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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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What's wrong with leveling? - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 20:00:00 EST
This post isn't going to be about how to "fix" leveling or make it faster or easier or anything like that. Instead, I'm writing in defense of the leveling process. I actually enjoy it even though I'm having a hard time thinking of anyone else I know who doesn't just want to get it over with. I enjoy questing and I enjoy the charge I get when I learn a new spell or add a new talent point. When I hit level 70 I was quite disoriented without the XP bar to cheer me along. I can't get my head around the idea that I no longer need to log out at an inn because the resting bonus doesn't apply any more. In fact, I'm such a quest addict that I'm still doing leftover quests all over Outland.

Everyone seems to want to get to the endgame as soon as possible. An entire dirty business of buying level 70s has sprung up around the idea that power-leveling is king. But for me, it feels a little bit like the endgame is the End of the Game. There is a shade of "now what?" flying through the back of my mind. No more content to experience, no more places to explore that I haven't already wreaked havoc through. One way to replace XP as a motivation tool is to work on gaining faction chits, I guess, and battleground marks. Sigh. What a grind; it doesn't have the zing that dinging a new level does, or even just seeing the blue bars fill up across my screen. On top of that, there are so many dang factions and rewards and things to collect I need an accountant to help me keep track of what items I should be collecting -- or even what gear, for that matter!

I guess gold is my new XP since those epic flying mounts cost so much. Let's say that I decide to measure my success by my gold balance. I can do enough quests and sell enough stuff at the Auction House to get the 5000G eventually. Then what? I have this super-fast flying mount and no reason to do anything with it.

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Authenticator ordering leads to unexplained refunds - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 19:00:00 EST

We've already reported that the Blizzard Authenticator is sold out, but here's another twist to the story. WoW Insider reader Ryan told us that he placed his order last Monday, before the sell out was announced.

However, instead of getting his Authenticator, he instead got an unexplained refund. With no other word from Blizzard, they simply canceled the order and refunded the money. He talked to a coworker who had also ordered the Authenticator and found that he had the same experience. As of yet, Blizzard has not explained the refund to him.

It's likely that Ryan was simply unlucky enough to place his order after they'd sold out but before they'd officially announced it, but there's other somewhat unfortunate implications. If they're refunding his order instead of honoring it, it suggests that they don't expect to have any new Authenticators ready for quite some time.

Continue reading Authenticator ordering leads to unexplained refunds

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Own your own talking Murloc plushie this September - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST

It seems like Murlocs are the monster that everyone loves to hate. Almost everyone has a story of that one horrible Murloc battle that ended up in in tears and multiple corpse runs. Seriously, the nerve of some NPCs, actually grabbing their friends for the fight! The next thing you know, they'll be attacking the one in the dress instead of the heavily armored tank!

But seriously, for all our hatred, we probably couldn't imagine our WoW careers without Murlocs. They're a fun, distinct, and different race, and aside from the cold slimy fish thing, they might almost be sort of cuddly. That Nerglish language is a lot of fun too. In that vein, wouldn't you sort of like a Murloc pet?

Play.com is advertising a talking Murloc plush pet that should fulfill most of your Murloc loving needs. To be released on September 30th, it will cost £24.99 via their site (Which is about $49.50), and say multiple phrases in Nerglish. Multiple phrases? How many ways can you say "mrrgrglgrglgrgl," anyway?

Anyhow, it looks pretty cool, and I'm sure it'll be destined to be a pretty hot selling item. Now we just need a Naga Siren plushie to keep it in line...

[Thanks for the tip, Grimmy!]

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A Death Knight with pink pigtails - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 17:00:00 EST
Ever since we heard way back at BlizzCon last year that Death Knights would be available for all races, the lament has been heard: Gnome Death Knights will ruin it for everyone else. Death Knights are, by their very nature, supposed to be pale and scary and imposing, and given the fact that there are bound to be a ton of Gnome Death Knights out there just for hilarity's sake, the Death Knight starting area is going to look more like a nursery than a gothic bed of evil.

