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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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Heirlooms for your main - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST

When the news broke that patch 3.2 would bring new chest heirlooms, with a stacking +10% XP bonus, one commenter made an interesting suggestion: get heirlooms for your level 80 characters, and bank them until the next expansion. So far between chest and shoulders you've got a +20% bonus to all XP right there, and having some quality equipment always helps the leveling process.

Of course, there's every chance that Blizzard will simply disable current heirlooms for characters past level 80, to prevent precisely this behavior. They've done level-based nerfing before, with items like the Riding Crop and enchants like Crusader.

The whole fate of heirlooms in the next expansion seems pretty nebulous to me, actually; will we need to go back and farm Emblems of Conquest at level 90 to gear up our alts? It's too early to tell. For now I would hold on to any extra badges you might have, but when the next expansion nears, you may be able to make good use of them.

Heirlooms for your main originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mend Pet sponsors an SPCA charity donation drive - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST
Brajana at Mend Pet has kicked off a month-long donation drive and giveaway to support the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She says that since Blizzard has decided to finally give out some more stable slots to Hunters back in patch 3.0.2, what better way to celebrate than by helping some real-life animals. She has a link on her blog for you to give as little or as much as you'd like to support the SPCA and their cause, and if you choose to put the donation "in honor of" Mend Pet (just follow the instructions on her post), she'll enter you in a drawing to win some prizes. What prizes, you ask? Apparently those are still being worked out, but we're sure they'll be great. And it's a great cause anyway -- do you really need prizes to show some pet shelter love?

If you do, just hang on -- the donation drive lasts through the 31st of this month, so Brajana has some time to get everything together, and even if you donate now, you'll still be entered for sure. It's always awesome to see the WoW community put its size and power to good use, and this is definitely a worthy cause to support.

Mend Pet sponsors an SPCA charity donation drive originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Crossroads - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST


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

This queue is certified Panadaran free.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Today's reading music The Crossroads by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Every time I'm in the Crossroads I think of that song.

Yokumgang asked...

"Why can't we bandage while bleeding?"

Continue reading The Queue: Crossroads

The Queue: Crossroads originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: Wowatar fills in the lines - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by contacting our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) -- not-for-profit work only, please.

Getting started can be the most difficult step for WoW newbies and WoW "WarCrafters" alike. Showing your artwork to other people - or even having the gumption to create any in the first place - can be intimidating stuff. Discovering someone who's willing to show you how it's done or even share his creative process represents a major inspirational coup. Swedish WoW player Jonas at wowatar.com is one of those creative wellsprings. He's created a small drawing site filled with WoW-related nuggets that inspire, instruct and delight.

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: Wowatar fills in the lines

World of WarCrafts: Wowatar fills in the lines originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizz publishes new Gadgetzan Times - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST


This got somewhat lost in the news shuffle over the holiday weekend, but Blizzard has posted another issue of their extremely irregular Gadgetzan Times fan-fic-oriented newsletter, for the first time since May 2008. This time around it consists of two pieces of short-form fan fiction, an amusing "classifieds" section, and a slightly half-hearted crossword about the dungeons of WoW.

It's an interesting thing for Blizzard themselves to come out with, as it has been from the start. I really like the idea -- characters from Azeroth report on events in and around their world -- but it could use a little more polish and effort, not to mention a more regular timetable. On the other hand, they're still publishing more regularly than my Illusionary Tactics column. Maybe I should not call this particular kettle black.

Anyway, it's certainly a decent diversion for a few minutes if you're stuck at work or bored at home, so go ahead and check it out.

Blizz publishes new Gadgetzan Times originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Visually impaired players: The unseen inhabitants of Azeroth - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST

The other night I was chatting to a friend of mine on Skype and she casually mentioned -- because she knows I play WoW -- that she was about to roll a character (Elfly) for the first time. Elfly had had an account for a while but had never been able to try it out while at university and now she has the whole summer stretching out in front of her. Yes, I suspect you know where this going, especially when she twittered a few hours later expressing her new-found love for Azeroth.

But there's a catch. Like me, Elfly is disabled. I'm a VIP (disabled shorthand for visually impaired person) and she's (in her own words) a blindy (shorthand for, well, a blind person). This means we play with our noses touching the screen and get lost. A lot. To give you an example for what the world (in-game or real) is like for me, nip to your nearest Azerothian tavern and quaff flagons of mead until you get completely smashed and the screen goes all blurry, alternatively just click here. Anyway, between the pair of us, we're so blind that we both think Blizzard should insert white canes and guide dogs in patch 3.3's game files. Though, given the game setting, maybe that should be an ornate white staff of sightlessness and a guide wolf?

