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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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The false memory of WoW's difficult past - Fri, 10 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

Vanilla raiding was not mechanically more difficult than current raiding. In fact, in terms of encounter difficulty, raiding in World of Warcraft has never been as challenging to remember and execute as it is right now. Fights like Lei Shen, Twin Consorts, Iron Qon, and Durumu ask players to learn mechanics and execute awareness at a level rivaled only by fights like Mimiron's Firefighter mode. And I'm not even talking heroic difficulty for those fights. Yes, it was often harder to get 40 people together, I'm not disputing that. But that's not design difficulty, that's social difficulty. The argument that WoW was objectively harder back then is beyond absurd.

I was there for all of those raids. I've raided in vanilla, in BC, in Wrath, and in Cataclysm. I've done hard modes and heroic modes since they were introduced. I'm neither the cutting edge progression raider nor someone who raids occasionally for fun -- I've been everywhere from a raider pushing for realm firsts to one leading a semi-casual 10-man while tanking. One thing I can and will say with absolute certainty is this: every single expansion to World of Warcraft has increased the complexity of the raid design.

Continue reading The false memory of WoW's difficult past

The false memory of WoW's difficult past originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What are you afraid to do in WoW? - Fri, 10 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

There are certain things in WoW that I just don't do, not because I don't think they're fun, but because they intimidate me. Those activities would be tanking and PvP. Here's the thing, I don't dislike those thing, and actually, I'd love to do more of them! Sometimes I'll sit down and think, "Yeah, I would love to try tanking that boss!" or "Man, running battlegrounds seems like fun!" And then I kind of swallow anxiously and think, "Well, maybe another day..."

What's ridiculous about this, for me, is that I have successfully done both those activities in the past. I tanked tier 9 on my druid when my 10-man team needed a change of pace, and I spent significant periods of time in Arathi Basin circa level 45 back in Burning Crusade, also on my druid. Feral PvP was fun! And challenging! Those were the days when you couldn't transfer directly between druid forms; you had to shift to caster form in between (i.e. bear > caster > cat), so there were some different challenges to manage compared to PvE, and I like that! Oh, I also tanked on my paladin when he was a lowbie - Shadowfang Keep, Blackfathom Deeps, stuff like that. Considering I once had so much fun doing these things, I have no idea why I find it so intimidating now!

Do you have any similar hang-ups in WoW? What aspects of the game intimidate you? What would it take for you to give it a shot?

What are you afraid to do in WoW? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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8 ways to stay in touch with all your old WoW friends - Fri, 10 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

When it finally comes time for your ship to make a final departure from the shores of Azeroth, the lands you're leaving behind will almost certainly not be what your heart aches for the most -- it's the people. Skittering about atop superficial friendships with guildmates and situational acquaintances is easier than ever in the age of LFD and LFR, but we're sure it's unnecessary to remind you that lifelong friendships and marriages are forged and strengthened in Azeroth, as well. The people we meet here are most assuredly part of our lives - and stepping away from WoW (whether for a temporary sabbatical or on a permanent basis) doesn't inevitably mean losing touch.

We never recommend sticking with the game solely to stay in touch with or please other players. It's no fun to play if your heart's not in it, and nobody has any fun if you're obviously slogging along with little real enthusiasm. If you need to take a break from World of Warcraft but you don't want to lose touch with the people here who've brightened your life, you can keep in touch so many other ways.

Continue reading 8 ways to stay in touch with all your old WoW friends

8 ways to stay in touch with all your old WoW friends originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to check the Black Market Auction house without going there - Fri, 10 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

The Black Market Auction House is a special AH that allows you to buy items that are rare and sometimes unobtainable with gold otherwise. It's an extremely effective gold sink, but it's tucked away in the middle of nowhere, and you can't see what's for sale on your realm from the remote AH. Unfortunately, since Blizzard doesn't make the BMAH accessible through the same API as the regular Auction Houses, you are expected to log in and travel to the Veiled Stair in order to see whether there was anything there for you.

The Undermine Journal is a website that collects, organizes, and displays information about the Auction House of every realm: Horde, Alliance, and Neutral. Additionally, starting in January, they launched a (still beta) feature that shows us the contents of the BMAH. Assuming you're not on a PvP realm, you can avoid the flight to the Veiled Stair to check whether there's something worth buying by simply checking the Undermine Journal.

