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Tie-breakers in the arena - Mon, 06 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

An interesting discussion began on Twitter a few days ago, between ArenaJunkies moderator QTPawzz and Blizzard's Senior PvP Developer, Brian Holinka. The two were discussing arena draws. If you're not familiar with the current system, if in 2v2, team A kills one member of team B, but cannot kill the other, meaning that at the point where the match times out there are two of team A but only one of team B remaining, there is a draw. QTPawzz was complaining specifically about his experience as an affliction warlock, trying to take down a discipline priest 1v1, his own partner presumably having died.

QTPawzz' suggestion was a shorter time limit, as well as a mechanic whereby the team that did the highest damage would win. It's an interesting idea, and something Holinka didn't seem averse to, given his responses. It's certainly a question that is likely to be both divisive and highly subjective, depending on the class or role that a player has adopted in PvP. For example, as someone who principally plays healing classes, with a side of DPS, the idea that the team with the highest damage should win in the event of a draw is immediately offputting.

Continue reading Tie-breakers in the arena

Tie-breakers in the arena originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Why World of Warcraft isn't a democracy - Mon, 06 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

There's a difference between a consumer and a producer. To use the dreaded and overused food analogy, liking to eat doesn't translate into being a good cook. For that matter, liking to eat doesn't even translate into liking to cook, much less displaying any skill at cooking. I neither like to cook nor have even the slightest talent for it, but if you look at me you can tell I'm not shy about eating. Why am I belaboring this point into the ground? Because World of Warcraft isn't a democracy in part because the millions of us who like to eat it don't necessarily possess either the talent or aptitude to cook it up.

Partially this is due to the fact that almost any creative task requires a certain degree of focus, and the more people you attempt to include in the design process the more effort needs to expended keeping the project on track. There's a reason projects of this magnitude often have people who specifically work on doing exactly that. They don't do the individual art, they don't code the abilities or design the environments or that next cool armor, they instead work on keeping all of these variables on track. They're jugglers, and the balls in this case are the varied and disparate elements of the game's overall design.

Continue reading Why World of Warcraft isn't a democracy

Why World of Warcraft isn't a democracy originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NetEase launches Mists of Pandaria Mahjong set - Mon, 06 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

NetEase, one of the largest retailers of World of Warcraft and general Blizzard merchandise in China, has recently launched a new product. In a very, very limited edition of just 1,000 copies, at least for now, this set is sure to go fast. It's retailing for what a currency converter approximates to be $208, at today's rates at least, and it really is a thing of beauty.

The set is beautifully designed and crafted, with the panda footprint featuring heavily on the tiles, as seen above, as well as the accompanying poker chips, the dice, dividers, and the red wooden presentation box. The play mat is a cloth rendition of the continent of Pandaria, which appears sympathetically rendered. If this sounds a little like a sales pitch, it shouldn't, this set is just incredibly beautifully made, and warrants the praise!

Rumor has it that this limited edition of 1,000 is not just for China, but for the worldwide market, so be prepared to have to jump through some hoops if you want one. They are currently only available through NetEase's website, where some judicious use of a translation engine will land the enthusiastic shopper with a login, allowing them to sign up for one of these sets. Given the coverage it's getting, and the minimal price, don't be surprised if you lose out.

Hit the break for more pictures!

Continue reading NetEase launches Mists of Pandaria Mahjong set

NetEase launches Mists of Pandaria Mahjong set originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: World of Gnomecraft 2.0 - Mon, 06 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

You can only push a good gnome so far. For years, the Alliance and Horde punted gnomes, used them as garden decorations, and denigrated this most destructive of races. And then Baron Soosdon issued the call to the pint-sized purveyors of perfection, and we entered the World of Gnomecraft 2.0.

Kick back and enjoy the revolution. This contest-winning video from 2010 will show you why the good Baron is so far ahead of his time.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: World of Gnomecraft 2.0 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Does WoW need new animations? - Mon, 06 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

When I was writing this column on warrior attacks, I noticed that a lot of players who don't play warriors came in to comment on their animations. I specifically noticed druids (especially feral/guardian druids), and rogues commenting. This got me to thinking if part of the problem is that the monk class really exposed a vulnerability. It's easier to see that your character model isn't keeping up with new racial choices like the goblins, worgen and pandaren - you can just see one standing next to you in Org/SW or a raid/dungeon/scenario. But to notice that your animations aren't keeping up with the new hotness, you have to see the new hotness. And it can be hard to notice what someone's attacks are like when you're focusing on your own.

