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MMO Champion reveals shiny Algalon dagger - Sun, 03 May 2009 18:00:00 EST


"Oh my god, it's full of stars!"

No, it's not 2001: A Space Odyssey (one of the best books and movies of, like, all time), it was our very own Elizabeth Harper when she saw this shiny new dagger, revealed thanks to MMO Champion. Now Algalon still hasn't been defeated, but doesn't this awesome, star-filled blade make you want to pwn his arse? Go on, admit it, even if it's purely on an RP-level.

Personally, as a boomer, I use staves exclusively but I want this weapon so badly. It has to be one of the nicest looking drops I've seen in a while - and the stats aren't too bad either. It manages to encapsulate everything about the Algalon encounter and the shiny graphics in one neat package.

In my experience, most loot has an awesome name or looks snazzy, but seldom lives up to its reputation. However, given the nice load of gear which has been tumbling out of Ulduar's 10 and 25 man encounters, it's nice to see some pieces which aren't just nice on a purely shiny level. These are drops like Voldrethar, Dark Blade of Oblivion, Wisdom's Hold, Shoulderpads of Dormant Energies and the Dark Edge of Depravity.

Check out more info at MMO Champion and try not to drool.

MMO Champion reveals shiny Algalon dagger originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 03 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The9 prepping WoW-clone World of Fight - Sun, 03 May 2009 16:00:00 EST


You have to give Chinese company The9 a bit of credit. The loss of such the publishing rights to World of Warcraft would have destroyed lesser companies, it just made them teeter on the brink of bankruptcy. Now they're back -- with World of Fight.

The teaser site went up earlier in the week and reeks of WoW in a way that only Chinese knock-offs can. At the moment we know next to nothing about the game but we can certainly guess. The domain name (www.wofchina.com) is suspiciously similar to the one for World of Warcraft (www.wowchina.com) but with one letter changed. Just look at that font, remind you of anything?

It's not a stretch to bet that The9 are hoping to attract people who associated them with WoW, but I'm pretty sure Blizzard won't be too happy to see their former publisher in Asia trying to promote a game so similar. We'll certainly keep you updated as I'm quite keen to see what World of Fight looks like.

The9 prepping WoW-clone World of Fight originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 03 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: You Otter know better - Sun, 03 May 2009 14:00:00 EST
The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

So, check out Otterpoop from Gorefiend. At the time of this writing, Otter's the 13th rated team in his battlegroup, even though many folks expected the dominance of Death Knights to be over in Season 6. He obviously did pretty well last season. If you consider that he's trucking through two seasons with strong performance, one could easily argue Otter's got a decent finger on what's going on with the Arena.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Otter, and he spent some time talking to us about how he came to settle on a Death Knight for his Arena character, how he met his Arena partners, and what he thinks will happen with Death Knights in Season 6. Check out what he had to say after the cut.

Continue reading The Colosseum: You Otter know better

The Colosseum: You Otter know better originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 03 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: The theory, debate, controversy and scandal edition - Sun, 03 May 2009 12:00:00 EST


Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

The [1.Local] PuG was in rare form this week, postulating theories and pontificating on issues ranging from the Martin Fury scandal to whether or not Ulduar difficulty and loot is on target. We highlight not one but two in-depth posts on the lore behind the Horde/Alliance relationship, each with extensive reader reaction.

This edition of [1.Local] also spotlights fresh reaction from Karatechop, the player at the epicenter of the Martin Fury brouhaha. What does he think about all the hullabaloo over his banning in the wake of his use of a GM-only item that came into the hands of a guildmate? Karatechop responds to the pages of comments on our exclusive interview with him about the incident. All this and more, after the break.

