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WoW Moviewatch: WoW Then and Now - Sun, 09 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST

Slightly Impressive tackles the long, slow evolution of WoW with a brief reminder of what the game used to be like. Remember the long haul from Deadmines every time you needed a new PUG? The pain of learning your way around a new zone? The heartfelt despair trying to find a new group?

WoW Then and Now is more than just a pleasant romp down memory lane. It rips the rose-colored glasses off for a stark reminder that not everything used to be so easy. I think the game's grown for the better; your mileage may vary. Ultimately, though, this is some great work from Slightly Impressive.
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: WoW Then and Now originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 09 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: The legacy of the Mag'har - Sun, 09 Jun 2013 16:00:00 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.

Garrosh Hellscream's actions thus far in World of Warcraft have been, by and large, downright villainous and despicable. He's responsible for the murders of countless Alliance soldiers and civilians at both Northwatch Hold and Theramore -- and countless others over the course of his reign as Warchief. He's also responsible for the deaths of countless Horde -- some honorable, some not, all distinctly under the impression that being a member of the Horde brought certain advantages. Advantages like not having the Warchief order your execution over perceived slights.

Yet Garrosh's roots, oddly enough, are with a clan of orcs that pride themselves in the noble preservation of orcish society as it stood before the Burning Legion's influence. Small, yes, remote and isolated, yes, but they stood and continue to stand with pride in the face of corruption. Based in a remote corner of Outland, they are the Mag'har. Where did they come from, and how did they affect how Warchief Hellscream views the world today?

Continue reading Know Your Lore: The legacy of the Mag'har

Know Your Lore: The legacy of the Mag'har originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 09 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: New Leaf - Sun, 09 Jun 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. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Guys. GUYS. It's Animal Crossing: New Leaf release day! I'm shaking so many oranges from trees and designing pretty dresses and repaying predatory mortgages!

inkliizii1 asked:

Is there any info on the numbers for flex raiding? Like would it be possible to get 40 ppl together? Or run it with a tank, a healer, and a dps, like an extreme scenario? Lots of possibilities.

You can have between 10 and 25 people in a flex group. Can't go higher or lower that we know of.

Continue reading The Queue: New Leaf

The Queue: New Leaf originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 09 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Dark Legacy Comics - Sun, 09 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST

Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

Each week, we're shining the spotlight on a WoW-related web comic from our weekly list. This week, we're looking at Dark Legacy Comics:

Dark Legacy Comics (DLC) is a funny comic featuring a group of 8 Alliance-based regular characters: Keydar, Donald, Miji, Gigz, Narya, Krom and Nyte, as well as the two little clones, pictured above. Many of its comics are one-offs, which makes it very accessible for new or casual readers, but it also features running story lines from time to time.

The subjects vary. Sometimes there are long story lines where something unique happens in the world (like an NPC strike). Other times, the comics focus on a character's hobby (like Gigz's cooking) or even comment back on the experience of playing WoW, such as with a sequence where the characters are raiding.

DLC is one of the longest running and most popular WoW-related comics, and is a great pick if you're new to either WoW or web comics.

DLC updates on Sundays.

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: Dark Legacy Comics

Sunday Morning Funnies: Dark Legacy Comics originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 09 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Brothers from another mother - Sun, 09 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Sheehun of No Reprieve on my old server Magtheridon (US-A) used the Glyph of Disguise to transform himself into a mogu gentleman. While hanging around in disguise on the Isle of Thunder, he happened to sit next to a draenei NPC and noticed a few similarities in their poses. Are the mogu and draenei animations simply based on the same model? Or does Sheehun need to slip the draenei a card with the number for The Maury Povich Show?

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: Brothers from another mother originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 09 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What are you embarrassed that you didn't know? - Sun, 09 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST

Reader Morncreek just recently informed me in the comments of the results of last week's Community Blog Topic that heirlooms were cross-faction as long as the characters are on the same server. Mind blown. This may be common knowledge, but I had absolutely no clue. You can't send cash or even just text, but you can send any Bind on Account item. In my defense, all of my Alliance characters are on different servers from my Horde characters, but still.

In another case of embarrassing ignorance, it took a couple of years for me to discover that you could eat food and drink drinks at the same time. Though I've played since open beta, it wasn't until the tooltip started showing up on loading screens that I found that out. Yay tooltips!

What about you? Did you know about BoA items being cross-faction, but not cross-server? Is there anything in WoW that you've discovered over your playtime that made you facepalm? Fess up!

