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Masi Oka developing MMO-related movie - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST
Masi Oka plays the fan-favorite character Hiro on the television show Heroes, but that's not the only role he plays -- we've heard before that he's a big World of Warcraft player as well (which makes sense -- before his star turn on NBC's superhero show, he actually worked at Industrial Light and Magic developing water effects, so he's a geek at heart). And now he's using his MMO experience to create a movie: he's just signed a deal with Dreamworks to create a movie called "The Defenders," a family adventure about a group of teens playing an MMO who have to come together to have some adventures of their own. Both Oka and writer Gary Whitta are fans of WoW, so they're drawing on their experience in the game to put together the project. Oka tells the Hollywood Reporter that "the question came to me: What if you had to live up to the person you created in the virtual world?" He also cites The Goonies as an inspiration for the story, as an adventure that brings back an innocence found in those old Amblin Entertainment films.

Sounds interesting. It might be aimed a little young for the average WoW player (even The Goonies, while considered a cult classic nowadays, was really aimed at kids in the '80s), but a film that can take a good look at the comparison between our in-game selves and their real-life counterparts (and have some fun doing it) would definitely be something to see. The project's only just getting underway now, but we'll keep an eye out for it.

Masi Oka developing MMO-related movie originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Minutes of Fame: Discover your inner ShrinkGeek - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 18:30:00 EST
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

We've already shown you how one WoW player got lean and mean while playing WoW. This week, we'd like to introduce you to what we think is one of the coolest new web resources for geeks and gamers seeking to uncover their inner Hugh Jackman: ShrinkGeek. ShrinkGeek is exactly what it sounds like: a fitness blog for gamers and, well, geeks.

Take a look at some of these post titles:

Yeah, we're geeking out, too. "In the words of the immortal Mr. Spock," writes ShrinkGeek cofounder (and former WoW guild GM and blogger) Michael C. McGreevy, "our ultimate goal is to help you 'Live long and prosper.'"

To bring you this behind-the-scenes on ShrinkGeek, we visited with WoW-playing ShrinkGeek Rafe Brox. To be honest, actually, we merely directed the flow by interjecting the occasional question or comment. We suspect we've pinpointed one of the sources of ShrinkGeek's pump-it-up energy -- no shrinking violets here. Come geek out while getting pumped, after the break.

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: Discover your inner ShrinkGeek

15 Minutes of Fame: Discover your inner ShrinkGeek originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: It's always sunny in Dalaran - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


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

The Daily Quest: It's always sunny in Dalaran originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Polling for Mr. Pinchy - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST
Blizzard EU Community Blue Ancilorn has posted a poll over on the EU forums asking players about one of the more prickly pieces of loot in the game: Mr. Pinchy. Usually with loot, Blizzard has been pretty good lately: if there's a piece that you want, there are usually a few different ways to get it, one of which usually requires grinding (i.e. picking up tons of Badges) rather than just getting really, really lucky. But with vanity stuff, it seems like they feel free to just put us at the will of the dice roll, and almost no other pet is more random than Mr. Pinchy. Not only do you need to level fishing (which, admittedly, is much less random than it used to be), and not only do you need to fish up a random item, but then, you need to hit a random choice of five different options. It's a slim chance on a rare chance on a nearly impossible chance.

Which explains why even those who have been trying for him for so long (ahem, me -- as you've probably heard on our podcast) haven't picked him up yet. The biggest percentage in the poll (about 26% of respondents, as of this writing) says they've been trying a lot and haven't gotten him. But strangely enough, the lowest percentage says "an absolutely enormous amount" of effort went into getting him. Which suggests that the people who are getting him are underestimating the amount of time they're putting in -- just how much fishing is "a moderate amount"?

At any rate, it seems like Ancilorn is just asking to be asking. Mr. Pinchy is definitely as much of a vanity item as they come, and there should at least be some items in the game that are very, very rare. It does seem at times that every time I suggest Blizzard won't move on something, they do, but I'd say in this case Mr. Pinchy will stay as rare as he is.

Polling for Mr. Pinchy originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mountain Dew Battle Bots now live - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


Mountain Dew Game Fuel, WoW-themed flavors of the popular beverage in red and blue (for the Horde and Alliance, respectively), is out in the wild, and at least one of our writers is already a big fan. To show how much they love you (or rather, to try to get you to buy their soda), Mountain Dew will give you a free in-game Battle Bot pet, just for clicking a button on their web site! The button is towards the lower-right, and it'll redirect you to log in to your Battle.net account. Don't worry, it's safe - you can tell by the Battle.net URL. He's a cute little guy. You can see a few screenshots I took in the gallery below.