Continue reading How to check the Black Market Auction house without going there

How to check the Black Market Auction house without going there originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The good and bad of GOGOGO - Fri, 10 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

This week on Drama Mamas, we discussed a couple that disagreed on how to handle GOGOGO PUGs, the sort that attempt to rush through everything as fast as possible. The tank felt that the DPS who pulled should not be healed, while the healer believed that everyone should be healed indiscriminately. In my opinion, the tank should pull and the healer should stay with the tank, healing others as needed as long as they are in range. But many in the comments disagreed.

Leveling dungeons are, for the most part, easy places to run -- over and over -- for experience and loot. The question is, are they only that or are they also places to practice your role for the endgame? Many commenters believe that endgame playing should be left for max level and that leveling dungeons should be raced through. Others believe that keeping to a standard pace is boring and chain pulling, even by DPS, is the only way to go.

In practice, a tank has little to no queue time, so the pace ends up being whatever the tank wants, else he or she will just accept the votekick and get into another group immediately. Though I don't believe in strongarm tactics, I do think the pace should be set by the tank, even if it ends up being a little slow. Learning on the way up is good. On the other hand, there is a challenge of the GOGOGO team that can be appealing.

What about you? Do you prefer GOGOGO dungeons while leveling? Why or why not?

The good and bad of GOGOGO originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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No talent overhaul likely - Fri, 10 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

If you're interested in WoW design and discussion, but don't yet follow twitter, you might want to reconsider. A lot of the developers are regularly active there. For example, yesterday our own Adam Holisky had a nice little chat with Ghostcrawler, Bashiok, and some other folks about WoW's talent design, and wondering if there was another big overhaul being considered for the next major expansion. The answer, bluntly, is no. Blizzard seems content with the current system.

Player Mihaly Ducz replied that three choices every fifteen levels feels kind of thin, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with Bashiok's response on that one: there are already plenty of spells and abilities in the game; I am perfectly content to have fewer of them, or at least more passive options so I don't have to agonize over how to redo my bars again. How about you? Are you content with the current talent system? What might you like to see changed or modified in the future?

No talent overhaul likely originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Throne of Thunder With Protection Paladins: Being awesome - Fri, 10 May 2013 13:00:00 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.

It's not a new phenomenon for protection paladins to be able to use their extensive utility toolbox to mitigate or outright circumvent fight mechanics; it's something that we've been doing since Uther first picked up a blunt object. Throne of Thunder continues that lofty tradition with all sorts of mechanics that can be ducked or dodged by crafty paladins with an excellent sense of timing and the proper addons or macros. We'll also touch on whether it's a good thing that one corner of WoW's tanks can break aspects of an encounter, and the ramifications of such possibilities.

Continue reading Throne of Thunder With Protection Paladins: Being awesome

Throne of Thunder With Protection Paladins: Being awesome originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: WildCats: Iron Qon - Fri, 10 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

It's the return of Fifth Element with an homage one of the most... niche cartoons of the last 20 years. You either loved the WildCats or you hated them. Or, maybe, you didn't notice them. Regardless, Fifth Element reached deep into the caves of creativity and translated its unique rap opening into the intro to an Iron Qon video. So, here we have it: one last hope at redemption for WildCats.
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: WildCats: Iron Qon originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Mouse deer - Fri, 10 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

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

"Wow, we're all so shocked that Mike posted a video of a tiny ungulate!" - No one.

Drindaar_Lightkeeper asked:

Do you think along with new models we could see greater customization options? Like a choice of noses, eyes, etc. Maybe even a choice of sub-race (wretched, broken, etc.) as long as it made sense lore wise? Or will the character creator remain the same with just a shinier models.

I don't want to be too cynical, but I think it would be best to go into this with the expectation that we'll just be getting newer, shinier models instead of sweeping customization changes and additions. Whatever we get will be lovely, I'm sure. Just maybe don't expect more.