Now, of course, the argument could be made that WoW's animations are pretty good. Making a change simply for change's sake would be a diversion of resources. But it seems to me that, with all the talk about updating character models, there's at least some room to discuss updating our attacks as well. Most classes use the chosen race's special attacks (you can see what they are by using a model viewer program, or Wowhead's model viewer) with specific ones like Dragon Stomp, Special1h, Special2h, and so on.

Continue reading Does WoW need new animations?

Does WoW need new animations? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 29 - May 5, 2013 - Mon, 06 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Every Monday evening, WoW Insider brings you a long list of WoW podcasts that were published the week and weekend before. If you don't see your favorite World of Warcraft podcast listed, just let us know in the comments. Be sure to leave a link to it, and we'll pick it up next week.

All podcasts and content belong to their owners. WoW Insider is not responsible for what you hear, and some of the content may not be safe for work.

Continue reading Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 29 - May 5, 2013

Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 29 - May 5, 2013 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: WoL, 'locks, and damage done - Mon, 06 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill wants to coin WoL'lock, but isn't sure if she should.

Last week, I started off with some basics of World of Logs (WoL) regarding warlocks. I started to write a column to go spec by spec, but later I realized that might become a game of find and replace with the different buffs or DoTs important to each spec. So instead, this week is another general World of Logs lesson with a little more specific caster DPS focus with warlock flavor. We'll just build up to the nitty gritty spells next week.

Continue reading Blood Pact: WoL, 'locks, and damage done

Blood Pact: WoL, 'locks, and damage done originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: 5 tips for casual raiding in Mists - Mon, 06 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

A few weeks ago I had a great chat with Mick from The Starting Zone podcast about casual raiding in Mists of Pandaria. We both agree that normal mode raids have become more difficult than in the last two expansions. The existence of LFR has emboldened Blizzard to tune normal more tightly than they have in recent years.

If you're in a casual raiding guild that is having trouble in normal mode, here are five tips on how to improve progression and morale without pushing your raiders to the breaking point.

1. Talk about your lack of progression. For an officer, silence is deadly to morale, both during raids and after. In that silence, you know that people are whispering to each other about what's going wrong, or griping about other players. Maybe they are just sitting there stunned and disappointed, unable to muster a coherent thought. In any case, it's bad.

It's up to the guild's leadership to break the silence. During the raid, talk about what's going wrong in a constructive way. Don't forget to talk about what's going right, too. Afterward, create a thread on your forums to debrief. Solicit suggestions and strategies. Encourage a dialogue. Let people vent a bit, if they have to. It helps relieve the pressure -- just be sure to moderate and make sure the discussion stays civil.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: 5 tips for casual raiding in Mists

Officers' Quarters: 5 tips for casual raiding in Mists originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: I feel pretty - Mon, 06 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Oh, so pretty.

JeffLaBowski asked:

Now that Mists has been out for a while, what would you have changed storywise? From the way the Pandaren were introduced to how both major plot lines were dealt with? I know a lot was changed in Beta. Do you think it played out as well as was planned?

Continue reading The Queue: I feel pretty

The Queue: I feel pretty originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Further to fly - Mon, 06 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

It's not that I don't trust your flying skills, sweetheart. I'm just a little concerned that a dragon made of stone might not be the most aerodynamic thing there is. All it takes is one crack in the wing and bam, I'm a widow. And you don't even have life insurance! So I packed you a parachute, just in case. Now give me five minutes; I need to figure out how to get this seat belt to fit across your mount's wingspan. And could you make sure I installed the airbag in that front horn? (Thanks to submitter Sam for the screenshot!)

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Further to fly originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drama Mamas: The case of the disagreeing duo - Mon, 06 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

The duo in the letter disagrees and so does our Drama Mamas duo.
Hello Drama Mamas!

