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The best fight from classic WoW - Wed, 01 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

This is a topic I know will get me into trouble. Classic WoW is known as "classic" for a reason, after all. Being the opening foray into the MMO that has since become the standard for the entire industry, WoW's first incarnation is filled with memorable encounters. The raid bosses we battled back then are the yardsticks by which we have judged pretty much everything that has followed.

I know it's tempting to say something like Ragnaros or Onyxia or C'Thun, because those are the big bad end boss fights that remain etched in WoW players' collective consciousness. I've always tried to stay away from the obvious answers, though, because, well, they're obvious. I don't think there's anything particularly interesting I could write about Ragnaros or Onyxia that hasn't already be said better by someone else. When I sat down to brainstorm about this topic, I ran through many of the classic bosses, testing my memories of them, and after a while I hit upon what I knew would be my personal answer to this question: Vaelastrasz the Corrupt.

Continue reading The best fight from classic WoW

The best fight from classic WoW originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Fifth Element Avengers - Wed, 01 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

The latest from Fifth Element is hopefully not its last. Let's just say... nothing has made me want to stop everything I'm doing and log into the game to play my Paladin right now as much as this video. It's amazing. My jaw dropped. I cheered and clapped and laughed. It's simply that good. And the timing's perfect, considering certain movies coming out this weekend. This video is absolutely my favorite yet.
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: Fifth Element Avengers originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What do you need explained more clearly? - Wed, 01 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

Reading the forums (like I do) I came across a response by Daxxari to a forum thread that got me thinking.
Daxxari - Oh God, 5.3 don't come!!! QQ thread!!
Item budget is weird and crazy. Seriously. It's actually worlds better than it used to be, but still needs to be a lot more clear so people can understand it. Blizzard is bad at getting some really core information like that across.

Fair enough. There's a huge amount of information to relate about World of Warcraft, and we can always communicate better and more clearly. We've already stated that PvP stats don't count toward a given item's ilevel, and we released the PvP Gear in Patch 5.3 blog that we hoped would dispel some confusion.

What do you think is missing, and what else needs to be communicated clearly so players can make informed gearing decisions?


This got me to thinking about what I'd like expressed more clearly and concisely someplace easy to find in game, and it's how stat ratings work. This has greatly improved in that the character window pane will calculate out how much actual hit percentage, or critical strike percentage, you currently have on gear but I really think the game could benefit from a means to work out what changing X or Y will do to your stats without having to go to an outside site.

So what about you? What do you find confusing and think Blizzard could explain better? Item levels? How PvP stats work? The difference between content tiers? If it bugs you, tell us how you think Blizzard could explain it better.
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

What do you need explained more clearly? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon Benefit Dinner tickets on sale tonight - Wed, 01 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

If you're still on the lookout for BlizzCon tickets -- and have deep pockets -- tonight's your last chance to get them from Blizzard. Tonight at 7 pm Pacific (10 pm Eastern), Benefit Dinner tickets go on sale for $500 each. Though they're costly, these tickets not only get you entry to BlizzCon, you also get to attend dinner with the Blizzard staff on Thursday before BlizzCon kicks off, giving you, as Blizzard puts it, "an opportunity to meet and chat with game developers, artists, executives and other folks from Blizzard Entertainment." You'll also get a signed piece of Blizzard artwork in addition to the usual BlizzCon swag. And it's for a good cause: all proceeds from the event go to the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

If you're looking for a chance to nab a ticket of your own, be online and ready before 7 pm Pacific (10 pm Eastern) and check out our ticket purchasing tips to get an edge on the competition. There are only 200 tickets available and, even at $500 each, they're certain to sell out quickly. But even if you don't get a ticket, remember that virtual tickets will be available later and you can still enjoy BlizzCon even without a ticket.

BlizzCon Benefit Dinner tickets on sale tonight originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Heirloom Shields looking good for patch 5.3 - Wed, 01 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

Heirloom shields are looking good for patch 5.3, according to a tweet from Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street:
Heirloom shields were amongst the things that didn't quite make the cut for patch 5.2. Blizzard Senior Community Rep Jonathan "Zarhym" Brown posted the following a little while back on the official forums by way of explanation for their absence:
Zarhym
Heirloom shields were originally planned to be added in patch 5.2, but, unfortunately, due to a late-breaking bug with these items which prevented them from properly scaling with level, we had to remove them. We still want to get these shields in the game and plan to do so in a future patch.

Continue reading Heirloom Shields looking good for patch 5.3

Heirloom Shields looking good for patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.2 hotfixes for April 29th and 30th, nerf to Lei Shen - Wed, 01 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

There were a few hotfixes posted earlier this week, on both Monday and Tuesday. On the 29th, both Glorious Conquest Quartermasters took leave from the game for a while. Daxxarri explains in a forum thread that, because Glorious Conquest gear is changing from ilevel 512 to 496, they wanted to remove the vendors before players purchased gear that would end up being a lower ilevel than they bought it for. The change is too big to be implemented via hotfix, so the vendors will be returning with the next major content patch.