Breakfast Topic: What are you embarrassed that you didn't know? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 09 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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On raid lockouts, flexible raiding, and choice - Sat, 08 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST

With the introduction of flexible raiding a certain conversation is cropping up again. It's a conversation about raid lockouts. Back when LFR was first introduced during Dragon Soul, quite a few players began to argue that they felt forced to run LFR in addition to the raid itself. Then, as we moved into Mists of Pandaria raiding, this discussion intensified. I had my own opinion on the issue, which was basically that no, raid finder should not share a lockout with normal mode raiding. Luckily, Blizzard didn't do that, coming up with other ways to reduce LFR's desirability for people who run normal/heroic raids.

Now, with flexible raiding, the argument that it should share a lockout with normal/heroic raids is being resurrected because again players are afraid they will be forced to run it. I'm opposed to this idea for a variety of reasons.
  1. Sharing the lockout between flexible raiding and normal/heroic raiding means that if you choose to step down to flex for a night because you were short people, you'll either be locked into flex or you'll need to be able to switch back and forth between them. Either players will be punished for going flex, or they'll be using it to bypass encounters that are 'too hard' on normal. This isn't meant to be a means to game raid difficulty.
  2. Sharing the lockout between 10 and 25 man raiding nearly killed 25 man raiding. A shared lockout between flexible raiding and normal raids would probably be enough to finish the job, because as 25 man guilds lost members and made use of the flexible raid to keep running, there would be very little incentive to recruit and less incentive for new players to join.
  3. Flex raiding is being rolled out to test the waters - we have no idea how the final implementation will shake out. Burdening it with a shared lockout adds a further complication which isn't needed at this time. For all we know, flexible raiding will be how all raids work in the next expansion. Even if it isn't, we need to give it time before we make it jump through more hoops.
  4. People need to stop begging Blizzard to keep them from playing the game.
Number five is probably the most controversial point, and it's also the most important to my eyes. I don't know where certain players came up with this idea that Blizzard needs to save them from doing things but it needs to stop. If you're not in a guild that's pushing content in the first week or two of its existence, you will not need to run flexible raids for gear to push that content faster any more than you need to run LFR for that.

Continue reading On raid lockouts, flexible raiding, and choice

On raid lockouts, flexible raiding, and choice originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Lock Candy - Sat, 08 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST

I can't believe how long it took for this song to turn into a WoW machinima. It seems so obvious now! So, my hat's off to Letomi and Khayllys for finally answering this unspoken need: create a warlock version of I Want Candy.

Lock Candy is well-performed, solidly written, and excellently animated. The video is long enough to be fulfilling without running so long that you get bored of the schtick. Letomi's vocals are tone perfect to the playful spirit, and Khayllys shows off some snazzy graphic skills. All in all, Lock Candy is one of the best music videos I've seen in a while.
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: Lock Candy originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Speculative solutions - Sat, 08 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

In the past few weeks I've talked about warrior survivability concerns and our problems with itemization and that's got me thinking: what are the solutions? Now, I'm not a dev nor even playing one on TV, I'm basically just a fan of the game, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about these things. It's easy to complain about issues, after all, but harder to discuss meaningful solutions. So I've decided to do just that, since the comments alone are usually worth the price of admission in cases like that.

The main concerns I'll be discussing are as follows:
  1. DPS warrior survivability in PvE
  2. The rapid decline of Arms warriors in PvP (Cynwise's recent class distribution numbers went a lot more in depth than my own class rep post, and it's convinced me the warrior decline in PvP is more meaningful than I first thought)
  3. Warrior tanking issues (haste, overall DPS, our lack of 'cheese')
So what could we see that would help with these issues? What changes would be effective without being too effective?

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Speculative solutions

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Speculative solutions originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Should WoW come to Xbox? - Sat, 08 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST

A little known fact about your intrepid WoW Insider staff: we plan our weeks way early. As a matter of fact, we get started planning our weekends in the middle of the week. So when I asked the team about what they're playing this weekend -- and the bonus question to go along with it -- the news about Flexible Raids hadn't made the full rounds yet.

So we asked about Diablo III going to the Xbox, and whether WoW should be next. As you might have guessed, though, our team actually reached a near-consensus on the issue. I'd paraphrase that consensus, but it's more fun to read everyone's individual opinions.

Continue reading WRUP: Should WoW come to Xbox?

WRUP: Should WoW come to Xbox? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Get Lucky, KK - Sat, 08 Jun 2013 12:00:00 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.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf comes out tomorrow! In celebration, let's jam with KK Slider and Daft Punk.

RikOsborne asked:

Can someone tell me what's going on with that big Horde excavation right in front of the Shrine of Seven Stars? I have four Alliance level 90s, but I haven't found a damn thing in-game to tell me what's going on there.

I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll tell you this instead -- play the Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario! It's all covered in there.

