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Below is a list of Article headlines from WOW Insider. This are used on our main page and updated daily. Each article contains links back to WOWinsider, which allow you to view the whole article

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The ups and downs of contributing to WoWWiki - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 19:00:00 EST
Besides news here at WoW Insider, one of my favorite places on the web is over at WoWWiki. The site is a virtual treasure trove of World of Warcraft lore, class information, formulas, and strategies. Back in October the site passed 45,000 articles, and today it stands around 53,000 articles. That's A LOT of content, much more then anyone could possibly hope to read.

Where does all this come from?

The way community wiki's work (wikis like WoWWiki and Wikipedia) is that everyone who reads them can effectively edit anything in them. If you're looking at the strategy for Zul'Jin and see something that's not right, or that needs to be added, you can do it right on the spot. Of course you have to sign up for an account and make sure what you're putting in is correct, but that takes all of five minutes. User submitted content is critical to the success of a wiki, and WoWWiki is (as I'm sure most of our readers would agree) one of the most successful game wikis out there.

Continue reading The ups and downs of contributing to WoWWiki

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One Boss Leaves: Gruul vs. C'Thun wrap-up - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 18:36:00 EST


Last week, two bosses entered a neutral Arena, the Old God C'thun and the bane of the Black Dragonflight, Gruul. Which one survived and which one got slaughtered in this battle of the boss mobs?

Let's just say C'Thun and his eye laser of instant death means this Ahn'Qiraj raid mob has a shiny new Tier 4 Leggings token to turn in right about now with more than 75% of the vote. There was some rallying around Gruul's ability to withstand a beating, but most of his abilities were useless against a knockback resistant C'thun.

This battle finishes up the second bracket of battles. We are now down to the final eight. Next up on Two Bosses Enter, the first battle of the bracket: Sapphiron , the undead frost wyrm vs. the Troll god of Zul'Gurub, Hakkar the Soulflayer.

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All fires are not the same - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 18:00:00 EST
I've noticed lately while running around and doing my daily cooking quest that some flames are not the same as others. This seems rather silly to me. After all, a flame is a flame, right?

For those of you that don't cook in WoW, I'll fill you in. You need to find a cooking fire every time you want to cook something. Everyone has the ability to make a simple fire, but this requires reagents, and is not something that people normally waste space on. So instead of making your own fire, you can find a premade fire, stove, kettle, etc... and cook your food there. These heat sources are spread out all over major cities and out in the wild.

But, there are oddities. For example, take these two kettles - which are the exact same model.

Continue reading All fires are not the same

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Warlocks and demons: The next ten levels - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 17:30:00 EST


It never really gets old speculating about what Blizzard has hidden away for the future, whether it be for the Sunwell Plateau, Wrath of the Lich King or something else entirely. The topic of Warlock pets comes up every now and then on the Wrath forums and while I don't play a Warlock, its an intriguing topic. Warlocks currently have six baseline demons, two of which have a slightly different summoning process. They can get another through being specced deep Demonology. If you count the Felguard as their level 70 addition in the Burning Crusade, they get one roughly every ten levels, so its safe to assume they have something coming in Wrath.

First thing to consider is what role the pet would play. Everything but healer has been done already, and I don't want to even think about a Warlock with a pet healer. The Felguard is essentially a direct upgrade to the Voidwalker, so something like that is more likely. Personally, I think a Shivarra would fit the next demon well, and act as a direct upgrade to the Succubus.

Second thing to consider is whether it would make sense from a lore point of view. As fun as it would be to summon a pet Pit Lord whenever you want, that seems unlikely. Same with the Nathrezim or the Eredar. Shivan or something we haven't seen yet seems the most likely choice.

Continue reading Warlocks and demons: The next ten levels

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Your WoWJutsu rank - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 17:00:00 EST

The folks at WoWJutsu provide a great little competitive tool that ranks guilds according to the PvE raid content they've completed. The site is pretty popular, and a lot of guilds use it in their advertising over at the Guild Recruitment Forums. My guild has been known to pay pretty close attention to the number. I have to admit that about once a week I find myself checking our ranking against those of other guilds my friends are in.

