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The Daily Quest: Monday roundup - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


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

The Daily Quest: Monday roundup originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: Black Jelly - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players and fans, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction - and yes, (War)crafts. Share your stuff by tipping us off via our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts).

You're not alone: Black Jelly made from Borean Man o' War does sound disgusting. We wouldn't make you eat that goop. Unless of course, you want a lot of mana and health back, and there's no Mage around; then, we think you should probably give it a shot. Go on, open up. Inky ... Jiggling ... See that little shimmy? It's really not that bad - rather as if it had been freshly milked from a Disgusting Oozeling. Gulp.

We hope you didn't really fall for that, because while it's true that we're committed to bringing you real versions of the freshest game food, we've chosen the Black(berry) version instead. (We're just sweet like that.) Read on for the world's simplest Black(berry) Jelly recipe (no fruit pectin, no cheesecloth straining, no sterilizing little canning glass jars with screw-on lids), plus our own Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Black(berry) Jelly.

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: Black Jelly

World of WarCrafts: Black Jelly originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 92: Giving Druids another chance - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST
We had a great time as always last Saturday on our podcast -- Turpster and I welcomed Kevin Dika, the winner of the Child's Play Children's Week auction, who gave a very generous donation to Penny Arcade's charity and won a guest spot with us on the show. We talked with Kevin about his WoW experience -- he plays a Ret Pally, but hey, nobody's perfect, right? -- and got some insight from him about running a guild in the game and what a tough job it can be, how to deal with kids and other folks playing along with you, and how to come up with a worthwhile balance between playing the game and living in real life. We answered your emails (including a few more "Turpster is..." emails), and then we talked about the most popular posts from the last week of WoW.com: the new Druid art form coming to the game, what's new in 3.1.3, and where Blizzard has gone wrong recently with 5-mans, and where they might go next.

It was an excellent show, and we're happy to have Kevin on to thank him for his support (and he did a pretty great job on the podcast, too). We'll be back on as usual next Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern over on the Ustream page, and we might even do some more video streaming next week -- we did a little bit during the aftershow this week, and it worked out better than I thought. Stay tuned.

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

Listen here on the page:

WoW Insider Show Episode 92: Giving Druids another chance originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Where's my bailout Blizzard? - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


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

Dear Blizzard,

I've spent the past year and a half writing about WoW. I need some gold. Can you bail me out?

I can provide you with a promise I'll restructure my daily questing and resource farming, providing a leaner and meaner gold flow for my raiding activities. But I'm going to need some start up help.

Regards,

Adam.

P/S: If I don't get my gold bailout, I'll Blame Canada and not you (which happens to be today's music selection).

Athinah asked...

"I'm so happy that signs of the new druid forms are coming out but...When exactly are they coming out? Is there a chance that they could come out sooner if Blizzard finishes them sooner? If not, what are the chances of the next patch coming out in a month or so?"

Continue reading The Queue: Where's my bailout Blizzard?

The Queue: Where's my bailout Blizzard? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nourish, a WoW recipe blog - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST
Blogger and WoW.com friend Pixelated Executioner has introduced a brand new blog project -- he's working with a few other folks in the community on a new blog called Nourish, dedicated to providing some fun and relatively easy WoW-related recipes for real food. It all originally started over on Twitter, where a few of them decided to come up with some WoW-themed dish names, but eventually it escalated into the idea of an actual set of recipes, with the added bonus of getting some WoW players some real homemade food to eat as well (you can only go so far on Doritos and Mountain Dew, after all).

There's only two recipes so far (both submitted by another friend of ours, Cadistra of WoW, Eh?), but that spice bread does look pretty tasty. If you're a foodie or just have been looking for a way to use something other than the microwave in your kitchen, it seems like a great place to start. And if you need more than the few they've got up so far, don't forget our old Well Fed Buff column -- it's retired now, but we've still got plenty of great WoW-related recipes to try making there as well.

Nourish, a WoW recipe blog originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sea Turtle irregularities - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST
Crygil's been getting to the bottom of the sea -- sea turtle, that is (sorry about that one). Some players wondered if it's getting picked up in just Northrend pools or all over Northrend waters, but as we originally told you in our guide to getting one of the game's coolest new mounts, it is supposed to come only from fishing in pools in Northrend. People are reporting it appearing from elsewhere, but straight from Blizzard's blue text, that's where it's supposed to come from.

As for when you'll get it, that we don't know -- all we know so far about droprates is that it's "extremely rare," which is about as rare as items in Azeroth get. We've heard from quite a few people who've gotten it already, but for any given catch, the chance is really, really small that you'll pull up a mount along with your fish. Still, it's not impossible, and especially if you're leveling fishing (which you should be -- it's lots of fun nowadays), it's definitely something to keep your eyes open for.