Continue reading The Queue: Get Lucky, KK

The Queue: Get Lucky, KK originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: All my friends know the low rider - Sat, 08 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST

"No one's quite sure how or why the Darkmoon Faire carousel ride seats disappeared," writes submitter Actorious of Disciples of Beer on Perenolde (US-A). "But that didn't stop me from getting my daily dose of Wheee! Although if the new rule is BYOM (Bring Your Own Mount), shouldn't the price of admission be reduced?" I suspect drunken carnies ... and forthcoming lawsuits.

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: All my friends know the low rider originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Tried it, didn't like it - Sat, 08 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST

Surprise! I'm not into battling pets -- and I don't really understand why not. When vanity pets first started picking up steam in WoW, I scoffed at them. Eventually, though, I encountered the One Pet, the Captured Firefly, that captured my heart. That prompted me to begin collecting, but I never made it to the highest achievement rung at the time before I realized that as long as I had my little firefly friend out and about, I was quite content. Still, I always assumed I'd enjoy capturing and caging pets, if not the actual minigame of pet battling, and I eagerly anticipated the release of pet battles.

Nope, not doing it for me. The itch to catch 'em all remains dormant. I continue on my merry way with my firefly, and I'm happy as can be. Nobody who knows me well understands why I'm not animatedly capturing and caging my way across Azeroth, but it just doesn't click for me.

Is there something you eagerly anticipated in WoW that didn't turn out to float your boat? What do you suppose made it fall short of your expectations?

Breakfast Topic: Tried it, didn't like it originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Light and How to Swing It: How many abilities is too many? - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Remember Divine Intervention?

I was talking about bygone abilities with some guildmates the other day (we need a ret/holy hybrid, by the way!) and it evolved into an interesting conversation about ability bloat in WoW. Some of them thought that they had way too many abilities on their bars with far too many keybinds to manage, and were dreading finding room for anything new that could be added in the next expansion.

Personally, I don't feel like I'm in the saturation point just yet (maybe because I'm not a prolific macro-er) but I can definitely sympathize with the sentiment. Ever since TBC, Blizzard has been heaping more and more abilities into our toolbox, and if we're not yet at a saturation point, we will soon be at one in the future. Regardless, it's interesting to look not only at what our toolbox is like now, but also what it used to be like, and then if something had to be cut down the line, where the knife may well be pointed.

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: How many abilities is too many?

The Light and How to Swing It: How many abilities is too many? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2013 Art and Movie Contests now open for submissions - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST

Submissions are now being taken for the BlizzCon Art and Movie Contests! Whether you're an artist with a penchant for scribbling masterpieces of Blizzard-inspired material, or your creative tendencies dwell more in machinima and film, both contests are open and now taking entries. Winners will receive a variety of prizes, and have their work featured at BlizzCon 2013, where throngs of attendees can admire your unique skills!

For the Art Contest, all you need to do is create your best piece of art based on Blizzard material from any of their games. The first place winner will receive $1,500, second place will receive $1,000, and third place will receive $700 -- and all three winners will receive a ticket to BlizzCon as well. All entries must be receive by August 23, and meet the formatting requirements. And remember, the contest is for original works -- Photoshop manipulations don't count. Check out the official rules for more information.

For the Movie Contest, films both live action and using in game footage -- or a combination of both -- featuring Blizzard's game universes are now being taken for consideration. Prizes for this year's movie contest include $2,000 and an Oswald Statue for first place, $1,250 for second place, and $750 for third place. And again, all three winners will receive a ticket to Blizzcon as well! Movies must be no more than three minutes in length, and as with the Art Contest, all submissions must be received by August 23. Take a look at the official rules for more information.

To submit your entries, simply head to the official page for both contests. Good luck to all who enter!

BlizzCon 2013 Art and Movie Contests now open for submissions originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: A Day on the Farm - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST

A Day on the Farm by Tony McSherry is a mixed bag. Technically, a lot about the video is fantastic. The dialogue, story frame, and use of graphics are all fairly solid. The audio is crisp and clear; you'll have no trouble following what the narrator is saying. The video is sharp and you can make out the action clearly.

The down side is that it's slow. The video takes a little over a minute before any audio is introduced and all the pacing moves at a glacial pace. I like the farm diary feel but it really needs a sharper sense of humor or a stronger point to pay off the time you listen.

