestials influence in the cloak designs and names, Wowhead has pointed out that these cloaks likely tie into the latest branch of the Wrathion chain. Wrathion's achievement for patch 5.3 has been changed on the PTR as well. Now called Chapter IV: Celestial Blessings, the achievement requires players to accompany Wrathion on his journey to obtain blessings from all four August Celestials. The reward for the achievement is a Cloak of Virture, and all the new cloaks carry this designation, so it looks like Wowhead's assessment is dead on.

But what's curious about all of this is that despite the ilvl, despite the method of obtaining the cloaks, and despite the stats, the cloaks are still designated epic quality. Given Wrathion's penchant for handing over orange quality items, it does make one wonder if this will be changed as the PTR moves on. If these cloaks are indeed designated legendary quality, they'll be the first piece of legendary armor we've seen in game since the ill-fated Talisman of Binding Shard removed in vanilla.

While we don't know yet exactly what the future of these cloaks happens to be, it would be wise to keep in mind that as with anything else on the PTR, it's all subject to change at the drop of a hat until it goes live. We may see the ilvl reduced, we may see the quality change, or we may see them appear exactly as they are now -- it's all up in the air until 5.3 officially drops. Until then, have a look at Wowhead for a glimpse at these gorgeous models.

Patch 5.3 PTR: Epic cloaks point at a legendary reward originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Sneak Preview - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 19:00:00 EST

The Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Sneak Preview is pretty much what you'd expect from a Wowcrendor video, though I admit I was actually expecting something a little more previewish than this. Title confusion aside, though, this is exactly what I wanted from the master of mirth, Wowcrendor: an analysis of reactions to the upcoming digital card game.

I kind of do hope we get a Standing In Fire card. It just feels right. But given the breadth of cards in the physical versions, Hearthstone will likely have plenty of options for everyone. Just be careful what you say about it now, so that those words don't come back to haunt you.

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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Sneak Preview originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST

TradeChat's Panser returns with this week's WoW Insider news recap, where we look back at the hottest news from the past week and whatever other kickin' rad things may have come our way. This week's topics include: If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave a comment, and come back next week for the next episode!

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What makes a compelling character? - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 17:00:00 EST

I don't know how many of you frequent the official Story Forum. It can be an intimidating place. Beware, all ye who may mention the words "Lordaeron," "Sylvanas," or "Southshore;" and these days add "Sunreaver" and "Dalaran" to the list of ten-foot-pole topics. I still visit the Story Forum regularly and if you're a lore buff its often a good source for varied discussion and debate. The amount of detail folks are able to recite at a moment's notice never fails to impress me, and has more than once sent me scurrying to my personal Warcraft library to fact-check or reread something with an eye for a new interpretation.

Recently, Nethaera has paid a visit to the story forum, and she asks you all directly: What makes a compelling character? What makes a character strong or weak or interesting or boring? What makes a character your favorite? What are the things that draw you to a fictional personality, what are the things that repulse you? As for me personally, well, I'm pretty sure the WoW community is more than familiar with some of my favorites (shameless self promotion). The reasons why I find those characters compelling are varied, but mostly boil down to the situation of being between a rock and a hard place. I like stories where there aren't good answers, where every way you look, you lose. Maybe I'm a Debbie-downer, but if the path to victory is obvious, I am bored to tears. Don't give me that, I don't want to read it. Give me someone who has struggled and fought and who will never be sure if they did the right thing. Give me something, and someone, that will haunt me.

What makes a character compelling to you? What fuels your imagination? If you've ever wanted the chance to talk with a blue about your favorite WoW personalities and share your personal idea of what you'd like to see out of WoW's canon characters, now is your opportunity!

What makes a compelling character? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR: New mount models, achievements - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST

The intrepid folks over at Wowhead have been busy digging through the patch 5.3 PTR and discovering a host of new models and items associated with the new patch. For mount collecting enthusiasts, the addition of a new mount achievement in patch 5.1 and the Jade Pandaren Kite as a reward was a delightful surprise. For those who have been collecting mounts for quite some time, however, the kite was immediately available upon the launch of patch 5.1, and it didn't appear as though any further rewards would be offered.

