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WoW Moviewatch: If WoW Was Easy... er - Wed, 08 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

Today on WoW Moviewatch, Wowcrendor presents us with a simple question: how easy do you think World of Warcraft could become? The context for this question obviously being that players are constantly complaining how easy the game has become over the years. Thoughts, anyone? Rants? Well-argued essays?

Anyway, to answer the question, Wowcrendor employs his usual style wherein which Billy presents the question and Crendor responds with several, increasingly absurd answers. I won't spoil any of the jokes (though I really want that robot) so just give it a watch.

I have to admit, it really is astonishing that Billy has retained his innocence and naivety over the years. You'd think after being slapped around by the harshness of reality so many times he'd have become jaded by now. But I guess he really is resilient ... Or maybe just extremely oblivious. Either way, props to you Billy. I wish I had your tenacity.
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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: If WoW Was Easy... er originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The WoW Insider Show Episode 293 - Wed, 08 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Every week, join us as we present you with The WoW Insider Show podcast -- an hour's worth of WoW community discussion covering everything from the week's top stories here on WoW Insider to emails from our readers and what's been going on with our particular characters in Azeroth.

Want to have your question answered on the air? Email theshow@wowinsider.com!

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:


The WoW Insider Show Episode 293 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft loses 1.3M subscribers since February, down to 8.3M - Wed, 08 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

Today's Activision-Blizzard financial reports states World of Warcraft took a subscriber hit this quarter, losing 1.3 million players since February.

The loss brings the total number of WoW players down to 8.3 million, its lowest level since the launch of the Burning Crusade expansion in 2007. Subscriber levels have fallen by about a third since WoW's post-Cataclysm peak of 12 million subscribers. The loss is hardly unusual -- you have to remember that WoW is a 9-year-old game, and we're at a pretty uninteresting time in the expansion cycle.

Have we mentioned yet that we're really excited to see if Blizzard is announcing a new MMO at BlizzCon?

World of Warcraft loses 1.3M subscribers since February, down to 8.3M originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard's guide to preparing for Patch 5.3: Escalation - Wed, 08 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

The countdown to patch 5.3 is well and truly upon us, as Blizzard Community Manager Daxxarri posted a detailed blog on how to ready your account and gird your loins for the upcoming conflict. As ever, you can see the full post after the break.

There's a reduction in XP to get from 85-90, first and foremost, and Daxxarri actually posts that you should dust off your alts! Next up on the list is clarification of Item Upgrades. The voidbinders have returned from their vacation in, well, the void most likely, and are back to upgrade your items. PvPers can only upgrade season 12 items, at the same cost as before, 750 Conquest for upgrades of four item levels, and (most likely, although the blog says different) 1500 honor points for an upgrade of eight item levels. PvE gear can be upgraded in the usual manner, at the massively reduced cost of 250 Valor Points to upgrade per 4 Item Levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 Item Levels per item. This also applies retroactively to all items that can be upgraded using Valor, and the exact same numbers apply to Justice gear.

Blizzard is also adding more ways to get your hands on Lesser Charms with patch 5.3, they will drop from outdoor world creatures level 90 and above, as well as from rare spawns in Pandaria. There are also a ton of PvP changes, which we've covered at length, and some other useful tidbits. One thing which isn't discussed is currency conversion, but it seems likely, though not absolutely certain, that no conversion will take place. The PvP season is still ongoing, and there is no new raid tier. Hit the break for Daxxarri's full post.

Continue reading Blizzard's guide to preparing for Patch 5.3: Escalation

Blizzard's guide to preparing for Patch 5.3: Escalation originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson to appear at LitFest Pasadena - Wed, 08 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

LitFest Pasadena, taking place this coming Saturday, May 11, at Pasadena's Central Park will play host to Blizzard Entertainment's Lead Story Developer, Micky Neilson. Micky has worked not only on World of Warcraft, but also on Starcraft, Warcraft III and Lost Vikings II, since he started working at Blizzard in 1993. Not only that, but he also writes screenplays, and comic books, including World of Warcraft: Ashbringer.