All in all, I think Tony could go somewhere and make further videos, but the plot and pace could use some work. Remember that a machinima audience can get bored within 10 seconds. It's hard to watch a long, slower video for nearly 7 minutes, even if the technicals are good.
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: A Day on the Farm originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Has Blizzard left an opening for the next generation of WoW killers? - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST

As Blizzard has faltered with its recent loss of WoW subscribers and the reset of its yet to be announced next MMO, other developers, hungry to make inroads in the MMO market, have looked on this as an opportunity. So, after countless games have tried to claim the title, are we really about to see a WoW killer come to market? Stephan Frost, Game Design Producer at NCsoft's Carbine Studios, thinks that it gives his game Wildstar a better chance to succeed. "We're coming out at a time when WoW is losing subscribers and we can fill the void for people who want an MMO that's deep, hardcore but also accessible to people." In the meanwhile, Take-Two Interactive has taken the opposing angle, saying that no one -- not even Blizzard -- can succeed because the North American market is a poor one for MMOs.

Analysts agree that Blizzard's delay can only be an opportunity for others, though with WoW's current patch frenzy, it's clear that Blizzard isn't planning on relinquishing its title as top MMO any time soon. So is scifi MMO Wildstar going to be the next big thing? Or will Take-Two's Asian-market MMOs be a smashing success? Only time will tell.


Has Blizzard left an opening for the next generation of WoW killers? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Bo-Ris, Horror in the Night - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST

The dashing duo of destruction and daring-do sat calmly around a basic campfire. They were certainly not arguing about whether the campfire would be suitable replacement for Garrosh and they definitely weren't discussing the basic campfire's ignominious transformation into a simple cooking fire. But both Throgg and Lolegolas pulled up short when the clearing suddenly filled with a viscous, gray smoke.

"I am the Horror that flaps in the night," a mysterious voice paraphrased. "I am the campfire that cooks your goose."

Throgg stood, wrapping his sinewed hand around his polearm handle. "Show yourself."

A vast druid-hawk appeared in the circle. In another moment, it disappeared in a puff of smoke, replaced by a huge, smiling worgen.

"I am not Spot!" The worgen grinned again. "Sorry, when I saw you wielding Bo-Ris, I couldn't help myself."

Throgg dropped the weapon on the ground as he embraced the druid in a mammoth hug. "It's mostly for mogging," Throgg expositioned. "Strength polearms are so rare."

"How did you find us?" Lolegolas asked incredulously. "We thought we'd lost you months ago."

"That, my friends," the druid said, "is a much, much longer story. Before we begin... do you have any ale? I'm parched."

Item Note: In fact, not only is the polearm one of the very few Strength polearms ever to see Azeroth, it looks pretty cool. Of course, you can do better for weapons now, but make sure to grab one for your undergeared alts.
Phat Loot Phriday brings you the scoop on some of the most ... interesting ... loot in the World of Warcraft, often viewed through the eyes of the stalwart Throgg and indelible Lolegolas. Suggest items you think we should feature by emailing mikeg@wowinsider.com.

Phat Loot Phriday: Bo-Ris, Horror in the Night originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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User engagement and personal bias - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST

I love it when smart people say something I wish I'd said. Last year, I wrote this post about how the WoW community (especially active members of the community, such as forum posters) tends to assume that everyone plays the game the way they do. Now comes a much smarter, more analytical and thus more factual post from Taufmonster about engagement bias.

Hopefully I'll be forgiven for breaking it down - basically, the problem is that we make assumptions about WoW and its players based on the people we know and play with, assumptions that are not valid. To quote Taufmonster:

The people you see when you log into WoW, no matter which server you play on, do not comprise a representative sample of the people who play WoW.

That sentence might seem a bit surprising but I can assure you that it's 100% true. The primary culprit here is engagement bias, which is something you have to consider when you're analyzing a game-as-a-service, like WoW.

The analysis that follows is pretty fascinating, and I'll leave it for you to go read it yourself: it's well worth it even from the perspective of someone who doesn't do a lot of number crunching like myself. I especially liked the point about how you collect your information. That by sampling the readers of a site that's dedicated to World of Warcraft like MMO-Champion in his case, he's already selecting for players who are more engaged with the game. Since this is the first part of a series of posts, it's definitely worth paying attention to Taufmonster's Log for more installments as they come out.


User engagement and personal bias originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Archivist: Patch 2.3 -- Azeroth iterated - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST

WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Blizzard likes to talk about their "iterative" process, meaning they make many small improvements over time to produce the best possible result. In the case of the lackluster patch 2.2, players were disappointed that more was not done. With the game's subscriptions still skyrocketing, Blizzard felt pressure to deliver a major dose of new content and improvements.

In November 2007, Blizzard answered the bell and unleashed an iteration that reshaped the game from top to bottom. Players of every level experienced sweeping changes to their play experience -- many of which are so integral now that it's hard to believe we played without them for so long. If you ask players about patch 2.3, they'll call it the "ZA patch." Zul'Aman was a great raid, but 2.3 offered so much more than that.

