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Read excerpts from the winners of Blizzard's writing contest - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


Blizzard recently ran a global creative writing contest: write fan fiction set in any of the main three Blizzard universes (Diablo, Warcraft, or Starcraft - no Lost Vikings, apparently), submit it to Blizzard, and win fabulous prizes. The grand prize winner (one Andrew Moeller) won a trip to Blizzard HQ to meet the devs, as well as a Frostmourne sword. Seven runners-up got signed novels and other lore paraphernalia.

The winners were announced back in May. So why am I bringing this up now? Well, Blizzard has posted excerpts from all eight winning stories on their web site. I have to say, aside from the overuse of adjectives and adverbs that tends to be endemic to fan fiction (write with nouns and verbs, people), this is some pretty enjoyable writing. I'd like to see the full stories; I wonder if they're going to be released at some point.

Read excerpts from the winners of Blizzard's writing contest originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Insider Trader: Your guide to profession-specific buffs - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST
Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

The World of Warcraft's second expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, changed the way that we players, as tradespeople, view professions and altered the reasoning behind our choices to pursue them.

The driving factor behind this change was Blizzard's commitment to make each profession seem beneficial and dare I say, fun, to any player, regardless of class. While we did see some changes in this direction in The Burning Crusade, such as an Enchanter's singular ability to enchant his/her own rings, this new vision for trades really hit its stride in Wrath.

To accomplish this, Blizzard shifted focus away from bind on pick-up gear and added self-buffs and self-enchants, as well as some other incentives, to give players more choice.

It used to be, for example, that PvP characters would take Engineering. Leather and 40+ mail-wearers would take Skinning to feed their Leatherworking. Tailors would take Enchanting because it allowed them to recoup some of the costs of crafting gear, and so on.

In essence, we could choose between fun, PvP, gold-making, and the best gear. Now, we can purchase gear from the gear-crafters, and be free to pursue something else, should we wish.

Today, Insider Trader is going to break down the incentives offered by each profession to help you choose what is right for you. Rather than focusing on fun items, I will be addressing stat bonuses.

The purpose of this guide is not to tell you what you need to take in order to be the best raider, or make the most money, or have an edge in PvP, but rather to gather the information to one place and present it for your consideration.

Don't forget to read through the comments section at the end of this article, as there are sure to be tips and stories from our readers!

Continue reading Insider Trader: Your guide to profession-specific buffs

Insider Trader: Your guide to profession-specific buffs originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail part 2 - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST
This week, Totem Talk covers the mail options for 25 man Ulduar, and also presents reader screenshots! Since I'm not raiding Horde-side as much right now (Malfurion, I miss you, especially the fine folks in the Consummate Vees, one heck of a good group of people) I've been using my Draenei shammy for the screens, and after many comments demanding the return of horde shamans, I finally threw down the gauntlet and dared the readers to provide them if they missed them so much.

Clearly, I had underestimaged your desire to see orcs, taurens and trolls back alongside this column. Well, far be it from me to stand in your way. Readers Chris Bell and Adam Brien both sent me good pictures of their orc shamans (this week we meet Adam's shaman) as did Claire Jones, whose tauren shaman will be featured after the cut just because I have a soft spot for tauren shamans. (Vishypants, you are remembered.) Now, don't take this to mean you'll never see a draenei screenshot here again, cause even if you don't like them I do. But if readers keep sending in those screenshots I guarantee some of them will make it to this column.

Heck, it saves me having to remember to take a screenshot, after all.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail part 2

Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail part 2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Recent hotfixes: goodbye, BC dungeon chests - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST

Although it's no longer the first week after patch 3.1, when Ulduar nerfs and other hotfixes were coming almost as fast as we could post them, Blizzard is still fixing up the details here and there. Over the past week, a few hotfixes have gone in. Fortunately, as they have been doing recently, Blizzard has posted a nice list of what those changes are.

It's nothing too earth-shattering, as far as I can make out. Some creatures associated with the Yogg Saron fight should load faster. A few items have had their stats buffed (Earthshaper, Valorous Siegebreaker Shoulderplates, and Conqueror's Siegebreaker Shoulderplates), while Leviathan's Coil had its armor cut roughly in half. Clever DKs can no longer cut their RP costs with items meant to cut mana costs, and a bug involving Leviathan MK II's Self Repair on Mimiron was fixed.

