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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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New York Toy Faire previews the WoW mini game - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 18:45:00 EST

The WoW Minis Game has a bit to go before it sees release in Fall 2008, but wowminifan.com has some news fresh from the New York Toy Fair to whet your appetite, including a few pictures. The miniatures themselves especially look pretty awesome, and I can see a lot of non-players buying sets just for display purposes, especially if they haven't managed to get their hands on a Figureprint.

Continue reading New York Toy Faire previews the WoW mini game

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Scopes: The optimal optical augmentation option - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 17:00:00 EST
Or

"I seeee you!"

It is often said in the workshop here at Hoof & Horn that the Engineer's finest asset is that he can have a little of most classes, and a pinch of all professions. We can float like mages, dash like rogues. We can stun like tauren, we can snare like druids. We can augment one's fishing, or teach one blacksmithing or even alchemy plans. Of crucial importance to many, including many Engineers, is our ability to surpass the enchanters at what they do best: augmenting weapons. For what enchantment can be placed on a gun? None that we have found, and we're tired of buying enchanters drinks to try to get them to talk. [Broke, too! -PG] The Engineers alone can craft the deadly accurate scopes, the only way to augment a ranged weapon. Schemata for scopes can be found throughout the known worlds, and in the dungeons of each. Many can be trained or purchased, while the most powerful are held by the lords of the underworld, or the minions of Karazhan. Herein we will discuss scopes, and related devices.

Continue reading Scopes: The optimal optical augmentation option

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Making Molten Core for consoles into a real game - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 16:30:00 EST
Bornakk posted a poll on the forums the other day asking what everyone's favorite April Fool's joke from Blizzard was, and surprisingly (to me, anyway -- I thought Tauren Marines would win for sure), the Molten Core Atari game is winning. There's no question that the bears joke was great (it does make sense), but I thought the game looked a little boring. Blizzard fans disagree, however -- people like the pixelated versions of the old MC bosses.

Which brings us to the question of whether Blizzard could actually do this. Boffo says he'd shell out $10 to play this game, while other people say they'd spend as much as $30 to actually see it on retail shelves (or, more likely, as a download). The game looks like a version of Asteroids more than anything, and the trailer (on purpose, probably) don't really make it clear what the rules are. But it looks simple enough to put together -- maybe a weekend's work by a dedicated coder with some MC runs under his or her belt.

Instead of a release, though, it'd be more fun to see this implemented as a minigame somewhere. We already know that Blizzard is planning to do some mobile work, so maybe they could release this as a fun distraction for the iPhone while planning something bigger. Incorporating it into the main WoW game somewhere would be a fun possibility as well. I can't think of any other time when a Blizzard 4/1 joke actually made it into real life (Two-headed ogres aren't actually playable yet), but they might as well start here, right?

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The Art of War(craft): Warsong Gulch reborn - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 16:30:00 EST


I once wrote that Warsong Gulch was my favorite Battleground. To be quite honest, in the past couple of weeks prior to Patch 2.4, I had seriously begun to doubt that. I was grinding reputation with the Warsong Clan on my Blood Elf, and increasingly, the games became excruciatingly long and even though I often engaged in exciting combat, the protracted games would sometimes end in a 0-3 loss that would net 0 bonus Honor and 0 reputation. For many players, this is the prevailing experience. For many players, Warsong Gulch sucks. Despite how much I always enjoyed my WSG games, grinding it for reputation is a total pain. That hasn't quite changed with Patch 2.4, which still doesn't award any reputation whatsoever for losing games as opposed to Arathi Basin or Alterac Valley, but the games will no longer last for hours.

