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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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Scattered Shots: The line of sight between hunters and the Arenas - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 21:15:00 EST
I'd like to take a break from the hunter leveling goodness we've had the last few weeks in Scattered Shots to take a look at where hunters stand as a class in Arena PvP, and where we might be going in the future. Blizzard developer Kalgan's measurement of how the different classes are faring in the Arena got me thinking quite a bit about the state of hunters -- currently functioning at the lowest place with 50% or less representation in the three Arena types at high rating brackets, followed by mages and shamans, in the 2vs2 Arena especially.

What in the world is causing such a huge discrepancy between hunters and other classes when it comes to high-rating arena representation? When I play in Arenas and Battlegrounds, I don't feel like my class is somehow deficient or underpowered. My team's Arena rating is average -- we're not the best, but not the worst either. When I get beaten, I usually feel like the other team actually played better (or outgeared us, at least), so it's rather hard to see what's so messed up about hunters.

The most obvious issue I can think might be the issue is that of Line of Sight. Hunters obviously have a rough time shooting at things behind sort of obstacle. In battlegrounds there are more wide open spaces, so it seems less of an issue there, but in Arenas it can get fairly annoying. Classes like warlocks and shadowpriests can just put a damage-over-time spell on you, and then hide behind a pillar, while druids can move freely around obstacles to give them plenty of time to heal themselves between your attacks. Warriors and other melee classes can hide for a bit, then get in so close that you can't use your best ranged abilities on them for a few seconds until you can somehow get away.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: The line of sight between hunters and the Arenas

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About the Bloggers: Mark Crump - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 20:00:00 EST
Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more About the Bloggers.

What do you do for WoW Insider?
It seems I spend about as much time convincing the leads that I'll start blogging more any day now, really. Seriously, when I topic comes to mind I write about it. I like tossing out ideas for discussion. I've also recently resurrected Ask WoW Insider from the grave.

What's your main right now?

A level 70 Night Elf Hunter. I had no idea they were as ezmode as they are -- I just missed the creature handler from Star Wars Galaxies.

For the Horde or Glory to the Alliance?

Alliance, obviously. My story is the usual one where I had a friend on the server so I rolled there. Naturally, she didn't make it out of her starter month. Once I got over the feeling of abandonment with the help of a wonderful shrink in the Mage's Tower I was fine. I actually had two characters around the same level: the hunter and an Undead priest. When I decided to level up I flipped a coin and the priest lost. I'm still working on him as an alt, though.

Continue reading About the Bloggers: Mark Crump

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Central US woes - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 19:12:00 EST
According to Drysc, there's a Blizzard-external network problem in the central United States that is currently affecting several WoW realms. Symptoms include high latency, packet loss, disconnection, or inability to connect; side effects may include broken keyboards and bruised fists, or in severe cases, deciding to stop playing WoW for the evening.

I'm not sure which realms are affected, but it's nice to know that this is being worked on anyway; the glowing tree promises that they are actively receiving updates from the (unnamed) parties involved. There is currently no ETA on a fix. I'll keep you posted if I hear anything else. In the mean time, let's start building a list: if your realm is acting up, let us know in the comments.

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Kalgan offers a possible WoTLK sneak peek for Warlocks - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 18:25:00 EST

Kalgan chimed in on a thread in which the original poster insisted that Warlocks, despite dodging the bullet on life tap, still have a nerf bat incoming somewhere. He rebuffed the poster with a nice little tidbit that may intrigue Warlocks. He also ensures us that, no, he does not hate certain classes.

He says that they'd like to give Warlocks some type of escape or defense mechanism so that they don't have to balance warlocks around the idea that they'd be "tanking" melee classes in PvP. By melee classes, I assume he means Warriors, who can shake off a Warlock's main defense, Fear, with very little trouble in multiple ways.

He even brings up a spell that Warlocks may be getting in the expansion.

Continue reading Kalgan offers a possible WoTLK sneak peek for Warlocks

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Worldwide Arena Battle announced for Sunday on the TTR - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 17:00:00 EST

Blizzard Poster Tyren has announced that this coming Sunday, 12pm to 3pm, Blizzard will be holding a Worldwide Arena Battle on the Tournament Test Realm in order to focus testing on the server. Members of the community and development teams will be queuing up to fight, so if you've always wanted to show Kalgan or Tigole what for in the Arena, this looks like your chance. You can expect a battle between the various CMs as well, so we'll have to watch to see who gets stickied and who gets banned.

If you're not sure how to access the TTR, you can read Zach Yonzon's guide here on the site. Don't worry if you don't have a character transfer slot left, every character created on the TTR is automatically level 70, and will spawn next to a selection of vendors that will let them buy a wide variety of gear to outfit themselves for battle.

