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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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It came from the Blog: We flamed the Eastern Kingdoms - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST


The Eastern Kingdoms were flamed and we had fun doing it. Our It came from the Blog event last Saturday was actually two events: an all levels event followed by a mounted/flightpathed event. Many players took my advice and created Death Knights, giving the lowbies plenty of protection for the run through dangerous territories. Mike Schramm, Allison Robert and Daniel Whitcomb all joined in on the fun.

The lowbie event honored all of the flames from Falconwing Square to Hammerfall, with a couple of desecrations on the side. The mounted event took to the flightpaths and completed the Flame Keeper of Eastern Kingdoms achievement. I also got the unofficial achievement for running into every fence along the way. Running + typing = hard.

A pictorial journal of our fun is in the gallery below. And I used the wow.com addon to upload my activity for the event. I wish I had used the in-game blog feature to annotate it, but I will next time. If you use the addon to upload your It came from the Blog activity, it will show up in the guild log as well.

I'm thinking of trying video for future events. Maybe Turpster can give me some pointers. Allison does a good job with her videos, too. Would you watch It came from the Blog videos?

It came from the Blog: We flamed the Eastern Kingdoms originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Ain't no silverback girl - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST


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

The Daily Quest: Ain't no silverback girl originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Why won't Blizzard let me change my race? - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST


I want an Orc. More specifically, I want my Blood Elf Death Knight to become an Orc. I know, I should've chosen the right race to begin with, but he's now Level 80 and it's too late. I don't want a pretty boy Death Knight, which was obviously a bad idea to begin with considering they infest Dalaran and the rest of Azeroth like metrosexual cockroaches, but I made a mistake and I regret it. I seriously want to change my character's race. I'd consider rerolling, but it's a Death Knight.

Paid character customization is nice and all, but it won't let me change my race. At first I was fine with it because I thought it would create all sorts of problems from quests to factions to racial mounts... but then Blizzard drops a bombshell of an announcement: faction changes are coming to Azeroth! Implicitly, this meant being able to change races, too. Nethaera squashes that idea with a resounding 'No'. Players could only change to the opposing faction's race, which is weird. No, really, it's weird. I mean, I'll be able to transform my Horde Blood Elf Death Knight into an Alliance Draenei but I can't make him an Orc? Why not?

Continue reading Why won't Blizzard let me change my race?

Why won't Blizzard let me change my race? originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Twisted Nether Wiki compiles a nice list of WoW utilities - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST
A few folks over at the Twisted Nether Wiki have done a great thing and compiled a nice full list of all of those little online WoW utilities that we talk about every once in a while. From character improvement tools like Be Imba! to resources like Kaliban's Loot Lists and even humor sites like WoWBash, if it's online, WoW-related, and worth visiting more than once, it's on this list.

And of course it's a wiki, so even if it's not on that list, you can add it. But it is cool to have all of those resources in one place -- we mention them, obviously, when there are updates to share, but if you don't bookmark them when you hear about them, they might have fallen off your radar. There are so many great and well-designed tools out there for players to use that something like this, tracking them all, is great to have.

Twisted Nether Wiki compiles a nice list of WoW utilities originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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European free character migration now open - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 15:50:00 EST
Good news, Europe is once again feeling some free character migration love. Blizzard has announced a week-long migration event in an attempt to balance out factions on specific servers. So if you've been looking to migrate, this might well be a good time.

Free character migration is available from July 1st till the 7th which gives you a week to decide if you make the move or stay put. As usual, Blizzard could well end the migration when their desired faction balance on each realm is achieved.

So who can move and where? If you're Alliance and currently playing on the European realms Burning Legion, Grim Batol, Ravencrest, Sylvanas and Silvermoon (PvE) you can move to the Horde-heavy servers of Magtheridon and Vek'nilash. Meanwhile if you're Horde, and on Al'Akir, Kazzak, Magtheridon and Stormscale, you have the option of transferring to the Alliance-dominated realms of Burning Blade, Neptulon, Tarren Mill and Trollbane.

European free character migration now open originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 15:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Small changes - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST


Each week, The Care and Feeding of Warriors looks at the warrior class, the dizzying highs, the devastating lows, and the agony and ecstasy of plate wearing, rage using toons everywhere in Azeroth, Outland and Northrend. Matthew Rossi is our slightly demented, hirsute guide to all things warrior. We're not kidding, the guy's really hairy. Like a sasquatch, really.