Paradigm shift

I know that Mike speculated that the changes to Warsong Gulch might not have helped, but I have a dissimilar experience. The important thing to remember is there has to be a complete change of attitude because it's no longer possible to turtle. Yeah, I know that people have been groaning about the continued turtling. They're wrong. That's because when the Focused Assault debuff is on, there's absolutely no way healers can keep up the flag carrier. In some of the games that I've participated in, players going after the flag were still concerned about the healers and wasted time burning them down or crowd controlling them. One word: don't. Ignore the healers when the debuff is on. Unless they have nine guys spamming heals on the flag carrier, it will be next to impossible to keep up a flag carrier with the debuff on, even more so with Brutal Assault. Ever tried healing through an enraged raid boss? Or maybe Gruul at 20 grows (who even lets Gruul get to 20 grows?)? It's sorta kinda of like that. Enjoy.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): Warsong Gulch reborn

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Servants of the Betrayer TCG expansion released, including footage of in-game loot cards - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 16:00:00 EST

The WoW TCG Servants of the Betrayer expansion pack is upon us, and you know what that means: New Loot cards! That means we should start seeing Papa Hummel's Old-Fashioned Pet Biscuits, Goblin Weather Machines, and X-51 Nether-Rockets (and Nether-Rockets EXTREME) popping up in game soon. The official TCG site has released video footage of all 3 items in action. From the footage of Nether-rocket above, it looks to me like this should the perfect mount for anyone who's wanted to create a WoW machinima recreation of Dr. Strangelove. Also, for the record, it looks like you will actually be able to buy both speeds of rocket from one code, so no need to get a second card if you want to buy the slow one now and the fast one later.

Check out videos of the other two items after the break.

Continue reading Servants of the Betrayer TCG expansion released, including footage of in-game loot cards

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Frostmourne goes for $20k - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 15:30:00 EST


So yes, Frostmourne is a sweet sword, and yeah these real-life replicas are great (like a couple of thousand dollars great). But $20,000? That's how much the winning bidder put up in the Weaponmasters auction to get a limited edition low number sword, a gaggle of extra goodies, and of course the real reason someone would spend five figures on a collectible: membership in the Arthas' Army of Disciples club. That's a lot of cash.

Blizzplanet has a list of all the bidders (for public humiliation purposes?) -- the "winner's" (if you can call someone out $20k a winner) name was Xeophonix, apparently from Italy. Only the first two bidders went all out -- there's one more $20k bid, and then it drops to $12k, $5k, and then on down from there to the much more reasonable bids around $500. But grats to Xeophonix -- hope the $20,000 sword is worth it. And watch your back -- we don't know exactly how you kill a Lich King, but if Weaponmasters didn't quite get Arthas' sword away from him for good, you might have an angry Menethil/Ner'zhul showing up at your door.

[Via MMO Champion]

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Scattered Shots: Basics of pet control - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 15:00:00 EST


This week Scattered Shots comes to you barking and growling, hot on the heels of an overview about some of the cool complexity involved in being a hunter. Today we turn toward our animal half to get a look at how we can start making some of that complexity work for us.

I love hunter pets. I love thinking about pets and writing about pets, and most of all I love managing my pets. I love that yo-yo feeling you can get when you tell your pet to go do something and then it does it well, coming back to you alive and healthy.

But controlling your pet isn't necessarily easy or intuitive at first, and it can take a lot of practice to get used to. Below I've outlined some of the techniques I use to make the most of my pet, and described a way to practice controlling your pet by taking on multiple enemies at once.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: Basics of pet control

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Totem Talk: Misinformation - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 14:30:00 EST


Totem Talk is the column for shamans. Matthew Rossi has decided to spend this week's column exploring the odd notions people, including up and coming shamans, sometimes get about the class. He'll admit that he was guilty of one of these himself, and looks forward to your guesses.

I was thinking I might talk about how to solo and quest as a restoration shaman. After all, there are a lot of new dailies out now and you might not have anyone online to run them with. Since elemental and enhancement are both DPS options, I thought it would be reasonable to talk about some things like putting Frostbrand or Flametongue on your weapon instead of Windfury (I always used to use Windfury with my dinky, 41 dps healing mace, and it was the wrong move) if you're soloing in your healing gear. Both frostbrand and flametongue get the benefit of 10% of your spell damage, making them better than Windfury for elemental or restoration shamans who won't be doing a lot of weapon damage - I use frostbrand on my resto shaman and would prefer it over flametongue if I were elemental, because I like to try and get back out to casting range, but flametongue can do a lot of damage on a fast weapon so a lot of elemental shamans like it better. And I definitely think I'll probably still do a column about proper soloing for the healer shaman. (Hint: your healing gear has a decent amount of spell damage now.)

