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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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Blizzard's maintenance interrupts some website features - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 21:51:00 EST
The WoW login screen acknowledges that some services may be intermittently unavailable due to "website maintenance and upgrades." As we've reported, Blizzard sites have experienced maintenance periods earlier this week. The current news blurb says that they are working on the web infrastructure to provide "new features" and "increased performance and security." The features impacted are:

  • account creation
  • password recovery
  • paid character transfer
  • adding payment
The message says that these services may be unavailable "intermittently." It does not indicate how long the website maintenance will continue, but promises to provide updates. The maintenance is also confirmed on Blizzard's home page.

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Forum Post of the Day: Setting the mood - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 20:00:00 EST


We've asked before where people would like to live or vacation in Azeroth, and have gotten a surprising variety of responses. There are many lovely, scenic, and adventurous places that would be fantastic to visit. But is there anywhere you'd like to go on a date?

Sildurcausius of EU-Arathor (who needs an easier name to spell) asked on the EU-General forums where he should take his girl on a date in WoW. He said that he's bought a tux and some fireworks for the occasion. Amazingly enough, the responses offered some great suggestions:

  • Delilan of Nordrassil, "On the cliffs at Hinterlands is very preeeetty at sunset on a clear day..And feels like a romantic sorta place.." (followed by "Cant believe I just typed that")
  • Nyala of Steamwheedle Cartel, "In Feralas, the Twin Colossals. There is an npc near them that will teleport you to the top of one of the colossals. At the top is an npc who sells parachutes that allow you to jump down safely."
  • Erinys of Vashj, "The view from the hunting lodge balcony in loch modan is pretty especially at sunset and sunrise."
  • Thundernut of Quel'Thalas, "Perpetual autumn, very nice trees here. The sky is an orange/pinkish glow at night. If you like water an island in the bay of storms also gives a pretty view.

Continue reading Forum Post of the Day: Setting the mood

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Legendary Weapons: Drops vs. questing - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 19:00:00 EST

A Discussion of the newly dropped Thori'dal bought up a lively discussion on Legendary weapons in my guild chat the other day, which has in turn set my own mental wheels turning. Looking at the difference between the pre-Burning Crusade Legendaries and the Burning Crusade Legendaries, there's one big difference that stands out (beyond the level difference): The pre-BC Legendaries were quested, while the BC Legendaries have been drops.

The clear-cut off seems to suggest that at some point, Blizzard decided that creating long, involved quests in order to obtain Legendary weapons just wasn't the way to go, and they'd rather let the RNG take care of distributing Legendaries. But the question is, did they make the right choice? There's good arguments for both sides.

Continue reading Legendary Weapons: Drops vs. questing

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Buying gold is not a victimless crime - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 18:30:00 EST

For many reasons I've never felt compelled to buy gold or pay for leveling on World of Warcraft. So I had no idea how the process worked. We got a tip from Kyron of Andorhal about a friend whose account was hacked. In addition to having all of his gear and gold stripped from his characters, he had 2 emails in the inbox for cheap items that he'd purchased off the auction house that the hacker had purchased for 500 gold a piece.

They recorded the name of the seller from the auction house and confronted him when he next came online. It turns out that person wasn't a gold seller but a gold buyer. He'd been told to put Coarse Thread on the AH at the 500 gold rate and would receive his gold when the hacker purchased the ridiculously priced item.

I didn't know how gold-buying worked, but this sounds like a way to exchange gold easily. This is something that blizzard could check into pretty easily. While sometimes players make strange prices in order to dupe would-be buyers, something like Coarse Thread would go unnoticed because most players wouldn't look for such items on the auction house.

Continue reading Buying gold is not a victimless crime

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Insider Trader: The complete final stretch - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 18:00:00 EST


For months now, Insider Trader has been diligently planning out routes to maximize your profession skills in ways that are efficient, profitable, and quick. Each week, you've stepped up and added your comments, thoughts, and professional secrets so that we can all benefit.

I've aimed to replace the boredom, tedium, frustration and bankruptcy that has been the experience of many crafters, with balance, profit, knowledge, and even (gasp) fun.

Now, as we round out the series, let's take a look through the guides that, together with their comments sections, will send you on a straightaway to 375.

Continue reading Insider Trader: The complete final stretch

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Phat Loot Phriday: Cannonball Runner - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 17:30:00 EST


I sure thought that we'd covered this before, but all my searching tells me that we haven't. So, since the past few weeks have been late endgame epics, here's a bit of awesomely husky loot -- if you haven't ever gotten this one, you definitely should.