I recently moved in with my boyfriend, Sam, who I dated long distance for two years. I have never been happier! As you know, sometimes certain things that weren't a problem when long distance can become big ugly problems when living together.

When we were long distance, Sam and I made several WoW pairs together, so we could play and be together and have fun. Almost all of those pairs have me tanking (because I love leading and tanking and fast queues keep us entertained) and some of these pairs have him healing me as I tank.

All too often tanks are treated poorly. I understand that tanks may not seem necessary when leveling, but I wish more DPS would understand that many tanks find proper tanking fun, and so pulling ahead and ripping aggro can be an act of outright funsucking.

Continue reading Drama Mamas: The case of the disagreeing duo

Drama Mamas: The case of the disagreeing duo originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Did you meet your Children's Week goals? - Mon, 06 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Today is the last day of Children's Week. After today, thousands of non-pvpers will stay out of battlegrounds for a year and most of us will have another pet or 3 in our stable. Since the pets are tradeable, my guess is that this holiday is getting more attention due to pet battles. Is that true?

My goal was to finally get the meta as School of Hard Knocks is the only thing standing between me and a Violet Proto-drake. As of this writing, I still haven't, but I have time. And so do you, if you're reading this early enough. According to the in-game calendar, the event ends at 11 a.m. PDT. Though I'm not sure how that works. Does the Matron just vanish?

Regardless, what about you?

View Poll


Breakfast Topic: Did you meet your Children's Week goals? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW in the Wild: Blizzard dragon - Sun, 05 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

We don't feature every little appearance of WoW out there in the world, but it's a Sunday and a bit of frivolity is a nice way to finish off the weekend. The Blizzard dragon you see above is from the mobile gaming phenom Dragonvale. The point of that game is to breed all the different dragons and raise them up to level 20 by feeding them. It's a nice little casual game, so I loved this friendly shout out to our beloved Blizzard.

Obviously, the lost Ice Kings are a shout out to the Lost Vikings, though the Berrywhite Mountains are more likely a reference to a certain velvet-voiced singer.

WoW in the Wild: Blizzard dragon originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: Anveena Teague and the Sunwell - Sun, 05 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Those who travel to Sunwell Plateau may have seen her -- the inexplicable human girl trapped in a bubble above the Sunwell itself, even as demons channel dark energies below. Her story is a sad one, one of the more poignant tales in Warcraft's history, but it's by and large unknown to many who play. Which is kind of a pity, when you think about it -- Anveena Teague is one of those clear in-game representations of when written material and game content collide with little success. Despite her story being told in the manga series The Sunwell Trilogy, that story never really made it into the game in any capacity.

It also means that every time myself, one of my guildmates, or simply random people that follow me over on Twitter head into Sunwell Plateau, I'm asked who that girl the bubble is, where she came from, and why she's there. And since we have yet to address Anveena's full story in Know Your Lore, I thought it was high time she was featured in a column of her own. So we're taking a break from Pandaria this week, and instead turning our attention back in time to the days of Lordaeron's fall, the days when draconic intervention was a far more common occurrence, the days when the Scourge marched en masse over the land, to a quiet little hamlet known as Tarren Mill.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: Anveena Teague and the Sunwell

Know Your Lore: Anveena Teague and the Sunwell originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Last train to Cairo - Sun, 05 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

This weekend is/was the Golden Weekend in The Secret World, so I played through the latest content update and got to hang out with my favorite character: posh immortal trade-prince mummy Saïd.

Chrth asked:

If the Celestials hadn't opened the gates to the Vale, would the Mogu have gotten in?

The mogu were, in fact, already in the Vale. One of the first quests you complete for the Golden Lotus has you blowing up a cave that the mogu were using to send reinforcements into the Vale, probably through an ancient network of tunnels (or the product of heavy mogu labor in recent years).

Continue reading The Queue: Last train to Cairo

The Queue: Last train to Cairo originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Wrought - Sun, 05 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

We covered Here Without You yesterday, one of the classics of machinima. The Forsaken lovers theme is a popular one, though relatively few machinima artists have really done it justice. It is no surprise that another great example is Wrought, created by Legs based on a song by Peratus.