Continue reading The Queue: Mouse deer

The Queue: Mouse deer originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Welcome 2 Pandaria - Fri, 10 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Wauzledop of Ancient Order of UMs on Doomhammer (US-A) has only recently set foot in Pandaria, but he's already amassed himself a little cult following. Little being the operative word here. Sure, Wauzledop might be strutting around the Jade Forest throwing up gang signs, but it's very difficult to establish a hegemonic criminal enterprise when your minions are constantly getting patted on the head and called adorable snuggly-bumpkins.

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: Welcome 2 Pandaria originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Archivist: Launch classes' 9 biggest aggravations - Fri, 10 May 2013 09:00:00 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?

The launch of WoW was a magical time -- everyone who played the game back then would agree. The concept of questing rather than grinding was fresh and exciting. The world felt immense, full of secrets and adventures.

Classes, on the other hand, were very raw compared to today. While many players yearn to play on vanilla-only servers, I doubt that most of those players would prefer their class to return to its vanilla version. Though some were better than others, every class had its problems. In this column, I'd like to highlight the biggest aggravation, as I see it, with each of the original eight classes -- and how Blizzard has since fixed every one of those issues.

Continue reading WoW Archivist: Launch classes' 9 biggest aggravations

WoW Archivist: Launch classes' 9 biggest aggravations originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What's your least favorite Mists 5-man or scenario? - Fri, 10 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Just the other day, we talked about your favorite Mists 5-man instance or scenario. Turn about's fair play -- and come on, what's a little grousing and griping among friends?

You git what you git, and you don't have a fit. The 5-man instances we have in the game right now are all we're getting for the rest of the Mists expansion. But with new scenarios keeping things fresh, we'll have plenty of material to rescue us from instances or scenarios we've come to find an utter drag.

So let it all out: What's your least favorite Mists of Pandaria 5-man instance or scenario? Do the revisions of Scarlet Monastery or Scholomance rub you the wrong way? Is there something about a barrel full of monkeys that's less than a barrel full of monkeys to you?

Breakfast Topic: What's your least favorite Mists 5-man or scenario? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What's on the horizon for monks in patch 5.3 - Thu, 09 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

There's a lot of cool stuff coming our way in patch 5.3, including a new battleground, new scenarios, new quests, and a host of PvP changes. But while these splashy changes have been getting all the attention, monks haven't been left out of the action. Be aware that patch 5.3 is still on the PTR which means we may still see changes before anything his the live servers, but working from Blizzard's official patch notes, we can get a pretty good idea of what's coming. Let's take a look!

Help for healers
First up, there's a change to all healing spells that pick their own targets -- which includes things like Renewing Mist and Chi Wave. These abilities will now pick their targets a bit more intelligently. Says Blizzard, "Targets with lower % health will be preferred, and players are weighted more heavily than pets." It's hard to say how much this will impact gameplay in practice, but it's a definitely a buff.

Mistweavers are also getting a buff to Revival, whose healing cap is now 15 raid members (instead of 6) when used in a 25-player raid.

Continue reading What's on the horizon for monks in patch 5.3

What's on the horizon for monks in patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3: Battlefield Barrens Preview - Thu, 09 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

Warning: this post may contain spoilers for patch 5.3, particularly content relating to the Battlefield: Barrens quests! If you don't want to read spoilers, don't read the section of this post that happens after the break!

Blizzard Community Manager Nethaera has posted a blog providing both back-up information and useful clues about the events taking place in the areas surrounding Orgrimmar, giving players the heads up on the various new elements being introduced to those zones, how they are used and the stories behind them. As the devs commented in the recent live Q&A, this is a new angle on maximum level questing for WoW, and it's pretty fun. Again, beware spoilers, but you can also check out WoW Insider's initial look at the goings on in the area.

Final spoiler warning! They lurk ominously after the break. Watching. Waiting.

Continue reading Patch 5.3: Battlefield Barrens Preview

Patch 5.3: Battlefield Barrens Preview originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The best fight from Burning Crusade - Thu, 09 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Last week I wrote about what I considered to be the best fight from classic WoW, so this week we're moving into The Burning Crusade. Though I stated that I try to stay away from obvious choices, this boss is so infamous that I really couldn't choose anything else, despite considering several others. The picture at the top of the article has already given my answer away: Kael'thas Sunstrider, the final boss of Tempest Keep: The Eye.