Name: Cannonball Runner (Wowhead, Thottbot, Fishing)
Type: Rare Trinket
Damage/Speed: N/A (see below)
Abilities:
  • Summons a cannon that will fire at enemies in front of you.
  • Lasts for 10 seconds, with a 5 minute cooldown. Will reportedly attack enemies that aren't aggroed, so be careful dropping it in a crowded area.
  • Fires about seven shots with an average of 50 damage each (though can also crit), so about 350 damage, depending on whatever you're shooting at.
  • And of course, the name itself hearkens back to the famous Burt Reynolds epic, Cannonball Run.
  • And the icon (a smiley-face adorned bomb) is great, though Blizzard has since reused it as a number of different bombs and grenades.
  • And finally, it's one of the best trinkets in World of Warcraft.
How to Get It: You've got to drop Cannon Master Willey, hiding in the Scarlet Crusade's armory in the live side of Stratholme. He's down at the end of a hallway, and as you fight him, other people will show up, so one of your group has to sit on cannon duty and fire cannons at the bad guys that show up while the rest of you fight Willey. Down him, and the trinket will drop at about a 17% rate. At level 70, the whole instance is pretty much soloable (depending on your class skill and gear), so odds are that as long as you keep on top of things, you can probably make your way to him by yourself.

We'll have to see if Willey shows up in some form in the upcoming Caverns of Time version of Stratholme -- considering that Old Hillsbrad (with all of its familiar faces) is the most popular CoT instance, it's not hard to guess that he will.

Getting Rid of It: Sells for 1g 8s 50c, disenchants into a Large Brilliant Shard. Boom!

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Parents just don't understand WoW - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 17:00:00 EST

Rufus Honker IV over at the World of Warcraft LJ has joined a very small, elite community. Like Amanda Dean and Blizzard staffer J. Allen Brack, Rufus plays WoW with his parents. Of course, the elder Honkers make some "newb" mistakes along the way. Mom's got an ammo pouch on her Warrior, and Dad's bags are packed with obsolete crafting materials, outdated quest items, and even gray vendor trash.

Rufus's post isn't a complaint. It's more an endearing sigh that "Parents just don't understand WoW." He ends the post saying that they may be noobs, but they're his noobs. His parents look like they've embraced the game, and seem pretty cool to go on about their merry way in Azeroth. (I can't help but wonder if they have feelings on "welfare epix.")

I think my own father would be even more helplessly lost in Azeroth, and would cause me no end of frustration. But, I'd gladly handle that to hang out with him that readily. Maybe it's my advanced age, but if you get to do something like this together, you should probably treasure it while you can. Rufus seems to be doing a good job of that.

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WoW Insider Show live tomorrow afternoon - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 16:00:00 EST


The weekly podcast goes live tomorrow afternoon yet again, and if you've only been listening to the recorded show, this might just be the week you want to join us at 3:30pm Eastern, both on the live feed and in the IRC chat: Matt "Matticus" Low will be joining us for his WoW Insider Show debut. Not only has he taken over the wildly popular priest column Spiritual Guidance, but he's an accomplished WoW player and blogger at his own personal site, World of Matticus. Additionally, Amanda Dean will be on with us, and Turpster and myself will both be around as usual, chatting about everything from what the Death Knight class is really for to why Amanda thinks Arena is broken, Should be a terrific show.

You can join us live tomorrow at 3:30pm Eastern over on WoW Radio, and you can chat with us live either from that site or in IRC at irc.mmo-irc.com in the #wowradio channel. Or email us -- the show's address is theshow@wowinsider.com, and we'll be answering your questions and queries from there as well. We'll see you tomorrow afternoon.

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[1.Local]: Readers speak their minds - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 15:00:00 EST


[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Improving the gaming process seemed to be top of mind for many readers this week. A number of threads saw a flurry of suggestions about ways players handle current game mechanics and wish lists for improvements they'd like to see in the future. We touched on Armorying PuGgers, retooling old content versus adding more mid-level content, the state of bleeding-edge guild membership and the sometimes weighty demands of being a tank. We chewed the fat over just how serious matters of WoW are to us ... and never one to shirk matters of fashion, we considered footwear options for WoW players and Hello Kitty fans alike.

Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

Continue reading [1.Local]: Readers speak their minds

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Well Fed Buff: Spiced Wolf Meat - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 14:00:00 EST


Every week, Well Fed Buff serves up tasty dishes to boost your HP and stats, just in time for your weekend gaming.

It can be a real challenge to fit balanced meals into your heavy gaming schedule -- or work/school/life for that matter. In-game, we whip up a stack of meals and consume them when needed. I like to do the same in the real world. This week, we'll be making a stack of Spiced Wolf Meat for easy meals throughout the week.

In Azeroth, Spiced Wolf Meat can be learned from any cooking trainer as soon as your cooking skill reaches 10. The ingredients required are Stringy Wolf Meat, which drops from wolves in Elwynn Forest, Dun Morogh, Tirisfal Glades and Mulgore and Mild Spices, which is purchasable at any Trade or or Cooking Supplies vendor. The in-game dish only supplies 2 Stamina and Spirit, but our version will be much heartier.

