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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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Why "easy raids" are a good thing (for now) - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 22:00:00 EST


I really didn't expect to be writing this. Like others, I was left a bit nonplussed at the seeming ease of early raiding content in Wrath, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like an interesting intersection of prudence, circumstances, and quite possibly some residual discomfort on Blizzard's part over how awful early BC raiding was. I don't think that the current "ease" of first-tier raid content in Wrath is a bad thing -- and I also don't expect future content to stay that way.

My guild cleared all of the 25-man raid content in Wrath within two weeks of the expansion's release. Naxxramas was easily the biggest non-surprise. Doing Naxx-25 in the company of people who know the place inside and out is a pretty straightforward and -- dare I say it -- easy process. This is even more true with players who learned the original Naxx at 70, with a much greater margin for error than they would have had at 60. Honestly? Most of the fights haven't changed to the point where you'd have to toss out your previous strategy and start all over again. A raid that saw Naxx at any point between 60 and 70 is effectively an old dog that doesn't have to learn a new trick.

Continue reading Why "easy raids" are a good thing (for now)

Why "easy raids" are a good thing (for now) originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Name one thing you'd change about your class - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST
Ghostcrawler is known to recite this line here and there. He mentions often that the purpose of saying such a thing isn't to get them (Blizzard) to change just one thing in a class the next patch, but to get people to zone in on a real problem.

A real problem is something like "Fury Warriors do not have enough survivability and therefore are less effective in terms of spike PvP and PvE damage."

A non real problem is something like "Blizzard hates Shamans and doesn't pay enough attention to them."

So as an exercise this evening let's see what the WoW Insider readers think. Name one thing you would like changed about your class.

As a full time PvE Protection Warrior, I think that we have a problem with obtaining the hit cap and would like to see more +hit gear drop in heroics and 10-man raid instances. I think an inclusion of items that have both +hit and +parry would help solve this wonderfully.

I've also been known to dabble in Holy Paladins once in a while.

Continue reading Name one thing you'd change about your class

Name one thing you'd change about your class originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: They're watching you - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

The weekend was nice and slow as usual, so our Monday Q&A will be brief. I fully expect a busy morning tomorrow, so get your questions in now! Let's get started, shall we?

whack asked...

Why are there shades all over major and minor cities in Azeroth, Outland, and Northrend? Has there been an explanation? I originally thought they would only be there for the WotLK launch event but they haven't gone away.

Continue reading The Queue: They're watching you

The Queue: They're watching you originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ghostcrawler on dual specs and loot tied to achievements - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST
So sayeth the Ghostcrawler and so we shall listen. He spoke today regarding a few issues that are of prime importance to many players. However instead of long rants or detailed analysis on the issues of raiding difficulty, dual specs, and achievements he presented them in bullet points.

First dual specs, a topic hot on everyone's mind. He provided some new insight into how things will work. In particular he said that "It will be trivial to do in town. You will also be able to do it out of towns, but not as trivially." This is new information and should make everyone tingle with gleeful anticipation at how trivial it might be to switch specs while in Dalaran.

He also makes mention of things we already knew. They are aiming to allow people to swap glyphs and action bars with the dual spec feature, and that it should be along ideally in the next major content patch.

That patch cannot come soon enough.

In addition to the dual spec information, Ghostcrawler went into some points on raid difficulty. While there isn't any really new in terms of how difficult the raiding environment is (or isn't) and what may lie in store for the future (a harder Ulduar raid zone), there is some new news about loot tied to achievements.

Continue reading Ghostcrawler on dual specs and loot tied to achievements

Ghostcrawler on dual specs and loot tied to achievements originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wrath 101: Flight paths in Grizzly Hills - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST


You asked for it, so I'm delivering the next installment of my series on the scenic flight points of Northrend. If you missed my previous posts on lower Northrend, go check out the Alliance Wrath Flight paths guide or the Horde Wrath Flight paths guide, as appropriate. Today, we'll be looking at Grizzly Hills, the next zone after Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, and Dragonblight level-wise. There aren't a ton of flight points there - just two each for Horde and Alliance.

Horde:

  1. Kragh, at 22,65 in Conquest Hold, in the west part of the map, is your first stop in the Hills, more than likely.
  2. Later on you'll get some quests to take you over to Camp Oneqwah, whose flight master is Makki Wintergale, at 65,47.

Alliance:

  1. Just over the river from the Horde's Conquest Hold is the Alliance base of Amberpine Lodge, with Vana Gray at 31,59. (A reference to a certain long-running game show, perhaps?)
  2. After doing some quests there (or if you just get bored) you'll be sent over to see some familiar faces at the Westfall Brigade Encampment. Samuel Clearbrook will pack you on a gryphon at 60,27.