Assuming the TTR doesn't collapse under the stress, we'll see you there!

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Video of the new NPC collision detection system - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 16:00:00 EST

This video contains audio commentary, turn your sound up!

With the upcoming 3v3 PvP tournament, Blizzard has rolled out a new feature on the Tournament Test Realm server: NPC collision detection. This will mean that it is now not possible for players to walk through some NPCs. Players will no longer be able to crowd, or block, the NPCs. This virtually guarantees that players will always be able to access the NPCs.

Continue reading Video of the new NPC collision detection system

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Totem Talk: Use the totems wisely - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 15:00:00 EST
Totem Talk is your one stop shop for talking about Shamans. If you shop for that. If, like most people, you just click on a web link, then we're that, too. All we can say is that Matthew Rossi, player of two shamans, is incredibly bent in the head and has weird notions about this 'internet' thing he hears people talk about while he's chowing down on some tasty gruel from his cave in the heart of the taiga.

Recently some of the folks behind the scenes here at WoW Insider have been piqued to start their own shamans. This led to a discussion about how best to level as a shaman (enhancement! enhancement oh sweet lord roll enhancement! It's the best thing ever!) which of course I and others answered with our usual cool detachment. (Enhancement!) This then led to a discussion of the old saw among shaman players that while grinding you shouldn't drop totems.

This was an old saw I hadn't heard. I believe I actually sputtered when I read it. Let's recreate the moment.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Use the totems wisely

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WoW Insider webclip and galleries - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 14:30:00 EST


Two new improvements to announce on this, your favorite site about World of Warcraft. First of all, iPhone and iPod touch users will likely be happy to see that this site, along with all the others in the Joystiq network, are now equipped with Webclip icons (these are epic icons with a +15 to stamina, which any iPhone user will appreciate). Just make a Webclip with the browser on your iPhone or iPod touch, and our shiny icon will automatically appear on your home screen.

Also, we are extremely proud to announce that we have some shiny new galleries here on the site -- our design team has implemented an awesome (and slick black) interface for browsing all of the pics we've ever posted so far, so if you've never browsed our patch 2.4, BlizzCon costumes, Around Azeroth or Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn galleries, now's the time to do so.

More design updates are still on the way here at WoW Insider -- stay tuned!



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Excerpts from the Book of Gears: The mysticism, mayhem, and madness of mechanics - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 14:00:00 EST


It is often said that the Gnomes are the least spiritual of the races of Azeroth. The wonders of their world are mechanical in nature, technical in design, and largely owed entirely to their own hands. Gnomes have little chance to become healers of any stripe, and some say this is due in part to their willing isolation from the world of the spiritual and the touch of the divine.

But there exists in many other races the desire to connect to the source of all creation. To reach out and touch the infinite. To some Engineers, a function of their artifice is to access the forces which power all of creation, and, once there, to perhaps make just a few minor adjustments, maybe tighten up a gear or two. The cataclysmic danger of any Engineer able to do any such thing does not, as a rule, occur to such Engineers. Those who might naysay such grand designs as heresy, madness, or more commonly A Really Bad Idea For Too Many Reasons to List are not generally included in conversations on the topic. Engineers, perhaps Gnomish Engineers in particular, are not easily dissuaded from a task they have set themselves. In light of this, they do not often invite others who might try. It seems a waste of energy all around.

It is the spiritual side of Engineering we will discuss today, using notes provided by Chief Engineer Geargrinder.

Continue reading Excerpts from the Book of Gears: The mysticism, mayhem, and madness of mechanics

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When is it acceptable to AFK without warning? - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 13:30:00 EST

So you're standing in Tempest Keep, preparing for your third take on Kael'thas for the night. Suddenly, you hear a loud crash in the next room, where your husband is putting your daughter to bed. Do you tell your team "GTG" and hearth, or do you run out of the room instantly and leave your character where it is? What if it's your dog and not your child? What if it's a phone call?

There's a debate on this very subject going on in the Raids and Dungeons forum. Belak of Crimson Fury asks the simple question of whether there's any way to kick a raid member who suddenly took an extended AFK for an emergency so they can get a 25th player in the instance. The forumgoers tell him that sadly, there's nothing he can do about it. Several raiders noted that they don't believe in such things as an emergency AFK without warning, noting that it takes less time to Alt-F4 than it does to get out of your headphones for Vent.

Continue reading When is it acceptable to AFK without warning?

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Well Fed Buff: Spicy Dwarven Cocoa - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 13:00:00 EST


Every Thursday, Well Fed Buff will be serving up the tastiest dishes to boost your HP and stats, just in time for your weekend gaming.

Are you a great adventurer who has been feeling lackluster about your predictable endeavors? Do you find yourself thinking, "my tongue is bored" or "I could have sworn I already killed Moroes multiple times". Have you been feeling the need for adrenaline?