Apparently you get in-game fuel for your pet, again in red or blue, and when you fuel them up, they will fight opposite colors. If you give your pet blue fuel and the guy next to you gives it red, expect some robot-on-robot fighting action. I'm not sure if you have to get the appropriate fuel for your faction, since it seems you can only get one in-game item per day, and I already got my battle bot. I'll try it tomorrow and see how it goes.

Edit: It looks like we've killed the Mountain Dew website. Keep trying though, it's bound to come back up sometime...

Edit 2: The pet is mailed to all of your characters, so you don't have to decide which one gets it.

Gallery: Battle Bot

Mountain Dew Battle Bots now live originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday's in-game fixes - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST


We love in-game fixes, right?

Blizzard blue poster Bornakk has announced a couple new in-game fixes. The updates are as follows:

First, the nerf to the Paladin's Vindication talent that set the Pally community on fire yesterday is now live. The nerf removed stamina and intellect from the 20% reduction that Vindication gave. All other primary statistics are still affected by Vindication.

Secondly, Maim, Bash, and Hammer of Justice will no longer cause a player's spell to be interrupted when they're immune to stun. They will still interrupt the NPC's spells however.

There have been a handful of other hot fixes that we've covered the past few days, and those are recapped after the break.

Continue reading Tuesday's in-game fixes

Tuesday's in-game fixes originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More on Black Arrow and Lock and Load - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST
The Hunter's Mark examined what's going on behind the Hunter talent Lock and Load a little while ago, and last week Atkallen did a follow up post getting down into the nitty gritty of the numbers a little further. Essentially, he charges that you're looking at an LnL proc for about 2-4% uptime during a four hour raid -- that is, for about 4% of the time, you've got Lock and Load giving you free Explosive Shots with no cooldown and no mana cost. And as he says, that's the "applied" time -- since LnL disappears as you use it, odds are that the real time you have it available will be much less.

He also tracks that time from 3.1 to 3.1.2, and says he's found data that confirms his previous theory: that it was more than the tooltip that needed changing during the last patch. Before the patch, he was looking at 11% uptime during three Ulduar fights, and after the patch, that's dropped down to 6%. Blizzard said they were only changing the tooltip, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Finally, he stands by a notion that a lot of our commenters debated last time: that LnL is proccing more after 3.1, even though the mechanics claim that it shouldn't be. I haven't had a lot of personal playtime with it post-patch, but there are two different conclusions to take away here. First: LnL, in conjunction with Black Arrow and Resourcefulness, is a definite force for DPS in the Survival spec no matter how often it's proccing. And second: there still may be something else going on here behind the scenes -- the removal of the cooldown is almost definitely a factor, and Blizzard may be playing around with the RNG more than they're letting on.

More on Black Arrow and Lock and Load originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: The roof, the roof - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


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

I've received a load of e-mails, tweets, whispers, and whatever else since Eliah posted this past weekend's WRUP. Yes, my garage burned down. No, nobody was hurt. No, the house didn't burn down, the siding just melted a little. No, that wasn't my car, it was my neighbor's car. Yes, my office has smelled like someone barbequeing since it happened and I can't get the smell to go away. I appreciate the concern, guys. You are all awesome. I guess I should pick a relevant Song of the Day, huh? How about Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire?

Jack Spicer asked...


"With each expansion Blizzard seems to be bringing underused talent specs around and making them highly desirable. In TBC, it seemed to be Feral Druids, Prot Pallies, Shadow Priests and BM Hunters. In Wrath, they really brought up Survival Hunters and Retribution Pallies.

But I'm curious. From a PvE perspective, which talent trees are still universally lacking and laughable?"

Continue reading The Queue: The roof, the roof

The Queue: The roof, the roof originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: The White Drake - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Warning: There are spoilers in this review.

Story-based machinima have been a little few and far between lately, so I was incredibly excited when I first spotted The White Drake by Erunno. According to the author, he actually started the film as a method for testing the power of his new computer. Since the movie was an experiment, he opted to not use any voice acting. I think that decision worked out incredibly well for him, as the movie's silent, somber mood is only enhanced by the lack of dialogue.

The animation is very clean and crisp. I enjoy the layered look to the imagery, since it helps reinforce the stark contrast of the characters against their environment. The story itself is tight and simple, providing a concise narrative payload. To sum up, something is amiss in the Argent Crusade, and an assassin must sneak into the camp to set things right. He executes his mission, and then makes good his escape. As the movie closes, Chromie, the coolest dragon in lore, makes an appearance to congratulate the assassin.

This is another great piece by Erunno. If this was just a test of his computer, I look forward to what he might do in the future when he really puts some effort into it.

[Via WarcraftMovies.com]

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: The White Drake originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW, Casually: What is casual? - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Turtlehead wrote in wanting to know "what the heck casual is." This is a good question, but the answer seems to change according to the context. I learned long ago to explain how I'm defining casual for a particular article, or else face the wrath of my readers. When I write Wow, Casually, I define casual as a player with limited playtime and address my content accordingly. But there are many other kinds of players that could be called casual and we use the word to describe any or all of them. So, is it possible to define the word to please everybody? Probably not, but I'm going to try.