Not only is the machinima amazing but the song is pretty good, too. I grump a tiny bit that it devolves into garbling by the end of it, although I'll admit that technique aligns well with the storyline in the video.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: Wrought originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Teh Gladiators - Sun, 05 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

Every week, SMF is shining the spotlight on one of our weekly WoW-related, regularly updating web comics. This week, we're looking at Teh Gladiators:

Teh Gladiators is written by Uros Jojic and drawn by Borislav Grabovic, both Serbian. They describe it as "a labor of love." Jojic is a player and fan as well as novice writer; Grabovic "is an accomplished artist," and it shows.

It is primarily a story-based comic. Originally, it was a story about arena but has since evolved into "a more free-flowing story about the adventures of three principal characters." Gorrok (the aging warrior), Spin (Tauren) and Vallant (a hunter with two rats) are the stars of the show.

Since the change, it has been less gag-based and moves at a slower pace. In order to keep it moving, the pair started posting two weekly updates.

Teh Gladiators updates every Sunday with two comics.

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: Teh Gladiators

Sunday Morning Funnies: Teh Gladiators originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Treat yo' self! - Sun, 05 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

What does Crazyazell of Serenity Knights on Bronzebeard (US-A) do after a long day of questing around Pandaria, raising an army of the damned and spreading pestilence and plague among her enemies? Why, relax in a public hot tub, surrounded by flowers and candles. Looks inviting, right? But be careful about joining her. A death knight's bath is probably filled with more diseases than a Seaside Heights sauna.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Treat yo' self! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are you starved for WoW time? - Sun, 05 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Spoken like a proper gamer, today's Breakfast Topic is less a question of "Are you starved for WoW time?" but rather "How much more WoW time do you need?" Let's face it, whether or not you take your recommended daily dose of dailies every day without fail, there's always more to do in Azeroth. WoW has arrived at that ripe, juicy stage that tempts even the most dedicated players with one more bite.

But despite the availability of a playstyle to suit almost every player's schedule, most players seem to end up wistfully pining for at least a little more play time. Do you? Do you feel that you have enough time to get into everything you'd like to try, enjoy, and accomplish in WoW? What would you do if you had more time to play? If you feel short on time, is that shortage a short-term situation, or is it simply the shape of your life right now?

Breakfast Topic: Are you starved for WoW time? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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5 things I want my daughter to learn from WoW - Sat, 04 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

It's amazing how time flies. It seems like just yesterday my daughter was born, and now I'm already planning her first birthday party. And while I try to carefully moderate how much time I spend around here talking about mini-me, it's pretty clear she's an important part of my life. Just as obviously, I spend a lot of time thinking about her while I cruise the wide world of Azeroth.

The game clearly isn't intended for young critters such as she, but there's a surprising amount of wisdom traipsing around WoW for my daughter to soak up. In honor of Children's Week, these 5 things are cardinal lessons I think she might be able to learn from some time spent adventuring in Azeroth.

1. Find your own fun. Azeroth is a big place and WoW is just as expansive. You can craft, adventure, raid, PvP, collect obscure items, battle pets... the playing vista is wide open. Some people love to PvP, other people enjoy spending all their time in dungeons. Whatever her choice might be, I want her to find her own fun and feel pride in that decisions.

Continue reading 5 things I want my daughter to learn from WoW

5 things I want my daughter to learn from WoW originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 04 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Here Without You - Sat, 04 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Let's bust out an oldie but goldie. While Here Without You has been around for a long, long time, it still gets cited as one of the best machinima of all time. Why? Well, let's talk about that.

The story is tight. Perhaps not unique, but they don't waste time with side plots or scenes that don't serve the main story. It's tight, focused, and fast. The song matches the mood; while you might not love the tune, the pacing and theme is in perfect sync with one another. The animation is self-aware. While these aren't mind-blowing graphics, it understands its own limitations and stays within its lines.

Ultimately, the point is that the video stays focused on the story it's telling, it doesn't waste time with extraneous plots or gimmicks, and it keeps moving forward. It's easy to see why Here Without You gets so much praise.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: Here Without You originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 04 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Are warrior attacks boring? - Sat, 04 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Are we boring?