Continue reading Visually impaired players: The unseen inhabitants of Azeroth

Visually impaired players: The unseen inhabitants of Azeroth originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 97: Chasing silhouettes - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST
Good times as always on our podcast this past holiday weekend -- while Turpster was away, we Americans took over the show, and declared our independence the only way we know how: by talking about the most popular stories in the World of Warcraft this past week. Adam Holisky, Alex Ziebart, Michael "Belfaire" Sacco and I answered your emails, and then chatted about Blizzard's addition of faction changes to the game (and who'll go for it), patch 3.2 and its extendable raid lockouts and universal armor tokens, Exodus and Ensidia and how Blizzard has dealt with both, and of course, that sneaky Cataclysm trademark and what it might mean for Blizzard's future releases.

Whew! If it sounds like a full show, that's because it was. It even went on longer than usual, so you can enjoy the extra-long WoW Insider Show at any of the links below (including clicking on the iTunes link to subscribe directly there). We won't be back next Saturday -- instead, we're setting up for a special Thursday evening show this week at 6pm Eastern, so those of you who can't make it on Saturdays can instead tune in on Thursday night to chat and listen live with us on the Ustream page.

Enjoy this past weekend's show, and we'll see you on Thursday.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

WoW Insider Show Episode 97: Chasing silhouettes originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: The Avenger - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST



It's become almost a cilche that when you see a machinima trailer, you must take it with a healthy grain of skepticism. Very commonly, the exciting movie that's been promised by the trailer will never actually come to fruition. Dtbn has bucked that trend, however, with the release of The Avenger.

The visuals in the movie are outstanding. I think Dtbn has really done an amazing job in instilling the in-game models with life and activity. The fight scenes are surprisingly complex, and the mis en scene is compelling. There's a few places where there's a bit more repetition than I'd like, for example when the Vrykul keep getting cut in half. However, I chalked that up to the main character's favorite move being "Blazing Vrykul Bifurcation Attack!" Really, Dtbn has created popcorn-munching, fun-to-watch action here.

Some of the storytelling in the movie felt like it could use some refinement. The main character is meant to be empathetic, but I'm not sure we ever really got to root for her in a clear, unmuddled way. She seems to miraculously come by "better" equipment, without much explnation of why or how. The gnome necromancer's role is never really explained. Dtbn says that his storytelling skills aren't the best, but I can definitely see how he's growing as an author. I think the next movie will be a lot tighter with its characters.

Click here to see it for yourself.



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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: The Avenger originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Managing your lockouts - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Last week, our very own Michael Sacco broke the news that raid lockouts will be extendable after Patch 3.2. Reading through forum comments about this exciting new feature, I found the varied reactions quite amusing.

Hardcore raiders seem to think that Blizzard is catering to casuals with this change. They think you should have to earn your kills by reclearing bosses if you can't make it all the way through a raid zone in one week. On the other hand, casual players seem to think that Blizzard is catering to the hardcore, since it's so much easier now to work on hard modes and other achievements without the threat of a looming reset. Casuals need as much loot as possible, they say, so why would they ever want to extend a lockout?

Despite the hardcore/casual debate reaching a new all-time low, the good news is that, in a sense, they're both right. Blizzard is catering to all of us. Regardless of playstyle or progression, all guilds will benefit from having this option.

However, there are decisions and tradeoffs to be made. Let's examine this new feature in more detail.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Managing your lockouts

Officers' Quarters: Managing your lockouts originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: 1500 thread count sheets - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST

After another hard day's grind at the PvP factory that is Warsong Gulch, what's a dedicated Hordie to do? Have a nice, relaxing nap back home in safe territory. Ordruun of <RRT> on Tichondrius shares this peaceful bedtime scene with us, straight from the heart of Orgrimmar. What's the thread count on those things? Luxurious!

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: 1500 thread count sheets originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Did you finish the Fire Festival? - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST


That hot time of the year, the Midsummer Fire Festival, has now ended. Once again the denizens of Azeroth go about their humdrum lives without any brilliant fires and spirited naked flame-ladies dancing to and fro on the bridges of Ironforge. Life is boring. The Ice Stone Has Melted.

But alas, not for I and my tabard! After a good half day of solid grinding I trekked my Paladin throughout the dunes of Kalimdor and the lush forests of the Eastern Kingdom, extinguishing the flames of the bastard Horde and honoring those of the blessed Alliance. All was done well, so say we all.

It didn't take long though for me to realize that I didn't want to do this on more than my main. However I found myself exerting as much discipline as possible to finish the dailies every day on my dual boxing Recruit a Friend alts, pulling in about 50% of a level each day just from the daily quests alone. It was quite a nice XP bump.

All in all I accomplished with the Fire Festival I wanted to, and it wasn't too bad of a time. Although I can definitely wait a year to extinguish another flame.

Did you accomplish everything you wanted to with the Fire Festival? Are you satisfied?