Okay, first off, a confession: I'm cheating on my fury spec.

I have been since the option to have dual talent specialization came out, actually. See, I tanked all through original WoW and The Burning Crusade (to be fair, I tanked as an arms or fury warrior because I could in MC and BWL) and so I figured, what the heck, I'll go prot for my offspec and tank some heroics. After an initial hiccough where I actually specced arms for some fights and fury for others, I settled back into a standard prot build for tanking heroics for friends. Then summer hit, and we all know what happens in summer: people suddenly want to go outside and froilic in the sunshine and you're sitting there waiting to raid with 22 people and no tanks. So what do you do?

Well, you strap on all that offspec tanking gear you collected 'just in case' and you tank Ulduar, that's what you do. Over the past couple of weeks I've tanked more than I've been DPS That's not the problem, however. It's not that I've been tanking that has me bothered... it's that I liked it. A lot.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Small changes

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Small changes originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scattered Shots: Climbing Hunter talent trees - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST
Welcome to Scattered Shots. I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from The Hunting Lodge and I'll be your tour guide each Thursday as we explore what makes our Hunters tick and how we can make them better.

I've read comments here, over on the Official Forums, and other Hunter blogs and forums saying how Blizzard is forcing Hunters to spec either as Survival or Marksmanship. I always find this a hard argument to support, especially since it is Blizzard that has continued to give us three different talent trees that we can spec into. But as always, there seems to be a preferred talent spec.

To me the blame isn't Blizzard but us Hunters always looking to squeeze out every ounce of DPS out of our class and remain on top of the damage meters. (Go ahead let the flames begin, but hopefully you'll give me a chance here.) We go out of our way looking, experimenting, and testing different build combinations to find the one magic build that gives us top DPS. Once we have found that, we tend to forget that we really can play all three builds. No, they all won't perform the same. And if you are in a progressive, hardcore, min/max raiding guild, well then stick with the spec-du-jour. But if you are like the majority of the players out there, you probably want to play something that better fits your play style. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it has to fit just right.

So let's look at the different Talent Trees, discuss a bit about what makes each one tick. Then look at the currently recommended builds and shot rotations for each spec.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: Climbing Hunter talent trees

Scattered Shots: Climbing Hunter talent trees originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Warlock Q&A with Ghostcrawler and pals - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 13:17:00 EST


Blizzard just released their Warlock Q&A with Ghostcrawler and pals. This follows in the series of many others, which you can find in WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2.

Some of the highlights of this Q&A session include:
  • Blizzard is considering giving different models to Warlock pets.
  • Blizzard wants to make the Warlock experience more different from that of a Mage.
  • Affliction and Destruction are doing good damage, Demonology is lagging behind.
  • Warlocks are underrepresented in PvP currently, this needs to be fixed.
  • Basic idea for the new Soul Shard system: Soul Shards will provide a combat (damage) boost, but should not be something Locks need to farm. This change will be beyond Patch 3.2., with more information ideally at BlizzCon 2009. A new Soul Should system sure would be a Cataclysmic event, right?
  • Soulshatter cooldown is going to be lowered to 3 minutes.
Read the full Q&A after the break.

Continue reading Warlock Q&A with Ghostcrawler and pals

Warlock Q&A with Ghostcrawler and pals originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 13:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Shadow Priest questions answered - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST

Shadow Priests have been up in arms all over the official forums recently, and it seems to have reached a bit of a breaking point. Rather than waiting for the official Priest Q&A in the developers' Q&A series, Ghostcrawler chimed into an unofficial Q&A thread to give some insight. Since it's unofficial, the questions asked are very direct and specific, aimed at the posters in that thread rather than the playerbase as a whole. Still, the tone is mostly the same: Don't expect major announcements while reading the thread, it's more a discussion on class direction and philosophy rather than patch news. That being said, there is some good news in the whole thing. Some bad news, too.

I strongly recommend reading the whole thing on the official forums, but I'm going to pull out some bits and pieces here.

The first big thing that jumped out to me was in response to a question regarding Haste and DoTs. Have they considered DoTs scaling with Haste? Ghostcrawler says... yes! It's something they're apparently actively discussing. That doesn't guarantee we'll see it, but the fact that they're talking about it is promising.