Obviously I don't think so or I'd be fairly unhappy with my choice of class. But when you see certain statements like this one from Ghostcrawler, you do start to wonder. One of the difficulties I had in writing a wishlist for the class in the future was that our toolkit is fairly limited. We don't channel any weird energies like nature or divine magic or chi, we just get angry and use that anger to smash things, yell at things, and then there's the 'pinball in a washing machine' and 'here is my flag' aspects of the class.

Aesthetically, I enjoy the warrior class quite a bit. But that aesthetic comes in the form of plate armor and is hardly unique to the class - death knights and paladins can wear almost all of the same gear as we can, especially now that transmogrification exists. The fact is, as much as I hate to admit it, Ghostcrawler is right and warriors don't look all that interesting when we attack.

The question becomes, why does that matter? And the answer is, it matters for the overall health of the class and its representation.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Are warrior attacks boring?

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Are warrior attacks boring? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 04 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Our hipster WoW - Sat, 04 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Well, WoW's in the crosswords. We've gone mainstream. Time to pack it all in, trade out our fixie bikes and obsessions with animation and nerd stuff, put on a real suit, and get a real job.

Or... it's time to really get obscure. Our bonus question of the week: Now that WoW has been co-opted by the mainstream media, what truly hipster activity do you embrace to stay unique?

Brewing beer, writing novels, and arguing on the internet doesn't count.

Continue reading WRUP: Our hipster WoW

WRUP: Our hipster WoW originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 04 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: I hate snakes - Sat, 04 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I've yet to survive a full game of the excellent Spelunky, but videos like this make me want to persevere.

RyanStansifer asked:

Which source is the correct source for triggering the achievement "Mount Parade?" Battle.net or the in-game mount pane?

It triggers based on how many mounts your specific logged-in character has access to. The number on the Armory counts all mounts, whereas the one in-game takes faction and class into account.

Continue reading The Queue: I hate snakes

The Queue: I hate snakes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 04 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Fishing up trouble - Sat, 04 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

"Warriorjoe of Spectacular Death on Llane (US-A) just got exalted with Nat Pagle and was showing off his super comfy fishing chair to Gimmlette," writes prolific submitter Gimmlette. "Being the nice guy that he is, he pulled out a murloc that Gimm could ride because she was feeling down that she didn't have a super comfy fishing chair. Their evening of fishing up Redbelly Mandarins was interrupted by a giant Krakkanon. Once dispatched, they went back to their chairs to discuss just how something that big turns up in the pond north of Niuzao Temple."

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Fishing up trouble originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 04 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Vanity, thy name is your own guild - Sat, 04 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

I can't find a banker's alt guild on the latest realm I'm playing on. That frustrates me, because I like to keep my banker free from guild ties and other characters' relationships while still enjoying a guild tag and a little camaraderie. But on this realm, apparently, bankers simply create vanity guilds populated by no one but themselves -- probably a wise idea, since then they can benefit from all those lovely, lovely guild bank tabs.

Some players create their own vanity guilds because they like having a guild tag over their heads. These players aren't groupers or joiners. Unreliable schedules or other circumstances keeps their WoW on single-player mode -- they like seeing all the hustle and bustle, but they aren't able to or prefer not to dive into it. Guild tags help these players feel more a part of the player population, with a "hometown" label and sense of identity that a guild provides.

Do you have any characters in a vanity guild? What was behind its creation: more bank slots, a way to indulge in a fun pun or clever concept name, a place to feel you belong? If you've had your vanity guild for a long time, have you found that it has slowly grown, accumulating friends and family members?

Breakfast Topic: Vanity, thy name is your own guild originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 04 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat - Fri, 03 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

TradeChat's Panser returns with this week's WoW Insider news recap, where we look back at the hottest news from the past week and whatever other kickin' rad things may have come our way. This week's topics include: If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave a comment, and come back next week for the next episode!

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Should WoW add a Deathmatch Battleground? - Fri, 03 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

I was reading twitter as I often do... no, really, it's for work, I'm not just wasting time posting jokes about wearing a crown roast as a helmet... when I saw Nethaera post this tweet, which led me to this forum thread. While perusing the thread I eventually found Neth's response to it, and that got me thinking about the concept.
Nethaera - Could we get a PvP battleground?
Battle grounds have always been missing an important part of world pvp.... PvP. Make it like a big arena but not so big that people can't hide. 10 to 15 players forced into all out pvp. First to so many kills or 10 minutes, whichever comes first, wins the round.

