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Guildwatch: "10 guilds kicked me in a row" - Wed, 03 Sep 2008 00:01:00 EST


The above screenshot is a little hard to read, and for that we apologize. But it comes from Diablo of Stormscale -- apparently they had a healer who /afked in the middle of a raid for about 30 minutes, and when he got switched out of the raid for a Resto Shaman got a little testy. He says he's going to go do his dailies while he adds up the "pros and cons" of staying with the guild, and the GM solves his problem fast: "Here's the con." /gkick.

We have to admire that kind of quick decision making. After the break, more stories of guild drama and woe, and some good news, too -- downed reports and recruiting notices. Make sure to send in any guild news you see to wowguildwatch@gmail.com, and click the link to see this week's GW.

Continue reading Guildwatch: "10 guilds kicked me in a row"

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Zul'Aman bears to disappear with next content patch - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 19:00:00 EST

The Zul'Aman bear mount has been a popular treat -- popular enough that folks offer paid runs to get the bear mount. We already knew the chance to get the bear was going away when Wrath comes out. However, in the bad news category, Zarhym revealed over the weekend that bear mounts will no longer be obtainable when the content patch comes out.

While I know a lot of folks already have their bear mounts, in my opinion, this change kind of sucks. I have a small raiding Guild who I've been working with to get our bear mounts (with a few bumps along the way). Since we knew the earliest we'd lose our opportunity would be November, all of our planning has been focused on getting the bears this month and next. And now, that's changed without enough warning to alter our plans. Heck, I can't even plan since all I know about when the patch is coming out is "soon."

To be clear about it, the problem isn't that the chance to obtain the bear is going away. That's fair -- the timed event would be stupid easy after level 70. The problem is that Blizzard set one expectation (when Wrath comes out), and has now vastly reduced the opportunity without warning. That's a problem for me.

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Misery and company - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 18:00:00 EST

Yes, this may be the third post I've made in a few days that mentions the Shadow Priest talent Misery. You got a problem with that? Previously on "Eliah talks about Misery:" Misery gets nerfed in the beta from +1/2/3/4/5% spell damage, where it is now, down to +1/2/3% spell hit. Eliah complains that this makes it either required or useless. OK, now that you're all caught up, let's move forward.

In the comments on my last post, several people made the helpful observation that Misery isn't the only debuff that gives +spell hit against the mob. Balance Druids' Improved Faerie Fire is now going to give the same effect of +1/2/3% spell hit (the +melee/ranged hit is getting removed). And of course, in the new raid buff/debuff system, these effects will not stack. So you only need one Shadow priest or one Balance druid to give that +3% spell hit.

Continue reading Misery and company

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Forum post of the day: Hilarious scam email - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 17:00:00 EST
Have you ever wondered what one of those fake emails from "Blizzard" look like? The nastier ones are copies of real Blizzard emails, with the links subtly changed. Other scam emails are a bit more transparent, however.

While we've identified some red flags for you before, let's add a few more, shall we?

If the email refers to the patch you "must" download as "a mod one" then it might not be real.

If they have moved said patch to an external website, then you might want to worry.

If the reason for the move is because, "recently, Hackers have been trying to crack our folders and steal every future project" then it is time for you to roll on the ground laughing. Just hope that Hackers don't team up with the Boogeyman, or Terrorists!

If you are referred to as one of their "lovely members who do not understand" you should get a medal, really. Their repetitiveness is dizzying. Luckily, they will "explain it shortly" for you. I think someone needs a thesaurus (or a brain).

Continue reading Forum post of the day: Hilarious scam email

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Yet another scammer owned by Blue - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 16:30:00 EST
When it comes to the WoW forums, few things make me happier than seeing blue text truly and utterly own the trolls and other unsavory types that hang out there. Especially when it's a case of someone thinking they can lie to the GMs and Customer Service reps and get away with it. We've seen it before, but it is no less entertaining each time.