View Poll

Did you finish the Fire Festival? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Does WoW help you learn a foreign language? - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST


Living in Europe and playing WoW has one major perk over the US, thousands of players from a dozen countries get to play together. Of course we have realms specifically for people who speak Russian or French or English but it's quite common to find people who don't speak one of the major EU tongues on an English realm. For example, my guild's Assistant GM is French and he effectively learnt English by playing WoW.

When I joined my current guild I suddenly found out about this hidden multi-cultural and multi-lingual side to the game and as a result three of my best in-game friends are from Norway, Russia and the Netherlands. All have fantastic English skills but it's still common for them to go back to their native languages in group chat or over voice. They know I can't understand them but that doesn't stop me being able to guess what they're saying. Indeed the language barrier exists but it doesn't hamper the game one bit.

So I wonder, readers, do you regularly play with people from around the world? Have you learnt another language or improved your linguistic skills using the game? Do you play on a realm which doesn't speak your mother tongue? Do you enjoy playing with people from other cultures and countries? Has it inspired you to take up learning a second or third language?

Breakfast Topic: Does WoW help you learn a foreign language? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: The dead ponies edition - Sun, 05 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST
Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Some readers will undoubtedly consider a discussion of Alizee and the female Night Elf dance to be beating a dead horse - but that's not actually the topic that the title of this week's [1.Local] is referring to. The dead ponies come later. (Didn't Mama always tell you to save the sweet treats for last? Mmmm, crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle ...) This week, we start out with one lucky reader's story of the Night Elf dance -- wedding style.

Mike: My wife (who plays Warcraft quite a bit) learned this dance (the one in the video) so she could dance like this at our wedding. So we gave Alizee's music to the DJ, had him play it, and she danced like a Night Elf in front of everyone she's ever known. The neat part was that all her friends liked the dance style, so she was out there on the dance floor teaching all these other women how to dance like Alizee. My friends (who also play Warcraft) and I stood watching with our jaws on the floor. If you think one chick is hot while dancing like this, you should see five or six ...

DM7000: You're a lucky man ...

Tirrimas: Where would you like your Internet sent?

Mickthathick: Pics plx!

Sounds like a celebration to remember. Come on, Mike, we're all friends here - pics, please? Tips line, Attention: [1.Local] ...

Continue reading [1.Local]: The dead ponies edition

[1.Local]: The dead ponies edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 05 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: Ickmon of Executus - Sun, 05 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

Ickmon from Executus is a 2200+ ranked Priest, working in both the 2v2 and 3v3 brackets. The changes to Arena rating requirements, Resilience, and balance in patch 3.2, however, could mean a lot of big changes for Arena players like Ickmon. Despite the uncertainty of change, though, this Priest isn't particularly worried about the changes -- he thinks that things will be fine, and the new Resilience benefit might be a good thing.

We were able to spend some time talking with Ickmon about his team, playstyle, and those 3.2 changes. Check out what he had to say behind the cut.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Ickmon of Executus

The Colosseum: Ickmon of Executus originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 05 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: The guild hall - Sun, 05 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST


All the World's a Stage brings you the latest ideas and suggestions about roleplaying in the World of Warcraft.

One of the greatest problems people have with roleplaying in WoW is that the game has a tendency to spread people out all over Azeroth working towards disparate goals, and that makes it hard to sustain a roleplaying environment. Roleplayers can gather together in a meeting place of some sort in order to roleplay, but doing this every time isn't feasible -- inevitably, we want to go questing, get loot, and actually play the game too, all in different places.

So the majority of roleplayers join roleplaying guilds of one sort or another, and use the regular guild chat channel as their default in-character roleplaying channel which people can participate in no matter what they're doing in the rest of the world. Most guilds tend to imagine that their hearthstones (or some imaginary gnomish device) can act as walkie-talkies of sorts and allow everyone to communicate over great distances, no matter where they are.

Today, however, I will share with you some of the ways this solution falls short, and take a look at a better way to make roleplaying work in a guild, no matter what level you are or what you want to do with your game time. This idea can seem strange at first, but in the end it can provide many roleplaying opportunities -- allowing you to alternately build your RP stories, build up your character's levels, gold, or gear, or do all of these at the same time.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: The guild hall

All the World's a Stage: The guild hall originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 05 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail, part 3 - Sun, 05 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST


Totem Talk is our weekly look at all things shaman. Matthew Rossi would like to remind any readers with screenshots of their Horde shamans to email them to matthew.rossi@wow.com and not put them in the comments, where he is likely to forget they exist. In addition to being extremely hairy, he is somewhat ponderous in his recall.

The past couple of weeks have been exciting with Q&A's to analyze and PTR changes to consider. It's been easy for me to forget that I left our round-up of mail drops in Uldar half-way through the 25 man items. One of the things I forgot to gripe about as much as I really should have last time we discussed Ulduar mail is the complete and utter lack of mail boots for elemental shamans in the instance. As of the last time I checked, there are three pairs of boots in Ulduar 25: two enhancement, (yes yes, I suppose hunters might use them too) and one mostly suited to restoration shamans. And I covered all three pairs of boots last time anyway.

