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One Kara Leaves: Karathress vs. Kara Thrace wrap up - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 18:30:00 EST


On Friday I asked you what would happen if Karathress, the minion wielding sub boss of Serpentshrine Cavern, went up against Kara Thrace, the like-named heroine of Battlestar Galactica. You voiced your opinions, you voted.

And you chose Kara Thrace, by a vote of 81.5% to 18.4%.

Some of the defining user comments made it clear why Kara Thrace would win. SweetPoison said, "Kara would just bomb SSC with her Viper." Pappagallo tells us that I missed one of Starbuck's key abilities, and I fully agree with him: at 20% health Kara would cast "Summon Adama" in which there's a 99% chance Adama appears in either his old or young form and goes on a rampage, or a 1% chance that Colonel Tigh appears drinking, saying "Kill her, see if I care."

Quite the interesting results, and I'm glad everyone had a chance to vote. And just to revise my opinion on who the final Cylon is, I'm now going to say it's Felix Gaeta. We know it's not Billy anymore because Six said "The final five are close."

Of course, I could just be frackin' out of my mind.

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Two Bosses Enter: Illidan vs Kel'Thuzad - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 16:00:00 EST


Two bosses enter... but only one will get to leave in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches. We've scoured the instances of Azeroth and Outland looking for the most interesting bosses Blizzard has to offer us and picked out a group of 32 to pit against one another until we come out with a single winner in the end. And the best part -- you get to tell us who wins.

This is it. Thirty-one deathmatches later it's down to the final match. In one corner, The Lord of the Outland, the Betrayer of Azeroth, and one of the baddest bosses of the Burning Crusade: Illidan Stormrage! In the other corner, the Archlich of the Plaguelands, the right hand man of Arthas, the final boss of the floating city of Naxxramas: Kel'Thuzad! Read on to learn more about each boss and cast your vote.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Illidan vs Kel'Thuzad

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Grounded in Northrend - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 15:00:00 EST

The subject of flying mounts and their use in Northrend comes up fairly often on the official Wrath of the Lich King forums, as a result of Blizzard mentioning we may not be able to use them right away in Northrend.

Why can't we use them in Northrend? Well, the reasoning seems understandable. They want the progression through the Northrend content to feel natural, they want you to experience the setting they've put there. You have to admit, Outland became far less dangerous to you the moment you gained the ability to fly over every single threat there is in the world.

The most common theory on the forums is that you'll need to purchase wing defrosters or wing mittens at level 80 to regain your ability to use a flying mount. A silly, cynical concept, and I don't think that's their only option. Yesterday we discussed weather, so perhaps a blizzard in the Howling Fjord could force you to the ground, or a thunderstorm in the Borean Tundra. Alternatively, a swarm of gargoyles(and frost wyrms?) could be conveniently placed to throw you off of your mount and to your doom should you fly too high in these starting zones.

There are many different things that could be done, and I'm very interested to see which route Blizzard will go with it. You know, as long as I don't need to put mittens on my Nether Ray. Where would I even put them!?

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Sunwell griefing runs rampant - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST
Patch 2.4, much like most other things in WoW, has managed to bring the worst out of some people. The mask of anonymity strikes again!

No, I don't mean the node-stealing, ninja-tapping, mob-training stupidery(which is a word as of right now) you see all over the Isle of Quel'Danas. I refer to the standing-on-NPCs-while-PvP-flagged griefing. If you're lucky and haven't seen this happen on your server, what most servers are seeing is a bunch of Blood Elf and Draenei players standing directly on top of Shattered Sun Offensive NPCs, so players accidentally, unknowingly, right click on them instead of the quest NPC. This results in inadvertently hitting the player, and then getting destroyed by the SSO guards.

Continue reading Sunwell griefing runs rampant

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One Boss Leaves: Illidan vs C'Thun wrap up - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 13:00:00 EST


The last two of the Final Four have entered the Arena for a raid boss deathmatch and only one has left alive. This was one of the most anticipated fights in the series as the bane of the Outlands, Illidan Stormrage faced the Old God of Ahn'Qiraj, C'Thun. The debate over who would be victorious raged but in the end, Illidan walked out the winner.