In this particular case, a level 70 Warrior (posting on his level 42 Mage alt) claims that he forgot to loot the Vial of Eternity from his guild's recent Kael'thas kill. He filed a GM ticket, and they refused to grant it to him, stating he should just go kill Kael again for it. Embers, the alt, goes to the forums to ask for this vial instead. EU Game Master and Customer Service Rep Xaldavan joins the show pretty quickly, asking for some necessary information to help him (her?) investigate the situation, even offering to give him the quest item if his claims are accurate.

As you can guess, they weren't accurate at all. In fact, the Warrior left the raid an entire hour before Kael'thas was actually killed. In the middle of a trash pull, too! You would think people would know by now that trying to scam a GM is silly. As Xaldavan said, they can see everything. Some of these people are very, very lucky that Blizzard's GMs tend to be merciful about these sorts of things.

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Riding Crop in flux - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 16:00:00 EST


The Riding Crop. If you're level 70 (and not a druid) you probably have one, and if not, why not? Jeez, just buy it from your friendly neighborhood leatherworker already; they have few enough ways to make money without you cheaping out. However, everyone's favorite mount-speed-increasing item is going to be changing a little bit in LK. Blizzard realized that it's "no fun" to be swapping your trinket around all the time, even with addons, and that it's relatively common to be stuck in combat with the Crop equipped when you really want to have your Bladefist's Breadth or whatever. So they wanted to get the Crop out of your trinket slots.

There was a brief period of time, reflected in some spells mined from the data files, when the Crop was going to be an item that would be right-clicked to enchant your mount with extra speed. This led to many people complaining that they would now have to buy one Crop per mount. Anyway, now that mounts are going to be learned instead of kept in the inventory, this doesn't work anymore, apparently. So Blizz is still undecided on what precisely to do with it. It does seem certain that it won't stick around in its current trinket form, and virtually certain that it won't disappear entirely, but everything else is up in the air. What do you think they should do?

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WoW Insider Show Episode 53: A dragon the size of your house - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 15:30:00 EST
Just as it does every Saturday, our weekly podcast went live over the weekend, and the recording of the show is now up on the WoW Radio website for listening. Michael Gray joined us for the first time on the show, and Turpster was aboard for the ride as usual. We chatted about a lot of the most popular stories from the last week in Warcraft, including:

It was a pretty packed show -- if you listened to the live feed, you know we had a little streaming problem in the beginning, but don't worry, because the recording is complete, so anything you missed then you can hear now. Additionally, if you hear anything that inspire you to write to us, please do: the email is theshow@wowinsider.com. Additionally, you can also look us up in iTunes -- if you haven't written a review of the show there yet, please do, as we're always hungry for feedback.

Enjoy the show, and we'll see you next week.

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Shifting Perspectives: Having fun with all Druid runs! - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 15:00:00 EST

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, takes a trip down memory lane, and looks once more at the crazy hijinks Druids get up to.

In the months before Burning Crusade was released, when players knew that the raiding rules were about to change and a new game-changing patch was imminent that would cause everyone to re-examine their specs and gear choices, many guilds eased up on the raiding focus a bit.

As the focus on raiding changed for some guilds, and players suddenly had a bunch of extra time on their hands, folks that had been raiding relaxed and looked for new ways to have fun.

Being WoW players, the desire to try new and wacky things just for the heck of it flourished.

Dire Maul tribute runs, Baron Rivendare speed mount run competitions, naked gnome raids on Hogger, and many other antics were seen.

Of all the classes out there, though, In my opinion, players that roll Druid style just seem to look for more fun and crazy ways to goof around and try to take on stuff together.

Sure, I'm biased. But while there are plenty of hybrid classes in the game, it just seems that it's always the Druids that I hear about going off and trying crazy things together.

For example, look at the evidence of Druid fun and games, from before the Burning Crusade as seen in this video from back in November of 2006.

More recently, of course, we had the infamous Murder of Crows that swept Dark Iron, terrorizing the Horde server wide. As far as I know, the Penny Arcade Alliance of guilds remain unchallenged after that one.

Doesn't that look like a lot of fun?

Well, here we are at the same point in the life of the game, where a new game-changing patch is imminent, a huge expansion of goodness is coming soon, and some raiders are relaxing a bit in anticipation... and looking for different ways to have fun.

