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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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Two players take on Karazhan - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 20:00:00 EST


Two players with five characters each, that is! Suvega, the man who brought us quite a nice DKP system a while back, appears to be running out of challenges, so he and his girlfriend decided to see if they could multibox their way through Karazhan. So far, they've beaten Attumen, Moroes, the Maiden, and the Wizard of Oz Opera event, which is pretty darn impressive if you ask me. Check out a trailer above (or in higher quality at Stage6), follow their progress on their blog, or check this thread for pictures of their hardware setups (drool-worthy, if you ask me). Their class breakdown: Suvega controlled a Holy priest, a Prot warrior, and three Fire/Arc mages, while Vyndree helmed a Resto shaman, a Prot pally, and three Elemental shamans. What do you all think of this accomplishment?

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PTR up "soon," WSG changes coming - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 19:19:00 EST
Maybe you thought because it was Friday night that you could avoid new WoW news? Think again-- Tigole has posted on the forums that the PTR is coming up "soon," and the PTR forums have been reset in anticipation (unfortunately the forums have gone down due to all the chaos). We're not expecting the patch until Tuesday, so throwing it up tonight would be a very Blizzard thing for Blizzard to do. As Eliah said before, too, character transfers are up and running, so all signs point to Blizzard springing this on us very soon.

Tigole also says to watch WSG when the PTR comes back up, as there will be lots of changes. Their goal is to keep the gameplay similar, he says, while ending the turtling and flag kiting. Should be interesting. We're around this evening and will keep you updated if we see any notes.

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Insider Trader: In stitches over BoP tailoring - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 19:00:00 EST
Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

If you're a clothie, you've probably already figured out that you are going to need to take up tailoring at some point, if you're really serious about your gear. In fact, many players would argue that tailoring is mandatory for the serious cloth caster. There's no denying that the BoP tailored sets - Frozen Shadoweave, Primal Mooncloth and Spellfire - are some of the best items you can get ... And of course, since they are BoP, you must be a tailor who is specialized in that cloth type in order to use them.

Despite knowing all of this, I persisted in taking up herbalism and alchemy on my new shadowpriest recently, figuring I could always drop one or the other and powerlevel tailoring later ... Only it's later already, and I know I need to start the inevitable process
of slogging through my four-day cooldowns if I want to get my Frozen Shadoweave any time soon. (Actually, I'm trying to decide whether or not to rely on PvP gear for DPS and make the Primal Mooncloth set for my healing moments, or if I should go right for the Frozen Shadoweave - but that's a topic for a different column ... or the comments section!)

So if you, too, foresee a BoP tailored set in your future but aren't yet a skilled tailor, join me after the break for a tour through the top 1-300 guides and more tips for the final stretch from 300 to 375.

Continue reading Insider Trader: In stitches over BoP tailoring

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A closer look at the WoW miniatures - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 18:20:00 EST
Are you looking around your WoWspace and thinking, "gee, I could really use more World of Warcraft action figures" then you may just be in luck. As we announced recently, coming this fall, from Upper Deck Entertainment, is the World of Warcraft Miniatures Game.

You will be able to acquire miniatures that will serve as both game pieces and collectibles, as each one "will be mounted on a uniquely engineered removable base". Each miniature will reportedly be a highly detailed 3-D rendering of characters in the game, including not only each race and class, but bigwigs like Thrall and, evidently, Leeroy Jenkins, who has already appeared in the Trading Card Game.

Your minis will face their opponents in head-on battles as well as raid and dungeon scenarios, which can include player co-operation, much like in-game.

These little guys and gals even have their own site, over at WoWMinis.com. Let's take a sneak peak, shall we?

Continue reading A closer look at the WoW miniatures

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WoW in the Guinness Book of World Records - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 18:00:00 EST
I'd like to propose a toast to WoW for setting a new world record. Yahoo News Canada has announced the first Gamer's Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records is due out on March 11, 2008. World of Warcraft's distinction? The world's largest virtual beerfest.