Let's get right to the heart of it, shall we?

Continue reading Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail, part 3

Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail, part 3 originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 05 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The OverAchiever: Attack of the Glory of the Hero - Sun, 05 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST


Mr. Daniels: This is punishment, gentlemen, not party time.
Logan: Well, that would explain the absence of balloon animals.
-- Veronica Mars, "The Girl Next Door."

Heresy! A Veronica Mars quote rather than Firefly. Eh, who cares, it's a holiday weekend, so we're wild and crazy. We're continuing our march through Glory of the Hero, and today we're going to tackle the first of Wrath's "halls," the Halls of Lightning. Before we do, here's a round-up of what we've done previously in the OverAchiever: GotH series:
HALLS OF LIGHTNING

Lightning Struck

As long as your tank and healer aren't in greens, this isn't an overly difficult achievement. Bjarngrim and his adds path around a series of 3 platforms and will pause at each, gaining a Temporary Electrical Charge that increases their damage. You simply need to pull Bjarngrim while he still has this buff. During the fight you can force him to lose it by killing his adds, and if you're still gearing up, that's a more reasonable option than trying to survive the damage. The abilities of note here are Mortal Strike, which is a fairly nasty hit in the range of 15-16K, and Whirlwind, which can two-shot melee DPS.

Continue reading The OverAchiever: Attack of the Glory of the Hero

The OverAchiever: Attack of the Glory of the Hero originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 05 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: The fine art of self-ownage - Sun, 05 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


The latest installment of Walhtor of The Underbog's "Series of Embarassingly Avoidable Deaths" is available for purchase. Entitled Drowning in Shallow Water, it features Walhtor's bloated, humiliated corpse drifting pathetically under the waves. It joins previous offerings Fell Off Teldrassil While Auto-Running, Accidentally Right-Clicked the Horde Flight Master, and Went AFK in Contested Territory and Was Slowly Beaten to Death by a Level 15.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: The fine art of self-ownage originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 05 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Just a quickie - Sun, 05 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST
It's Sunday, the 5th of July, and somehow I think that some of you guys are either traveling, sleeping in, or "mysteriously" a little ill. This one's dedicated to all of you. I hope you had a happy Fourth of July, and here's a quickie to enjoy before you realize that today is the last day of the Midsummer Fire Festival and you never did get around to finishing those achievements.

Sunday Morning Funnies: Just a quickie originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 05 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Paid services - Sun, 05 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST


With the Azeroth-shaking announcement of paid faction changes, it seems like one of the last barriers to character re-customization have been broken down. Who would have thought that we could switch allegiances four years ago? The World of Warcraft has certainly come a long way since it launched. One of the big changes back then was allowing players to transfer realms -- initially disallowing PvE-to-PvP transfers but that restriction was eventually lifted. That was shocking news then, but then Blizzard opened the door for names and even gender changes.

What we're essentially seeing is Blizzard's own clever version of microtransactions. Sure, we can't buy powerful items like those in free-to-play games (which will soon become endangered in China...), but we can pay real money to cater to our vanity or convenience. I've paid several times for server transfers, name changes, and even character re-customization. My wife grumbles whenever I shell out real money for those things, but I'm sure she'd pay to morph her former main, a Troll Priest, into a Blood Elf in a heartbeat. Even Matthew Rossi would pay good money to turn his Human Warrior into a huge-like-Rossi Draenei. There's only one problem, though -- they can't. Race change is one thing Blizzard hasn't given the go signal to... yet.

Anything's possible, though. Years ago, Blizzard unequivocally said that they would never allow PvE to PvP realm transfers. See how that turned out. What other paid services do you think Blizzard lacks? You probably already know that I'm all for race change as part of character re-customization. But how about paying for levels? I mean, despite all the changes they've made to make leveling easier, I abhor it. I'd gladly shell out some cash to get a high-level character right off the bat. What other paid World of Warcraft services do you think the game needs or players want?

Breakfast Topic: Paid services originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 05 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: Living Bomb on the Patch 3.2 PTR is completely awesome - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST


Each week Arcane Brilliance celebrates Independence Day in its own special way. Most people celebrate the 4th of July by setting off explosive devices of varying sizes. In similar fashion, Arcane Brilliance also enjoys blowing things up. The difference is that whereas most people tend to set off pretty fireworks, Arcane Brilliance prefers to cause Warlocks to explode. The result isn't nearly as pretty, but to Arcane Brilliance, it has its own very unique charm.

I don't know if you're trying out the patch 3.2 PTR or not, but if you are, you should go out and mess with Living Bomb. Like, right now. Go cast it on some things. That's right, I said things with an "s" on the end. As in plural. As in more than one thing. Watch those things burn to death simultaneously. Rejoice.

