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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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WoW Moviewatch: Frame of Mind - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST

Frame of Mind by Slashdance has been lurking around the internet since 2007. For all that the video has some years under its belt, it's still as entertaining and charming as the day it was released. With a chill but emotional soundtrack, tone-perfect graphics, and subtle storyline, Frame of Mind looks like an illustrated guide to making a good WoW music video.

If you're an aspiring machinimator, take the time to check out the video on its YouTube page. Slashdance took the time to liberally annotate the video with behind the scenes notes. Some of the trivia is just neat to know. Others sheds light into how master machinimators like Slashdance create the work that they do. It's an awesome read. Thanks to Joerendous for the tip!
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: Frame of Mind originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Disconnects and latency issues and Patch 5.3 - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST

No one likes high latency, least of all someone playing an MMO that can demand reaction time the way World of Warcraft can, especially in raids. But even out in the world, latency can be a killer. So when people started reporting issues with connections to World of Warcraft soon after patch 5.3 launched, it got a lot of players noticing. In a six page forum thread there's been a lot of lively discussion of what's going on - whether it's on Blizzard's end, or somewhere between the computers of the affected players and the Blizzard servers. If you remember the Lagpocalypse post, you know how complicated these issues can get.

MVP forum poster Lissanna posted an interesting walkthrough of her own attempts to find the culprit today, and explained why despite some forum poster dissatisfaction that it is indeed helpful to run a traceroute and pathping and post the results to the tech support forums, since it gives Blizzard an idea of who to talk to about these issues. If they don't know who's being affected, where those people are, and more importantly where the issue is physically located there's not much they can do to help.

So if you're having the same problem, giving Blizzard as much information as possible is definitely helpful in terms of getting this sorted out. I've seen people in my raids disconnect on every single boss so far while I haven't had the issue at all myself, suggesting the problem isn't on Blizzard's end but is out there somewhere in the path the data takes between Blizzard and the players. Hopefully it can be solved soon.

Disconnects and latency issues and Patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hunter hotfixes clarified - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST

If you don't follow Blizzard Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka on Twitter, you could be forgiven for not knowing anything at all about the latest batch of hunter changes. Hunters are the class of the moment for PvP changes, with players complaining variously that they are doing too little damage (hunters) and too much damage (everyone else). As a result of this, hotfixes have come in, mostly relating to hunter pets.

Blink Strikes was turned into a passive ability with 5.3, allowing the pet's Basic Attacks to deal 50% increased damage, be usable from 30 yards away, and also instantly cause the pet to teleport behind their target. This was causing some fairly high damage in PvP, especially in line with Stampede, and the latest reset includes hotfixes to both abilities.

However, thanks in part to the rather mysterious nature of these changes, there has been a lot of speculation about just exactly what is going on. To quell the QQ, Blizzard Community Manager Nakatoir has stepped in with clarifications of the changes.

Continue reading Hunter hotfixes clarified

Hunter hotfixes clarified originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Karazhan and its abyssal depths of fun - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill .

Karazhan: the most beloved of retro raids. Players may put on the rose-colored glasses when they talk of how limited raiding was back in the Vanilla days, but Karazhan is often talked of with fondness. Going back is a pleasure, not a painful memory. It's with good reason -- the place is built like a castle tower, going up and up forever, and it's full of memorable mobs and scenery.

Karazhan also has some of the tier 4 Voidheart Raiment for warlocks, as well as a mount and now pets for everyone, so it's a weekly favorite of mine to visit.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Karazhan and its abyssal depths of fun

Blood Pact: Karazhan and its abyssal depths of fun originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Character Services sale ends today - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST

It's not easy being a troll monk. So, if you want to change your race, your faction, your appearance or your name, now's the time. There has been a sale on what Blizzard calls Character Services all week, which is basically all the above -- every paid service that your character can undergo.

But this sale ends tonight, June 10th, at 11.59pm, so if you are twiddling your thumbs and wondering whether you should make that leap or not, then stop dilly-dallying and get on with it. You've got a matter of hours in the EU, and the sale ends at 11.59 Pacific time in the US.

Do also have a look at what's included in other options when deciding to make changes to your characters. For example, an appearance change includes a name change, so if you want to call your character something new then maybe a new look would suit their new name better. Enjoy your new home, look, identity, or enemy.

Character Services sale ends today originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Drama Mamas guide to coping with trolling and profanity - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 13:00:00 EST

It's the last straw: After a long day toiling in the salt mines, you come home to settle in for some stress-relieving World of Warcraft, only to find yourself transported back to The Barrens -- not only the latest patch's Battlefield Barrens, but the trollish Barrens-style general chat you've come to loathe. Your chat box is scrolling ceaselessly with "Douchebag this!" and "$%^& that!" and you can see that any hope of a restful evening is slipping inexorably beyond your reach.

What's a poor profanity-pelted player to do?

