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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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Judge compares Vivendi-Activation merger to a WoW quest - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 19:30:00 EST
The judge ruling on a dispute related to the Vivendi-Activision deal has used WoW metaphors for the actions of the litigants. William B. Chandler III, the chief judge of the Delaware Court of Chancery, showed an unusually keen grasp of the dynamics of the game -- way more than either of my parents would understand. His ruling describes, among other things, crafting, questing, battlegrounds, guilds, and even our unique linguistic habits. (My mother, for example, calls them typos.) Continuing his analysis, Judge Chandler says that the world of Mergers & Acquisitions is similar to an MMORPG where "participants take on certain roles, interact in their own community, hone specialized skills, and even develop a unique, somewhat curious vernacular." The judge concluded his denial of the injunction with the words "GAME OVER."

Judge Chandler is no stranger to hipness. In previous decisions he has also made references to 50 Cent, Ray Charles, Notorious B.I.G., and Cerberus, the mythological dog that guarded the gates of the underworld. Perhaps he's trying to keep the jurors awake?

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Activision-Blizzard merger may be complete on July 9th - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 19:00:00 EST

WoW Insider sister site Big Download is reporting that the Activision-Blizzard merger is getting closer and closer to reality. They recently won another victory in court today, as a Delaware court struck down an attempt by the Wayne County Employees' Retirement System to gain a preliminary injunction against the deal.

We're now coming up fast the July 8th Activision shareholders' meeting, where they will vote to approve the merger. Activision has already said that they expect the merger to be official on or about July 9th, according to Big Download.

This, of course, squeaks in just under the wire for the E3 expo. Activision-Blizzard has already said they don't plan to participate, but that they will hold a press conference on or near the dates of the expo. It seems likely now that they will be officially announcing the completion of their merger.

Of course, we here at WoW Insider are hoping the merger isn't the only thing they reveal. A WoTLK cinematic and official release date or another L70ETC song on Guitar Hero would be nice, I'd say.

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Totem Talk: What you will and will not be - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 18:30:00 EST
Totem Talk, the column for shamans, was hit right between the eyes with news from the Worldwide this weekend. Matthew Rossi, our intrepid columnist, tries to make sense of it all this week.

Okay, I know we're behind on the Kara gear articles, but this weekend's news from the Worldwide Invitational was too much for me to ignore. Both for all the awesome news for shamans and for what it all doesn't mean. (And yes, I had to steal Mike's image from the roundup post... I even went out and bought that statue I like it so much.) Since we know the Beta Opt-In is live and the Wrath beta can't be far away, I thought we should spend some time discussing what we just found out.

I admit that part of the reason for wanting to discuss this in detail is that I am stoked about it. Some of you readers are, in fact, very good for providing a bucket of cold water in the form of reality checking, and I expect you to do me that service now. But maybe we're all excited, which would be awesome, for shamans to once all be excited.

I know Hex is the greatness, but what it isn't is real CC for five man instances. It's a panic button, like so many other shaman abilities can be, not a long-term solution. To use hex as CC in an instance in the manner of Polymorph, you'd have to renew it every ten seconds. You're taking yourself out of DPSing entirely if you intend to use it that way, basically. Make no mistake, it's a great ability and great utility for the class, but it's more akin to Cyclone than Sap or Poly.

What, you may well be turning to me to ask, is it good for then if it's not going to be good for CCing in instances?

Continue reading Totem Talk: What you will and will not be

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Scattered Shots: Talented animals - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST


Scattered Shots is a bit short today, on account of its author currently visiting the Holy Land. Still on time though, and still specially for hunters!

Now that pets are finally getting the attention they deserve, they will, in their own way, become even more like a second class all their own. Big Red Kitty was only partially joking today when he told you that these pets would be able to replace certain other classes. The new and improved Wrath-of-the-Lich-King pet talents will make hunters feel quite literally like a class and half, the closest thing in the game you can get to multiboxing with only one account.

We don't really know for sure what these pet talent trees will look like, but there are a number of implications and speculations we can imagine at this point, which can help give some shape to this new element of the hunter experience, including some mysterious pet abilities lurking in the murky bowels of the Wrath alpha client.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: Talented animals

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Dive right into recruiting with WoW Lemmings - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 17:00:00 EST


Recruiting isn't what I'd call a fun past time. Ever since server transfers exploded on the scene, it's not unusual for our guild's officers to spend 30 min to an hour per day scanning the WoW Guild Recruitment forums (Alliance and Horde flavors). With summer hitting, no major content in the immediate future, and what I'd like to call the 3rd Year Burnout affecting players, recruitment is more important than ever to keep a guild's progress going.

