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Curse launches oddly familiar WoW database - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 19:30:00 EST



There are quite a few WoW database sites out there. Thottbot was the first big one that I was aware of; other big sites include Allakhazam, the Goblin Workshop, and of course Wowhead. Then there are some lesser-known contenders (at least to me; it took me a bit to come up with them), like WoWd.org, WarCry (I use their news constantly, but never saw the database), GameAmp, WoW Guru, WoWDigger, and TenTonHammer (again, I know TTH for news, but didn't know they had a DB).

And now Curse, long one of the big names in Add-On and news sites, is throwing their hat into the ring with the very capitalized WOWDB, which appears to be in beta right now. It seems like a pretty complete database; it's got all the items, quests, NPCs, and so on that you would expect from a serious act like Curse. But hold on a minute, doesn't it looks a bit similar to a certain other WoW database site of which Curse doesn't seem to be too fond? Ignore the Wrath of the Lich King-esque blues for a second, and...oh. Oh dear. Well, at least it's a good design they're copying from, I suppose. See the gallery below for more comparison screenshots. What do you guys think -- is this within the bounds of inspiration and homage, or a blatant rip-off?

Gallery: Wowhead vs WOWDB

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Fandral Staghelm kill simulator - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 18:30:00 EST


If you've been following along with the podcast, you've heard of the Fandral Staghelm killshot thread over on WoW Radio-- it's a place where those who hate Fandral Staghelm, Archdruid of Darnassus and generally obnoxious jerk, can get their kicks seeing the guy dead on the ground. Originally, the thread was supposed to be a compendium for killshots, but Rembrant on the Moon Guard server has taken it to a whole new level-- he's created a Flash-based kill simulator of the Archdruid. Don't have a whole raid of Horde to go into Darnassus and take him down in game? Just click the "Die Staghelm!!" button, and you get a surprisingly satisfying animation of Staghelm's demise.

I love it (and wish I had seen it sooner-- looks like it was posted last week sometime). All day today I've been randomly killing Staghelm, and it has a relaxing effect. Bad day at work? Kill Staghelm. Fight with your girlfriend? Kill Staghelm! Couldn't get your raid to kill Staghelm? Kill Staghelm anyway!

I only hope the site survives the masses of people who will jump onto it to kill Staghelm. Because there certainly are a lot of them.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 23: Mojo and other popular loot - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 18:00:00 EST
This past weekend (before we knew the Pats couldn't go undefeated for a whole season-- that's what they get for beating my Rams in 2001), WoW Insider took to the airwaves of WoW Radio for the 23rd episode of our podcast, and the results are now live over on their site, and ready to assault your ears with a fine mix of insight and insanity. Turpster was out this week, but Duncor skillfully filled in alongside myself and WoW Insider's own Alex Ziebart. We talked for a minute about Groundhog Day, and then ducked into the email inbox (the address is theshow@wowinsider.com, if you've got something to tell us), and then we talked about the most popular posts of the past week:

And we also tried breaking out some new "loot-names" for easy bosses: Loot Reaver, and the Loot Below. One I liked from an email that didn't get mentioned on the show this week: "The Chest Event" in Karazhan. Funny. Check out the show for more, and don't forget to tune in next week as well: same loot time, same loot channel.

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Zami's Official WoW forum dictionary - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 17:00:00 EST
Apparently this has been wandering around the forums for a while, but I haven't seen it before-- Zami the forum troll (and we mean that in a good way) has put together a dictionary of sorts for those browsing the forums. Not quite sure what people mean by QQ or "weaksauce"? Zami's got you covered. Well, he doesn't so much have you covered (we actually have a post for that), but at least he's entertaining.

"Watch out, the Lion King" was probably my favorite, but Taz'dingo was pretty informative too-- I never knew exactly what that meant. Zami's guide is definitely good for a laugh.

[Thanks, Kevin!]

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The Legendary Sisterhood shakes up Sentinels - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 16:00:00 EST


The guys over at the Legendary Heroes podcast wanted to form a guild to play with their fans, but they didn't want to actually make it serious-- they figured that by including everyone, they'd end up with some people who were fun to play with, but weren't necessarily the best players. So instead, they formed a guild. And it's been an interesting experiment-- kind of an anti-RP RP guild.

