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Below is a list of Article headlines from WOW Insider. This are used on our main page and updated daily. Each article contains links back to WOWinsider, which allow you to view the whole article

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Talents you hate - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 19:00:00 EST


My main is a tanking feral druid who respecs to PvP resto pretty regularly (you know you're playing a hybrid class when your local trainer publicly thanks you for financing his boat payments), and every week I find myself staring at my talent calculator wanting to take a shillelagh to Nature's Focus. The Druid restoration tree has a lot of talents that leave you wondering what you're supposed to be using them for, and I nominate this one as winner, class, and show. Which says something, given the number of resto talents there are that either: a). make no sense if you take the 41-point talent Tree of Life, which virtually every raiding resto does, or b). also make no sense if you mostly PvP.

Rant after the cut.

Continue reading Talents you hate

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Darkmoon Faire Calendar error - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 18:00:00 EST

Many of those who were waiting to turn in their decks at the Darkmoon Faire may have to wait another month. It's been changed now, but the official events calendar for the faire showed it as coming from March 10th-16th this month, when it actually showed up in game from March 3rd-9th. When one of the people who was counting on that March 10th date posted a thread wondering what had happened, world events designer Kisirani posted. She admitted that, yes, the calendar was in error, and the faire has come and gone for the month.

Unfortunately, she also went on to say that there's not really a way to get people their decks, and it's looking likely that they'll have to wait for April. She's gone over future dates to make sure they're correct, but spawning a turn-in NPC or allowing people to petition a GM for a deck turn in would be, she says, a logistical nightmare. It looks like the only option Kisirani and her team are willing to consider is respawning the faire for the week, but even that is still up in the air.

Hopefully, if you had a deck waiting to turn in, or just wanted to stock up on Spiced Beef Jerky, you thought to check last week. If not, we'll have to see if the dev team decides that the calendar error deserves allowing everyone a second chance to experience the faire this month.

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Conquering fear of PvP (before conquering the Alliance) - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 17:29:00 EST
It's an interesting moment, the one that mikkeneko talks about over on WoW LJ. It's the one where you first enter a battleground, or an Arena, or just head out into the world, attack someone of the opposite faction and win, and first realize that yes, you can PvP.

I come, like many more experienced gamers, from a Counterstrike background (and a Doom and Quake background before that), so I've almost always known the thrill of taking on other humans at their own computers. But this moment happened for me before I ever played WoW -- back in the days of Dark Age of Camelot, I entered a battleground, saw nameless player opponents in front of me flagged red, actually killed one, and realized that yes, I could actually do this. Our own Dan O'Halloran just recently had this experience in WoW, I believe -- he told us on the podcast a little while back that he'd never played PvP, and a week or so later, he told me he'd tried out a battleground and learned it was actually a lot of fun.

PvP isn't hard -- you mostly play the character as you play it in PvE, and as fast as high-end Arena matches can get, battlegrounds especially are simple enough for even casual players to enter and at least partly influence the battle. I don't remember what's so scary about PvP but I do remember it being scary way back when. If you haven't played PvP yet, though, you're missing out -- jump into a battleground, throw some spells or swords around, and you'll find that you too can PvP.

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Forum Post of the Day: How did your undead die? - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 17:00:00 EST
Yeah yeah, lolRP, but even though I'd never seriously do an emote with my character (though I do enjoy /coughing at inappropriate times), I do kind of enjoy thinking of what my characters did before I started playing them in the game. As I've said before, my Orc Shaman was actually a prisoner in Durnholde Keep along with Thrall (and though I've tried to find him among the Orcs down there, I don't look too hard -- wouldn't want to cause a paradox).

But for my Undead Rogue, I've never thought about this questions: What did he die of? Whether it was choking on a gnome, one too many enchantments (never knew those could kill you), or the old standby of, y'know, cancer, every Undead character out there used to have a life (and now they just play WoW, ha!). So how'd your Undead lose theirs?

I'd like to think mine was something poetic, like his family was murdered by roving noblemen, and he arose from the afterlife and became a backstabbing rogue to avenge his lost ones. But it's probably more pathetic: like most of the Forsaken, he probably just got trampled underneath the onset of the Scourge. Of course, that'll make an appointment with Arthas more interesting...

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WoW Things Considered interviews Vis Maior - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 16:40:00 EST


As scheduled, our good friend Duncor (and his co-host Cadwallion) on WoW Radio's WoW Things Considered podcast sat down for an interview with three guildies from Vis Maior, the guild that's been rolling through the PTR so far. It's a good interview -- Duncor and Cadwallion go through Vis Maior's (not Vis Major) history, how they've moved on to the PTR and begun raiding there, and what they think of the new content.