Continue reading Shadow Priest questions answered

Shadow Priest questions answered originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: A Death Knight's Tale - The Battle for Light's Hope Chapel Cinematic Movie - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST


Today's WoW Moviewatch is a little bit of a repeat, but in an odd way. Shadowline1990's A Death Knight's Tale - The Battle for Light's Hope Chapel Cinematic Movie is another revisit version of the Death Knight closing cinematics. You might recognize Shadowline1990 as the guy who made The Culling of Stratholme - a WoW Cinematic Movie. This movie is, admittedly, more of the same idea.

Shadowline1990 took pieces of the in-game animations and voiceovers, and tried to make it into a more compelling cinematic experience. Shadowline1990 isn't the first person to do this with the Death Knight storyline, though, and he's very upfront to say he gives credit to Invisusira for having given the story this treatment first.

I'm not sure if Shadowline1990 knocked A Death Knight's tale out of the park the same way he did The Culling of Stratholme. While I think he did a (generally) good job with it, it didn't scream to me the same way Culling did. The video is attractive and well pieced together. The final product feels a little too-full. It seemed to drag on a little bit, but some of that is caused by the slower cadence of the voice acting.

In other great news, Shadowline1990 reports that his follow-up to Culling of Stratholme piece is nearly done. So, ultimately, there's a lot of good news to be had from him right now.

WoW Moviewatch: A Death Knight's Tale - The Battle for Light's Hope Chapel Cinematic Movie originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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China's gold farming ban not really a ban - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST

The other day, we reported on China's recent ban on trading real currency for virtual goods, and it was hailed as the end of gold selling in the MMO world. Unfortunately, it may not actually play out that way. While this would put a stop to some gold selling, it won't stop all of it thanks to a convenient little loophole.

That loophole is the fact that their law has no jurisdiction over foreign transactions. While it absolutely can put a stop to these transactions on Chinese soil using Chinese servers and Chinese currency, Chinese goldfarmers can still happily (well, probably not happily) scrounge up gold on American realms and sell it to American players. Most likely, this new law won't have an impact on the gold selling industry whatsoever. The people being impacted are those crafting their games on a model of microtransactions rather than a subscription model. Developers, not gold farmers, will be harmed by this. A game like Free Realms is no longer a feasible option in China.

Continue reading China's gold farming ban not really a ban

China's gold farming ban not really a ban originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Nightfall - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


Matt took this screenshot while leveling a tauren alt through Mulgore. I'm not sure if this is a bug or just a good angle, but it looks completely natural, as if the shadows themselves were encroaching on Thunder Bluff, feeding off the essence of all that is good and pure until the residents are nothing but shades of their former selves. Forgive me: I'm in a horror-movie mood ever since discovering that this abomination is apparently inhabiting the sewers under my favorite restaurant. (Warning! Link is not for those with weak stomachs or people who have recently played Dead Space and still have nightmares about amorphous blobs coming out of walls!)

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: Nightfall originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Preparing for BlizzCon: Minicards -- social networking in person - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST


BlizzCon approaches! Preparing for BlizzCon is your regular source for tips on how best to prepare for Blizzard's gaming extravaganza.

The last time I went to BlizzCon was two years ago and I was woefully unprepared. I regretted multiple times that I didn't have some form of business card with me. But this year I am ready if Tommy Tallarico approaches the WoW.com writers again asking for cards. Squeeeeeeee!

It was particularly silly of me to not bring any sort of card, considering I went there to work. But even if you are only going to play, a minicard or the like is a very good idea. I used moo.com because they have a good reputation and a nice interface with flickr.

Continue reading Preparing for BlizzCon: Minicards -- social networking in person

Preparing for BlizzCon: Minicards -- social networking in person originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Is Blizzard doing faction change the right way? - Thu, 02 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST


Blizzard can pull off some real surprises sometimes. This whole thing about Paid Faction Changes came totally from left field, and even though we know players have been asking for it I don't think any of us really expected that it would happen. For the precognitive among us, did you think they'd do it this way, though? For one thing, was the demand for such a service so huge that Blizzard opted to devote precious developer time to making it happen? It's definitely not an easy thing to pull off.

Despite Blizzard answering some concerns about the future service, there are still more questions relating to Achievements, quests, reputation, and more. What happens to faction-specific mounts? Lore nerds are boggled by the story behind a possible change -- can everything really be explained by some Goblin invention? That seems like such a cop-out, doesn't it? Wouldn't it be better (and cooler) to implement a long and epic quest chain to change factions? Sure it would be confusing to see Orcs hoisting the Alliance banner or Humans yelling 'For the Horde!', but wouldn't it be easier to implement?