Continue on after the break for more neat all Druid hijinks!

Continue reading Shifting Perspectives: Having fun with all Druid runs!

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Shadow Priests finally get love in the Wrath beta - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 14:30:00 EST

Shadow Priests have been eagerly anticipating some love in the Wrath Beta for a long time now, and we've finally received some feedback beyond a pat on the head and a "hold on a bit." Koraa has just posted some great news in a thread started by the ShadowPriest.com community.

While it won't fix all things, it's definitely a start, and a good one: Mind Flay's coefficient will be raised by roughly 30% "to start," and it will gain the ability to crit. Yes, that's right. The coefficient will be de-gutted, and it will benefit from crit. After months of nothing, this is like a ray of sunshine from the heavens. Koraa also mentions that they'll be looking at the rest of the Shadow tree, but states that most people agree the tree itself is fine, the issue is the Shadow spells themselves, which I will more or less agree with. While some new spells would be nice, the class is plenty functional with what they have assuming the numbers will be tuned properly, and our gear matches up with that.

Hopefully we'll be seeing the new and improved Mind Flay in the next beta build, but it may take a little longer than that since it will be a complete rebuild of the spell. As soon as it's in, I'll be back here raving about it, I promise.

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15 Minutes of Fame: Around the world playing World of Warcraft - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 14:00:00 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.

If you've ever wanted to quit your job, travel the world and play WoW whenever and wherever you please - take it from Caesar of US Dark Iron-H, it's as good as you'd ever dreamed it could be. In March 2007, Caesar sold his house, put the rest of his belongings in storage and hit the road. Since then, he's managed to keep his WoW account alive and has played on and off from his laptop and internet cafes all over the Pacific and Asia. So far, he's logged in from two dozen different countries on almost every sort of network issue you could imagine.

We caught up with Caesar in Kuala Lumpur to see if his travels are turning out to be as cool in practice as the idea was on the drawing board. (TLDR version: They are.)

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: Around the world playing World of Warcraft

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BigRedKitty: Silithid - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 13:00:00 EST


Daniel Howell contributes
BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

It's Starship Troopers time in Wrath of the Lich King beta, and that means another exoskeleton pet for the 51-point Beastmaster hunters: Silithids!

Yes, Silithids are Exotic pets and Marksman and Survivalists need not apply. Silithids are classified as Cunning pets, so you get a really nice selection of spells you're not going to have seen elsewhere. They're not PvE or PvP-specific, but can be build to focus more on one of these aspects than the other.

Honestly, any pet that looks more like Scourge than a Beast isn't going to find a place in our stable. But if you thought Ravagers just weren't freaky enough, then you're in for a treat.

You are invited to download the YouTube version (44MB) of this movie here, and the full-sized version (169MB) here.

As always, a great big Thank You to the WoW Insider editors for allowing us to publish this movie both here and on our little blog at the same time!
From his video guides to Karazhan For Hunter Dummies, nobody covers raid Hunters like BRK. Looking for more Hunter goodness? Check out our non-raid Hunter column, Scattered Shots or the WoW Insider Directory of Hunter Guides.

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Allow me to introduce my shield to your face - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 12:30:00 EST

Ghostcrawler posted fairly heavily on the Warrior forums the other day, and while Warriors are not especially my territory, something the crabman said reminded me of something I've really liked about Wrath so far. Referencing Gladiator, "Watch how Maximus uses his shield -- he isn't cowering behind it -- he's bashing people in the face with it. Shields should be a viable form of combat, not the option to avoid combat." This was said in the context of Protection possibly being viable in the arenas in the nebulous future (not anytime soon), but it reminded me of general playstyles anyway.

To some extent, Warriors have fought like this for quite awhile. Shield Bash, Shield Slam, things like that. It wasn't just Shield Block. However, none of that stuff hit very hard. Sure, Protection Warriors shouldn't be able to rock the DPS with their shield, but Shield Slam was more like Shield Bump. The higher block values and thus higher Shield Slam damage is exciting, and the addition of Sword and Board puts even more emphasis on the shield.