Sea Turtle irregularities originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Unsocial - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

What does your guild mean to you? Is it a community of like-minded players enjoying the company of their peers, helping one another to meet goals, and overcoming challenges together? Or is it simply a means to an end, a treadmill of raid attendance and loot rewards, where you slog through the necessary steps but never feel any real companionship with your fellow raiders? Some guilds start off as the former -- a fun, social organization -- and then end up as the latter -- a tier-set assembly line. This week, one officer wants to know how this can happen and what he can do about it.

Hello Scott,

I'm facing a dilemma that I'd like to share for a possible "Officers' Quarters".

I am an officer in a medium-sized European raiding guild. We have always been proud on our mature and social playerbase. It is one of our spearheads to provide fun raids in a relaxed atmosphere. But lately, the social aspect has been degrading. Ever since the launch of Wrath and people rushing to level 80 something has changed. Where TBC provided a challenge and a common goal to work towards (mainly progressing through the different raid instances) Wrath has left us with a lack of common binder.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Unsocial

Officers' Quarters: Unsocial originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: The Peasant: Cost of Freedom - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST

I feel like I say this every time I post a trailer, but I guess I'll say it again. I'm often nervous about featuring machinima trailers, because while the trailer can be super-duper Sylar-as-Spock-level awesome, it seems like half the time, the trailer never materializes into a movie. However, sometimes trailers look so cool that I can't help but point them out anyway. Farinar Films has a pretty solid reputation for delivery, though, so take a second to check out The Peasant: Cost of Freedom.

The video looks absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait to see the final production. Farinar's promising a dramatic, character-driven story, without any of the usual Action/Adventure tropes. It's supposedly much more focused on its protagonists' inner conflicts, which promises to make "The Peasant" much more interesting than standard fare.

[Via WarcraftMovies.com]

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: The Peasant: Cost of Freedom originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009 ticket sales are done - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST
BlizzCon 2009 tickets went on sale for the last time on Saturday at 10am PST, and were reported as sold out less than 30 minutes later. As expected, there were lots of disappointed Blizzard fans, but compared to the way things worked last year, this year's system was much more fair and much less frustrating. Unfortunately, you had to be quick -- while the sellout time was actually around 10:24, tickets really sold out in a matter of seconds, because if you clicked the buy button even 30 seconds to a minute after it went live, you were too far back in the queue to buy tickets at all. But even though it was a very small window of chance, it was at least a fair chance -- Blizzard's meter for tickets left on Saturday started at around 50%, which indicates that they split the two days of sales right down the middle. As long as you showed up and clicked at the right time, you had as much chance as anyone else. At least we got a great game out of it.

If you have tickets, enjoy the show (and don't forget: our meetup will be on Thursday night!). But if you don't, what now? The DirecTV stream will be available both via their service and on the Internet. And even if you don't jump in on that deal, we'll of course have plenty of up-to-date coverage, as will lots of folks in the community. And if you want to go a little black market, tickets will probably be available online in a few different places. We've already heard that Blizzard is starting to crack down on eBay, but certainly there are other places tickets will appear for sale. And as time goes on, we're sure people who were planning to go won't be able to make it, contests will be held in various places, and a few more tickets will free up.

So all hope may not be lost. But unless you want to call in a favor or pay a premium, BlizzCon tickets are sold. We say: the fourth weekend in August can't come soon enough.

BlizzCon 2009 ticket sales are done originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: The archetypal Myspace photo - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST

  • Name: Elaeli of <Wipes on Trash> on Bael'gun
  • Location: Ulduar
  • Here for: Phat lewtz
  • Orientation: Male dwarves
  • Hometown: East side of Silvermoon represent!
  • Body Type: 5'8" / disproportionate
  • Occupation: Holy paladin, keeper of the light, healer of the darkness within, micromanager of blessing timers
Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

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

Around Azeroth: The archetypal Myspace photo originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PUG Checker shows players' boss kills - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST

Although most of us, I suspect, prefer guild runs, most of us also have to PuG it up every once in a while. LFG can be a bit of a crap shoot; you can get an Ulduar-geared player doing 3,000 DPS in your heroic, or a fresh 80 who has a thing or two to learn doing 1,000.

Fortunately, we have the Armory to help us separate the good from the bad, or at least the geared from the ungeared. Sites like Be Imba and WoW Heroes have been around for a while to help us more easily check a character's gear level.

Now a new site, PUG Checker, can show you at a glance what bosses a character has killed, and how many times - or rather, what bosses they've been present for a kill of. Above right you can see what it shows for raids on my priest (I don't like Malygos very much). If you click "show bosses," you can see specific raid bosses in raids; otherwise, it just counts kills of the end boss. It uses Armory data, of course, which is pretty accurate, but not always perfect. Like the site says, "don't shoot the messenger" if the numbers aren't quite right.