Micky will be part of a panel, discussing "SciFi & Fantasy Bridging Genres: The Novel, Short Story, & Graphic Novel" between 2.30pm and 3.20pm on the Harriet Doerr Stage. He will be joined by John Joseph Adams (The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination), Amber Benson (The Golden Age of Death) and Robin Winter (Future Past), as well as moderator Tim Beedle (editor, Dark Crystal Graphic Novel) to wax lyrical on the topic of working across genres in science fiction and fantasy. It seems that there will also be book signings after the panel, so if you're keen to meet one of the leading creative minds behind Blizzard's story, head on over.

The festival is free to enter, and runs from 10am to 5pm. More details can be found on the festival itself and the many other panels available on the festival website.

Blizzard Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson to appear at LitFest Pasadena originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Music is distracting - Wed, 08 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Sarah Pine (@ilaniel) will be your host today.

Thanks to tumblr for introducing me to the Armenian pop singer Sirusho. I can't get this song out of my head, despite not understanding a word of it. This video in particular has been praised for featuring some wonderful Armenian design, and it's easy to see why!

Ron2 asked:

What's your favorite class and/or race for a gathering alt? Horde or Alliance, Mining, Herbing, and/or Skinning, I leave that up to you.

Continue reading The Queue: Music is distracting

The Queue: Music is distracting originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW - Wed, 08 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

World of Warcraft sometimes gets panned for its graphics, which have never been on the bleeding edge of virtual reality. This, however, was a deliberate choice on Blizzard's part, and I think it's a good one. It allows for people who are behind the hardware curve (such as myself) to enjoy the game, and the graphics' intentional cartoonishness holds up better over time than hyper-realistic renderings, which often seem horribly dated within months. More importantly, WoW's beauty hasn't suffered for it. Azeroth is stunning.

I've compiled a list of the ten spots I personally find to be most beautiful, and by spots, I truly mean spots, not entire zones. I expect many of you will have wildly differing opinions, and I look forward to reading about them. The ten locations are listed in alphabetical order by zone; there's no way I could actually order them - I would never be able to decide!

Continue reading The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW

The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: Karazhan and why we went there - Wed, 08 May 2013 12:00:00 EST


The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

So the other day on Twitter someone asked me "Why were we in Karazhan, anyway" and since it's a question I've been asked before, I thought I'd address it. The primary reason we went to Karazhan was to kill a whole lot of guilds that were trying to transition to 25 man raiding from the 40 man of Classic by forcing them to run a 10 man instance and two 25 man instances at the same time. Ha. I kid, because I'm still bitter.

The question can actually be answered in several ways. We went to Karazhan because the Kirin Tor were investigating the tower and asked Khadgar for help. They had noticed that, decades after Medivh's death, some new malevolent force was infesting the tower (and since it sits on a ley line nexus, that concerned them) and as we investigated we discover the horrible truth. The Burning Legion has infested Karazhan and seeks control over the powerful arcane secrets held within, and they must be stopped.

But why did Prince Malchezaar lead his Legion forces to Karazhan in the first place? Well, for that, we have to talk about Medivh.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: Karazhan and why we went there

Know Your Lore: Karazhan and why we went there originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Diablo 3 bug sees trillions in gold duping, auction houses shutdown - Wed, 08 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Sure, we all like gold. But even the most gold hungry among us can see the problem with a bug that allowed players to accumulate trillions of in-game currency, which is exactly what happened with Diablo III's patch 1.0.8. As a result, the game's Auction House was taken down, and Blizzard is still debating what actions to take to correct the issue, but Lylirra posts on the official forums that roll backs won't be necessary.

Lylirra - Auction Houses Temporarily Offline -- Update
12:00 a.m. PDT: At this time (and after careful consideration), we've decided to not move forward with rolling back the servers. We feel that this is the best course of action given the nature of the dupe, how relatively few players used it, and the fact that its effects were fairly limited within the region. We've been able to successfully identify players who duplicated gold by using this specific bug, and are focusing on these accounts to make corrections. While this is a time-consuming and very detailed process, we believe it's the most appropriate choice given the circumstances. We know that some of you may disagree, but we feel that performing a full roll back would impact the community in an even greater way, as it would require significant downtime as well as revert the progress legitimate players have made since patch 1.0.8 was released this morning.

I know it would be a pretty big blow to lose character levels or gear acquired legitimately, so if they can go after the actual accounts that used the exploit and remove just their duplicated gold, that seems like the best option to me.