Continue reading [1.Local]: The theory, debate, controversy and scandal edition

[1.Local]: The theory, debate, controversy and scandal edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 03 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Fail to the king - Sun, 03 May 2009 10:00:00 EST


Kids grow up so fast these days. Anduin Wrynn has apparently undergone some interesting facial surgeries, or possibly severe hormonal problems. Chris writes in that this graphical bug appeared while alt-tabbing from iTunes to WoW. Who knew that the future king of Stormwind harbored a secret desire to become an XBOX 360 avatar?

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@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. 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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Fail to the king originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 03 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: They did it with a shirt - Sun, 03 May 2009 09:00:00 EST


This week's set of comics is actually quite topical, from a recent scandal, to world news to proper feline nutrition. There also aren't as many Noblegarden-themed comics as I expected.

Sunday Morning Funnies: They did it with a shirt originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 03 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Did you get what you wanted out of Noblegarden? - Sun, 03 May 2009 08:00:00 EST


Noblegarden has passed for another year and everyone is now running with little orphans in tow. There were lots of changes this year - the biggest being a whole seven days of egg hunting madness rather than just twenty-four hours.

My Noblegarden was spent camping Azure Watch, being chased by purple bunnies and looking for eggs until I went more blind than usual. When I eventually managed to find enough eggs to get me my bunny wabbit (the tuxedo pants, shirt and dress dropped along with the bunch of flowers), I started looking for females in order to do the Shake Your Bunny-Maker achievement.

Now my server isn't one of the largest and I found all the females quite easily -- even a Tauren and a Troll -- but I'll be damned if I could find a single Orc female. There are some on Daggerspine, as many of my guildies had already completed the achievement, but I eventually switched to my Horde account only to experience the mind-numbing chatter from prepubescent players. In the end, I couldn't get the title and now have to wait another year. Hopefully then it won't be as chaotic.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts and experiences post-Noblegarden. Did you achieve everything you wanted?

Breakfast Topic: Did you get what you wanted out of Noblegarden? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 03 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: PvPing as an Arcane Mage after 3.1 - Sat, 02 May 2009 20:00:00 EST



Each week Arcane Brilliance comes to work totally motivated, ready to sit down and manufacture a fantastic, insightful, entertaining column about Mages. Then Arcane Brilliance's wife brings him breakfast, because she's awesome like that, and Arcane Brilliance takes a break to eat it. Fat and happy, Arcane Brilliance flexes its fingers and gets ready to resume the creative process. Then winamp shuffles through to a song from the new Silversun Pickups album and Arcane Brilliance gets distracted again, and has to listen to the whole album before it can concentrate. Then Arcane Brilliance's kids come in the room and Arcane Brilliance plays with them for awhile. Lunch approaches, and Arcane Brilliance needs to get the column up. And, that, loyal readers, is a preemptive apology for any inaccuracy, inconsistency, misspelling, and grammatical eror that may follow this opening paragraph. Sorry!

Before we begin, let's get a couple items out of the way.

First: In case you haven't gotten it yet, or weren't aware, today is your last day to obtain Polymorph: Rabbit, at least during this calendar year. This is purchasable from the Noblegarden vendors for the low, low price of 100 Noblegarden Chocolates (it's only visible on the vendor if you're a Mage), which shouldn't take very long to obtain if you put your mind to it. Noblegarden ends tonight at 11:59pm server time, so even if you have no interest in the rest of the holiday, don't miss out on this little Mage-only perk.

Second: Mirror Images aren't stupid anymore! Yes, when the PTR for patch 3.1.2 went live, the patch notes included one tiny note for Mages, but what a note it was. Your Mirror Images will now attack only the target that you've generated the most hate from, instead of targeting whatever shiny object happens across their fields of vision first. In addition, they'll no longer break CCs whenever they feel like it. I've tested this out a bit, and I'm happy to report that it seems to be working as advertised. Rejoice, my fellow Mages: our copies are no longer ham-fisted, drooling, mouth-breathers. I'm giddy.