Yes, Blizzard's present to Mages on this day when the United States celebrates its Declaration of Independence from foreign rule is apparently the ability to blow up multiple targets with Living Bomb. On the PTR, you can now have Living Bomb up on as many targets as you can feasibly cast it on before its duration or your mana pool expires. The tooltip doesn't yet reflect the change, but Ghostcrawler has confirmed that this is not a bug, and that Blizzard is intentionally testing the idea.

How awesome would this change be? Read on after the break to hear my take on it, but let me just say that on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not very awesome and 10 being more awesome than anything, this change would make the scale explode on a molecular level and then reform over billions of years into a new planet of awesome.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Living Bomb on the Patch 3.2 PTR is completely awesome

Arcane Brilliance: Living Bomb on the Patch 3.2 PTR is completely awesome originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 updates and Engineering analysis - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST
Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Over the past few weeks, Insider Trader has been discussing and analyzing the changes to professions set to go live with patch 3.2:

This week's column will be devoted to updating you on some of the newer changes, clarifying as many details as possible, and analyzing some of those juicy Engineering changes.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 updates and Engineering analysis

Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 updates and Engineering analysis originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW, Casually: Making the most of holidays - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Holidays are for all players, of course, but I think they are particularly appropriate for players with limited playtime. Sure, there are often raiding quests or achievements that we can't complete, but overall, the activities seem to be designed for casual gameplay. For the most part, I think I'm preaching to the choir, here. But every once in a while, I read comments from people who just don't get holidays and avoid them completely. So here is my sales pitch about why every casual player should give each holiday a try.

Continue reading WoW, Casually: Making the most of holidays

WoW, Casually: Making the most of holidays originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hunters discover "new" Worgen pet - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 14:50:00 EST
As the holiday weekend rolled around, we started to get a number of tips that Hunters were successfully training themselves a...Worgen pet? Worgen?!? How was this level of cool allowed into the game without anyone knowing about it until now?

Well, it turns out that the Worgen pet is in fact a very clever use of game mechanics somewhat akin to those used by Hunters in order to tame the (now sadly vanished) Grimtotem Spirit Guide. Garwal, a warg NPC in northern Howling Fjord who can turn into a Worgen as part of a questline (the link is the Horde version, but it's the same for both Horde and Alliance) can actually be tamed and kept in Worgen form if the timing is right. Mania's Arcania has a look at the process used here, which involves a little math, a little guesswork, and the strategic use of Wyvern Sting.

Continue reading Hunters discover "new" Worgen pet

Hunters discover "new" Worgen pet originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 14:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Enter to win some loot cards from WoW.com and WoWTCG.com - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST
Is it just me, or have we had lots of EU-only contests lately? First, Lesley gives away some loot cards for the EU, and then Turpster gives away some more. This is July 4th, and it's about time we served the North American side of the globe! (Canada, we missed Canada Day, so we'll throw you in the mix, too). Courtesy of our good friends over at WoWTCGLoot.com (be sure to visit them if you need to know anything about the TCG Loot cards), let's give away some loot codes!

We've got 10 in total that we'll give away to ten random commenters on this post before tomorrow night, Sunday July 5th, at midnight. There's an Epic Purple Shirt, two Sandbox Tigers, three Papa Hummel's Pet Biscuits, and four Party Grenades up for grabs -- to enter, just leave a comment on this post, and since it's Independence Day, how about telling us what your favorite kind of firework is. I was always partial to the black snakes -- most people though they were boring, but I knew how the big ones blew up, and I never really understood just how those darned snakes worked.

One comment per person in the US and Canada only, please, and do be sure to use a real email address when you comment (that you check often) so we can get in touch with you ASAP if you win. Good luck to everyone, and happy Independence Day!

Enter to win some loot cards from WoW.com and WoWTCG.com originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show live on Ustream this afternoon - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST
Over 200 years ago, our forefathers put forth a document that not only declared the Independence of one of the greatest nations in the world, but also sundered the connection between the old country of Great Britain and the new United States of America. Now, all this time later, Turpster and I do the WoW Insider Show together, and basically undo all that work those smart guys did way back when. This week we'll have an especially good one, as Adam Holisky, Alex Ziebart, and Michael "Belfaire" Sacco are all coming on the show all together. Just in case you thought they were all the same person (some sort of former Blizzard CM/blog posting/contributing editor maniac), we'll prove you wrong.

And there'll probably be fireworks as well: we'll be talking about faction changes, the changes to raiding in patch 3.2 (including the extended lockouts and the new universal armor tokens), Blizzard and how they're dealing with raiding exploits, and oh yeah, something called Cataclysm. Plus, we'll answer your emails and chat live with you on the our Ustream page. It all starts off at July 4, 2009 3:30 PM EDT. We'll see you there.

