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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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The Daily Quest: Sometimes simple is best - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 19:00:00 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.
  • This Saturday, the guild Exodus will be joining Stompalina and crew on the Rawrcast. It kicks off immediately after our own podcast, so give it a listen!
  • Part seven of Too Many Annas' epic Angrathar fiction has been posted.
  • James Peripheral, one of WoW.com's user bloggers, tells the world why he plays MMOs. Why? Family.
  • Big Hit Box supplies some very basic tips for players new to grouping as melee. All of you new Death Knights and Retribution Paladins might want to take a look. Ret Vets get a pass.
  • Do you have children that play WoW? Are you concerned that they might be seeing things in chat channels that they shouldn't be? NoStockUI has some suggestions for the parent that wants their child's game experience to be a little safer.

The Daily Quest: Sometimes simple is best originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Rookie: Tanking for beginners - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

You've always wanted to be the eye of the storm: a World of Warcraft tank. You're working your way up toward level 80, quest by quest and zone by zone. Maybe you've consulted a leveling guide and done some research around the internet, and you're sporting a shiny, efficient leveling spec. Or maybe you're taking things more casually, experimenting with different specs and abilities on your own and devoting most of your energy to soaking up the sights and the lore, meeting new friends and settling into your first guild.

Either way, you're beginning to feel the first tendrils of apprehension curling around your ankles. You haven't been able to get many instance groups to knock the shine off that new armor. Heck, maybe you're not even tanking-specced yet at all. What's going to happen when you hit 80? Everyone's going to expect you to know the pointy end of the sword from what's under that fluffy tail you feel inclined to tuck beneath you ... What can you bring to the table with absolutely (gulp) zero experience?

Continue reading WoW Rookie: Tanking for beginners

WoW Rookie: Tanking for beginners originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Night Elf cat forms coming tomorrow - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 17:30:00 EST


We've already seen the graphics for three out of the four new feral forms we know are coming for druids in patch 3.2: Tauren bear and cat forms, and Night Elf bear forms. This only leaves Night Elf cat forms left to be seen. (They might be redesigning moonkin and tree forms too; they're being cagey about that when people ask. My guess would be no.)

I've been anxiously refreshing pages all day to see if the Night Elf cat forms would come. In vain, apparently, as Zarhym has just posted to let us know that the forms in question will be unveiled tomorrow "later in the day," which probably means mid-afternoon (PST) sometime. In the mean time, we've got the other three sets of forms in the gallery below. What would your ideal Night Elf cat look like?

Night Elf cat forms coming tomorrow originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Addon Spotlight: I Have Macro Lol! - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST


Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

We covered another Ackis mod, Ackis Recipe List, just last Sunday. This one is (in my opinion) even cooler, and will be of interest to a wider audience than recipe completists. I Have Macro Lol!, or IHML for short, generates a dynamic macro (like Mounted) for you to use in various situations, like dailies and boss fights. You can use just one slot on your action bar, and the macro will adapt itself to whatever situation you happen to be in.

From the configuration interface (/ihml), you can set up what macro you want to use in any given boss encounter or zone. The macro is generated upon entering a zone or loading BigWigs boss modules for a boss fight (no support for Deadly Boss Mods, as far as I know). You can also set up default macros for parties, raids, PvP, etc.

The real value here is dailies. There are several different daily zones in Wrath, all of which have different items that need to be used. Back in BC, I could get by with just my Isle of Quel'Danas macro; nowadays, if I was still bothering with dailies, I would need about six different macros to swap out if it wasn't for something like IHML. The boss functionality is just icing. Thanks again, Ackis, for another solid mod to fill a gap.

Download I Have Macro Lol! at WoWInterface or Curse

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. Let Power Auras Classic show you what you need to know with pretty glowing pictures. Check out another Ackis mod: Ackis Recipe List. And remember, Addon Spotlight is fueled by viewers like you, so if you have a mod you think we should take a look at, drop us a line.

Addon Spotlight: I Have Macro Lol! originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW, Casually: Rating the classes for casuals - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Hello, my name is Robin and I'm an altaholic. I'm not here to try to stop, however. I find it a lot of fun and playing games is all about fun. But it has prevented me from experiencing the endgame content when everyone is excited about it, rather than just spinning their wheels waiting for the next expansion. So, now I want to choose which alt to take to the end. But which one will be easy for leveling and still be valuable in groups when I reach the endgame?

In my experience, the best class to play as a casual player is one that is easily soloable, with little downtime, but also able to find groups quickly when necessary, particularly at max level. Following is how I rate each class according to those criteria.

Continue reading WoW, Casually: Rating the classes for casuals

WoW, Casually: Rating the classes for casuals originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 3 - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST
Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about a few of the general raiding tips every Rogue should know.