And with the news and notes out of the way, we are free to move on to this week's topic: PvPing as an Arcane Mage.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: PvPing as an Arcane Mage after 3.1

Arcane Brilliance: PvPing as an Arcane Mage after 3.1 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 02 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Innervate changed to a flat number - Sat, 02 May 2009 18:00:00 EST

As we had been warned previously, Innervate is being changed in patch 3.1.2 to restore a flat amount of mana. At the moment, it restores mana based on the spirit of the target. After the patch, it gives "450% of the casting Druid's base mana pool to the target over 20 seconds," which works out to a bit under 16,000 mana over the course of the effect.

So the effect of Innervate is no longer based on the target's spirit, or indeed any attribute of the target. Paladin's won't laugh at you any more when you innervate them. It's also a big buff in PvP, since spirit is rare on PvP gear. On the down side, as many people have pointed out, this doesn't scale at all - it will always return the same amount of mana, no matter what the casting druid or the target is wearing. This is also a slight reduction from what a holy priest or a resto druid receives from Innervate right now, which is more along the lines of 20,000 mana.

Blizzard isn't too worried about the scaling issue; Ghostcrawler says "We don't think the lack of scaling at level 80 is going to be any kind of problem unless we introduced say 5 more tiers of content without also bumping the level cap. We aren't going to do that." And when we're all at level 90, the druid's base mana will be higher, so that should solve that problem.

Innervate changed to a flat number originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 02 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW reference found in Wolverine game - Sat, 02 May 2009 16:00:00 EST

X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out in theaters yesterday, to fairly dismal reviews, and like any good summer movie, it has a tie-in video game. Why are we talking about it here? Because the game contains a hidden nod to our own favorite digital pastime, WoW. I'll put specifics (and a screenshot) behind the cut, in case you don't want to be spoiled for the Wolverine game.

Continue reading WoW reference found in Wolverine game

WoW reference found in Wolverine game originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 02 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ulduar nerfs and Blizzard's new raid philosophy - Sat, 02 May 2009 14:00:00 EST

Ulduar has been nerfed almost every day since it came out on the live realms, and Blizzard shows no sign of slowing down. There have been mixed reactions to this, but one thing has become clear: Blizzard's approach to raiding has changed.

Zarhym made a very interesting post in a thread complaining about the latest round of Ulduar nerfs, and made the following points:

  • The Blizzard raid philosophy is different in Wrath than it was in BC and classic. He said "The primary goal in this expansion - and the reason we've implemented 10/25-player, and hard modes - is to give as many people access to the raid content as possible." A lot of work goes into making raids, and they want more people to be able to see them than has been the case in the past.

Continue reading Ulduar nerfs and Blizzard's new raid philosophy

Ulduar nerfs and Blizzard's new raid philosophy originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 02 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show live on the air today at 3:30pm Eastern - Sat, 02 May 2009 13:00:00 EST


It's a European invasion on the WoW Insider Show today -- somehow we've wrangled me and three folks from the EU. Turpster will be on as usual, Lesley Smith will be joining us again, and the one and only Patrick Beja will be on the air as well live from France. Don't worry, Americans, I'll patriotically represent us as best I can. On the menu, we'll have discussion about the Martin Fury controversy, both Children's Week and Noblegarden (and if Children's Week really is ruining the battlegrounds), and the changes in patch 3.1.2, out on the PTR right now.

And of course we'll answer your emails (you can email us at theshow@wowinsider.com) and generally have as good a time as we always do. The show starts up at May 2, 2009 3:30 PM EDT over on our Ustream page, or you can just click below to find the embedded Ustream feed in the second half of this post.

And two more things: one, our auction over in Brigwyn's charity drive is heating up already, but if it's worth that much to you to come on the show with us (and oh yeah, help some sick kids, too), get your bid in now! Or just find something over there you like to bid on, it all goes to the same place. And if you have a full afternoon that you want to fill with podcasting, stay tuned after our show today, as I'll be on the Rawrcast. Should be fun -- see you this afternoon!