Oh, and next week, since both Turpster and I will be out of town (for summer vacation, of course), we'll have another special midweek show for those of you who can't tune in on the weekend. Thursday, July 9th at 6pm Eastern, we'll have a live show going on, so mark that on your calendar and we'll see you then as well. Both shows will end up on the iTunes feed as usual, but if you want to tune in and listen live, please do.

WoW Insider Show live on Ustream this afternoon originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: WRUPing on the 4th of July - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST


Another week has come and gone again, leaving us stranded in yet another weekend (and a holiday weekend for many of us, at that). How are we ever going to kill the time until Monday? By spending some time in Azeroth! So what's everyone playing this weekend? The WoW.com team will get the conversation started, so to see what we're up to -- and tell us what you're up to! -- in game this weekend, read on!

Continue reading WRUP: WRUPing on the 4th of July

WRUP: WRUPing on the 4th of July originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Karma chameleon - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


Note to all you Americanos out there -- be careful with your Independence Day fireworks! Otherwise you'll end up like Bilirubin of Daggerspine, disintegrated so thoroughly that the only thing left behind is your confused, jawless spirit, wondering what on earth just happened. Either that or you'll survive to explain to me and the other EMTs why you thought it was a good idea to operate a homemade mortar launcher after drinking a twelve-pack of Coors Light. The disintegrating-into-dust option would probably be more pleasant.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Karma chameleon originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Happy Fourth of July from WoW.com - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST


It's that time of year again -- Summer is in the air, baseball is well underway (I'm still pulling for the Cubs, even though it's a rollercoaster as usual), and things are grilling on the, um, grill. Here in America, today is Independence Day, and we're celebrating our independence from you EU folks -- don't take it personally, but we'd had it up to here with your taxation without representation, and we just wanted to spend some time on our own for a while. So while most of our bloggers are relaxing and lighting explosives on fire, posting might be a little slim around here today. Just in case you need something to read, you can always catch up on all the amazing Patch 3.2 details, dream about going to BlizzCon (or just ogle the costumes), or finish up your Midsummer Fire Festival achievements.

And if the last few years are any indication, there'll be some celebrations in Azeroth this evening as well (yes, even on the EU servers), with fireworks aplenty (we're pretty sure they do them on the hour every hour this evening -- Booty Bay always has a nice display, not to mention that the bruisers are drunk there today), and free beer and food outside the capital cities. So if you're here in America with us, be sure to have a very happy and safe Fourth of July from all of us here at WoW.com!

Happy Fourth of July from WoW.com originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Is WoW too complex? - Sat, 04 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST
As I said the other day, we've talked about the dumbed-down argument quite a few times before, but I think this is the first time I've ever heard the opposite argument put forth so succinctly: Tadaa asks, over on the forums, "Is WoW getting too complex?" Longtime players will probably say no at first glance -- the game has been streamlined a lot since it first game out, and things that took up much of your time previously (tracking quests, looking up quest targets, dealing with respecs, and finding groups) now have systems built into the game that let you get past them easily. But think of what it would be like to step into Azeroth nowadays -- instead of just a chat channel where you can find groups, there's a whole system with terms like "damage" and "tank" in there. On first glance, it might be tough to figure out. And then there's things like resilience and Replenishment (which some experienced players don't even fully understand), and even things we think of as helpful features (getting pets and currency out of our inventory) can be super confusing for new players: where did that pet go that I just clicked on, or that badge that I just saw looted to me in the combat window?

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Is WoW too complex?

Breakfast Topic: Is WoW too complex? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Panda-monium edition - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 22:15:00 EST

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

Here's a Queue question straight from me to me: What do me and panda bears have in common? The answer is rings around our eyes, though I'm pretty sure that pandas have them genetically and not from staying up until seven in the morning watching Veronica Mars.

But of course, what does that question have to do with The Queue? I could say "I guess you'll just have to read on! Excelsior!", or I could just tell you that it's because people asked about Pandarens today. Let's start off with some basic questions first, though.

iamnotacarebear asked:

The question i have is with this increase of running the heroics, is the red heroic drake going to be removed? I would hate to see this happen, but i wouldn't be surprised.

Good question, IANACB!

Continue reading The Queue: Panda-monium edition

The Queue: Panda-monium edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 22:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 PTR: Finding the Raptor Pets - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 20:30:00 EST
For those of us who like to collect stuff in WoW, one of the cooler announcements for patch 3.2 was the inclusion of a whole new set of raptor hatchling pets, dropped around the world by rare and elite raptors. Of course, it was also an announcement of dread for serious collectors who can tell horror stories of killing thousands upon thousands of slimes and dragons for rare pets before. But will it be all as bad as that? WoW fansites have been on the case.