Diablo 3 bug sees trillions in gold duping, auction houses shutdown originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: More enlightened than thou - Wed, 08 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Sure, both of these panda cubs are cute, but only one is so cute that it transcends the very bonds of gravity and gives off an unearthly aura of peace and harmony. But which transmogrified member of Akamizu on Al'Akir (EU-H) is the enlightened one? Druid Gonk or rogue Samíe? I vote for the latter; there's nothing more adorable than a female pandaren. She's probably happily recalling her childhood (cubhood?)

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: More enlightened than thou originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Why mobility doesn't matter - Wed, 08 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Brian Holinka, who is quickly becoming the most frequent tweeter on the dev team, recently talked about Shadowstep and rogue mobility in a series of tweets. Mobility is one of those things that gets trotted out every time a melee class starts talking about PvP balance. One melee class has a teleport, another has a snare break, yet another has a speed boost -- no two melee classes are equal. I'm sure we all remember ret paladins complaining about their lack of a "gap closer." The problem with mobility is that mobility doesn't matter. Well, not really.

What really matters to a melee class is uptime. Our goal isn't to have 100% mobility, it's to have 100% uptime. We want to be attacking our target as often as possible, and that usually requires being in melee range. Looking at mobility in a vacuum is missing the forest for the trees. Mobility is just one of the tools that we use to achieve a high melee uptime. All of our other abilities, like CCs, stuns, and slows are critical components to maximizing our uptime. Shuriken Toss is the exact opposite of mobility, but its strength comes from increasing our uptime despite being out of melee range.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Why mobility doesn't matter

Encrypted Text: Why mobility doesn't matter originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: How do you deal with burnout? - Wed, 08 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

If you've been playing World of Warcraft since launch, that's 8 years of your life you've spent in this crazy shared virtual world Blizzard has created. That's a long time to keep up with any hobby, much less a video game, and plenty of time to run into the dreaded burnout. Not that burnout is a bad thing: sometimes we all need a change of pace or a break to keep even our favorite things fun.

So how do you deal with WoW when it just stops being fun? Do you take a break with another game? Catch up with your favorite TV shows on Netflix? Venture out into the non-virtual world for non-virtual time with friends? Read a book? Knit a scarf? And, once you've had time to refresh and recharge, do you find your way back to Azeroth? Or wait for the next patch or expansion?

Breakfast Topic: How do you deal with burnout? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Community Blog Topic Results: WoW without guilds - Tue, 07 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

Last week, we tackled the topic of what World of Warcraft would be like without guilds. This was prompted by a comment by rayden54 suggesting that the community in general and PUGging in particular would be better without guilds, as they foster cliques as well as bad behavior toward non-guildmates.

My answer primarily dealt with the fact that guilds would happen regardless of whether Blizzard formally implemented guilds in the game, but that even without them, PUGs would be the same or worse since it's anonymity and lack of accountability that breeds bad behavior. Certainly there are guilds that have members who are rude outside of their guild, but all good guilds that I've belonged to have rules against giving the guild a bad name by being a funsucker. Guilds without those rules don't keep their non-funsuckers long.

Continue reading Community Blog Topic Results: WoW without guilds

Community Blog Topic Results: WoW without guilds originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR patch notes updated for May 7 - Tue, 07 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

The latest batch of patch 5.3 PTR patch notes have landed on the official Blizzard blog, containing various highlights, some of which have recently been covered here on WoW Insider. Let's take a look at our highlights, and you can check out all the patch note changes after the break.
  • The Strength of One's Foes: All bosses in Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of the Endless Spring now have a chance to drop either a Sigil of Power or Sigil of Wisdom
  • Minimum level requirement to enter and equip items found in the following dungeons via Dungeon Finder have been adjusted.
    • Gate of the Setting Sun is now available in Normal difficulty, and accessible to level 89 characters.
    • Grim Batol is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
    • Lost City of the Tol'vir is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
    • Magisters' Terrace is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.
    • The Mechanar is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.
  • PvP Power conversion ratio to obtain 1% damage at level 90 has been changed from 265 to 400.
  • To facilitate a more balanced team composition, players now need to select a role when queuing up for a Battleground or Rated Battleground.
  • Justice Heirloom vendors now have Heirloom shields in stock.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR patch notes updated for May 7

Patch 5.3 PTR patch notes updated for May 7 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What one thing should Blizzard implement to make WoW better? - Tue, 07 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

We happened upon a great thread today on Reddit, created by user Zimraphel, which asked other Reddit users to name features that would make the game better for them. I really liked this idea, and particularly some of the responses. Zimraphel placed no emphasis on realism in the suggestions, nor on the likelihood of their being implemented, so we will do the same here.