Like Be Imba and WoW Heroes, this isn't an infallible guide to whether a player is good or not. It does probably correlate to some degree, though. In fact, if PUG Checker just added the average ilvl of the equipped gear of the person I'm checking, it would be my go-to site for checking puggies. It does load data much quicker than either of those equipment sites, which alone is enough that I will probably use it. I also really dig the clean design and the number-circles that look like subway indicators.

[via My Life as a Cartoon]

PUG Checker shows players' boss kills originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Nobody understands me - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST

In this large and varied game of ours, there are many things to love. There are enough, in fact, that some of them seem downright odd to me. One of our paladins is absolutely smitten with achievements, of any kind. Every so often he'll suggest that we do something bizarre in a 5-man or a raid and I'll start to ask him why, and then realize, oh. It's for the achievement. But that's still fairly mainstream; lots of people like achievements for whatever reason.

Me, I like keeping my old weapons in the bank, lining them up in a nice row. I'd like to put them on a mantlepiece or something if they ever implement player housing. I really enjoy training new skills and recipes - the gold glimmer and "whoosh" sound are oddly satisfying. I like standing on things that can disappear (like mining nodes), making them disappear, and then sitting down or dancing on the empty air. These are all loves that have perplexed my guildies at one time or another. I also really like smelting.

Then there's my love for math of all kinds in this game, but that's not particularly odd. Plenty of people like to theorycraft. Right? Right?!

What are your WoW passions that nobody understands?

Breakfast Topic: Nobody understands me originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: Ogc the Warlock - Sun, 31 May 2009 22:00:00 EST



The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

And now for something completely different. Ogc is a Warlock. Specifically, he's the team captain for one of the highest rated 5v5 teams in the world. We've been hoping for a Warlock for the Colosseum for a little while, so we were thrilled with this opportunity.

Check out what Ogc had to say after the cut.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Ogc the Warlock

The Colosseum: Ogc the Warlock originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spiritual Guidance: Healing Mimiron - Sun, 31 May 2009 20:00:00 EST

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI and addons blog for WoW. Having some difficulty with Mimiron? Let me help!

Mimiron. He is the bane of all healers. Even the most seasoned of raiding healers struggled initially with this gnome and his toys. Perhaps the class and spec that has the a difficulty adjusting to the challenges is the Discipline Priest. Let me help you get through it with a systematic breakdown of the four boss phases and how you can cope no matter which spec you are.

Continue reading Spiritual Guidance: Healing Mimiron

Spiritual Guidance: Healing Mimiron originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: The surface layer - Sun, 31 May 2009 18:00:00 EST


This installment of All the World's a Stage diverges from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions, in order to have a closer look at different layers of social interaction in roleplaying, and see in which ways you can tailor your character for each one.

So there you are -- you've got the coolest, funniest, most heartbreaking character idea on your whole RP server. You login, create your new masterpiece, and start leveling up... But as time goes by, you realize you have a problem. No one seems interested in you! You may be having trouble meeting people who actually roleplay on a roleplaying server, or the roleplayers you run into may not realize how truly awesome your character is. Let's say you even join an RP guild and try to impress your guildmates with your witty "/guild" chatter, only to discover that they're seem mildly interested at best.

What's a roleplaying genius to do? It would be tempting to think that you are not such a great roleplayer as you think, or that your character idea isn't as fantastic as you had hoped, but the truth might lie in something far less depressing: You may have created a character with true depth, yet lacking established friends to explore that depth with, your character has no way of showing it. Making such friends is never easy if you are too deep for them -- they expect some sort of interesting surface-level interaction first. Likewise, if a character is all silly gimmicks designed to entertain strangers, without anything deeper for potential close friends to enjoy, he or she may seem like an attention grabber, entertaining in the short term, but mostly shallow in the end. Choosing the right kind of surface-layer character traits to suit your personality and social needs is essential if you want to have a good experience in roleplaying.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: The surface layer

All the World's a Stage: The surface layer originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Addon Spotlight: Ackis Recipe List - Sun, 31 May 2009 16:00:00 EST


Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

Just a short one today, but an addon that I know will please a small number of very passionate folks out there. It's easy to see what recipes you know: just look at your tradeskill window. But what if you want to see a list of recipes you don't know? Ackis Recipe List. Completists rejoice.

This mod is dedicated to listing all recipes in your tradeskills that you have not yet learned. But it doesn't stop there. It also tells you where to find them, even putting waypoints on your world map and minimap for vendors if you want it to. ARL also supports sophisticated filtering of recipes, so if I want to see all the Death Knight glyphs of skill level less than 400 that drop from mobs (although I don't think there are any), I can do that.