Continue reading WoW, Casually: What is casual?

WoW, Casually: What is casual? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: And it stoned me - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


Do any of you old-school Final Fantasy types remember the spell Break? It was supposed to inflict the status "Petrify" on your enemies, turning them to stone. But just like Blind, Confuse, Doom and Toad, it never seemed to work quite as well on opponents as it worked on your character. Bonaduce of <Swords for Hire> on Quel'dorei has discovered the root of the problem. It seems that status-effect-inducing spells tend to jump through space and time to land in other games entirely. This particular petrification spell is hitting a dwarf in an Ironforge basement here in 2009, but it was really cast at a Veil Dancer in Zozo back in 1995. By me.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: And it stoned me originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
E3 2009: A complete roundup of Massively's coverage
Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009 proved to be a significant event for the gaming industry once again, with a fair amount of news and announcement related to MMOs. Massively was there on the ground for E3 this year and we've been putting up breaking announcements, interviews, and hands-on previews throughout.
Final Fantasy XIV is a good, good thing
So, unless you've been under a rock, you probably heard Sony squeeing in happiness about Final Fantasy XIV Online, otherwise known as just FFXIV. This is indeed the next MMO that Square-Enix has been hiding from prying eyes, and unlike the indications we got from the company a year ago, this is another Final Fantasy Online.
Global Agenda trailer puts pansy elves in their place
We just had a look at some of the gameplay from Global Agenda at E3, but the latest trailer from Hi-Rez studios is a bit different. It's a more humorous look at the sort of characters that will be found in-game, or rather, the sorts that won't. Walking around in a flowing robe and attempting to fling fireballs won't get you very far in Global Agenda, as the trailer points out so clearly -- a Recon character makes short work of an elf trying to fill his cast-bar to attack, proving that technology is the key to victory in this particular world, and that other elves hoping to join the game's cast need not apply.
Star Wars: The Old Republic demonstration
The trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic blew nerds around the world away, and has managed to build some of the greatest hype possible for an MMO in just a few short days. The question has been asked whether or not a trailer which contains absolutely no gameplay footage should be producing that sort of hype, but that trailer wasn't all that we saw of the upcoming MMORPG at E3. A panel dedicated to The Old Republic had much more to say.

Continue reading MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

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

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Breakfast Topic: Is Blizzard wasting their time? - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST
Hometownkid confronts the QQ over on the forums, and wants to know why people think Blizzard is "wasting their time" when they do things like upgrade the Druid art and creating things like the Ulduar bosstiary when they could be making more quests or new PvP areas. Personally, you've never heard that argument from me -- like Hometownkid, I'm pretty sure there are different teams working on different things within the game, and it's hard to believe that one new piece of art would otherwise be a new form of quest. While Blizzard does take their sweet time, I still trust they're making new content as fast as they can.

But there is an argument there -- if Blizzard were a different company and didn't do things like make Failocalypse, would we all be level 100 by now? They've always said that they would update the graphics incrementally, but certainly other companies have revamped the whole game all at one time before. I guess the question here is: would you trade Blizzard's well-worn ways for the promise of more content?

I don't think Blizzard has been completely out of line, but sure, you could argue that because of the way they do things, they're slower on releases than other companies might be. But would you?

Breakfast Topic: Is Blizzard wasting their time? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday Morning Post: Kitty cat club edition - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 07:00:00 EST
As a former player of a Feral Druid main and current player of a Resto/Feral Druid alt, I was looking forward to seeing the new Night Elf Cat Form graphics with bated breath for much of the week. Of course, having now seen them, I have to say that Tauren Cat Form definitely came out on top here. Of course, some people still have their complaints about that, but I think the Night Elf forms are certainly quite a bit sillier. Oh well, at least my hair will get me a set of the slightly cooler looking forms.

But Druid fashion concerns weren't the only thing going on this week. While most servers are getting rolling restarts, others are getting some real downtime (check this post for details), and the authentication servers are taking a nap as well. That means you may just have some time to check out some more of our top stories from the past seven days below:

Continue reading Tuesday Morning Post: Kitty cat club edition

Tuesday Morning Post: Kitty cat club edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Realm maintenance for Tuesday June 9th - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 21:50:00 EST


There is a set of server maintenance announcements tonight from the login screen.

First and foremost, the authentication systems will be undergoing maintenance from 3:00 a.m. PDT until 5:00 a.m. PDT. While Blizzard's announcement on the issue seems rather optimistic that you'll be able to login during that time, don't count on it.

Secondly, all realms not listed after the break will be undergoing rolling restarts beginning at 5:00 a.m. PDT, with Oceanic realms being restarted at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

Finally, the realms listed after the break will be going under maintenance from 3:00 a.m. PDT until 9:00 a.m. PDT.