While some readers voted based on powers available to each opponent ("shear ftw!", "no one survives the eye beam of death!"), others cast their lot based on lore ("c'thun is an old god and undefeatable", "illidan is clever and prepared"). Whatever the reason, it was clear from the voting results seen below that C'Thun was not prepared.

Up next, the final battle of the series. The end boss of pre-2.4 Burning Crusade, Illidan Stormrage vs the end boss of pre-BC WoW, Kel'thuzad. Which boss will leave the arena alive? Which boss will reign supreme? Which boss will be sharding his purplez for greenz when the Wrath expansion launches? Cast your vote in the final installment of Two Bosses Enter!

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WoW Moviewatch: Assassine - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 12:00:00 EST

When we showed you the Assassine trailer last month, your consensus was that it attempted to knock off the Fury trailer. Now, DTB Productions has released the full version of Assassine, which is about a female rogue that avenges the death of her husband. Using no voice acting, he tells the story through music and actions.

I enjoyed the way that DTB used the sound effects and music intensity to signify that something was going to happen. For a first effort, this is really good! In the constructive feedback department, some commenters on Warcraftmovies felt that the perspective and shadows were off, while others felt that the action scenes were too slow. If those are his worst problems, when he improves upon it in the next film, he'll be golden!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

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

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Around Azeroth: When Atkins goes too far - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 10:00:00 EST

Questa, of the guild Exotic Curse on Norgannon, has decided to break her diet in spectacular fashion. It's never a good idea to cook and eat something twice as large as you are. Sure, you could probably use some meat on your bones, but that thing looks underdone. At least the goblin seems to be questioning her choice of foodstuffs. Unfortunately, Questa looks like she's considering adding the goblin to the stew.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. I'm on night shift and if you post them, I might instinctively go in to work.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: The holy grail - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 09:33:00 EST
Whether your "holy grail" takes the form of your freedom, an end to loneliness, treasure, glorious achievement, or that coveted raid spot, you're sure to find entertainment this morning.

  1. Team Speak + Air Traffic Control = Bad from Action Trip. This one is pretty self-explanatory!
  2. Saved? from the Adventures of Blanc.
  3. You no take candle! from Dark Legacy Comics. Anything with that title you know just has to be awesome.
  4. A Deadly Plan from Shakes and Fidget.
  5. LFG #136. I have to say that I try each week to bring you a selection from LFG that can stand alone, so that even those who do not follow it dutifully can be entertained, or even motivated to check it out. As such, I'm proud of this entry; it's funny, and very noob-friendly.
  6. Ding! supports completionist ways. Sort of.
  7. Let's get introduced to Teh Gladiators. If you failed to read the intro, well then you fail. Carrying on for the rest of you, here's the first and second comic. Don't forget to read the commentary beneath! It's worth the extra three seconds of effort (seriously).
  8. From The Adventures of Messy Cow comes "Raid Life." Part one. Then, part two. Who recognizes this guy anyway?
  9. Intense Matchup from Action Trip. I just couldn't resist!
Press through to vote on your favorite!

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: The holy grail

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Move in the flame wreath, and other fun bits of advice - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 09:00:00 EST
I really don't know why, but lately my friends and I are trying to get each other to do something stupid with content we've already mastered. Last night I found myself talking to a good friend of mine and the conversation went something like this:

Me: "I'm bored. What are you up to?"
Her: "Aran."
Me: "Remember to move during the flame wreath."
Her: "And stand in the blizzard, right?"
Me: "Yeah, so you're cold when the flame wreath hits you."

Now obviously this is the exact opposite of what you want to do. But the sheer absurdity of it makes me laugh. I mean, who among us hasn't seen flame wreath and thought, "Hey, it'd be really funny if I moved right now. Everyone would probably want to kill me... but still, it'd be a great Leroy moment."