The interface is also pretty nice, given the amount of complexity it contains. There's a button to scan your tradeskills on your tradeskill window, which also allows access to the ARL frame once you've scanned. /arl will bring up more, including in-game documentation, which I especially appreciate - I haven't seen that in many mods before.

Overall, this mod does a great job at what it sets out to do. Highly recommended if you want to see what recipes you don't have. Thanks, Ackis!

Download Ackis Recipe List at WoWInterface

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. Let Power Auras Classic show you what you need to know with pretty glowing pictures. Buff smart with SmartBuff. And remember, Addon Spotlight is fueled by viewers like you, so if you have a mod you think we should take a look at, drop us a line.

Addon Spotlight: Ackis Recipe List originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The curious case of Ferarro - Sun, 31 May 2009 14:30:00 EST

We, along with many of you, have been monitoring the curious case surrounding one of the most prominent Paladin bloggers, Ferarro. We originally did a 15 Minutes of Fame with Ferarro on May 26th. The article was about her life as a blogger, a paladin, and a game tester for Blizzard.

After the article was written, a few things happened.

First, Jagoex posted a story on Ferarro's use of pictures from the website TechDarling. Ferarro was claiming she was the person pictured, when in fact she wasn't. Sarah Townsend, the author of TechDarling, has stated she doesn't know who Ferarro is.

Secondly, Ferraro's blog, Paladin Schmaladin, suddenly switched over to privacy mode blocking anyone from reading it who didn't have an invitation directly from Ferraro. Her Twitter account had the message "Stalkers are cool," and was then locked until it was deleted completely a day later. Her WoW character disappeared via a likely server transfer, and her contributions at RetPaladin.com were removed completely. Update: After this article was posted, Ferarro has once again made her blog, and thus her statement, private. However you can view a google cache of the page.

This began raising many eyebrows and brought on a lot of speculation. All of which ended today when she posted claiming herself as multiple persons, which after investigation is now brought into question as well.

Continue reading The curious case of Ferarro

The curious case of Ferarro originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pets to scale from resilience and other stats - Sun, 31 May 2009 14:00:00 EST


I don't PvP, so I'm going off the reports of others here, but apparently Warlock and Hunter pets are often proving ineffective and short-lived in PvP. Until recently, this was often the case in PvE as well, but pets have much more avoidance now in a PvE environment.

It looks like an improvement will be coming in PvP as well: Ghostcrawler said last night that they "think it's probably time to let pets scale, to some extent, with resilience and spell pen." In fact, he says they have a new pet scaling system, and "assuming it works" (which seems like something they ought to be able to make work), they should be able to make the pet scale off of "all relevant stats" of the master.

Players have been asking for more pet scaling for a long time, especially resilience. Obviously how big of a change it will be depends on what "to some extent" ends up meaning, but it can only help pet classes.

Pets to scale from resilience and other stats originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: The Failoc-alypse edition - Sun, 31 May 2009 12:00:00 EST


Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

I titled this week's [1.Local] on Saturday, in a fit of frustration. At the time, it seemed more than appropriate: "BlizzCon ticket status" (sold out) was still at the top of the WoW.com posts, the comments were seething with queue rage, and I was still smarting from an epic fail at click-refresh for the concert tickets I really, really wanted to score for my vacation week this summer. Gah.

But things are looking up. As it turns out, a lot of folks had a fair bit of fun playing Blizzard's Failoc-alypse game while they sat in the ticket queue. (Give it a try; it's kinda fun, actually.) And speaking of queues, just as I sat down to pop [1.Local] into the post queue, I decided to hit Ticketmaster one last time - and voila! Two seats at a great price, lusciously close to the stage. Take that, Failoc!

Continue reading [1.Local]: The Failoc-alypse edition

[1.Local]: The Failoc-alypse edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Crystal blue persuasion - Sun, 31 May 2009 10:00:00 EST
Resurgmal of Dread Pirates on Blackrock writes, "I was indulging in the old-time sport of climbing, along with some of the rest of the raid, in some down time previous to another Yogg attempt. (We finally downed him. YAY!) A Death Knight left this dramatic backdrop of pure evil, so naturally I had to grab a screenshot or two." Quick, Yogg, attack him while he's frozen for massive damage! Why, no, I haven't been playing the Crystal Chronicles games all weekend. Why do you ask?

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

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

Around Azeroth: Crystal blue persuasion originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: 98% agree - Sun, 31 May 2009 09:00:00 EST
Another Sunday arrives, and now it is almost June! This means less than a month until servers flood with children, Barrens chat takes on new life, and we're all being asked for "golds" and dungeon runs. Savor the next couple of weeks.

