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Ask WoW Insider: Is PvP gear still worth it? - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 19:00:00 EST
Here's a good question from our email (it's ask at wowinsider.com, if you've got a question for Ask WoW Insider). It's about PvP gear, and what to do about it in the few weeks left until the Wrath launch. We know now that Honor and marks are not getting wiped for sure, so Treecow wants to know what to do:

My question is this, now that Wrath will be out in 6 weeks or so, does it really pay to get the S2 gear? Is it worth getting, even if it's going to be replaced within the first couple levels in Northrend, just to make those couple of levels easier? Or should I keep running quests and dailies? Or is there something else I should be doing that I haven't even thought about?

Thanks,
Treecow
70 Druid on Thrall


If you ask me, dailies are the way to go at this point (and if you haven't gotten your rep up in some factions, dailies should help there, too), simply because gear will get quickly replaced and gold will always be useful. Not to mention that there are battleground dailies to do every day if BGs are what you'd rather play.

But on the other hand, I'm mostly a PvE-er, and who knows -- doing the PvP to buy PvP gear could be worth it in the long run. You might even get more gold out of selling items you'd normally be equipping in Wrath. Readers, what do you say to Treecow?

Previously on Ask WoW Insider...

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Warriors of Time on Moon Guard hosts Bare Naked Boxing - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 18:00:00 EST
Hagiel, the guild leader of Warriors of Time on the Moon Guard server, is having a birthday this week (happy birthday!), and to celebrate, they're hosting something that sounds awesome: bare naked boxing duels. This Thursday, October 9th, at 6:30pm server (which I believe will leave you enough time to still come out to our meetup later in the evening if you're in Anaheim), they're all meeting in front of Orgrimmar, and it's fight club time. To fuel the festivities, we hear there will be beer and treats also -- let me tell you, if you've never gotten drunk in game, taken off all of your clothes and weapons, and gotten in the ring with just your fists, you're missing out.

Seems like it's always the Moon Guard folks holding all of these fun player-run events, seems like. If you're running an event or you know about one going down on your server, feel free to drop us a tip, and let us know also if you make it to these things. We're always interested in seeing pictures or videos of player-made events going down. And good luck to the fighters on Moon Guard Thursday night, because you know what they say: If this is your first time to bare naked boxing, you have to get naked and box.

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What's the point of resist gear? - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 17:00:00 EST

Ghostcrawler stopped by the beta mage forums the other day in order to address the issue of resists and immunities on the part of certain bosses. The problem here is that are sometimes special bosses in one raid instance or another that require players to temporarily put aside all the normal gear they've been working so hard to get and put on special gear just for that fight. For example if the boss is a fire elemental, then perhaps they all have to get a separate set of gear with fire resistance on it, and put it on when they get to that boss -- without it they don't have a chance of success. For other boss fights, they may find that the boss is immune to one type of damage or another, and this requires them to respec to a different talent build, or else play a supportive role whereas before they might have been the star damage dealer.

There are clear reasons why many players don't like these mechanics. Who wants to go to all the trouble of collecting a whole set of gear that you use only for one fight? Who wants to let that gear take up all that bag and bank space? Who wants to be shut out of their favorite talent build or sit somewhat on the sidelines just because the bosses they're fighting are immune to their prefered style of damage?

So Ghostcrawler comes in with the developer's logic on this issue: They don't want the raid instance to be a simple thing where you just move from one boss to the next boss, to the next, and so on. They want to break it up a bit so that different bosses require not only different strategies, but different gear, and different abilities, too. This adds a bit of anticipation, of having to get ready for the challenge rather than just stumbling into it and accidentally getting it right on the third or fourth try.

Continue reading What's the point of resist gear?

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It's Darkmoon Faire time! - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 16:30:00 EST
Autumn in the World of Warcraft is a time for celebration. A mere two days after the two-week drinking binge that is Brewfest ended, the Darkmoon Faire arrived outside of Thunder Bluff this morning to hang around awhile. When it departs for another month-long hiatus on October the 12th, you'll only have to wait until the 18th before Hallow's End begins.

If you are Alliance, all you need to do to participate is hop a boat to Ratchet and ride/run west. Alternatively, you can approach it from Darkshore, although you'll have to run down through Ashenvale and into the Barrens, so it might be a long walk.

