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The Queue: Full of it - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 19:00:00 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Since today's first question in Maelstrom-themed, we've decided today edition of The Queue was a good time to link the supposed leaked trailer of the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, to be announced at BlizzCon '09. We haven't embedded the video to try and dodge waking up to a DMCA tomorrow, so just check it out on YouTube. We'll let Google deal with the mess, eh?

Revan asked...

"What instances would you suggest for a Maelstrom expansion?"

All of the things you suggested yesterday would work pretty well. Nazjatar and the Tomb of Sargeras would definitely be raid zones in a future expansion. I suspect we would also have a hella fun time in The Eye of the Maelstrom, which is the center of the whole storm there. Maybe we'd even visit Mak'aru, which is where all the gross crab people live. It probably wouldn't be a raid, but I could see a 5-man there. That is, if we don't ally with the gross crabfolk. Did I mention they're gross? Gross. I'd also lay down money that we'll get an Onyxia/Gruul/Malygos-style raid with a sea monster of some sort. The Lurker Below v2.0, now with eye lasers?

Continue reading The Queue: Full of it

The Queue: Full of it originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Cata-what? - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

The Daily Quest: Cata-what? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Worgen Garwal hotfixed, now untamable - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST

Our tip lines have been buzzing recently with news about a tameable Worgen. If you haven't been paying attention, in short, Garwal (a quest NPC that starts as a wolf, but turns into a Worgen) could be tamed as a Worgen if you get your timing right, and then you'd have a very unusual pet following you around.

Note that I say "could be tamed," not "can": apparently Blizzard has hotfixed the NPC so that he can no longer be tamed, stating that they never intended players to have a humanoid pet. Players who have already tamed Garwal will find that they have no talents or abilities for him, nor can they feed or buff him rendering him effectively useless except as a vanity pet. I would expect him to be removed even as a vanity pet soon.

Worgen Garwal hotfixed, now untamable originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Patches of Yesteryear: Patch 0.6 - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST


World of Warcraft has been around for a while now, and the game has changed significantly. Back in the day, way back in the day, things were so different you probably wouldn't recognize it. A couple times a week WoW.com will look back at old patches, lamenting on what once was.

Welcome to the first post in our Patches of Yesteryear series. We're going to take a look at old patch notes (listed after the break) and point out some of the ridiculous, and not so ridiculous changes that have gone through the game the past five years.

To start off with, let's look at Patch 0.6. This patch was released on April 13th, 2004. That's about seven months before WoW hit the retail shelves and became a hit. This beta version of WoW had a few important parts of the game that began their life in this patch:
  • Scarlet Monastery, the level 30 dungeons near the Undercity
  • Blackfathom Deeps, the cave maze dungeon out in Kalimdor
  • Druids became available for play
  • You had five states of rested that affected the gain of your experience gains: well rested, rested, normal, fatigued, and exhausted

Continue reading The Patches of Yesteryear: Patch 0.6

The Patches of Yesteryear: Patch 0.6 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Preparing for BlizzCon: You need good shoes - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST


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

Even if you are taking my advice and training your feet and legs for BlizzCon, you are still going to need good shoes for all of those lines. The Anaheim Convention Center floor is hard and unforgiving, so your shoes will need to provide the appropriate cushion and support to make up for it. In many conventions, companies will put carpet with extra padding in their booths so that people will stand there longer for demos of their products and services. Unless something has changed this year, there is no padding -- no respite for the feet unless you go outside and find a patch of grass.

Continue reading Preparing for BlizzCon: You need good shoes

Preparing for BlizzCon: You need good shoes originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 Updated - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST


Patch 3.2 is out on the PTR, and every day seems to bring new surprises. From raid lockouts to tier gear and heirloom pieces.

For Patch 3.2 we've been steadily updating WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2. with everything we've written about the Patch 3.2 PTR. Included in there are links to the latest patch notes, class changes and analysis, and tons of galleries of the new gear and quests.

Check out the guide and all its updates for Patch 3.2 goodness!


WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 Updated originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: The Future of Death Runes in Patch 3.2 - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST
Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight class column, with your host, Daniel Whitcomb, who's still wearing mourning black for AE Unholy Blight. And also because black looks awesome.

I admit to being a bit underwhelmed by the Death Knight Q&A. To be fair, this is primarily because most of the things covered were already in the 3.2 patch notes, and the rest was pretty common sense stuff. However, one little comment by Ghostcrawler did catch my attention: His praise of Death Runes.

This caught me more than a bit by surprise, since, if anything, the Death Knight changes in Patch 3.2 seem tailor made to discourage the use of Death Runes, at least for Frost and Unholy.

Between the damage buff to Blood Strike and diseases, and the nerf to Scourge Strike, we have a pretty good chance of seeing people move away from using Death Runes. The major reason to use Blood Strike in both trees right now is to create Death Runes so you can use higher damage abilities on your next refresh cycle. If Blood Strike becomes the higher damage ability, it's not worth it to use the Death Runes on something else. There's a off-chance, I suppose, that you might want the Death Runes handy for an emergency use of Ghoul Frenzy, in theory, but that chance is so slim that no-one's going to want to waste the talent points in Reaping, at the very least.

Continue reading Lichborne: The Future of Death Runes in Patch 3.2

Lichborne: The Future of Death Runes in Patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Take My Quest - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST


TaintedLore is back with a new video titled Take My Quest. This video was created by ViKarious Productions. (That's not a typo -- the "K" is capital in their name.) Of course, the singing itself is by Sharm. I think I may need to brush up on my pop music, because I couldn't be sure whether the song is a parody, or a completely original work.

At any rate, the video work in this piece is pretty good. It's got a good variety of action and models, all which come together in proper harmony with the song. I've not seen anything by ViKarious before, so this was a pretty good break onto the scene for them.

My only complaint, of course, is the return of Auto-Tune. I've always enjoy Sharm's singing, and think she could be fairly talented. Like I said when Why I Raid? was released, I guess auto-tune could be being used for artistic reasons, but it's just not necessary. The voice work is great without it.

Edit: There's a rumor this may be a parody of the Destiny's Child song, Say My Name.


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: Take My Quest originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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European weekly maintenance: 8th July 2009 - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 11:30:00 EST


"Cower in fear, puny mortals! Maintenance time is upon you!"

Maintenance time ho! Yes Europe, it's nearly the middle of the week again. I'm honestly not sure how that happened but once more unto the breach. Unfortunately the downtime is a little longer than normal this week, hence poor Serisa quaking in fear in the picture above. Blizzard has announced that all European realms will be offline from 3:00am until 1:00pm (CEST) tomorrow.

So, that makes a good few hours in which to kick your heels. Kind of annoying but it's a necessary evil. Once more coming to our rescue, Daniel W. has got a nice round up with a heavy focus on the cataclysmic news from last week. Cataclysmic, get it? Anyway, last week was quite news intensive and if you start to get withdrawal, what about hitting the PTR for a bit and trying out all the juicy Patch 3.2 goodness.

European weekly maintenance: 8th July 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The sin of Tab targeting - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST
I'm not a keyboard turner -- my steady diet of FPS games growing up made sure of that. And while I do occasionally point-and-click abilities, for the most part, I do use hotkeys. But, just like Tank Like a Girl, there is one control-scheme sin that I'm definitely guilty of: I am definitely a Tab-targeter. I guess the issue is that sometimes you do have to use Tab to choose your different targets -- sometimes, you can't quite click on the thing you need to target, so instead you hit Tab to flip through all the available targets until you get to the one you need. But that's a no-no. Flipping through the targets takes more time than you should (if you happen to miss your target, you need to flip through all of them yet again), and, as I know from personal experience, Tab targeting often ends you up on the wrong target. Not that CC is so much of an issue anymore, but let me tell you: the first time you happen to pull that one dragon your group has cast sleep on, it'll be embarassing.

So how to get it right? TLaG suggests this post from TankingTips, which hints at using the mouse instead of the keyboard to target (you can choose friendly targets easier that way), but doesn't offer any real suggestions of how to make the switch. Moving the camera back is one, getting your positioning right is probably another. And learning to use focus and macro targets is probably the best tip you can have: anything that's more specific or direct than either Tab or click targeting is probably better. Addons like Promixo will help in the Arenas as well.