Brewfest, in honor of Oktoberfest, is probably one of the most fun seasonal events in game. This event features festive food and beverages, along with fabulous rewards for participation. Every autumn, characters gather together from all over Azeroth to stoutly defend their treasured kegs from Dark Iron Dwarves. According to an informal Breakfast Topic poll, the most coveted prize for this event is the legendary (or at least epic) Brewfest Ram.

Since WoW is hands down the most popular MMORPG on the planet it will like pop up all over the the Gamers Guiness Book of World Records. For now, here's to Brewfest!

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PTR copy enabled, Rocket Boots changed - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 17:08:00 EST
Update: Tigole is now saying 2.4 will be on the PTR "very soon."

MMO-Champion reports that yesterday the PTR Character Copy functionality was switched on, potentially implying that a patch 2.4 PTR is imminent. Or it could be nothing. Either way, might as well copy a toon or two over: US link, EU link. I got a "server busy" error, but hopefully that'll go away sooner or later. This is the same patch that Blizzard hoped was going to get to PTR by the end of 2007, though, so I wouldn't necessarily hold your breath.

One more piece of 2.4 news: Rocket Boots Extreme are having their stamina bonus removed, which will make them somewhat less valuable in PvP. Also, a new cloth version called Xtreme Light Rocket Boots (?) will appear with the following stats:
Bind on Equip
Cloth - 196 Armor
Engineering (330) required
Equip: increases damage and healing by up to 35
Use: Engage the rocket boots to greatly increase your speed. You probably won't be still standing when you get there though... (5 Min Cooldown)
Update 2: The boots will now also cause the wearer to drop a WSG, Zangarmarsh, or EotS flag, if they're holding one.

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Ready Check: Thou hath no raid spot - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 16:00:00 EST

Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Kara or BT, everyone can get in on the action and down them some bosses. Sometimes I forget that WoW is set in a Medieval time period, so here's a little of that flavor...

So it's about 5 minutes until raid invites shoot out to the masses. You're sitting there, stacks of flasks and food in-bag, durability at 100%, waiting by the meeting stone until you have raid buddies to summon. You worked all day yesterday to gather the enchanting mats for your new weapon and are itching to try it out on something more than dailies. You're amped. You're stoked. You're ready to roll.

The clock ticks to raid invite time. You wait for the invite window to pop up. The guildie next to you starts firing up a summoning portal. People start populating the area around you. Still nothing. Over your class channel, the call goes out to see if anyone needs anything from the first 3 bosses. Well, crap. You don't. Things aren't looking good, and your status is confirmed when the radi leader puts out the notice to whisper so-and-so to get on the standby list.

What did you do wrong? How can you ensure a raid spot in the future? You may not like the answers.

Continue reading Ready Check: Thou hath no raid spot

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Johnny and Rob of Unforgotten Realms on WoW Insider Show tomorrow - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 15:00:00 EST


I have to say, I am super excited about tomorrow's podcast (live on WoW Radio at 3:30pm EST), not only because Turpster is back from being away last week, and not only because our raid writer extraordinare Marcie Knox is going to be on, but also because we're going to have our first guests ever-- Johnny and Rob from Unforgotten Realms (and the Legendary Heroes podcast, that spawned this Legendary Sisters guild). And they're talented machinimakers, too-- Johnny made the great Unidentified, and Rob made one of my favorite machinima ever-- Jimmy, seen above. Can't wait to talk to both guys.

And they'll be on for the whole show, which means they'll be chatting with us about the most popular posts on WoW Insider last week-- Tigole told us about the Death Knight quests, Marcie will talk to us about how to get a guild past 5/6 and 3/4, and we'll talk about Curse's new database and how much it looks like another similar site.

So hit up WoW Radio tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm EST, and join us on IRC at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel. See you then-- should be fun.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: What's not broke - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 14:00:00 EST



The Care and Feeding of Warriors is our weekly foray into warriors. This week, we discuss good things about a class in World of Warcraft. I know, I was as shocked as you are, but it's apparently possible. Matthew Rossi seems to enjoy them a great deal.