Most recently, along with warrior buff shouts being made free again (as they should be) during preparation in arenas, Blizzard has seen the need to remove all non-boss chests in BC dungeons. They say this is "to resolve an exploit;" I assume it has something to do with people being able to farm chests too easily.

It is disappointing when fixes like this happen. On the one hand, it's "only" BC content, and chests aren't going to make or break a dungeon. On the other hand, those dungeons are deserted and useless enough as it is, and Blizzard keeps telling us they think there is still entertainment value in the old zones. Hopefully they get the chests fixed up eventually,

Recent hotfixes: goodbye, BC dungeon chests originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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70,000 Death Knights slaughtered in Great Server Downtime of 2009 - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST

It's been some time since I last looked at the Top Lists on the official World of Warcraft site. I only thought to glance at it since I stumbled upon my own post about it from December of last year, when Loken reigned supreme as the most dangerous mob in the game. These days, Yogg-Saron's other minions have taken his crown from him. Interestingly, the most dangerous mob bounces back and forth between the first boss of Ulduar and one of the last bosses of Ulduar. Flame Leviathan is apparently far more deadly than I'd ever have expected, and either there are more players than I thought fighting General Vezax and Yogg-Saron, or the few guilds on those two bosses really like wiping. I guarantee that my raid added a thousand deaths to the Guardian of Yogg-Saron tally a few of those nights.

The correlation between Flame Leviathan being tops or Vezax being tops seems to be a matter of the day of the week. Monday night leading into Tuesday morning, Vezax and Yogg-Saron reign supreme. Wednesday and Thursday when everyone has a fresh Ulduar ID? Flame Leviathan is ahead significantly. Makes sense. 'Risen Ghoul' is consistently near the top, too. Nerf Death Knights plz k thx.

The most interesting stat of all of these this time around is certainly not most dangerous mob, though. No sir. The Most Completed Quests section is hilarious. You can see the effects of this past Tuesday's lengthy downtime for certain battlegroups. How can you tell? Well, the date of the data is when it was uploaded to the site. It's the data from the day prior, however. The data listed for Wednesday (which is what happened Tuesday)? There are no daily quests in the Most Completed like there usually is, no sir. It's the entire Death Knight starter quest chain. Yes, that's right, you can actually see how many people on North American realms rerolled throw-away Death Knights on different realms because their server was down. The very first quest, In Service of the Lich King, was completed 64,152 times.

Continue reading 70,000 Death Knights slaughtered in Great Server Downtime of 2009

70,000 Death Knights slaughtered in Great Server Downtime of 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Soul man - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Yesterday Alex featured Cab Calloway blasting out Minnie the Moocher, a song that while was around for a long time was truly made epic by his performance with the Blues Brothers. And this lets me tie in perfectly to wish my brother Logan a happy graduation from high school next week. Logan and many of his friends were in their jazz band, and he often dressed up as the Blues Brothers when appropriate. And in lieu of that, today's reading music is the Blues Brothers' "Soul Man" performance from the 1978 SNL season. The good old days. 5 years before I was born.

Hokiebuddy asked...

"With the revamp of the bear and cat forms for Druids will there be any more Druid revamps in design such as the travel, swimming, or flying forms? Also will this spill over into other races and classes i.e. Warlock and Paladin mounts, Warlock minions, Shadow Priest shadow form, etc..."

Continue reading The Queue: Soul man

The Queue: Soul man originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reader UI of the Week: Kraayliis of Azuremyst - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


Reader UI of the Week is back! Each week WoW.com will bring you a fresh look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using, to readerui@gmail.com.

After a bit of a break, Reader UI returns with a nice set-up from Kraayliis, a Death Knight on Azuremyst-US (view large). Here's what he had to say:

I've just been working on setting up a clean UI that still retains the look and feel of a full UI while still minimizing the amount of clutter on-screen. I'm currently running WoW @ 1920x1080 resolution. This is my first shot at designing a UI so I just wanted to toss this out there to see what people would think.

I started using Btex for the background a few weeks ago and couldn't find what I wanted so I decided to draw my own.

Continue reading Reader UI of the Week: Kraayliis of Azuremyst

Reader UI of the Week: Kraayliis of Azuremyst originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

Well, you guys wanted me to run Deadmines. As you can see, I ran Deadmines. Many thanks go to Urse (Healer), Child (Tank), and Sneafoo (Noob Rogue of Doom) for 4-manning the thing with me. Urse was pretty overleveled for the place so healing was hilariously easy, but Sneafoo made up for it by starting the run at level 12 and aggroing Gruul from the pirate ship.