As a break in the boss-by-boss breakdown of Ulduar fights, I wanted to go over a few general raiding tips for Rogues. Some of them may be very old ideas that you've been using since level 60, while a few others are new tricks that we've learned in WotLK. Hopefully you'll be able to glean a few good bits of information to take with you the next time you zone into any raid. There's nothing more important than properly preparing for a new fight, but knowing the general tactics for any encounter will make understanding new fights much easier.

First, however, I would like to comment on the new Overkill. Its new form is a significant buff when looking at total energy generated, and also for PvE Mutilate Rogues. However, it is a nerf to our 6-second burst window during a Cheap Shot -> Kidney Shot combo. I feel this will end up being a net buff for Rogues, as relying solely on the first 6 seconds of a fight in PvP has become far to gimmicky for us to rely on.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 3

Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 3 originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: These are a few of my favorite things - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 14:00:00 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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Today's musical selection for the queue will be the late great John Coltrane playing My Favorite Things in 1961 opposite the piano stylings of the equally great McCoy Tyner. Yes, some people may cover their ears and scream "omg soprano sax!" but others will no doubt spend 10 minutes watching and listening to these master musicians partake in this performance of a quintessential jazz song.

Kayri asked...

"A question about the speculation on the next expansion; everyone thinks it will be either The Maelstrom or The Emerald Dream. How will we quest in The Maelstrom? Are we going to swim around all the time?"

Continue reading The Queue: These are a few of my favorite things

The Queue: These are a few of my favorite things originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Minutes of Fame: WoW 101 -- yes, WoW for college credit - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 13:00:00 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.

WoW.com's Adam Holisky has been itching to take a WoW course for quite a while now -- so Adam, this 15 Minutes of Fame is for you. While some people still don't get that playing WoW doesn't lead to becoming a college dropout, there are plenty of others who recognize the game to be a rich resource not only as entertainment but even as a venue for anthropological research.

And now, this: "Warcraft: Culture, Gender and Identity," a credit-awarding class being offered at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota. At the helm of this innovative course is Landon Pirius, Ph.D., also known as Nodnal the Gnome Warrior of Blackwater Raiders-US. No stranger to the convergence of WoW and academia, Dr. Pirius wrote his doctoral dissertation on "Massively Multiplayer Online Virtual Environments: A Potential Locale for Intercultural Training." We didn't go quite that deep in this interview; we simply visited with him about his wildly successful college course and how it's helping shape modern educational methodologies.

And before you ask -- yes, Dr. Pirius returned the answers to our interview questions in impeccable outline form.

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: WoW 101 -- yes, WoW for college credit

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW 101 -- yes, WoW for college credit originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Culling of Stratholme - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Warning: This movie will contain spoilers if you have not completed the instance titled Caverns of Time: The Culling of Stratholme.

You can think of The Culling of Stratholme by shadowline1990 as a "cover video." Basically, he took the in-game events that take place during the instance of the same name, and applied a more cinematic feel to them. He opens with a current-day shot of Stratholme, complete with Scarlet Crusaders wandering by. Then, in a cut scene, moves to the argument between Arthas, Jaina, and company.

While the storyline obviously isn't unique or original, the way the author shot the events is much more attractive. I was apprehensive at first, but the new video creates a great deal more emotion and gravitas to the events. It was the contrast of present-day and pasty-day that really won me. I will admit, though, I'd avoid face-shots of Jaina. The eye-rolling thing human females do in-game makes them seem flaky, and it did detract a little from the video.

I'd definitely encourage the author to keep advancing his skills. He has an eye for applying good shots and emotion to his subject matter, and I hope he advances the story in an interesting, new direction.

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

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Culling of Stratholme originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ensidia gets world first 25-man Algalon kill - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST


Just seven weeks after patch 3.1 brought Ulduar to the live servers, Ensidia has conquered it. They just made the world-first kill of the 25-man version of Algalon, the optional final boss that appears only after completing every other boss's hard mode. Algalon only allows one hour per raid lockout period of attempts on him.

Ensidia got the world-first kill of 10-man Algalon a bit over two weeks ago. They say the 25-man version is "not an easy fight," "highly gear dependent," and "a significant difficulty increase over the 10 man version." Apparently last week they got him to 4%, only 1% over the threshold to beat him (he gives up, like Mal'Ganis in Culling of Stratholme). That must be frustrating as heck.

Well, congratulations to Ensidia, once again! I wonder what they'll be doing until patch 3.2 comes out.

Ensidia gets world first 25-man Algalon kill originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Storm across the sea - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST

Our anonymous submitter sent in this picture titled "Baddest Shammy Screenshot Ever!" and I've got to agree with him there. It's always nice when character screenshots end up looking like something that should be part of a cinematic. Anyway, he writes that this effect was caused by the use of Thunderstorm while Water Walking. Hmm. I'm sure that goes against National Weather Service recommendations. If you see an elemental shaman in the area, get to shore and seek shelter immediately!