Continue reading Realm maintenance for Tuesday June 9th

Realm maintenance for Tuesday June 9th originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 21:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: Sugarrat's WoW Bleach Shirt - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players and fans, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction - and yes, (War)crafts. Share your stuff by tipping us off via our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts).

This T-shirt from Sugarrat of Earthen Ring-US is crafting at its absolute best: a cool end product based on instructions simple enough that you could pull it off with your paws in bear form. We asked Sugarrat to send us the complete instructions and photos so we could host them here, to keep her guild's server from being splurched -- that's how popular we know this shirt will be.

"I am a girly girl," Sugarrat explains. "I like my pearls and my bright colours and really wish there was more wearable Warcraft art. I saw a few sexy things on Etsy -- but I am also kinda cheap, so thought I would try and make my own."

Click on the gallery below for step-by-step instructions on making Sugarrat's WoW Bleach Shirt. As Sugarrat puts it: "For the Horde! And swanky gear!"

World of WarCrafts: Sugarrat's WoW Bleach Shirt originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: No seriously, that glyph is horrible - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


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

The Daily Quest: No seriously, that glyph is horrible originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More MP5 on gear incoming - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST

Mana regeneration has been a hot issue for raiding healers during this expansion. Basically, we had far too much of it in tier 7 content, to the point where we could ignore our mana bars in many situations. I once joked that I could replace our holy paladin's mana bar with a blue piece of paper without any loss of information; it wasn't very far from the truth.

When tier 8 came around they tried to nerf our mana regeneration so that we'd finally care about overhealing and gear for mana regen as well as throughput, but it seems they didn't go far enough, at least for one class. Many Holy Paladins are still ignoring MP5 gear; in fact, the aforementioned holy pally refused to pick up most Ulduar spell plate because it all has MP5 on it and he likes his Naxx-25 stuff better.

He's not alone in this tactic; many paladins are taking the same route, and mourning that this gear is no good for us. Ghostcrawler recognizes this problem, stating that "Regardless of any other changes we might make, mp5 just doesn't seem to provide enough point for point on gear." So what are they going to do about it? He says "It's possible (likely?) we'll just increase all of the mp5 on gear."

I'm honestly not sure this will solve the problem, since I suspect lots of people still won't want MP5, but it's a step in the right direction; MP5 has historically been a very expensive stat, which means the other stats on a piece of gear have to be lower just to get a little bit of mana regen out of it. And he does mention "other changes we might make," so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

More MP5 on gear incoming originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Vindication hotfixed, no longer affects Stam or Int - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST

A hotfix is in the works for the Retribution Paladin talent Vindication. When the fix goes live ("as early as this afternoon"), Vindication will no longer reduce the Intellect or Stamina of affected targets. It will continue to reduce Agility, Spirit, and Strength. As usual, tooltips will not immediately update to reflect this change; the tooltips will be incorrect until they can be fixed in a content patch.

Bornakk says this fix was put in place to address Retribution paladins being "very prominent" in PvP, "especially in the lower Arena brackets," without hurting Ret PvE DPS. Nerfing a class based on performance in lower brackets seems a little weird to me, but whatever. We did have some rumblings that something like this was coming - a PvP nerf that doesn't affect PvE. This certainly covers those bases. It leaves Vindication a pretty lackluster talent, though. Will you still keep it in your talent spec?

Vindication hotfixed, no longer affects Stam or Int originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams accept Guinness World Record awards - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST
Apparently there were a few Blizzard blokes at E3 last week, even though we didn't see them wandering the floor at all. Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams were both there to accept their awards for world records from Guinness after making it into the 2009 Gaming edition. World of Warcraft picked up a record for the most popular MMORPG in the world (with, as you probably know, 12 million players), and Starcraft gained recognition for being the best-selling PC strategy game, with 9.5 million copies sold worldwide. Neither of these awards are really that much of a surprise -- both games have already garnered tons of other awards, and both games are already squarely in the pantheon of the best and biggest PC games ever sold. But being recognized is always nice, we're sure.

They honored a number of other extremely popular games and services as well, including two big Activision Blizzard titles: Call of Duty 4 was recognized for being the most-played online video game, and Guitar Hero was recognized for being the best-selling rhythm game series (though Red Octane, the game's original publisher, was honored, and they've only recently been acquired by the Activision overlords).

Congrats to all the award winners, as if they even needed it. Something tells us the millions and millions of dollars in revenue from all of these games was probably a nicer reward than Guinness recognition. Just a guess.

Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams accept Guinness World Record awards originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Surviving summer - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST

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

My guild's members mostly reside in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. As such, the summer is a great season for us: barbecues, outdoor sports, beaches and lakes, hikes and bike rides -- it's a lot of fun! However, it's also the season where my guild's raiding schedule seems to hang by a thread. And this year is no different.