But will it really ruin the lore? Daniel already pointed out very insightfully that Gnomes definitely have a dark side -- we all seem to overlook the fact that Gnomes can be Warlocks, and that doesn't make the Felguard they send after you any less scary. And while yes, on launch day, there'll be a lot of Gnome DKs running around (the starting areas will be chaos no matter what gets rolled), after that it should settle down for sure. After all, if Gnomes were all people wanted to play, we'd never see Humans or Dwarves on the realms, and there are plenty of those.

So I'm all for Gnome Death Knights, pigtails or otherwise. If nothing else, it'll give us Horde something to laugh at -- right before we go in for the kill.

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Manaprincess reopens store, offers sale to WoW Insider readers - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 16:00:00 EST


Our good friend and talented WoW crafter Manaprincess is back, and she's gone from Etsy to break out into her own World of Warcraft crafts store at manaprincess.com. She's got the usual Hearthstone key charms, as well as the WoW soaps up there, and a new section of "potion pendants" -- Health, Mana, or Rejuv potions to wear around your neck, just in case. And she says that all the items have been redesigned, so even things you've seen before may look a little different.

And as a thank you to you WoW Insider readers for all your support, she's having a sale just for you: from now until August 31st, you can put in the code "wowinsider" without the quotes at the checkout screen to get 25% off your entire order.

Manaprincess is definitely one of the best vendors in the crafting community, and it's great to see her up and running in a brand new store. If you're looking for some fun WoW-related gifts or crafts for yourself, her store is definitely one of the places to look.

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Northrend mount attunement will not be expensive - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 15:00:00 EST


We've known for a little while now that our existing flying mounts will not be usable straight off the bat in Northrend. The reason for this is that they don't want us little level 70s hopping onto the frozen plains, mounting up, and zipping right off to Dalaran or Arthas or wherever; in short, they don't want us to skip content. After all, imagine if you had a flying mount at the beginning of Outland - you would've gone to Shattrath even sooner. We also know from the WWI Q&A live blog that there will be some kind of "attunement" process for getting our fliers working up there, which has jokingly been referred to as "mount mittens" (it's cold in Northrend, you know).

What we haven't known is precisely when the mounts will be usable (though Ulduar's Halls of Stone, a level 77-79 dungeon, was said to require flying mounts), and whether the "mount mittens" (or whatever they actually implement) will be a tremendous gold sink. Today Bornakk puts as all at ease, by saying that flying mounts are currently set to be usable in Northrend at level 77, you will use the same mounts currently used in Outland, and it is not expected that "a large sum of gold" will be required (for another tier of mount skill or something). As always, this could change before the expansion goes live, but for now, it seems that we can look forward to not spending several thousand gold on griffin defrosting equipment.

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WoW Heroes sets you right at endgame - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 14:01:00 EST
We've covered sites like this before (Be Imba is probably the one best known), but here's another character comparison/improvement tool for you to use online. WoW Heroes is a site that will look up your character's significant info from the Armory, put it in an easy-to-read format, and then help you check out all your stats, enchants, and gear, and help you find improvements to what you're wearing. It's not as judgemental as Be Imba -- you just get the stats and the facts, not yelled at for not having gems in your sockets (though getting yelled at might be just the motivation you need to get better), but it does provide suggestions in a much gentler way, including what kinds of enchants to use and what kinds of instances to run.

And one fun feature that isn't as easy to do on Be Imba is the comparison tool -- you can put in two characters' names and servers and very easily look at both at the same time, comparing item levels and/or seeing where the gear came from. Neat feature, and very easy to get up and running, no login or signup needed.

There is one drawback -- you can't see any characters in the system that are below level 70, so WoW Heroes is only for people trying to find improvements and options in the endgame -- if you're below 70, you'll have to go elsewhere. But as an endgame character improvement tool, it's another good option to use.