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Storm across the sea originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Should rage only come from damage dealt? - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST
Should warriors and druids no longer generate rage from damage taken? Ghostcrawler mentions this as a possibility being considered to change the way warriors and druids tank, one that would eliminate difficulties when rage-using tanks take too little damage/avoid too many attacks and have trouble tanking content that they outgear or are using avoidance heavy gear to tank.

  • Having warriors only or mostly generate rage from damage done is an intriguing idea that has come up a few times. It would help the problem where better gear leads to rage starvation (at least in lower instances) and where warriors have trouble OT'ing because they aren't getting hit. It might also get warriors to care slightly more about dps stats instead of focusing mostly on survival stats. This would all apply to druids too. This isn't a change we have in the pipe, but it is something we discuss from time to time.

Of course, this would require a real shift in how warrior/druid tanking mechanics worked. It would also have massive effects in PvP: it would essentially break the pattern of design that makes focus firing a warrior in PvP a slightly more risky proposition, since if you don't kill them they'll turn your own damage back on you. (It could also mean that switching to bear as a survival strategy in PvP for druids would become hobbling.) It's a very interesting idea: as a warrior who is currently DPS, I know that rage starvation can be a real issue when you're reliant on damage dealt, any misses or dodged/parried attacks can sink your rotation, so hit and expertise would become even more aggressively important stats for tanks.

There's a lot of issues to consider, but it would make all warriors and all rage based tanks more balanced with each other. No more praying for rage after a dodge streak, no more taking off your pants to run a heroic if you're in raid gear, and more attention paid to parity between DPS and tanking rage use. I'm not sure I want to see so big a change in the game, and I'm certainly hoping they do it right if they do it at all.

Should rage only come from damage dealt? originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: If you could add one new feature - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST

A couple months ago, we asked if you could add one new game mechanic to WoW, what would it be? This morning, I'd like to ask what you'd pick if you could add one new feature. Some common requests:

  • Player/guild housing
  • Ability to be in multiple guilds simultaneously
  • Ability to start a character at a higher level than 1 (like Death Knights)
  • Mounted combat
  • Cosmetic gear (ability to have one set of gear equipped, and another set displayed)

I'm sure there are more commonly desired features that I just haven't thought of yet.

Me, I'm really excited about the PvE arenas that I hope are coming in patch 3.2. Aside from that, I suppose I'd like to be able to start alts at a high level. I like leveling well enough, but 1-40 is simply tedious. Characters haven't really come into their own yet, and those zones are pretty underdeveloped. What new feature would you want to add to WoW?

Breakfast Topic: If you could add one new feature originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Guildwatch: Min-E3 edition - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 02:01:00 EST


Apologies for this week -- I'm at E3 working like crazy, and Guildwatch has ended up on the low priority list. But I'm not going to leave you with nothing: though it's a little shorter than normal, we've still got your downed, recruiting, and dramatic news of the week. Click below to read on, and we'll be back to full strength next week.

Got more tips for us? Just send them along to guildwatch@wow.com, and you might see them right here soon.

Continue reading Guildwatch: Min-E3 edition

Guildwatch: Min-E3 edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 02:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maintenance continues, restarts for many realms [UPDATED] - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST
Rolling restarts are currently in progress on many realms, apparently to address a talent issue that cropped up with patch 3.1.3. These restarts shouldn't take more than 2 hours across the board. Meaning that your server shouldn't be down for very long at all, because that two hour window is for the entire process. The battlegroups being hit with these restarts are:

  • Ruin
  • Vindication
  • Rampage
  • Shadowburn
  • Stormstrike
  • Nightfall
  • Whirlwind
  • Emberstorm
  • Retaliation
We're not sure if this will mean the end of today's maintenance woes, but we can hope.

Update: They're still working on getting the downed realms into working order, but don't currently have an ETA. They say an update will come soon.

Maintenance continues, restarts for many realms [UPDATED] originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Shifting Perspectives: The day has come - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 21:30:00 EST
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we contemplate whether the phrase "the agony and the ecstasy" can be properly applied to graphical improvements in MMORPG's.

So once I finished sobbing tears of joy over the new bear art that debuted last week (and looking up pictures of Bull Terriers after seeing the new version of Tauren cat form), I started tabulating reactions online, and held the following conversation with myself:

Me: Is there an unusually high level of stupidity in the forums over this issue?

Myself: Can the level of stupidity in the forums ever be correctly described as "unusually high?"

While forced to admit that my good bifurcated self had a point, it remains that the sheer amount of dumb in the forums threatens to explode from its containment area and slosh down the hallway carrying off screaming bystanders. This is Bad. Some of those bystanders might be the artists working on making sure the new version of Tauren cat form goes live without bugs, and I don't want that. I worked hard to ensure that this site is ranked #1 by Google for the search phrase "I hate Tauren cat form," but I'd like to be able to retire that tag permanently.