This could be the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia speaking, but looking back, I really do believe that The Burning Crusade had some of the most interesting, fun, and infuriating boss mechanics of any expansion so far. Mage and/or warlock tanks? Check. Necessary item usage? Check. Guaranteed aggro resets? Check!

And Kael'thas had all of those.

Continue reading The best fight from Burning Crusade

The best fight from Burning Crusade originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dark Riders graphic novel hits virtual store shelves today - Thu, 09 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

If you're itching for a good World of Warcraft story and patch 5.3 is too long to wait for new story content, Blizzard is happy to oblige with the just-released World of Warcraft: Dark Riders graphic novel. Unfortunately, Blizzard's own description of the comic -- talking about an "enigmatic destiny" and "hidden dangers" -- is too vague and generic to grab our interest. But fortunately we've heard about Dark Riders before and expect good things from writer Mike Costa and artist Neil Googe. So what can you expect to find in this tome of lore? More about the mysterious Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass, who have only been alluded to in the game, the secretive wolf cult, and the Scythe of Elune. But if you're not a lore hound, you'll just have to be tempted by the promise of a good World of Warcraft story in graphic novel form.

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is available today. You can take a sneak peak at the art or buy it directly form Amazon or Barnes & Noble for $16.01 -- though if you prefer digital, it's $12.99 for Kindle and $13.74 for Nook.

Dark Riders graphic novel hits virtual store shelves today originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The useless distinction between casual and hardcore - Thu, 09 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

If the words 'casual' and 'hardcore' ever had a useful role in determining the differences between players in World of Warcraft, and I am not convinced they ever did, they no longer do. A player who wants to have an alt of every single class at max level and makes that happen is not playing the game casually even if she never raids. A player who collects several hundred pets and levels many of them through pet battles, or has a similarly high number of mounts, or determines to go out and get every cooking recipe in the game (including Dirge's Kickin' Chimeraok Chops which you can't even get anymore but somehow he finds a way) is playing the game very seriously indeed.

Quite frankly, despite the fact that I raid a set schedule, I often feel like I'm significantly more 'casual' than many players who never raid at all. I know I play a lot less - I definitely do not log on every day, I don't run LFR unless I missed a boss in normal (because I want a shot at my Secrets of the Empire off of that boss) and I don't do pet battles, farm, or even do daily quests anymore. So with my roughly fifteen hours of WoW a week, 12 of it spent inside a raid and the other three futzing about older raids for transmog gear, am I casual or hardcore? And does it matter?

Ordinarily I'd explore the answer in the paragraphs to come. But frankly, the answer is no. It doesn't matter. It is so far from mattering that the light from it mattering won't reach us for fifty thousand years. What matters is finding out what players want to do with their time and letting them do it.

Continue reading The useless distinction between casual and hardcore

The useless distinction between casual and hardcore originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All-orc clan leader offers fierce perspectives on RP, world PvP, and Garrosh - Thu, 09 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

Leave it to a player who attacks WoW with the ferocity and passion of his orcish character to rationally and objectively dissect the pros and cons of making a guild home in a racially exclusive guild.

"Pros of a one-race clan, tribe or house: Focus, intensity, and real sense of being dedicated and set apart, as well as shared lore that becomes a motivating force in itself," enumerates Stonzgrinda, the GM of what might be the game's only orc-exclusive guild on an RP-PvP realm. "The immersion is much more credible and intense for roleplaying purposes. Cons of a one-race clan, tribe or house: Some classes are unavailable for specific purposes -- for instance, a stealthing druid healer for a team of rogues. Some achievements are not obtainable. The narrow niche makes recruiting difficult. ... Players have to know some lore and be able to present it to a standard."

So what makes it worthwhile for the Bloodfury Clan of orcs? "Our sense of camaraderie, shared culture and purpose gives our roleplayers something that no general RP guild could ever attain," Stonzgrinda answers without hesitation. "When we say 'Strength and honor,' it means something. When we mourn the passing of a player who has quit the game, we truly mourn them and remember their contributions and the unique light they brought to our warband."