The hotfix for yesterday was a nerf to the Lei Shen encounter in the Throne of Thunder for Raid Finder groups. Lei Shen's overall hit points have been reduced by 10%, and the Static Shock effect from the North Conduit now deals only 300,000 damage at zero energy, down from 650,000. That's a big change, and hopefully will make that encounter a little simpler for struggling Raid Finder groups.

Patch 5.2 hotfixes for April 29th and 30th, nerf to Lei Shen originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A temporary fix to the gold sellers' spam invitations - Wed, 01 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

WoW Insider has received notifications to our tip line, as well as noted a particular problem coming up on the forums. The gold seller spam invitations in our calendars appear to have returned. They were gone, as a forum thread notes, for some time, almost 2 years, and all of a sudden they have returned.

There seems to have been a breakthrough among the gold sellers, allowing their bots to once again spam players' calendars with events advertizing their ill-gotten wares. We're not exactly sure just how they're doing it, but MVP Shammoz and Community Manager Eldtyara have been hard at work notifying the devs of the issue, as well as digging up a couple of solutions.

The first solution, as confirmed by Shammoz, is, rather than right-clicking the event and picking Ignore from the drop down menu, typing /ignore into chat. This appears to remove all the invitations from your calendar, rather than just the one you right-clicked on.

The other option is to run a script, which several players have asserted has solved the problem, as can be seen in the forum thread which shares it. Running a script simply involves pasting it into your chat and hitting enter, and the script itself is below:

Continue reading A temporary fix to the gold sellers' spam invitations

A temporary fix to the gold sellers' spam invitations originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gear is good. Gear works. - Wed, 01 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

I initially had the intention of refuting Adam's dissertation on why we don't need gear in World of Warcraft with the same length and exhaustive detail he himself used. But I don't think that's the proper course here. By now, many of you will have commented in similar fashion. Instead, I'll go for simplicity and list some reasons why WoW should keep gear.
  1. Gear provides a means to tune content for consumption. Right now, dungeons, raids, scenarios and even leveling content is tunable along many aspects of gameplay, including whether or not it's intended for groups or to be soloable, whether or not it's for certain size of groups, whether a healer is intended, and what level of offensive power/healing/tanking ability is permitted by gear. Removing gear from the game means content loses a slider, giving the developers less options.
  2. Demanding that all content difficulty be based purely on skill is unnecessarily restrictive to players. Quite frankly, letting groups outgear content is good for the game. It allows groups that couldn't quite get an encounter down for whatever reason to come back later with better gear and try again. It lets groups go down a raid tier and have fun blasting through previously difficult content, or lets players shine in dungeons or scenarios that were once grueling. It even allows players to go back an expansion or two and have fun soloing what once took entire raids to complete.
  3. MMO's that eschew gear work best when designed from the start in this manner, and even then they often use things that are gear in all but name. A game that uses enhancements to modify powers, for instance, is just using gear by a different name.
So let's talk more about why gear is in fact good and shouldn't go anywhere after the break.

Continue reading Gear is good. Gear works.

Gear is good. Gear works. originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Fury Oh Fury - Wed, 01 May 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Last night I discovered Nico Vega. What does that have to do with World of Warcraft? Absolutely nothing, but it's good music!

Nurpholomew asked:

Any chance we will see factions once again emoting their love for us at exalted as in BC? I absolutely love walking around having NPCs laud my awesomeness. Narcissistic? Maybe but for me it helps the immersion factor by quite a bit.

Continue reading The Queue: Fury Oh Fury

The Queue: Fury Oh Fury originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Here comes a regular - Wed, 01 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Thanksh for letting me drink here tonight, friend. I usually don't get out of Nagrand much, and I don't have a lot of visitorsh coming around these days, so I really appreciate you making the effort here. I'm just ... so lonely, you know? No one wants to fight their way through a bunch of lowbie ogresh anymore, not even the levelers. At least those guys in Serpentshrine Cavern and The Eye will get pet battlersh coming to see them too. No, I don't need a taxi. I'm cool to drive. Serioushly. Look at my size! I'd have to drink a whole brewery to blow a .08. (Thanks to submitter Banshih of Ravenwing on Moon Guard [US-H] for the screenshot!)

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: Here comes a regular originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Stealth, openers, and the 5.3 nerfs - Wed, 01 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Rogues have an identity problem. We're a class that's based around Stealth and subterfuge, but WoW's combat mechanics aren't conducive to that design. Our opener abilities are immensely powerful to compensate for their relative unavailability. If you've ever dueled another rogue, you know how critical the element of surprise is to PvP combat. A rogue stuck in the open is hardly a rogue at all.