Anyway. Let's take some time here and address some frequently asked questions, common misconceptions, and whether Blizzard owes the American Kennel Club a kickback:

Continue reading Shifting Perspectives: The day has come

Shifting Perspectives: The day has come originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Update: European weekly maintenance: 3rd June 2009 - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST
It's Wednesday once more in Europe and Blizzard has been busy. After the implementation of multilingual battle groups last week, they seemed to like it so much that they're merging some more, this time on a bigger scale. Hopefully all this should be happening between 3:00am and 11:00am CEST, but judging by some of the problems experienced by Americans yesterday, this could easily changed. Just keep calm and carry on.

So during the maintenance tomorrow, we will not only be getting patch 3.1.3, various battle groups will be shoved together and renamed.

  • Bloodlust (hey that's me) and Cataclysme will become Cataclysm/Cataclysme
  • Cyclone and Todbringer will become Cyclone/Wirbeisturm
  • Conviction and Raserei will become Frenzy/Raserei
  • Rampage and Ferocite will become Rampage/Saccage
  • Reckoning and Verderbnis will become Reckoning/Abrechnung
  • Ruin and Glutsturm will become Emberstorm/Glutsturm
  • Vengeance and Schattenbrand will become Vengeance/Rache, and finally
  • Sturmangroff and Represailles will become Sturmangriff/Charge

So while you're waiting for all this to happen, there's plenty to do. We've got patch notes for 3.1.3, there are the new Tauren kitty forms to drool over and you could even download the Battle.net authenticator app from EU iTunes stores. As usual one of my American colleagues - this week Alex Z. - has compiled a fun post to read that rounds up all the interesting tidbits which have been happening for your amusement to tide you over until the servers pop back up.

UpdatE: Maintenance has now been extended to 1pm CEST.

Update: European weekly maintenance: 3rd June 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wowhead founder receives in-game homage - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


It seems that Blizzard snuck this one in quietly with Patch 3.1 as not a lot of people noticed, but thanks to Saithir of angrydwarfs for pointing it out. Apparently, an NPC named Loremaster Skosiris appeared at the top of Scryer's Tier in Shattrath tending to a new library of books. The NPC tends to a host of bookshelves that act as master trainers for primary and secondary professions, saying "Here I have amassed what may well be the greatest depository of lore in all of Outland. Even the grand libraries of Silvermoon City pale in comparison." Skosiris also tells players, "please... look, read, browse to your heart's content. You'll find everything organized and clearly labeled."

Why is this so cool? Well, Skosiris is the name of the founder of everybody's favorite World of Warcraft database, Wowhead. What can be a more fitting tribute than an NPC that manages, well, data! So that's what the Scryers did with all those Arcane Tomes. Blizzard has given nods to the community in the past, most notably with the NPC Breanni, who operates the pet store in Dalaran, and even to now-retired Druid blogger Phaelia, who got an item appropriately named after her. These are the tiny little touches that remind all of us that Blizzard appreciates what the gaming community does. Even though Shattrath is now a ghost town, Loremaster Skosiris and his library is a pretty good reason to drop by. When you do swing by the Scryer's tier, don't forget to bring some tacos for this librarian.

Wowhead founder receives in-game homage originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: So I fell into some trouble... - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 19:00:00 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.

The Daily Quest: So I fell into some trouble... originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Some realms suffer extended downtime [Updated] - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 18:10:00 EST


Bornakk hopped on to the forums to confirm the fears of many players who don't happen to have their World of Warcraft clients handy to tell them the same thing: some realms are going to be down for a while and Blizzard doesn't know when they're coming back up. According to Bornakk, they are experiencing "additional issues" with some realms as well as issues with the launcher being unable to update game clients. They currently have no estimate for the return of the realms, which do not appear on the game client's realm list, but will provide more details at around 2:30 3:30pm PDT. A complete list of affected realms after the jump.

[UPDATE: Nethaera reports that Blizzard "encountered a serious error" with the listed realms and are working towards a resolution. Unfortunately, there is still no estimate for when the realms will come back up and more details should be available at 5:30pm PDT. The situation has a small silver lining, however, as Blizzard is considering "appropriate compensation" for the additional downtime experienced by players on those realms. Stay tuned to WoW.com for further updates.]

[UPDATE 2:
Nethaera updates her post to explain that the network improvements intended for all realms resulted in a connection error which has taken some time to identify and fix. While she notes that the connection error itself has for the most part been resolved (which is why some of the affected realms now show up on the realm list), the affected realms have yet to undergo the regular weekly maintenance and patching procedure. This means a much, much longer downtime than anticipated. Nethaera hopes to give further updates by 7:30pm PDT. Time to reroll, I guess.]

[UPDATE 3:
Looks like they're doing a little more work tonight on all realms to address a few issues. More information in our post here.]

Continue reading Some realms suffer extended downtime [Updated]

Some realms suffer extended downtime [Updated] originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 18:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution tips and tricks in Ulduar - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST


I know, it's another Retribution post, but since we got hit with the nerf bat again (ever so slightly) I decided to devote one last column to the spec before I rotate back to Protection. Besides, my past month or so has been spent raiding Ulduar as Retribution (with the first few forays as Holy) so I think that's what I'll talk about for now. Rather than talk about specific boss strategies, we'll talk about the little things we can do to perform at our best in Ulduar.