It's interesting to hear not only from a guild that has been around for a while, but is just now coming into the spotlight. And it's also cool to hear what the GMs are doing for the guilds testing the new content on the PTR -- they've deathtouched trash a few times, and even spawned "flaskators," which are NPCs which will give out consumables and other raiding standbys.

They also tackle the debate of whether "world firsts" actually count on the PTRs. Vis Maior does agree that PTR kills don't necessarily count if they're just being tested, but a world first kill of a "final" version of a boss should count. Duncor and Cad don't press them on this, unfortunately, but I'd disagree -- the only way you know a boss is final is if it is on the live realms, so only live realms should count. Still, Vis Maior sound like a great bunch of people (they sound like they really love to raid, which is always good for a high-end guild), and what they've done so far on the PTRs is definitely impressive. Kudos to them, and nice job to WoW Radio on the interview.

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Alex's TTR stress test review - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 16:20:00 EST

Yesterday's TTR Stress Test had its up and it had its downs, but overall it was a very fun experience. It was rocky in the beginning, with the server needing to be pulled down for a hardware upgrade shortly after the test was scheduled to begin. The TTR was riddled with soul-searing, unplayable lag up until that point, so I'd say it was needed.

The WoW Insider gang sat around for an hour doing a load of nothing until the server came back, but it was worth it. Most of the lag was gone, the Blizzard Entertainment crew were out and about doing their thing, and we were finally able to hit the arena. Unfortunately, our first match was against a three Resto Druid team. In a magical fairy world where Druids don't have Innervate or any natural mana regen whatsoever, I'm pretty sure Adam would have still gone OOM trying to Mana Burn all three of them to nothing.

Interested in the good times we had? Hop on past the cut and I'll give you the details!

Continue reading Alex's TTR stress test review

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Wowhead and other sites are having trouble with ad banner trojans - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 15:50:00 EST

You'll want to be a bit more cautious when looking up information on the game today. World of Raids reports that an unknown ad banner appearing on Wowhead, Thottbot, and Allakhazam has an embedded keylogger trojan. You don't even need to click on the banner, apparently, simply mousing over it will be enough. Wowhead says that all they know for sure is that it originates from "ad.yieldmanager.com", and will produce a redirect to "xpantivirus.com." They're working at isolating it.

The issue is known, and all parties involved are tracking it down, so it should hopefully be resolved soon. In the meantime, if you're looking for a quick way to protect yourself, I would follow the recommendation of World of Raids, and try out the Firefox web browser and the No Script extension. As long as you keep the scripts blocked, it should prevent the banner in question from forcing itself on you. This should also provide you with some protection if you accidentally click on the wrong link elsewhere, such as on the WoW general forums.

Edit: Apparently, the virus in question is not an actual keylogger, but it still does a number on your system, which is reason enough to try to avoid it.

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WoW Rookie: What is a patch? - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 15:20:00 EST


Here at WoW Insider, we've had extensive coverage of changes and updates that are being tested for the release of patch 2.4. It occurred to me that many of our newer players may not know what patching is all about.

Blizzard regularly releases updates to World of Warcraft to add new content, fix problems, and otherwise improve the game. The game has evolved considerably throughout since its launch over 3 years ago. Many quests, instances, battlegrounds, events, items, and tools have been added through various patches. Clicking through the historical patch notes can be a source of nostalgia for many players.

Continue reading WoW Rookie: What is a patch?

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Korea first to be Zerg rushed in Starcraft II - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 15:00:00 EST


While not directly related to the World of Warcraft, I'm sure most of our readers are deeply interested in the progress of Blizzard's upcoming sequel to Starcraft, Starcraft II. Just recently, Blizzard has shown off the Zerg cinematic, a reveal that many people have been waiting for, myself included.

The quality on the video isn't super amazing, no copy out on the net right now is. Camcorder ftw. Don't worry, though. I'm sure Blizzard will have a fantastic version up on the Starcraft II website in no time.

Personally, I'm stoked. While the Protoss were always my personal choice in Starcraft, the Zerg had unrivaled style. While I was never amazing at the game, I played it a lot and there was never a dull moment in a match against the Zerg, you always had to be on your toes. The gameplay preview in the trailer looks like they've replicated that experience really well. I look forward to it.

And of course... still holding out for World(Galaxy?) of Starcraft!