No one's perfect, and no one way to do things is perfect either -- depending on your situation, Tab targeting might be better. But it's important to have as many tools as possible, so if you, like me, find yourself depending on the Tab key more often than not, it might be time to mix up your toolbag a bit.

The sin of Tab targeting originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Overkill - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


The Westfall Brigade might need more constructive ways to occupy their time. When Jaeren of <I Shoulda Been Horde> on Rexxar pulled Vengeful Bambina over to their camp, the Brigade went to town on the poor deer, who just stood there while the guards hacked away in a futile effort to kill the immortal fawn. See, the Horde doesn't have these kinds of problems. At least, not since the Royal Apothecary Society deployed their Chronic Wasting Disease catapults.

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: Overkill originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Being a WoW fan doesn't mean you're an MMO fan
Syncaine posted an interesting article on his blog discussing why he thinks there hasn't been much uptake in the majority of MMOs released since World of Warcraft. Basically, he believes that just because you enjoy playing WoW, it doesn't mean you'll enjoy other MMOs.
EverQuest's 51/50 server "Mayong" is live
Earlier in the week, EverQuest's new 51/50 server "Mayong" went live. Pretty much anyone that played EQ around launch will recognize the name as that of the infamous vampire Mayong Mistmoore, a character that was sometimes played by GMs and devs for live events way back in the day. For those not familiar with the special rules of this server type, it's fairly simple: 51 is your starting level, and 50 is the number of AAs you automatically receive upon making a character.
Redefining MMOs: Terminology
As we look back at the past several years of the MMO scene, we see a genre that has gone through significant evolutionary leaps. With those pioneering days of text MUDs and blocky graphics behind us, today we enjoy professionally developed games with impressive development teams and massive budgets behind them. The genre's depths have been thoroughly explored and we've even categorised the features we've come to love and expect from our favourite online retreats. Every part of the genre, from the types of gameplay available to the terminology we use, has been routinely evolving and redefining itself over time.
Massively's DDO Unlimited developer tour
Love can sometimes be a fickle thing, but I'm pretty sure that I love what Turbine has done with the DDO Store in Dungeons and Dragons Online Unlimited. I'll admit that initially I was a little concerned with the concept of an in-game store, but after playing with it at bit and asking some questions my fears have pretty much melted away.

Continue reading MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Do you wish we didn't have to use AddOns? - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST


AddOns are great. We all use them and they enhance game play. Indeed as we've seen from sites like Curse there's a thriving trade. The thing is a lot of newer MMOs, most notably Aion, have everything that AddOns provide and a bit more built in. While Blizzard is starting to cotton on with the introduction of their own threat meter and quest tracker, there's still a long way to go. Perhaps the most notable change in this direction is the promise of a somewhat basic quest helper in 3.2. Now I've been using the actual QuestHelper for quite a long time (indeed it's one of my essential AddOns) and from what I've seen of Blizzard's version, they have a long way to go.

But, it's a start. In the past year Blizzard seem to have finally realised that their player base like the perks of AddOns and the way they enhance the game, but not the frequent updating which is required with every major patch. So readers, what are your thoughts on the whole Blizzard/AddOn thing? Do you think they are just taking the best ideas and adapting the most popular AddOns into their own versions? Do you prefer using AddOns like Omen and QuestHelper? Do you see yourself using them for a long time yet? What would you like to see AddOn-esque feature would you like Blizzard to implement next?

Breakfast Topic: Do you wish we didn't have to use AddOns? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday Morning Post: Cataclysmic Edition - Tue, 07 Jul 2009 07:00:00 EST
It's time once again for weekly maintenance, and not only do we have the standard 5 AM - 11 AM Pacific downtime for most US servers, there's also a handful that are down from midnight to noon today. With all that extra time on your hands, you'll have time once again to read up on WoW news.