Lore-wise, it makes more sense, too. It's not uncommon to see particular races switch allegiance. It's much stranger to transmogrify from, say, a Troll to a Gnome. What are your thoughts on this planned service? Are you happy to have it as a paid option, which would be quick and painless (although your wallet may say otherwise) or would you prefer a long-winded in-game quest chain? Maybe you have some ideas on how it could work. Sound off!

Breakfast Topic: Is Blizzard doing faction change the right way? originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 02 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Kologarn, Iron Council, Auriaya - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 22:00:00 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.


The time is nigh. You've brought down the hellish tank called Flame Leviathan, released Razorscale from unimagine torment, and put down Ignis the Furnace Master. With fire in your bellies and laughter in your voice, you've shuddered and deconstructed the Deconstructor. You've right clicked the teleportation widget, and have brought yourself to the Antechamber of Ulduar.

We'll be talking, in this installment of Ready Check, about:

The first trash mobs in this area aren't too bad. You can have a Warlock banish the elemental, which might save your tank a little angst. When you see the big guys (Rune Etched Sentries), you might want to brush up a bit of coordination. The big guys place fire runes on the ground. In the grand tradition of raids everywhere, don't stand in the runes' circles or you'll die. The big guys also jump around, so this is a "cuddle" fight -- if everyone's standing on top of the tank, you'll have a little easier time of it.

I actually like to go up the stairs right away, and go face down . . .

Continue reading Ready Check: Kologarn, Iron Council, Auriaya

Ready Check: Kologarn, Iron Council, Auriaya originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Faction Changes Q&A - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 21:40:00 EST


Perhaps the biggest news in the past week -- aside from 'Cataclysm', that is -- hasn't been Patch 3.2 itself but a service Blizzard has apparently been working on for some time. Paid faction changes. We received quite a number of tips about it and even saw our story make a cameo on Attack of the Show. Players have been asking for something like this for a while, and there have been incidents of entire guilds rerolling from scratch to defect.

Of course, with the shocking news comes a lot of questions, so Nethaera hops on over to the forums and answered a few concerns that players had. The biggest bummer for me was that I couldn't change race within my own faction! So... let me get this straight... I can change faction and become a totally different race but I can't swap my Blood Elf Death Knight into an Orc? Blasphemy! Unfortunately Blizzard doesn't think choice of race isn't something you can regret unlike faction choice. Anyway, more answers after the jump...

Continue reading Faction Changes Q&A

Faction Changes Q&A originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 21:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blogatelle signs off - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 21:00:00 EST
One more major WoW-related blog has closed its doors. Too Many Annas, among others, notes that Blogatelle has called it quits, saying that Sean and Jess over there both feel they've come to the point where they've run out of things to say. While the blog itself is definitely a nice achievement -- it was an excellent blog centered on roleplaying (we've mentioned it before here on the site as an excellent resource for RPers) -- they will unfortunately leave a number of series behind, including the Katafray project, which followed a roleplaying Paladin up through the levels in Azeroth. As Anna says, they definitely deserve a hat tip, both for giving the RP community a solid and steady blogging voice, and for being accessible enough to bring in new RPers.

This closing follows the shuttering of a few other WoW blogs lately, most famously those of BRK and Resto4Life. You might say three is a trend, sure, but on the other hand, we've seen a lot of blogs and podcasts grow as well lately. Four years in, there are going to be all kinds of people in the community, in all kinds of places regarding their interest to the game. Anyone who sees a few bloggers step away to do other things and cites it as a sign that the game is on its last legs needs to keep looking. We're sorry to lose some popular bloggers, but it sure looks from here like the community is stronger than ever.

Blogatelle signs off originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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July's Brew of the Month: Stranglethorn Brew - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST

It's July 1st, which means you can head out to Nagrand and pick up your free gems the nearest mailbox and pick up this month's brew, assuming you have a Brew of the Month membership! This month we have the Stranglethorn Brew, which is certainly more interesting than the various "teehee you farted/burped/barfed/burped again" brews. Upon drinking the Stranglethorn Brew, you get a buff called Jungle Madness! Exclamation point included. It causes your character to hallucinate for awhile, and be attacked by spectral Jungle Gnomes. If you don't have a Brew of the Month membership, you can watch a video from Wowhead poster VBub that shows the brew in action at the end of this post. Just click the 'read more' link at the bottom.