They're formed a guild called "The Legendary Sisterhood" over on Sentinels' Horde side-- it consists only of Blood Elf female mages and priests. It's a weird cross between a cult, a party, and a griefer guild-- the denizens of Sentinels have reacted to their actions with the expected confusion. We only know there are rules: every member of the guild must have a name that starts with "Sister" (as in Sisteramy), and there is a hierarchy within the guild, topped by a dark and mysterious Queen. It's an RP guild for non-RPers-- there are weird rituals, various attacks on opposite faction capital cities, and just general mayhem. In short, it sounds awfully fun.

I'm not a huge fan of RP-ing (our own David Bowers knows much more about it than I do), but I'm not sure this is RPing or not-- they're just having fun with an old fantasy mechanic of the secret society and playing together in a way that doesn't necessarily require reaching the endgame. The guild is the character in this case, not the players themselves.

[Thanks, Mark!]

(Post updated after the jump)

Continue reading The Legendary Sisterhood shakes up Sentinels

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Under Development page updated - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 15:30:00 EST


Once upon a time, the "Under Development" page on the official site was a great way to keep up with what was coming to Azeroth in the weeks and months ahead. These days it's pretty infrequently updated, but every once in a while it's still the first place we find new tidbits. Today is one of those days; a bunch of new content was added to the page, and here's what's new as far as I can tell:
  • "New Daily Quests and Interactive Quest Hub" will be part of patch 2.4's Sunwell Plateau
  • New repeatable Battleground quests
  • "Some PvP rewards now obtainable through PvE content" -- say what? I wonder how this is going to work. Badges as equivalent to honor points or something?
  • A portal to the Caverns of Time "accessible through reputation with the Keepers of Time."
Did I miss anything else? Or is some of this old news? I for one welcome our new portal to the CoT, since it was getting pretty obnoxious with all the flying and the riding every time I needed to work on someone's Karazhan attunement or whatever.

[Thanks, Boubouille]

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AV improvements slated for 2.4 - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 14:30:00 EST
It seems like they just can't leave Alterac Valley alone. In this case, that's probably a good thing, because there is a lot of discontentment with the state of that battleground right now. Bornakk just announced (and three different people just dropped us tips to let us know) that AV will get some "very significant improvements" in the upcoming patch 2.4:

  • Horde starting tunnel moved back "to a more equal distance from the first objectives"
  • Each faction's Generals and Warmasters will buff each other for health and damage: the more of them your side has, the stronger they all are. Hopefully this will more strongly motivate killing the Warmasters.
  • Balinda Stonehearth will do more damage, but she and Stormpike will have their recent health increases repealed.
Will these changes appease your wrath with AV? If not, what else is required?

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WoW Moviewatch: Shpongle music video - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 12:00:00 EST

This next machinima, Shpongle - Once Upon the Time of Blissful Awareness, doesn't have the fancy WarcraftMovies intro, or even a thumbnail. It's no Baron or Yume, but what it does have is heart. It's a great first attempt.

You can tell that bawavax tried his best, which is more than I can say for some first efforts. Aside from going a little effect happy in certain spots, I really enjoyed his use of Particle Illusion in various elements. Hopefully he'll refine his technique and come out with something even better soon!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Officers' Quarters: A moral dilemma - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 11:00:00 EST


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Every once in a while I get an e-mail where I think, "This person has to be pulling my leg." At first, I thought the e-mail below was one of them. As I read on, however, the author's heartfelt anguish over the decision she has had to make convinced me that there really is a guild leader out there doing this. Judge for yourself:

Hello there,

I'd love your opinion along with your readers opinions on an issue going on in my current guild. I'm an officer of a Horde guild that is still relatively young (3 months) but very dedicated. We transferred from other servers in order to form an off-hours raiding guild. Things were going very well until several weeks ago when I looked at our guild forum and was shocked to find the GM posting character accounts for sale and urging other guild members to buy them! And if that wasn't bad enough a week or so later he decided to buy a current guild member's account for himself and his girlfriend (another officer and the purchased account's owner supposedly wanted to stop playing those characters).

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: A moral dilemma

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Around Azeroth: The Deeprun deception - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 10:00:00 EST


Reader Quigley, Gnome Engineer and Pearl Diver of the Nagrand server, was taking a trip on the Deeprun Tram and saw an opportunity for some fun. He explains that he "realised, whilst wearing my 'Deepdive Suit' (Helm and some leathers that look the part), there was an opportunity for a lush underwater scene. It all began when I noticed that certain mail gear had the same colour palette as the Helm, then came the matter of finding a suit. Found something suitably frumpy leather set.. voila! Diving Suit. [It] often causes passersby some pause when I trot out of the water."