This got me thinking... what good does basing your progress against other guilds do? Sure, there are the ultra competitive guilds like Death and Taxes and Nihilum. However they approach the game in a way that leads them to needing to care about how close the guild behind them is doing. For most of us, competing against other guilds is only going to lead to unforeseen frustrations. Most guilds have a boss or two that they get hung up on. Back in the days when BWL was hard, my guild spent a long time defeating Razorgore, and after he was gone the rest of the instance fell within a month. This kind of common hurdle in WoW is not reflected in WoWJutsu; all you get to know is that a guild is stuck on a boss, not that they're going to have amazing progress after it.

Continue reading Your WoWJutsu rank

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Happy Groundhog Day! - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 16:00:00 EST
Today is Groundhog Day. I would recommend you all go watch the like-titled movie with Bill Murray in it while doing your dailies. A quick scan of my TV guide reveals its on just about every cable network. For those of you that haven't seen the movie, I'll give you a spoiler: Bill Murray repeats the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over again, somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,650 times.

Sound familiar?

Enter the world of raiding.

While the game play itself can be very fun and exciting, no one can really argue that at times it's nothing more than a long grind. This is okay to some extent, but has the game moved too far into grind mode?

There's a lot of reasons to think that it has. First, we have the dailies that for most players are their primary source of income (in the game, we hope not in the real world). Every morning I wake up about an hour early just to hit the dailies on a couple alts to make my gold. It's really a necessity for me; there is no way that I could afford the two hundred plus a week in repair bills without it.

Continue reading Happy Groundhog Day!

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Gankbang: For those times you really need an ego boost - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 15:30:00 EST
While not a new site, Gankbang has recieved a push on a few different realm forums recently and it seems few know about it. A shame!

Gankbang pulls character stats from the Armory and compiles them into a fun little searchable tool. It gives you the option of breaking down your search by class, talent spec and specific stats. You can also choose to search by specific realms, factions and battlegroup. You don't have to pick through those things if you don't want to, a WoW-wide search works as well.

The most obvious use of this tool is to stroke your ego when you come up in the top ten of a search. I'm pretty sure everyone who's been to Gankbang before has done that at least once. Another good use of the tool is to find the players of your particular class who either know what they're doing, or at least are doing really well in the end-game. As a shadow priest, it was fun to do a few searches(shadow damage, spell haste) to see who's on top, and use their Armory profile to see what's available to me. If you're on a friendly, homely server, those people on top might have some good advice for you too, if you're in need of it.

It has a few issues, though. Due to Gankbang's update frequency and that of the Armory, your stats may not always be current if you have multiple sets of gear. In addition, while Gankbang strips most buffs when grabbing character data, there are a few things that slip through. For example, a search for melee crit on warriors has the number one warrior listed with 116% crit.

Oh, by the way, if you're not showing up on a search? You can add yourself manually by using the link at the top of the Gankbang website.

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WoW Insider Weekly - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 14:00:00 EST
Here is all of our weekly content from the past seven days, all wrapped up in one big post. Enjoy!

Two Bosses Enter: Gruul vs. C'thun
Will they see eye to eye? Ha!

Sunday Morning Funnies: There's a hierarchy at work
Comics about World of Warcraft are doubly awesome.

All the World's a Stage: Roleplaying with class
Using class abilities to show your character.

Officers' Quarters: A demanding role
How to lead a roleplaying guild.

WoW Insider Show Episode 22: Fake patch notes, rumored loot, and wild speculation
Dan, Matt, and Turpster go all podcasty on the big stories of last week.

The Art of War(craft): A Resilient Argument Part II
More on resilience in PvP.

Raid Rx: I can haz Al'ar-- now wut?
Tips for healing the big bird of Tempest Keep.

Shifting Pespectives: Hit Rating, Expertise, and Defense Skill for PvE
BBB has three magic numbers for you.

Build Shop: Hunter 0/45/16
A Marksman build for hunters.

15 Minutes of Fame: Confessions of a teenage warlock
That Warlock that just DoT-ted you into oblivion? He's 15.

About the Bloggers: Eliah Hecht
Readers, Eliah. Eliah, readers.

The Light and How to Swing it: The Paladin's guide to engineering
My Paladin was an engineer-- right up until I deleted her at level 20.

Guildwatch: Down for the count
The week in drama, downed, and recruiting. Tiller is good, but let's be serious: he's still not Malcin.