The flip side of that coin is that a rogue in Stealth is a powerful force. Cheap Shot and Garrote are amazing abilities without any true cooldowns, and Shadow Dance keeps subtlety at the top of the arena charts. Rogues that specialize in PvP are focused on how to sneak as many openers as possible into an encounter. Vanish, an inconsequential PvE ability, is one of the most potent offensive PvP cooldowns available. The divide between a stealthed rogue and an exposed rogue is massive.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Stealth, openers, and the 5.3 nerfs

Encrypted Text: Stealth, openers, and the 5.3 nerfs originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What was your first day in WoW like? - Wed, 01 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Over on Reddit, there's a thread where users are reminiscing about their first experiences in World of Warcraft which has me feeling nostalgic for the good old days when I'd just started playing and everything seemed so much simpler. Azeroth was a huge new world, entirely unexplored. I didn't know about gear or raiding or even what awaited me around the next corner. Every word of quest text was new and fresh (though, admittedly, some were pretty tedious to finish).

And, best of all, I discovered gnomes. The first character I stuck with was a gnome warlock who was both tiny and deadly (and pink-haired to boot). I still haven't decided just what was so appealing about gnomes. Was it because they were tiny and adorable? Because of their bright pink hair color options? Perhaps because they jump just as high as any other race, which means each jump for them is basically leaping their entire height? It's probably a combination (newbie me was very fond of jumping everywhere). And even today, my Alliance characters tend to gravitate back to the gnome race. Perhaps they imprinted on me somehow in those first gameplay sessions, I'll never know for sure.

But enough about gnomes: tell us about your start in WoW. Was it a true newbie experience? Did you fall in love with a certain race or class? Even if you just made stupid mistakes, trust us: we've all been there! (As my gnome story proves.) So tell us everything: what was your first WoW login like?

Breakfast Topic: What was your first day in WoW like? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 01 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard offers WoW and antivirus combo ... in South Africa - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

Good news! Antivirus maker Kapersky Lab teamed up with Blizzard Entertainment to offer bundle that includes WoW, Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Kaspersky Internet Security 2013. Basically, the package is a World of Warcraft Battle Chest plus antivirus package. We think this would be a great package for friends who haven't yet gotten into the game because computer security is awfully important to keeping your WoW account in your hands. Kapersky in particular is designed with gamers in mind with a "game mode" that postpones processor-gobbling scans to free up power for gameplay. The only thing that would make this package better would be if it also included an authenticator, so you really wouldn't have to worry about account security.

The only downside to this package? Currently it's only available in South Africa, where it sells for 399 Rand (or about $44). Perhaps if it's successful there, Blizzard will offer similar packages elsewhere, but for now, new players will need to purchase their game of choice and their antivirus software separately. And don't forget your authenticator!

Blizzard offers WoW and antivirus combo ... in South Africa originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Finally, a title for someone Gorgeous like me - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

It's hard being pretty in Azeroth. Everyone's always like "quick, we need you in Arathi Basin right now, I don't care if you're wearing your expensive tunic" or "what do you mean you didn't come fight Nalak because you were busy washing your hair?" There's no thought to how being beautiful might consume our time -- nay, our very being. Some things cannot be rushed, and beauty is one of those things. Do people not appreciate beauty, or do they simply not realize it when they see it? Well, no more. Blizzard has provided every fortunate son and daughter of Azeroth a way to broadcast just how lovely they are: the Gorgeous title, available in patch 5.3 as the reward for the meta achievement for Deepwind Gorge, the brand-new battleground. Sure, it'll take some legwork. Sure, you might break a nail or end up with split ends or, worse, have to interact with trolls in any way whatsoever. But think of how much easier your life will be when you can say "Please excuse me from tonight's challenge dungeon; I'm overdue for an eyebrow waxing," and people will open their mouths, look at your title, and say "Ah, yes. Of course. That seems reasonable."

Finally, a title for someone Gorgeous like me originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: The Five Different Types of Trolls - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

I think it's a watershed for most parody writers to tackle the various categories of trolls. It's just something you have to do, whether you like it or not. Write about online culture long enough, and you eventually have to tackle the troll issue. I guess it's Slightly Impressive's turn, because he recently put out The Five Different Types of Trolls.

The video's all right, but any shortcomings aren't really his fault per se. I'll admit I didn't find it terribly funny but that's not because Slightly somehow stumbled. It's just... we've been down this road. For like 20 years, we've been reading categories of trolls. That being said, I did appreciate the meta-humor about how the gag needed structure; it did manage to lend a bit of fresh air to a tired subject.

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: The Five Different Types of Trolls originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Superman star Henry Cavill enjoys Skyrim, World of Warcraft - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST

Sure, we know lots of people who play WoW -- like all of our co-workers -- but we don't expect Hollywood A-listers to be by our side in dungeons and raids. While we'd already heard that now Superman star Henry Cavill played WoW, he recently spoke to British GQ about his love of the game and Bethesda's equally addictive Skyrim. In fact, he enjoys the game so much that he missed director Zack Snyder's call offering him the part. "I saw it was him [calling]," Cavill told GQ, "but the thing is, you can't save World of Warcraft, you can't pause it. It's live." We have that problem all the time, but at least we aren't the only ones. (Though Cavill is clearly up on his WoW etiquette, as it's definitely rude to pick up the phone while you're in a group.)