Here is a rundown of some of the festivities, quests and prizes available:

  1. We've created a comprehensive Darkmoon Faire deck guide that will help you pick up one or more of their amazing trinkets.
  2. Learn all about the Darkmoon Faire's ticket reward system. Yes, they have prizes!
  3. Check out what the various vendors have to offer. From exotic foods to unique drinks, herbs and potions to rare gems, you might just get away with a steal.
  4. There are tonk controllers!
  5. Visit Sayge to have your fortune told!
  6. Are you a blacksmith, leatherworker or engineer? Do you collect non-combat pets? Stay tuned this week for our Collector's guide to the non-combat pets of the Darkmoon Faire, and this Friday's Insider Trader: A Crafter's guide to the Darkmoon Faire.

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Blizz posts DK creation FAQ - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 16:00:00 EST

38 days from now, Wrath of the Lich King will be released, and hundreds of thousands of people will be chomping at the bit to roll Death Knights, WoW's first new class. Blizzard knows this as well as anyone, so they've posted a FAQ on DK character creation. If you've been following the news for months, there is little new here, but it's good as a recap, because these questions are, indeed, very frequently asked. So go on and brush up if you have questions about what races can be DKs (all of them), or whether you can make it the opposite faction of your existing characters (yes, unless you're on a PvP server).

There is, though, one bit of news in this post. When Wrath launches, you will only be able to create a DK on a realm on which you have an existing character of level 55 or higher. Wryxian, that maverick crocolisk CM, promises that in the future, the option will be opened up to create a DK on any realm, provided you have at least one 55-or-higher character somewhere. The previous plan was to make this the rule at launch (55+ = DK on any realm).

The only reason I can think of that they would make this change is that they were having difficulties from a technical standpoint; maybe it's non-trivial when trying to create a character on one realm to check that account's characters on other realms. Anyway, I doubt this will affect anyone too much. I for one am certainly going to make a DK on my main realm before I branch out to realms that I don't have any high-level characters on.

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Castcounting macro counts your spellcasts - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 15:30:00 EST
Xalit is entertaining himself before the expansion by crafting some macros, and he's come up with a pretty clever one that will count the number of times you cast a certain spell. He's got a few different versions (including one that pushes the total out to "say" occasionally), but here's probably the most helpful:

/cast Water Shield
/run i="Water Shield" if ws==nil then ws=0 end t=GetSpellCooldown(i) if t==b then else c=0 end b=GetSpellCooldown(i) if b==t and c==0 then ws=ws+1 c=1 end


Which will both cast Water Shield for you (obviously, you'll have to change the name if you want to count casts of a different spell), and then use:

/run SendChatMessage(ws,"SAY")

To kick the count out to the Say chat channel. Naysayers among you may say "well that's pointless," and they're kind of right -- it doesn't really matter how many times you cast something, and the macro doesn't do anything else for you besides update a variable to keep track of that number.

But it is interesting to see just how many times, say, you pressed the Fireball button during the raid last night, and maybe there is some use for this information somewhere (maybe checking the frequency of use or viability of certain spells or trinkets?). Might be a good macro to have when you want to know more about what you're casting.

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Officers' Quarters: A military solution - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 15:00:00 EST

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

Starting up a new raiding guild is never easy. There's a lot to think about and plenty of competition for those raid-quality players. It's not easy even under ordinary circumstances. Now try doing it while you're on deployment in the U.S. military! That's what this week's reader is facing.

Dear Scott,

I've been playing since about a year prior to the release of BC and been through many guilds which time and time again failed to meet my expectations of what a raiding guild should be, mostly centered around the lack of motivation. I'm in the military and 6 months ago was put on deployment so I've been "WoWless" for the last 6 months or so. While out here I made friends with some fellow players and after a few conversations I asked if anyone was interested in starting a guild. They liked the idea but no one wanted to spearhead it, well this sounded like opportunity knocking.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: A military solution

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Thirteen WoW windows in 36 seconds with an SSD - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 14:30:00 EST


This is cool, but pretty technical -- if you don't know your USB from your Firewire, it might not make much sense. But the guys at TGDaily were apparently playing around with a Fusion-io solid state hard drive at E for All last weekend, and to show off the drive, they loaded up thirteen World of Warcraft windows in just 36 seconds.