Mechanical mechanics: The models, makes, and manufacturing of mechanized merchants and robotic repairmen
Hoof and Horn R&D attacks automaton augmentation and assembly. See, I can do it too!

Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn: The first step
Anywhere is possible?

Encrypted Text: Levels 21-40
Sneaking through the midgame with the Rogue leveling guide.

World of Warcrafts: Flash Wand
You know, for kids! +10 style points to anyone who names the flick.

Well Fed Buff: Tauren toenails
Let's hope these taste a lot better than the real thing-- that Barrens dust is not kind, let me tell you.

Totem Talk: Pinch-hitting
Because somethings you want a resto, but all you've got is an elemental.

Blood Sport: Warrior-Druid overpowered?
Is this team rocking 2v2 for all the wrong reasons?

Ready Check: Progression
Or, how to kill a guild with just two bosses.

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Rage and how to use it
Hint: it's not for knitting tea cozies.

Insider Trader: Crafting a future for professions
What's next for crafters?

Phat Loot Phriday: Crystal Charge
A piece of hefty loot (that's right, not phat) for non-Engineers.

Back in the Day: A week of Ebay, Karazhan, and Class QQ
Dan inspects what happened in a year ago in Warcraft: players whined. Hmm sound familiar much?

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Your Consortium bribe, uh payment is ready - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 13:00:00 EST
Just a friendly reminder for those of you who have Friendly or better reputation with the Consortium that it's that time of the month again to collect your gems.

I just got back from my run to Nagrand to hit up Mr. Swirlybandages for my bag. I was particularly excited because I had just hit Honored with that faction. And you know what I got? An Azure Moonstone and a Shadow Draenite. Uh...okay. I guess I'll try not to spend the 40s I'm gonna get for these on the AH all in one place.


Hope you all get luckier this month.

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WoW Moviewatch: How to Paladin XXVI - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 12:00:00 EST

It's taken Shepiwot only 10 months to create 26 How to Paladin videos, as well as several spinoffs. He's received countless death threats and plenty of discouragement, but he keeps on going. Love or hate them, they're like an accident that you can't look away from. If I had to categorize his movies, I'd place them in the "WTF" genre.

In Episode 26, Shepiwot goes to Naxxramas. He's included everything that you've come to expect from a Shepiwot original. There's epic music, epic hopping, epic cliff jumping, epic camera spinning, and epic ... epic. That's all I've got. Any guesses on when he'll reach 100?

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch...

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Your Guide to Dailies: Unlocking Blade's Edge - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 11:02:00 EST


Once you are familiar with the daily quests offered in Skettis, you will begin searching for more dailies. After all, you can complete up to 10 of them per day. By completing only two or three, you are bypassing a large amount of guaranteed gold. Unlocking these quests will also increase your grind toward a nether ray flying mount.

The next step then is to set your sights on Ogri'la and the Skyguard Outpost in Blade's Edge Mountains (see map above). Unfortunately, you won't be able to fly up there, do a little dance, and expect them to hand you out the quests. In fact, you might as well buckle in, because the upcoming chain is long and involved. Fear not; by following this guide, and consulting the map, you should be welcomed by Ogri'la in no time.

It all begins with a naaru residing in the Terrace of Light, a long way from the mountainous regions inhabited by ogres.

Continue reading Your Guide to Dailies: Unlocking Blade's Edge

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Around Azeroth: Orcish ingenuity - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 10:00:00 EST


Reader FrostLapin of the Ursin Server snapped this shot of the Orcs latest ammunition strategy in World PvP. I can't wait to see how they are going to attack destructible buildings in Wrath's Lake Wintergrasp. Taurens perhaps? Flaming Warlock imps? The mind boggles.

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

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Oxhorn scores WeGame machinima job - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 09:03:00 EST

Having been a full-time machinimator in Second Life for about 1.5 years now, I can definitely appreciate the plight of the WoW machinimator. They produce work that is easily 10 times the quality of what comes out of SL, yet have a hard time making any money off of it. However, it looks like Oxhorn has found a way.

Oxhorn has landed a gig with WeGame, a video sharing site with a twist. WeGame not only allows you to upload your machinima, it also provides you with a free desktop client for filming. If you can't afford to pay for Fraps or any of the other options, WeGame is your best bet.