I went further than that, too. I didn't stop at Deadmines, I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep as well. I was kicking around the idea as soon as someone suggested Deadmines, but I didn't think I would manage to land a group for either of them. When I went out to the Barrens to get my Succubus (Angva) at level 20, that sealed the deal for me. I picked up the quest The Orb of Soran'ruk, and despite the fact that its quest rewards sucked, it gave me more reason to try and get the groups together. I put out a call to all of the various resources I knew, LFG and community chat channels (your server probably has a few good ones) and all of that, and managed to score a few groups.

Continue reading Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here

Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: How to paladin XXXII - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST

Just when the world seemed dark and without hope, just when it seemed like there could be no victory, just when it seemed everything that's right and good about the world would be extinguished like a match between Arthas's forefinger and thumb . . . a hero arises. And that hero is Shepiwot.

How to paladin XXXII is the continuation of Shepiwot's How to paladin series, obviously. It's hard to define Shepiwot's genre exactly. He's created something entirely his own. It's not PvP video, obviously, and it's certainly not Belf Rap. But, ultimately, it is unique and without peer. But as I sit here, watching it over and over, like decyphering the Dead Sea Scrolls, I can tell you that it certainly is "How to paladin."

I will close with this simple comment. Holy crikey, I can't believe there are thirty one other installments in this series. Talk about a legacy! I look forward to "How to paladin XXXIII."

[Via WarcraftMovies.com]

WoW Moviewatch: How to paladin XXXII originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard launches Ulduar Bosstiary - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST


Although this comes a little late for a few players, not everybody is raiding Ulduar yet, and those that are haven't necessarily cleared it. To help appease your curiosity about what creatures lurk within the latest raid, or if you simply want to know a bit about the background of the guys that have been handing you purples recently, check out Blizzard's latest web feature, the Bosstiary.

It's an interactive map of Ulduar (same graphics as the in-game map), and if you click on any of the boss icons, it pops up a little paragraph about the boss. For instance, did you know that Auriaya is Ulduar's archivist? Makes sense - librarians love cats. Also, apparently Kologarn was created by Ignis. I guess Iggy must have been a big Monty Python fan.

I think this is a neat way to learn a little more about the story behind the bosses. I hope they continue doing this for raids to come.

Blizzard launches Ulduar Bosstiary originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Cruising for a bruising - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST

Hey! You! Scarlet Crusade girl! Take a look over here. That's right. Look at what I did to your pal with my mighty wand. This small stick of cedar and glass will be the doom of all who inhabit this chapel. Look upon me and ... oh. That's kind of a big sword. A big, sharp sword. How can you even lift it? So anyway, I'm here to make a donation to your fine ministry. Would all my gold be sufficient? Okay, I'm just going to drop it on the floor and take off. I ... uh ... left my kitchen on fire. Have a nice day!

(Thanks to Anthony for the screenshot! He adds that his mage massacred the Scarlets while leveling his wand skill to 400.)

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: Cruising for a bruising originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zarhym explains Druid form colour combos - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


Doubtless Druids all around the world are still absorbing the new-look Night Elf cat form which was announced yesterday. We know Blizzard was going for something of a colour-coded approach, trying to match skins to that of their owners but what does it all mean? Well, blue Zarhym posted on the forums this morning and went into a little more detail.

It seems that rather than being able to go 'oh I'll have the white kitty with the cut pink gem on it's collar', that your form is actually linked to your toon's physical appearance. Yes, you can easily change how your bear or cat form will look but the only was to do this, in my understanding, is by visiting a barber shop and changing the skin tone (and/or hair) of your Druid in humanoid form.

Zarhym puts it better than I:

"Now that everyone has had a chance to check out the new art for druid cat and bear forms, we'd like to share with you the current break down of Tauren skin tones and Night Elf hair colors associated with each form color. Please note that, while we have attempted to associate each form color as carefully as possible, this list is subject to change before the next major content patch goes live. All options for skin tone (Tauren) and hair color (Night Elves) are listed below followed by the forms that will be associated with each set of tones/colors."

Click on the jump to see what your druid is going to look like.