I don't think I'm alone in this. I've heard other people joke about it as well. That makes me feel good; proves that while I'm a geek, at least I have some company. But what I really want to know is what you all think about this. So here's what I want. Leave a comment with a piece of absurd advice that only WoW folks would understand.

Then, next weekend I'll pick the top five or so and we can all vote for the most absurd piece of WoW advice. No prize for the winner or anything like that, just bragging rights.

So tell us all - what is some of the most absurd and funny advice you can think of?

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Breakfast Topic: Insane luck - Sun, 06 Apr 2008 08:00:00 EST
My wife just got an Eye of the Sea from her fishing daily quest reward. Yesterday, she got the Weather-beaten Fishing Hat and last week, on the second day of Patch 2.4, she picked up The 2 Ring. She fished Mr. Pinchy mere hours after she had the skill to fish in the pools around Skettis, while we'd met anglers who had been after him for weeks. She also gets at least one Badge of Justice a day from Shattered Sun Supplies. I, on the other hand, have gotten only one on either of my two 70s despite doing all the daily quests since the patch went live. Whenever we do drop quests, she always finishes before I do even when I start killing before she does. I guess you could say the RNG, or Random Number Generator, has taken a liking to her.

The RNG hates me. I ran Heroic Slave Pens and Steam Vaults enough times to get to Exalted with Cenarion Expedition but never saw the Pauldrons of Wild Magic or Wave-Fury Vambraces drop for my Shaman, who was Elemental at the time. I guess this is also why I just PvP, because I have the kind of luck that Dan asked about in an another Breakfast Topic. Here's the flip question -- do you know anyone with insane luck? Someone who gets a quest drop on the first kill, perhaps, or even the luck of finding really cheap stuff on the AH? I've mispriced wares on the AH as Silver instead of Gold (alright, that's more stupidity than bad luck, but hey...) while other people find those exact misplaced wares. So, who's lucky around here?

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Addon Spotlight: AuldLangSyne - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 21:20:00 EST

You've got friends, or at least you tell people you do. In fact, through your days of rolling PUG's, random premades and adding that Resto Shaman who saved your behind in STV, you've got a long list of friends. If you're anything like me, it can be weeks before one of your randomly added friends checks in with you, giving you plenty of time to forget why they were your friend in the first place.

Enter AuldLangSyne, an addon that combines the functionality of CT_PlayerNotes and FriendsFacts. I have also been able to replace Fubar_GuildFu and Fubar_FriendsFu with this one, so it has come in quite handy. Let me just take a second to show my deep appreciation for developer's who add Fubar or Titan Panel embeds to their addons.

So then, what can this addon do for you? Keep reading to find out about the features AuldLangSyne provides.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: AuldLangSyne

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The gear you'll never delete - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 20:00:00 EST


We all have pieces of gear that we don't want to do away with. For me, it's mainly my Quel'Serrar sword - thousands of gold spent on it pre-bc makes it (adjusted for inflation) the most expensive item I've ever purchased. I'm never going to be getting rid of it.

I know that others have the same sentiments. For instance pictured above is the hat of one of my good friends in game. She's had those moose antlers for about 2 ½ years from Onyxia. I know that she'll never get rid of them, and if she did... well, our guild would probably have to gdisband.

There's something nostalgic about keeping around old gear. It provides a memory of "the good old days" when hitting 60 actually meant something. Those old pieces of gear meant that you had accomplished something epic when epics weren't free. Our old epic pieces of gear are a testament to a time when the game was still new and the wilds of Azeroth were really wild.

Continue reading The gear you'll never delete

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Breaking news: In Eye of the Storm, towers > flag - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 19:30:00 EST


Let's get one thing straight: in Eye of the Storm, capturing towers is more important than capturing the flag. I don't care how shiny and cool the flag is, that's not where the points are coming from. Well, okay, maybe some of it, but if you don't have any towers to begin with, the flag isn't worth squat. For the past week or so, I've seen a disturbing trend from the Horde on my Battlegroup -- there seems to be a growing fascination with fighting at the middle of the map, right where the flag is.