I was planning to talk about Warrior DPS specs this week, but then I saw yesterday's moviewatch and started thinking about class balance. Specifically, warriors and how they balance against other classes. The issues mentioned there... static threat vs rising DPS, shout duration, better tanking gear actually hurting your threat generation....pretty much work for me as issues. It would be nice if those got fixed. There are a few others that bug me, but watching the various lists of class woes made me realize that, basically, I love my warriors.

What's so great about a warrior? Is it the thematic unity of a class that's all about the heavy armor and weapons, that doesn't use mana at all, that wades into the thick of combat and turns loose untrammeled martial expertise and inner fury? Is it the thrill of a 1k shield slam crit turning a mob back to face you? Is it managing to get that last big MS hit off on a warlock to drop him before dying yourself, knowing that you're not playing an escape class? When warriors use our fear we're doing it to buy a few more seconds to kill someone, not to run away. Warriors don't run away. We'll take the beating and come back for more. Is that what's so great about us?

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: What's not broke

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Blood Sport: Predictions for the Year of the Rat - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 13:00:00 EST
Every week, V'Ming - who thinks that gnome warlocks are travesties of nature and need to be KOSed - shares thoughts and ideas on becoming deadlier at the Arenas. He also dabbles in the dark arts in Blood Pact.

The year of the Rat is upon us and while this column usually relies on cold hard numbers and shies away from wild speculation and baseless assertions, I shall indulge my Lunar New Year festive mood to venture into some strictly amateur crystal ball gazing for the classes. As with any prediction - astrology, fortune cookies or otherwise - read this with a large pinch of deeprock salt, and understand that a positive attitude is always a good way to overcome defeats and disappointments.

This year is the beginning of a new 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac and is a better year than the last. However, many changes are still afoot, especially with Wrath of the Lich King on the horizon. The Rat's resourcefulness and enterprising nature gives rise to many opportunities along the way, and you'll have to be as nimble and smart as the Rat to take full advantage of them. Mobility and haste ratings become differentiating factors in winning Arena matches, as Resilience becomes increasingly ubiquitous, as more and more players get their Arena gear.

Unfortunately, the Rat's intelligence has a dark side and manipulating the system for individual gain is certainly not above the Rat. Good examples are players selling entire Arena teams and other manipulation of the ladder system. There will also be more betrayals and confrontations - also known as drama, whether at the guild or Arena team level - as people grow increasingly restless during this period leading up to the expansion.

Let's look at what the year of the Rat means for the various classes in the Arenas, in no particular order.

Continue reading Blood Sport: Predictions for the Year of the Rat

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WoW Moviewatch: Olibith gets old - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 12:00:00 EST

Machinimators have quickly learned that if they want special 3D animations or sets done, Pinkhair is the man for the job. Previously known for his Warcraftmovies Christmas Spirit Contest entry that narrowly missed being in the top three, he has helped artists such as BaronSoosdon and Ian Beckman in his spare time.

In honor of Olibith receiving double platinum on WCM for "I'm only sleeping", Pinkhair finished a timelapse of the saucy filmmaker using Lightwave. He has stated that if there is interest in learning how to do it, he may post a tutorial. If you would like to see a tutorial, join #machinima on Quakenet IRC and let him know!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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The AV map imbalance in patch 2.3: a different perspective - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 11:00:00 EST


David Bowers wrote an excellent, thoroughly analyzed article about the map imbalance in Alterac Valley. His point is relatively simple: under the new Reinforcement mechanics, the map favors the Horde. He posits that, should the Horde play their best game, the Alliance will not be able to win in Alterac Valley. In fact, according to reports, Alliance in some Battlegroups have boycotted AV altogether. When I first read David's article -- a great read I highly recommend to anyone, by the way -- my initial response was a slight befuddlement. You see, in my Battlegroup, the Alliance win their fair share of Alterac Valley.