Assuming they don't change the brews for next year, our beertastic journey will be coming to an end pretty soon. There's only one brew left that we haven't seen, which is the Draenic Pale Ale. After that, we're back to the Binary Brew unless they decide to put out a whole new batch of 12 brews, and I somehow doubt that will happen. Is anybody else hoping the Draenic Pale Ale is truly epic, considering it marks the entire year we've been drinking these crazy things?

Continue reading July's Brew of the Month: Stranglethorn Brew

July's Brew of the Month: Stranglethorn Brew originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Guild shooting season 3, fires director (not really) - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST


Our friends over at The Guild are hard at work on season 3 -- if you've been following their Twitter feeds, you'll have seen that shooting is underway en masse, and while we haven't yet heard when they'll be done, it sounds like they're already keeping some long hours over there. Such long hours, in fact, that tempers are apparently flaring on the set -- as you can see above, director and editor Sean Becker has become a victim of Felicia Day's (substantial?) wrath, and been fired from the show.

Ok, not really -- they're just joking around. But even if he's kidding about what's in that "guild 3 master" box, we at least know there is a season 3 master, and that sooner than ever, we'll be able to see just what happened when Codex took that out-of-body sprint at the end of season 2. Can't wait to see it.

The Guild shooting season 3, fires director (not really) originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: They really are - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST


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

The Daily Quest: They really are originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: You are slightly more prepared than you were - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST


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

That's a trailer we haven't seen in awhile, huh? It's relevant today, I promise! Besides, a little nostalgia is always fun. If I have one grievance with Wrath of the Lich King's cinematic, it's that they didn't give us an incredibly corny catchphrase to spout for nearly two years.

Discolando asked...

"Is there any substance to the rumor I've recently read that patch 3.3 will contain another yet unknown raid instance, and patch 3.4 will contain Icecrown Citadel? It does seem more logical to 'finish' the expansion with the advertised antagonist instead of a deux ex machina like patch 2.4 gave us."

Continue reading The Queue: You are slightly more prepared than you were

The Queue: You are slightly more prepared than you were originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard files trademark for "Cataclysm" - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 16:15:00 EST


Is "Cataclysm" the name of Blizzard's next-gen MMO? This Tumblr blogger has uncovered trademark applications filed by Blizzard in the fields of computer games, paper-based products, and online entertainment services. Those trademarks are on the USPTO's website, and we can confirm that Rod A. Rigole has been employed by Blizzard as legal counsel previously, so these trademark applications, all filed late last week on June 26th, are all real.

Of course, that doesn't confirm that we're actually talking about the next-gen MMO, or that Blizzard is planning on releasing a game called "Cataclysm" at all (StarCraft: Ghost was also trademarked, and we all know what came out of that). It could be another WoW expansion (though you'd think that WoW would be in there somewhere if that was the case), or it could be a completely separate game. Not that we know of one, but Blizzard certainly is working on all kinds of projects that we haven't yet heard about officially.

So. "Cataclysm." Trademark Blizzard Entertainment. Keep an eye out for it at BlizzCon this year.

Thanks, Ryan!

Update: We noticed the domain wowcataclysm.com expired on June 26th, 2009. The domain was previously held and parked out in Australia. June 26th is the same day the trademark was filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office. The domain is also now held by GoDaddy, who we know handles Blizzard domains. That's just a little too much coincidence for us to stay quiet about. It's entirely possible Blizzard just acquired the domain name.

Blizzard files trademark for "Cataclysm" originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 16:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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European Fields of Honor Loot Card winners announced - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST


This morning's EU loot card giveaway had over 1500 entries! Not bad for the hottest day of the year and midweek! I'm quite impressed and there were some pretty funny comments in there as well. A lot of people want the giant, er, male rooster.

Well we /rolled and came up with three lucky winners who will be receiving an email shortly. You might want to check out Turpster's informative video post from this last night which walks you through how redeem loot cards as well as gratuiteous scenes of a giant chicken being ridden by a gnome. Definitely NSFW.

So, without further a do, /drumroll. The lucky winners are:
Max is the proud owner of the must-have chicken mount El Pollo Grande
Chickyhines
can now bash the Ogre Pinata to his heart's content
Maephisto
has bagged the groovy Path of Cenarius
Congratulations to all and thanks once again to Tom at Upper Deck International's UK office.