Continue reading WoW Archivist: Patch 2.3 -- Azeroth iterated

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.3 -- Azeroth iterated originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Put them in front of me - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 12:00:00 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. Matthew Rossi is the dark force behind a triptych folded cardboard sheet with a lot of tables printed on it today.

It's no secret that I spent a lot of time playing pen and paper RPG's. This is a story from one of those.

Friend of mine was running a Werewolf: The Apocalypse game, one of White Wolf's original "Noun: Definite Article Gerund" games. I actually liked both Werewolf and Mage: The Awakening, just because you could do some crazy stuff in these games. I turned an ancient vampire into a chair once! Paid for that one in paradox, whoo boy. Anyway, so we're at the table, all of us playing werewolves (as you do) and we've discovered that the mayor of the city is in league with the Wyrm (the game's ultimate antagonist, think Sargeras meets a Captain Planet villain) and has a host of Nexus Crawler minions waiting for us. One of our more (up to that point, anyway) meek and mild players is incensed with this betrayal and she says "I'll tear out his heart for this!"

The GM smirks and says "First you have to get past his private army of fomori."

She takes off her glasses, stands up straight and says with an actual growl "Put them in front of me."

And that, my friends, is why I love gaming. Put them in front of me. Let's get on with the show!

Slothcloctimus asks:

Question: Why is there not a third phase in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms? I love the first phase -- when you first enter and all the pandaren are coming in for the first time. It feels like you're part of something big. Then when you hit 90 and start the Golden Lotus quests, you get a second phase where you're holding off the Sha attacks and the mogu and everything. The dailies kind of dragged on, but I love how the story ended with the epic quest at the end. Then I turned the quest in, saved everything....and flew over the same bad guys still there on my way out.

Continue reading The Queue: Put them in front of me

The Queue: Put them in front of me originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Let's go surfing now, everybody's learning now - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Pancàkes of Hello Kitty Adventures on Whisperwind (US-A) was participating in the new Battle on the High Seas scenario when he spotted a pirate engaged in some less than martial activities. With all the ships being used for battles and supply transports, this buccaneer has had to harness some local turtle for his water-skiing needs. Well, it's slow, but it works ... or at least it works until the turtles realize that they can dive.

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: Let's go surfing now, everybody's learning now originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Community Blog Topic: Should servers be merged? - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST

The last Community Blog Topic discussed what features we wish WoW had. Many people had wishes that would be solutions for the current low population server problem. Mine was to have one free character transfer per month. Others suggested that realms be merged and there was also much talk about making WoW one giant server.

Many pointed out that my idea of free transfers would help people leave low pop realms, but everyone might move to the same popular realms that already have queues. Leaving it up to each individual player might be too haphazard a way to handle it. But there is a certain appeal to letting people chose where they want to move their characters. Perhaps the highest population servers would not be available for free transfers.

What about merging servers? One of the main problems is perception. If Blizzard decides to save low pop servers by merging them, they will be admitting two things: that Cross Realm Zones aren't working for what they're trying to do and that subscriptions are so low they have to adjust the realms accordingly. Merging servers would definitely hype up "the sky is falling" mentality.

Continue reading Community Blog Topic: Should servers be merged?

Community Blog Topic: Should servers be merged? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Your cleverest character names - Fri, 07 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST

What's in a name? Only your character's identity from here onward! Without a doubt, finding the perfect name for a character is the toughest part of character creation. More than once I've created a character, carefully customized the face and looks just how I liked them, and was then stymied by the blinking cursor in the name box. (And, occasionally, I've timed out while trying to think of a perfect name that's untaken after my first choice wasn't available, meaning I had to go back and start again with customization.)

But my trouble figuring out names just means I've all the more respect for those characters with particularly clever names -- those of you who not only managed to think up a clever name but also claim it before anyone else did. So, dish, fellow Azerothians: what's your cleverest character name?


Breakfast Topic: Your cleverest character names originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard announces Flexible Raids - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 21:30:00 EST

The community has been pressing Ghostcrawler for clues on the mysterious Big Feature coming to a future content patch, but the devs have insisted that there are a few great features coming soon. Blizzard has just revealed one of the new features for the next major content update -- Flexible Raids.


WoW has seen a shift in raid sizes, from 40-man to the current 10- and 25-man difficulties, but one size does not fit all. What about the in-between raids? Those nights players can't fill a 25-man or have a few more than 10 show up one night? Flexible Raids look to fix that.