The big news, of course, is the Cataclysm. Blizzard went on a trademark registering spree around this word, which has everyone abuzz with speculation. Are we seeing the name of the new, maelstrom-related expansion? Or is this another secret project, perhaps even that new top secret MMO? Only time will tell, but it's fun to guess anyway. Once you're done being all atwitter over that little bit of gossip, here's some more stuff to read until your server comes up:

Continue reading Tuesday Morning Post: Cataclysmic Edition

Tuesday Morning Post: Cataclysmic Edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The (lack of) reality in the Caverns of Time - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 21:00:00 EST
I've always considered the Caverns of Time to be like the theme park of Azeroth -- as we've discussed before, there aren't really any reasons to go to some of those instances in the first place, and the whole thing seems just so ludicrous. If we wipe, or we don't go in there, and Thrall isn't able to escape Durnholde or Arthas isn't able to murder Stratholme or any of the other premises they have set up, then wouldn't the world as we know it change? It seems like fan service -- Blizzard wants us to visit these great parts of lore, and it just seems to me like they've cooked up a weak story around getting us there.

Which is why I was surprised to read this post over on Mystic Chicanery. They argue that the Caverns of Time are actually the most "real" of all the instances in the game. If we go into Utgarde Pinnacle, for example, and murder King Ymiron, there's no reason why he should be in there again the next time we head in. And yet he is -- we can go in and murder him time and time again, doing the same thing, and getting loot every single time. But in CoT, there's a logical explanation for why the instances are always the same: to the people we're encountering in the instances, it's the first time we've met them. From the outside world, the CoT instances may seem strange (the first time I was in Durnholde, we wiped with Thrall, and I jokingly checked with my guild to see if Thrall was still standing in Orgrimmar, alive and well -- he was), but inside the continuity of those instances, they work.

Of course, we do still get different loot from it every time, as the MC post notices. But it is quite a thought: even though the Caverns of Time instances are the ones in the game that seem to least need us messing around in there, they also might just be the most logical.

The (lack of) reality in the Caverns of Time originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tom Chilton talks about 3.2 and the future of World of Warcraft - Mon, 06 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST
Videogamer.com has a nice long interview with World of Warcraft Producer Tom Chilton about everything from patch 3.2 and the Argent Tournament to the future of the game at large. They caught up with him at the Warcraft Regional Finals 2009 tournament in Germany this past week, and in part one, he talks about the upcoming patch and what Blizzard is expecting to get out of it. He says the Isle of Conquest battleground is their most "epic-feeling" instanced PvP setting since Alterac Valley, and that they want it to feel nuts, with players fighting each other via air and land. He also mentions Arena, and says that it was originally designed to be "a fun side PvP activity" that they went a little overboard with during Burning Crusade. Finally, he talks about twinks, and says that neither Blizzard nor twinks, apparently, want to see other players crushed by those who have the time or money to max out their low level characters. Even twinks, says Chilton, want to see competition against each other, and the option to turn XP off will let them do that. I'm not sure I agree with that last one -- many twinks seem to beef their characters up just for the chance to lay waste to "normal" players, but Chilton says Blizzard believes otherwise.

The second part of the interview is more general -- he talks a little bit about the next expansion (with the same speculation we've already heard: Gilneas, the Maelstrom, the Emerald Dream), and says that designing a race is tougher on artists, but designing a class is tougher on designers. He admits that because we had a new class in Wrath, it's unlikely we'll see another class so soon in the next expansion, but "not impossible" of course. And he does note that Blizzard tries to "pre-seed" the races before they use them as playable races, so if they are adding in races, chances are we've already seen them (which, you may note, wasn't strictly true with the Draenei in BC). Finally, he talks about the future of Blizzard's MMO in general, and says it's still wide open to them: they plan for the game to last for years, and what they do between now and then, whether that be more expansions, microtransactions, or even a free-to-play model, will have to depend on what they want to do at the time.

Very interesting interview. Chilton doesn't really reveal anything, but you do get the sense that save for a very skeleton plan of one or two years in the future, Blizzard is really playing it fast and loose with World of Warcraft. Even he admits that the game may look very different, depending on how things go, in another four years from now.

Tom Chilton talks about 3.2 and the future of World of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 06 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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