No need to even create an area for it. Just make a copy of Blackrock mountain in an instance.

That is PvP I would actually like... its the reason I liked AV so much back before it was turned into race where pvp sometimes breaks out.

What you're asking for is a straight Death Match type of Battleground. I'm not sure it would be compelling as you think. I'm a big fan of DM as well, at least in FPS', but for an MMO like World of Warcraft, I question how enjoyable it would be in the long run for people. I think for players who feel very comfortable with their abilities, straight head on PvP like that would be fun for them, but for others, I'm not sure it would have the same appeal.

That said, I'm not killing the discussion. I'm just interested in how you feel this would work or appeal to a wide enough audience for it to be worth creating.


I have in the past advocated a deathmatch style BG because I do understand the original poster's point. But let's really take a look at what a deathmatch BG would have to entail.

Continue reading Should WoW add a Deathmatch Battleground?

Should WoW add a Deathmatch Battleground? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Elements - Fri, 03 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Elements is a gorgeous video to watch. The costuming, framing, and background music all works well. But the video is still unsatisfying, owing to two chief challenges. First, convincing action scenes are stupid hard to do. No, really: even without getting into the fact that we all know the emotes by heart, pulling together a series of emotes into heart-pounding action is difficult. Unfortunately, Elements doesn't quite manage the feat.

More importantly, though, the video suffers some pacing problems. In a few places, the action is completely paused so that the song can catch up with the story. That just won't work when you're trying to hold an audience's attention.

All that being said, Elements shows outstanding promise and, like I said, it's pretty to look at. I hope SajuukCor keeps trying; I think you could really knock this kind of thing out of the park with practice.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: Elements originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Faction short story Bleeding Sun now available - Fri, 03 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

A new short story is available on the official Blizzard website for lore fans. Bleeding Sun, written by Matt Burns, sheds some light on the Golden Lotus and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Although there have been small bits of story about the Vale and its guardians, there wasn't a lot of clarification on the process itself. We knew that the Vale had guardians, that those guardians had been there before the August Celestials chose to open the gate, but how those guardians were chosen, or what that choice entailed was still a mystery.

Matt Burns, also the author of Charge of the Aspects from last year, tackles this subject with flair -- but it's a dark flair, one that was entirely unexpected. I'd mentioned before that Trial of the Red Blossoms, Blizzard's first foray into Pandaria's many factions, was a little dark. Bleeding Sun beats it, hands down -- and all by using a character who is entirely devoted to the Light of An'she's sun. Sunwalker Dezco makes a unexpected return in Bleeding Sun, along with his twin sons, now named Redhorn and Cloudhoof. Dezco has been trying to to come to terms with the death of his wife Leza and the result of their grand journey across Pandaria. He and his followers found the Vale ... but what now?

And that's where it gets really grim.

Continue reading Faction short story Bleeding Sun now available

Faction short story Bleeding Sun now available originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard's official look at patch 5.3 - Fri, 03 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Blizzard has been blogging up a storm about patch 5.3, and there have recently been 2 more articles added to their arsenal. The first is a run-down of the new scenarios available, posted by Community Manager Nethaera, which runs players down the four new three-player scenarios coming in patch 5.3. Neth gives us a quick summary of the stories behind the scenarios, while doing a great job of not being too spoiler-heavy. She runs down the background of Blood in the Snow, Dark Heart of Pandaria, Secrets of Ragefire and Battle on the High Seas. You can also check out WoW Insider's own articles on Blood in the Snow and Dark Heart of Pandaria, but beware the light spoilers that lurk within!

Nethaera also briefly discusses the new difficulty level that will be added with patch 5.3, heroic scenarios. She clarifies that they are intended for pre-made groups of three players, and will award a hefty 120 valor, as well as bonus valor for completing the objectives.

What's more, Blizzard has recently published a guide to getting geared for 5.3, aimed at players with alts, and players who are returning to the game. They've got some great tips in there, even going so far as to acknowledge some neat tricks that'll have you running the Raid Finder in no time.