This recipe is very similar to the Cuban dish Ropa Vieja. It is best cooked on a weekend when you have lots of time (though most of the time it is cooking you can be playing) and heats up very well in the microwave for quick, tasty and complete meals that are easily eaten beside the keyboard.

Continue reading Well Fed Buff: Spiced Wolf Meat

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Curse CEO hints at 'premium subscription' coming later this year - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 13:00:00 EST


CEO and founder of Curse.com Hubert Thieblot revealed this week that Curse plans to launch a premium subscription service later this year. The service would cost $4 per month and is slated for release some time in July 2008. Thieblot mentioned the new service last Tuesday at a social media conference hosted by Under the Radar. Curse hopes to get 35,000 subscribers to the new paid service by the end of 2008, working up to a total of 100,000 members by the end of 2009. The conference presentation is available on YouTube, but unless you're a masochist or a business conference groupie, you should only watch the video if you have insomnia.

We have no idea what this premium content entails -- what you see in the presentation slide is all we've got to go on -- but it's a good bet that it will be out-of-game services. Maybe something like Armory data, player profiles, or even some kind of addon profiling system. Will it be worth another $4 a month on top of what we already pay for WoW? We'll have to wait and see.

Update: Mr. Thieblot has commented below and said that whatever the service offers will be "nothing that has been hinted at so far."

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WoW Moviewatch: Chilled Escapism - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 12:00:00 EST

Baron Soosdon is back again with another video. This time, he's slowed things down a bit, with Chilled Escapism. Though this is the seventh video in the Escapism series, it's much less intense than the others.

Given that this is such a departure from his typical fare, Baron prepared a response (edited for content) in advance for the potential naysayers, 'OMFG NO! FFS, ANOTHER "PEOPLE WALKING"-VIDEO!!11 CAN'T YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE! FOR EXAMPLE SOMETHING WITH A PLOT??+++!!11.' We couldn't have said it better ourselves. We, on the other hand, enjoyed the change of pace. It helps to mix things up every now and then!

[Via Baron Soosdon]

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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Reminder: Caption This contest ends tonight! - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:30:00 EST

Hola, amigos. You've only got twelve and a half more hours to participate in this week's Caption This! contest. To participate, leave a caption for the above picture on the original post by 11:59 PM EST tonight! Eligible winners (U.S. or non-Quebec Canadian residents above 13) will receive a 60-day gamecard for first place and a choice of a Gnomeregan Bombardiers or a Hellscream Warchiefs t-shirt from J!NX for runner-up. Remember to read the official rules for the contest here, and if you don't want to enter, you can still participate by voting for the winners on Monday. See you soon!

Gallery: Caption This!

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Gearing for Kara, Prot Warriors part 2 - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:00:00 EST


Last week, for our fiftieth post, we spent so much time talking about prot gear to get ready to tank Karazhan that everyone went mad and the moon cracked open and rained fire upon the Earth. So get ready for part two! (Note, it's possible that didn't actually happen. But it felt like it did.)

This week, we're going to be covering gloves, boots, helms, capes and tanking weapons. Last week's column and this column from a while back cover the other slots you'll need for tanking gear to allow you to step into Kara and begin annoying mobs with your irritating taunts while not dying immediately when they start punching you in the face.

Without further ado, let's get down to business.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Gearing for Kara, Prot Warriors part 2

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Around Azeroth: Spiderwebs - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 10:00:00 EST

Tired of wiping on Kargath Bladefist, Antistes of <PhoenixFire> on Anachronos-EU laid down to take a warm nap. After angling the camera upwards, he realized that not only was he entrapped in some sort of webbing or barbed wire, but that the skeleton to his right had met a similar fate. Who knew that the Shattered Hand orcs were genetically engineeered to spin webs? (Actually, it would have been awesome if the fel orcs had random demon traits and abilities as gifts from the Legion. Other than the chaos damage, that is.) Anyways, after rezzing, he discovered that he now had an incredibly uneven suntan on his back.

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 -- use alt-Z to remove it. And remember, it's going to be a hundred degrees in Durham today. Pray ... for ... Mojo ...

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Penny Arcade to appear at Upper Deck's Darkmoon Faire in Seattle - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:00:00 EST


If you've never been to Upper Deck's Darkmoon Faire event before, it's a pretty good time. It's obviously a lot more fun if you're a fan of the WoW TCG (as they have open-to-close tournaments and events going on), but even online game players will find something to do -- UDE sets up an event realm provided by Blizzard, and they sometimes even have leveling and instance contests as well.