Sunday Morning Funnies: 98% agree originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Which role is the hardest? - Sun, 31 May 2009 08:00:00 EST

This is a pretty old post, and it's a question that's been asked before, but it's still an interesting one: what's the hardest role in a raid? Ghostcrawler says he doesn't find one of the three roles (tanking, healing, and DPS) to be "hands down harder" than the others, although he does call tanking and healing "probably more stressful."

As someone who's done all three in raids a fair bit, I feel pretty confident saying DPSing is hands-down easier than the other two roles. Of course, it varies fight-by-fight, but typically the most that's asked of DPS is "don't stand in the fire" and sometimes "switch DPS to X." It does take some research and work to get the optimal rotation down, and some classes (like Death Knights) have it harder than others (cough Ret Pallies), but the raid just doesn't rely on your split-second reflexes the way it does for tanks and healers. Heck, last night I caused a wipe by just saying the wrong thing while tanking.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Which role is the hardest?

Breakfast Topic: Which role is the hardest? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 31 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: I'm more hardcore than you - Sat, 30 May 2009 20:00:00 EST


Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we step back a little and look at endgame in the context of sports.


Firstly, dedicated followers of this column (hi, Mum) will have noticed a new addition - Michael Gray's working his magic to make Ready Check not just weekly, but twice-weekly! Is that more than enough Ready Check to keep anyone happy? I think so.

Today's column is inspired by a question we've been discussing internally: is WoW a sport? Specifically, as so many of the externally validated goals in-game relate to raiding, how does raiding stand up to other, more traditional sports? We're not talking eSports, but good old fashioned team games. How do the attitudes in raiding differ from those you'd find in the sporting-as-a-hobby world?

Continue reading Ready Check: I'm more hardcore than you

Ready Check: I'm more hardcore than you originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: Mages are fine! Now fix us. - Sat, 30 May 2009 18:00:00 EST



Each week Arcane Brilliance saves the world, one Mage column at a time. Once, we did it by throwing the One Ring into a volcano. Oh, and this one time, we did it by slaying the evil Voldemort. And every once in awhile, we do it by traveling back in time and saving John Connor from the robotic clutches of Skynet. The Edward Furlong John Connor, not the Christian Bale one. Also, Arcane Brilliance doesn't go back as Michael Biehn or Ahnuld. Arcane Brilliance is totally Summer Glau. Yowza.

So...with news flying around about upcoming patches, and changes on the horizon for other classes, I can't help but notice a strange, almost eerie silence over here on the Mage front. If this were a movie, somebody would say "It's quiet," and then somebody else would pipe up with "yeah...a little too quiet," and that'd be the moment when somebody gets grabbed by something big and scary, or something explodes, or Samuel L Jackson gets eaten by a shark or something. Seriously, I'm starting to get a little freaked out here.

Now, don't misunderstand: I'm not complaining. I appreciate the recent Mirror Image change. I like that my copies aren't morons now. I really do. It's just that you have to go back to patch 3.1 to find anything even resembling a major change affecting the way Mages play the game, while other classes still appear to be in constant flux.

This tells me one thing: Mages are good. We're set. Really, you guys have fun over there with your new class mechanics and what-not, we're fine over here with our...whatever. Yeah? You got yourself some new Druid bear-form art? That's cool, because we...um...we can turn stuff into rabbits now. That's right, suck on it.

So apparently Blizzard thinks Mages are fine for now. I'm not arguing the issue; if you ignore that fantastic five minutes right at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King when we were awesome, I'm hard pressed to think of a point in the history of this game when Mages have been in a more comparatively satisfactory position than we are right now. Our damage is competitive, and we don't suck in PvP. We can get raid spots. We can kill Warlocks. I'm not unhappy right now, really I'm not.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Mages are fine! Now fix us.

Arcane Brilliance: Mages are fine! Now fix us. originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail - Sat, 30 May 2009 16:00:00 EST


And we're back to looking at Ulduar's gear drops for shamans. This week, I figured it was long past time to look at the various non-set mail drops from the instance, since we've covered rings, shields, weapons and emblem of conquest purchases already. I'm sure we'll need to take at least a couple of weeks to fit all the mail in the place, so we should get started right away.

Again I remind horde shaman enthusiasts that I'm not raiding Ulduar on my orc, and if you want to see screenshots of an horde shaman up here, my email is matthew.rossi@wow.com - I'd be happy to use one or even many of them.I'm just simply not going to be able to raid Ulduar more than I already am.