European Fields of Honor Loot Card winners announced originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: All about soul stones - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST


The Moon has aligned with Mars, and the cosmic energies have infused this week's Blood Pact with diabolical tidbits of Warlock-related content that will sear the souls of mortal men! This week, Blood Pact invites you to sit in on an actual gaming session...

Nick W.: I'd like to roll a Craft(Writing) check to make a column.
Game Master: Alright, make your check.
*Click clatter of rolled dice...*
Nick W.: I rolled a four...
Game Master: You create an episode of Blood Pact.
Nick W.: Damn!

Though it may have been watered down by the "bring the player, not the class" mantra, Warlocks are a utility class at heart. We can rock the DPS as hard as anybody else, but our real value comes in our summons, our debuffs, and our Soul Stones. That's what I'd like to talk about this week.

Proper Soul Stoning is an important topic. One which I've never seen covered to my satisfaction. The general one line of advice everybody gives to new Warlocks is "make sure the healer has a Soul Stone." But that's about as helpful as "cast spells at things to make them die." Sometimes it's not true, and even when it is true, the fact of the matter is a great deal more complicated than the single sentence of instruction can convey.

So what is proper Soul Stoning procedure? Soul Shards are easy enough to come by these days that there really isn't any excuse for not being prepared to Soul Stone whenever it's appropriate, but when is that? And when it is appropriate, who is the best candidate for having the stone cast on them? The latter question is far too often ignored, particularly in raid situations where there's more than one healer to choose from.

Continue reading Blood Pact: All about soul stones

Blood Pact: All about soul stones originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Raid Rx: Importance of group assigned healing - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. Let's talk about assigned group healing.

Group healing is one of those assignments that's often necessary but also easily forgotten. Many raid leaders whether they're leading pickup groups or guild raids often forget to establish specific group healing assignments. I include myself in the category of forgetful leaders.

Group healing back then

Naxx really spoiled us. It was extremely easy to just tell healers to raid heal and brute force heal our way through the various encounters. Sure we'd have dedicated tank healers but I know I never designated specific group healers.

Why?

Because there was never a need to. Raid healing was very simple. Coordination wasn't even needed at all. Target players, hit healing spells and call it a day. It was quite easy to "faceroll" your way to victory as a healer. Healers did not have to be assigned to heal group 1 or group 2 or so on because a smart heal would just happen to land on a player who desperately needed it (Chain Heal or Circle of Healing as an example).

Continue reading Raid Rx: Importance of group assigned healing

Raid Rx: Importance of group assigned healing originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Rookie: You're doing it wrong - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST
New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

It takes all kinds (of players) to make a (game) world - but now that Blizzard is shaping game content specifically to slingshot players into endgame raiding content, it's easy to get the impression that raiding is "the" way to play WoW. New players seem expected to sail through the levels and zip gleefully into PuGs or a raiding guild. All those "accessible" raids and achievements and gear are suddenly sounding more and more like "requirements." DPS minimums, required achievements and Armory checks serve as your credentials to get into groups. Everywhere a new level 80 turns, there's something new to measure up to.

So what if you don't know where to start? What if you miss the mark in the wrong group with the wrong players - will you forever be known as a "scrub"? Will you find yourself blacklisted from the PuG circuit? Is it still practically possible to gear up and catch up? What if you can't get into a successful progression guild? Will you be labeled an oddball or outsider? What if you can't break in - or what if you decide you don't want to?

Continue reading WoW Rookie: You're doing it wrong

WoW Rookie: You're doing it wrong originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Esc4pe - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST



Today's WoW Moviewatch is the first music video created by MozQ. It's a music video called Esc4pe and features both original characters, and a guest appearance by L80ETC. Mozq is the author who previously created Keep Browsing and Keep Browsing 2. Both of those movies were pretty well received, so it was exciting to seem something new from MozQ. I think Esc4pe lived up to those expectations, even if I'm not quite sure how I should be pronouncing the movie's name.

According to MozQ, Esc4pe was created as an attempt to master the tools in After Effects. He also said he regretted his music choice about halfway through production, but I actually feel like it suits the imagery pretty well. The armor and character choice seems to support the hard-rock feel of the song. Ultimately, though, I think MozQ demonstrated some strong growth, and I definitely think he's got the hang of the software.

MozQ warns that the ending might feel abrupt, since the goal of the video was exploring After Effects. I guess he felt he'd explored enough. Still, if I hadn't read his explanation of the movie, I'm not sure I would have noticed. I had just chalked it up to an editorial decision. In the end, it was a fun video, and I hope MozQ puts out another one quickly.