If you want more of the interview, IGN covers Cavill talking games or you can find the British version of GQ available digitally on iPad, Android, or Kindle. (Sorry, Man of Steel, but Iron Man 3's Robert Downey Jr. is currently on the cover of GQ stateside.)


Superman star Henry Cavill enjoys Skyrim, World of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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It came from the Blog: Join us for the Running of the Orphans 2013 - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

It's Children's Week, so it must mean it's time for It came from the Blog's annual Running of the Orphans. As the event name says, we get orphans and we run around with them while completing our orphan quests.
  • When: Friday, May 3 at 10:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. PDT, 8:30 p.m. server time)
  • Where: Meet at the pond near the engineering trainer that's next to the orphanage in Orgrimmar on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H)
  • Who: Any Horde character level 10 or over
  • How: Ask any member of It came from the Blog for an invite to the guild if you are not already a member of our family of guilds.
You have to be at least level 10, because you can't get an orphan otherwise. We also will not be forming a raid since we need to complete quests. We will have an event chat set up as usual, however.

The pet you get for completing the quest is bind on account and tradeable, so don't let your not being Horde or Zangarmarsh not being your main server stop you from joining us.

Hope to see you there!
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.

It came from the Blog: Join us for the Running of the Orphans 2013 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: The Lessons of the Lich King - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 15:00:00 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.

Thinking again about the Lich King, specifically when Arthas Menethil wore the Helm of Domination, always brings me to speculate on his seeming need to prove something. Everything we experienced in Wrath of the Lich King seemed calculated towards that end. From the encounter with him in Howling Fjord through the complicated Drak'tharon Keep and Zul'Drak storylines to the final showdown atop Icecrown Citadel, Arthas always had a plan, and that plan was in part simply to cause his own enemies to provide him with a cadre of such power that he could turn and use against the world, yes. But more than that, Arthas seemed obsessed with proving that he was right.

Again and again Arthas as the Lich King put mortal heroes through situations that served to illustrate his own fall - again and again, he sought not just to torment and inspire hatred and anger just as he had been tormented by Mal'Ganis and grew to be consumed by hatred, but to show by so doing how his own actions had been correct. That the only possible response to what he'd undergone was to become as he had. Even merged with Ner'zhul in the form of the Lich King, Arthas' mind and personality came to shape the entity, and when all roads converged atop Icecrown, it was Arthas' desire to show Azeroth how right he was that shone through.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: The Lessons of the Lich King

Know Your Lore: The Lessons of the Lich King originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Our favorite ways to die in World of Warcraft - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

It's safe to say that we've been around the block in World of Warcraft. We've been witness to epic events, scenic vistas, and many, many untimely deaths. Mostly our own. But of those many deaths, some were more memorable than others. Some we've stored away in the recesses of our memory to be revisited and laughed over at a later date. So just what are our favorite WoW deaths? We consulted the WoW Insider team as well as some of our extended network of friends and compiled the best answers into this list.

You might want to look before you leap
WoW can be so beautiful that sometimes we forget it's a game. A game that can kill you. And so sometimes we find ourselves exploring, wandering, or accidentally autorunning to our doom. Oops. Many -- most, in fact -- of our so-called "favorite" deaths seem to involve untimely falls.
  • Sarah Pine: My favorite way of having died was when I first made it to Hellfire Peninsula at 60, running around on my mount exploring (flying was at 70 at that time!), I leaped over a little hill only to find that there was no more land on the other side, because that was the edge of the continent. You fall for a while off of Hellfire before you actually die, I found out.
  • Anne Stickney: Once I decided to see if Outland had invisible walls around the edges. Um, for the record, it does NOT.
  • Brian Wood: I still have fond memories of a multitude of deaths from failing the shortcut jump to get to the Molten Core entrance in vanilla. Had lots and lots of opportunity to practice during ghost runs.
  • Michael Sacco: I liked going to the top of the Temple of Storms and leaping off.
  • @DoctorOddfellow: Well, #1 has to be tree-diving from Teldrassil, right?
  • @hestiahdruid: Shadow Step, Heroic Leap, or the Druid version behind a boss to fall to your doom.
  • @screwlewse: Falling into the lava where Magmaw stands.

Continue reading Our favorite ways to die in World of Warcraft

Our favorite ways to die in World of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: Death knight wish list for a new expansion - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With BlizzCon officially announced, the question on everyone's lips is whether or not we'll get a new expansion announcement. Myself, I'm pretty sure it's a done deal, which makes this a perfect time to speculate and daydream about the inevitable changes that will come with patch 6.0. Today, we'll dream a bit about what could be coming for death knights.