But mount collectors should be happy to note that there has been yet another mount achievement added in with patch 5.3. Mount Parade is earned by collecting 200 mounts, and offers two uniquely colored mounts as rewards. Alliance players will receive the Armored Blue Dragonhawk, and Horde players will receive the Armored Red Dragonhawk. Wowhead has models of both versions available for viewing -- and frankly, they're really well done. I wasn't sure what to expect with yet another dragonhawk to pile on the collection, but the detail in these models is pretty stunning.

Also datamined with the latest round of the 5.3 PTR was the warhorse pictured above. There doesn't appear to be a file for it on Wowhead at this time, but the 3D model is viewable by checking Wowhead's latest news post. As of yet there's no news on what this horse is, where it drops, or if it's even available to players in the next patch. However, another mount has been added to the list -- the Brawler's Burly Mushan Beast. At the moment there is no model available for the mount, but the name suggests that perhaps the Brawler's Guild will be seeing some pretty cool rewards soon.

As a mount collector, I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the new reward models -- but I'd love to hear what you guys think. Would you rather have seen something else? What do you think of the warhorse? And don't forget to check out Wowhead for a look at the 3D models for the new mounts.


Patch 5.3 PTR: New mount models, achievements originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Lil' Bad Wolf - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 15:00:00 EST

Lolegolas slapped a hand over his mouth to keep from laughing. Throgg failed to restrain the same urge but his mirth emerged as uncontrollable giggles.

"What?" roared the Lil' Bad Wolf. "You dare mock me? Tremble before my mighty claws!"

"You're just so cute!" Lolegolas responded.

"Run away, little girl!" the diminuitive worgen pronounced. Its fierce claws would be frightening if it came up to anyone's knees. "Run away!"

"Okay, I give up, Throgg," the blood elf said. "Where'd you get him?"

"Karazhan," the orc responded. "It came with the Spiky Collar."

"What are you naming it?" the blood elf asked.

"Rose."

"Of course," he responded. "Who's a lil' bad wolf? Who's a lil' bad wolf?"

'Little elf, don't taunt the miniature worgen."

"Why?" Lolegolas asked. "Can it hurt me?"

"No, it's just tacky."

Item Note: The Lil' Bad Wolf is taught by the Spiky Collar which drops from the Big Bad Wolf in Karazhan, once patch 5.3 rolls out.

Phat Loot Phriday brings you the scoop on some of the most ... interesting ... loot in the World of Warcraft, often viewed through the eyes of the stalwart Throgg and indelible Lolegolas. Suggest items you think we should feature by emailing mikeg@wowinsider.com.

Phat Loot Phriday: Lil' Bad Wolf originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Archivist: Blizzard's April Fool's jokes are more real than you think - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST

WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

It all began in 2003, when Blizzard announced pandaren as a playable race -- for Warcraft III. This never happened, of course. The announcement was an April Fool's joke. But you know that someone at Blizzard back then really wanted to play as a panda. Nine years later, with the Mists of Pandaria expansion, we can all be pandaren now.

When Mists was first revealed, the outcry from some in the community was fierce. Much of it centered around how "pandaren were just an April Fool's joke." Most of us, I would hazard to guess, have been won over by them in this expansion. With their incredibly deep history, love of life/beer, and gorgeous architecture, not to mention the amazing voice acting and animations that bring them to life, the pandaren have been a bigger hit for WoW than many ever imagined they could be.

In 2004, a playable goblin tinker for Warcraft III was another April Fool's joke. An overwhelmingly enthused response for playable tinkers led to Blizzard adding them to the game.

Given the origins of the pandaren and goblin tinkers, it's safe to say that any April Fool's joke that Blizzard has done over the years could one day spawn a tangible addition to the game, or perhaps a spinoff under the WoW brand. Let's look back at Blizzard's WoW-related April Fool's jokes to see which ones could be the next to become real -- and which ones already have.

