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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


A close look at the new changes to Bloodlust and Heroism - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 19:00:00 EST
Tharfor (I can hear him purr, can you?) tells us today of two changes that we'll see on the PTR soon (Drysc announced this earlier):

  • Bloodlust/Heroism will, again, stack with Icy Veins.
  • Bloodlust/Heroism will not stack with [the new] Power Infusion, however.
He tells us the reasoning behind this is "...two spells increasing haste by a percentage will not stack if both can be cast on a target other than the caster..." So this appears to continue the trend we've seen of modifying haste based abilities, both in their power and stacking abilities.

For those that don't know about Shamans, Bloodlust and Heroism are Shaman abilities (Bloodlust is the name of the spell for the Horde, Heroism is the name of the spell for the Alliance) that decrease casting time by 30% for 40 seconds. It is often used in raids to get that extra "umpf" necessary to get a boss down quickly.

Icy Veins is a Mage talent based spell that decreases casting time by 20% for 20 seconds (and increase the chance the target will freeze by 20%). The combination of Bloodlust/Heroism and Icy Veins is a very potent combination.

Power Infusion is a Priest talent that will have some changes come patch 2.4. It will now decrease casting time by 20% as well as decrease the mana cost by 20%. It's interesting that Blizzard decided to allow the stacking with Mages, but not with priests. The difference in the two spells is that Power Infusion can be cast on other targets, while Icy Veins can only be cast on yourself. Indeed, this follows with what Tharfor said in his post (which Drysc left out).

What do you think of these changes? Any major issue with them?

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A Lament for the Qiraji mount - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 18:00:00 EST

Pre-Burning Crusade raiders will back me up on this: The Qiraji mount from AQ40 was pretty sweet. Not only did it look pretty cool, but the idea of summoning a giant bug to burrow up through the ground and allow you to ride it was fun too.

Unfortunately, ever since the Burning Crusade came out, my poor, poor bug has wasted away in the bank. I have been haunted by the thought of it being so lonely in there ever since. I can't even watch Starship Troopers without feeling nostalgia and a twinge of guilt to imagine good old bug-bug waiting forever to be ridden again. I honestly do think that if they ever removed the restrictions on my bug, I'd ride it everywhere. I suppose it might make a few Scarab Lords feel a bit less special about their ride-anywhere battle tanks, but... come on, they get the BLACK color, and that's totally unique enough by itself, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter, since Bornakk chimed in on a forum post praising the bug mounts today to say that they don't plan to let you use the crystal outside the instance any time soon. He did suggest that you could use it to link in chat and taunt people who never had one. I say I'd rather ride mine. I'd even do a big old quest line or pay 2000 gold, like some of the people in the thread suggested.

On the plus side, he didn't say they'd NEVER remove the restriction, so maybe there's still hope. Hey, if nothing else, we'll probably be headed into Azjol-Nerub come Wrath of the Lich King, right? Considering we'll likely fight bugs there, maybe we'll be able to use our crystals in there, or at least tame some new mounts.

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Priest DPS flowchart - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 17:00:00 EST

Any DPS guide that has flowcharts is a winner. So it is with this Priest DPS guide from -- not only does it include some good insight on the spells both Shadow and Holy Priests have available to them for laying down the damage, but it also includes this great flowchart, which will tell you exactly how to min-max your DPS lickety-split.

The basic outline is keep VT up and pour on the shadow damage, but with all the cooldowns in Shadow Priests' spells, it becomes more of a "casting priority" thing, hence the flowchart. There are also some interesting notes about DoTs (which are integral to both facemelters and 'locks) -- the last tick of a DoT falls right on the end of it, so it's always better to wait for a DoT to time out before reapplying, otherwise you lose some of the damage you paid good mana for. Excellent and in-depth guide (and the Holy Priest DPS section inspired a few laughs, too).

Thanks, ErsatzPotato!

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WoW maps past show present - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 16:30:00 EST
It's a good week for posts at, it seems. In this look at the manual for World of Warcraft, we get to see that the maps included in the original, 2004 release (which hasn't been updated since... four years later, and we're still using the same increasingly inaccurate manual) are at times surprisingly accurate to what we see in the game today. Interesting inclusions and omissions abound: the fact that Maraudon isn't on these maps but Dire Maul is just fascinates me from the perspective that Maraudon was a full patch ahead of the Maul.