But then I got into a discussion with an old game friend I haven't talked to in a while about shamans, and things he's had people ask him or tell him while he was playing his (he has three, making me feel like a shaman slacker) and he told me that a group he was running with recently got upset with him for not shifting to Ghost Wolf to clear an entangle.

Perhaps they thought he was a druid, you might say, even with the totem dropping and the being a troll. I find these kinds of errors to be regretfully common, and so I decided that for today, we could cover a few of them and try and clear up any mistakes people might have about shamans. A lot of these will seem obvious to long term shaman players and those familiar with the class, but believe me, sooner or later (in my case, often sooner) you will group with someone who does not know this stuff.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Misinformation

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Well Fed Buff: Mok'Nathal Shortribs - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST


Well Fed Buff serves up tasty dishes to boost your HP, stats and appetite - with that special WoW twist, of course.

In World of Warcraft Mok'Nathal Shortribs restores 7500 health over 30 seconds. If you spend at least 10 seconds eating you will become affected by a well-fed buff that grants you 20 Stamina and Spirit for 30 min. The real life version bears a striking resemblance to beer braised short ribs and seems to reduce stamina, but maybe that was the Guinness.

As with most tender meats, this recipe is more about patience than precision. Plan on about three and a half hours total for the completion of this dish. Since baking takes up most of the time, it's the perfect time to get a couple of Alterac Valley runs in. Read on for the recipe for this delightful dish.

Continue reading Well Fed Buff: Mok'Nathal Shortribs

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Slouken: no rollback of combat log but other UI changes are no joke - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 13:00:00 EST
On April Fools' Day, amongst our extensive HKO coverage, Daniel Whitcomb reported that the combat log changes introduced in Patch 2.4 were being rolled back in Patch 2.5. Slouken has since indicated that he was "just kidding", as Daniel had guessed.

So the combat log will not be rolled back and there may not be a Patch 2.5 before Wrath of the Lich King.

He did say, however, that the UI changes that were to happen in the fictional 2.5 will in fact happen in WotLK. Specifically, the arguments "this" and "argN" will be phased out of the Blizzard UI in favor of "self" and other local arguments. Slouken recommends that authors start using "self" in the meantime, so that they will be prepared for when the expansion comes out.

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WoW Moviewatch: Darrowshire - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 12:00:00 EST

When I woke up today, I promised myself that I wouldn't practice sabotage, espionage, or anything ... "age." Therefore, I've decided to post something amazing in contrast to yesterday. Cranius, creator of the popular Big Blue Dress, has blessed us with a little musical ditty, called Darrowshire.

One of the greatest things about this machinima is that he based it around a quest in the Eastern Plaguelands. It's not every day that you can actually relive the path of a machinima. If you'd like to know what Cranius is up to next, check out his blog.

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

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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About the Bloggers: Scott Andrews - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 11:00:00 EST

Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more About the Bloggers.


What do you do for WoW Insider?

I write the weekly Officers' Quarters column and . . . that's about it! Officers' Quarters is an advice column for guild leaders and occasionally for their members, too. Guilds are the driving force behind all MMOs and Warcraft is no exception. No game can survive without great guilds, and it is my goal to help people create and sustain great guilds. What gives me the authority? I've been running the same guild since January of 2005 -- it's one of the oldest surviving guilds in Warcraft. I have not announced what guild I lead. Maybe someday I will, but not today.