Continue reading Blizzard announces Flexible Raids

Blizzard announces Flexible Raids originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video Games Live coming to Irvine in July - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST

Many of you may be familiar with Video Games Live, a concert series celebrating the music and art of video games. Music from Blizzard's games has been featured in other Video Games Live concerts, but this is the first time the event will be held in Blizzard's home town of Irvine, California, and the planners are well aware of the games giant in the performance's backyard. If you use the promo code "Blizzard" when you purchase your ticket, you'll get a 20% discount on the price.

The show will be performed by the Pacific Symphony, along with video footage, synchronized lighting, and live-action interactive performances. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend, tickets are now currently on sale for the show on July 17th.

Video Games Live coming to Irvine in July originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde release date announced - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST

Many lore fans have been anticipating the latest World of Warcraft tie-in novel Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde for months now, and that wait will soon be over. In a news post today, Blizzard announced that the long-awaited novel will go on sale July 2, 2013, less than a month from now. The article also includes an excerpt from the book wherein Vol'jin experiences an intriguing vision about the Zandalari, their history, and that of his own his people, the Darkspear trolls. It's not much to go on, but the preview points toward a certain fundamental conflict in Vol'jin between his role as protector and leader of his people, and what his history and even religion may demand of him.

This latest book is authored by Michael Stackpole, a familiar name in the worlds of both gaming and sci-fi/fantasy writing. It's exciting to see a new author being added to the ranks of Blizzard licensed fiction writing, and I look forward to reading Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde.

Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde release date announced originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: What are Warlock's Demons Thinking? - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST

Many threads of influence lead to the style of Misty the Troll's video. Obviously, we start with Wowcrendor, who's the grandfather of dialogue-driven WoW comedy like this. I feel like Wowcrendor's style influenced SlightlyImpressive, though obviously Griff has grown into his own ensemble-featuring thing. And now we end up with Misty the Troll's.

The video feels like a Wowcrendor-style video, which isn't really a bad thing. The comedy's basically effective and the in-game graphics get the job done. But I'd encourage Misty to keep going and grow his own voice, which is where you'll really find success. For now, though, What are Warlock's Demons Thinking? is a fun video with which to kill a few minutes.
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: What are Warlock's Demons Thinking? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Druid vs rogue in the latest Hearthstone shoutcast - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST

The latest update over on the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft website gives us a new shoutcast of Malfurion Stormrage against Valeera Sanguinar. The match is a great opportunity to show off some interesting cards--especially fun is the Alarm-o-bot, which allows you to swap out another random minion during play and has the potential to bring some heavy-hitters to the playing board relatively early in the game. You can also catch a glimpse of the Orgrimmar set board, though no one in this match seemed inclined to play around with their surroundings while waiting on their opponent's turn.

The match itself lasts about ten minutes, and has quite a dramatic finish, which I won't spoil here. Definitely worth the watch, and I'm glad to see my WoW class of choice in action at last! As if I needed any more reasons to be impatient for the Hearthstone beta.

Druid vs rogue in the latest Hearthstone shoutcast originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to PuG a heroic scenario with oQueue - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST

One major aspect of heroic scenarios that was causing irritation, the cache issue, was resolved yesterday with a hotfix explained by Blizzard Community Manager Taepsilum. One thing that WoW Insider has been seeing a lot in regard to heroic scenarios is the difficulty players are having in getting groups to run them. As you probably already know, they require a premade group of three players to run, and particularly for those with limited play time, this can be a real palaver. You do get valor for runs after the first one, but the bonus valor is so substantial that it seems most people just want to do one per day.

So if you're struggling for people to join you for a heroic scenario, what can you do? Of course, you can spam Trade or General, but there are other steps to take. My preferred method, which I also use to pug rated battlegrounds, is oQueue. There are other options, like OpenRaid US and EU, which is a fantastic resource for pre-planned scenario runs, along with rated battlegrounds and raids. But, for me, scenarios are a spur-of-the-moment thing to do when I have 15 minutes to spare. So oQueue is my preferred method. How does it work?

Continue reading How to PuG a heroic scenario with oQueue

How to PuG a heroic scenario with oQueue originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Does your guild offer an opposite-faction group? - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST

I recently fired up a warlock, something I've always meant to do (I'm a long-time arcane pet class lover and an experienced necromancer) but never managed with any serious effort in WoW. Character selection seemed obvious: Evil class, evil faction, right? Only I don't have an active Horde guild anywhere at the moment, and I was mortifyingly lonely after only two brief play sessions.

Of course, once I remade my character in a happily guilded Alliance version, I was reminded that the guild also runs a Horde alternative guild. Frankly, I'm just as pleased to be tucked safely into the active, happy sprawl of the Alliance-side main guild (especially since I plan to focus on soloing with this character), but I did kick myself when I remembered the Horde alternative. Oh, well. Evil is as evil does, right?