Click here to check out Esc4pe.


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


WoW Moviewatch: Esc4pe originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Three's a crowd - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST
Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about how to play a Rogue in 3v3.

As part of the new design for the upcoming Arena Season 7, Blizzard is planning to remove the ability for a player's 2v2 rating to count towards their eligibility for the current season's rewards. This means that unless you're playing in the 3v3 or 5v5 arena brackets, you won't qualify for any of the newest gear. As a class who's dominance has always been most prominent in the 2's bracket, I believe this change hurts the Rogue the most.

We're one of the worst classes in 5v5, and that's a trend that has continued since Season 1. Luckily, we do have viability in 3v3. When combined with a caster and a healer, Rogues provide the leverage it takes to give their teammates an opening to unload powerful spells into the target while stunned and their healer is Blinded. While our problems with low survivability are more evident when there are 2-3 DPS pounding on us, with intelligent cooldown usage and an aggressive playstyle, Rogues can conquer the 3's bracket.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Three's a crowd

Encrypted Text: Three's a crowd originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Unnatural predation - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


Long, long ago (college) in a galaxy far, far away (Wisconsin), my best friend and I came up with an interesting thought experiment. We would build an open-plan zoo, with plenty of different environments but no barriers between the exhibits. All the animals would be allowed to mingle, and we would let the food chain take its course. Who would be the true king of predators, the tiger or the polar bear? Could piranhas devour dolphins? And would a colony of fire ants be able to defeat a nest of killer bees? These are the sort of things you think about when you're a political science major, while the engineering and science students are busy learning useful things that will make them money. Soterios of <Better Than You> on Hydraxis has solved at least one of these hypothetical questions -- panthers will always defeat penguins. But what about penguins armed with assault rifles versus panthers with chainsaws?

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: Unnatural predation originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Guildwatch: Paydirt in the drama mine - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST


Picture it: you're raiding along with a PuG run by a guild called, say, Logos et Ethos. Things are going well -- your first piece of loot drops, and people start rolling on it. But then the master looter from the guild throws this in guild chat: "we will begin the bidding at 100g." Yes, apparently it's an auction run, and they didn't tell anyone. The scene above unfolds -- people curse out the guild, leave the raid, and Poemaster pulls out the caps lock to try and keep his guild's secret fundraiser going.

That drama and more in this week's Guildwatch, along with stories of downed bosses and recruiting from around the realms. Send us your tips (especially drama, we always love a good chat screenshot) to guildwatch@wow.com, and click through the link below to read more.

Continue reading Guildwatch: Paydirt in the drama mine

Guildwatch: Paydirt in the drama mine originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Would you change your faction? - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST


Earlier this week we reported on Nethaera's stunning revelation that faction changes were in the works. Yeah, I was just as amazed. It might just be an idea at the moment, a work in progress which we might not get access to until a patch or even the next expansion. The logistics are mind-boggling. Would this be a literally blending of species into factions so Humans could join the Horde and Taurens the Alliance or would your character literally be transformed into another species? How exactly would the lore work around that? We've had character customisation for a while now and the ability to change gender but changing faction and possibly even species. That a whole new kettle of fish.

So, constant readers, in the wake of this bombshell I'm very eager to know what you think. Does the very idea of changing faction seem contrary to how the game works? Would you consider jumping factions? Would you rather see characters choose whether to become Horde or Alliance? Could you change your very species to join the opposing faction? From a lore perspective, how do you think would this work and, indeed, does it need to have a basis in lore? After all no one questioned the gender change. What do you think?

Breakfast Topic: Would you change your faction? originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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UPDATE: Fields of Honor Loot Card EU giveaway - Wed, 01 Jul 2009 05:00:00 EST


I hinted at this the other day but Upper Deck International here in the UK has given WoW.com a set of shiny, brand spanking new loot cards from the latest Fields of Honor TCG expansion, which went on sale yesterday.

We're giving them away to you, our lovely EU readers. All you need to do is leave a comment in this post before 5PM GMT (6PM CET) today, July 1st, 2009. One of the Big Giant Heads (aka our beloved editors) will then randomly choose which of our three lucky readers will win one card each. Be sure to comment with an e-mail address you check often and have easy access to, because that's how we will be contacting our chosen winners with the codes.

We have three codes to give away, one for each of the cards in the set. That's the awesome chicken mount El Pollo Grande, the Ogre Pinata and the groovy Path of Cenarius.