Swelling the armies

It's been more or less traditional that we do get a new ability every time the level caps get raised. Whether this tradition will continue or not is admittedly hard to say. A lot of classes are already suffering from "button bloat," and Blizzard may want to shy away from adding new buttons. In addition, not adding new buttons may give them more leeway to adjust other buttons, as well as ensure classes don't get too powerful or infringe on other class' territory.

Continue reading Lichborne: Death knight wish list for a new expansion

Lichborne: Death knight wish list for a new expansion originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Editorial: Gear ... GONE! - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

I'm making a direct plea to Ghostcrawler and the other designers: take a hard look at the other games out there, and look at how everything is just the same. You start with no gear, you get some starter gear, you get better gear, and you kill a boss. Rinse and repeat. The story plays itself a thousand times in a thousand different worlds.

WoW tells the gear story better than any other game on the market. No game has the balance that WoW has, and no game as the ability to gear up in the overall fun way WoW lets you. However in my opinion, that story is getting old. The gear grind needs to be ground to a halt, and a new era focused on skill and teamwork needs to be ushered in.

WoW is ripe for this kind of dramatic change. Blizzard isn't afraid of taking risks, and taking such a step like this would be a risk. After all, the game would be placed not in the hands of time players spend grinding gear, but instead in the skill that they have. Gone would be the unskilled player with great gear getting into raids over the skilled player with bad gear, elevated would be the overall discourse on encounters, and gone would be the endless problems associated with finding the perfect balance of loot.

While I'm under no impression that Blizzard will actually take these suggestions and use them, I do have hope that they can adequately contribute to the discussion of WoW's future.

What is the current gear model?
As I questioned yesterday, the current model is one of confusion between gear being functional (used for increasing stats), formal (making you look more aesthetically pleasing), and psychological (you must have the better gear, because your brain says so). While lately the trend is to have truly functional and aesthetic gear, the psychological factor still creeps in there. Many players still need that best piece of gear to feel complete.

And in the current model, we never feel complete. There's always something better, something more advanced. The grass is always greener on the more heroic side. So we do strange things.

Such as...

Continue reading Editorial: Gear ... GONE!

Editorial: Gear ... GONE! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Elixir of Ancient McCurley - Tue, 30 Apr 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. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

What is the Ancient McCurley? Is it a secret cup that you must drink out of? A ceremonial tool you must tool from? An old form of some sort of League of Legends?

There's only one way to find out ...

Maybe if we say his name three times he'll appear at BlizzCon, just like Beetlejuice.

Wrathofklublukhaaaaaan asked:

Why am I still stuck with School of Hard Knocks? Some dreadful old fashioned achievement that no one has been happy with for years and years -- I don't understand, please enlighten!

Continue reading The Queue: Elixir of Ancient McCurley

The Queue: Elixir of Ancient McCurley originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Behind every great man is a very small panda - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

We at Around Azeroth recently received this frantic phone call (collect, natch) warning us about a potentially explosive story:
"This is Donhorn, ace druid reporter for Terminus on Icecrown (US-H), coming to you live from Orgrimmar where I have found out about a dark pact that features the most unlikely of duos: Garrosh Hellscream and Lou Lou the baby panda! He may just look cute sitting next to the portal to Pandaria while giving Magic Bamboo Shoots to people, but that's just a front. He is actually the mastermind behind all of Garrosh's insane decisions recently and has been working diligently to bring the Burning Legion directly to the heart of Orgrimmar! This fiendish little ball of fluff must be stopped at all costs!"

Efforts to follow up on this accusation have been met with repeated laughter from Horde officials.


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: Behind every great man is a very small panda originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Last Week in WoW: Bugging out edition - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone. Today's header is bought to you by the fact that Azure Water Striders have a pretty cool mount special animation. Now, on to the news. The past 7 days have been remarkably busy on a lot of fronts. It's Children's Week, which means you have one more chance to hang out with some cool kids and get some awesome pets in return. We have a guide to doing the achievements as well, of course. Both rounds of BlizzCon tickets sold out pretty quickly, as expected.

The big happenings don't end there, of course. Read on for the usual roundup of all the major news and guides from the past week, including new patch 5.3 PTR news. Realm maintenance starts at 3:00 a.m. Pacific time this morning and is expected to last 8 hours, so you should have time.

Hot news and features
  • The developers held a live chat last Thursday. We have a transcript of the questions asked and their juicy, succulent answers.
  • The official BlizzCon 2013 contests have been announced.
  • Did you miss out on getting a BlizzCon ticket? We have a guide to other ways to experience BlizzCon.
  • Check out the latest patch 5.3 PTR notes updates for April 22.
  • Check out the latest patch 5.2 live server hotfixes for April 22.
  • Patch 5.3 will see a massive nerf to the scaling of PvP power.
  • Select pet types may get new passive abilities for pet battling.