Does your guild maintain an active group on the other side of the faction line? If so, do you belong to both? Are they equally active, or is one guild definitely the primary group?

Does your guild offer an opposite-faction group? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Community Blog Topic Results: Features we wish WoW had - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST

Last week, we asked, "What 3 features do you wish WoW had?" Quite a few people answered, many with more than three features. For myself, I suggested cross-realm mail, one free server transfer a month, and story questlines for each class. Here's the breakdown of the responses.

Level scaling

Since reading everyone else's ideas, I'd like to boot cross-realm mail out of my top three list and instead replace it with level scaling so that players of disparate levels can play together. Jojo over at Admiring Azeroth would also like to see level scaling be used so that players could return to lower level zones and complete the content with an appropriate amount of challenge. Feckless Leader's Ross has this to say about what scaling down would have to offer the max-level player:
Quest rewards can always contain gold, and perhaps scaled-down players would also earn the currency of the day, or be able to champion faction rep will questing with your friend. Of course this would work for low-level dungeons, too.

Continue reading Community Blog Topic Results: Features we wish WoW had

Community Blog Topic Results: Features we wish WoW had originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lei Shen will always drop Titan Runestones - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 13:00:00 EST

WoW Insider posted yesterday about one PvE loot-related hotfix that didn't make the main list for the most recent server restart, and now we have another to inform you of. Blizzard Community Manager Rygarius posted the following over on the official forums:

Rygarius
Hello there.

We agree and feel that Titan Runestones drop too rarely. We are going to make some changes to Lei Shen.

For players that are on the legendary quest line, Lei Shen will now always drop a Titan Runestone. This is similar to what we did with rare drops in the past and will help players that have been experiencing really bad luck.

This change is still undergoing testing and is scheduled to take effect next Tuesday with the raid resets.

Keep in mind that this Titan Runestone 100% drop chance is in addition to the drop chance from all the other bosses, so it's not simply a case of farming Lei Shen for the number of Runestones you need. You could get lucky!

What's not clear is whether Lei Shen will drop one in both LFR and normal/heroic raids, so whether players could guarantee two Runestones a week by killing him on both difficulties. It seems relatively likely that that might be the case, but that's no guarantee.

Lei Shen will always drop Titan Runestones originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: LoL - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 12:00:00 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.

I've finally gotten a little bit into League of Legends. I've played a few matches last night and this morning, and I'm having a good time. Seems to be a nice PvP focused game (I know I late to the party on this one...). The only thing that bothers me is that one guy who always nerd rages at everything going on.

Ok, I get it. I died to a turret. I'm a terribad and a noob. It's only my first game... At one point I was actually yelled at in chat, "haven't you ever played this game before?!!!!eleventyonepointone." I just love it... and the ignore button.

Also my name is TheQueuebringer. Get it?

Heather asked:

With the 50% toon services being offered, just what can a toon bring with them if they go to a new server? Does everything in void storage and the bank go with, what about heirlooms, and how much gold can you have?

Continue reading The Queue: LoL

The Queue: LoL originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Diablo 3 coming to the Xbox 360 (and PS3) September 3rd - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 11:00:00 EST

The Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 version of Diablo 3 will launch September 3, 2013, according to a Blizzard post today. This is the first time that we've heard of D3 appearing on the Xbox 360. We heard back in February that D3 was headed to the PS3 and PS4.

We do know that the PlayStation version of the game will play on a different realm and not be accessible by PC consoles. It's probably safe to assume the same will be true for the Xbox 360. We don't know if these console realms will be able to interact with each other. The console versions o the game are also having their UI updated to a more console-friendly format.

The play testing on the PS3 version of Diablo 3 has generally been positive. Blizzard's move to bring the game to the Xbox 360 bodes well for it appearing on the next generation Xbox console as well, although no announcement has been made there. Diablo 3 is expected to have its first expansion announced at BlizzCon in November this year.

The full blue post after the break.

Continue reading Diablo 3 coming to the Xbox 360 (and PS3) September 3rd

Diablo 3 coming to the Xbox 360 (and PS3) September 3rd originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Tourist trap - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST

Hi, folks. I understand that you've traveled from far away just to meditate here at the Arboretum, and I truly hate to interrupt your moment of serenity. But as you can see, I'm being stung to death by an enormous wasp. Could you possibly toss me a heal or some antivenom, seeing as I'm keeping this monster from tearing you to pieces? No? You're just going to yawn and sit there? Understandable. I'll be dying then. (Thanks to submitter Quadraxis of Cursed on Drenden [US-A] 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: Tourist trap originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kaldorei guild brings Darnassus to the fore - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST

Since the typical WoW Insider reader has been around the block in Azeroth more than a few times, when we hear about a guild that's been going strong for many years, we tend to intuitively grok the associated ramifications. We understand the strength and adaptability it takes to weather entire gaming eras of personalities, patches, and expansions. It's the strength of the willow that bends in the wind yet does not break -- or, say, the steady strength and focus of the night elves as they traverse the centuries in harmony with their environment.