Continue reading WoW Insider Show live on the air today at 3:30pm Eastern

WoW Insider Show live on the air today at 3:30pm Eastern originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 02 May 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Children's Week ruins Battlegrounds - Sat, 02 May 2009 12:00:00 EST


I'm sorry Blizzard, but I'm with the whiners on this one. The School of Hard Knocks is so badly designed that it's ruining, instead of enhancing, the Battleground experience. Take, for example, the requirement to return a flag in Warsong Gulch. First of all, the requirement is that the player return the flag personally as opposed to being in the vicinity of a flag return. This means that all ten players on one side are angling to return the flag... which is great in theory but in practice encourages entire teams to wait inside the base hoping to get the Achievement. This results in extended stalemates that don't actually encourage what needs to be done, which is to capture the flag.

In Alterac Valley, we have forty players and four capturable towers or bunkers. Sure, the opposing faction can defend the towers/bunkers allowing it to be recaptured, but the whole business of racing to capture one -- again, personally -- turns every Alterac Valley into a race. This means lesser chances of defended towers. Realistically, if players tagged and defended until the objective burned down, only 10% of the team would be able to accomplish the Achievement requirement in every match. I'm sorry to tell all those who are allergic to PvP that you'll actually have to play quite a number of Alterac Valley matches just to get this one. Unfortunately for me, on my Battlegroup, playing Horde-side AV is like pulling teeth.

Continue reading Children's Week ruins Battlegrounds

Children's Week ruins Battlegrounds originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 02 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Love and pocket healers - Sat, 02 May 2009 10:00:00 EST


Today's screenshot comes to us from a very different Azeroth; it's from the Chinese version of World of Warcraft, also known as CWOW. Eliza of <cn7> on Bloodscalp wrote in from Sichaun, "My boyfriend chose to be a warrior, so I chose to be a priest to heal and protect him. Four years passed, we became the best partners in this game, from dungeon to Arena. Now we are going to be married this September, so I sent you these pictures, for memories, and for love." She also notes that Chinese players still aren't able to get Wrath of the Lich King, and adds that she and her soon-to-be-husband plan on leaving CWOW behind. With all the recent troubles, who can blame them?

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@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. 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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Love and pocket healers originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 02 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Never Gonna - Sat, 02 May 2009 08:00:00 EST
World of Warcraft does have a decent variety of things to do. Arenas, Battlegrounds, Soloing, Professions, 5-mans, raids, the list goes on. Some may focus singlemindedly on one or two aspects of the game, while others dabble a bit in most or even all of them. All this variety also ends up meaning that some people just won't like certain aspects of the game, and will generally shy away from doing them. This can also be true of classes, of talent trees, of playstyles, and all the rest. Of course, sometimes we swear we'll never do something in game, then do it anyway.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Never Gonna

Breakfast Topic: Never Gonna originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 02 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Orphan tours edition - Fri, 01 May 2009 21:00:00 EST