Continue reading Blizzard's official look at patch 5.3

Blizzard's official look at patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Would you play on a classic WoW server? - Fri, 03 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

You can never go back -- well, unless it's via the Caverns of Time or unless Blizzard ever decides to open classic-era WoW servers. Of course, Blizzard has already given a thumbs down to the idea. Really. No, seriously. Even so, many players continue to keep the candle burning in hope of rekindling a classic, expansion-locked WoW server.

Before you start cynically smirking about rose-colored glasses, consider this: There really are good reasons to love classic World of Warcraft. This is the content that made us fall in love with the game. It's what melted our hearts for Azeroth, offering some of the best and most enjoyable fights in Azeroth. Plenty of players still enjoy the classic content via retro raiding and more casual trips back for transmog gear.

The question is, do you miss the classic game so much that you'd play on an expansion-locked classic server? Would you perhaps even pay a special fee to unlock or subscribe to that experience? Remember, there would be no new talent systems or gameplay improvements, no new content or leveling curves. You'd start out with nothing but the original World of Warcraft experience, unlocking each expansion in a realmwide effort over time. It would be all old school, all the way, baby. Sound like fun? Sound like a grind? Sound like a fun grind?

Would you play on a classic WoW server? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Curious Wolvar Pup - Fri, 03 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

"I have a plan," the druid told the curious wolvar pup. "I know how I'm going to get you adopted."

The pup looked up at the Gilnean and growled curiously. "Skrrrrrrr."

"There's this orc. Likes puppies," the Gilnean said. "And it turns out, you're a pup. He's going to call you Spot, though. I should warn you."

"Skrrrrr?"

"It's a common name for dogs," the Gilnean explained. "As a worgen, I'm sure you understand why I dislike that."

The wolvar bounced in place and clapped its tiny little hands together.

"I'm going to miss you though, little Skir. You're pretty cute."

Item Note: The best part of Children's Week is that is has the very best rewards. Sure, there's the Curious Wolvar Pup but there's also Willy and Speedy and Egbert and so many more. Best pets ever! Check out our guide if you need a little help!
Phat Loot Phriday brings you the scoop on some of the most ... interesting ... loot in the World of Warcraft, often viewed through the eyes of the stalwart Throgg and indelible Lolegolas. Suggest items you think we should feature by emailing mikeg@wowinsider.com.

Phat Loot Phriday: Curious Wolvar Pup originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Community Blog Topic: What if WoW didn't have guilds? - Fri, 03 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

In the comments of a recent Drama Mamas article about the etiquette of going AFK while grouping, rayden54 said:
... I think the best way to improve pugging (and the community in general) is to remove GUILDS.

All they really do is subdivide the community into a bunch of exclusive groups that only interact with outsiders when they have to and regard them as little more than nuisances.
Whoa. Having guilds is such a large part of playing an MMO to me, that I never even considered what it would be like not having them.

I think guilds are very important for making WoW a multiplayer experience, at least on the social level. Even if you play WoW as if it were a single-player RPG, you can still be chatting with fellow players as a group. That's all guilds used to be when I first started playing Everquest oh so many years ago, just a chat channel that you could only join if invited. And then there were games like Quake and Tribes where clans were formed outside of the game or you frequented particular servers that had the people that you liked to play with.

Continue reading Community Blog Topic: What if WoW didn't have guilds?

Community Blog Topic: What if WoW didn't have guilds? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR: Collectors' achievements galore - Fri, 03 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Wowhead's Perculia has been as busy as ever cataloging the new achievements currently on the patch 5.3 PTR, putting together a comprehensive guide over at Wowhead.

Do head over to check that out, but we're going to pull some of the more exciting ones out, with a focus on pets and mounts. WoW Insider also recently covered the new Gorgeous title, which comes from completing all the achievements in the new battleground, Deepwind Gorge.

First up, for completing Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition, collecting all 10 of the new pets which have been dropped into the old raids listed on the achievement, players are awarded yet another pet, Tito's Basket! In the same vein of pet-related achievements awarding yet more pets, the Brutal Pet Brawler achievement awards a Stunted Direhorn. Lastly, in the pet battles category, there's an achievement called The Longest Day, which, when you look at the tooltip, you'll realise is aptly named. Carrying out that mammoth task will award you a Marked Flawless Battle Stone, which can be used to boost any pet to Rare quality.