People aren't online as much. Their free time shifts around completely. Some members hardly play at all. It starts to become difficult to fill raid slots. Sometimes it becomes impossible, and we have to cancel raids for a little while.

On top of everything else, we've been plagued by a string of technical problems this year. It started out with with one of our healers getting all laggy on us for no apparent reason. Then someone's PC was attacked by an undetected virus. Then another one of our healers had their PC die mid-raid. Then a tank's motherboard exploded.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Surviving summer

Officers' Quarters: Surviving summer originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 93: Avoiding the scam - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST
Our podcast was so much fun last Saturday that we went even longer than usual -- this week instead of the usual hour, you get nearly an hour and ten minutes for your download (and all for the same low, low price of free!). Robin Torres and Lesley Smith joined Turpster and me to talk about what I did at E3 last week (meeting Michele Boyd was definitely a highlight), the new Druid forms and how they look, what's new in the game with 3.1.3, and some recent player achievements, including Ensidia's big win, and the no-deaths character. Plus, we talked with Robin about her recent scam experience, and how you can avoid having something like that happen to you in the future. One quick note: during the show, we guessed that Blizzard would never ask you for your Authenticator passcode, but that's not true: they do require you to give it to them when you sign in on their site. But our other tips are valid: if you make sure that you're the one typing the URL in to "blizzard.com" or "WorldofWarcraft.com," then you'll never have to worry about any sneaky sites grabbing your name and password.

And of course we answered your emails as usual -- if you have any movie posters to send in to us this week, you can send them along to theshow@wow.com. Enjoy the show, we'll see you next weekend.

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

Listen here on the page:

WoW Insider Show Episode 93: Avoiding the scam originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Waterfalls - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 14:00:00 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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

There's a bunch of good questions in today's Queue: gold cap (including a little extrapolation by yours truly), boss level hit cap design, and voicing of a certain King of Stormwind.

(In my Casey Kasem voice) As for today's reading music, take a listen to the 1990's classic by TLC, Don't Go Chasin' Waterfalls. They totally turn into water elementals too, around 3:40 in the video.

Outdps asked...

"Is the gold cap per character or per account? Is there a gold cap for guild banks?" Bonus question: "What should the gold cap be?"

Continue reading The Queue: Waterfalls

The Queue: Waterfalls originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World-first Val'anyr formed by Avant Garde - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST

If you're a raiding healer, you almost certainly know this already: Ulduar-25 contains a legendary healer mace, called Val'anyr. To craft it, you have to gather 30 Fragments of Val'anyr, which drop from both normal and hard-mode 25-man Ulduar fights (though they always drop on hard-mode, and only have a chance to drop on normal). You then have to throw the combined collection of fragments at Yogg'Saron while fighting him when he uses the "Deafening Roar" ability, which he only uses on hard mode. After that, defeat Yogg, and Val'anyr is yours.

Well, someone has now completed all of the above steps: Snuggleme, a resto druid of Avant Garde on Kil'jaeden. Congratulations on what appears to be the world-first Val'anyr! We know exactly what it does already, but I'm still curious what it feels like to use it in a real raid - hopefully Snuggleme can give us some insight in weeks to come. Also congratulations to Impervious of Stormreaver, who collected their 30th Fragment last week on a hard-mode Yogg-Saron kill, and will be forming the hammer this week.

World-first Val'anyr formed by Avant Garde originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Candyman - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Iryzia created Candyman, a music video featuring the music by Christina Aguilera. The tip about this video comes to us from Nessa, who rightly compares it to Demachic's "Britney Belf" ouevre. And while you may or may not find Blood Elf performers "your thing," I think this is actually a great use of the models. Their elegant hair and broad movements match the genre of the song pretty well.

Of course, I'll admit it was a tad jarring to see the three Blood Elf women dancing and singing it up in the Stormwind auction house. As the video proceeds, though, it becomes pretty obvious that it's just the room being used as a stage. Iryzia's attention to movement, dressing, and setting reinforces the beauty of the video. I especially love her use of red curtains, as the vibrant color helps bring the video to life.

I think Iryzia could produce a lot of cool stuff, and I'm hoping she keeps honing her skills.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Candyman originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Care and feeding of the Core Hound - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


No, you cannot go out for a walkie right now. I know you have to take a widdle -- I know that all too well, considering you flooded half this cell last night when you were dreaming about the Stonewrought Dam. But we have to stay in here until the Random Number Generator pulls up your name to fight a group. Then we can both get out of here, you can utilize the restroom, and I can wait until the group kills you and then finally eat your succulent hell-beast flesh. What? Oh, I said that I can wait until the group pets you and eat a succulent piece of tofu. That's right. That's what I said.