Mania, maven of Hunter pets, has also been looking into the drop rates and drop mobs, and has compiled a handy chart on her blog. Between Mania and the news on Warcraft Pets, it seems we can mostly confirm that the rare raptors (such as, for example, Takk the Leaper) will always drop their pets, while those that drop only off elites have a very rare drop rate more similar to the aforementioned slimes or dragons.

Continue reading Patch 3.2 PTR: Finding the Raptor Pets

Patch 3.2 PTR: Finding the Raptor Pets originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Five Rs of Character Revitalization - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 19:30:00 EST
So I've talked recently about life as an RPer, and how we seem to interact with our characters just a bit differently. Sometimes, whether we like it or not, a certain character and their back story just grab hold and won't let go, and we find ourselves coming back again and again, just to see where the story leads.

Of course, sometimes the character goes just the opposite way, and no matter what you do, your stories fall flat and you don't feel enthusiastic about logging on. It may be because you can't stand the character's personality anymore, it may be because your normal group of friends has hit an RP rut or even taken a break for a while themselves, it may be a variety of other things. Recently, Anna of Too Many Annas wrote a pretty awesome article about how to refresh a flagging RP character using 5 Rs: Relax and Rest, Reintegrate, Refresh the Character, Retcon, and Reroll/Reskin.

What's sort of cool about this list is that you can even apply a lot of the principles to characters in general, even if you're a non-RPer. Anna's covered the RP angle pretty well, so I'll mostly focus on this other angle.

Continue reading The Five Rs of Character Revitalization

The Five Rs of Character Revitalization originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: Jedoga Shadowseeker vs. King Dred - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 18:30:00 EST


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

While last week's Two Bosses Moorabi/Trollgore matchup was downright gory, this week's battle appears no less likely to end up in a bloody mess. This week, we'll see King Dred of Drak'tharon Keep tear into Jedoga Shadowseeker and her minions inside Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom.

The ground rules:
  • Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
  • In order to give Jedoga access to her minions, we'll set this deathmatch in her stomping grounds in Ahn'kahet - but we'll provide that King Dred arrives on the scene with a raptor posse of his own.
  • Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Focus on the three S's: style, story and scale.
Can a ruthlessly bloodthirsty priestess hold off a rampaging Devilsaur? Join us after the break to cast your vote for who you think will emerge this week's victor.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Jedoga Shadowseeker vs. King Dred

Two Bosses Enter: Jedoga Shadowseeker vs. King Dred originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Preparing for BlizzCon: Protect yourself against Con Crud - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 17:30:00 EST


BlizzCon approaches! Preparing for BlizzCon is your regular source for tips on how best to prepare for Blizzard's gaming extravaganza.

Every con I have ever been to, gaming-related or otherwise, has resulted in a bunch of people getting sick afterward -- usually including me. I've heard it called Con Crud, confluenza and the grunge. Whatever the name, it's pretty much the same: cold and flu symptoms that lay you low after attending a convention. As we've discussed before, I'm no doctor, but there are some experts out there with tips on building your immune system in the weeks before BlizzCon.
  • Sleep: Get 7 to 8 hours a night. Sufficient sleep helps us reduce stress on our bodies, which makes them stronger for fighting illnesses. It also helps us maintain a healthy weight. Late night raiding sessions and/or small children make this more difficult, of course, but it's a worthy goal.

Continue reading Preparing for BlizzCon: Protect yourself against Con Crud

Preparing for BlizzCon: Protect yourself against Con Crud originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: The Boreal Guard - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 16:30:00 EST


Haven't done a shield in a while, so here's a cool-looking one to try for in Ulduar this weekend.

Name: The Boreal Guard (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Shield
Armor: 7960 (223 Block)
Attributes:
  • +39 Strength, +92 Stamina. Pretty standard for a tanking shield.
  • Two sockets: Red and Blue. This is what pretty much puts this baby over the top in terms of endgame tanking shields -- get some extra Strength, Stamina, and/or Defense in there, and this shield matches up against stuff that drops from the very hardest bosses in the game.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: The Boreal Guard

Phat Loot Phriday: The Boreal Guard originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Finding Blizzard's Cataclysm - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 15:30:00 EST
The other day, we posted that Blizzard had trademarked the name "Cataclysm," and right after that, the community exploded with speculation: is it the name of WoW's next expansion, Blizzard's next-gen MMO, or some other project? Nothing is guaranteed yet (is it ever with Blizzard?), but the Internets have pretty much landed on the new expansion as the answer. "Cataclysm" actually means "a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition," but it also has a pretty specific relation to water, and that's got lots of people thinking that it's the name of the Maelstrom expansion. In fact, The Sundering, or the world event in Azeroth's history where the Well of Eternity was destroyed and the Maelstrom (that swirly thing in the middle of the map) was created, was referred to as "the Cataclysm." So there you go -- pretty solid evidence, even though, as I said, nothing is guaranteed until we hear it from Blizz.