Upper Deck is holding a Darkmoon Faire event in Seattle next weekend, June 13-15, and they sent along a note letting us know that the guys from Penny Arcade are going to be there in attendance. Both Gabe and Tycho, you'll know if you're an avid reader of the comic, are fans of the card game, and while Upper Deck isn't clear about what they'll be doing there (all they tell us is that the guys will "partake" of the gaming), it's not hard to expect that at least Tycho will be eventually running a Molten Core raid game.

Should be fun -- if you're around Seattle and get to stop by the Seattle Center next weekend (it's free to visit the event, and various tournaments have different costs associated with them), definitely take pictures and let us know how it went.

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Breakfast Topic: Camping out - Fri, 06 Jun 2008 08:00:00 EST


I have a love/hate relationship with Stranglethron Vale. I find the quests to be interesting, and I like the colors used in the zone. It is, however, a hotbed of PvP action. On a PvP server there are always opportunities to gank or be ganked. This tends to lead to an escalation of alts. It goes something like this.

1. You get ganked while killing Bloodscalp Trolls.
2. You resurrect and wait for the perfect opportunity to exact your retribution.
3. They log onto their level 70 and one-shot your level 32 alt.
4. You log into your 70, fold, spindle, and mutilate your foe's 70 until they cry for help.
5. Their buddy joins the fight.
6. Your buddy joins the fight.
7. Half of their guild rushes to STV.
8. Your guild matches their fire power.

It's really interesting to watch something like that happen. I'm not sure how anyone who has no 70s on the server survives the most ganktastic zones in the game. I can't quite comprehend how people can feel compelled to hang out in these zones at high levels just for ganking. I imagine that they're all either bitter about their own leveling experiences, or maybe they're short.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Camping out

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Forum Post of the Day: Invitation requirements - Thu, 05 Jun 2008 23:58:00 EST

We all know that PuGging instances can be a pain, especially finding a tank. Gelin, a tank onThe Forgotten Coast, says that she checks the armory before she invites. If you don't match her standards for armor, weapons, and spell stats, she will not invite you to a group. As a tank She feels empowered since tanks are rare, and dps is much easier to find.

If the original post had been more eloquent, people may have viewed it as insightful, it makes sense to be properly geared before asking for a group. As it stands, the responses have been primarily negative, along the lines that this is a bad attitude to have in the game. This thread is legendary because of Eyonix's response:

You have left over talent points.
You should not be so judgmental.

I wonder what it's like to be knocked off your high horse by the most aloof of the CM's. It must hurt, a wee bit. I've learned to generally check someone's gear out at the beginning of an instance, due to a poor experience with a hunter with empty armor slots. What do you look for in your PuG?

Edit: Original post text after the break.

Continue reading Forum Post of the Day: Invitation requirements

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Tank Talk: Do you feel lucky, punk? - Thu, 05 Jun 2008 23:15:00 EST


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's new raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. At least, that's what the others said they were doing. I intend to use it mostly as a soapbox to complain. Absolute power tends to......something something.

Welcome to Tank Talk. I am your bear Druid hostess for this week, with a topic that occurred to me while reading a recent article here on the site. Eliah Hecht wrote that his guild is facing a not-uncommon tank shortage and that he has considered the possibility of leveling a tanking class to 70 before Wrath, or tanking on a Death Knight afterwards. A number of people on my server and in my guild have talked about doing the same thing, or switching mains once Wrath hits. With so many people playing Death Knights, I think it's very possible that more people will discover they enjoy -- or at least, don't mind -- tanking, and may seek to do so in a raid environment without necessarily knowing what they've really signed up for.

From those of us who have tanked raid content in vanilla WoW or BC, here are the 10 questions you'll want to ask yourself if you're considering the possibility of tanking serious raid content:

Continue reading Tank Talk: Do you feel lucky, punk?

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Watch MLG action on GotFrag - Thu, 05 Jun 2008 21:00:00 EST

The best of the best will be going head to head next weekend, June 14 and 15 in Major League Gaming's $22,500 tournament. Members of the winning team will each receive a Blackbird gaming PC in addition to a $4,000 cash prize. The arena action will be live in San Diego, but for those of us who can't be in "'s Finest City," the events will be broadcast on GotFrag TV. Broadcast coverage begins at 9AM (Pacific) each day and will be hosted by Rob "voice" Simpson and Jared "vhell" Coulston.

This event, inaugurating MLG's PC Circuit, promises to be action packed. Registered participants include:
fnatic
Frag Dominant
Frag Dominant (Duelists going for Glad)
MoB TurtleForce
MoB TurtlePower
Pandemic

SK Gaming

If you've never viewed any of GotFrags web-based programs, you will need to prepare your computer. Viewing the tournament will require installing GotFrag's Octoshape Plug-in which operates in the Java runtime on a PC. You can also use an external Octoshape player. Mac and Linux users are not excluded from the broadcast. It'll be almost as much fun as watching the Wings win the Stanley Cup.

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