Flame Leviathan
First up is Flame Leviathan. Obviously, none of the usual strategies will apply here but one key point players should remember is that the vehicles scale with gear. This means having to prepare an outfit set optimized for the encounter. One thing to note about vehicle scaling is that it doesn't look at stats, just iLevel. Optimizing a gear set for this means putting the highest iLevel item you have in every slot. For "pure" classes, this is usually their normal set-up, but for Paladins who keep several sets of gear, an iLevel-optimized outfit can be composed of healing items, a few tank items, some DPS items, and even PvP gear. Players can use AddOns such as RatingBuster to determine an item's iLevel and outfit managers such as Outfitter or Blizzard's new in-game equipment manager to quickly swap gear.

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution tips and tricks in Ulduar

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution tips and tricks in Ulduar originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Time is Money: Farming for Nerubian Chitins - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply).

Nerubian Chitins are gathered by Skinners and used by Leatherworkers, and although they show up on a number of mobs, there are only a handful of areas that are actually worth farming.

They sell for around 5g a piece, and Leatherworkers consume them in bunches from one up to 40! In fact, for several levels, the chitins provide some of the best and cheapest leveling options. On the low end, they are used for leg armor enhancement kits, and on the high end, epic gear.

Azjol-Nerub
If you can get a group to run Azjol-Nerub with you a few times, with you as the only Skinner, you'll make quite the profit. The skinnable mobs there have an average drop rate of about 25%.

In Icecrown, before you start questing...
Upon entering Icecrown, your first stop will likely be the Argent Vanguard, a mid-size outpost with several quests available to you. Before you begin these quests, or at least, before you hand in A Cold Front Approaches, start farming the mobs around the camp. Once you hand in that quest, you phase out permanently, and all of those spiders will be gone.

Continue reading Time is Money: Farming for Nerubian Chitins

Time is Money: Farming for Nerubian Chitins originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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June's Brew of the Month: Blackrock Lager - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST


It's the beginning of a new month, which means a new brew! This time around it's the Blackrock Lager! This is a hot hot hot beverage to kick off the summer season. Drinking the Lager sometimes procs something that sounds like it should be a Mage talent: Internal Combustion. While you have this buff (which lasts 5 minutes), your face gives off an eerie red glow like you're seeping fire out of every orifice. Except that one. And that one. Okay, you people are gross. Just the ones above the neck. After 5 minutes (or when you click off the buff), you get what you see in the image above. You belch a great load of fire! And that's it. Pretty straightforward.

I always try to find little factoids about the various brews these are based on, but a lager is common enough that I don't think it's necessary or interesting to anybody but beer buffs. Instead, I'm going to point out how awesome some of the Blackrock/Dark Iron themed brews are. This one makes you belch fire, but there's also the Dark Iron Ale that you can use to get a pet from the Darkmoon Faire, and the Sulfuron Slammer which creative individuals use to break crowd control effects cast upon them in PvP. The best of the lot is the Dire Brew, which turns you into a Dark Iron Dwarf for an hour. Awesome? Yes, I think so. You can get all of them in Blackrock Depths, so go celebrate in the Grim Guzzler sometime this week!

June's Brew of the Month: Blackrock Lager originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.1.3 download failing for many users - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 14:36:00 EST


In addition to the realms being down, there seems to be a problem with the patch distribution servers. Today's patch 3.1.3 is not downloading for many users, myself included, on both Mac and Windows. People are seeing a lot of "tracker not responding," and downloads stalling at 10%, if they start at all.

Blizzard knows about it - it is apparently an issue with their trackers, like the error messages say. There are, however, some patch mirrors they recommend, at least for Windows users, if you want to get patched up in a hurry. Of course, patching now isn't much use, since the servers won't be up for a little while, but it does give you something to do. I haven't seen any Mac mirrors floating around yet, although I'd bet that the trackers will be fixed before the servers are up.

Edit: please do not post links to patch files in the coments. They will be deleted.

Patch 3.1.3 download failing for many users originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 14:36:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maintenance extended two hours - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 14:10:00 EST

Another maintenance day, another "surprise"-extended maintenance. According to Bornakk, they've "encountered some issues" causing them to extend maintenance on all realms by two hours. Most realms are therefore expected to be up and running by about 1:00 PM PDT.