There were several answers that particularly piqued my interest, including one saying that Blizzard should implement a bulk server transfer at a reduced rate. Many players have several characters on a server, it's rare that, on your main server, you have only one character that you'd want to take with you if you transferred, and the $25 cost is considerable for what could be 11 characters. A bulk transfer service with a reduced cost would be a great idea. Another idea I really liked was the one to have the option to transfer your whole account to another region, such as switching it from the US to the EU.

And an option for tanks to disable auto-taunt from pets! What about you, what would you add to WoW? I'd love portals in other main cities, back to the Shrine or whichever city has all the portals in it. I want to hang out in Ironforge, but it's so much more inconvenient and I'm really rather lazy. Think outside the box, though, the world is your oyster!

What one thing should Blizzard implement to make WoW better? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reader UI of the Week: Remarkably minimal custom-made healing UI - Tue, 07 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

There are several kinds of UI. Lately on Reader UI of the Week, we've looked at several that do specific jobs, that are functional, even those that fulfil particular requirements for specialized players. This week's UI is, instead, one that is supremely focused on form. That is not to say, of course, that Kait neglects the functional elements of the design, indeed, he does an excellent job of integrating the elements he needs to perform his role, whilst still making a supremely pretty UI.

Unlike our usual submitters, Kait has sent us a video of his UI in action, which you can see on the header, and watch on his YouTube channel along with videos of his other UIs. Kait has also sent in three pictures, one solo healing, one raid healing, and one of the custom designed talent pane. Let's get into Kait's email.

Continue reading Reader UI of the Week: Remarkably minimal custom-made healing UI

Reader UI of the Week: Remarkably minimal custom-made healing UI originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Lore According to Ragnaros - Tue, 07 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

Did you ever think Ragnaros might not be such a bad guy, and that maybe he's just really, really misunderstood? Probably not, but you will after you watch the latest machinima from Slightly Impressive. In the video, Ragnaros explains what actually happened in Molten Core back during vanilla WoW. He also makes a fairly good point about how we shouldn't take crazy dreams too seriously. Sound advice, seeing as I once had a dream where the WoW Insider staff tried to recreate The Empire Strikes Back.

Anyway, I think this machinima shows off Griffter's strengths well. The setup and the script are genuinely funny and the voice actors execute it all perfectly. I'd actually really love to see this become a short series with a different boss each episode, provided Griff can keep the jokes fresh. Even if it stays a one-shot though, this is one of my favorites to date.
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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: Lore According to Ragnaros originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Restoration and the Throne of Thunder, Part 3 - Tue, 07 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and content creation at InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

With the Zandalari on the run, you've now moved on to trying to break into the inner reaches of the Thunder King himself. Well, rather, you would if he didn't blow up the bridge you were on and all of your flying mounts happened to go mysteriously missing. Instead, you get to play the part of Jack Burton while you crawl your way through the forgotten depths of the island to face your very own David Lo Pan.

Seriously though, the next leg of the journey through Throne of Thunder will have you playing adventurer under ground facing many of the things that go bump in the night. This is where all the failed experiments and the creatures long forgotten have taken up residence over the many years since their master and creator first ruled the land.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Restoration and the Throne of Thunder, Part 3

Totem Talk: Restoration and the Throne of Thunder, Part 3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Should you be playing a warlock? - Tue, 07 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

We've said before that there's a WoW class for every type of player and if you find yourself a bit drawn to the darker side of WoW, perhaps warlock is the one for you. Warlocks have a unique playstyle in the game: they're a bit like mages, in that they're cloth-wearing casters, and a bit like hunters, in that they rely on pets. And yet they don't play very much like either class, relying on DoT (damage over time) spells and channeled spells to do damage and restore their own health and mana.

So is it time to go over to the dark side and level a warlock? Let's look at what the class has to offer.

Just what is a warlock?
As mages are master of the arcane, warlocks are masters of the dark arts, focusing on shadow and fire spells. They summon demonic minions, place curses on their enemies, and drain health from their opponents, and can even send the most fearsome of warriors running in terror. Their abilities are powered not only by their mana pool, but will sometimes cost health, which warlocks can drain from their foes as they die. They do their damage at range, using curses, banes, DoTs, drains, AoEs, and direct damage spells. Warlocks also offer a good amount of utility to a group with conjured Healthstones (which restore health on use) and Soulstones (which can bring a dead player to life) as well as their curses (which cause a variety of negative effects on a monster).