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BigRedKitty: Void Reaver Hunter-guide movie - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 13:00:00 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.

Void Reaver used to be called Loot Reaver, thanks to a nifty addon called VoidReaverAlarm that made this fight as simple as, "Run to the Happy Face!" But then Blizz went and bamboozled us all by honking-up the Combat Log for this fight, making that addon useless. Since then, great gaggles of guilds have come to detest this fight and avoid it out of fear of wiping.

Well no more; it's time for you to get back in there and get your shoulders.

Void Reaver is a great opportunity for you to hone your huntering-skills and impress everybody with your ability to do damage when it counts and avoid damage when necessary. Void Reaver drops your tier five shoulder tokens and some awesome hunter-pants. With a little instruction, you and your guild can get back to Tempest Keep and score some phat loot for yourself.

/ninja hunter-pants

This video demonstrates the "traditional" method of fighting Void Reaver, not the, "Everybody in the middle except two kiting-hunters" method. We hope to do that movie in the near future.

You are most welcome to download this movie (101.6 MB) by right-clicking here.

Another 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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WoW Moviewatch: Fate, or The Story of Morgan Ladimore Teaser - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 12:00:00 EST

Either Durast has abandoned this project or it's going to end up quite epic, as the teaser for Fate - The Story of Morgan Ladimore was released three months ago. However, the video by itself is pretty interesting. We hope that it ends up getting finished!

The movie will be based around the quest line of Morgan Ladimore, a soldier that, when believed to have lost his family, was driven to madness and a killing spree. After committing suicide, his spirit was never laid to rest and he roams Raven Hill, killing those who cross his path.

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

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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Officers' Quarters: No empty slots - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 11:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Last week I talked about the problem of filling raids, as TBC winds down and summer heats up. But some people are lucky enough to have the opposite problem: Too many people want to go, and there just isn't enough room for everyone. That's what the author of this week's e-mail is facing.

Scott:

I'm in a guild that's been progressing quite steadily in T6 content now that no one needs attunement for them. We got 4/5 Hyjal and 3/9 BT quickly, and while we've been a bit stymied on Archie we're getting to the point where we'll have him down soon enough.

The problem is, well, not much of a problem really for, oh, 25 of us.

You see, we're one of the two real raiding guilds on our server, Alliance side at least. The rest of Alliance is fighting their way through T4 content and just starting their way on the T5 stuff. But the serious raiders love to join up with our guild, a lovely thing for the most part.

Of course, this means that we've usually got 35 people on a raid night wanting to run. A few too many.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: No empty slots

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Around Azeroth: A sewing project - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 10:00:00 EST


Anyone who still proclaims the moral superiority of the Horde over the Alliance really needs to visit the Apothecarium in the Undercity. The domain of the Royal Apothecary Society features hanging torsos, a poisoned tauren, and various tortured Alliance members. And, as you can see, they're putting together an Abomination that still appears to be conscious (his eyes move in-game). Some people think this is where they make the UC guards. I choose to believe that this is where the Forsaken constantly rebuild Stitches, in an effort to wipe out all Alliance in the 20-29 bracket. Thanks to our anonymous submitter!

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. Please, no sunsets, and remember that both the Horde and Alliance have good and evil components.

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Ask WoW Insider: What does an ex-GL do? - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 09:00:00 EST



Welcome to today's edition of Ask WoW Insider, in which we publish your questions for dissection by the peanut gallery -- now with extra snark and commentary by one of our writers. This week Nickiter writes in:

Hi WoW Insider -

Until tonight, I was the GL of a raiding guild - a new guild, to be sure, and not terribly accomplished. But, after a night of listlessly wiping on The Lurker Below, I gave up.

Maybe I don't have guild leadership in me, maybe I do, but that's immaterial.

What I'm asking of WI and your sometimes kind, sometimes harsh, but always vocal readership, is what do I do now?