There are a lot of options out there to find people LFG, but the WoW Guild Recruitment forums continue to be the largest source of potential class replacements. They're not perfect, though. For one, you'll spend more time trying to find the class you're looking for than actually posting replies to viable recruits. And with the speed at which new posts are made (20 minutes after you post, you're on page 5), it can be extremely daunting trying to keep up with them all.

Join me after the jump to learn how WoW Lemmings has changed all that.

Continue reading Dive right into recruiting with WoW Lemmings

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Moving on - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 16:30:00 EST
There comes a point where you move past content. There's no reason to go back to it other than nostalgia, or for the off chance on a slow night that the one really awesome drop that particular boss has might finally drop. It's a fact of the endgame... you work, you put in the wipes, you stock up on food, buff pots, elixirs, flasks, and other consumables, you go in over and over again and struggle and finally get the boss down... and then in a month or two it's trivial and you're sick to death of the sight of him or her. Another month and you're saying "Does anyone really need any Vashj drops anymore?" and a month after that, you're done with the instance.


This is fine, and it's part of the moving on process with content: if you're regularly farming M'uru you probably don't need anything off of Mother Shahraz anymore except for maybe bad luck on shoulders. Some guilds were fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be completely done with Black Temple and Hyjal well in advance of Sunwell Plateau. Others are just now finishing up with Gruul and Magtheridon and preparing to move into SSC and Tempest Keep, while still others are just now done with those.

Continue reading Moving on

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Big set of icons from the WoW comic - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 16:00:00 EST


Popehippo on WoW Ladies LJ was kind enough to post these 59 icons, directly from the World of Warcraft comic. They actually come from all over the place, including the comic itself, as well as from cover and concept art. And there's all kinds of different stuff in here, from Orcs to dragons to Druids to Naga.

They're meant, of course, to be used on Livejournal, but they work, I'd imagine, for all kinds of icons, from Twitter and IM to even the comment profiles right here on this very site. If you've been poking around for a Warcraft-themed online identity, look no further, odds are that there's a cool piece of art you'll find in this big layout Popehippo's assembled.

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Beta selection is random, no emails yet - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 15:35:00 EST
Nethaera has just come out and said that the beta selection process will be random. This is important for all of us to know: there will be no precedence or order associated with the opt-in. What does this mean? It means even if you sign up tomorrow you have a chance to get in, and that all of us who rushed to sign up when it just opened get no real benefit.

Neth also lets us know that there are no beta emails going out just yet - and that they will "try" to let us know when they start sending out legitimate emails.

We want to reiterate again: be careful with the email scams. They will be flying around today like wildfire. Don't get caught up in one. Read our handy guide on how to keep yourself safe for more information.

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US registration for Wrath beta now open - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 15:03:00 EST


US accounts are now able to access the beta registration from https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/account/beta-opt-in.html and opt-in for the Wrath of the Lich King beta. EU accounts saw this feature implemented a short time ago. It looks like the leak from the German Community Manager Gnorog is holding up to be true.

Remember that when you opt in, you are not guaranteed a spot, and you will likely not get an email inviting you to the beta right away. Instead your name will go into a pool of players who will then be chosen for the beta. That's why they call it opting in.

This is a good time to remain vigilant about email scams and other malicious programs that might try to get your user name, password, and other account information. Never share these with anyone other than official worldofwarcraft.com websites.

If the beta invites do start going out soon, expect us at WoW Insider to let our friends and families know what's really important this holiday weekend: bringing everyone late breaking WotLK news, all while enjoying their finely cooked BBQ food. I'll take two burgers to go with jalapeno cheese and a Corona.
WoW Insider has the latest Wrath information for you including a list of the Death Knight spells, abilities and talents demo'd at last weekend's WWI in Paris, as well as complete write ups of all the Wrath WWI panels with analysis.

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Barrens Chat: Gotta catch 'em all - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 15:00:00 EST


When I started playing World of Warcraft, I decided to start off by making a Tauren Hunter. Mostly because every single game I've ever played, I am usually a healer-type character. I decided that I did not want to be the healer this time around, but I was far from ready for the tank job, so I went halfway into what I figured would be a decent solo and damage support class. I was so unprepared for what playing a Hunter would be.

One of my major obsessions, however, was to find a pet that was an uncommon sight. I did not realize at the time that Echeyakee was a Horde side quest, and was really excited at having gotten a "rare pet" when a friend offered to help me tame him.

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Continue reading Barrens Chat: Gotta catch 'em all

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BigRedKitty: Florence Nightingkitty - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 14:30:00 EST


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

LF Tank and Healer for Heroic Shattered Halls.

LF Tank and Healer for Black Morass.

LF Tank and Healer for Gruul's Lair PUG and good to go.

LF Tank and Healer to raid Undercity or Hogger.