Continue reading Zarhym explains Druid form colour combos

Zarhym explains Druid form colour combos originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Inexplicable dislikes - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST

Last Monday, we did a breakfast topic on things you like in WoW that other people don't understand. Today, let's talk about the opposite: things you hate that other people don't get, or that maybe don't make any sense at all. You know - that thing that just irks you for no apparent reason.

As an example, I hate partially filling a talent, like going 3/5 in something. Can't stand it. I'm enough of a min/maxer that I'll still do it if I think it'll help my game appreciably, but when leveling (for instance) I'll go out of my way to avoid doing it.

I don't like Blacksmithing or Engineering, for some reason. I've tried them on several characters, and always ended up dropping them for another gathering skill. And it bothers me to no end that when you log out via /camp there's no way to skip the 20-second "you're not in an inn" timer (even at level 80), but there is when you log out via /quit.

So those are some of mine. What are you senselessly bothered by in WoW?

Breakfast Topic: Inexplicable dislikes originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Achieved: Level 1 to 80 with no deaths - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


There are a few accomplishments in this game that truly amaze me anymore. Leveling characters is routine now, and having an army of high level alts at your disposal isn't something super uncommon anymore. However I have been amazed by this:

Cautious, a Warrior, leveled to 80 without dying.

She had no deaths. None. Nada. Zilch.

There is no achievement for doing this, however I wouldn't blame Blizzard one bit if they went in and retroactively added one just for Cautious. Lord of the Rings Online has a no-death achievement, but only up through level 20. I got to level 18 without dying on LotRO on a recent attempt, however I perished when some "really really super awesome person" trained a bunch of mobs near me just as I executed an AoE attack. "Really really super awesome person" is what I called him too. Honest.

A few months ago in The Queue a reader asked if there would ever be (or is) such an achievement for WoW, and my response at the time was no, there is not one now and probably would not be one later. I reasoned that including such an achievement would just present undue psychological damage on the player if they died at 79 from an unforeseen circumstance. I still don't think there will be one, but it's pretty awesome someone managed to do it sans in-game achievement.

There are some interesting statistics Cautious had upon reaching level 80 without deaths. You can check out a lot of them on her armory profile, but those are inflated just a tad since she has played since reaching 80.

Some of her key stats upon reaching level 80 include:

Continue reading Achieved: Level 1 to 80 with no deaths

Achieved: Level 1 to 80 with no deaths originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Beware of Blood Elves selling mounts - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


A friend of mine recently got hit by a pretty devious phishing scam targeting wealthy (in-game) players looking to make legitimate purchases. My friend, we'll call him Cobra, was in a major city when an offer in the Trade Channel caught his eye. A player, we'll call him Bubbles, was offering a Spectral Tiger Mount for 5000 gold. Since this mount is only available as a code on a rare loot card, Cobra contacted Bubbles to inquire. Purchasing codes for in-game items with in-game cash is perfectly legitimate, according to Blizzard, so Cobra did not worry about going against the TOS with this transaction.

Bubbles, a level 78 Blood Elf Mage, seemed legitimate. For one thing, he was not a throwaway low level character. Also, he didn't want to take the cash then, but just see it in a trade window to make sure Cobra was in possession of it. So Cobra gave Bubbles his email address only and waited for the email that included the code and a link to where to input the information.

Continue reading Beware of Blood Elves selling mounts

Beware of Blood Elves selling mounts originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: Anomalus vs. Tribunal of Ages - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

This week's Two Bosses Enter is less boss-versus-boss than it is boss-versus-event: The Nexus' Anomalus versus the Tribunal of Ages encounter in the Halls of Stone. The Tribunal of Ages event tasks adventurers with protecting Dwarven explorer Brann Bronzebeard from waves of mobs as part of the Halls of Stone quest -- a boss-level encounter in terms of difficulty and loot, if not in actual boss-versus-boss combat. It'll be Anomalus' Chaotic Rifts and Crazed Mana-Wraiths against the Tribunal of Ages' Kaddrak, Abedneum and Marnak plus the cadre of Dark Rune Protectors, Dark Rune Stormcallers and the Iron Golem Custodian.