Continue reading Last Week in WoW: Bugging out edition

Last Week in WoW: Bugging out edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What do you do while you play? - Tue, 30 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

A lot of us here at WoW Insider have been playing WoW for a long time -- and we suspect most of you have, too. A long enough time that parts of the game are, dare we say, boring. So while doing our dailies (again) or grinding an alt through a zone we've done half a dozen times before we admit, we're usually multitasking. Sometimes we'll have a movie or television show on, and others we might be reading email or catching up on RSS feeds in another window. It's not that we don't still love the game -- it's just how we stay sane while leveling our dozenth alt.

So, fellow WoW players, we pose this question: what else are you doing while you play WoW? Do you have a favorite television show to put on? A much-loved playlist? Twitter or Facebook in another window?

Breakfast Topic: What do you do while you play? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to attend BlizzCon if you weren't lucky enough to get a ticket - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

As you probably know, tickets for this year's BlizzCon are now sold out. If you weren't lucky enough to nab a ticket of your own, there are still a few ways to enjoy this year's convention -- and they don't even have to cost an arm and a leg.

The bargain basement option: Stay home and follow the blogs.
Total cost: Nothing
No ticket costs, no travel costs, and no need to interrupt your regular weekend schedule. You'll still get the news, as well as commentary, photos, and video from your favorite blog (which we hope is us, but don't judge if it isn't).

Continue reading How to attend BlizzCon if you weren't lucky enough to get a ticket

How to attend BlizzCon if you weren't lucky enough to get a ticket originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard art featured at Seattle museum exhibit - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

If you live in the Seattle area, you might be interested in the new Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit that opened this weekend at the Experience Music Project Museum. The exhibit focuses on the evolution of the fantasy genre in the 20th century, and features props and costumes from Xena: Warrior Princess, The Wizard of Oz, Labyrinth, and The Princess Bride. There's also a dragon model designed by the Seattle Opera, a replica of the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, and hand-edited manuscript pages from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Oh, and if you happen to be interested in World of Warcraft, it also features artwork from WoW and Diablo III.

And if that's not enough Blizzard material for you, the EMP is also currently running The Art of Video Games exhibit, which features hand drawn material by Samwise Didier and Chris Metzen from Warcraft and Starcraft.

I highly recommend checking out both of these exhibits, and the EMP in general, if you're going to be in Seattle any time soon. As a Seattle resident myself, I love the EMP and visit regularly. It's also in a really neat-looking building! The Art of Video Games exhibit ends May 12th, but there is currently no closing date listed for Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic.

Blizzard art featured at Seattle museum exhibit originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Orc vs Wild: Kun-Lai Summit - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

It's been a while since we've heard from Boar Thrills. Just in time for the Mt. Everest of WoW, Wowcrendor aims his careful camera firmly at wild yetis and freezing snow in Orc vs Wild: Kun-Lai Summit.

While I know it's intended to parody, Orc vs Wild is always a fun view of the game. It's an interesting, microscopic view of Azeroth's climates and its inhabitants, with just enough humor to keep the whole thing amusing. And, hey, who wants to miss any opportunity to say luckydoo out loud?

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: Orc vs Wild: Kun-Lai Summit originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 22-28, 2013 - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 17:00:00 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: April 22-28, 2013

Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 22-28, 2013 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Do you cheat on WoW? - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

The other day Olivia asked if you cheated on your faction, and we found a bunch of you were two-timing the Alliance (which I mean, is totally understandable, since that one GM you spoke to seven years ago said lok'tar at the end of the conversation, clearly showing the horde bias Blizzard has) (p.s., that GM was Mike Sacco), (p.p.s., plot twist: it was really Zarhym). This got me thinking, if everyone is jumping ship to the other faction once in a while, what about another game?

For me WoW is always there, but I often do find myself grabbing the latest attempt at an MMO, or the newest RPG, FPS, or 4X strategy game (I hear that StarDrive is fun, planning on grabbing that soon). These other games keep me entertained through for a month or two, but I always, without fail, end up going back to WoW. And it's not that I stop playing WoW while these other games are going on either, I just won't be as dedicated to it as I am normally.

Other games are a necessary component of any gamer's life cycle, especially as it relates to playing a game like WoW long term. There's a lot of major effort we have to put into WoW in order to play it like many of us do, and just like everything else in life, a change of scenery is good for the soul. We are, after all, closely related to the nomadic roaming tribes of prehistory, not too far removed in actuality. Our genetics is not to stay at one place, with one thing, too long -- just as we roamed the plains, so too must we roam the games.

But we always return to that special spot, that special place we've marked as home -- the inn off the bank in Stormwind for me. It'll be there when I log in for five minutes tomorrow to check my AH dealings, and it'll be there when I raid full time again over the summer months.

There are a lot of other games I play than WoW, a lot of times I'm sneaking around behind it's back. But what about you, do you cheat on WoW?