Onward to gear. As always, the usual disclaimers (not all gear has been found yet, things get changed, moved, etc etc) apply. We'll talk about Ulduar - 10 gear first and then Ulduar - 25 either after or in the next post.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail

Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Failoc-alypse bursts onto the scene! - Sat, 30 May 2009 15:15:00 EST


During today's BlizzCon ticket sales (which are now sold out, by the way), you were able to play the game Failoc-alypse. You take the form of a Terran Marine with a gun, a Draenei Death Knight, or a Witchdoctor. Your goal is to kill as many fail-locs as possible.

"Oops flag? You're one dead Murloc!"

I recommend everyone takes a bit to play the game. It's good fun. As you progress in levels more people come out to watch you play. Around level 40 Arthas himself comes out to cheer you on. It's unknown what happens at later levels, if there really is a cow level, and what the gold cap is.

You can also click through for a bunch of basic instructions at the loading screen, and there's some funny ones hidden amongst them.

Let's look at some Failoc-alypse hints.

Continue reading Failoc-alypse bursts onto the scene!

Failoc-alypse bursts onto the scene! originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 15:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon Ticket Status - Sat, 30 May 2009 12:45:00 EST



This page will be updated with the latest BlizzCon ticket status. Please post your experiences, and be sure to let us know if you run into any problems. Older updates will be listed after the break.

Big Update: Play the failocalyps game from Blizzard!

1:25 p.m. EDT: Sold out.

1:22 p.m. EDT: 11% of the tickets are now left.

Continue reading BlizzCon Ticket Status

BlizzCon Ticket Status originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ashbringer TPB out now - Sat, 30 May 2009 12:00:00 EST
I haven't been a big fan of the whole Alliance-centric direction of the Wildstorm World of Warcraft comics, and I picked up the whole Varian Wrynn saga mostly out of a completist impulse rather than actual concern for the story or its characters. I also thought Ludo Lullabi had better samples of art on his personal site than what he showed in the comic, so when I found out the next story arc was going to be pencilled by Jon Buran, I wasn't too concerned. Buran is doing tremendous work so far. Of course, we all soon learned why Lullabi left the book -- he was tasked with illustrating the Ashbringer story.

The good news is that the Ashbringer comics which follow the story of the legendary blade showcase some of Lullabi's best work yet (with assists from Tony Washington). This owes largely to the spectacular coloring, done Painter-style by either Lullabi himself or an uncredited colorist. The painted covers by Chris Robinson add a sense of awe and wonder to the series, and each issue of the four-parter is rich with lore because it was written by Blizzard's own Micky Neilson. Even better news is that DC Comics has collected the mini-series in a hardcover edition available at your friendly neighborhood comic shop for $19.99. So soon after picking up Warcraft Legends, I think I'll need to make a little more space on my shelves...

Ashbringer TPB out now originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bornakk clarifies rage generation formulas - Sat, 30 May 2009 11:00:00 EST
In a response to concerns on the forums about warrior rage generation, Bornakk replies that the formula is working fine - it's just using different numbers than the players who tested it. Two of the more interesting parts of his statement were as follows:

  • In the formulas people are using, there is a constant value which is labeled as 'c'. At some point in the past, someone calculated a formula for determining c based on their level and that formula is not correct past level 70 as this value needs retuning from time to time like when a new expansion comes out. The value listed for c is 320.6 when it is actually 453.3.
  • Some of the testing was done with ungeared characters hitting for very small amounts. There is a component to the calculation we haven't previously mentioned that will make the rage gained from those attacks sometimes not match the formula. Basically, the normal formula is Rage = (7.5d/c+f*s)/2. However, that result can never be larger than (7.5d/c)*2. This essentially means that very low damage attacks have a limit on how much they can be averaged up by the f*s component of the equation.
It seems odd to me that this change to 'c' was left hidden for so long and only came to light following the changes to warriors in 3.1: one possibly explanation would be that rage generation via damage before the nerfs was good enough to obscure the issue. Nevertheless since I posted about the issue this week, I felt obligated to mention Bornakk's explanation of the discrepancy.

Bornakk clarifies rage generation formulas originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Wiping is ugly business - Sat, 30 May 2009 10:00:00 EST


After a wipe in Naxxramas, Meshenko of Proudmoore zoned back in to find some of his raid members suffering from the familiar facial texture bug. He snapped this picture of a deformed human warlock looting Gothik the Harvester's corpse after they downed the boss. Equally interesting to me is the motley crew in the background. From left to right, we have someone zonked out on Pygmy Oils, a female draenei in the most awkward spellcasting position ever, and what appears to be a warrior being devoured by a water elemental. Hey, people have to find some way to pass the time while the officers look over the DKP.