(Thanks to Kaandemiro of <Order of Shadows> on the Forgotten Coast, who managed to find humor in his accidental entrapment behind Lavanthor's cage portal in the Violet Hold.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Care and feeding of the Core Hound originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What do you think of the new Druid cat forms? - Mon, 08 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST

Hot the heels of the new druid bear forms revealed last week, it was time for the cats out there to get a make over and Blizzard revealed the new Tauren look on Tuesday with Night Elves following on Thursday. Personally I think both sets look awesome and as an Alliance druid, I actually like my cat form as is. However I know an awful lot of Tauren druids have been unhappy with their pseudo-lion's lackluster looks and there are probably some Night Elf Druids out there who are little bored as well. I'm still waiting, in hope that the equally boring travel form might see a revamp too but that's for another day.

So come on Druids, are you pleased with how your cat forms turned out? What about you non-Druids out there? Are you now tempted to reroll just to try out the new form? Don't like the look? Are the Tauren cat forms now realistic enough? Do you think your Night Elf kitty now feels more fuzzball (like my Ceridwen here) than ferocious killer? Do you think Blizzard could have done better or be a little more imaginative with the designs? Go on, speak up, and tell us what you think.

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of the new Druid cat forms? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 08 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SK Gaming wins MLG Columbus - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST


The dominance of Rogue/Mage/Priest continues as SK Gaming defeated eMazing Gaming's faceroll Unholy/BM/Holy comp in the Major League Gaming Columbus Grand Finals 6-3 (best of 11 counting previous matchups). SK Gaming took home the $9,000 Grand Prize in the first leg of the MLG 2009 pro circuit, proving that the US still has a competitive RMP team. Europe's RMP contingent, Ensidia, barely missed the Finals after dropping to eMG in the prior round.

Some of the teams didn't do so well despite expectations, such as two-time MLG winners Fnatic, who were playing without their Warrior, Rhaegyn. Fnatic did rather poorly, playing a Rogue/Warlock/Shaman comp that simply couldn't match up against the dominant RMPs or even eMG's Death Knight/Hunter/Paladin. Evil Geniuses also played below par, but there really have to be teams that occupy the bottom of the standings. The good news is that teams collect points through all MLG legs to tally at the end of the season, so we might see some changes in the next MLG stops.

All the matches were streamed through three different sites via Octoshape, but the streams were choppy and often stalled more than it did in the first two days of the tournament. It came to the point where the matches were simply unwatchable, which is a shame because there were some pretty good games on the last day. The shoutcasters did an excellent job commentating on the matches but camerawork and the pace of the games were just too fast at times to appreciate. Arena Tournaments could benefit greatly from instant replays, slow motion, and camera angles beyond the third person view. Replays should be available on GotFrag soon.

SK Gaming wins MLG Columbus originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Forum Post of the Day: Dalaran Classified Ads - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 18:05:00 EST
Crawford of Gorefiend posted a pretty amusing post recently on the official forums: Dalaran Classified Ads. The post lists a variety of help wanted, services offered, and even personals ads from various personalities around Azeroth. There's some pretty amusing ones in the mix.

Inspired, I thought I'd come up with one or two myself:

HELP WANTED: Day Laborers for bridge construction. Must bring own tools, or recover stolen tools from Murlocs. Payment is 2 armor patches a week plus all the Sauteed Sunfish you can eat. Work hours very flexible. Contact Oslow at Lakeshire, Redridge. Projected completion time TBA.

It's not that great, admittedly, but hey. For some real good ones, check out the post.

Forum Post of the Day: Dalaran Classified Ads originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 18:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Lore of Ulduar - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


One of the things I really love about Ulduar is how interconnected it is to the lore of older Azerothian instances and new Wrath content like the Storm Peaks. (I have no idea who that mermaid is, though.) If you ran Uldaman back in the day, or even as you leveled characters more recently, you got to see a smashed, ruined installation of the Titans with lore characters like Ironaya and Archaedas (both of whom even have nice little shout outs in the Ulduar-10 loot table) and got a nice dose of the backstory for the creation of Azeroth. I think it was my lovely and talented wife who pointed out that Ulduar references lore from Ashenvale (the Master's Glaive), the Badlands (Uldaman itself), even Ahn'Qiraj and all of that lore is not just evident in the massive construction of Ulduar (you could even call it titanic, if you wanted a lot of people to groan at you) but in the sheer scale of bosses available. Only Naxxramas has more, and Ulduar has the edge in that several of its boss encounters have hard modes as well.

Ulduar also does a really excellent job of making you part of the lore of the place. If you leveled through the Storm Peaks, you most likely took part in the extended and rewarding quest chains that allowed you to interact with the Sons of Hodir, took part in the Hyldsmeet, and eventually raided the Halls of Lightning themselves to slay the Prime Designate himself. I'm trying really hard not to spoil anything, so suffice it to say that if you played through all of that content, you are directly responsible not only for the presence of one of the watchers within Ulduar itself, but for the potential upcoming end of the world. I find that to be rather motivating for going into the place, and they did a really excellent job of tying it all together.