Many realms, however, were already undergoing extended maintenance to finish some hardware upgrades. The following realms are currently expected to be playble around 2:00 PM PDT:

Aegwynn, Akama, Aman'Thul, Arathor, Azjol-Nerub, Barthilas, Blackrock, Bloodscalp, Bonechewer, Boulderfist, Bronzebeard, Caelestrasz, Chromaggus, Crushridge, Daggerspine, Darkspear, Dath'Remar, Draenor, Dragonblight, Dragonmaw, Draka, Drak'thul, Dreadmaul, Dunemaul, Eitrigg, Eldre'Thalas, Feathermoon, Firetree, Frostmane, Frostmourne, Frostwolf, Garithos, Gundrak, Gurubashi, Hakkar, Jubei'Thos, Khaz Modan, Khaz'goroth, Kil'jaeden, Kilrogg, Korgath, Kul Tiras, Malorne, Mug'thol, Muradin, Nagrand, Nathrezim, Ner'zhul, Perenolde, Proudmoore, Rexxar, Runetotem, Saurfang, Scarlet Crusade, Sen'jin, Shadow Council, Shadowsong, Silver Hand, Silvermoon, Skywall, Smolderthorn, Spirestone, Stonemaul, Stormscale, Suramar, Terenas, Thorium Brotherhood, Tichondrius, Uldum, Vek'nilash, Windrunner

Whew. In the mean time, you might want to take a look at the notes for patch 3.1.3, which goes live today, or at the new Tauren cat forms.

Maintenance extended two hours originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 14:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask a Lore Nerd: It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

I didn't intentionally choose today's Scourge theme. Really. These things just happen. That Dragon-specific one I did all that time ago? I didn't plan that, either. I'm just awesome enough that these things come together all by themselves. Yep. It's my pure, radiant awesome.

What? What do you mean current game content dictates what topics are hot or not? Pssh, that's crazy talk. That can't be it. It's all me, y'all.

Briz9 asked...

"Who built Icecrown Citadel and the accompanying structures? Did Arthas build it after he became the Lich King, or was it already there?"

The massive Saronite structures that make up Icecrown as it is today is all fairly new, from what I understand. Most Scourge architecture is based on Nerubian architecture (as you can see in Ahn'kahet) but the Saronite structures in and around Icecrown seem more styled after the Lich King himself. You certainly didn't see that stuff in Warcraft III either, but I suppose that's not always a good indicator.

Continue reading Ask a Lore Nerd: It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake

Ask a Lore Nerd: It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Tauren cat forms revealed - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 13:17:00 EST


As you probably know by now if you play a druid, new feral form graphics are finally coming in patch 3.2. Druids will have their choice of five different versions for each race and form (bear/cat); what form you get corresponds to your hair color for Night Elves and your skin tone for Tauren, both of which will be changeable at the barber shop.

So far we've already seen the bear forms for Tauren and Night Elves. Today, Blizzard unveiled the replacements for the much-maligned Tauren cat form. You can see the results above. My initial reaction is that they're still a bit ugly, but way better than the previous Tauren cat form (which is marked "Old Cat form" above).

Here's what a few of our staff members thought:
Elizabeth: "A million times better. Still not as cool as night elf, but better."
Allison: "The eyes are way too small. Still going to be glad I play a bear."
Lesley: "Those horns are evil."
Alex: "I'm gonna roll a Tauren Druid so I can play that black one with the grey mane. I'm going to RP an old grizzled war vet Druid."

What do you think?


New Tauren cat forms revealed originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 13:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: I can't help it if it's true - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 13:00:00 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.

Just gonna let this one speak for itself. Oh, and if you want to know what today's obligatory Reading-The-Queue-Music is, it's of Montreal.

lgnorman420 asked...


"So I've been wondering as my guild has been running through Ulduar about the various machine names one might encounter throughout the game. Mimiron's creation, the V0-L7R-0N combat system or the XT-002 Deconstructor are two examples. Also the mechanical chicken quests back from mid-40s to 50s leveling also come to mind. Do these number/letter codes have any significance or are they just random sequences to give them a machine sounding kind of name?"

I don't think there's any naming scheme across the board for robotic things in WoW. How they got their names differs from one to the next. For example, V0-L7R-0N is just a Voltron joke. I don't think XT-002 has any significance except that maybe (maybe) the 2 signifies that he's the second creation of Mimiron that you fight in Ulduar. The second line of defense or what have you. Someone smarter than I am should figure out what XT stands for. The robochickens are named after the zone you find them in.

Continue reading The Queue: I can't help it if it's true

The Queue: I can't help it if it's true originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Adventures of Puff & Lilpuff - Episode 7 - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Warning: The language in this piece is not safe for work.

You can only very tenuously call today's piece a "movie," which might disqualify it for being featured on "Moviewatch." However, Myndflame's "Adventures of Puff & Lilpuff - Episode 7" targets the same audience of WoW players who would recognize them from their epic series, Illegal Danish. I wanted to make sure Moviewatchers didn't miss out on the comedy.

Of course, part of the news here is that Myndflame will be releasing the prelude to Illegal Danish 3 on July 3rd, 2009. This particular episode of Puff & Lilpuff features a petition thread on Gameriot, encouraging the Illegal Danish folks to include the nominal characters in the machinima.