I remember riding around Silithus way before the AQ release trying to get inside and see what was back there, and have been to both Hyjal and along the Greymane wall with my lovely wife who always wants to see the zones that are the hardest to access: I like the idea of Gilneas coming into the game so much that I've mused about releasing the whole zone as an instance before. For these reasons I found this look back at the game manual's maps and what has and hasn't made it into live yet to be grist for the mill of my naturally speculative brain. Will we finally see Uldum when Ulduar hits in WoTLK? Maybe Hyjal will finally go live? Will those islands off the coast of Gilneas make a reappearance on the world map? I've been wondering for years now what's up in Kul Tiras.

Anything on these maps you're surprised to see? Anything excluded that you'd expect? The very detailed map of Quel'Thalas, years before it went live, was one of my big 'woah' moments looking over these maps, which shows how easy it is for me to forget just how much lore the RTS series packed in.

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Village Voice talks with WoW adult film producer Dez - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 16:00:00 EST
With over 10 million people enjoying World of Warcraft every day, there are many different sub cultures that have sprung up in the game. There are guilds based on religious fundamentals, democratic principals, corporate structure, and any other type of social grouping and cause you can think of. One of the more interesting social phenomena that has popped up is the adult orientated content.

Of course this content is not produced by Blizzard, and based on legal action mentioned in the article, they don't want their name attached to this content. And that is completely within their right to do so. In fact, it's a smart move for a company that wants to encourage people of all ages to play their games. However, Blizzard's objections to the subject matter have not stopped adult film producer Dez from talking with the Village Voice's Bonnie Ruberg about his film series.

Read on after the break for a review of the interview and further thoughts.

Continue reading Village Voice talks with WoW adult film producer Dez

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Taking one more look at the patch 2.4 guesses - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 15:30:00 EST

Adam did post this graph (made by Saiforune a.k.a. reader Ian over the weekend after I threw up a request on Friday) already, but considering how much info is in here, and how much work Ian put into it, I figured it deserved another look now that the contest is officially closed. So what we've got here is a standard bar graph, marking out how many people guessed which day that patch 2.4 would go to the live realms. The range of choices is pretty amazing -- the earliest people expected the patch to go up was today, March 3rd (sorry guys, I'm guessing you didn't win), and at least two people think we'll see the patch in the second half of the year (I doubt the patch will drop after October, but I guess we'll see).

As you might have guessed, Tuesdays got the most guesses (since that's usually when Blizzard updates the realms), and Tuesday, March 18th got the most guesses overall. Adam's predicted date of March 25th got the next most guesses, and strangely enough more people thought Blizzard would wait until the 8th of April rather than releasing it on April Fool's Day. Also, there are a lot of days missing between 4/1 and 4/8, so while we don't know exactly which date those 11 people in between guessed, odds are there are some days missing in that stretch that didn't get guessed, so if Blizzard decides to release the patch on a non-Tuesday (remember that the PTR went up on Friday night), we might have an interesting outcome.

My official guess was before Noblegarden (which starts on 3/23), so looks like I line right up with what most readers thought: we're all expecting the patch on 3/18. Now it's just time to wait and see when Blizzard decides the patch is ready. Thanks again to Ian for putting this together -- fascinating stuff.

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Who knew shields were so complicated? - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 15:00:00 EST
Reader Mike emailed in to ask us a question that we've long contemplated on the vagaries of Shields. Specifically, he was wondering why he and a warrior buddy both had different multipliers for block on their character window, but both blocked for approximately the same amount. Well, since I'm a prot warrior and therefore love shields and want to make little shield babies with them, I figured I'd provide some information.

Using a shield means you have to keep track of two separate stats. The first is Block Rating, which is the percentage multiplier on the character window: it tells you the chance for you to block an attack against a mob at your level. The various Block Rating on gear like the Battleworn Tuskguard or Bulwark of the Amani Empire (both pictured to the right) add to your chance to block an incoming attack the same way that Crit rating adds to your chance to crit or Defense rating adds to your ultimate Defense score. You can even see that the nice folks at Wowhead have done the math for us on how the rating converts to chance to block. Block rating, however, only tells you half of the story.

Continue reading Who knew shields were so complicated?