Continue reading WoW Archivist: Blizzard's April Fool's jokes are more real than you think

WoW Archivist: Blizzard's April Fool's jokes are more real than you think originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Horde rebellion, loyalty, and leadership - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:00:00 EST

Loyalty, and its limits, are pretty big underlying themes in WoW's current story arc. As of patch 5.1, the WoW poster child for complex loyalties and their consequences is Aethas Sunreaver. Aethas has a divided heart. He is a blood elf (and was, once upon a time, a high elf) and as such, he is loyal to Quel'Thalas. But he is also a citizen of Dalaran, it's his adopted homeland, and he also wishes to be loyal to Dalaran. These are loyalties he has tried to juggle for three expansions now, and they finally, inevitably, came to a head. Aethas' failure in patch 5.1 lies in either his own arrogance or naivete, that he couldn't see the truth: in this day and age, in Azeroth, those loyalties were irreconcilable. Once Quel'Thalas had decided to ally with the Horde, a longtime enemy of Dalaran, it was only a matter of time before that political division bore consequences for individuals. Aethas' own refusal to choose is ultimately what led to his choice being forced.

I feel for Aethas, in this sense. I sympathize with his impulse toward reconciliation. Why shouldn't he have tried? History was on his side. Quel'Thalas and Dalaran have, in fact, been traditional allies for quite a long time, much longer than they have been enemies. I don't think his hope was unreasonable, but it did turn out to be impossible. There is just too much bad blood - on many sides - for any sort of truce to exist at this point, and it will likely be a very long time before those wounds are healed enough for bridges to be rebuilt. Sometimes compromise just isn't an option.

Fair warning: there are minor spoilers for patch 5.3 below the cut.

Continue reading The Horde rebellion, loyalty, and leadership

The Horde rebellion, loyalty, and leadership originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3: Even more battle pets from the PTR - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST

If you're a fan of pet battles, then patch 5.3 is for you, bringing new pets, new pets, and new pets. And while we were already excited about the creepy/cute Unborn Val'kyr, now Wowhead has turned up more information -- along photos and drop locations -- on what to expect from the pets in the upcoming patch.

Many of these are being added to Burning Crusade era raids for the Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition achievement which requires you to collect 10 pets from Karazhan, Serpentshrine Cavern, and The Eye. The reward for collecting all of these pets? It's another pet, the still mysterious Tito. But while most of the pets discovered so far require revisiting old raids, there are also some new wild pets and drops, including the previously mentioned Unborn Val'kyr as well as mini-Gahz'rilla Gahz'rooki, the ooze Filthling, and a couple of adorably miniature Direhorns, the Stunted Direhorn and Direhorn Runt.

So what's our favorite? Well, you already know how we feel about dinosaurs.

Patch 5.3: Even more battle pets from the PTR originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Myotonic goats - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) prefers fainting to yelling when given a choice of goat.

Poor little mytonic goats. Contrary to their name, fainting goats don't really faint -- it's just their muscles spontaneously seizing up. Thankfully it doesn't hurt the little guys, but man. Nature is weird.

wowscard asked:

Q4tQ: Are Scenarios the new Dungeons? Seriously, Blizzard seems to be moving away from the 5-man Tank/Healer/3DPS dungeon model (they've stated no more 5-mans in MoP) and moving toward a more 3 of anything scenario model. They added scenarios with MoP as an additional feature, but with the move to now "Heroic" scenarios, it screams "replacement." Are the days of 5-man dungeons numbered?

It's funny you should ask, because I wrote a fairly in-depth piece about this yesterday.

