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Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 20-40 - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 18:00:00 EST



Each week at some point on Saturday, Arcane Brilliance brings Mages together from every corner of Azeroth to discus how awesome we are. Five seconds later, the discussion degenerates into a whole lot of whining about Warlocks. Someone ninjas all the manna biscuits, a scuffle breaks out, a million Frost Novas erupt at once, and the very fabric of the universe is sundered when everyone tries to Blink away simultaneously. Then the next Saturday arrives and we get together to do it all again. Secretly, you see, we enjoy sundering the universe. We're Mages. That's just how we roll.

Level 20! Grats! Last week we talked ourselves through the first twenty levels of Magehood, from our humble beginnings slaying kobolds in Elwynn Forest or boars in Durotar to sheeping adds in The Deadmines or Wailing Caverns. This week we'll take our maturing Mages through the next twenty levels, all the way to level 40, halfway to Arthas. Numerically, anyway.

When you ding 20, you've reached what could reasonably be defined as your first major milestone within World of Warcraft. You have 11 talent points under your belt, which means you likely have a clearly defined specialty for you Mage, whether it be Frost, Fire, or Arcane. You've now got access to many of the spells that set you apart from other classes, and are learning how to use them. You've hopefully been into an instanced dungeon or two, and have some grasp on your role within a group dynamic. And now, at level 20, you get to do a whole mess of new junk, and all of it is awesome.

Join me after the jump for a more specific quantification of how awesome.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 20-40

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The Light and How to Swing It: Levels 51-60 - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 17:00:00 EST


This used to be the home stretch. In the old days, hitting level 51 was when players got their second wind after tiring out from the usually dreary 41 to 50. Now, however, it's just another bump in the road, with the endgame barely in sight. With Wrath of the Lich King looming over the horizon, the idea is to get through these levels as quickly as possible. Move along now, there's nothing to see here. Well, maybe a little, so we've cooked up this handy guide to see you through this not-quite-home-stretch.

If you've gotten your Paladin to this point, congratulations. Give yourself a pat on the back for sticking through with what is generally considered to be a boring challenging class. I got through my Paladin on a love-hate relationship. I love the class but I hate how slow everything can be. If you've gotten this far, you likely know what I mean. Seal, judge, seal, auto-attack, and alt-tab to read WoW Insider. If you're still deciding on whether to play the class, Elizabeth's guide from 1 to 20 is a good place to look. There's also the stretch from 21-40 for those of you who've decided to see if the free mount is worth it (I like mine a lot, thank you very much).

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: Levels 51-60

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Macro Anatomy: Hunter love - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 16:00:00 EST
We recently had a request for some Hunter macro help, so I thought I would present some unique little gems for you ranged DPS types to use. First of all, let it be known that we we have talked about Hunter macros here before, more than once actually. Secondly, a good source of Hunter-specific macros would be WoWWiki's Useful Hunter Macro page. However, given those resources, you may find yourself wanting more.

I turned back to the World of Warcraft forums, where I, once again, found some of Belleboom's work. The witty troll from the Earthen Ring server has written some useful macros for hunters, complete with slightly silly descriptions.

I'll start us off with this macro, which determines what type of pet you have, and uses the appropriate ability:

Dive/Dash/Growl/Wrench!: Casts Dive if you have an owl, dash if you have a cat, or growl if you have anything else... wrench optional.

  • /cast [pet:owl] Dive; [pet:cat] Dash; [pet] Growl
Next, a macro that feeds or uses Mend Pet depending on your current status:

Feed/Mend Pet:
Based on combat status.
  • /cast [combat] Mend Pet; [nocombat] Feed Pet
  • /use [nocombat] <FoodLinkHere>
Come on back after the break for a few more.

Continue reading Macro Anatomy: Hunter love

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Poll: Does story matter to you? - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 15:00:00 EST
If you couldn't tell from Know Your Lore and Ask a Lore Nerd, I'm a really big fan of learning the story behind a game, or the littlest details of fantasy worlds. The creativity that drives the story and the little pieces of the puzzle that bring everything together fascinates me. Even though I'm enthralled with the story behind worlds, I don't let it get in the way of my enjoyment of the game, either. I may really, really like a lore character, but if the game tells me to kill them for one reason or another, even if it's loot, I'll probably do it. I still want to advance my character from a gameplay stanpoint, after all. It's an MMO!

I know that a lot of people play WoW and similar games and have no interest in story at all, too. Who's Arthas? Who cares! That's perfectly fine. Play the game how you enjoy it. While knowing the story of the world you play in helps, you don't really need it to enjoy many aspects of the game.