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

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

Around Azeroth: Wiping is ugly business originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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J!NX launches WoW summer collection - Sat, 30 May 2009 09:00:00 EST


It looks like those creative folks over at J!NX have come up with another batch of World of Warcraft-themed clothing for their summer 2009 collection, and I've got to say that they look pretty darned good. While the first batch of WoW class shirts were nice, I wasn't entirely sold on them. They were good, but personally not good enough for me to run over to Hot Topic and pick one up on impulse. I mean, I wanted to order, but pennypinching prudence got the better of me. The summer collection has a latecomer Death Knight class shirt in the style of the first batch, completing the set, as well as two new class shirts that trample all over my aforementioned prudence.

My wallet is spared for a little while, thankfully, as the first designs are for Hunters and Warriors. As soon as they release the Paladin and Warlock versions, however, my cursor will be on that checkout button faster than you can say "Arenas suck," as the new designs are graphic design home runs. Speaking of home runs, the summer 2009 collection also has a pair of new baseball team shirts -- the Ironforge Anvils and the Thunder Bluff Warstompers -- to go along with the Darnassus Nightsabers, Gnomeregan Bombardiers, Undercity Gravediggers and Durotar's own Hellscream Warchiefs. Likewise, when Silvermoon City's expansion team shirt becomes available, I'll have a few more clothes to fatten my closet. Check out the collection at J!NX and maybe you'll find something to wear at BlizzCon other than that Sea Cows t-shirt you were hoping would score you some points with the ladies.

J!NX launches WoW summer collection originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: It's WHAT o'clock? edition - Sat, 30 May 2009 08:30:00 EST

Okay, readers. Your attention please. I have to finish this week's collection of responses to our regular question "What are you playing this weekend?" before I keel over and die from sleep deprivation. If this article is published, then I've made it, and I'm probably going to be asleep for several hours. If you're not reading this, I failed my mission and you may never know what our staff is up to over the weekend.

Did I make it? Let's find out!

Michael Gray: I am playing poker tonight, volleyball tomorrow during the day, hitting the Arena in the evening, then spending the day on Sunday at Virginia Renn Faire. I suspect I'll be wearing my utilikilt for the entire time. My only nod to appropriateness will be wearing boxers, no boxers -- pink boxers in honor of our boys at war.

Jennie Lees: it's the one week of the year the sun shines in Scotland, so I am raiding the "outside" instance. LF24M, no hunters.

Chase Christian: More smashing my head against Mimiron's metal frame, and taking my Warrior from 79 to 80 so I can roll on leather again!

More after the jump.

Continue reading WRUP: It's WHAT o'clock? edition

WRUP: It's WHAT o'clock? edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are patches too fast, too furious? - Sat, 30 May 2009 08:00:00 EST


Content patches have been coming rather quickly as of late. With the exception of the long-awaited Patch 3.1, which only felt long because Naxxramas was ridiculously easy, Blizzard has been throwing a salvo of patches our way in a fast and furious fashion. In fact, Blizzard has been relatively quick to issue hotfixes and minor patches these days when they notice this or that class rising above others. Death Knights were an exception but that can be explained away by the newness of the class.

But compared the the old pace, it seems as though Blizzard is delivering content faster than ever. Zarhym has even uncharacteristically told a poster "your presumed time lines are way too inflated," when the poster speculated that 3.2 won't be out until the end of the year and Icecrown released around May of 2010. I'm actually quite confident that Blizzard will announce the next expansion during BlizzCon, if not a release date. So while a lot of top guilds have cleared Ulduar and are working on hard modes and completing them, there's strong evidence that a majority of the player base is just getting started with the whole thing. What's your take on Blizzard's patch production policy?

Breakfast Topic: Are patches too fast, too furious? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Insider Trader: Farming recipes in Northrend - Fri, 29 May 2009 20:00:00 EST

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

This week, Insider Trader will be listing the locations and mobs that will drop recipes to help you complete your collection and expand your knowledge to boost sales.

Because this list is meant to be a reference for planning out your next farming expedition, I will not be including "world drops" that can drop from nearly any mob in a given zone or from a specific level of mobs across zones.

Ulduar
There are several epic crafting recipes that will drop in Ulduar. They have a chance to drop from each of the bosses on Heroic mode (25-man), although 10-man groups can also acquire them by downing the bosses on Hard mode.

Currently, there are two Enchanting formulas, six Blacksmithing plans, eight Leatherworking patterns and four Tailoring patterns that fall under this category.

Given Ulduar's close associations with Engineering, many people have been quite vocal about the lack of schematics in the dungeon, although many of the mobs can be harvested for parts and vendor junk.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Farming recipes in Northrend

Insider Trader: Farming recipes in Northrend originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: A podcast, eh? - Fri, 29 May 2009 19:00:00 EST


We here at WoW Insider are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.Those of you using our WoW.com profile system... we want your blogs! Have you written something that you think is worth being featured on The Daily Quest? Have you discovered another good blog here on WoW.com? Send them in using the link below! No, this doesn't mean we're going to stop linking to other sites, so don't worry! We have enough love to go around.