In fact, if we go over to Warcraft Realms, we'll see that the Alliance win quite a good number of AV games, too. Furthermore, in some Battlegroups, they completely dominate Alterac Valley. Maybe the Horde of those Battlegroups should read David's article. In it, David outlines how the new Reinforcement mechanic favors the Horde because the map design allows Horde players to reach Stonehearth Bunker, a key objective that awards +63 Honor when burned and eliminates 75 Reinforcements, before the Alliance can reach Iceblood Tower. The new Reinforcement mechanic also makes Iceblood Graveyard a critical defensive bastion that, if defended fully, supposedly prevents the Alliance from getting any Honor from Alterac Valley.

Continue reading The AV map imbalance in patch 2.3: a different perspective

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Around Azeroth: Manaforge kaleidoscope - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 10:00:00 EST


Last year we profiled what the inside of a manaforge in Netherstorm looked like. Reader Hellghast, Horde player of Kagarth, got higher up, right into the funnel of energies being collected by Manaforge Ara. And he brought back this shot that reminds us of the raw power of these strange structures currently under the control of the Blood Elves loyal to Kael'thas Sunstrider. Who knows what purpose they serve harvesting the Twisting Nether?

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime.

Gallery: Around Azeroth

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Drysc weighs in on questing - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 09:00:00 EST
Player Tychlona of Kul Tiras made a fair point in a forum post when she noted that it sometimes gets a little annoying doing "collection" quests where it seems to take hours to collect what you need, Be it Gray Bear Tongues or Helboar Meat. I'd say that most of us can likely feel her pain on that measure. Drysc answered her later in the thread with some of his own insight into the process of questing and dealing with various types of quests. His point that sometimes seeing that "5/30 Windroc" notice in your quest log can make a quest feel like a bit of grind is very understandable, but I have to counter that seeing that "8/10 Monstrous Crawler Leg" in your quest log and knowing you've already killed 30 mobs without those last 2 legs appearing can feel just as grinding.

He says a few more interesting things that may shine some light on Blizzard's questing philosophy, which I'll discuss after the jump.

Continue reading Drysc weighs in on questing

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Breakfast topic: How young is too young for World of Warcraft? - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 08:00:00 EST

Does it take a certain level of maturity to play World of Warcraft? In the past we have asked for opinions on how comfortable people are gaming with players of all ages. The general consensus seemed to be that behavior is more important than numerical age.

Surely there is value in gaming for young people. Although a full-grown adult when I started playing World of Warcraft, games have always been a passion of mine. They have fostered creativity and logic. Recently our Lisa Poisso featured a guild for Unschoolers, who use WoW as a tool for self-guided education. When appropriately supervised and balanced, the game can be a fun, family activity.

Continue reading Breakfast topic: How young is too young for World of Warcraft?

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Blizzard says "WTB Fiction Writers" - Thu, 07 Feb 2008 21:00:00 EST
We like to keep you updated on the opportunities to make some money off of all that WoW experience you have, so when we saw an announcement on the Blizzard job postings site that they're looking for fiction writers, we had to let you know. Not too often do people get a chance to write for their favorite game making company. The announcement says that if you get this job, you'll be working with their intellectual property (read: writing cool stories about all your favorite Blizzard characters), do lots of creative writing, and work on story development.

And what sets this announcement apart are two little gems from the "Pluses" category of the announcement: "Experience creating and running pen and paper RPG campaigns and/or live-action RPGs" and "Experience in playing massively multiplayer online role-playing games, especially World of Warcraft."

So get out your 10 sided die and roll a 9 or above to work for Blizzard. Well, that and a bit of those uber-writing skillz. And who knows? Maybe one day you'll be writing a story about the Rise of the Lich King.

Good luck!

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Mike Morhaime speaks at D.I.C.E. 08 - Thu, 07 Feb 2008 19:30:00 EST
The D.I.C.E. Summit's official site describes the event, currently taking place in Las Vegas, as a meeting of "the video game industry's most influential leaders," so of course you know Blizzard's there. Gamesindustry.biz's coverage of Mike Morhaime's presentation today doesn't reveal anything too earth-shattering about the company or the World of Warcraft. It's about the same thing we've heard from him in the past, but hey, if the presentation isn't broke, don't fix it, right?