[ video via SCLegacy ]

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Does Kil'jaedan's defeat animation hint at further lore? - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 14:00:00 EST

Tipster Kronack sent us a link to this video, which shows the Sunwell Plateau's final boss, Kil'jaedan. The animations look to be his initial summoning and his final defeat. I'm pretty impressed by how awesome he looks, but what really intrigues me is what these animations could reveal about the lore behind the encounter - and what follows it. We still don't know much about the Kil'jaedan encounter, since Blizzard is mostly focusing testing on the Eredar Twins these days -- when the dungeon is even activated -- so most of what we have for now is speculation. That said, there's still some pretty good things I can see in these animations.

Anyway, I'll be using Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau lore spoilers to explain what I think, so If you don't mind that and want to speculate along with me, please, do join me after the jump.

Continue reading Does Kil'jaedan's defeat animation hint at further lore?

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A night on the town, Karazhan style - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 13:00:00 EST

We've talked about 2 manning Karazhan, Shaman-tanking Karazhan, and Paladining Karazhan. But just when you thought it was safe to grab a plain old boring 10-man Karazhan group with actual varied classes with decent gear and consumables and stuff, here comes one more permutation, and this one perhaps the most offbeat we've reported on yet.

It all started, Don Claus of the Stormwardens guild on the US Dragonmaw server tells us, with a pretty simple comment: "I'd love to see Tankin tank Prince in a dress." The Stormwardens decided to take it one step further and just slap suits on everyone. What followed is a story of a group revellers seeking to join the fabulous night life of Karazhan.

Continue reading A night on the town, Karazhan style

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New teleports and mage portals in 2.4? - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 12:30:00 EST


MMO-Champion has posted images of possible new portals to Theramore and Stonard in patch 2.4. Now, the highest level mage I have is level 20, so this probably won't directly affect me in any way, but I have to think the idea of new portals and the ability to teleport to new places would be pretty nice for mages. I guess it would all depend on what level they had to be to get these new abilities. A portal to Theramore wouldn't really be that helpful for a level 70 mage as far as I can tell, but I could be wrong: it would certainly make the CoT instances easier to run. (Then again, we're supposedly getting a teleporter directly to those anyway, and a Stonard portal wouldn't help with that.)

What do you think? Is this perhaps a clue that players will be heading to Northrend from a Stonard dirigible or a Theramore boat? I may be reaching there.

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WoW Moviewatch: The Story of a Druid, Part 5 - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 12:00:00 EST

Lastydruid has released the latest installment in his Story of a Druid series. Set to Limp Bizkit's cover of "Behind Blue Eyes" Part 5 tells the story of a Tauren haunted by the death of his three friends. I haven't heard this version of the 70s classic song and was happy to have stumbled upon it in this video.

[via WarcraftMovies]

Previously on Moviewatch...

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Officers' Quarters: No poaching! - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 11:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

If the wildlife in Nagrand didn't reproduce faster than rabbits injected with Viagra, one could accuse the genocidal Hemet Nesingwary, or even the Consortium (with their endless need for ivory tusks), of funding poaching on a massive scale. And of course, we would be the perpetrators, guilty of the annihilation of entire generations of species. But fortunately, those elekks, clefthooves, and talbuks never seem to become endangered. This week's e-mail is about a different kind of poaching, but one that is no less nefarious.

Hey. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I am an officer in a small casual guild (66 accounts) that one day hopes to have some endgame on farm. The problem we seem to have is people just leaving with a stealth guild quit. When asked they normally say they left for a friends guild or something along the lines of "just wasn't working out." About a week later I see them in Shattrath with a guild tag of another guild that I know just poached them from us. I understand that it's their $15 a month but is there anything that we as a guild can do to keep them? We seem to lose one once a week.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: No poaching!

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Around Azeroth: The CoT swirl - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 10:00:00 EST


Waiting for a tank to fill the last slot in his pick up group for Durnholde, player Corvia decided to take a break in one of the swirls in the Caverns of Time. A camera move later revealed a very cool symmetrical pattern with his party in key positions.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime.

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Best arena hunter in the world now banned? - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 09:30:00 EST
I'm still not sure what to make of this, but according to a number of very upset hunters on the official forums, Blizzard has handed a permanent ban to a player known as Megatf, said to be the best arena hunter in the world. His Armory does in fact show him as being #2 in his battlegroup (Reckoning) for 2's, #1 for 3's, and #1 for 5's, so even if he wasn't the best in the world, the guy knew a thing or two about PvP. The ban is popularly attributed to Megatf's having posted criticism of how Blizzard has handled the Hunter crisis in arena. It's certainly tough to argue that hunters are doing well; they are the only class that is underperforming in all three brackets, even by Blizzard's standards and months after the introduction of an MS-debuff to Aimed Shot.