Depending on rest XP, how many instances you do, whether you do both starting zones, etc., you might be getting your own wings back as early as Grizzly Hills, which really speeds things up. However, if not, or if you're still stuck on a pokey old normal-speed flying mount, be sure to catch my next installment, on Zul'Drak.


Arthas awaits and so do your questions. Find the answers you've been looking for that will help you with your journey into Northrend and to level 80 with Wrath 101.

Wrath 101: Flight paths in Grizzly Hills originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spiritual Guidance: Hitting the cap - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST


Welcome to Spiritual Guidance, usually brought to you by Matt Low of World of Matticus. This week, resident Shadow Priest Alex Ziebart steps in to make your day a little darker.

We're getting to the point in Wrath where more than just the hardcorest of the hardcore are raiding. Not everyone is there (and not everyone is interested), but the time will come. On the way there, you're going to have to visit an old friend: The hit cap.

In Wrath of the Lich King, the hit cap has moved from the original 16% to 17% hit. Why? Prior to this expansion, there was a baseline 1% chance to miss with spells that you could not remove. No matter how much hit rating you had, you were stuck with a 1% chance to miss. In Wrath, that's gone. It can be overcome.

Continue reading Spiritual Guidance: Hitting the cap

Spiritual Guidance: Hitting the cap originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wrath Dailies: Cheese for Glowergold - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST
I don't get the cheese in game. It's everywhere. I get that there are people operating a cheese shop in Stormwind as part of their cover, but everything else? There's something about Dalaran and its cheeses.

My particularly favorite cheese at the moment is Gouda Cheese which originated from the Netherlands. It's better than the cheese they sell and produce in Dalaran. And it's also, you know, real.

But enough about this "reality" thing. Let's focus on the cooking daily quest where you have to make your own cheese platter.

Quest Giver: Awilo Lon'gomba (Horde) or Katherine Lee (Alliance)
Reputation: Kirin Tor
Reward: 150 rep, 9.9g at level 80, a Dalaran Cooking Award, a Small Spice Bag
Minimum Level: 65
Required Chain: Cooking at 375 or above.

Read on after the break for our walkthrough of the quest, complete with a few tricks you can do to get it done quickly and easily.

Continue reading Wrath Dailies: Cheese for Glowergold

Wrath Dailies: Cheese for Glowergold originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Art of War(craft): The pointlessness of PvP in early Wrath - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST


Wrath of the Lich King has been great so far. Blues and purples have been easy to come by, with raids and heroic instances -- criticized by some as being too easy -- working as intended. With barely a few weeks after the game's release, many players are decked out in epics. Our Guild Master just got the Superior Achievement a couple of days ago, with many of our members soon to follow suit.

Of course, this comes after repeated Heroic runs, the clearing of Naxxramas, and the extremely easy reputation grind thanks to the new tabard system. Overall, it's a phenomenal gearing system... for PvE. On the other hand, the delayed release of Honor-bought PvP items and mid-December start of Arena Season 5 leaves PvP enthusiasts like myself out in the cold.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): The pointlessness of PvP in early Wrath

The Art of War(craft): The pointlessness of PvP in early Wrath originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Creating an open source WoW database - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 13:30:00 EST
This is an interesting idea -- Daniel over at Marenkay.com is the creator of phpArmory, which is the closest thing we have to an official API for Blizzard's Armory site, and he's now turning his eye towards unofficial databases. Sites like Wowhead and Thottbot are extremely informative, but the one thing they don't allow is player access directly to their own data -- obviously they have a monetary interest in keeping their information on their site. But an open source site, as Daniel says, would allow players to get at that information whenever and for whatever purpose they wanted.

Very interesting idea, and it sounds like he's got the coding chops to do it -- he's already got a working prototype together, apparently, and he's taking suggestions on where to go next. We'll keep a curious eye on this one. Competition is always good for customers, and while the current database sites might not be interested in an up-and-coming open source version of themselves (actually, the great WoWWiki is pretty open already, though they don't really collect as much numerical information), having widespread open data on drops, kills, and gear would be very beneficial for players. This could turn out to be a very important and helpful project.

Creating an open source WoW database originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Raiding "blind" - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

As a raid leader, you say it over and over again: read the strat, read the strat, read the strat. More than anything else, reading the strategy for beating a particular boss (or watching a video of it) is the most important part of progressing through new encounters. These strategies are readily available once the hardcore guilds have figured them out, which they typically do before the boss even makes it from the beta server to live.

