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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Ulduar Tips Continued - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


Last week, we started our homage to Chase's rogue tips for raiding Ulduar by discussing what you, as a warrior, can expect from that massive Titan fortress/prison for old gods and their flabby, tentacle faced minions. That's right, Vezax, I'm calling you flabby. This week, we'll discuss the bosses of the Antechamber, Kologarn, Auriaya and the Iron Council, three bosses in one! I was hoping that the warrior class Q&A would be up by the time I sat down to write this so we could discuss that as well, but such does not seem to be the case.

Since the Iron Council is the most complicated of these three encounters (and because it has two alternate, or hard modes, we'll discuss it last. Of course, as a warrior you'll either be tanking or DPSing in these fights... there's simply no alternative role for warriors... but there's more to it than that in each case. Let's start with Kologarn.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Ulduar Tips Continued

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Ulduar Tips Continued originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Frenzy - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:30:00 EST


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

The Daily Quest: Frenzy originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Buzz buzz - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue is a pretty short one, but it's an important one. I'm making a change to the format of this column, which will be explained in our very first question of the day. Why is it so short? When you read the answer to the question, you'll understand. I just ran out of steam after pulling that off.

elstor asked...

"What's with the music lately? Why did you have to start this?!"

It's something we did for giggles once, people liked it, we kept doing it just for kicks. I'm pretty bored of it though! We should pick a new Whatever of the Day instead of songs. Extreme Stunt of the Day?

Read this edition of The Queue while doing a kickflip out of a burning building and through the moving blades of a helicopter, then land in the middle of the ocean where you will wrestle a shark. While covered in bees.

Continue reading The Queue: Buzz buzz

The Queue: Buzz buzz originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The ins and outs of the Shroud Loot System - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST
Both Blessing of Kings and Unbearably HoT have posts up talking about the Shroud Loot System, a looting system designed to serve as an alternative to the standard DKP setups. The main point of SLS is that unlike DKP, it rewards points not just for downing content, but for just attending content, so that the focus is more on attendance and participation rather than progress (which, you'd assume, would eventually come if people are constantly showing up). Instead of kills, points are awarded at the beginning and the end of raids (no matter how much progress is made), and then when an item drops, players can bid points either by "Shrouding," spending half of their DKP (whoever spends the most gets the item), or by bidding a low fixed cost (and then they roll off for the item, with whoever wins paying the low fixed cost). BoK has a great example of how it works: either you spend half your points (if you have the most overall DKP, you're guaranteed to win) or you take your chances against a dice roll.

Continue reading The ins and outs of the Shroud Loot System

The ins and outs of the Shroud Loot System originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Class travel skills changing in patch 3.2 - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:39:00 EST


They're reading my mind! Just an hour or two ago I was thinking to myself, "if I can get a mount at level 20 in patch 3.2, what's the point of all those level 20+ speed-increasing skills?" Zarhym has solved my conundrum: they're all going to be reduced to level 16!

This includes Druid Travel Form (was level 30), Hunter Aspect of the Cheetah (or as I like to call it, Aspect of the Cheater; was level 20), and Shaman Ghost Wolf (was also level 20). Also in this post, the skull confirmed that class-specific mounts will come at the same levels as generic mounts will: Paladin and Warlock ground mounts at 20 for normal and 40 for epic, Druid Flight Form (now enhanced to 150% speed, like the other normal-speed flying mounts) at level 60, and Swift Flight Form at level 70.

So the days when Ghost Wolf or Travel Form was all you had to go faster for 20 levels may be over, but at least it will be useful for four. There has been a lot of debate back and forth about these changes, but for my money, if they're not going to let us start alts at high levels, this is the next best thing: making leveling much less painful.

Class travel skills changing in patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scattered Shots: What you see is not always what you get - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST

I can't believe it either, WoW.com actually decided it to bring me back for another week! I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from The Hunting Lodge and I'll be your tour guide each Thursday as we explore what makes our Hunters tick and how we can make them better.

Last week we talked about the many different resources are available for Hunters. This week I thought to build on that and talk about item level (iLevel) and what makes a good upgrade.

Yes, I'm sure you are already thinking, "Boring! How difficult can that be?" Maybe for some that would be true. But the changes that happened with Wrath of the Lich King have forced us to rethink some of the old standards. For example, Agility isn't always the king stat like it was in the past. Sometimes you might need to decide between adding Critical Strike Rating, Armor Penetration, or Attack Power all the while considering how much Hit you might be losing.

I do agree that determining your next piece of gear should be relatively simple process. And for the most part, it is. But as with everything, there seem to be exceptions the rule. Sometimes choosing between two items on the fly or in the heat of the moment just isn't that simple.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: What you see is not always what you get

Scattered Shots: What you see is not always what you get originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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One Boss Leaves: Anomalus comes up short - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

For the second week in a row, the victor of Two Bosses Enter ... One Boss Leaves was determined by a margin of fewer than 100 votes. Anomalus fell short of his task of protecting Brann Bronzebeard throughout the Hall of Stone's Tribunal of Ages event, falling to the combined forces of the Tribunal's defenses.