Ready for some industrial, orc-strength opinions of Garrosh Hellscream, Thrall, and more? Read on.

Continue reading All-orc clan leader offers fierce perspectives on RP, world PvP, and Garrosh

All-orc clan leader offers fierce perspectives on RP, world PvP, and Garrosh originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Newbie's guide to everything you need to know about weapons in World of Warcraft - Thu, 09 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Weapons play a huge role in World of Warcraft, even if you don't play a physical damage class that actively hits people with them. Beyond damage capacity, weapons buff your character's stats and heavily effect your character's looks. While it may seem like there's not much to weapons beyond wielding them -- and for the new player, sometimes wielding them is all you need to know. For experienced players looking for in-depth theory-crafting or number-crunching, this article isn't the place. But, for players just getting started, we'll take a close look at the weapons available, what their stats mean, and try to help you figure out what you should be wielding.

Weapon types
Weapons are broken into three basic types: one-handed weapons which can be wielded with a single hand, two-handed weapons which require two hands, and ranged weapons which also require two hands. You'll also find weapons labeled main hand or off hand, meaning that they can only be wielded in your main hand or off hand -- which comes into play with classes that can wield a different weapon in each hand (dual wielding).

You will also occasionally run into items labeled off hand without a weapon type. These items are typically equippable by any class in their off-hand slot. These can be anything from cosmetic items -- like flowers -- to items that buff stats for classes that can't dual wield but can use one-handed weapons. And, while they aren't quite weapons, shields are considered off-hand items as well.

Continue reading Newbie's guide to everything you need to know about weapons in World of Warcraft

Newbie's guide to everything you need to know about weapons in World of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Live Hearthstone Stream - Thu, 09 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Update: The livestream is now over, but you can check out the Video on Demand above! The final game is very much worth sticking around for, really captures the excitement of Hearthstone. We hope to see more of these in future!

If you're as excited about Hearthstone as we are here at WoW Insider, you'll want to check out the above stream, as Hearthstone Fireside Duels go live on Twitch.tv. Lead Designer Eric Dodds and designer and Shoutcaster Ben Brode, who is fast becoming the voice of Hearthstone, are sitting down to several duels, as well as answering viewer questions on Twitch and Twitter.

The duels so far have shown off the mage, shaman, warrior, paladin, warlock and druid, but it's possible that we'll get to see some of the other heroes in action today, as well as the minion cards. It's also a great chance to get more into the game's mechanics, and develop more understanding, thanks to the live nature of the duels, and the Q&A. Community Manager Phenteo is also on hand in the Twitch chatroom to field viewer questions.

The one question they don't seem that keen to answer just yet is this: does this mean a beta is impending? It seems fairly certain that Hearthstone will be at Blizzcon, at the latest, but who knows, it seems quite likely that there might even be a beta at Gamescom, given that Blizzard unveiled the Mists trailer there last year. What do you think?

Live Hearthstone Stream originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Aftermath - Thu, 09 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

A thoughtful, moody video featuring the dulcet tones of Alice Cooper? What's not to love about the new video Aftermath? Created entirely from in-game graphics, the authenticity and solid pacing of the video provides a solid new entry by PallyPowerXIX.

The video felt a teensy bit long to me, but that's a common challenge to be tackled in any dialogue-less story. The creator did a decent job tackling it, I just look at 7 minutes as being a big number for a machinima. Your mileage will vary.

All in all, I was very satisfied by Aftermath. The video did a superb job of knowing itself and its limitations, and told its story within those lines. It's good proof that this in-game & music-only technique can be successful if you take the time to think through your plot. Very nice job.

WoW Moviewatch: Aftermath originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Rain - Thu, 09 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

It's raining today in Minneapolis. Kinda nice -- no snow and the complete hellish weather we've had the past month.

What a nice day!

Daniel asked:

Do you think the MoP talent structure has been successful? Will 6.0 be a continuation of that way of talenting, such as Cata being just a modification of Wrath's talent structure, or should we expect another overhaul?