Is my guild exceptional? In its longevity and the quality of its members, it is absolutely exceptional in my opinion. But we also struggle with many of the problems faced by casual raiding guilds: recruitment, drama, progression, and everything else. The hallmark of effective guild leadership isn't running a guild that is completely free of problems -- it's how you weather the hardships and learn from your mistakes.

Continue reading About the Bloggers: Scott Andrews

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Around Azeroth: All hail the owl god - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 10:00:00 EST

Baldasarre of Mal'ganis writes us with this story: "This is a screenshot I took while vigorously scouring the floor of Terrokar Forrest in search of herbs for the elusive Nether Residue Herbalism daily quest. I flew over this little pond and noticed something I had never seen before. With no indication of it's purpose, I thought it odd that there would be a statue of an owl atop what appears either a perch, or some type of roof. I have never seen anything like this statue before in the game, nor do I know anything about its meaning/purpose/story."

As much as I'd like to suggest that this is part of a secret Bohemian Grove ritual of the arakkoa, a quick search revealed that the three separate bird statues in Terokkar are part of the druid epic flight form quest chain. This one appears to be a falcon. However, the best explaination comes from Allyeranth of Black Dragonflight, who writes, "I hear that if you play the Song of Wind in front of them, they'll offer you transportation to other parts of Draenor."

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 prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. There is nothing less unusual than the rotation of the planet.

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World of WarCrafts: A simple scroll - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 09:00:00 EST
Every Thursday, Shelbi Roach of The Bronze Kettle guides you in creating WoW-inspired crafts using real world mats with World of WarCrafts.

Ever find yourself wanting to recreate that old world look but can't seem to find any ancient parchment? Need an epic invitation to your guild poker party? Or maybe you need to add some flare to your child's chore list. This handmade scroll is the perfect solution.

Here is what you will need:

  • 8.5" x 11" piece of printing paper (any printable size will do)
  • Laserjet Printer (inkjets are fail)
  • Tea Bag (you might have one left over from Caf'd macaroni and cheese)
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Long Red Candle (or preferable color)
  • Red Ribbon (any hue will do)
  • Elastic String (or a rubber band)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Stamp (or secret society emblem)
  • Super Glue
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.
DISCLAIMER: If you are under 18, please make sure that you are supervised by your parents or an adult. Only YOU can prevent kitchen fires!

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US server Proudmoore is the first to hit Phase 3 of the Shattered Sun Offensive - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 08:30:00 EST

Phase 3 is now upon us! According to us.gorgonnash.info, Proudmoore has now just barely hit the Armory phase of the Shattered Sun Offensive. As of 9:07pm PDT, April 2nd, Cenarius is behind them at 95%, with Zul'jin behind them at 90%. Congratulations, Proudmoore.

Of course, the biggest thing this means is that they've unlocked the quest Making Ready, which will allow them to eventually unlock the new Badge of Justice loot. Good luck to them, and may the unlocking go fast! For everyone who needs to catch up to Proudmoore, be sure to check out our phase 1 and phase 2 quest walkthroughs. For all you Proudmoore inhabitants, and all the rest of you raring to go, be sure to check out our phase 3 walkthroughs for all the information you'll need to forge ahead with the offensive, and look out for the Phase 4 walkthroughs coming soon from Alex.

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Test realm forum offline, possible pointer to WotLK beta - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 07:10:00 EST


More news for all you hungry Wrath of the Lich King fans out there. The test realm forum has been taken offline and is showing as undergoing a change, although we don't know what that is just yet. The exact submessage is "The forum you're trying to access is not ready." This is significant for a couple reasons.

First, the test realm forum is usually left up for a while after the patch so folks have some place to go and reference everything that was learned during the beta. I know that I've used the forum for up to a month to go and get necessary information.

Secondly, this comes less than a day after the World of Warcraft beta site experienced a change. When getting public releases of software ready, it's often a process of "First, get the site going - but don't link it to the public. Second, take down the public systems and get them ready." This is quite possibly what we're seeing here.

Finally, this forum always goes down before something beta-ish is released. This could mean they're just clearing it to implement a 2.4.2 release or something, but I doubt that given they've usually only cleared it for major point release. Ie: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4.