The ground rules:
  • For the sake of this deathmatch, we'll have to get a little (ok, a lot) creative with Anomalus' presence here in the Tribunal. In this scenario, we'll retain the basic mechanic of the Tribunal of Ages encounter. Brann Bronzebeard's survival still determines the success or failure of the mission. Anomalus is therefore challenged with holding the Tribunal at bay long enough for Bronzebeard to complete his task.
  • This match takes place inside the Tribunal of Ages in the Halls of Stone.
  • If you assume that Anomalus is "too dumb to move," we'll have a very boring match indeed. Be open to other possibilities.
  • Assume that foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output.
  • Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Style and scale are your main considerations.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Anomalus vs. Tribunal of Ages

Two Bosses Enter: Anomalus vs. Tribunal of Ages originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Minnie the Moocher - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com'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.

I'm not much of a Jazz person, so when I set out to counter the John Coltrane that Adam used in The Queue yesterday, I was a little worried. Fortunately, while digging through my music collection to find something useful, I remembered that I had a trump card up my sleeves. Old Betty Boop cartoons, some of the most disturbing things you will ever see in your life. All of the best ones come packed with some incredibly old school Jazz. Now, some candy for your eyes and ears: Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher in a Betty Boop cartoon.

Docp asked...


"What happened to the Hunter column, Scattered Shots?"

I'm glad you asked! It just made its glorious comeback yesterday, with a brand new writer that some of you may recognize. Go give the latest Scattered Shots a read.

Continue reading The Queue: Minnie the Moocher

The Queue: Minnie the Moocher originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Forsooth and what not! - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.
Notice how we've linked Big Hit Box a lot this week? It's because they're producing great content for the community! If you're writing compelling content or come across a great site or blog post, please let us know!

The Daily Quest: Forsooth and what not! originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 3.1.3 and Ulduar Tips - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST


This week has been a heady one for me: I got my four piece Conqueror's Siegebreaker Battlegear on patch day, which was pretty sweet, and then in our second night of raiding this week we finally killed the big brain slug squid monster himself. Combine that with patch 3.1.3 dropping (which meant we had fun times like an announced server shutdown just as we were about to pull Thorim, leading to the fastest Thorim kill I've ever been on) and all in all, it's been quite a week. Heck, I even got to go prot and get some prot goodies like pants and a belt.

It was a small patch all in all, so I wasn't expecting huge improvement and I didn't see it. I saw a marginal DPS increase as fury (2 to 300 DPS unbuffed, not too much more fully buffed) and I made sure to compare notes with the arms warrior in our raids, and his DPS was very close to my own. We're still below the other hybrids, but not by as great a margin, so that's nice at least. As for the PvP change to Juggernaut, well, it's painful. Before respeccing prot for my secondary spec for good this week I went out on a Wintergrasp jaunt, and I'll probably never do that again.At least with Heroic Fury I can make a choice about how long I will allow someone to kite me to death. To be fair the Juggernaut change isn't really all that bad, but over the years I've played warriors I've moved from prefering arms as my DPS/PvP spec to being a fury warrior so I'm easier to discourage from arms than I used to be.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 3.1.3 and Ulduar Tips

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 3.1.3 and Ulduar Tips originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Return to the depths of the third tree! - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


Warlocks had best beware! Blood Pact preys on people who wander too deeply into the dark depths of the internet! Author Nick Whelan apologizes for being a tad late this week -- sometimes final projects just don't go smoothly, ya know?

It's no secret that I haven't exactly been in a PvE mood lately. I don't know what it is, but every year around this time I just...lose all motivation to progress. I've come to accept it as the natural cycle of my WoW-life, but lately I've been thinking I want to get back into it. I'm not ravenously trolling Dalaran looking for a raid, but I've been doing some heroic pugs to dust the rust off of my shadowbolting finger.

Frustratingly, though, I've been having an exceptionally difficult time getting back into Affliction. Not only does the rotation and casting style fail to engage me, but it feels like far too much of a struggle to dish out DPS. Back during that golden age between patch 3.0 and patch 3.1, Affliction was a zen thing for me. My rotation was so deeply ingrained that typical spell casting was handled by my subconscious mind. My fingers seemed to move on their own! Post 3.1, Affliction seems to have been made so user friendly that I keep stumbling whenever I try to do something. Like switching from Windows 3.1 to Vista overnight.

The most reasonable course of action, I concluded, was to revisit the first instructions given to me by my Jedi teacher. I needed to unlearn what I had learned, by switching to a completely different spec. So without further ado, welcome to Project Respec: Post 3.1. As clever readers probably divined from the title of this post, the subject this week is Destruction!