Read on for more about Oxhorn's new job and WeGame ...

Continue reading Oxhorn scores WeGame machinima job

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Breakfast Topic: The great Kara divide - Sat, 02 Feb 2008 08:00:00 EST
Blogger Amava is having a bit of a crisis in his guild. They have just hit Karazhan and the question of who gets in on the 10-man team and who sits out destined to spend the evening begging for a pick up group in Shatt has caused much drama.

Amava knows that they have to recruit more healers to make multiple Kara teams, but that will take time. Until then, the core group will have to learn the raid, then rotate in others.

But who gets in on the rotation? As Amava put it "simply possessing the Master's Key does not mean you are ready." Standards have to be set, but they, of course, fall only on dps as healers and tanks are going to get in on every run, more or less.

Has you guild hit this split? How did they handle it to keep everyone happy, but not coddle the inept? Is Amava's solution the best? Gear checks FTW?

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Back in the Day: A week of EBay, Karazhan and class QQ - Fri, 01 Feb 2008 21:30:00 EST


What was going on in World of Warcraft this time last year? Back in the Day looks into the past of WoW Insider and brings back posts notable, controversial and sometimes humorous reflecting the state of the game one year ago this week.

For the week of January 27 - February 2, 2007:

The big news in the third week of TBC was E-bay's announcement: they de-listed all the gold sellers. Not that that stopped the black market for in-game gold sold for real life cash, but just today Blizzard struck another blow in the unending battle: they used the U.S. courts to shut out a major player in the gold selling industry from doing business on the Blizzard servers. The dance continues.

On the official forums, there was a mixture of apprehension about how classes were falling into their new roles and speculation about the nature of the post-60 raid game. One article addressed both these issues when it brought together the concerns of the community about Karazhan. Complaints included trash mobs in the zone being too difficult, bosses being too tough on melee classes, Nightbane's fear unfair to Horde and itemization out of line with the difficulty of the encounter.

Nowadays, the trash has been nerfed repeatedly, some bosses are still tough on melee classes, all Priests have Fear Ward, but a nerfed version making the Nightbane encounter difficult for both factions and the debate rages on whether itemization is good or not, but really, it depends on your class (hint: don't get a Priest started on the subject.)

Continue reading Back in the Day: A week of EBay, Karazhan and class QQ

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Phat Loot Phriday: Crystal Charge - Fri, 01 Feb 2008 20:07:00 EST


Going back to just hefty loot today, since we've been doing high end stuff for a few weeks now. This is a non-engineer explosive that packs about as big a punch as you're going to get.

Name: Crystal Charge (Wowhead, Thottbot, MMODB)
Type: Consumable
Damage/Speed: N/A (See below)
Abilities:
  • Use: Inflicts 383 to 517 fire damage in a three yard radius.
  • Does not require an engineer to throw, although it is consumable. And I'll make another extreme statement (even though, like I said last week, you wily commenters usually prove me wrong): this is the most damaging non-Engineer thrown consumable. The Essence of Eranikus actually does more damage over time, but it's a trinket, and this is the highest damage non-Engineer grenade that I could find.
  • And, dear readers, I actually went into the game and did a little playtesting with this stuff just for you. Unfortunately, I have to report that it does not add spell damage (I wasn't surprised by that, but I can confirm that it doesn't).
  • But it does in fact crit-- I had one of my charges break 575. And I also used it on multiple targets, so if you can fit more than one thing in the (small) 3 yard radius, you can hit them all with ~400+ fire damage.
How to Get It: As you may have guessed, it's part of the Un'Goro Crystals setup. To start collecting and using crystals, you have to do the chain offered by J.D. Collie at Marshal's Refuge there. He'll show you how to get the crystals and the spires you'll need to take them to. And once you've finished all his Fedex-ing (it's easy enough to do if you're leveling through Un'Goro around the early 50s anyway), you'll be able to get a quest from the Northern Spire itself called Crystal Charge.

That quest requires that you grab 10 Red Power Crystals and 10 Yellow Power Crystals from the deposits around Un'Goro. Bring those back (or just bring them along-- you don't need the quest to collect the crystals, and you might even find them on the AH if someone on your server is trying to clean out their bags), and you'll get 6 Crystal Charges for each turn-in of 10.

Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 10s. While the Power Crystals themselves are BoE (or at least not soulbound), the Charges are BoP, so sell them or use them.

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Good news for chronic respecs - Fri, 01 Feb 2008 19:30:00 EST
With all of the buzz related to patch 2.4 lately, I wanted to take a moment to look at one particular change that our friendly neighborhood healers and tanks will really appreciate.

Respecs have always been a bit of a pain in the butt. Unless you are willing to align and keep your talents so that you are proficient at one aspect of the game, but weakened significantly in all others, you likely find yourself paying through the nose periodically to change your specialization and talents.

In fact, healers, tanks, and hybrids can find themselves making the switch several times a day, sending their expenses soaring. Well, once patch 2.4 hits, your costs will be subsidized. Thyvenne on the European forums let this information slip.

Specifically, although you will need to still pay for the actual switch, you will no longer be asked to shell out gold to relearn talents and spells from your trainer.

I think we should dub 2.4 patch day "Hybrid, Healer and Tank Appreciation Day". Well, we might look for a catchier name; something with pizazz.

Will you be making use of this change? Are you jumping out of your seat with excitement, or are you feeling somewhat clueless right now? Along those lines, are you
addicted to respecs, or do you feel pressured or even forced into them?

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TCG wallpaper plus new fan art - Fri, 01 Feb 2008 19:04:00 EST


Even if you don't play the official Trading Card Game, the latest wallpaper released is certainly worth a download. While you're there grabbing your new desktop background, you might as well peruse some of the newest fan artwork. My personal pick is the brooding dwarf, submitted by http://fdiskart.deviantart.com.

Don't forget: Blizzard is currently seeking top notch screenshots from Auchindoun: Auchenai Crypts. Whether you focus on the beauty and architecture, or are taking real-time combat shots, Blizzard wants your submissions.

Not feeling confident in your photographic talents? Check out our mini-guide to getting the perfect snapshot.

Do you like to use World of Warcraft desktop wallpapers? If so, do you prefer the official ones released by Blizzard, or so you have another source for your decorative needs?

Bonus: If you are a fan of Chris Jahosky's Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn webcomic, I strongly recommend checking out the latest wallpaper he's released.

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Blizzard puts Peons4Hire out of work - Fri, 01 Feb 2008 18:00:00 EST
This is probably the best news I've heard so far all year: Blizzard has won an injunction against Peons4Hire (we'll say their name now), which means that the one-time constant chat spammer is now legally banned from interfering with the game. It sounds like Blizzard sued on nearly all the causes that were speculated on a while ago, and as a result, have outright won their case: according to the injunction, In Game Dollar (the company that advertised Peons4Hire) is "permanently enjoined" from "making any use of the World of Warcraft in-game communication or chat system to advertise any website, business, or commercial endeavor."

Which means, in no uncertain terms, that we'll never see those ingame tells again. The only drawback is that, as Virtually Blind says, this is an injunction, not a decision, and so it doesn't have the "precedential weight" that a decision might-- Blizzard can't really legally use this to walk away with an easy win in the next case that comes along. But over the course of a few different settlements, including stuff happening in other virtual worlds, there is a legal precedent being established against using one company's service without permission to advertise another.

I'm just happy that, after being driven nuts by all that chat spam for so long, Blizzard was able to walk away with a solid victory.

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Insider Trader: Crafting a future for professions - Fri, 01 Feb 2008 17:00:00 EST


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

Are you a tradesman -- or are you simply a player who crafts? The determining factor is yet another question: Do you care? For the vast majority of WoW players, crafting is a means to an end: better gear, more money, consumables and resources. For others, though, crafting is a game in and of itself. The WoW tradesman relishes the entire process of crafting: training up, obtaining rare recipes, scrounging mats, actually crafting items, researching new possibilities, interacting with customers ... an enjoyable pursuit in its own right.

WoW's crafting system is by no means complex or even especially compelling - and perhaps even anachronistic. This week, Insider Trader brings you musings on professions inspired by well-known MMORPG blogger Tobold's predictions on the shape of MMORPGs in the year 2020. We have a lot for you to ponder and pontificate about - so please come join the conversation, after the break.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Crafting a future for professions

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