I wrote about Eye of the Storm and the basics of how it's played. In Patch 2.3, the Battleground was modified so that flag captures will scale with the number of towers your side controls. I can't stress the importance of capturing towers enough. In EotS, unlike Arathi Basin, points are awarded constantly every 2 seconds, regardless of how many towers you control. However, these points scale with each tower you control, as shown by the table on the right. Capturing the flag with only one tower (I mean, why?) will award your team 75 points. If your team controls two towers, it's worth 85 points; three, it's worth 100; and controlling all four towers means a swift and painless (ok, maybe not painless) death for your opponents as each flag cap is worth a whopping 500 points.

It scales, people. And here's the one, brutal truth about the whole thing: it is mathematically impossible to win the game if you control only one tower. Go ahead, make some calculations.

Done? The only way it can be done is if you can capture the flag every 37.5 seconds, which honestly is barely enough time and necessitates complete unmolested passage. Good luck with that. If your side controls only one tower, just don't bother with mid. Get another tower asap. If your team is down one tower to your opponents' three, and you still go after the flag, you are an idiot not helping your team at all. The one and only time it becomes acceptable is with the intention of keeping the flag until your team secures another tower. That way it actually becomes more strategic and less moronic.

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Report Card: Phase 3 quests - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 19:00:00 EST

Phase 3 is now in full swing on many servers, including mine, and this time, we're working on taking the Sun's Reach Harbor as well as opening up the long awaited badge loot vendor. How do the quests stack up this time around? Does the near flawless run for great dailies from Quel'danas continue? I've had a few days to try out the runs, and I have to say that there's a few rough spots, but you can continue to grow your list of dailies with confidence as the new phases come on.

Continue reading Report Card: Phase 3 quests

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The trinkets of Magisters' Terrace - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 18:00:00 EST
The release of patch 2.4 was epic by anyone's standards. New content accessible to every level 70, new items, new high end raids, and a new instance. Magisters' Terrace is the newest addition to the WoW 5 man instance family, and has a lot of great goodies in it for the intrepid traveler.

Heroic mode Magisters' Terrace can be a thing of beauty or a real pain. I find that while it's challenging and requires a lot of good social communication amongst participants, it can be a bit ridiculous at times. Especially the 9 mob pull right before you face Kael'Thas.

However with that said, one of the best rewards in any five man instance comes out of heroic Magisters' Terrace's Priestess Delrissa: the trinkets. The tanking trinket in particular makes me cry it's so great. Five hundred seventy more HP and an amazing live saving dodge increase. The DPS trinkets, casting trinkets, and healing trinkets are equally great. Let's take a closer look at them.

Continue reading The trinkets of Magisters' Terrace

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Blood Pact: Tough lock... the SL/SL build - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 16:00:00 EST


V'Ming, a lock who spends his time between Arenas laughing ominously in AV, tanking Olm with his own minions and pondering troll fashion from Zul'Aman, is away on a hellish vacation. He won't be able to brag about 8k Shadow Bolts this week because, as Amanda noted, he's acting as a practice piñata for the WoW Insider weekend interns.

Vims is away this week, so I took the opportunity to sneak into his Warlock's sanctum and play with his toys. For this week's Blood Pact, we're going to take a look at the notorious SL/SL spec that's so popular in PvP. SL/SL stands for Soul Link / Siphon Life, the two talents which are the cornerstones of this build and define its playing style.

Let's get one thing out of the way: SL/SL is not a damage build. It has no burst and it doesn't capitalize on damage talents. It is designed for high survivability, utility, and low healer maintenance; to outlast instead of outdamage. In Level 70 Resilience-centric PvP where instagibs are virtually a thing of the past, SL/SL's endurance is a force to reckon with in Arenas and wreaks complete Havoc in Battlegrounds.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Tough lock... the SL/SL build

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Avast! update causing issues with WoW - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 15:00:00 EST
Avast! anti-virus, which is used by millions of people around the world, recently upgraded to version 4.8. Unfortunately, it seems that this upgrade has caused many WoW players to have a drastically lower play experience.