View Poll


Do you cheat on WoW? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bobby Kotick is one of the highest-paid CEOs in the U.S. - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST

Activision Blizzard head honcho Bobby Kotick was one of the highest-paid CEOs in America last year, Bloomberg reports. Earning $64.9 million -- $55.9 million in of it in stock which he'll vest over the next 5 years, so he isn't just pocketing all of it in cash -- puts Kotick behind Oracle's Larry Ellison, America's top-paid CEO, who earned $96.2 million in 2012. Looking to other game industry execs, Kotick's nearest comparison would be EA's former CEO John Riccitiello, who resigned in March, but made $9.5 million in 2012.

So why the pay raise, an eight-fold increase over Kotick's $8.33 million salary in 2011? It's part of Kotick's new employment contract, which included big bonuses tied to corporate performance. If Activision Blizzard continues to do well, Kotick will keep earning big dollars -- if he hits the highest performance targets, he could be making even more this year.

[Update: Clarified Kotick's stock vesting]

Bobby Kotick is one of the highest-paid CEOs in the U.S. originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Function, Form, or Psychological: What's the point of gear? - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

In my ponderings over gear and the state of WoW recently, I came to a central question that needs an answers: what is the point of the gear now, and what should the point of gear be?

In an editorial last week I opined that the biggest mistake WoW made was the constant and never ending gear grind, and I hinted at that I've got a longer idea for a solution in the works, removing all gear as we know it; but in writing that article I realized that I was fundamentally missing part of my logical argument: the point of gear isn't at all clear in WoW.

I don't believe that this obscurity is a fault of communication or use, but through the basic structure of the gear system itself. As such, much of the issues of WoW's gear grind can be traced back through the power structures from the forced paradigms gear inherently provides. Gear makes us stronger, and then we need to fight stronger enemies, from which we get better gear, and so on and so forth. The cycle continues, the gear grind never stops. As the Cylons would say, it has happened before and it will happen again.

Given that we have the gear grind, and putting aside the academic ethical right or wrong for a moment, let's think about what the gear is actually used for. As I see it, there are three primary purposes.

Functional
When gear provides a meaningful stat increase and causes your character to be able to do meaningful things that it wasn't before, it serves a function purpose. Note the word in italics -- the increase or ability has to be meaningful. It can't be just a +50 to stamina, it needs to actually account for a large difference.

Continue reading Function, Form, or Psychological: What's the point of gear?

Function, Form, or Psychological: What's the point of gear? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Drama Mamas guide to going AFK - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

Life happens; we all get that. But should your life be happening to the 24 other people in your raid group? We (and your 24 raidmates) think not. After all, if you're here to play World of Warcraft, why do you keep going AFK?

The need for and the etiquette of going away from the keyboard (AFK) was stronger in WoW's earlier days. During classic WoW, 5-manning places like Blackrock Depths was an all-night affair. Players were more forgiving of a quick dash to the bathroom, and groups doing longer content tended to schedule natural breaks along the way. Today's WoW is a much more terse affair. Scenarios, group instances, and raids are likely to be over long before your bladder is. It's not so difficult to simply plan ahead or wait for a group to come to a natural conclusion.

Yet people don't always do that. Like That Guy who's always texting and checking his Twitter feed instead of looking you in the eye during a conversation, That Guy in game is likely to wander AFK just when you need him the most. Tuning out the people you're with, online or off, simply is not socially acceptable behavior. (You've heard what they're calling those tuned-out types who'll be wearing Google Glass, right? It's not a complimentary term.)

The best way to handle going AFK is to avoid it in the first place. For the rest of those moments when something comes while you're grouping that's beyond your control, let's look at the best ways of managing the interruption and getting you back into the game.

Continue reading The Drama Mamas guide to going AFK

The Drama Mamas guide to going AFK originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Roster cleanup pros and cons - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 12:00:00 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.

Guild rosters inevitably become bloated over time. They fill up with inactive players or throwaway alts that current members haven't dusted off for years. This week, a guild leader asks when is the right time to remove characters from the roster -- and whether we should even do it at all.

I run a casual guild. One of my officers puts it thus, "We're a raiding guild that acts casual." We have a decent roster and a great group of people, but we also have a lot of people who join, show up for awhile and then disappear. Some come back in six months and some, I have no idea if they are coming back or if they are gone for good.

I like my roster to reflect an active guild, which we are. My membership officer sent me a roster list and I'm in the process of going through it for names that haven't been played in over 6 months. We've been doing a purge like this for the last 3 years and, every time, there's always some consternation about removing names from the roster.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Roster cleanup pros and cons

Officers' Quarters: Roster cleanup pros and cons originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Subscriptions, corruption, and vampire - Mon, 29 Apr 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

"I am nowhere. I am everywhere. I am the watcher, unseen."

Don't kill me if the elf in the picture above doesn't match the quote. You elf-vampires all look the same to me.