Well, move over Mana Energy Potion. All you need is an ancient dwarven recipe and you'll be up on your toes in no time!

Spicy Dwarven Cocoa combines the spicy and the sweet in this thick, hot beverage that'll grow hair on your tongue. With several different alarm levels, and two or three separate sets of buffs, you won't want to pass up this recipe. User beware: each choice you make with every step and measurement can turn this concoction into anything from an uplifting treat to a fire-breathing dragon with a cherry on top!

Continue reading Well Fed Buff: Spicy Dwarven Cocoa

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WoW Moviewatch: World of Warcrack - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 12:00:00 EST

I don't normally check out videos with no thumbnail preview or mid to high quality streams. However, World of Warcrack seemed to be garnering high ratings and comments. What I discovered was a really humorous take on WoW addiction. This video is a must see in my book!

Filmed at a University of Texas campus, the portrayal of college stereotypes are pretty spot on. Bryan Canatella also did a good job of illustrating that the pot shouldn't be calling the kettle black, as was the case with the heroin addict that felt his friend was addicted to Warcraft. Definitely check out the hilarious fight scene. You won't regret it.

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Know Your Lore: Grim Batol - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 11:00:00 EST

If your first time discovering Grim Batol was anything like mine, it ended in horrible, bloody, unexpected death. That experience sums up Grim Batol rather well. The fortress has stood roughly 250 years, give or take a couple decades, and has changed hands more than once during that time.

Before we get to Grim Batol itself, we need to take a look at a little piece of Dwarven history: The War of the Three Hammers. You see, the Dwarves of Azeroth, just a few hundred years ago, all carried one banner. They were the Dwarves of Ironforge, plain and simple. Their society was a large one, and their wise and powerful king Modimus Anvilmar was highly revered. Amongst the Dwarven society, though, there were three clans that stood above the rest. The Bronzebeard Clan, the Dark Iron Clan, and the Wildhammer Clan.

Each of these clans played a very specific role in the Kingdom. The Bronzebeard, led by Thane Madoran Bronzebeard, were the military arm of the mountain city. They were soldiers and defenders. They were the sword and the shield, and the clan closest to King Modimus Anvilmar. The Wildhammer, led by Thane Khadros Wildhammer, lived in the outlying regions of the Kingdom, in the... well, the wilds. Scouts, hunters, things of that sort. They held little real power within the city proper, and they didn't really like that. The Dark Irons, led by Thane Thaurissan, were mages and sorcerers. They were also jerks.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: Grim Batol

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Congestion relief on the TTR: more vendor locations - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 10:30:00 EST


Vaneras over at the European forums has announced that some planned changes to the starting spawn locations on the Tournament Test Realm are in the works to address congestion issues. At the moment, the current spawn areas and vendors are located in each race's starting area, which is heavily populated upon character creation and log-in. The high density of players population cause heavy lag and much difficulty purchasing items from vendors. To address the situation, Vaneras reports that Blizzard is working on randomizing spawn locations (e.g. creating a Tauren won't necessarily start you off at Bloodhoof Village) as well as adding new places for item vendors. The current list of vendor locations is as follows (subject to change):

1. Ammen Vale
2. North Shire
3. Coldridge Valley
4. Shadowglen
5. Goldshire
6. Sentinel Hill (Westfall)
7. Kharanos
8. Ironforge
9. Stormwind
10. Deathknell
11. Sunstrider Isle
12. Red Cloud Mesa
13. Valley of Trials

There are currently more Alliance vendor locations than there are Horde, but it's likely that more locations will be added in the future. So if you haven't visited the TTR yet, why don't you get the PTR client and try it out. Even if only to check out your toon dressed in phat lewtz.

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Around Azeroth: More floating city goodness - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 10:00:00 EST


A few days ago we featured a shot of Stormwind from under the world that gave the Alliance city the illusion that it was floating. Not to be out done, Player Pularah of the Daggerspine realm submitted this shot of a floating Silvermoon City he snapped while falling through the world. What's next? Over the Undercity?

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 full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime.

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Addon Spotlight: Healbot Continued part 2 - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 09:00:00 EST


Starryknight, GM of the iHorde guild on Executus, has written a comprehensive guide to configuring Healbot Continued. The developer of Healbot Continued actually pointed me in her direction, so you can bet this is a decent write-up.

It also prevents me from having to re-invent the wheel, so kudos to Starryknight! Instead, I thought I would share some highlights of the guide, and my own tips and tricks to using Healbot Continued.