Overall, this mostly-audio series is pretty funny. It's rooted in the body of work Myndflame has created, and is definitely a creative use of characters. Over the seven episodes we've already scene, the interaction between Puff and Lilpuff has become more complex and involves. I think that the series will continue to build on this intricacy, and will probably become a staple of many a WoW player's weekly game routine.

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

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Adventures of Puff & Lilpuff - Episode 7 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW China transition begins this month, will be down for weeks - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST

JLM Pacific Epoch, the source that revealed this whole WoW China debacle to us in the first place, has continued their ongoing coverage of the World of Warcraft situation in China. As reported previously, The9 is no longer in charge of WoW China. The whole thing has been handed over to NetEase, who is already running some of Blizzard's other overseas properties. The9's operations of World of Warcraft will cease on June 7th, and NetEase will bring operations back up late that same month. Yes, that's a few weeks without WoW in China whatsoever. Luckily, it's intended that character information will carry over from one provider to the next.

No matter how much or how little you play the game, you have to admit that WoW being taken away for weeks sucks pretty hard. Of course, the fact that this might make it easier for them to get Wrath of the Lich King may ease the hurt a little. We here in North America (or even the EU or Oceania) may complain about downtime and lag and server instability, but we should consider ourselves lucky that gaming is a relatively painless experience in comparison to what our Chinese playmates need to put up with. Here's hoping that WoW in China remains strong after all of this, and not utterly barren due to people fleeing to Taiwan's realms.

[via Massively]

WoW China transition begins this month, will be down for weeks originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Big brother is watching you - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


We've been getting a lot of glitch screenshots yesterday, so I'm trying to be more picky and only use the most unusual ones. This shot of Wintergrasp from Bundead of <Monolith> on The Sentinels definitely qualifies. The normal tree textures have been replaced with the head of an angry, bald man. Has the Warden program become sentient and started to stalk players through the gamescape? Or is Bundead being followed by the decapitated head of a Lego figurine?

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Big brother is watching you originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Battle.net Authenticator iPhone app now available in Europe - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 09:30:00 EST

These things sometimes take a while, but Blizzard has finally made the Battle.net authenticator app available in the European iTunes stores (you can download it here). As with the NA version, the app is a freebie and designed to add an extra layer of security to your account thanks to a random number generator.

We've already posted a hands-on look at the app and I had a quick play with it while writing this post. It seems really easy to use once you sync the app to your Battle.net account and there's something very special about seeing the Blizzard logo pop up on my iPhone. The app should also work on the iPod Touch and is available now, so if you've already merged your WoW account then this might well be the app for you. I certainly carry my iPhone around with me more than my keys so this little app is a very welcome addition.

Battle.net Authenticator iPhone app now available in Europe originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Blizzard believes fans make their games successful
With E3 2009 officially underway, it's a great time for devs and CEOs to chat about their games and Blizzard's very own Mike Morhaime has been talking about the company's position in the MMO market with Develop. He believes that Blizzard is uniquely positioned within the industry and that it's all about the players.
World of Warcraft in China to go offline for weeks in operator handover
In addition to government regulations preventing Wrath of the Lich King from releasing for the Mainland, we've reported that The9 has lost the rights to operate World of Warcraft in China to competitor NetEase. Now we learn that the transition of operations from The9 to NetEase will mean World of Warcraft goes dark in China for a matter of weeks.
E3 2009: Trion World Network unveils fantasy MMO Heroes of Telara
Trion World Network unveiled its first fantasy MMO title Heroes of Telara at E3 2009 today. The announcement was accompanied by the launch of the official Heroes of Telara site, that provides background on the gameplay elements and backstory, as well as screenshots, concept art, and a game trailer.

Continue reading MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What do you think of the new bear druid skins? - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


I'm a little biased, but I think druids are awesome. I'm sure you know my main is a druid and it's the class which I've stuck with both from a game play and lore point of view. So when the new druid bear forms were revealed I was squeeing along with our resident druid blogger Allison. As an Alliance player, I love the Tauren designs and I never even realized they had horns. I freely admit to being less impressed with the Night Elf skins. Actually, it's more like bitter disappointed. They feel boring and just a little predictable, plus they're really, really ugly.

As someone who hasn't yet dual-specced, I play Balance and seldom use my melee forms. I love the look of my (to use a LOLcat phrase) kitteh form and usually use it as a fast way to get round instances or when I need to sneak into capital cities. Because of that I'm much more curious about the upcoming cat form which has been promised this week.

What do you guys think? Do you like the Night Elf/Tauren druid forms? Do you think Blizzard is just changing the skins rather than overhauling the design. Are you more excited about other druid forms (for me it's the Moonkin, of course)? Speak up, constant readers, and drop your thoughts in the box.