It's still good to hear that Blizzard's on the right track, of course, and it's actually amazing that even with Mike Morhaime about to get his eighth boss, Blizzard's stayed pretty consistent on quality and dependability, as almost anyone who's had to switch bosses can tell you. But it looks like that, even with the Activision merger, we can expect the same tradition of long development cycles leading to quality games, which is, if familiar news, also comforting news.

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WTS: 5v5, decent rating, misspelled name - Thu, 07 Feb 2008 18:50:00 EST

Since the inception of the arena system in WoW, players have been very creative in finding ways to boost their ratings. First it was a matter of highly-ranked teams selling slots to less skilled players. Lately the subject of trading wins and losses has been the buzz. Blizzard has taken the steps that they feel necessary, such as instituting the personal rating system, to combat the issue.

In a thread entitled "Selling arena teams ok/not ok?" Legolawls reiterated the subject of team leaders selling off points, and blue posts condoned the behavior. That player feels that selling violates the spirit of the game. This elicited a responses from both Crepe and Turtle (via Auryk) saying that there are currently no rules preventing the sale of an Arena team. Interestingly they even hinted that entire team sales are acceptable. As long as the transaction occurs only in-game it is considered to be a legitimate service. Team captains are free to sell slots or even their entire teams as they see fit. If the team were being sold outside of game, for a real cash sum, the matter would be different.

Continue reading WTS: 5v5, decent rating, misspelled name

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World of WarCrafts: Buzzard Bite Wraps - Thu, 07 Feb 2008 17:00:00 EST
Every Wednesday Thursday Maureen Carter brings you World of WarCrafts, which features a recipe or craft that teaches you how to make your own real life version of in-game recipes and items.

Hi again sorry I'm a day late on this, I promise not to make it a habit. For today's recipe I am using a bit of creativity and taking the in game recipe a little farther. I am making Buzzard Bite Wraps. For starters lets make the Buzzard Bites and then make them into the wrap.

The in game recipe simply calls for Buzzard Meat. To me that didn't seem quite interesting enough. As you know I am more than willing to jazz up a recipe before I present it to you, so let's begin.

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: Buzzard Bite Wraps

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New WotLK bestiary entry and screenshots posted - Thu, 07 Feb 2008 16:30:00 EST
More expansion news today as Blizzard has just posted a new bestiary entry and a set of screen shots to the official WotLK site. The new monster is a strange creature called the "Shovel Tusk," which the page describes as a territorial and cantankerous moose-like beast. The concept art looks a bit like some mad scientist tried to splice together a moose, a ram, and an elephant. We've seen these before at Blizzcon, where they appeared in Howling Fjord in a fashion similar to the Clefthoof packs near Oshu'gun in Nagrand, with one hostile "leader of the pack" leading a group of neutrals. Mike Schramm's speculation was that they might be a Clefthoof-like Beast of Burden for the Tuskarr, which seems to have been proven wrong for now. I'm actually thinking that this would make a pretty awesome quest or faction mount, sort of like the Talbuk, that other species over in Nagrand.

In addition, they've added some new screenshots as well, something I always love seeing, since I've been impressed with their clarity and detail. I can only hope my system can display those graphics half as well when the game (or beta!) makes it into my hot little hands. The screenshots on the bestiary page are primarily the Shovel Tusk in its natural habitat, though there's a ruined tower in the background of one shot that looks vaguely Elven, and in another, one of the possibly Vrykul-related Dragon heads of the Howling Fjord, and further in the background, a mining rig and a settlement. Over on the screenshots page, I can't help but notice that the first posted screen shot looks to be some sort of a fort fronted by flags with a dragon's head coat of arms. We already know we'll be dealing with the Red and Blue dragonflights and the Proto-dragons of the Vrykul, so that flag could point to a lot of lore possibilities as well.

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