Out of pure curiosity, I've made a poll to see just how big the divide is between those types of people. Are you the kind of person that reads quest text, or do you look at the objective and move on? Do you know obscure details about characters that a lot of people wouldn't? Do you know why you go to the dungeons you do? A simple Yes or No poll is tucked behind the link below. Satisfy my curiosity!

Continue reading Poll: Does story matter to you?

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Koraa hints at the future of Shaman. Kind of. Maybe. - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 13:00:00 EST
While it isn't especially earth shattering, class designer Koraa popped into the official Shaman forums (gasp!) to say something simple, yet intriguing. Eronar of Argent Dawn posted a thread asking the question, "Are you staying a Shaman in WOTK?" and Koraa's simple response was, "I think you'll stay." It could be a completely simple statement with no deeper meaning at all, but it isn't like the WoW community to let something like that go without coming up with some kind of conspiracy theory.

Last we knew, Shaman spells and abilities hadn't yet been implemented into the Wrath alpha. Could this be a sign that the devs are planning to move into the testing phase for Shaman soon? That's probably something to be excited about, if the other classes are any indicator. While certainly not everything in Alpha will make Live, things are looking pretty exciting so far, even for the classes and specs that have felt left behind in the past. Hopefully Shaman will feel the same. It's definitely something to look forward to seeing, at the very least.

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WoW Moviewatch: Baron Soosdon explains what machinima means to him - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 12:00:00 EST

Who knew that machinima was about murdering murlocs for Baron Soosdon? You'll learn that, and more, in this short video about what this expressive medium means to him. While he speaks in Finnish, and uses a voice modulator as well, he does put English text on the screen for the viewers. If you're into senseless violence against murlocs and enjoy a good Rick Astley tune, then you'll like this clip.

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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Poll: Are you looking forward to WoTLK more than you looked forward to Burning Crusade? - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 11:00:00 EST
So recently, Tobold was saying that excitement around Wrath of the Lich King is visibly much less than the excitement that led up to the release of Burning Crusade. People are tired out by the 2 year wait, WoW isn't innovating, WoW isn't adding the content fast enough: there's just so many reasons that the Wrath of the Lich King is being greeted with ennui instead of excitement.

My first thought upon reading that: Wait, people aren't excited over WoTLK?

Continue reading Poll: Are you looking forward to WoTLK more than you looked forward to Burning Crusade?

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Around Azeroth: Supersymmetry - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 10:00:00 EST

Ah, protadins. Is there anything you can't tank ten of? Pally Interesting and druid Cercis of <Children of the Vendetta> on Korgath led a small, perfectly-formed genocide against the Rage and Feral Scar Yetis of Feralas, which anyone who's done those stupid yeti quests will fully support. The circle lasted only a short while before the departed yetis were reincarnated to begin a new life as a stack of Thick Leather, as is the yeti tradition.

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, no sunsets, and thanks for participating in Caption This!

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How to get Wowhead tooltips in Google Reader - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 09:00:00 EST


An ode: Wowhead tooltips, O how I heart thee! I wish...eth I wouldst to be able to carry thou aroundst in mine pockets. (Did people even have pockets back when they went around saying thee and thou? Mine coineth purse?) Anyway, the point is: we love Wowhead tooltips because all it takes is a mouse-hover to find out everything you want to know about an item mentioned on WoW Insider or other websites. And now that you've gone ahead and put WoW Insider on your Google Reader, you can take the next step to get the nifty little tooltips in to show up in your RSS feeds.

Here's how:

Continue reading How to get Wowhead tooltips in Google Reader

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Breakfast Topic: Musing on old-world instances - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 08:00:00 EST


When we first heard about heroic level instances in the Burning Crusade, many of us were thrilled at the thought of revisiting our favorite low level instances. We would have them boosted to an end-game level and resurrected into regular play. Then we found out that only the dungeons in Outland were geared up for heroic levels. At least one player was pretty disappointed by this news. One of our readers, Sean, asked to open up a dialog about old-world heroics.

Running the old world dungeons as actual five-man instances seems pretty rare these days. Sometimes we skip past them due to decreased leveling requirements, and an ability to gear our alts with gold earns on our mains. Often when we actually venture into these instances at the appropriate level, we are tailing a capable level 70 character. It's kind of a waste of space and programming effort for Blizzard to leave these instances gathering dust.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Musing on old-world instances

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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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