Normal hard drives, like the one in your computer (unless you've already shelled out a ton of cash for an SSD) have discs in them that spin, and they take time to find the information stored on them -- that's why, when you double click your WoW icon, it takes a few seconds (up to a few minutes if you've got a slower computer) for your WoW window to load up. But a "solid state" hard drive doesn't have discs or moving parts -- it's essentially one big block of memory -- so it's much, much faster in terms of retriving information. And what's going on in the video on their website is that they're pulling so much information from the hard drive that WoW is installed on that it's taking only seconds to load up thirteen windows' worth of WoW.

Of course, how fast all of those windows actually run depends on a lot of other things in the computer -- you'd need a lot more than just an SSD to have the video power to run 13 separate 3D windows at the same time (though TGDaily says they weren't breaking the bank at 5 instances running, they just didn't have any more accounts), not to mention the bandwidth that would come from 13 different connections. But just the startup is interesting enough -- eventually these SSD drives will become cheap enough to be used all over the place, and information will be almost instantly accessible from wherever it's stored on your PC.

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Forum post of the day: The challenge - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 14:00:00 EST

As a whole was as WoW players are a pretty tough crowd to please. This is probably because of the diversity of the player base as well as the variable goals that we set for ourselves. We range from casual PvPers to hard core raiders. We all have our fair share of complaints, but judging by the games massive popularity, it seems Blizzard has done a decent job of responding to the competing demand of its subscribers.

Amgusrex of Moon Guard is concerned that play in Wrath of the Lich King will not be challenging enough. He feels that Blizzard does a disservice to players by nerfing the difficulty of content with progressive patching. His post is pretty inflammatory, calling others cry babies and pointing toward a "massive population that is bad at video games." Taking a look at the Original Poster's Armory profile, I have to assume that he is not posting on his main, because if he is he still has to over come many challenges himself before declaring the game "easy mode."

Continue reading Forum post of the day: The challenge

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Tigole: Blizz wants to bring BGs back, baby - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 13:30:00 EST
Reader Thomas pointed us to this forum post by Tigole, which contains some fun news for battleground fans, even if it is a little early in the design process to really expect anything yet. Tiggy basically says that while Arenas have gained some station in the world of PvP, the focus will eventually shift back to battlegrounds -- Blizzard would like to make BG content that "could be of higher quality with a higher degree of accessibility." They're still working on that competitive BG idea, and they want the focus to go back to the solid Horde vs. Alliance idea that's at the foundation of Warcraft.

Additionally, they're planning to let us queue up for the BGs from anywhere in the world (which, no doubt, would increase participation from both factions), and Tigole also suggests that eventually they may offer XP through battlegrounds, giving players yet another way to level up (twinks may not like that suggestion, but these changes are a long way off anyway).

This last change there -- offering players a way to level up with PvP -- is seen by many forumgoers as a direct stab at Warhammer Online. That game makes a big deal out of offering battleground-style PvP, and letting players choose it as a way to completely avoid PvE and earn XP and levels. So it may be that Blizzard saw their launch, and plans to turn back in that direction to compete. Which isn't a bad thing for us anyway -- as good as WoW is, some slightly-more-serious competition will only make it better. Being as I'm a BG fan, Tigole's hints that BGs are coming back is music to my ears.

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Ask a Beta Tester: Exotic weapons, furbolgs, and more - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 13:00:00 EST

Hi there, and welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester after its little Sunday break! If you're new to the column, then just 'welcome' instead of 'welcome back' and if that's the case allow me to explain! Have a question about the Wrath beta? We have an answer! Probably. Just ask in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer you in a future episode. Now, let's get started!

CactusHam asked...

I noticed on the Description of the Shaman's Maelstrom Weapon (and maybe its in other places as well, but this is where I saw it) that in addition to requiring axes, maces, staves and daggers it also requires "One handed Exotics, Two Handed Exotics" as well as "miscellaneous". I'm curious about what seems to be a new weapon type? Is this a new weapon type? If so, what classes can use "exotics"? And what exactly is an "exotic?"

Exotic weapons are unique NPC items. If you've ever used something like WoW Modelviewer, the Exotic category contains things such as Maiev's huge chakram thingy or whatever it is. It's not something players will ever get their hands on. It's sort of like the armor sets you see on Wowhead and Thottbot that have the listing of which races can wear it, and races such as Fel Orc and Naga are listed. That doesn't mean we'll get playable Fel Orcs and Naga, it means if they're putting together an NPC that uses those racial models they can use that armor to play dress up with. Fel Orc did technically come into play at the Netherwing Ledge, but meh. Yeah, that's right. Meh.