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of the new bear druid skins? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Tuesday Morning Post: Later, losers! - Tue, 02 Jun 2009 07:00:00 EST
Danny Whit is usually the one sitting here writing this thing up for your maintenance day entertainment, but he's out of the office today. Where is he? I wish I knew. Last time I saw him he put on a pair of shades, gave me a thumbs up, then jumped out of our office window and landed on a sweet hog three stories down. He yelled something in Greek, then rode off into the sunset. So... here I am. The craziest part of it all? The window was closed. He didn't even have the decency to open it and now there's a draft. Thanks a lot, Danny.

Servers are down, and will remain down for a number of hours as patch 3.1.3 rolls out and many servers receive significant hardware upgrades. As long as you're here, you might as well make the most of it. In case you've missed it, here's the best of WoW.com from the past 7(ish) days.

Hot News and Features

Continue reading The Tuesday Morning Post: Later, losers!

The Tuesday Morning Post: Later, losers! originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 02 Jun 2009 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maintenance for Tuesday June 2nd - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST


Maintenance, you say? Unheard of! After all, what is wrong with a Paladin standing upright while riding her horse? Or what's wrong with constant errors telling intrepid adventurers additional instances cannot be launched?

Well, okay. Something might be wrong with those things. Hopefully tomorrow's maintenance will bring fixes to them. But more importantly based on all account it'll be bringing patch 3.1.3 with it as well.

Maintenance will last from 3:00 a.m. PDT until 11:00 a.m. PDT. Unless, of course, you on one of the few dozen realms listed after the break. For those special realms, maintenance will last from 12:01 a.m. PDT until 12:01 p.m. PDT. Why is it starting at the :01? Because Blizzard wants you to have an extra minute to complete raids tonight. That's how much they care. And you know what? So do I... (Click it... I dare you.)

The full list of realms under the extended maintenance after the break.

Continue reading Maintenance for Tuesday June 2nd

Maintenance for Tuesday June 2nd originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft Patch 3.1.3 going live - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 20:25:00 EST


Word is coming through the grapevine that patch 3.1.3 will be released tomorrow. MMO-Champion is also confirming this, so given both of our information I'd say it's a sure bet.

We posted the patch notes last week when Zarhym released them, and they're after the break so you can become reacquainted with the small changes that'll be happening. If there are suddenly new notes tomorrow we'll let you know.

When a mirror is available for download we'll get a post up; probably sometime early tomorrow afternoon. This patch is also likely a harbinger of maintenance tomorrow, however there has been no official announcement yet.

The patch notes after the break.

Continue reading World of Warcraft Patch 3.1.3 going live

World of Warcraft Patch 3.1.3 going live originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 20:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Art of War(craft): The future of Battlegrounds - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


I love the Battlegrounds. In my mind, it's the halfway point between general world PvP (no objectives), which is a free-for-all, anything goes brawl and Arenas, which is a tightly controlled deathmatch environment. The former epitomizes war in its absolute sense -- no controls or limits for balance in terms of numbers or levels or gear, there are no match start times, and there is no set ending. Think of old school Hillsbrad PvP or run-of-the-mill gankage. It's pure conflict with no constraints. The flip side is Arenas, which is as close as the game can get to a sport, as much as possible trying to pit evenly matched teams against each other.

Battlegrounds are the compromise. The format tries (admittedly sometimes unsuccessfully) to control numbers as well as limit the instances where organized teams are matched against a rabble of random players. Brackets limit level disparity and map objectives give direction to the encounters. Battleground objectives give a little flavor to the PvP, although players can treat it like a deathmatch, too, sometimes at the expense of prolonging or losing the game. Solo players -- playing any class of any spec -- can have a go at it and come away with a good experience, as Battlegrounds aren't as harsh as Arenas in terms of team composition. In Patch 3.2, Blizzard plans to introduce a new Battleground, which should be pretty exciting. The fun doesn't stop there, either, as it looks like developers are at work on even cooler things for this aspect of the game.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): The future of Battlegrounds

The Art of War(craft): The future of Battlegrounds originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Monday roundup - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 19:00:00 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.

The Daily Quest: Monday roundup originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: Black Jelly - Mon, 01 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players and fans, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction - and yes, (War)crafts. Share your stuff by tipping us off via our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts).

You're not alone: Black Jelly made from Borean Man o' War does sound disgusting. We wouldn't make you eat that goop. Unless of course, you want a lot of mana and health back, and there's no Mage around; then, we think you should probably give it a shot. Go on, open up. Inky ... Jiggling ... See that little shimmy? It's really not that bad - rather as if it had been freshly milked from a Disgusting Oozeling. Gulp.

We hope you didn't really fall for that, because while it's true that we're committed to bringing you real versions of the freshest game food, we've chosen the Black(berry) version instead. (We're just sweet like that.) Read on for the world's simplest Black(berry) Jelly recipe (no fruit pectin, no cheesecloth straining, no sterilizing little canning glass jars with screw-on lids), plus our own Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Black(berry) Jelly.

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: Black Jelly

World of WarCrafts: Black Jelly originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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