Continue reading Should you be playing a warlock?

Should you be playing a warlock? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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It came from the Blog: Running of the Orphans 2013 snapshots - Tue, 07 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Last week, the It came from the Blog family of guilds held its annual Running of the Orphans. As the name suggests, we ran our orphans around, completing the Orgrimmar Children's Week quests.

After we picked up our orphans from the matron, we took the zeppelin from Orgrimmar to Tirisfal Glades. We ran (no mounts, no ports, no summons) to have an audience with Lady Sylvanas in the Undercity. Then we ran back to the zeppelin, making the return trip to Org. Next, since some players did not have the flightpath to Thunder Bluff, we took the zeppelin there (AKA the Love Zeppelin) and ran out to Red Rocks to honor the fallen chieftain. We ran back to town and then took the flightpath right back to Orgrimmar.

Continue reading It came from the Blog: Running of the Orphans 2013 snapshots

It came from the Blog: Running of the Orphans 2013 snapshots originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Illidan + Thrall = BFF - Tue, 07 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

Queue, I really don't want to go to work today. I want to stay home and just nap with my cats while drinking coffee and tea.

In fact, on my way to work, I think I'm going to stop at a Starbucks. Just thought you should know. Tell me what kind of drink I should get.

Thanks!

Logan asked:

I'm looking at getting a new computer, a lot of people say that a desktop is the only way to go, but gaming laptops look pretty nice. Are there good laptops?

Continue reading The Queue: Illidan + Thrall = BFF

The Queue: Illidan + Thrall = BFF originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Song of the orphaned virmin - Tue, 07 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

"I'd just finished slaughtering the mother of all virmin when I saw all the little baby vermin singing to me," writes submitter Siobhraich of The Brotherhood of Iron on Wyrmrest Accord (US-A). "Mouths open, throats quivering in eerie harmony. It held me speechless in terror -- right up until all the rest of the virmin horde respawned right on top of me. One dwarf mage, splattered all over the landscape. Next time, I'm blowing up any and all cute fuzzy animals, babies or not." You just killed their mom! What did you expect?

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Song of the orphaned virmin originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Last Week in WoW: In a holding pattern edition - Tue, 07 May 2013 09:00:00 EST


Happy Tuesday morning, everyone. We continue to be in a holding pattern of sorts. Patch 5.3 is still going strong on the PTR, but we have no word on a release date. Luckily, patch 5.2 is still going strong as well, with new secrets being discovered as early as just last week. There's also new stuff outside of WoW, from new short stories, to new merchandise, to some interesting viewpoints on the function of gear in the game.

Our usual roundup, featuring all these stories and more, can be found below. Scheduled maintenance today is expected to begin at 3 a.m. PDT and last for 8 hours, so you have plenty of time to read. Keep it tuned here as well. Whenever the patch lands, we'll be here to report on all the details.

Hot news and features

Continue reading Last Week in WoW: In a holding pattern edition

Last Week in WoW: In a holding pattern edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What do casual and hardcore mean? - Tue, 07 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

These are terms that are bandied around a lot. Catering to the casuals, WoW has become a game for casuals, the rose-tinted spectacles of players who assert that the game used to be hardcore and has somehow slipped from its glory days into the mire of casual gaming.

But what do casual and hardcore mean? Certainly there are extremes. Nobody in their right mind could accuse Method or Blood Legion of being casual. These world first guilds are pretty much the epitome of the hardcore player. And yet, their Finnish cousins, Paragon, are accused of losing their hardcore crown by switching raid sizes. And at the other end of the spectrum, there are people who might log on once a week and run a heroic 5-man.

Of course, it's also worth remembering that your notion of what casual and hardcore are might not match those of your friends, your guild, your family. What is the cut-off point between hardcore-casual and casual-hardcore? How much WoW do you have to play to make the shift from a casual player into a hardcore one? Or is there some other measure, such as longevity, that qualifies some over others? Or maybe the whole thing is nonsense.