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: Exotic weapons, furbolgs, and more

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WoW Moviewatch: The Rumpus Machine - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 12:00:00 EST


The Rumpus Machine is the latest offering from Oblivious Films, of The Grind fame. It's the story of what happens when an easily-frightened dwarf and his friends stumble upon a "metal pig" which seems to grant their every wish. It's not a follow-up to The Grind storyline, but rather a new, self-contained story. It's kinda like what O. Henry would have written if he'd only lightened up a bit. The moviemaking here is top notch and the storytelling is quite funny with everything from sexy dancing girls to throwback dungeons. Make sure you stick around throughout the entire credits roll for some final jokes at the end.

Drew "Drewbie" Syring from Oblivious tells Moviewatch that Macheath made this film for the BlizzCon machinima contest and, for you Diablo III fans, "yes, that is really the real Deckard Cain who was kind enough to lend his voice talents to our production." How'd they manage it? Just watch it, you'll see.

[Via Vimeo]

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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Ask a Lore Nerd: Alliance leaders and strange mythology - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 11:15:00 EST


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

We're all busy people, so let's jump right in here. Sorano asked...

Has Gelbin Mekkatorque ever done something to contribute to the world around him? Poor little guy seems to do nothing nowadays. I'm sure as leader of the Gnomes, he could do a lot to help the people of Azeroth.

He does things, but they're not portrayed in WoW very well. It's mostly things you will find in the RPG books. Mekkatorque helps design the various siege weaponry the Alliance uses (steam tanks, etc), and works heavily on figuring out ways to take back Gnomeregan from the ferocious level 30 elites and, more importantly, clean up the radiation.

Continue reading Ask a Lore Nerd: Alliance leaders and strange mythology

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Around Azeroth: What are you staring at? - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 10:00:00 EST


Hey! Don't look at me like that. I'm not a piece of decaying, greenish meat. I'm the Queen of the Forsaken! I can hit your heart with my arrows from a mile away, or send my undead minions to devour your flesh. Your ... soft, warm, living flesh, with the muscles and the hair and ... hmm. Well, now that I think about it, I should be more welcoming to visitors. And it's been a while since anyone looked at me like that. How would you like a guided tour of the Apothecarium? I think there's an empty cage down there we can ... chat in.

Continue reading Around Azeroth: What are you staring at?

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BigRedKitty: Crab, Cat, and Serpent - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 09:00:00 EST


Daniel Howell contributes
BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

We've seen the Age of the Scorpid, but Crabs have always been a bit of a rarity. They're Tenacity pets in Wrath of the Lich King, and you may find their Pin spell to your liking.

Cats? Nobody uses cats, do they? Nah. But just for historical purposes, we'll show you Cats in WotLK too.

Do you think you could use a hunter-pet that permanently reduces a caster's cast-time by 50%? Look at Serpents, their Poison Spit, and dare to dream.

You are invited to download the YouTube version (81MB) of this movie here, and the full-sized version (120MB) here.

As always, a great big Thank You to the WoW Insider editors for allowing us to publish this movie both here and on our little blog at the same time!
From his video guides to Karazhan For Hunter Dummies, nobody covers raid Hunters like BRK. Looking for more Hunter goodness? Check out our non-raid Hunter column, Scattered Shots or the WoW Insider Directory of Hunter Guides.

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Breakfast Topic: What was your least favorite part of this year's Brewfest? - Mon, 06 Oct 2008 08:00:00 EST


Brewfest had many things going for it and was still fun this year, but I can't help feeling a bit disappointed when I compare it to last year's event. Yeah, the boss was cool. Sure, it was nice that the Dark Iron Dwarves worked this year. But I missed the Pink Elekk quest (though they were still visible if you were in the right place with the right amount of inebriation) and the Wolpertinger quest (buying it just isn't the same).

After the first couple of days, I was completely unable to complete the Dark Iron Dwarf quest, even at peak times on my server. I don't know if fewer people were participating due to the mounts not being purchaseable by tokens or the non-intuitive way you fight those evil brew thieves, but there were never enough people chugging and chucking along with me to defeat them. Still, that wasn't my least favorite part.