A player called Macrospamftw (yeah, I laughed) insists it's because Megatf was posting content and links that contained keyloggers, which sounds a lot more plausible than mere criticism (let's face it, if CM's banned people for that, the official forums would be a ghost town). But the player Guinevere counters by saying there were no links in the banned posts. Poking around a little more resulted in additional details: Megatf often posted while tipsy and was prone to foul language. That's certainly more than enough for a forum ban, but a permanent one?

Megatf does seem to have vanished from the forums completely. Not only are the threads in question gone, but according to the hunters, Megatf's popular post on Hunter PvP has also disappeared. Do any of our readers know what's going on?

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The great Panda debate - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 09:00:00 EST


On Wednesday, March 5 we asked readers what races they would like to have added into the game. Pandarens seemed to be the most desired playable race along, with Worgen, Goblins, Murlocs, Furbolgs, and Naga. It was fun to dream of new races and places, but the rebuttals for why different races wouldn't work were equally as interesting.

In the comments Censorman said, "I've heard China won't allow Pandas to be killed in games." Fanryn responded that "no one has ever found any reference of an actual Chinese law that forbids 'depictions of violence against pandas.'" I decided to investigate and see what I could come with for a reliable resolution to this debate.

Continue reading The great Panda debate

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Breakfast Topic: Who should be leader of the free world (of Azeroth)? (Poll) - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 08:00:00 EST

Here in the States it's election season. Newspapers and websites are plastered with campaign information. Preliminary polling for both factions will close on March 20, 2008. Then the leaders will go head to head, vying for the leader of the World... of Warcraft. Feel free to campaign in the comments for your candidate of choice.

Who should serve as the leader of the Alliance?

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Who should be leader of the free world (of Azeroth)? (Poll)

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All the World's a Stage: There's something about Mary Sue - Mon, 10 Mar 2008 01:00:00 EST

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening, (though it was delayed somewhat this time by technical difficulties).

Mary Sue is extremely unpopular with roleplayers. She comes along pretending to be the only daughter of Illidan and Tyrande's one-night stand, secretly spirited away and raised by furlbogs until she underwent a mysterious transformation that turned her into a human, seduced Arthas away from Jaina, and learned from him more than you will ever know about how to be a Death (i.e. Retribution) Paladin.

In fact, Mary Sue isn't just one person -- she is a demon-spirit possessing all those characters in roleplaying and fan-fiction, both male and female, who rely on clichés, melodrama, and/or supposed intimate relationships with one or more characters in the original story to such a degree that they actually try to upstage those characters, their fellow roleplayers, and indeed, the entirety of the original lore. Other roleplayers often see this sort of thing and get frustrated out of their minds.

And yet there's something about Mary Sue: she keeps reappearing all over the place, from seductive blood elf hunters who claim to be Thrall's secret lover, to angst-ridden human warlocks who insist that they are the half-demon offspring of Kil'Jaeden. What is it that continually attracts people to these ideas, couched in phrases like "tragic past" and "missing one eye" and "emits a deep sorrow that makes you want to cry?"

The answer is darker, more disturbing, than you can possibly imagine.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: There's something about Mary Sue

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Reader UI of the Week: Adoru - Sun, 09 Mar 2008 22:45:00 EST

It lives! Yes, indeed. As promised in my recent appearance in About the Bloggers, the leads of WoW Insider and I have finally worked out scheduling and the like to bring back two of the posts you've been asking for -- Reader UI of the Week and Reader WoWspace of the Week! From now on, you'll see Reader UI appearing on Sunday, and Reader WoWspace coming to you on Tuesday, just in time to help shake those downtime blues. But enough with the promotion, let's get on with the show!

This week's Reader UI of the Week comes to us courtesy of Adoru, level 60 Night Elf Rogue of "It Hurts when I PvP" on Sen'Jin. (Bonus points for the lolworthy guild name!) Adoru not only sent in a fantastic breakdown of all the mods involved in this week's Reader UI and the reasons for building it, (hint, hint) but additionally sent us a bunch of screenshots to choose from! So without further ado, here's your long-awaited (and hopefully welcomed-back) Reader UI of the Week.

While my WoW UI modifications don't give me an UberL33t look, they do provide a clean, consistent and usable interface. It's a work in process that never ends -- but I think it is coming along nicely. I started with a set of goals and they have been met for the most part:

Continue reading Reader UI of the Week: Adoru

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