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing 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 fullscreen shots without the UI showing.

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Breakfast Topic: What do you like best about your class? - Mon, 04 Feb 2008 08:00:00 EST
Shia of Banana Shoulders has suggested a regular question to the bloggers at Blog Azeroth as an exercise to motivate posting. And her first question is an excellent one. After spending more than three seconds in any class forum on the Official boards, you'd think every class is nerfed, gimped and insta-gibbed in the game. But in reality, many people like their classes very much. Why?

I've said it many times before here on WoW Insider and I'll say it again: I love my Druid for one simple reason, versatility. I can tank, dps, heal or crowd control depending on what is called for in any given encounter. Sometimes I do all four in one fight and those are my favorite fights. I think only Shaman come close to Druids in pure versatility which is why I'm leveling a Shammie alt.

So let's cut the qq today and get to the good stuff: What do you like best about your class?

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Spiritual Guidance: Level 1 to 5 on your new Priest - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 19:32:00 EST


So you're rolling your first character... or perhaps rolling the latest in a series of alts. And for some crazy reason you've picked a Priest. Maybe you just like being blamed for every instance wipe in every group you'll be in. Maybe you enjoy being yelled at for not healing in a battleground when you're at the top of the DPS chart. Maybe you enjoy leveling at an insanely slow pace (at least until you get in the level 40 range). (Okay, it's really not all that bad -- at least not all the time. After all, I've leveled two priests to level 60 and beyond and I'm a perfectly rational, sane individual. Right?) I couldn't say why you rolled a priest -- I'm only here to help you along the way. So read on as we discuss the journey from level 1 to level 15.

If this sounds like fun to you but you haven't yet rolled your priest, check out the last episode of Spiritual Guidance, where we talk more realistically about whether Priest is the class for you and cover picking the right race for your newbie-to-be.

Continue reading Spiritual Guidance: Level 1 to 5 on your new Priest

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All the World's a Stage: Class is in session - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 17:55:00 EST

All the World's a Stage is skipping class (gasp!), and playing with roles every Sunday evening.

Our spells are shiny and bright, well worth using in more than just combat situations! Last time we talked a bit about this idea, as well as how druids, hunters, and mages could use their spells to entertain their friends. Today we turn to the remaining classes: priests, paladins, rogues, shamans, warlocks and warriors.

Each roleplayer would do well to sit down and examine his or her action bar to pick out those spells which can be used outside of combat, and think of whatever opportunities imaginable to make good use of them. Chances are, if you put your mind to it, you can come up with some really creative ideas.

Buffing, for instance: You've got these beautiful abilities that can benefit anyone around you, no matter what class or level they are. If you're going to bless them with such a neat thing, why not say something about it while you do so? You can say, "<Deity Name> guide you, sir!" or, "you look pretty dumb -- have some extra intellect!" or whatever expression sounds right for your character.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: Class is in session

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Netherstorm summoning restriction to be removed - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 16:00:00 EST
To accompany the information about patch 2.4 regarding the ability to summon into instances, Tigole popped into the Elitist Jerks forums with another handy detail.

The restriction on summoning in Netherstorm is going to be removed entirely! Hooray! While this change won't vastly alter gameplay, it's another nice little convenience thing. Those are usually the most enjoyable changes, I think. This far into the game, there really isn't much need to keep Tempest Keep restricted to those with flying mounts. Plus, as all of the level 68 Druids with their Flight Form have displayed, you don't need to be top level to do some damage in most of Tempest Keep either.

This seems like it might be another change with the intent of opening the game up to more players and speeding up the content to prepare for Wrath of the Lich King, but most people I know never liked the summoning restriction anyway. I, for one, am glad to see it go.

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Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 15:00:00 EST
This week's round up of WoW-related posts on our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe dominated by World of Warcraft. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed.

The Digital Continuum: Comparing core concepts of WAR and WoW
Can Warhammer Online avoid the same design pitfalls that World of Warcraft has fallen into? Find out in Kyle Horner's Digital Continuum column.