Continue reading Allow me to introduce my shield to your face

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WoW Moviewatch: The Way of Life - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 12:00:00 EST

Nathan Allen Pinard is known mainly as the composer for projects by Oxhorn, but you may not know that he agreed to let entrants for the WeGame machinima contest use some of his work for their submissions. However, Firebolt Productions, the award winning creators of Acolyte 1.5 and Ugly Goblin's Christmas, went above and beyond that by getting a custom soundtrack by Nathan. The composer was so proud of his score that he sent in the link if you want to listen to it by itself!

The Way of Life is another top contender for the contest. The story revolves around a man, Thord, sent to Northrend at a young age at the same time as Arthas Menethil. Instead of emerging a hero, he is resigned to a life of misery at a post in Menethil Harbour. However, one day he'll meet a young man, Caldor, that will change his outlook on life.

Clearly in this contest to win, Firebolt pulled out all the stops with sound design by Caruu and a voiceover by Drewbie! He also used CrazyTalk, by Reallusion, for lip-synching. As a longtime fan of the program, it's about time that the World of Warcraft machinimators embraced it!

[Thanks, Nathan!]

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

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Caption This: Vote for winners! - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 11:30:00 EST

It's been one week since we opened our most recent Caption This! contest to entries. We've allowed them to age to perfection over the weekend, and they're now ripe enough for you to pick the winner! Members of the WoW Insider staff have chosen their favorite captions from the bunch, and I've added in some of the highest-rated captions with the comment system. All in all, we ended up with a baker's dozen of quotes. Now you get to decide who goes home with a 60-day game card, a choice of one of seven World of Warcraft action figures as detailed in the original post, or nothing but a deep sense of inadequacy. Just pick the best caption for the above picture. Voting closes tomorrow, Wednesday, September 3, at 11:59 PM EST, and winners will be informed shortly afterward by e-mail.

Remember, entrants must be U.S. or non-Quebec Canadians at least 13 years old. If you'd like to peruse the contest's official rules, they can be found here. Happy voting!

View Poll


Gallery: Caption This!

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Ask a Beta Tester: The Drakkensryd, Dispersion, and other stuff - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 11:00:00 EST


We'll get started with Gareth's question...

How is the Storm Peaks coming along? Seems like it has a lot of history and culture behind it.

This zone has been closed off more than it's been open. There are a few hefty bugs that they're trying to iron out that forces them to seal it off now and then, since the bugs bring the entire world server down. That and there was an XP exploit that the beta testers found and needed to be dealt with mighty quickly, so it was sealed off for that as well.

As far as the history and culture, I loved what I saw. A lot of Titan lore, a lot of Dwarven history. The introduction to the zone is pretty awful, though. Your first quest hub in the culture-rich zone is a Goblin town (K3) full of whimsy that has little to do with the zone's overall story. I guess you need to keep the mood light sometimes, though. Still, despite the silly Goblins, it was one of my favorite zones while I could get in there. Blizzard has thrown around the term "epic scale" quite a bit, and I think Storm Peaks really displays that. The place is absolutely massive, in the good way. Watch the video above if you want an example of the quests you'll be seeing. Be warned, it's kind of a spoiler in that doing this quest for the first time really leaves you in awe. Watching it beforehand might take that away a little.

dotorion
asked...

Does Northrend have a 'level requirement' like Outlands?

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: The Drakkensryd, Dispersion, and other stuff

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Around Azeroth: Putting down roots - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 10:00:00 EST


Most Trees of Life seem at home in rural environments. Ashenvale, Mulgore, even Zul'Aman -- anywhere with grass, trees, and lots of people begging for Innervate. But Shadowchaser of <Guardians of the Flame> on Proudmoore seems to have evolved to fit into modern urban life. Just chillin' with a beer in the basement of Wildhammer Stronghold, wedged awkwardly into a chair, and waving as his drinking buddies show up. I suspect that anyone Shadowchaser Lifeblooms tonight is going to have a hangover the next morning.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? 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!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets.