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WoW Radio seeks your questions for Vis Maior - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 14:30:00 EST

We've mentioned this a couple of times on the WoW Insider Show already, but just in case you've missed it, here's a reminder that Duncor and Cadwallion of WoW Radio are going to be interviewing Vis Maior, the guild that is cleaning up the bosses on the patch 2.4 PTR server so far, this Friday, March 7th at 7pm EST. And they're looking for questions from you -- if you've got something you want to know from the guild, just drop your suggested question in this thread over on the WoW Radio forums.

When we asked Duncor about it on Saturday, he said one of the things he wants to ask is whether Sunwell is progressively harder than Black Temple and Hyjal or if it's equal to those, and though Blizzard has said Sunwell is meant to be the hardest raid instance (the end of Burning Crusade's endgame, basically), I'm interested to hear that answer. And I also would like to hear some discussion on a question suggested by The_Milkcat in that thread, about the difference between world first kills on the PTR and on the live realms.

So it should be a good interview. Throw your suggested questions in the forum thread if you have them, and make sure to tune in to WoW Radio on this Friday, March 7th, at 7pm EST to hear Duncor and Cadwallion chat with Vis Maior.

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A guide to instances - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 14:00:00 EST
Recently we created guides to help WoW Rookies understand how instances work and their role in them. Author Palintheist over on Livejournal has done the same with a funny, informative guide to running instances for players new to World of Warcraft. Some highlights:

"Mob: No need to ask the Godfather for forgiveness - a mob is a word for monster. Also known as creep."

"Healer: Who's keeping the tank from floor-hugging? Your powerful, puissant, never-to-be-offended healer. Seriously. Several classes can play this role and they all find it pretty much a thankless task, as people are very quick to blame healers when people die [but you won't, because you know better!]."

"Pat: Don't look around for someone androgynous - someone is warning you that a patrolling mob is coming closer and will probably [if it hasn't already] attack you. "

"Buff: Keep your clothes on. Really. "

"Inc: If there's no time to type "pat" or "adds", sometimes you'll see "inc", for "incoming". [Why is inc faster than pat? No idea.]"

Go take a look, it's not just written with its tongue in its cheek, it's actually pretty informative for new players to the game. Save time the next newbie run and just send them the URL.

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WoW Rookie: Forming a Group - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 13:00:00 EST

In the last two weeks we've discussed where to go for an instance and what to do once you get there. Since dungeon runs usually require five members, this week we'll talk about how to find people to go with you. Remember that the typical instance group is made up of a tank, a healer, and three DPS members. It's not always easy to find people that match those requirements.

Since there is a shortage of tanks, it's probably easiest for tank classes to find a group. That also means it's hardest if you are not a tank to find someone to play that role. The next most difficult is a healer. There's usually plenty of DPS to go around. It can take some time to make a group, but since dungeons provide excellent loot and good experience it's usually worthwhile to stick with it.

Continue reading WoW Rookie: Forming a Group

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WoW Moviewatch: Pretty Fly for a Draenei - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 12:00:00 EST

Machinimist Nyhm of Hard Like Heroic and Ni Hao fame is at again. This time he mashes together a 9 year old Offspring song with the lore of the Draenei to explain why those blue skinned Alliance freaks are always on the run. Bonus: Davey Jones squid face reference!

[via WarcraftMovies]

Previously on Moviewatch...

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Officers' Quarters: Saving a PuG guild - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 11:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Anyone who has an unguilded bank alt can appreciate this scenario: You're in the auction house, minding your own business, when without any warning the whole auction interface goes away, only to be replaced by a guild charter that someone wants you to sign. It's pretty annoying and rude when people do that without asking first. If you're not in a guild, it can happen to you anywhere.

Usually they don't want you to actually stick around once the guild is formed, but other people actually send guild invites this way. It's not as bad when it's a noncharter invite, since it doesn't close any of your windows. But it always mystified me that people would recruit like this. They don't know anything about you; you don't know anything about them. So it's not so much a guild as it is a long-term pick-up group. I suppose some of the members must know each other, but everyone else was just scooped up fresh from the Barrens. Do you ever wonder what might happen if you actually joined that guild and stuck with it? This week's e-mail comes from someone who did.

Hi Scott --

Thanks for the column. Believe it or not, even those of us who don't lead guilds tune in and get some good tips and advice from you.

I'm an unashamed noob who suddenly has a guild issue. Here's how it breaks down . . .