Breakfast Topic: What do casual and hardcore mean? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 07 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rock on with Kang's Bindstone - Mon, 06 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

I'm going to have to humbly beg everyone for their forgiveness for my terrible title pun. Get it?! Okay, but seriously. We know we've got Phat Loot Friday and all that, but Kang's Bindstone is such a neat item that it deserves its own post. The Bindstone is an item that buffs you with a chance to turn an enemy to stone upon delivering a killing blow instead of triggering the normal death effect. Loot and such is unaffected - this is a purely cosmetic item. The buff lasts ten minutes and works against critters, mobs, enemy players, and even bosses.

Kang's Bindstone drops from Kang the Soul Thief, a rare mogu elite in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. He can be found in the far west of the zone, on Autumnshade Ridge north of the Five Sisters site on the map. He's a mogu sorcerer and does some nasty shadow-based attacks, but he should be soloable for a level 90 character. Happy hunting!

Rock on with Kang's Bindstone originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tie-breakers in the arena - Mon, 06 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

An interesting discussion began on Twitter a few days ago, between ArenaJunkies moderator QTPawzz and Blizzard's Senior PvP Developer, Brian Holinka. The two were discussing arena draws. If you're not familiar with the current system, if in 2v2, team A kills one member of team B, but cannot kill the other, meaning that at the point where the match times out there are two of team A but only one of team B remaining, there is a draw. QTPawzz was complaining specifically about his experience as an affliction warlock, trying to take down a discipline priest 1v1, his own partner presumably having died.

QTPawzz' suggestion was a shorter time limit, as well as a mechanic whereby the team that did the highest damage would win. It's an interesting idea, and something Holinka didn't seem averse to, given his responses. It's certainly a question that is likely to be both divisive and highly subjective, depending on the class or role that a player has adopted in PvP. For example, as someone who principally plays healing classes, with a side of DPS, the idea that the team with the highest damage should win in the event of a draw is immediately offputting.

Continue reading Tie-breakers in the arena

Tie-breakers in the arena originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Why World of Warcraft isn't a democracy - Mon, 06 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

There's a difference between a consumer and a producer. To use the dreaded and overused food analogy, liking to eat doesn't translate into being a good cook. For that matter, liking to eat doesn't even translate into liking to cook, much less displaying any skill at cooking. I neither like to cook nor have even the slightest talent for it, but if you look at me you can tell I'm not shy about eating. Why am I belaboring this point into the ground? Because World of Warcraft isn't a democracy in part because the millions of us who like to eat it don't necessarily possess either the talent or aptitude to cook it up.

Partially this is due to the fact that almost any creative task requires a certain degree of focus, and the more people you attempt to include in the design process the more effort needs to expended keeping the project on track. There's a reason projects of this magnitude often have people who specifically work on doing exactly that. They don't do the individual art, they don't code the abilities or design the environments or that next cool armor, they instead work on keeping all of these variables on track. They're jugglers, and the balls in this case are the varied and disparate elements of the game's overall design.

Continue reading Why World of Warcraft isn't a democracy

Why World of Warcraft isn't a democracy originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NetEase launches Mists of Pandaria Mahjong set - Mon, 06 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

NetEase, one of the largest retailers of World of Warcraft and general Blizzard merchandise in China, has recently launched a new product. In a very, very limited edition of just 1,000 copies, at least for now, this set is sure to go fast. It's retailing for what a currency converter approximates to be $208, at today's rates at least, and it really is a thing of beauty.

The set is beautifully designed and crafted, with the panda footprint featuring heavily on the tiles, as seen above, as well as the accompanying poker chips, the dice, dividers, and the red wooden presentation box. The play mat is a cloth rendition of the continent of Pandaria, which appears sympathetically rendered. If this sounds a little like a sales pitch, it shouldn't, this set is just incredibly beautifully made, and warrants the praise!

Rumor has it that this limited edition of 1,000 is not just for China, but for the worldwide market, so be prepared to have to jump through some hoops if you want one. They are currently only available through NetEase's website, where some judicious use of a translation engine will land the enthusiastic shopper with a login, allowing them to sign up for one of these sets. Given the coverage it's getting, and the minimal price, don't be surprised if you lose out.

Hit the break for more pictures!

Continue reading NetEase launches Mists of Pandaria Mahjong set

NetEase launches Mists of Pandaria Mahjong set originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: World of Gnomecraft 2.0 - Mon, 06 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

You can only push a good gnome so far. For years, the Alliance and Horde punted gnomes, used them as garden decorations, and denigrated this most destructive of races. And then Baron Soosdon issued the call to the pint-sized purveyors of perfection, and we entered the World of Gnomecraft 2.0.