Continue reading The Queue: Rain

The Queue: Rain originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Calling in sick - Thu, 09 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Nope nope nope. Not going out today. Sure, I've got dailies to complete, reps to grind, and dungeons to complete. But there's no way I'm going out in this rain. My feathers are going to get all wet and smelly and the other night elves will make fun of me. Plus, the mantid swarm in this particular hive is binge-watching Arrested Development, and there's just no way I can miss that with the new season coming up. Think I'll just order in some dinner from the Remote Auction House and do my questing tomorrow. (Thanks to Funkychickin of Carpe Jugulum on Saurfang [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: Calling in sick originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Community Blog Topic: How to get rid of funsuckers - Thu, 09 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Our last Community Blog Topic talked about the bad behavior of guildies to non-guildies and whether it was the result of being in guilds or not. Many people brought up suggestions as to how to police the individuals causing the problems. Unfortunately, some of these suggestions can be exploited to grief non-funsuckers. So the question is, how can we police the bad guys without making things even worse for the good or at least not-so-bad guys?

One suggestion that is constantly brought up is the expansion of the ignore feature. If you could /ignore someone's entire account rather than just the one character, that would prevent the funsucker from getting on another character to harass you. This would be best done anonymously so that only the one character appears on your ignore list, but the remaining characters on the funsucker's account would be silently ignored as well. (If using /ignore account-wide actually listed the ignored characters alts that were also ignored, that could be used by griefers to find people's alts just by temporarily ignoring them, so it would have to work anonymously.) I think that the ignore should work on all of the ignorer's characters as well so that logging on to an alt doesn't expose you to the player you've already ignored on your main.

Continue reading Community Blog Topic: How to get rid of funsuckers

Community Blog Topic: How to get rid of funsuckers originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: The tall tale of your best instance or BG run of all time - Thu, 09 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

You know the feeling: You're doing much more than merely firing on all cylinders. Your performance is absolutely, magnificently beastly. If you're a tank, nothing escapes the force of your presence. If you're healing, the party runs breathlessly without pause, wondering how you're pushing them on DPS. In the face of your DPS, no mob is safe once you're in line of sight. It's a feeling like no other, and it's the kind of gaming experience you remember for years to come.

Raiding can be (to fall back on that ever-popular vocabulary favorite) an epic adventure in World of Warcraft. But in smaller groups -- in 5-man instances and battlegrounds -- players are even more likely to get the chance to experience those peak moments of play when everything comes together to create a real hero tale. Tell us about your best-ever small instance run (5-man only; no raids) or battleground experience -- that time when you not only led the charts but saved the party, turned all the flags, reversed the tides of battle, or carried the day.

Or maybe even all of the above. You hero, you.

Breakfast Topic: The tall tale of your best instance or BG run of all time originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What's your favorite Mists 5-man or scenario? - Wed, 08 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

A friend and former WoW player asked me a question yesterday that left me hemming and hawing: What's my favorite instance in Mists of Pandaria and why? I found myself looping about in circles, citing oddities that tickle my fancy and new fight mechanics that entertain. When it became apparent that I wasn't coming up with a firm response, my friend scoffed that perhaps Mists hadn't presented me with a scenario worth appreciating. "Aha!" I cried. "Scenarios!" And I launched into a lengthy description of scenarios, happily diverting his attention from the fact that, well, I can't seem to choose a favorite Mists instance.

Can you? Is there a Mists 5-man that rises to the top of your list as a favorite? I'll toss scenarios in there too, just to broaden the field. What about your favorite 5-man or scenario makes it enjoyable for you? Is it the setting, the music, the story? Or confess your greed: Is it more that the loot inside is your favorite loot?

What's your favorite Mists 5-man or scenario? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 08 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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

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

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

I have to admit, it really is astonishing that Billy has retained his innocence and naivety over the years. You'd think after being slapped around by the harshness of reality so many times he'd have become jaded by now. But I guess he really is resilient ... Or maybe just extremely oblivious. Either way, props to you Billy. I wish I had your tenacity.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

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

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

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

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

Get the podcast:

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

Listen here on the page:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ron2 asked:

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

Continue reading The Queue: Music is distracting

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

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

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

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

Continue reading The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Why mobility doesn't matter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading Community Blog Topic Results: WoW without guilds

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

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

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

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR patch notes updated for May 7

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

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