Continue reading Blood Pact: Return to the depths of the third tree!

Blood Pact: Return to the depths of the third tree! originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Revamped Night Elf Druid cat form revealed - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 13:35:00 EST


Yes, Druids, it's that time again! After eking out their reveal of the Tauren and Night Elf bear forms and the Tauren cat over the past fortnight, it's finally time to see what your Night Elf Druid cat form is going to look like come patch 3.2. We told you earlier how Zahrym let everyone know they would be announcing the final revamped druid form today, but it seems Allison is nowhere to be found so you get to hear my impressions instead. However the rest of the team really don't seem to like the new look at all.

My first thoughts are actually quite positive. I love the cat versions of the Night Elf tattoos and the shiny gem collars are a lovely touch, even if the leather bracelet/anklet/pawlet seem a little weird and out of place. When did Night Elves get a leather fetish exactly? The colours are nice, all a variation on Night Elf skin tone but I confess I prefer the colouration of the old cat design. Over all it's quite a nice selection of designs and I think players are going to be rather pleased come patch day to be able to stand out in a crowd of druids, even if not everyone is going to like the new look. My only question is: what's the deal with the different coloured eyes? It's nice but somewhat creepy looking. To learn more about all the new Druid forms, don't forget you can check out Blizzard's in development page.

Revamped Night Elf Druid cat form revealed originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 13:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW.com meets Michele Boyd of The Guild at E3 - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


World of Warcraft isn't actually at this year's E3 -- Activision Blizzard has a great big booth with lots of cool games in it, but none of them are Blizzard's. We guess they're saving everything for the big event at BlizzCon. But we still found someone cool to meet on the floor -- The Guild's Michele Boyd (you can see her here in the last Season 2 episode) was working on the show floor for THQ, and was kind enough to stop by and talk to me before she went off to actually, you know, see some videogames (we heard there's some here, but we've been too busy writing about all the cool stuff we're seeing on Joystiq and Massively).

As you can see above, she's hosting a series on Discovery Channel (and she's got the science chops to do it), she's currently rocking an Enhancement Shaman (in Outland, not Northrend -- what can I say, I was confused by her awesomeness), and she's got some good thoughts on what's up in the next season of The Guild. Big thanks again to her for chatting with us, enjoy the video!

WoW.com meets Michele Boyd of The Guild at E3 originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: slashdance vs. Ulduar - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


When I saw slashdance vs. Ulduar for the first time, I wasn't sure whether I should laugh or cry. This is slashdance's version of a raid-patch trailer, something to help get its members riled up and ready to go raid. Of course, it's obviously more of a parody about those kinds of similar movies. But this piece is much more tailored to the "rest of us." You know, those of us who struggle a bit more with the content.

I can't really discuss too much about the movie without spoiling the plot. But it's slashdance, who's very well known for the Redshift movies. The author's eye for quality is definitely apparant here, and I like the wry sense of wit. I also have to admit, I've been the guy to say "You are not prepared!"

[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

WoW Moviewatch: slashdance vs. Ulduar originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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One Boss Leaves: Krik'thir wraps up a close victory - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 11:30:00 EST

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

This was a close one: Krik'thir the Gatewatcher of Azjol-Nerub wrapped up a victory over Ingvar the Plunderer and Annhylde the Caller (Utgarde Keep) by fewer than 50 reader votes. Two Bosses Enter reader Rexton narrated the winner's path to victory. "It's close, but I give this one to Krik'thir," he wrote. "I'm doubting Krik'thir would just wait in the back and let his minions do all the work. Yeah, he'd be the prime target. Total, that's 10 enemies that Ingvar has to go through, and on top of that is the unmentioned ability Bugs. I'm not saying Ingvar will go down easily; I mean, he has Smash on his side, for one thing. As long as he keeps that and Cleave up, I can see his taking a at least four down before he dies.

"Krik'thir: 75% health, 6 minions
"Ingvar: 100%

"Now Ingvar's back up, stronger than ever. Does more damage and switches some abilities around. Coupling Dreadful Roar with Dark Smash and Shadow Axe, this is where it gets deadly. Ingvar chews through the minions as Krik'thir starts standing back a bit, continually sending out Bugs and using Curse of Fatigue. Once the minions are finished off, Ingvar is at 40% while Krik'thir is at 55%. Ingvar rushes at Krik'thir, starting off with a Dreadful Roar followed by a Shadow Axe, as Krik'thir sends out more bugs. Some of the bugs are destroyed by the Dark Axe ability. Krik'thir's main attack is now Curse of Fatigue.