Kick back and enjoy the revolution. This contest-winning video from 2010 will show you why the good Baron is so far ahead of his time.
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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: World of Gnomecraft 2.0 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Does WoW need new animations? - Mon, 06 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

When I was writing this column on warrior attacks, I noticed that a lot of players who don't play warriors came in to comment on their animations. I specifically noticed druids (especially feral/guardian druids), and rogues commenting. This got me to thinking if part of the problem is that the monk class really exposed a vulnerability. It's easier to see that your character model isn't keeping up with new racial choices like the goblins, worgen and pandaren - you can just see one standing next to you in Org/SW or a raid/dungeon/scenario. But to notice that your animations aren't keeping up with the new hotness, you have to see the new hotness. And it can be hard to notice what someone's attacks are like when you're focusing on your own.

Now, of course, the argument could be made that WoW's animations are pretty good. Making a change simply for change's sake would be a diversion of resources. But it seems to me that, with all the talk about updating character models, there's at least some room to discuss updating our attacks as well. Most classes use the chosen race's special attacks (you can see what they are by using a model viewer program, or Wowhead's model viewer) with specific ones like Dragon Stomp, Special1h, Special2h, and so on.

Continue reading Does WoW need new animations?

Does WoW need new animations? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 29 - May 5, 2013 - Mon, 06 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Every Monday evening, WoW Insider brings you a long list of WoW podcasts that were published the week and weekend before. If you don't see your favorite World of Warcraft podcast listed, just let us know in the comments. Be sure to leave a link to it, and we'll pick it up next week.

All podcasts and content belong to their owners. WoW Insider is not responsible for what you hear, and some of the content may not be safe for work.

Continue reading Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 29 - May 5, 2013

Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 29 - May 5, 2013 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: WoL, 'locks, and damage done - Mon, 06 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill wants to coin WoL'lock, but isn't sure if she should.

Last week, I started off with some basics of World of Logs (WoL) regarding warlocks. I started to write a column to go spec by spec, but later I realized that might become a game of find and replace with the different buffs or DoTs important to each spec. So instead, this week is another general World of Logs lesson with a little more specific caster DPS focus with warlock flavor. We'll just build up to the nitty gritty spells next week.

Continue reading Blood Pact: WoL, 'locks, and damage done

Blood Pact: WoL, 'locks, and damage done originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: 5 tips for casual raiding in Mists - Mon, 06 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

A few weeks ago I had a great chat with Mick from The Starting Zone podcast about casual raiding in Mists of Pandaria. We both agree that normal mode raids have become more difficult than in the last two expansions. The existence of LFR has emboldened Blizzard to tune normal more tightly than they have in recent years.

If you're in a casual raiding guild that is having trouble in normal mode, here are five tips on how to improve progression and morale without pushing your raiders to the breaking point.

1. Talk about your lack of progression. For an officer, silence is deadly to morale, both during raids and after. In that silence, you know that people are whispering to each other about what's going wrong, or griping about other players. Maybe they are just sitting there stunned and disappointed, unable to muster a coherent thought. In any case, it's bad.

It's up to the guild's leadership to break the silence. During the raid, talk about what's going wrong in a constructive way. Don't forget to talk about what's going right, too. Afterward, create a thread on your forums to debrief. Solicit suggestions and strategies. Encourage a dialogue. Let people vent a bit, if they have to. It helps relieve the pressure -- just be sure to moderate and make sure the discussion stays civil.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: 5 tips for casual raiding in Mists

Officers' Quarters: 5 tips for casual raiding in Mists originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: I feel pretty - Mon, 06 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Oh, so pretty.

JeffLaBowski asked:

Now that Mists has been out for a while, what would you have changed storywise? From the way the Pandaren were introduced to how both major plot lines were dealt with? I know a lot was changed in Beta. Do you think it played out as well as was planned?

Continue reading The Queue: I feel pretty

The Queue: I feel pretty originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Further to fly - Mon, 06 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

It's not that I don't trust your flying skills, sweetheart. I'm just a little concerned that a dragon made of stone might not be the most aerodynamic thing there is. All it takes is one crack in the wing and bam, I'm a widow. And you don't even have life insurance! So I packed you a parachute, just in case. Now give me five minutes; I need to figure out how to get this seat belt to fit across your mount's wingspan. And could you make sure I installed the airbag in that front horn? (Thanks to submitter Sam for the screenshot!)