As a DPS-class, this is all we see in the Looking for Group channel, isn't it? It's just 10,000 warlocks and mages and rogues and hunters, all hoping that a tank and healer will consider us worthy of their glorified, sanctified presence. We prostrate ourselves, hoping they will let us get a little reputation and watch them get a new piece of gear, while we take home eleven pieces of Netherweave Cloth and a Large Prismatic Shard.

Well in WotLK, hunters are getting a huge present: the ability to have Pet Talent Points. Although the final names of the pet talent trees aren't chiseled in stone, the concept is that we will have a DPS Tree, a Tanking Tree, and a Utility Tree.

A basic glimpse in the WotLK-future would indicate that Marksman hunters could get a DPS-spec'd pet and do more DPS than a Beastmaster hunter currently can. That would make sense; we'd be fine with that. A Survivalist hunter could make a Utility pet. Would a Utility pet be like Robin to your Batman, dropping traps and able to Fear and put wickedly-cool debuffs on targets? Maybe, sounds like fun.

But what puts a shine on our gun is the idea of a Beastmaster hunter with a Tanking Pet. Can you imagine... a hunter's pet that could honestly tank a 5-man instance boss.

Yeah, baby. You sell that to us, Blizzard, and we're totally buying.

Continue reading BigRedKitty: Florence Nightingkitty

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World of Starcraft could still be the next-gen MMO - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 14:00:00 EST

Arena Junkies picked up an interesting tidbit by comparing two different interviews. Rob Pardo, Blizzard's EVP of Game Design, gave an interview to Onlinewelten in which he talks about the next-gen MMO. That interview isn't exactly news on its own. We knew since Diablo III was announced at the WWI that it probably isn't the new MMO, and Pardo confirms that in the interview. "..Diablo 3 isn't an MMO," Pardo says, "So we have another development team."

But what is that new MMO being developed? Some speculate it could be an entirely new property. Well, Paul Sams, Blizzard's Chief Operating Officer, has an interview with Gamasutra that indicates no new IPs are coming soon. "Are we ever going to release a new [franchise]?" Sams says, "I would absolutely say we will at some point. I just don't know when that day will be quite yet."

Okay, so Blizzard's still working on a MMO, but there's no new IP on the horizon. So, what's the next-gen MMO going to be? World of Warcraft 2? World of Starcraft? And if Diablo 3 isn't considered an MMO, then is there a possibility of a World of Diablo? For me, this just means that my hopes of Tauren Marines aren't yet dead.

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WoW Chinese distributor The9 dominates China's supercomputers - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 13:20:00 EST

One thing that your average WoW player probably doesn't think about much is the sheer processing power that's needed to play the game. I don't mean your gaming rig personally. WoW's actually pretty forgiving on that front. I mean the server hardware over on Blizzard's end, the stuff that makes us miss some gaming every other Tuesday or so. Do we really stop to think about how powerful it is?

It turns out that it's powerful enough to dominate a list of China's top 100 supercomputers. The Register reports that 5 of the top 10 supercomputers in China are owned by The9, WoW's China distributor. Not only that, it also owns at least 12 of the top 100 overall, and perhaps more. That means that more than 10% of China's best supercomputing power is directed toward MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft.

Continue reading WoW Chinese distributor The9 dominates China's supercomputers

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European registration for Wrath Beta now open - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 12:45:00 EST


MMO Champion (and a few of our tipsters -- thanks!) is reporting that the European WoW site has opened up registration for the Wrath of the Lich King beta. I wasn't able to sign in with my trial account (created for the Dingstravaganza a while back), but there's no question that the page is up (inside EU players' Account Management menu) and accepting signups. Of course, this still doesn't mean that anyone is playing the beta, only that signups are taking place. We're also being told that it's an open sign-up, so it could be a long time before these signups are actually allowed to play, especially if one of the beta keys from BlizzCon or WWI are used to run a closed beta first.

As for why this isn't happening on the main North American site yet, remember that one of the EU CMs was the one to break the news -- perhaps because WWI was local, they're starting things up early there (or maybe it's just a timezone thing, and the EU site has had more time today to get the signups going). No matter what, the wait is almost over -- there's no question now that we're closer to the Wrath of the Lich King beta than ever.

Update: Eyonix confirms the registration on US side is coming soon.

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WoW Moviewatch: Veil of Corruption - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 12:00:00 EST

With the premiere of Azerothian Super Villians - Episode 6 set for tomorrow, we wanted to start you off with some epic weekend viewing. By epic, we mean Veil of Corruption, a 115-minute machinima that neglects the hero-based storylines you're used to. Instead, they focus on what they refer to as politics and connivery.