But what if your raid leader didn't want you to read the strat? What if he or she wanted you to learn it the way the beta guilds do? This week, one reader is faced with this situation.

Scott:

I am a mid-rank member of a fairly small and pretty casual (about 130 members) raiding guild. We had a guild meeting over the weekend and a few topics irked me a little bit. [. . .] Aside from our GL not wanting to appoint a Death Knight class leader [. . .], he insists on "raiding blind." He does not want people looking up strategies on beating the Naxx bosses.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Raiding "blind"

Officers' Quarters: Raiding "blind" originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 67: Rating the rep rewards - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 12:30:00 EST
This past week on the WoW Insider Show, we were thrilled to welcome our friend Michael Zenke of Massively.com -- in addition to his experiences in Wrath so far, we talked with him about a few other MMOs WoW players might be interested in this holiday season. Matthew Rossi was also on, and he brought his terrific insight on Warriors, Death Knights, Shamans, and itemization for pretty much all of the classes in the new expansion. And we welcomed back our old friend Turpster to the show -- you didn't think he'd be gone for long, did you?

It was a good time, so good in fact that we had trouble reeling ourselves in to finish in time. But we hit on all sorts of subjects, including a look at the reputations in Wrath and what their best rewards are (the Oracles' Mysterious Egg is great), and we even got a short chat in about whether there's still a tanking shortage or not (the good news: there mostly isn't). You can follow any or all of the links below to listen to the show in its entirety (and do subscribe in iTunes if you use that -- you'll get the show automatically every week).

We'll be back live next week as usual, 3:30pm Eastern on Ustream. In the meantime, if you have a comment, question, or tip for the show, send it along to theshow@wowinsider.com, and you might hear us talking about it then. Enjoy this week's podcast!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[Ustream] Listen to the unedited recording in Ustream.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

WoW Insider Show Episode 67: Rating the rep rewards originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Serenity Now and the funeral - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 12:01:00 EST


Caution: There is some offensive language in this video.

This weekend was the third anniversary of WoW Insider, and when I was putting together the big list of our top ten stories ever, I noticed there was one missing. Even though it happened in April of 2006 (we started posting in December of 2005), we never really covered the Serenity Now funeral attack. But it is one of the biggest stories in World of Warcraft, whether you think it's atrocious or hilarious or whatever, so during today's Moviewatch, we'll give it its due.

A woman who played WoW passed away in real life, and her guildies decided to hold an ingame funeral for her -- in the contested zone of Wintergrasp Winterspring (of course -- too much Wrath lately, sorry) On a PvP server. And though now, four years into the game, we know exactly what would happen, back then, it came as a surprise -- as you've probably seen in the video (set to some amazing music), the guild Serenity Now crashed the funeral and pretty much decimated everyone who showed up.

Continue reading WoW Moviewatch: Serenity Now and the funeral

WoW Moviewatch: Serenity Now and the funeral originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 12:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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My bag of spice has everything nice - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST
In each cooking daily you get a Small Spice Bag. The bag is one of the two ways you can pickup the essential Northern Spice, which is required for the major cooking recipes that are prevalent in Wrath*.

The Small Spice Bag also has a certain chance to drop some other goods, including Old Spice, Baby Spice, and a recipe for a Delicious Chocolate Cake.

The Old Spice, which is a reference to a brand of deodorant, makes you smell nice. The only result of it is a buff which lasts for five minutes and says "Smelling Great!"

So you smell nice, congrats you stinking plate wearer.

The Baby Spice is a fun buff you can apply to a target which shrinks the target by 50%.

Continue reading My bag of spice has everything nice

My bag of spice has everything nice originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Technodragons - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 10:15:00 EST


See? This is what happens when bookstores shelve science fiction and fantasy in the same section. The Anne McCaffrey books mate with the William Gibson tomes, and then everything goes to hell. But really, this is a shot of Eltanos and <The Templar> of Arathor preparing to face off against Malygos, with a little aid from Alexstrasza and the Red Dragonflight. Have fun storming the Nexus, guys!

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. 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, "mounted mounts", or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Technodragons originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wrath Dailies: Infused Mushroom Meatloaf - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 09:00:00 EST
Let's take a look at the daily cooking quest "Infused Mushroom Meatloaf." But before we go into the quest details, ask yourself for a minute if you've ever had mushroom meatloaf. I can say that I haven't, and upon googling it I learned a bit more.