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Further to fly originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drama Mamas: The case of the disagreeing duo - Mon, 06 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

The duo in the letter disagrees and so does our Drama Mamas duo.
Hello Drama Mamas!

I recently moved in with my boyfriend, Sam, who I dated long distance for two years. I have never been happier! As you know, sometimes certain things that weren't a problem when long distance can become big ugly problems when living together.

When we were long distance, Sam and I made several WoW pairs together, so we could play and be together and have fun. Almost all of those pairs have me tanking (because I love leading and tanking and fast queues keep us entertained) and some of these pairs have him healing me as I tank.

All too often tanks are treated poorly. I understand that tanks may not seem necessary when leveling, but I wish more DPS would understand that many tanks find proper tanking fun, and so pulling ahead and ripping aggro can be an act of outright funsucking.

Continue reading Drama Mamas: The case of the disagreeing duo

Drama Mamas: The case of the disagreeing duo originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Did you meet your Children's Week goals? - Mon, 06 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Today is the last day of Children's Week. After today, thousands of non-pvpers will stay out of battlegrounds for a year and most of us will have another pet or 3 in our stable. Since the pets are tradeable, my guess is that this holiday is getting more attention due to pet battles. Is that true?

My goal was to finally get the meta as School of Hard Knocks is the only thing standing between me and a Violet Proto-drake. As of this writing, I still haven't, but I have time. And so do you, if you're reading this early enough. According to the in-game calendar, the event ends at 11 a.m. PDT. Though I'm not sure how that works. Does the Matron just vanish?

Regardless, what about you?

View Poll


Breakfast Topic: Did you meet your Children's Week goals? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 06 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW in the Wild: Blizzard dragon - Sun, 05 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

We don't feature every little appearance of WoW out there in the world, but it's a Sunday and a bit of frivolity is a nice way to finish off the weekend. The Blizzard dragon you see above is from the mobile gaming phenom Dragonvale. The point of that game is to breed all the different dragons and raise them up to level 20 by feeding them. It's a nice little casual game, so I loved this friendly shout out to our beloved Blizzard.

Obviously, the lost Ice Kings are a shout out to the Lost Vikings, though the Berrywhite Mountains are more likely a reference to a certain velvet-voiced singer.

WoW in the Wild: Blizzard dragon originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: Anveena Teague and the Sunwell - Sun, 05 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Those who travel to Sunwell Plateau may have seen her -- the inexplicable human girl trapped in a bubble above the Sunwell itself, even as demons channel dark energies below. Her story is a sad one, one of the more poignant tales in Warcraft's history, but it's by and large unknown to many who play. Which is kind of a pity, when you think about it -- Anveena Teague is one of those clear in-game representations of when written material and game content collide with little success. Despite her story being told in the manga series The Sunwell Trilogy, that story never really made it into the game in any capacity.

It also means that every time myself, one of my guildmates, or simply random people that follow me over on Twitter head into Sunwell Plateau, I'm asked who that girl the bubble is, where she came from, and why she's there. And since we have yet to address Anveena's full story in Know Your Lore, I thought it was high time she was featured in a column of her own. So we're taking a break from Pandaria this week, and instead turning our attention back in time to the days of Lordaeron's fall, the days when draconic intervention was a far more common occurrence, the days when the Scourge marched en masse over the land, to a quiet little hamlet known as Tarren Mill.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: Anveena Teague and the Sunwell

Know Your Lore: Anveena Teague and the Sunwell originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Last train to Cairo - Sun, 05 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

This weekend is/was the Golden Weekend in The Secret World, so I played through the latest content update and got to hang out with my favorite character: posh immortal trade-prince mummy Saïd.

Chrth asked:

If the Celestials hadn't opened the gates to the Vale, would the Mogu have gotten in?

The mogu were, in fact, already in the Vale. One of the first quests you complete for the Golden Lotus has you blowing up a cave that the mogu were using to send reinforcements into the Vale, probably through an ancient network of tunnels (or the product of heavy mogu labor in recent years).

Continue reading The Queue: Last train to Cairo

The Queue: Last train to Cairo originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 05 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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