I'm a Protection Warrior in T5-level gear, aka the least in-demand class in the game for guild recruitment. I also have a Hunter... which I'm not even going to bring up.

I love raiding... PvP is a diversion, at best... What have those of you who've been in this situation done?

Reroll a Resto Shammy and find a guild to Brain Heal for? Quit 'til Wrath? Something else entirely?

Thanks in advance for your input.

- Nickiter, Smolderthorn (H)


I'm pretty much going to throw this out to the audience -- you're having problems I couldn't even dream of having, but I'm sure you're not alone in. Plus, I thought it was a good question even if I couldn't throw some snark in.

So, bring it, boys (and girls).

Got questions? Don't wait! Send them to us at ask AT wowinsider DOT com and your query could be up in lights here next week.



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Breakfast topic: Why should you be in the Beta? - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 08:00:00 EST

Not long ago Blizzard opened up the expansion content to selected friends and family. We've had a few days to sign up for the Wrath of the Lich King beta test. Blizzard has made it clear that assignment in the Beta test that aside from a better chance of selection among* World Wide Invitational attendees, the beta testers will be selected by a random lottery. But what is it that makes a good beta tester?

I've entered twice for the Beta, as I have two accounts. I'm not sure how many participants will be selected, but I really hope I get in. If I wasn't with WoW Insider, I probably would avoid the beta. I'm rather in favor of delicious surprised once the expansion is actually released. Recent iterations of the Public Test Realm have invited everyone to come and play. Many have taken that challenge to see nifty, new gear and test new mechanics. Blizzard has proven open to feedback through progressive testing.

Continue reading Breakfast topic: Why should you be in the Beta?

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Forum post of the day: The fate of Outland - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 02:13:00 EST

Once Wrath of the Lich King is released, we will have a whole new end-game continent. Just like how we got a whole new planet in the Burning Crusade. Since the first expansion was released many areas in the old world have been largely unused. There is very little World PvP going on in Eastern Plaguelands, most pre-sixty instances lay dormant except for quick runs with high level characters, and Onyxia lurks alone until someone nostalgic for original WoW until someone comes to slay her.

Dazknight of EU-Lightning's blade posed the question, what will happen to Burning Crusade content once Wrath comes out. If Blizzard continues to work only on the latest endgame content, it's likely that Outland, The Isle of Quel'Danas, dailies, and everything we currently experience will be largely forgotten. Noxmortum of EU-Kilrogg believes that Outland will be the province of characters leveling from 58 to 68, full of Death Knights for the first few weeks and then more of a ghost land than the Ghostlands. Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley will quite probably become very lonely, indeed.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: The fate of Outland

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2000 means nothing in Season 4 - Sun, 06 Jul 2008 20:00:00 EST


"2k rated <insert class here> looking for Arena team."

For once, that statement doesn't hold quite as much weight anymore. In Season 4, where new personal ratings requirements are in place, a 2000 rating doesn't amount to anything but bragging rights. Sometimes not even that. After two weeks of the new season, more than a few players are running around with their helm graphic on, proudly displaying the fact that they've hit the first benchmark of 1700 personal and team rating. An even more select few are standing around the major cities brandishing Brutal Gladiator armaments. This is where the new distinction lies.

With 2000 personal rating qualifying a player for nothing in Season 4, the more accurate statement for any sort of Arena self-validation is now "<insert class here> with S4 weapon looking for Arena team." Because the requirements are so strict -- necessitating both team and player ratings to be at the minimum upon purchase -- Arena gear has never been more indicative of skill. I know many of you will protest at this generalization, and you'd have a point. But now more than ever, the system has proven effective at weeding out the chaff from the grain.

Continue reading 2000 means nothing in Season 4

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All the World's a Stage: Adding flesh to your character - Sun, 06 Jul 2008 19:00:00 EST


When you decide to roleplay, a whole new world of imagination opens up to you -- soon you realize that all the World of Warcraft is a stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. Michael Gray fills in this week for David Bowers to talk about how you can flesh our your character, and help it leap from the screen into everyone's imagination.