The stormy courtship of Blizzard/Activision
The Wall Street Journal unearthed the proxy statements behind the Activision/Blizzard deal to reveal who came out ahead in the merger. And it may not be who you think.


Rumor: New Blizzard MMO to be Starcraft Online?
More rumors surface about Blizzard's next MMO. This time, word comes from a Chinese newspaper that states the name of Blizzard's Asian partner for Starcraft Online.

Continue reading Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories

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Fear Ward and Spell Haste for facemelters - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 14:00:00 EST
Yesterday's announcements brought two big notes that will be affecting Shadow Priests. The Fear Ward change and the fact that Spell Haste with affect the global cooldown.

The Fear Ward change, like I mentioned in my last post, is primarily a convenience change for PvE. Reupping Fear Ward every 3 minutes when you need to keep putting Shadowform back on afterwards is annoying, and a large mana drain over long encounters. However, it wasn't crippling, so not a very big deal. What this will help the most is PvP, especially arenas. Having an arena match last longer than three minutes isn't unlikely, so you will probably want to put Fear Ward back up at some point throughout the match. Being required to drop Shadowform to do it is sort of a pain, considering both the loss of damage and the mitigation Shadowform supplies you with, arguably one of the Shadow Priest's strongest defenses.

The Spell Haste change is what has me a little excited. I'll admit right away, I haven't crunched any numbers. I'm notoriously bad at breaking down raw stats, I usually just eyeball my gear and take a guess. I'm right or pretty close more often than not but don't hate me too much if my guesses here are completely wrong. If you want to see some raw numbers, you can probably check them out over at the ShadowPriest.com forum.

Continue reading Fear Ward and Spell Haste for facemelters

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What's in a name? - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 13:00:00 EST
The names of equipment in the World of Warcraft are really hit or miss. You have a few that are absolutely amazing, some that are downright awful.

On the one hand, you have Crul'shorukh, Edge of Chaos. Stop reading for a second, and say that out loud. Crul'shorukh, Edge of Chaos. Roll it around on your tongue, savor the flavor. That name alone radiates manliness, and it helps that it was a darn good weapon in its day. If Bruce Lee and John Wayne had a child, I bet its name would be Crul'shorukh. This right here is the height of awesome.

And then... then, you come across the Wand of Happiness. Come on, really? The Wand of Happiness? When I spotted this in Nagrand, I completely forgot whether I was playing the World of Warcraft or Cuddly Pink Ponies in Dreamland. Am I supposed to be slaying orcs and dragons by the dozen or rolling dice to see if I get to wear the pretty tiara? Well... I guess I'm doing both, technically, but thats not the point. How about Wand of Blowing Stuff Up instead? Eh? Ehh? Yeah, that's what the World of Warcraft is really all about.

Crul'shorukh. Mmm.

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WoW Moviewatch: How to paladin, Episode I - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 12:00:00 EST

There has been such a positive response to the How to Paladin posts! I thought I'd take you back to where it all began. Shepiwot posted his first video in March 2007, shocking the community with what he described as "senseless uselessness."

On this Super Bowl Sunday, make it a Shepiwot day. I can't promise that you won't have seizures, but at least you'll have a smile on your face!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Two Bosses Enter: Sapphiron vs. Hakkar - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 11:00:00 EST


Welcome to the beginning of the third bracket. It's been six months since we began this battle of the raid bosses and we are down from 32 to just 8 contenders for the title. Here's the line up for the next four weeks:

Sapphiron vs Hakkar
Ragnaros vs. Kel'Thuzad
Illidan Stormrage vs. The Twin Emperors
Princess Huhuran vs. C'Thun

Today, we jump into the first of these titanic battles with the undead frost wyrm Sapphiron vs. the Troll god of Zul'Gurub, Hakkar the Soulflayer. Who shall fall and who shall emerge victorious? Read on to decide for yourself and cast your vote!

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Sapphiron vs. Hakkar

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Around Azeroth: Death chamber with a view - Sun, 03 Feb 2008 10:00:00 EST


An unidentified reader sent us this ceiling shot of a hole in the last chamber of the Slave Pens. Who knew Quagmirran enjoyed a sunroof is his demense? Well, a water roof considering the whole thing is under Coilfang Reservoir. But wouldn't that flood the whole place? Oh well, it's scenic and that makes it the selection for today's Around Azeroth.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing 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.

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