Stropp's got an interesting piece of speculation that says though "Cataclysm" is still probably the next expansion, the event the word refers to has yet to happen. He claims that if Blizzard really wants to speed up the 1-50 leveling process, they should just destroy Old Azeroth as we know it, and just have all the new characters start at level 50. That would be pretty nuts, but then again, Blizzard's never shown a real affinity for the old content, and by the next expansion, we'll be heading up to level 90 or even 100.

Continue reading Finding Blizzard's Cataclysm

Finding Blizzard's Cataclysm originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wrath of the Who? - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 14:30:00 EST
I love this comic from the very talented miggy over at WoW Ladies, not only because it's funny, but because she's got a point. Back when the Battle for Mount Hyjal instance in the Caverns of Time appeared in game, we all wondered why we were going there in the first place -- unlike the other CoT instances, there were no dragons to fight or strange factions messing with the continuum. All that could happen in there is that we'd screw everything up and ruin time as we know it (and given all the wipes that went on in there, we probably did). But with the Argent Tournament, Blizzard seems to have gone even further: not only is there no clear reason for us to do it, but we're actually ignoring the threat at hand.

As you know if you've read Sacco's excellent (and completely spoilerrific) guides to the Coliseum raid and the Tournament 5-man, there is a tacked-on reason we're doing all of this stuff, and it's that the Horde and Alliance want to send their strongest people to go after Arthas, and the Tournament is a way of sussing out who's most worthy. But though that makes for some great lore cutscenes, doesn't it still undermine Arthas' strength? How powerful can the guy be if there are so many people lining up to kill him we have to fight over it?

Don't get me wrong, we're definitely looking forward to the Coliseum, and it's definitely brought some interesting things and rewards to the game. Just like CoT, in the light of the lore and the MMO genre at large, it's a great addition. But it is funny that the great Lich King's main tactic seems to be to have us fight it out between ourselves way before we ever bother taking a shot at him.

Wrath of the Who? originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How the 3.2 Emblems changes will affect the game - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 13:30:00 EST
As we've heard, patch 3.2 will seriously streamline the Emblems system, allowing players to pick up Ulduar-level Emblems even just by running Heroics. Though lots of the other patch 3.2 changes have taken the spotlight lately, the Emblems change is definitely still a big deal, and while lots of "hardcore" players are up in arms about the changes (they had to raid for the same gear that people will now be able to get just by running Heroics, and even the brand new Emblems of Triumph gear will be attainable through Heroic dailies), other players are just confused by the whole thing. Fortunately, if you haven't yet wrapped your head around what all the changes mean, Clearcasting has a really excellent, thorough writeup about the Emblems changes, both explaining what you'll be able to get from where, and why Blizzard has decided to do things this way.

The biggest fear seems to be that players who have never raided before will start walking around in Ulduar- or even Coliseum-level gear, and they'll get invited to raids based on their gear, only to find that they're clueless about what to do. But I like Arioch's point there: does that mean we don't have clueless raiders now? Of course we do -- the gear you're wearing doesn't say anything about what you've done now, and it'll say even less after the patch. Players are already requiring achievements, and even that doesn't necessarily guarantee you're a good player.

Will there be bad PuGs after the patch? Of course, and there are bad PuGs now, too. But this is definitely a helpful change for anyone with alts, and while yes, it will allow non-raiders to get better gear, and it will probably bring raiders back into Heroics more often, it still won't affect those who are raiding at the highest levels. They'll still get the best gear earlier than everyone else, so if that's what's important to them, they've got nothing to complain about.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

How the 3.2 Emblems changes will affect the game originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2v2s will still be in Patch 3.2, with exceptions - Fri, 03 Jul 2009 12:25:00 EST


One of the more controversial parts of the Patch 3.2 PTR was the decision to remove the 2v2 bracket from serious arena play. In the 3.2 patch notes thus far it was said that "The newest season of Arena gear can only be purchased if you meet the requirements with your 3 or 5-player team rating. Rating requirements from 2-player teams can still be used to purchase the previous season of gear."

That effectively killed off the 2v2 bracket.

However today, Blizzard has done an about face on the issue. Sort of. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you. They're listening to feedback and this patch is in testing. The fact that they're willing to make such a major change based on feedback they've received is a great thing.

So as of today, your 2v2 rating will count towards your ability to purchase gear, etc... It will mean something. However the following exceptions apply:
  • The current season's weapons will not be available for purchase with your 2v2 rating
  • The current season's shoulders will not be available for purchase with your 2v2 rating
  • Your 2v2 rating will not count towards the Gladiator title/rewards
The full announcement after the break.

Continue reading 2v2s will still be in Patch 3.2, with exceptions

2v2s will still be in Patch 3.2, with exceptions originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 03 Jul 2009 12:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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