A mushroom meatloaf is a meatloaf with about a half pound of minced mushrooms in it. The meatloaf itself is cooked and made just like a normal meatloaf, expect for the added mushrooms in it and sprinkled on top. Put some ketchup on it for added flavor.

I'm not a big fan of meatloaf or mushrooms (except on steak), so this isn't a favorite dish of mine. However the in game quest is.

Quest Giver: Awilo Lon'gomba (Horde) or Katherine Lee (Alliance)
Reputation: Kirin Tor
Reward: 150 rep, 9.9g at level 80, a Dalaran Cooking Award, a Small Spice Bag
Minimum Level: 65
Required Chain: Cooking at 375 or above.

Read on after the break for our walkthrough of the quest, complete with a few tricks you can do to get it done quickly and easily

Continue reading Wrath Dailies: Infused Mushroom Meatloaf

Wrath Dailies: Infused Mushroom Meatloaf originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are private servers really that bad? - Mon, 08 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST
Blizzard has a very clear line on private servers: they are against the rules. If you have one or play on one you're going to get in trouble. Your account will get shut down and you'll likely face some legal issues if you don't capitulate to their demands.

However is their stance right? Are private servers really that big of a deal?

There are two ways that I look at the issue. One way is to view the issue through the lens of morality and legalese. In this respect Blizzard is on solid ground. They own Warcraft and all the associated games, and they own the servers we play on. When we buy the game we're not buying the property. We're buying the right to use the property as long as we keep paying a monthly fee, and as long as we operate within their guidelines (the terms of service).

Some might contend that there is an innate right to privacy in the fact that after we've purchased the game (and its associated data), Blizzard has no right to tell us what to do with it or to find out how we're using it. I'm not a lawyer, but some are, and there's an interesting debate to be had here.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Are private servers really that bad?

Breakfast Topic: Are private servers really that bad? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask a Lore Nerd: Shared tongues and other oddities - Sun, 07 Dec 2008 21:30:00 EST


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

I fulfilled my dork quota in last week's Ask a Lore Nerd, so this week I'll ramble a bit less, and answer some more of the simpler questions we've seen recently. With that said, let's get started with Chris's question...

Why is Gorehowl just an epic weapon? It was claimed to be wielded by Grommosh Hellscream and if so shouldn't the weapon be legendary?

Continue reading Ask a Lore Nerd: Shared tongues and other oddities

Ask a Lore Nerd: Shared tongues and other oddities originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 07 Dec 2008 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Poll: Are you level 80 yet? - Sun, 07 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST
With the news last week that the majority of players are not level 80, and that Ghostcrawler considers you to be "hard core" (more or less) if you're at 80 already, the question that's come to my mind is: exactly how many people reading WoW Insider have hit the level cap already?

I've only got one of my toons at 80. I suspect it's going to take over a year to get them all up to max level again. Not complaining, I just don't have the stomach to power level all my alts up like that so quickly. After playing the game since release I managed to get nearly every class to 70 before the release of Wrath, but that took...well...years.

Gotta space it out and everything.

But in our completely non-scientific and totally truthiness-ey poll, let us know. Are you level 80 yet?

View Poll

Poll: Are you level 80 yet? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 07 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: In your city, stealing your mailbox - Sun, 07 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Today's edition of The Queue is going to be short and sweet, but it's a Sunday and nobody really has much to say on a Sunday! So let's dig right in, starting with actodd's question...

Can you explain armor penetration a bit? Is it designed more for tanks or DPS (or even heals)? Where should it fit into the 'hierarchy' of stats say, a feral tank has?

Continue reading The Queue: In your city, stealing your mailbox

The Queue: In your city, stealing your mailbox originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 07 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Mage - Sun, 07 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST
This installment of All the World's a Stage is the sixteenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself. It's also the first installment with a title that rhymes!

The Mage is the foremost master of magic in the Warcraft universe. Although all the other classes excluding the Warrior and the Rogue use magic of one sort or another with equally wonderful effects, the Mage is the class that's named after the stuff.

But what is magic? What does it feel like to harness it? Does the mage have to do a strange ritual or utter incomprehensible words in an ancient language in order to cast her spells? Other fantasy settings often have one or more of these elements together, but as far as I can tell, Warcraft lacks them.

Arcane magic in the World of Warcraft is an ever-present energy field surrounding the whole world. Mages access it by concentrating in the magic energy within themselves, feeling it rush through their body, and directing it as they please. Those spells that require reagents need an extra focusing item with magical properties of its own in order to bring about the desired effect, but for the most part, fireballs, frostbolts and arcane explosions can be created through the mere act of will on the part of a properly educated mind.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Mage

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Mage originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 07 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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