Continue reading The Drama Mamas guide to coping with trolling and profanity

The Drama Mamas guide to coping with trolling and profanity originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Flexible raiding and you - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Just when I think I have Blizzard figured out, they throw us a curveball. Only a month ago, I made the case on the Starting Zone podcast that raiding had evolved into three difficulty levels, and those levels could be compared to the easy, normal, and hard modes that most single-player games offer. I wrote in a column that normal mode raiding should now be labeled "guild raiding," because it took a certain level of coordination to succeed at that level. Normal raiding is no longer PUG friendly.

I said on the podcast that Blizzard is still figuring out just where the difficulty of normal modes should lie on the curve. It seemed that once their encounter designers figured out the appropriate tuning for the three modes, that is what raiding would look like for all foreseeable upcoming tiers and expansions.

As it turned out, Blizzard had a new raiding system hidden up their sleeve the entire time -- a system that few could have predicted. Let's look at the potential impact of this new way to raid and how your guild might need to adjust.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Flexible raiding and you

Officers' Quarters: Flexible raiding and you originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Another Monday - Mon, 10 Jun 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Welcome back to another Monday edition of The Queue, where I stare at my work in panic because nobody likes asking questions on Sunday!

Oh, well. We'll make do. Let's begin, shall we?

ArliSunblade1 asked:

Why do the chickens on Sunsong Ranch sometimes instantaneously combust and die? I'm a rogue, pretty sure it's nothing to do with me.

Continue reading The Queue: Another Monday

The Queue: Another Monday originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: You can leave your hat on - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST

Some elves might like expensive apparel, silk dresses and gold jewelry. But submitter Sayuribee of Winterhoof (US-H) prefers a more unique style. Like what you'd get if you fell into a construction site dumpster with glue on your head and shoulders. Sporting a combination of a Darkmoon Top Hat and some transmogrified Brittle Flamereaver Pauldrons, Sayuribee has compensated for the lack of player housing by carrying her junk drawer on her outfit. Just keep those lit fireworks away from the wooden shoulderpads!

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: You can leave your hat on originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gold Capped: How to handle undercutters - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST

WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make gold on the Auction House. Check out Basil's gold making podcast, Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

I hear this all the time: "Every time I post anything, someone undercuts me within minutes." Luckily, there's a relatively simple solution to dealing with undercutters: ignore them. You don't ignore them hoping they go away, you ignore them because they aren't actually going to prevent you from selling your auctions.

Think back to the last time you bought something from the Auction House; let's say an enchant. You search for the best enchant you can put onto the gear. If the lowest price is affordable, you buy it. If it feels too expensive (compared to what you've paid before or what you know the materials cost), you might buy the mats and ask friends or trade chat for someone to make it for you. You might instead look at the second best enchant for the gear if it's something you won't be wearing for long or you're not expected to always use best-in-slot enchants.

Continue reading Gold Capped: How to handle undercutters

Gold Capped: How to handle undercutters originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Should guild bonuses be a continuing effort? - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST

Plugging into a level 25 guild after a period of solo leveling is like being loaded into a slingshot and catapulted into a candy shop of delight. More XP! More rep! More speed! More travel! Suddenly, basic game business turns EZ mode. Who wouldn't want that? Last year saw adjustments to guild leveling that made it easier to push a guild up to level 25. The changes helped boost many guilds up to the level cap, allowing their members to reap the benefits of guild membership.

The question is ... now what? Should there be something more to enjoying guild benefits once you've reached the top? Once members have helped the guild reach the level cap and pushed their individual guild reputation to exalted to earn the available rewards, is there enough incentive to keep contributing? Should there be additional benefits for consistently active players? What might those rewards look like?

Breakfast Topic: Should guild bonuses be a continuing effort? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The WoW Insider Show live on Monday June 10 - Sun, 09 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST

Join us for a live recording of the WoW Insider Show tomorrow, Monday June 10th at 8:00 p.m. PDT. This show will be hosted on twitch.tv, right over at our channel. Shortly before the live broadcast we'll put a post up here on WoW Insider with a live embed of the stream as well. Don't worry if you can't miss it -- we'll have it up on YouTube a day or two later.

This week Mike, Matt, and Anne will be talking about flexible raiding (the announcement and Matt's editorial), Diablo 3 on the Xbox 360 (and all those other consoles), and the plans of companies to take advantage of WoW's subscription decline. Expect a lot of different opinions, with Cthulhu somehow being tied into it all.

Of course your emails will also be answered. After the break we'll give you a taste of what we'll be answering from listener's emails, including some chat about paid faction changes. Want your questioned answered live on the air? Send it to theshow@wowinsider.com, or hop in our live stream and hang out with us during the show. We'll take some questions from the chat channel after the show is done recording.

Continue reading The WoW Insider Show live on Monday June 10

The WoW Insider Show live on Monday June 10 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 09 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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