ATreck1937 asked:

Why doesn't Blizzard pick a different venue for Blizzcon? One that could accommodate a lot more people. It's more than obvious that they have the fan base to support it, given how quickly all the Blizzcon tickets sell out every time.

Continue reading The Queue: Subscriptions, corruption, and vampire

The Queue: Subscriptions, corruption, and vampire originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Burn on - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Korranne of Azeroth Social Society on Alterac Mountains (US-A) tries to be a responsible battle pet owner. She makes sure that they get a varied diet by feeding them the flesh of their defeated enemies, She even spays and neuters them so that she doesn't open up her bag one day to discover a nightsaber/slimeling mixed breed begging for the end of its miserable existence. Occasionally, Korranne will take one of her favorite pets on a special trip to broaden its horizons. This picture shows her Pandaren Fire Spirit enjoying its vacation to Vashj'ir. Laws of physics be damned!

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: Burn on originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: World of Logging warlocks, part 1 - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill wonders how many logs would a warlock log if a warlock could log logs?

Occasionally I get a request to look through someone's raid log on World of Logs for warlock improvement. Sometimes it's for a guild applicant and sometimes it's for another tweeter. A thing I've thought about doing for a long time is a World of Logs 101 on warlocks -- both for warlock players and for non-warlock raid leaders.

I'm starting with the bare basics: how to tell warlocks apart on a World of Logs parse and exploring the DPS rankings. (It's actually not that difficult anymore!)

Continue reading Blood Pact: World of Logging warlocks, part 1

Blood Pact: World of Logging warlocks, part 1 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are you still hanging out on the Isle of Thunder? - Mon, 29 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

It occurred to me earlier this week, as I was doing another round of dailies on the Isle of Thunder, that I really had no reason to be doing them at all. I've been exalted with the Sunreaver Onslaught for quite some time now. There's nothing I need from the vendor. But something keeps me going back to this particular set of dailies over any other, even though I don't really need them anymore. Of course there's the weekly quest that's a pretty easy 150 valor, and the Treasure Vault to plunder, and of course there's the raid itself -- I really think the Throne of Thunder is the best raid we've had this expansion so far.

But there's also just something about that mysterious island. I love the saurok dailies, stomping bugs and jumping around like a maniac. I like going on the odd binge of rare-killing. I like the atmosphere of the area, which is odd in and of itself because the island is frankly, pretty gloomy -- but every time lightning hits a tree, I kind of have to marvel at how pretty it looks. As for the dailies themselves, they're pretty easy to complete, they send me on a circuit of the island, and they don't take very long. The dailies make it easy to rack up a quick 400-450g or so in a half hour, and I'm not going to complain about that.

I do wonder, though, if anyone else has a peculiar fascination with the Isle of Thunder. Are you exalted with your respective faction? Do you still do the dailies? Do you find yourself hunting for rares every week, or diligently making sure you get the Key to the Palace of Lei Shen? Or do you just head to the island for the raid? Will you head to the Isle after patch 5.3 arrives? Is there something on the island with enough of a draw to keep you coming back? And just because I'm curious -- what did you think of the Isle of Thunder dailies? Were they better than the ones offered in patch 5.1?

Breakfast Topic: Are you still hanging out on the Isle of Thunder? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 29 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The curious neutrality of Anduin Wrynn - Sun, 28 Apr 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.

Prince Anduin Llane Wrynn is the sole heir to Stormwind's throne. Named after Varian's father, the beloved King Llane, and the hero of all heroes, Anduin Lothar, he's got two major figures to live up to. Yet rather than turn down the path of Lothar's heroics, he seems to be gravitating towards the direction that King Llane ultimately followed: A beloved leader, one who treated all in his kingdom with kindness and respect, up to and including Garona -- a member of the Old Horde who by all rights, despite her background as a half-breed, was still the face of the enemy.

And in the end, that spelled King Llane's undoing. His trust was his weakness, and it resulted in his assassination. King Llane died in part because of the machinations of the Shadow Council, but in even larger part because he simply didn't exercise caution like he should. King Llane's death is a cautionary tale that his son Varian took to heart -- but Varian's son is a different story altogether. Anduin Wrynn presents a peculiar puzzle that has yet to be fully explained.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Continue reading Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The curious neutrality of Anduin Wrynn

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The curious neutrality of Anduin Wrynn originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 28 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Son of Animus will tank all the things - Sun, 28 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

Patch 5.2 introduced a slew of battle pets, with a few as rare drops from bosses in the new Throne of Thunder raid, including Living Sandling, Ji-Kun Hatchling, and Son of Animus.

Recently, I was lucky enough to obtain Son of Animus, and it's quite a unique addition to my collection. I couldn't wait to level it! This breed 4 (4/14 or P/P) Mechanical pet uses abilities inspired by the boss that drops it, Dark Animus, and are as follows:

Continue reading Son of Animus will tank all the things

Son of Animus will tank all the things originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 28 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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