Ah, it's the weekend again. We find ourselves in a unique position this week as Friday sees the close of one yearly event and the beginning of another thanks to Blizzard pushing Noblegarden back a bit. This weekend, Azeroth is going to be overrun by pesky little kids asking to be taken around town, begging for junk food, and even endangering themselves as their respective guardians show them the war part of Warcraft. On the other hand, the PTR is also up for those who want to escape prepubescent peskiness. In order of how quickly they responded, let's see what the WoW Insider team is up to this weekend:
  • Dan O'Halloran - Hitting the PTR to play with premade-80s. Always wanted to noodle around with a level capped Mage and Warlock, but never had the time to level one all the way.
  • Daniel Whitcomb - Being excited for Children's Week, mostly. Not only is it two extra pets for my collection, but it gives me a good excuse to get in some PvP. I do wish School of Hard Knocks didn't require you to be the actual person holding/returning/capturing the flag/node/whatever though
  • Matthew Rossi - Today, I'm playing with rabbits: my bunny Herne and his bunny wife Grimalkin will be getting some out time to celebrate his being over whatever was putting him off his food. (Not eating is very serious for
    rabbits, they can die in a matter of days once they go into GI Stasis.) I may do a Naxx pug on my shaman and there's Ulduar 10 this weekend.
  • Robin Torres - Orphans and alts. It's all about orphans and alts.
  • Chase Christian - Ulduar 10, which will be even easier with the latest round of nerfs. I'm glad we're killing these bosses pre-nerf, because it makes the guild feel better about itself.
  • Matt Low - Ulduar 10 for Matt also!
  • Eliah Hecht - Naxx on my lock, Ulduar on the priest. Maybe starting to level my Mage, if I have time.
  • Alex Ziebart - Thorim, Freya and Mimiron are on notice on Ulduar 25. I might try to finish leveling my Resto Shaman as well, but that probably won't happen.
  • Adam Holisky - Working on some multiboxing.
  • Jennie Lees - Getting my flatmate and his entire workplace infected with the WoW bug. >:)
  • Michael Sacco - Yogg-Saron on Ulduar 10; Mimiron, Vezax, and Yogg on 25.
  • Zach Yonzon - Arenas even though Blizzard borked the system again, Battlegrounds even though it will be overrun by children and their clueless guardians, and Ulduar even though my guild doesn't need another plate DPS.
Enough about us (cheers for those who actually read through that), what about you guys? What are you playing this weekend?

WRUP: Orphan tours edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 01 May 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Turtle'n - Fri, 01 May 2009 20:00:00 EST


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

It's the first of May, first of May. Everybody's happy it's the first of May. Had a little conversation with my squirrel and chipmunk friends.

The Daily Quest: Turtle'n originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 01 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Ironsoul - Fri, 01 May 2009 19:00:00 EST


As much as Martin Fury would have been appropriate here today, we'll stick to actual player items for now. Here's a nice big scary mace to hope for from Ulduar's first boss this weekend.

Name: Ironsoul (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Two-hand Epic Mace
Damage/Speed: 594 - 892 / 3.50 (212.3 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +105 Strength, +126 Stamina
  • Improves crit strike rating by 69 and armor penetration rating by 84.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Ironsoul

Phat Loot Phriday: Ironsoul originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 01 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A closer look at the School of Hard Knocks - Fri, 01 May 2009 18:00:00 EST
Let's take a look at the Children's Week PvP achievement School of Hard Knocks and the resources you'll need to accomplish it.

If you want to get your Violet Proto-Drake and fly around at 310% speed, you're going to need to do this achievement. Reports are mixed on how easy or hard this achievement is. Some folks are saying it's done quickly and easily with a good group, others are banging their heads against the desk and spewing curse words at Blizzard.

But just like everything, if you research and take an educated look at these achievements, they become more understandable and easier. That's not to say the achievement will become trivial, but it'll at least become more manageable.

The achievement is broken down, complete with tips, after the break.

Continue reading A closer look at the School of Hard Knocks

A closer look at the School of Hard Knocks originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 01 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Zordon, no! - Fri, 01 May 2009 17:00:00 EST
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider'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.

A lot of people were confused about the picture I used in The Queue a couple of days ago. You know, the one with the German writing on it. That edition of The Queue was titled Mercenaries, and the person depicted in that picture was Götz von Berlichingen, a German mercenary from the early 1500s. He literally had an Iron Fist. As in, his hand was crafted out of iron. Go read up on him, he rules.

idkanything asked...

"A question on guild leadership. Our guild leader has decided to stop playing WoW but he didn't transfer the guild to someone else before he left. (It's a long, not very exciting story.) We don't want to just disband and reform under a different name because of the gold in the gbank. Does anyone know the procedure for getting the guild transferred to another person? Is there a certain amount of time that has to pass?"

Continue reading The Queue: Zordon, no!

The Queue: Zordon, no! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 01 May 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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