What's more, mount collectors rejoice, because there's a new benchmark, 200 mounts, for which Mount Parade awards yet another mount, the Armored Dragonhawk, in blue for the Alliance and a fetching red for the Horde.

Patch 5.3 PTR: Collectors' achievements galore originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: The most adorable owl in the universe - Fri, 03 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) happens to be an owl of the night variety.

Look at that owl. Just look at it.

MatthiasA.Sartor asked:

After 4 or 5 long years (all of them hinging on stupid stupid EotS and AV) I finally got my violet proto. Now what should I do, I feel empty lol.

That's usually the point where I find more impossible things to do. Try farming for the Ashes of A'lar, or the Fiery Warhorse's Reins, or any of the other many mounts that are a bit harder to get. After all, there's a 200 mount achievement coming up soon!

Continue reading The Queue: The most adorable owl in the universe

The Queue: The most adorable owl in the universe originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Sympathy for the tacky - Fri, 03 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

"Please allow me to introduce myself , I'm a man of wealth and taste," quotes submitter Molotropo of Nerf This on Quel'Thalas (US-H). "Well, lots of taste and like 990k less gold after paying for the damn mount." Dear God, and I thought the amount I spent making my Jeweled Onyx Panther was excessive. Note to self: never go near the Black Market Auction House.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Sympathy for the tacky originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reminder: It came from the Blog's Running of the Orphans is tonight - Fri, 03 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Tonight we are at the beck and call of cheeky orphans. Tonight we will run around Azeroth with them. Tonight we will be rewarded with a tradeable, account-wide pet. Tonight is It came from the Blog's Running of the Orphans 2013.
  • When: Tonight, May 3 at 10:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. PDT, 8:30 p.m. server time)
  • Where: Meet at the pond near the engineering trainer that's next to the orphanage in Orgrimmar on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H)
  • Who: Any Horde character level 10 or over
  • How: Ask any member of It came from the Blog for an invite to the guild if you are not already a member of our family of guilds.
Tonight we will celebrate Children's Week. Tonight you will join us, yes?
Please join us on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H) in It came from the Blog. All guild ranks can invite, so /whisper Tizzi or any online member. You are all welcome as long as you play by our simple rules -- basically, don't be a funsucker! Visit the guild FAQ for more details.

Reminder: It came from the Blog's Running of the Orphans is tonight originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Do you belong to a guild that uses loot council? - Fri, 03 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Loot, no loot ... Loot, no loot ... All this hullabaloo over the pixels our pixels wear. Frankly, the most confusing aspect of the whole equation to me is the fact that so many players leave themselves at the mercy of Blizzard's loot systems in the first place. That's not to say I feel those systems are unfair or that they haven't seen significant improvement over time. I think they're fine.

What I don't understand is why more players don't band together in guilds with flexible systems that help members beat the element of chance. I'm a fervent believer in the loot council system, of playing with folks who have your back. Shouldn't there be a home team advantage when it comes to staring down the RNG? Is looping back through the LFR on your own that much easier or more effective than running with a team that wants to see its members equitably and strongly geared, with friends who enjoy helping you snag your most coveted pieces?

What do you think about loot councils as a way of fairly distributing drops? If your guild uses loot council, have you been satisfied with the overall results? If your guild relies on another method, what about that method do you think makes it a better choice?

Breakfast Topic: Do you belong to a guild that uses loot council? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 03 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York Times crossword references World of Warcraft - Thu, 02 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

Today's New York Times crossword includes a clue that any non MMO player wouldn't know. Amongst the standard pop-culture references and strict definitions, today's crossword puzzlers encountered the following clue, as shown by Jack Thompson (no, not that Jack Thompson) via Twitter.
Raid is the obvious answer -- to us. But I would think it's a pretty hard answer for a non-gamer to come up with.

Does this mean that World of Warcraft is part of the mainstream? Are we going to be able to use MMO lingo around the water cooler now? Do we want to?

New York Times crossword references World of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 02 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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