Gazing into the legacy of Nature's Grasp, a kaldorei-exclusive guild on Defias Brotherhood (EU-RP-PvP), we see a guild that has seen many different shapes and leaders over the years. "On our server there have been a number of night elf guilds that have been established," notes GM Arkil, "but all have been absorbed into Nature's Grasp at some point, making us the go-to guild for any night elf involvement in events, and we're frequently considered as 'the' guild that represents Darnassus."

As we've seen from our interviews with race- and class-specific guilds such as wry blood elves, adventurous rogues, and fiercely opinionated orcs, the personalities of specialized guilds can become quite narrowly focused. One has to wonder if the players behind Nature's Grasp might be as reclusive as the kaldorei they play. Apparently not. "We've been active a lot during Mists, we have a hefty constant playerbase, and we have weekly events most weeknights and retro raid runs during the weekends," Arkil says. "There's a great sense of community in the guild with a number of artists and musicians who share their work on our forums at natures-grasp.net, and we have an annual RL guild meet in some European location, which is a lot of fun."

Continue reading Kaldorei guild brings Darnassus to the fore

Kaldorei guild brings Darnassus to the fore originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: How do you pick the perfect professions? - Thu, 06 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST

Picking the right professions for a character is always a bit of a puzzle, or at least it is for me. Do I want to make gold in the short term with a pair of gathering professions or do I want to craft gear for myself that will be useful as I level -- and maybe even at end game? If I pick up a profession now, who's to say it will still be what I want after I've leveled up? And do I even want the hassle of leveling up professions? And, even if I do want to go to the trouble for primary professions, what about secondary professions? Do I really want to level up fishing again?

Of course, I inevitably come to the conclusion that leveling the professions as I level up is easier than leveling them later, but my profession choice is always pretty haphazard. (Except for fishing. I have leveled fishing enough for a lifetime.) Though there are, surely, better ways to pick professions, my selection inevitably boils down to what sounds good to me at moment I hit level 5, regardless of what may be good further down the line.

But surely you, dear readers, have better sense than I. How do you go about picking the right professions for a new character?

Breakfast Topic: How do you pick the perfect professions? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Elite PvP gear requires rating again in patch 5.4 - Wed, 05 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST

There were murmurings of this change on the official forums a few days back, and now Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has confirmed via Twitter that there is truth in the rumors.

So it seems that PvP's elite gear has almost come full circle. If you remember, back in the heady days of late Cataclysm, early Mists, Elite gear had a rating requirement of 2200. T2 gear, as it used to be called, also offered higher item level weapons, but was removed to smooth out the rating curve, as there was something of a hurdle at 2200, where all the players above you had T2 weapons, with higher item levels and stats, and you didn't. So the rating requirement was removed, and a conquest point earning requirement was added to be allowed to purchase the elite gear.

This didn't really give mid-rated players much to shoot for, once they were fully geared, which, particularly now in patch 5.3, isn't a difficult prospect at all. So, in patch 5.4, as part of an effort to add more incentives, rating-based elite gear will return. However, we've not quite gone back to where we started, as the elite gear will be purely cosmetic, with no higher item level and no improved stats. Holinka also confirms, via Twitter, that this will apply for weapons, too.

Elite PvP gear requires rating again in patch 5.4 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 05 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch against Critters - Wed, 05 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST

Real talk time: I've been feeling a bit agitated at the battle pet situation in patch 5.3. Naturally, I want to collect every new pet, but RNG is a cruel mistress. The new patch introduced an updated Raiding with Leashes achievement, which has players returning to the good old BC raids. BC was my favorite expansion, so I enjoy heading back to stomp all over Lady Vashj, especially. Which is good, because I've yet to see a pet drop from SSC. But I digress.

Reader SpaceBard suggested a rundown of Lil' Bad Wolf, one of the ten new raid battle pets in 5.3. We live to serve.

Farming Lil' Bad Wolf is plagued with RNG obstacles. First, the Red Riding Hood encounter must spawn during The Opera Event -- one of three possible outcomes -- and then, of course, the pet may or may not drop. This devilishly cute Humanoid's abilities are as follows:

Continue reading Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch against Critters

Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch against Critters originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 05 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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