Continue reading The Lore of Ulduar

The Lore of Ulduar originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fishing revamp is "on the books" - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST
While Blizzard's managed to do pretty well lately in adding quirks and surprises to make fishing more tolerable (or at least more desirable), the fact remains that it's still ultimately pretty boring to skill up and use altogether, and many people believe it's well overdue for a revamp.

It looks like Blizzard agrees, as Zarhym recently revealed that they plan to revamp it. Of course, he had no details or time frame, but that's par for the course for Blizzard.

As to how the revamp should go down, Insider Trader actually recently discussed some ideas. Myself, I'm in favor of the minigame approach. If Popcap can import Peggle, you have to figure it's possible to set up a pretty robust fishing mini-game in WoW. Of course, if all else fails, they could always just let us actually use a Goblin Fishing Pole.

Fishing revamp is "on the books" originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Yeah, we know you've already got Algalon on farm -- WoW.com readers are just uber that way. But for the rare handful of you still playing at a somewhat less stratospheric progression point ... How about those patches? Is the flow of new content keeping pace with your playstyle and interest?

"The pace of new content is fine - ooh, shiny :)," wrote Julie. "What worries me is the rate at which old content becomes obsolete (which is way too fast). For example, I'm glad Ulduar and Emalon are out. I hate the fact you can't do Archavon without doing Emalon. I also hate the fact that there's no reason to go into Naxx (Pro-Drake, badges, etc.) or heroic five-mans, for that matter. Basically I'm ok with the new content coming out; not ok with being forced to move to the new content the moment it does, however. There should be some balanced incentives to keep doing older content."

Is your guild working patiently through the existing content at its own rate, or has the addition of new content shoved you out into the deep end before you were ready?

Continue reading [1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end

[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zarhym talks about the Isle of Conquest battleground - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST
So one of the things we have coming our way in patch 3.2 will be the new Isle of Conquest battleground. Unfortunately, we don't know much more about it than the name, but that has not stopped everyone from speculating on what it could bring, whether it be a combination of some of the old mechanics from previous battlegrounds (Much like Eye of the Storm was a combination of Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch) or completely new ideas. There's been hints it's more like Alterac Valley than other old battlegrounds, but for now, we're waiting impatiently for the PTR in the hopes of getting a real look.

Zarhym chimed in on one of these threads a couple days ago, and while he mostly told people they'd have to wait and see, one reply he did give suggests a sneak peek into what the battleground could be: "If "conquest" means the ability to catapult or parachute players behind enemy lines, then yes."

Ok, so it's not much, but it's there. There will be Catapults, and we will be flinging players in them! I know one of my favorite things to do in Alterac Valley back when it lasted hours was to sneak behind enemy lines to capture objectives or gather Frostwolf Hides and the like. Of course, I could do this because I played a stealthing Druid. Non-stealthers generally did not have the ability to sneak past all the PCs and NPCs blocking their way. But the idea of sending paratrooping special forces in to complete small objectives or even just flank the enemy is just plain sort of cool, if it ends up working out like that.

Beyond that, Zarhym also hinted that the Battleground revamp is coming along, but of course, once again, he had no information to offer. Will we see it in Patch 3.2? Hopefully, the PTR will come up soon and we'll know more for sure.

Zarhym talks about the Isle of Conquest battleground originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Compensating for something? - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST

Ahinawee of <Cue Ominous Music> on Skywall has some strange habits. "While posing for our guild's first kill of Thorim, I noticed that he had a pretty short skirt," he writes. "With some weird curiousity, I started to tilt the camera up. You can see the result on the screenshot. Maybe we now know why Sif left him."

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Compensating for something? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: No more rubber gloves - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST
Today, the rubber gloves come off. Or rather, they are not being put on again. The list is a good one, full of jokes you need to read because I say recommend so.

Sunday Morning Funnies: No more rubber gloves originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Have you ever actually met a GM in-game? - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


One of the things which captivated me when I first started playing WoW were the whispered myths surrounding GMs. Being that this was my first proper foray into the magical and mysterious world of online gaming I had no real idea of what exactly their strange beings where except that they were uber-powerful and acted as both peacekeepers on the forums and tech support in-game.

Over the years, I've submitted my fair share of tickets. Indeed once during the Wrath beta I and a bunch of other hapless explorers got trapped under Dalaran bank and I had to ask a GM to teleport them out (being a druid I just teleported to Moonglade -- after twenty minutes of waiting for my hearthstone to cooldown and them remembering I had an escape route). However in all my dealings with them in-game I've never actually met a GM in-game (on the other hand I've met a bunch in real life). So I want to know, readers, have you ever seen a GM with your own (virtual) eyes? Did they appear to you in that robe get up seen in the manual or as something a little more scary? Come on and spill the beans, I want to hear about all your fascinating GM encounters!