Continue reading The Queue: Myotonic goats

The Queue: Myotonic goats originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Thunderstruck - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST

"I became obsessed with capturing images of the the lightning strikes on the Isle of Thunder the other night," writes submitter Captmoocher of Borrowed Time on Bleeding Hollow (US-H). "Out of over a hundred images, only a few actually had lightning in them and then even fewer showed it's full intensity. This one was by far the best. Arcweaver Jor'guva appears to be channeling the fury of the Thunder King to rip the ground asunder." Amongst the dead trees, the smoldering remains of a thousand charred golfers bear testament to your mom's advice: always go inside during a severe thunderstorm warning.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Thunderstruck originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reminder: It came from the Blog's scavenger hunt is tomorrow - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 09:00:00 EST

It came from the Blog is having another scavenger hunt and you're all invited.
  • When: Tomorrow, March 30 at noon EDT (9 a.m. PDT, 10 a.m. server time)
  • Where: Meet at the fountain in the Court of the Sun in Silvermoon City on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H)
  • Who: Any Horde player, but you'll have a better chance of winning if you have a mount
  • How: Just ask Tizzi or any It came from the Blog member if you aren't already in our family of guilds
There will be 10 winners. The prize for each winner will be a choice of battle pets, some donated by guildies and some extras from my collection. All you have to do is complete the scavenger hunt and show the items in a trade window to me (Tizzi). The hunt will take place in a non-flying area, so only those with ground mounts will be at an advantage.

You will need 25g (which will be provided to those that are new to the server and poor) and 37 spaces in your bags. (The list is a bit longer than usual to make it more challenging.) The items will be listed in /say at the event time, so that punctual players have an advantage. I will then repeat the list 15 minutes later in event chat.

So come have some fun and maybe win a valuable battle pet. And remember, since battle pets are account-wide, you don't have to have your main on Zangarmarsh or even in the Horde in order to enjoy them.

Please join us on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H) in It came from the Blog. All guild ranks can invite, so /whisper Tizzi or any online member. You are all welcome as long as you play by our simple rules -- basically, don't be a funsucker! Visit the guild FAQ for more details.
FR

Reminder: It came from the Blog's scavenger hunt is tomorrow originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Why can't we all find Enlightenment? - Fri, 29 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST

As a (fairly) new monk, I have to say I love the fact that monks have their very own daily quest. Every day -- and an extra time every ten levels -- we can head out to the Peak of Serenity in Pandaria, where we train with our fellow monks.

If you aren't aware that this quest was daily, and only visited the Peak of Serenity for class quests every ten levels, you should get on board! It's easy to do -- just cast Zen Pilgrimage every day and spend a couple of minutes sparring with one of the monk trainers -- and the reward is very much worth it, not only giving you great XP, but also the Enlightenment buff that provides +50% experience from questing and killing. If you're leveling, I don't have to tell you how invaluable that kind of XP buff is. In fact, it's so invaluable, that whenever I've switched to another alt I really miss it. Leveling any other class, no matter how efficient you are with heirlooms and rested bonuses, is slower than leveling a monk.

And all I have to say is... where are the other class quests? Why don't hunters have daily target practice quests? Why don't mages have daily drills in fire, frost, and arcane magics? Why don't warlocks have daily demon duels? And what do you think, dear readers? Do other classes need their own daily quests, or would it just add to the frankly overwhelming pile of dailies we already have?

Breakfast Topic: Why can't we all find Enlightenment? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 29 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR: Ghostcrawler clarifies Tri-Spec - Thu, 28 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST

I think WoW Insider was sufficiently cautious when we posted about the datamined tri-spec feature, saying, and I quote:
  • This is the PTR, and stuff can be datamined that never actually makes it to live
  • Even if it does get tested on the PTR, it doesn't necessarily follow that it will be implemented
  • Sometimes stuff gets put in the files just to mess with us.
And today, from Ghostcrawler's tweets, it looks like we were right to be cautious. He said the following this morning:
So it seems like those who took this as confirmed may have been hasty! It seems reasonable that it's an experiment, rather than a confirmed element coming into WoW. There was a healthy discussion around this, and the fear of excessive homogeneity associated with it, and it's definitely not a decision that should be made lightly.

Are you disappointed? We're not sure that we are. It'd be nice to have a third spec for your main spec, offspec and PvP spec, but would you really use it to its full potential? Do people really want to carry three sets of gear in their bags?

Do note that this doesn't mean it's definitely not in, either. What are you hoping for?

Patch 5.3 PTR: Ghostcrawler clarifies Tri-Spec originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 28 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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