I got massively bored with my Night Elf Druid after getting him to Ashenvale, and nearly gave up on WoW. I'd only sunk three weeks into the game, and still had another week in the bank, so I rolled a new character. Right out of the gate, I decided to play a more social game: get into more pick-up groups, join a guild, and figure out what these "instance" thingies were all about. So when I was in the middle of a fight and a guild invite popped up onto my screen, I joined immediately.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Saving a PuG guild

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Around Azeroth: Under Stormwind - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 10:00:00 EST

We know about the Undercity, but apparently there is an underside to Stormwind as well. Player Bashfullsson of the Dragonsbane Guild on the Dragonblight EU realm provides us with a look at the beloved Alliance city that you may not have seen before. From this angle, it makes you wish that Blizzard would introduce a floating city to the game. Oh, wait a minute.

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 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 prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime.

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WoW Mom! An interview with the newest newbie on the block - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 09:00:00 EST

I got a call from my mom on Friday night that she was having an emergency and needed me to call. It turns out the emergency was that she bought World of Warcraft and needed some instruction on how to play. Since I was at work, I told her to get started by reading up a bit on the WoW Rookie until I could spend a little more time with her. I was excited and somewhat terrified. I really hope she likes it and doesn't get too frustrated the first week.

My mom isn't what you would call a gamer. I'm not going to tell you how old she is, but she could tell you where she was when Kennedy was assassinated. She's a master Euchre player and a wiz at Scrabble. Her video gaming experience is limited to Bejeweled and online versions of card games. She used to love me watch play Tetris, but would respond like the controller was made of lava when I tried to hand it to her. I invited her to join Dungeons and Dragons sessions, but she always declined.

I moved 2,000 miles from my native Michigan for graduate school about five years ago. Since then my interactions with my mom have been limited to phone conversations and the occasional short visit. I'm really glad to get to share this time with her.

Continue reading WoW Mom! An interview with the newest newbie on the block

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Breakfast Topic: When do you start working up a profession? - Mon, 03 Mar 2008 08:00:00 EST

I'm not entirely sold on leveling trade skills in World of Warcraft. By leveling up professions you can create armor, weapons, and goods that theoretically benefit your character. With a little luck, you can even make some money from your trade. It usually takes a major investment maximize your professions and get the goods that you want. In most cases I prefer to wait until I've reached the level cap to start professions.

There are two exceptions to this. Whenever I roll a character on a server that's new to me, I invest in skinning and mining and sell the materials for gold for my mount and equipment. I used to level fishing too. Until Blizzard added the aggressive mobs on the shore of Dustwallow Marsh, I would swim past the Mirefin Murlocs and fish among the turtles for loot that was much higher than my level. I don't usually level anything useful for my class until I've crossed through the Dark Portal.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: When do you start working up a profession?

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All the World's a Stage: Magical table, magical screen - Sun, 02 Mar 2008 21:59:00 EST

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

As with many other people, my first experience of roleplaying was with a "tabletop" roleplaying game in high school. The older kids introduced me to Vampire: The Masquerade, and although I wasn't enthralled by the whole "bloodsucking" thing, I quickly realized that the basic activity was lots of fun, and I ended up starting my own roleplaying group with Earthdawn, a more traditional (yet surprisingly original) fantasy setting. Those games were my some of my happiest memories from high school.

In college I couldn't find many people who were interested in playing with me, and when I came to live and work in China after graduating in 2000, I thought that my roleplaying days were over for sure. You may imagine my surprise when in late 2007, I came across another foreigner here in Nanjing, discussing Dungeons and Dragons with his Chinese wife in one of my favorite restaurants. It turns out he needed another player for the group he has going here, and although his wife wasn't interested, I happened to appear, ready and eager to join up.

Originally I had thought that WoW would be the only way I could continue roleplaying while living in the far East, but starting to get back into my old hobby has given me a chance to see more clearly what the differences are between tabletop roleplaying and roleplaying in a game like WoW. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and different people have their preferences. Both have a special value which is mainly derived from connecting creatively with other people.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: Magical table, magical screen

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Playing with your keyboard - Sun, 02 Mar 2008 21:00:00 EST

Yesterday I talked about how to increase your game play by using all those buttons on your mouse. Today, we'll take a quick look at some theories on how to use your keyboard more effectively. Next week I'll present my complete keyboard map for tanking, and give lots of examples of why I have things where I have them. But for now, let's look at some basics.