The only caveat is you must have a European WoW account or the cards won't work (sorry to our American brethren) so please make sure before you enter, okay? Also, you can only enter once and, yes, we will know if you enter more than that. Good luck to all who participate!

Thanks to Tom at Upper Deck International's UK office for the codes.

UPDATE: The competition is now closed! We'll be announcing the winners later on this evening.

UPDATE: Fields of Honor Loot Card EU giveaway originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 01 Jul 2009 05:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TurpsterVision: TCG Loot and Huge Roosters - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST

We can't believe it either - Turpster has been let loose on WoW.com to bring you videos from in and around the World of Warcraft! You've heard him on the WoW Insider Show, and now see him on TurpsterVision right here on WoW.com.

Here at WoW.com we give away TCG loot all the time and TurpsterVision should be no different. If you've always wanted to smash an ogre till his sweet delectable guts scatter all over the floor then today might just be your lucky day! Today you get the chance to win one of the new Fields of Honor loot codes by just leaving a comment to this week's TurpsterVision (Being a limey Brit this is open to EU only as the codes apparently only work over here...sorry)!

Read on below the break for more information on how to win your very own Fields of Honor loot and for an image which is NSFW. That's right ladies, I've whacked it out due to popular demand and snapped off a few shots of my massive beast. (If that doesn't intrigue you into clicking then I don't know what will!)

Continue reading TurpsterVision: TCG Loot and Huge Roosters

TurpsterVision: TCG Loot and Huge Roosters originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2: Enter Trag Highmountain - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST


When I'm not playing WoW, I'm usually found indulging in manga and have been devouring the Warcraft series ever since the Sunwell Trilogy came out. Of all the characters introduced through comics and manga, the most tragic next to Anveena has to be Trag Highmountain. I've watched over the last year as more characters from the print franchises began to appear in-game, and there's something about seeing them translated into the game which gives me an amazing thrill.

We've met Anveena and her soul mate Kalec, Tyri and Jorad as well as Broll and that Blood Elf chick whose always hanging around Varian, so I've often wondered when Trag would turn up. It's inevitable given how his quest to Icecrown is in keeping with Wrath of the Lich King. Imagine my surprise when I logged on to the PTR for the first time this morning to find one Tauren Death Knight standing guard over one of the incapacitated forms of one of the Coliseum bosses.

Yes, it's our old friend Trag, now a level 80 NPC. While seeming hostile, he makes no move to attack the Alliance or speak, he just seems to stand near Gormok the Impaler. I'm sure he'll get some lines by the time Patch 3.2 goes live though. Having not yet read Warcraft: Legends' final volume, I'm curious to find out what happened to him but it's nice to know he's finally free of the Lich King's thrall.

Patch 3.2: Enter Trag Highmountain originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fast travel, and why it's hard to find in MMO games - Tue, 30 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST
Rock Paper Shotgun has an interesting piece up looking at travel in massively multiplayer games, and while the analysis is really about travel in all MMOs, of course World of Warcraft gets placed front and center -- with the notable exceptions of Mages and Warlock summons, it's a game that squarely places you in its vast world, and asks you to make some solid decisions about where you want to be. While travel has certainly gotten easier (and will continue to do so), it's still an important part of the world -- sometimes, when you're in a backwater zone and your hearthstone is down and there's no summons available to you, you've just got to get on a griffon and put the time in to fly around.

Why is that? Why can't we just teleport around at will to places we've been before (a la Fallout 3 or Fable 2, if you've ever played those games)? Why does Blizzard make us traverse the wide world? RPS lands on two solutions: either they just want you to play the game more (certainly possible, especially since big worlds with long travel times and subscription fees are a trademark of the MMO genre), or they're just being jerks about it. But their panelists, and Blizzard, have offered one more suggestion: they want this world to feel vast, and one way to do that is to make you move around it rather than warp anywhere you want at a moment's notice.

Then again, that's some deep psychology, and sometimes you just want to get in an instance with your friends and fight (hence the recent changes to summoning anywhere, queueing from anywhere, and so on). Travel definitely serves a purpose in MMOs, but the genre has shown in the past few years that while instant travel all the time might shrink the world a little too much, sometimes you just need to get to where you want to be.

[via Slashdot]

Fast travel, and why it's hard to find in MMO games originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 30 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading Clarification on upcoming Engineering changes in 3.2

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: The Craft Dinner gang

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

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