"Krik'thir: 25%
"Ingvar:15%

"The battle continues with the Dreadful Roar/Dark Smash combo and Bug/Curse of Fatigue spam, but ultimately, Ingvar loses yet again."

Continue reading One Boss Leaves: Krik'thir wraps up a close victory

One Boss Leaves: Krik'thir wraps up a close victory originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scattered Shots: Where to find Hunter information - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST

WoW.com decided it was time to bring back some Hunter luvin'. It was that or they just needed a new Dwarf to pick on. So now you got me Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from The Hunting Lodge. Make sure to drop by here every Thursday as we explore what it takes to play a Hunter.

Have you ever caught yourself wondering, "Hmm... where I should go for my next upgrade?" Or how about "I wonder what pet I should get for raiding?" Another favorite of mine is "What spec should I use for raiding?" (This is always a trap. Even if you give a solid spec, someone will always find a something wrong with it.) For these types of questions, I feel it's always better to follow the maxim "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

What's my point? Well, it seems that many Hunters don't know that there is a wealth of information out there. I would bet that there is probably a resource that can help answer all of your questions. You just need to know where to look.

For solid information, we all know about Elitist Jerks. But sometimes finding you can't help but say to yourself, "There has to be an easier way." Believe it or not, there is. There are many other resources and sites out there.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: Where to find Hunter information

Scattered Shots: Where to find Hunter information originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Mmm ... bacon - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


As we all know, bacon is the candy of meats, making everything a little better. Unfortunately, there's only one type of bacon in WoW -- the quest reward Hellfire Bacon. So our characters can only eat twenty pieces of bacon, ever, in their entire life. Luckily, Imika of <Enigma> on Windrunner has come up with a fine solution to this problem. When Horde members approach this feast, the ring of bombs around it will explode, searing both the ham and the intruder into light, crispy perfecton. Then a local rogue cuts thin slices of meat from their bellies and leaves it to hang, and voila! Not only do you have bacon, but you've got a decent supply of Fjord Fried Orc and Sentient Beef Liver for the next time you crave something unusual.

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: Mmm ... bacon originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: WoW analogies - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST

I don't know if it's because I blog about WoW, or just because I play a fair amount of it, but analogies between WoW and other parts of life constantly leap into my mind. This happens often enough in everyday conversation that it doesn't even annoy my girlfriend anymore; she's just used to it.

Most recently, I was at a large family event, maybe 30 people. I was noticing how hard it was to get the entire group to do anything - waiting for people to get ready, deciding what to do, etc. I immediately thought of 25-man raiding, with its horrendous logistics. By comparison, a group of 10 people, in raids or real life, is much more manageable.

What sorts of WoW analogies have occurred to you recently? Or am alone in this particular affliction?

Breakfast Topic: WoW analogies originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The best zone of Wrath - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


Spinksville, following up to an earlier post concerning a great lore moment in Vengeance Landing, concludes that as a Horde player, Howling Fjord has emerged as the single best overall zone in Wrath. The more I consider it, the more I'm inclined to agree with her. The Fjord has a mostly unified questline that slowly splits off into sub-plots concerning the Kalu'ak and Taunka, and the farther you get, the more you realize the impact your previous actions have had on that little slice of the world (and most of it's not good). As Spinks observes, it's a very immersive experience that does a great job of conveying both the moral ambiguity of the Forsaken's position, and the fact that Northrend's a continent without a lot of good options. "Forced to choose between the lesser evil and the greater evil," she writes, "... you had better hope that the greater evil is very bad indeed because it is the only way to justify the things you have had to do."

That said, I have to admit that Icecrown is also pretty tough to beat lore-wise (with the Matthias Lehner quests being a particularly good touch, and please don't click that link if you haven't run into him yet). I haven't yet played an Alliance toon through Northrend, and Spinks is also a Horde player, so I'd like to get some input from Alliance-side players too. Is the Fjord as good for Alliance as it is for Horde, or are your best questlines elsewhere? If you're Horde, do you agree that the Fjord was your best questing experience?

The best zone of Wrath originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Sometimes simple is best - Wed, 03 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


We here at WoW.com 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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