The most common symptom is severe keystroke lag while playing the World of Warcraft. Mouse actions also seem to be affected by this. Delays as low as a second and as high as five seconds between keystroke and the game receiving that action have been reported. Supposedly, running WoW in windowed mode fixes this, but your mileage may vary.

Continue reading Avast! update causing issues with WoW

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Ready Check: Zul'Aman -- Getting your first bear - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Kara or BT, everyone can get in on the action and down them some bosses. This week, a bear talks about... bears.

Since the introduction of Zul'Aman many raiding guilds have been fascinated by the time trial; defeat all four animal bosses within 45 minutes and the last prisoner will gift you with a scary-looking bear mount, plus the adoration of your entire server. This article will take you through preparing for, and succeeding at, the Zul'Aman timed run.

Okay, so you want to get a bear.

Perhaps there are ten people in your guild who, bored with farming or wiping, want a slightly different challenge to take up an evening or two a week. The end goal of getting a bear mount (or ten) is an incredibly fun one to aim for, but it's also a lot of hard work (provided you don't just want to pay 20,000 gold).

The first stage in collecting your very own bear cavalry is to assemble a good team. While you can put together a run with whichever guildies feel like going from week to week, we recommend at least starting with a fixed group that's optimised for success. As you become experienced at running the gauntlet, it won't matter quite as much if the team isn't static.

Continue reading Ready Check: Zul'Aman -- Getting your first bear

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Arcane Brilliance: Cast fast and hit hard - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 13:00:00 EST



Every week, Arcane Brilliance
strives to make us all a bit Mage-ier. This week, we shine our spotlight on two stats every Mage should have, but far too few of us know enough about: Spell hit rating and spell haste rating. Last week we saw that patch 2.4 has made these two ratings a bit easier to obtain on gear, and this week we'll find out why that should make the Mage nation a happy place.

When I wrote up the list of shiny new Mage gear the patch delivered to us last week, I couldn't help but notice a strange preponderance of two stats I was relatively unfamiliar with. Currently, I have a whopping 53 spell hit rating on my Mage, from the Scryer's Bloodgem and the Gladiator's War Staff. None of my current gear gives a single point of spell haste rating. When I saw those stats reflected on so much of the new 2.4 gear, I became very curious. Why is Blizzard pushing these two ratings? Where's my spell crit and spell damage?

I broke out my most scholarly looking pair of glasses, perched them upon the end of my nose so that I could squint down through them at my computer screen, and did some research. I may have scribbled some complex formulae upon a chalkboard, and it's entirely possible that I muttered the occasional "astonishing!" or "brilliant!" under my breath in a faux English accent as I conducted this study.

What did I learn? Well, two things really: first, both of these ratings are important to Mages, and in PvE you can make the argument that spell hit is the single most important end-game stat for a Mage to have. And secondly, I fricking hate researching things. I mean seriously, my mind pretty much shuts off when I see a decimal point. After the break, I'll try to save you the trouble of doing what I did this week, and break down what these two ratings mean in layman's terms. Don't worry, math nerds, I'll link you to the crazy numbers articles too, so you can go make out with your calculators or whatever.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Cast fast and hit hard

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WoW Moviewatch: Ascent vs. Illidan, with a twist - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 12:00:00 EST

Submissions are starting to trickle in to our inbox, and some of them are quite surprising. Brysan wrote in about his machinima experience, outlining the journey from wee newblet to intermediate hobbyist. However, he'd like some constructive feedback on his latest piece, a PvE video of his guild's Illidan Stormrage kill.

Having graduated from Windows Movie Maker up to Sony Vegas and WoW model viewer, he wanted to make a video that was more artistic than boastful. Brysan managed to come up with an entertaining storyline with what I felt was a decent voiceover and nice visuals. Since he's looking for ways to improve, I'll note that sometimes the lipsynching is off, the aspect ratio changes randomly, and the metal soundtrack made me want to cry, but that last one is more personal than anything. Make sure to include credits for any music you're using in the future!

[Thanks, Brysan!]

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

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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