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Wormholes coming to an Engineer near you - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 09:30:00 EST

Just the other day, a fun little potential toy for Engineers cropped up. Wormholes! Wormholes? Yes, wormholes. What do they do? Think about Mages for a moment. They have both Teleport and Portal spells. Teleport spells take only them to a capital city of their choosing. Portals create a way for your entire party or raid to go to that capital city.

Engineers have Transporters, which work similar to a Mage's Teleport. They take you specifically to whichever Goblin or Gnome town your Engineering specialization likes best. Wormholes will be the answer to the Mage's Portal. You will be able to take your entire party to that town, not just you. The only one we've seen so far is a Wormhole to Gadgetzan, which may actually prove to be quite useful. While Shattrath has an NPC that will teleport you straight to the Caverns of Time, I haven't seen one of those in Dalaran so far in the Wrath Beta.

Currently it seems the intent is to have Engineers quest for these Wormhole generators, but they aren't available on either the live or beta realms quite yet. That could easily change before we see them ourselves. We may also see these in Patch 3.02 rather than Wrath of the Lich King as well, seeing as Northrend has Goblin towns of its own.

[ via MMO-Champion ]

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A Horde guild wedding cake - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 09:00:00 EST


From the traditions of Hordecake and Alliance cake comes the new form of... guildcake! Yes, this cake was seen at the wedding of Bhajrungbali and Halei, the Druid tank and healer from the guild Hadoken on Thunderlord. On the top there you can see the old school Hadoken code (down to forward and punch, don't you know), and below that, a ring of Horde symbols. Apparently Bhajrungbali made the cake design with some simple digital rendering software, and the cake makers took their inspiration from that. And the guildies who attended the wedding were happy to find that their table was called "Team Hadoken" -- you can see their FTW tablecard in the gallery below.

Looks tasty, though we're a little disappointed that Warcraft didn't make it on to the main wedding cake -- it was just consigned to a little side cake (we weren't told, unfortunately, just what kind of cake it was). But we understand -- a whole fullsize wedding cake adorned with Horde symbols would probably have been too much ownage for one wedding. Grats to the newlyweds, and thanks to Voltius and Binxi of Hadoken for sending the pictures in.

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Frank Pearce labels WoW's success as "exhausting" - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 08:30:00 EST
GamesIndustry.biz recently had an opportunity to chat with Frank Pearce, co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, about World of Warcraft and their other properties. At the Games Convention in Leipzig, Pearce was asked if he found WoW's performance since launch interesting to watch. He doesn't quite say no, but he doesn't say yes, either. "I don't know if I'd describe it as 'interesting' as much as exhausting," he says. He goes on to detail just how much the company has grown, up to 3000 employees worldwide, with 130 people on the WoW development team trying to sate our 'voracious appetite for content.' World of Warcraft is almost directly responsible for that growth.

Pearce talks a bit about Blizzard's other franchises and projects, specifically Starcraft II and Battle.net, suggesting a brave new world where World of Warcraft players could crack out a quick 15-20 minute multiplayer round in Starcraft II while waiting for their WoW raid. That sounds like an awesome time to me, but perhaps that's a little too much Blizzard in one evening for most folks. Then again, maybe not!

Continue reading Frank Pearce labels WoW's success as "exhausting"

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Breakfast Topic: What are you looking forward to in 3.0.2? - Tue, 02 Sep 2008 08:00:00 EST

So we're expecting the new pre-Wrath content patch any week now, and with it a whole flood of new mechanics and abilities, such as raid buff stacking. It should be interesting to see how all this new stuff fits in to the current Burning Crusade end game, and how people adapt to it as they prepare to plunge into Wrath. Of course, many will probably get a head start on Inscription, while others may already have a new haircut picked out.

Myself, I'm looking forward to playing around with the new changes to my Hunter. Disengage and the new Freezing Trap mechanics are looking delicious enough to me that I may just see if I can get back into Arenas for a few weeks to check them out. I'm also pretty interested to see how the Aspect of the Viper changes feel on some big boss battles. It'll be nice to have to essentially have no mana regeneration worries ever again, assuming the current version stays as is.

What about you? Given everything we'll likely see in patch 3.0.2, what are you looking forward to doing while you wait for Wrath?

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