The Daily Quest: A podcast, eh? originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Nurturing Touch - Fri, 29 May 2009 18:00:00 EST


This is a crazy-looking wand from Ulduar that spits out Holy damage like nobody's business.

Name: Nurturing Touch (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Wand
Damage/Speed: 378-702 / 1.80 (300 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +29 Stamina, +26 Intellect, and +24 Spirit
  • Improves crit strike rating by 20, and spell power by 39
  • Pretty straightforward wand -- nothing too special about it. But it is a nice one, and it's likely an upgrade from anything you've gotten in Naxx or the earlier raid instances.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Nurturing Touch

Phat Loot Phriday: Nurturing Touch originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ulduar proto-drakes gone in patch 3.2 - Fri, 29 May 2009 17:00:00 EST


When patch 3.1 came out, the Plagued and Black Proto-Drakes, which were rewarded for the normal and heroic tier 7 raid meta-achievements, respectively, were removed from the game. You can still do the achievement, but it doesn't give you a drake any more. The thinking behind this was that people would be able to come back with Ulduar gear and complete the achievements (relatively) easily, and Blizz wanted the accomplishments of those who had done the achievement pre-Ulduar to stand out.

It looks like the Rusted and Ironbound Proto-Drakes are going to receive the same treatment in patch 3.2: they will no longer be attainable. These are the drakes that are rewarded for the Ulduar raid meta-achievements, on normal and heroic. This is interesting because it implies that we'll get a new tier of gear in patch 3.2. Information about what the expansion of the Argent Tourney is going to bring PvE-wise is still pretty scarce; we know there will be some 5-, 10-, and 25-man content, but we're not really sure what it'll be like yet. All we've heard so far is "Think Ring of Blood or Amphitheater of Anguish, but more epic." Here's hoping for PvE arenas.

Edit: To clarify, players who have the mounts already will of course keep them. You just won't be able to get them after 3.2 if you don't have them already.

Ulduar proto-drakes gone in patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizz wants your class questions - Fri, 29 May 2009 16:00:00 EST

Blizzard gets more and more communicative every week recently. I love it. They recently announced that they're seeking questions for a community question and answer series, with a separate thread for each class. They'll be going through the class threads in order, answering questions and generally being awesome (one hopes). Afterwards everything will be gathered into one big blue pile of answers and presented to the community.

Nethaera is going to be the organizer of this little event, it seems. She warns us that it is "probably going to be a couple of weeks" before we start getting answers, because they want to give sufficient time for WoW players around the world to get their questions in. She also says she's going to try to get "the most prominent questions" answered, as well as questions that have been around for a long time without being addressed.

This is a great time to get your class questions and concerns addressed, so if you have anything you've always wanted to ask a dev, go find the Q&A thread for your class (in your class forum) and post away.

Blizz wants your class questions originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft on Windows 7 RC - Fri, 29 May 2009 15:00:00 EST


Later this year Microsoft will release its next major desktop operating system, Windows 7. After deciding now was the time to expand my hard drives (because I really need 3TBs of space), I took the opportunity to install the "release candidate." The release candidate of Windows 7 is just that - it's a version of the operating system that while still in development, has all the bells and whistles, and is essentially the exact same thing that'll be sold on the shelves.

The installation and configuration of Windows 7 went very smoothly. My computer has four gigs of RAM and operates off of two dual-core Intel Core2 processors. I have an nVidia GTX 260 graphics card, which is the latest generation. There's a bunch of other bells and whistles that I have as well, but those are the big things relevant to what I do every day here at WoW.com and how I play WoW.

Prior to installing Windows 7, I used Windows Vista updated to the latest patches. I got about 60 FPS on average, with a maximum of around 100 while idling in some far off place with not a lot of traffic, and a minimum of about 50 while in some of the more graphic intensive raids / battlegrounds. After installing Windows 7 I was running at about 75 FPS average, with a maximum still of around 100. However more importantly my FPS during raids / Wintergrasp shot up to 70.

Continue reading World of Warcraft on Windows 7 RC

World of Warcraft on Windows 7 RC originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: You ain't nothin' but a Core Hound - Fri, 29 May 2009 14:00:00 EST


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

There's a few good questions today of various voluptuous varieties: raiding, legal ToS (TNG > ToS, by the way), and new gaming hardware. Yummy.

Start me off, Delks...

Edit: Please be sure to listen to Fly Me To The Moon by Ol' Blue Eyes during today's Queue, or you can listen to the title's name sake song.

Delks asked...

"What's the point of running old world raids and instances?"

Continue reading The Queue: You ain't nothin' but a Core Hound

The Queue: You ain't nothin' but a Core Hound originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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edging

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