Many of you who read part one of the Healbot Continued saga have asked if this addon is suitable for PvP healing. As it turns out, Healbot Continued has a skin pre-loaded with battlegrounds in mind. Called the Alterac Valley skin, it will build a frame that is well suited to healing your battleground group, but wait, there's more! Healbot Continued has a built-in range finder, which will fade out individual players' bars if they are out of your healing range. This is a great way to avoid wasting heals, although it can't save you from losing a heal because someone leaves your maximum range while you're midway through a healing spell.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: Healbot Continued part 2

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Breakfast Topic: Your favorite playing partner - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 08:00:00 EST


I love my wife. I don't think I can say it enough. I was able to convince her to play World of Warcraft with me when the game first came out and luckily for me, she got hooked. We've been playing partners ever since, from her getting lost in the Orc and Troll starting area to exploring Sunstrider Isle together for the first time. Sometimes, she humors me by playing a few Battlegrounds with me or even helps me complete my Arena games when my teammates -- who have more or less quit the game -- fail to log on for the week. Sure, I have to twist her arm to do it, but she enjoys ribbing me after matches: "I thought you were good? How come I beat your DPS and got all the Killing Blows?" Sometimes, I help her farm or watch her back while she fishes up another Mr. Pinchy. Even when we're not together -- like when she immerses herself at the Auction House while I PvP -- we chat in-game and IRL. I can't be thankful enough for actually being married to my favorite playing partner since others just aren't as lucky. Some of our bloggers, like Lisa Poisso, plays with her entire family! Just how cool is it to play with your better half and two kids? Amanda Dean has spent the last week showing her mom around Azeroth.

How about you? Do you have a favorite playing partner? Whether it's your significant other, a roommate, a brother or cousin, or maybe even someone you met in-game, is there someone you enjoy playing the game with more than other people? Maybe there is one person you spend more time with than anyone else in Azeroth (or the Outlands, as the case may be). Why? What makes the experience unique or special? The coolest thing about an MMO is that you play with other people. And sometimes, there are just some people we like playing with more than others.

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PTR Notes: Patch note watch 3/5 - Thu, 06 Mar 2008 00:00:00 EST
Welcome back to another installment of Patch Note Watch, the show where we go through the PTR patch notes in meticulous detail and show you everything that's changed since the last version! Much of this has been covered already here on WoW Insider, including rollbacks on Life Tap and Flametongue, some multi-target effects no longer breaking CC, and a nice new recipe for jewelcrafters. But I am a completist. I must post every detail, so let's begin. As usual, any change that we haven't covered on the site that looks interesting will be bolded.

  • Blizzard Entertainment would like to dedicate the patch in memory of Gary Gygax. His work on D&D was an inspiration to us in many ways and helped spark our passion for creating games of our own. As avid D&D players and fellow game developers, we were all saddened by the news of his passing; we feel we've lost a true adventuring companion. Thanks for everything and farewell, Gary. You will be missed.

Continue reading PTR Notes: Patch note watch 3/5

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Speculating in the gem market - Wed, 05 Mar 2008 23:45:00 EST

What do you get when you mix up a whole bunch of useless green gems? On the Public Test Realm you get Brilliant Glass. The most recent patch 2.4 notes state "A new jewelcrafting recipe has been added to transform many green quality gems into a single random blue quality gem. This recipe is available from grandmaster jewelcrafting trainers." Good news for those of us with stacks of semi-useless uncut green gems.

MMO champion posted more information. Brilliant Glass is created using three Azure Moonstones, three Blood Garnets, three Deep Peridots, three Flame Spessarite, three Golden Draenite, and three Shadow Draenite. The product, Brilliant Glass, can then be opened for the promised superior-quality gem. Bratac of Antonidas stated in the official forum that he created brilliant glass nine times and was rewarded with four Nightseyes, two Stars of Elune, two Dawnstones, and one Noble Topaz.

Continue reading Speculating in the gem market

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Cleavage buffed on PTR - Wed, 05 Mar 2008 22:30:00 EST
The PTR has changed once more. Sure, the star changes are rollbacks on the Life Tap nerf and Flametongue buff, but there is at least one other change that I think is highly significant. Expect a Patch Note Watch soon exhaustively detailing every change that made it into the patch notes. Until then, however, enjoy the following:

Cleave, Multi-Shot, Swipe, Chain Lightning, and Avenger's Shield will no longer hit targets that are under the effect of CC spells that break on damage, such as Polymorph or Sap. This includes Felguard Cleave and the Chain Lightning effects caused by various items. As far as I can make out, this is all spells that hit multiple targets, but are not AoE; Thunder Clap, for instance, will still break sheep. Edit: Whirlwind, Sweeping Strikes, and Blade Flurry do not seem to be included. Overall this change is, frankly, awesome. The implications for tanking alone are highly pleasant, as well as for Hunter and Elemental Shaman DPS. I'm starting to get excited about patch 2.4 all over again.

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