I use a Logitech G15 gaming keyboard for main World of Warcraft computer. The keyboard is nice for a lot of reasons:
  • The keys are hard plastic and clean easily. I can often be found eating hot pockets (Mom! Hot pockets!) or pizza roles during raids, and it's nice to be able to easily clean the keyboard if I make a mess.
  • The keys light up. This is very useful late at night when I turn the lights off.
  • The LCD screen is very adaptable. I use the LCD screen to display who is talking over Vent. No more asking "Who just said they need a mob taunted off them?" (of course, if they wouldn't pull agro in the first place or DPS the right target, we wouldn't have that problem now... but that's another article.)
  • There are 18 additional programmable keys on the left side of the keyboard.
So the G15 is a nice choice for a gaming keyboard. We all know this, of course. Most of us play with one, or something similar. There are a few good and basic strategies for making the most of your G15 or other keyboard.

Continue reading Playing with your keyboard

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How to maximize your bag space with 20 slot bags - Sun, 02 Mar 2008 20:00:00 EST
Our guild alliance's resident science and technology geek (and I mean that in a good way) linked us a somewhat confusing article yesterday. Apparently, scientists have figured out a way to store and retrieve empty space. Of course, a question naturally comes to mind upon hearing about this: How soon until I can buy my own bag of holding?

But seriously, while I tend to be a bit of a pack rat in real life, I'm an even bigger pack rat in WoW. I still keep gear and quest rewards from 50 levels ago because they look cool. In addition, I play a Hunter (with a quiver), a Warlock (with a shard bag) and a Druid (with Cat Form, Bear Form, and healing gear on me at all times). As a result, I'm always on the lookout for ways to increase my bag space so I can fit in a little bit of loot once I'm stocked up on gear, consumables, reagents, and all the rest.

Luckily, I've found that upgrading your bag space doesn't have to break the bank or send you after waves of elite mobs that require 25-40 people to take down, and I'll share a few upgrading tips after the break.

Continue reading How to maximize your bag space with 20 slot bags

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Forum post of the Day: Arena Realms - Sun, 02 Mar 2008 19:00:00 EST

I couldn't be more excited about Blizzard's official 3v3 tournament. The arena test realm is active and the accessible gear is available for potential challengers to ogle. The server is inhabited by only level 70 characters. There is absolutely no PvE content. Havick of Shattered Hand suggested that Blizzard should open permanent arena-only servers.

Many responders agreed with this suggestion. This is partly to do with a stark divide between PvE and PvP players. Many raiders would love to see PvP eliminated from the game or at least separated. Frustration over arena queues and boredom with the PvE environment increases the desire for arena-only servers. Blizzard has long said they were working on additional realm types. Roirrawcro of Jaedenar believes that arena realms are an inevitability if Blizzard intends to make World of Warcraft into a viable e-sport.

Continue reading Forum post of the Day: Arena Realms

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Rolling the same toon - Sun, 02 Mar 2008 18:30:00 EST

When I'm being completely honest with myself, I'm forced to admit that one of the things holding my alts back is that I get dissatisfied with their appearance. Whether it's the limited number of options you get at the character selection screen, or just an overwhelming and completely inexplicable preference for a single character model, I always find myself thinking at some point in an alt's 20's or 30's that I'd take them back to the drawing board if I could. I deleted a level 30 Night Elf Druid in no small part because she bore an uncanny resemblance to Cher, and I am very uncomfortable both with the idea of playing Cher and Cher being able to kill people with Moonfire spam. I'm pretty close to deleting a level 30 Draenei Mage for the same reason. Well, not because she looks like Cher, but something about her appearance just....bugs me.

My main is the only character for whom I've never had that impulse, and I don't know why. Female Tauren don't have particularly interesting animations, jokes, or special attacks. They're less plausible (how on earth do they run like that?), less dramatic, and less impressive-looking in endgame armor than their male counterparts. Maybe it's just their distinctively awkward gait -- you can tell it's them from a mile away -- or just that so few people play a Hordeside female who's not a Blood Elf, but I find them hopelessly endearing.

So I keep rolling moo-cows. Or, to be accurate, a particular model. Call me boring, but no toon from my growing herd will ever be mistaken for Cher.

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