An interesting tid bit of WotLK news for you all this morning. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that within a month we'll see some major announcements concerning the next expansion.

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Buyer beware in the Auction House - Wed, 02 Apr 2008 19:30:00 EST
After a player complains that they mistakenly paid 75g for wool cloth in the Auction House, Drysc confirms that Blizzard is all about caveat emptor: the auction house market is all about open trade, so if you buy something for the wrong price, it's all on you.

This, of course, leaves the system fairly open to rampant fraud -- I know someone on another server who would often buy anything epic on the AH, day in and day out, and inflate the price an extra thousand gold. In many cases, the free market (which I'm pretty sure this is, right economists?) can usually correct itself -- you have to stay on top of a certain market if you plan to dominate it, since if anyone posts a lower price than you, you'll lose out on a sale. But in terms of a fraud -- the original poster in the thread claims that no one would ever have a serious reason to sell wool for 75g -- it's always "be careful what you click." Blizzard isn't completely laissez-faire when it comes to the economy, of course; they control the flow of gold in all kinds of ways. But when it comes to the auction house, you're on your own.

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URL hints at Wrath beta - Wed, 02 Apr 2008 19:00:00 EST


Alright, this is only the ghost of a hint, but at this point I'll take what I can get with anything that looks reminiscent of a Wrath of the Lich King beta. A tipster known only as "Anonymous" wrote in to let us know that the URL http://beta.worldofwarcraft.com is active, and redirects to http://beta.worldofwarcraft.com/game/character-copy.html. The logical conclusion is that this page is meant to let (authorized) people transfer characters for some sort of beta. And what's coming up that might be beta-tested? Wrath.

Right now, the address returns a "403 Forbidden" page, but obviously, someone at Blizzard HQ bothered to set up the "beta" subdomain and make it redirect to something. Any address on beta.worldofwarcraft.com seems to redirects to that "character-copy" page. Remember, a "forbidden" URL was our first real confirmation that Wrath of the Lich King was going to be the title of the expansion, so we've gotten information this way before. There's still no telling how long it'll take until a beta is available to us, as this page may well just apply to an interior beta, but this might be a clue that we're getting closer. Does this mean there won't be a patch 2.5?

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Study: Not playing WoW is more relaxing than playing it - Wed, 02 Apr 2008 18:00:00 EST
A researcher at Middlesex University in Britain has conducted a survey of World of Warcraft players, almost 300 between the ages of 12 and 83, and found that people who play the game actually feel more relaxed before and after they play the game, rather than more aggressive at either of those times. Findings were supposed to be revealed today at a conference across the pond.

But from what I can tell, you can't say much more about this study than that people aren't as excited before and after playing WoW as they are while playing it. And it doesn't really take you a behavioral scientist to figure that out -- there's no way that taking a quiz given by some scientist is as exciting as, say, traversing the wastelands of the Barrens, or flying around Netherstorm.

Some people have taken this as a sign that the game somehow lets you chill out or makes you less angry than other gamers or people, which may be true, but that's not what's being said here. As far as I can tell, they're just saying that you're not as excited after playing the game as you are during. Maybe this will lead to something else, but as a finding, that's not exactly a groundshaker.

[Via WorldofWar.net]

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The lolcats have been lifted - Wed, 02 Apr 2008 16:30:00 EST


It's now safe to go back to the forums -- the "lolcats," "lolwut"s, "lolz," and all of the other nonsense Blizzard put in players' posts have been deleted, finally. Blizzard hasn't given any hint why it took so long -- of course there's the chance that they just let the joke go on long enough (and trust me, you shouldn't be too angry at anyone who pushes an April Fool's Day joke longer than you think it should go), but it seems a little more likely that the folks in charge of the joke stumbled a little bit -- for a while there, it seemed like we might have "lolz" forever.

But no, things are back to normal, and all of the "lol wut"s that you see on the forums are players' own fault.

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