Breakfast Topic: Have you ever actually met a GM in-game? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MLG Columbus Day Two concludes - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:30:00 EST


The second day of competition at the Major League Gaming 2009 Pro Circuit has just wrapped up, with SK Gaming leading all teams with a 5-1 record followed closely by eMazing Gaming and Europe's Ensidia with identical 4-1 slates. The entire event was streamed live through MLG's site, as well as GotFrag and MMO Champion, and if you missed them there are short recaps of the matches over at GotFrag, as well as a brief match overview. The Arena Tournament uses a best-of-five format where no maps are played twice, which is a great concession to the fact that some team comps play better in particular maps.

Over $15,000 are at stake in the tournament, with the first place winner taking home $9,000. It's been an exciting two days so far, and even though the Rogue/Mage/Priest comp continues to exert its dominance in the format, the current environment has also opened up to relatively newer comps such as Rogue/Warlock/Shaman and Death Knight/Hunter/Paladin. Day three will see which team comes out on top and takes home the prize, with the rest of the matches in this roundrobin tournament streamed live tomorrow at 9am EST.

MLG Columbus Day Two concludes originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: Ninchuu the Hunter - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

Gladiator Ninchuu is one of the new breed of Hunters doing battle with success in the last two seasons. While Burning Crusades could be considered a dark time for the class, confining the masters of ranged weapons to the slow, highly technical "drain team," Wrath of the Lich King has introduced several different interesting possibilities for the Hunter.

Ninchuu took the time to talk with us about the Hunter class, how they relate to other classes, and how he conducts his time in the Arena. He's got some especially great tips about how Arena hopefuls should be aware of their mindset when stepping foot in the virtual squared circle.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Ninchuu the Hunter

The Colosseum: Ninchuu the Hunter originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: The inside layer - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


This installment of All the World's a Stage continues the discussion about the layers of roleplaying, still taking a break from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions. Last week, we looked at how to interact with strangers in roleplaying environments, on "the surface layer."

So there you are -- you've got a character who is gregarious and gets into roleplaying groups relatively easily. Your character's way of interacting with others makes it easy for other people to recognize you as a roleplayer, and even encourages them to come out and roleplay with you, even if they're not that much into roleplaying themselves. You've followed some good advice about finding roleplayers -- maybe even joined an RP guild -- and you're meeting characters you think are interesting, and you really hope they think your character is interesting too.

But then something goes wrong and you feel that special RP feeling start slipping away. The people in your guild stop talking to you as much -- sometimes the whole guild atmosphere seems to go quiet and dull, and no matter what you say, nothing seems to get the actual spirit of roleplaying flowing again. You start to think maybe your interesting character quirks aren't all that good after all. You keep trying to think of new ones, but no matter how funny your accent or entertaining your antics, people just aren't getting into it like they used to.

The problem here isn't actually you -- it's an assumption that many roleplayers, even experienced ones, sometimes have when they are in new roleplaying situations. We take the burden of creating a roleplaying atmosphere too heavily upon ourselves, when actually what we need to do is not create the atmosphere, but nurture it. Questions are the key here -- if your character has a genuine interest in other people then he or she will be able to draw out the spirit of roleplaying in them, get them talking about themselves, and start having interesting interactions together.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: The inside layer

All the World's a Stage: The inside layer originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: Reaching the hit cap - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST



Each week Arcane Brilliance chats a bit about Mages and all things Mage-related. You may wonder what Arcane Brilliance likes to discuss the rest of the week. Even if you don't wonder that, Arcane Brilliance is going to tell you: It's still Mages. Yes, Arcane Brilliance pretty much talks about Mages constantly, even when it is wildly inappropriate to do so: at the dinner table...during business meetings...in church...at funerals...off-topic on completely unrelated message boards...Arcane Brilliance doesn't get invited to very many parties, in case you were curious.

When people see me in public, they often ask me, "Christian, how can I get my Mage hit capped?" It's probably the most common question I get, right up there with "Why are you so awesome?" and "Where are your pants?"

Okay, that's a lie. Nobody ever approaches me in public, and nobody asks me any of those questions, except for maybe the one about the location of my pants. That's a whole other story, and my attorney has advised me not to speak of it. Still, reaching the hit cap is something every Mage should be striving toward, but far too many of us either don't realize how important it is, or don't know enough about how to get there effectively. Fear not. Arcane Brilliance is here to explain the mysteries of the hit cap to you. The good news? It isn't nearly as complicated as you may think.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Reaching the hit cap

Arcane Brilliance: Reaching the hit cap originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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