As David's said before, getting into character can be a challenge. With the WWI right behind us and Death Knights looming around the corner, there's dozens of things threatening to water down our immersive roleplay. It can be frustrating, but the first thing you can control about your playtime is yourself -- and the character you've written.

Your background sets up your character's story. It's where your character comes from, and often describes what motives your character's actions. But it's infinitely helpful to define more about your character than just the time the Horde ravaged your family and wrecked the estate, and maybe talk about...how he feels about children, or the summer holidays.

Let's talk about how to flesh out a character, behind the cut...

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: Adding flesh to your character

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Do you need to prepare to switch mains? - Sun, 06 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST


We've talked before about using Wrath of the Lich King as an opportune time to switch mains. As Daniel mentioned in that post, I'm planning on switching from my human warrior to my draenei warrior once WotLK comes out. Now, one of the things I've noticed from reading forums, talking about it with my guild mates, and of course from you commenters here at WoW Insider is that there seems to be two or three camps of opinion on how to go about switching mains at the expansion.

Camp one we'll call the laissez faire approach. These people, although they intend to switch mains, aren't really doing much about it. They expect that the gear reset from Wrath will take care of any gearing inadequacies and that we're all going to be running around in clown clothes anyway for a while.

Continue reading Do you need to prepare to switch mains?

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Addon Spotlight: Four for the Fourth - Sun, 06 Jul 2008 17:00:00 EST
Welcome to another installment of Addon Spotlight. Today I thought I'd present you with four addons that make minor changes to your UI while providing little or no additional functionality. Call these vanity addons if you like, although you may find one or more of them actually useful.

In the spirit of the holiday weekend (for those of us in the U.S.), I thought I would start with some color-oriented addons. I use these almost entirely for the sheer joy of some more bright colors on the screen, but I as I always say, having a quick visual reference to information adheres to the simple but powerful UI philosophy that less is more.

oGlow is a very simple addon that does one thing, it lights up the icon border of an item with the color matching it's quality. As my paladin's character pane shows, epic items are brightly lit with a purple border, rare items are blue and green items are green. (Okay, no green items there, but you get the point.) I think I replaced that green item with my Medallion of the Horde last week, am I supposed to get a pen for being green-free or something? The only real use I have gotten from this, aside from a pretty glow, is being able to quickly assess another player's gear while inspecting them. I would like to think I am able to tell this by just looking at them, but I like to snoop anyway.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: Four for the Fourth

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Ask a Lore Nerd: The swirling vortex of death - Sun, 06 Jul 2008 16:00:00 EST


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!

Terrant asks...

I have questions about Kalimdor. How aware were the Alliance races of the continent before the events of Warcraft III? Was it completely unknown, known but unexplored, or frequented by the adventurous? The only Alliance settlement seems to be the recent Theramore, but at the same time, the goblins' trading network and cities seem to be well-established, so you'd think word of the continent must have gotten around. And there are pirate organizations that include humans and dwarves on the continent, too.

Continue reading Ask a Lore Nerd: The swirling vortex of death

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Ready Check: Gurtogg Bloodboil - Sun, 06 Jul 2008 14:00:00 EST


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look at an orc with some serious breath issues.

Continuing our journey through the Black Temple, the next boss we encounter is Gurtogg Bloodboil. A fel orc with an attitude problem, Bloodboil awaits after a room and a half of trash clearing; if you've killed Teron Gorefiend and the Reliquary of Souls, this is the final boss you need to defeat in order to open up the Den of Mortal Delights and make your way towards Mother Shahraz.

This fight depends heavily on two elements: output and execution. Your raid needs to be able to deal with some strenuous healing and threat requirements, as well as co-ordinated movement, so while learning you need to bring along players that can actually perform as well as multitask.

Continue reading Ready Check: Gurtogg Bloodboil

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