VoC is about the struggle for control in Azeroth. In an attempt to receive the answer he has been praying for, the Alliance Grand Marshal, Paladin Valerius, goes on a soul-searching mission that leads him to the tomb of Uther Lightbringer. When peace seems to be within reach, he begins to wonder if it will last ...

With voice acting in German and subtitles in English, this movie took a year and a half to make from about 60 pages of script! Believe it or not, this is actually only the initial part of a planned trilogy. If you enjoyed the first hour, check out the ending, which was too long to go in the stream above.

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

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

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Kisirani implies the return of the Scourge Invasion event - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 11:00:00 EST

I think a lot of old school WoW players will agree with me that the Scourge Invasion event that kicked off the Naxxramas patch (and coincided with that year's Midsummer Fire Festival) was a whole lot of fun. There was something incredibly epic about fighting a massive hulking abomination on the steps of the Stormwind Cathedral that not even most boss fights have been able to capture for me. it was also nice to have all those extra bosses in the dungeons for a bit of variety, especially since some of them dropped some very nice loot. Beyond all that, it finally gave us a chance at getting the much coveted tabard of the greatest faction in the game.

Still, despite Blizzard's hints that we'd get a chance to experience the Scourge Invasion again, it's been over a year and a half since the citadels ceased to hang over our capital cities with no sign of a return -- I've even saved a space in my bank for my spare Necrotic Runes, just in case!

Of course, if the Scourge Invasion is ever to return, it's getting closer and closer to the most opportune moment for such a thing. WotLK is coming, in which we will invade Northrend ourselves to try to put a stop to the Scourge once and for all. Preparations are already underway in Stormwind for the journey, and rumor has it that Arthas himself is in eager to lure us to Northrend and trap us there. What better way to do that than with a preliminary invasion as bait?

Apparently, Kisirani agrees.

Continue reading Kisirani implies the return of the Scourge Invasion event

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Around Azeroth: Mark of death - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 10:00:00 EST


Shadowmoon Valley is a dreary, depressing place, and Illidan's front yard is no exception. While waiting outside the Black Temple for raid time, our unnamed submitter ran into Doomwalker (upper left) and an unfortunately incinerated man (lower right). See, this is why your raid leader yelled at you to spread out and avoid the chain lightning.

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 -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no sunsets.

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World of WarCrafts: Banner of brutality - Thu, 03 Jul 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.

Show the world where your loyalties lie with this horde-riffic signage. The bold red backdrop is guaranteed to garner attention while the blood spatter technique would make even Thrall proud.

Here is what you will need:

  • Wooden Frame (I used a Make Me Frameous frame from Michaels)
  • Wooden Letters (I used Provo Craft Carved Letters from Michaels)
  • Acrylic Paint (deep red, black)
  • Fine Red Glitter
  • Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Spray
  • Paint Brush
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.

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Breakfast Topic: How are you spending the last few days of the Midsummer Fire Festival? - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 08:00:00 EST

The Midsummer Fire Festival officially ends on July 5th, just a few scant days away. That means no more Lord Ahune, no more chances to get the Deathfrost enchant, no more desecration, no more turning into a crab, no more Torch Tossing... Yeah, I'm a little bummed too.

Still, we have a couple days left to make the best of it. Of course, the question is -- what exactly do we do with it? Myself, I'm torn. My enchanter still needs the Deathfrost enchant, so I may want to get a group together and go slay Ahune a few more times. Then again, I still haven't gotten some of the Midsummer loot on a couple of my 70s, so maybe I want to make a push to get the last few blossoms for those.

But I'm also thinking that it would be nice to get my shaman to level 30 before Patch 2.4.3, and thus I'm tempted to just go out and slog through the last few levels with her, bolstered by the all the various Fire Festival buffs and the Ribbon Dance buff.

I'll have to think about it some more, but in the meantime, do you have a plan for these last few days of the Midsummer Fire Festival?

The Midsummer Fire Festival is upon us! Check out WoW Insider's complete quest guide to collect those Burning Blossoms as well as our guide on how to spend them. Also, don't forget to eyeball our screenshot gallery of Midsummer events. Finally, find out how to kill Lord Ahune, and check out our break down of his loot table.

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Authenticators sold out, for now - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 07:00:00 EST


It looks like I'm not the only one keen on getting a shiny, new account authenticator. The Blizzard Store is currently marked as "Sold Out" on the product. Tyren posted on the General Discussion forum that it will be several weeks before they will be available for purchase once again.

I believe that those who have placed their orders are still slated to receive them, though I have received no word on my order. I ordered mine Tuesday morning, and the order status is currently sitting as processed. If they follow the shipping schedule in the email, the devices should be sent out at some point tomorrow. I'll give a full review once my token arrives at my doorstep.

Continue reading Authenticators sold out, for now

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