I would have to say that the part of this year's Brewfest that sucked my fun, frustrated the heck out of me and made me only earn enough to join the Brew of the Month Club was the same thing I disliked most last year. It's that apple barrel that is near the guy with the kegs outside of Orgrimmar. No matter how diligent I was doing the Keg Run, no matter how carefully I timed my rein-clicking and no matter how much I jumped on, stomped on or ran around that barrel, it only refreshed my mount about 70 percent of the time. Riding an exhausted ram is so not fun.

What was your least favorite part of this year's Brewfest?

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The Colosseum: Drwhy of Burning Legion - Sun, 05 Oct 2008 21:00:00 EST
After a short hiatus, your weekend Colosseum interviews are back with an interview with Drwhy, an Arena Priest on Burning Legion. Working in 2v2 with Nostalgia, a Blood Elf Rogue, Drwhy is currently striving to excel at the end of Season 4.

Drwhy talked to us not only about how he's been doing in the Arena to date, but also about what he expects to see with the approaching end of season, and Wrath's future release.

Check out what Drwhy had to say after the cut.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Drwhy of Burning Legion

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Spiritual Guidance: Everything you ever wanted to know about raid healing at level 80 - Sun, 05 Oct 2008 20:00:00 EST


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week Matticus offers his opinion and experience on raid healing at level 80. Find out about how Matt manages his mana, his take on whether Priests really are "useless", skills needed to thrive, and just how hard it is to heal tanks.

When I write blog posts about Priests, I don't like to rely on speculation. I am certain there are many Priests (other healers even) who want to know what the next age of Wrath healing will look like. I am not a Shaman, a Paladin, or a Druid; therefore, I cannot speak from their perspectives but I have seen them in action. I am not a theorycrafter. I can't break everything down into numbers for you. There have been a few blue posts asking for healer feedback and maybe this post can offer some insight.

That being said, this post is drawn from my experiences as a healer in both normal (10 man) and heroic (25 man) versions of Naxxramas and Obsidian Sanctum. I won't tell you what I think should get nerfed or buffed; I will, however, tell you how I coped with the challenges that the expansion brought forth.

Continue reading Spiritual Guidance: Everything you ever wanted to know about raid healing at level 80

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Mage mana costs to be slashed across the board - Sun, 05 Oct 2008 19:00:00 EST
So Mages. Do you think you spend way too much mana to cast your spells? If you answered yes, here's some good news: The dev team agrees.

However, says Ghostcrawler, they didn't want to reduce the cooldown on Evocation anymore, nor did they want to make Mage Armor so powerful that other Mage armors were no longer worth using. Thus, they simply lowered the mana cost on Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Explosion.

Of course, we still won't know exactly how much until the next build hits the Beta servers, but it seems like it's got to be good news if it's anything of a significant cost reduction. Of course, some Mages are still hoping for a more active mana regeneration mechanic such as the Warlock's Life Tap, but in the meantime, hopefully this reduction is enough to make a difference.

[Thanks to VyseV1 for the heads up!]

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All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a draenei - Sun, 05 Oct 2008 17:05:00 EST
This installment of All the World's a Stage is the eighth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

The draenei are one of Warcraft's more unique contributions to the realm of fantasy fiction, the one player race without no real precedent in earlier fantasy worlds. These are not your typical elves, orcs and dwarves borrowed from Tolkien or Dungeons and Dragons; the draenei are tall, with hooves, tails, horns and even face-tendrils -- but they are noble and spiritual people, the last remnants of an ancient civilization of magic and beauty.

To begin thinking about what it must be like to live as a draenei, imagine how the human race might be many thousands of years into the future, maybe a quarter of a million years from now. Whatever technology those people might have would probably seem like magic to us. Our descendants might unravel the mysteries of biology to such a degree that they can halt the aging process and live as long as they want to. They may be able to tap on sources of power we haven't even imagined, and act with motivations and purposes we could scarcely understand.

The draenei as a people were once like this, 25,000 years before the setting of World of Warcraft. Even at that time, they were already ancient in their history and advanced far beyond what you and I might understand. Their world, called Argus, was a prosperous society full of great achievements and magical wonders, quite unlike anything we see today. They had a different name then, however -- they were called, the "eredar" -- a name which now upsets the draenei as a painful reminder of everything they have lost, the corruption, the betrayal and the near extermination of everything they have ever known and loved.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a draenei

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