"Anomalus wins this one without a sweat," wrote Saravok for the dissenters. "Anomalus engages the adds while moving around to avoid the mobs. When he opens a rift, his own adds join the fray. Soon enough, having lost about 25% of his HP, he shields himself. The Tribunal adds now fight Anomalus' adds. Anomalus' adds are losing -- but BAM, the AoE evens up the contest, and the fight rages on.

"Anomalus retakes the battle, with the Tribunal kicking it up a few notches to boot. Once again, our elemental hero takes a beating, pops up some rifts and hides in his shield. The multiple rifts now attack the adds, with lots of AoE. The Tribunal adds are quickly slaughtered."

Continue reading One Boss Leaves: Anomalus comes up short

One Boss Leaves: Anomalus comes up short originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New zeppelin and portals coming in Patch 3.2 - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST


Another patch 3.2 announcement today, this time from Zaryhm concerning a few travel options in Azeroth.

First, there will be a new zeppelin route between Thunder Bluff and Orgrimmar. We heard about this before, but now we know in what patch / context it will be released in.

Secondly, there will be portal in Stormwind and Orgrimmar leading directly to the Stair of Destiny at the Dark Portal. No more need to haul yourself out there at level 58. Just take a portal instead!

The portal in particular should help people level in Outland much easier. It should also help to significantly decrease the use of Hearthstones for traveling back and forth between Outland and Azeroth. Now you can fly to Shat in your 150% flying mount at 60, take a portal to Stormwind to train, and then portal right back to the entrance to Outland where you can hop on your flying mount again and return to grinding levels. Very quick, very easy, very smooth.

New zeppelin and portals coming in Patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW.com's Geeky Clean "Dirty Jobs of Azeroth" Contest - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST

We know that questgivers have you do some pretty ridiculous stuff in exchange for paltry rewards. They have you sift through talbuk dung, swim through pools of muck, and even dress like a murloc (oh, the shame!). But what's the dirtiest job in Azeroth? In the spirit of cleanliness, Geeky Clean and WoW.com are teaming up, and we want you to find it! We've got five (5) prize packs of five (5) different Geeky Clean soaps ready for the people who send us a screenshot of your character performing one of Azeroth's dirtiest jobs. To enter, take your screenshot and send it with a text caption or description to contests@wow.com before 2PM ET on June 18th, 2009. We'll choose our five favorites and post them soon after.

Be creative, original, and funny to win this contest! You'll be judged 50% on originality/creativity and 50% on presentation. And be sure to use an email address to which you have regular access when submitting your entries, because that's how we'll get a hold of you!

You may enter only once. The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older. Click here for the complete Official Rules.

WoW.com's Geeky Clean "Dirty Jobs of Azeroth" Contest originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The opposite of Heroics - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST
Reader Malos on Nagrand sent me an interesting idea that I thought was worth some discussion. For a long time now, I've been a big fan of the idea of turning the old instances into Heroic versions -- I think it would be really fun to play Deadmines as a level 80, or roll through Scarlet Monastery for badges. But obviously the problem there is that Blizzard already has enough to do -- they're focused on creating new content, not revamping old instances that people have already played.

So Malos has a solution: instead of tweaking the instances to us, how about tweaking us to the instances? He suggests a set of gear, much like the Heirloom gear, that matches your character to whatever instance you happen to step into -- if you enter Deadmines, it powers down your level 80 character to an appropriate power and level for the instance. That way, all Blizzard has to do is make one set of gear per class (that could even scale upwards, so they never have to make it again), and boom, every instance could be played at the standard difficulty by any character any time.

Will it happen? Probably not. But I really like the idea of tweaking the players, not the instances, and I think there's a lot of possibility there for Blizzard. They've had such a tough time trying to balance out content for all kinds of players (including all of the hard modes and extra gameplay in Ulduar), that it might be interesting to try and measure the difficulty by going the other way -- balancing players out for all kinds of content.

The opposite of Heroics originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Alliance vs. Horde - Episode 1 - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


We've seen WoW-based Mac commercial spoofs before, such as the epically famous Frost Shock. BroncoTV is now continuing the legacy with their own donation to the effort, Alliance vs. Horde - Episode 1. The series will be focused on the two player factions, and their ongoing argument about who is better and why.

This particular episode digs up the old chestnut about who has the best girlfriend and why. I admit, I had a brief chuckle when the dwarf claimed Onyxia as his girlfriend. I guess I can't blame him, as there was something a little fetching about her appearance in BLIND.

Ultimately, I thought the video was amusing, and I really look forward to more. I think the later episodes are going to get better, though, as the authors expand their development of the two main characters. As these figures "grow up" in the comedy series, I think the dialogue will get even better.


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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Alliance vs. Horde - Episode 1 originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Spelling test - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST


With a flash of flame and a gout of smoke, Blood Pact appears again! It demands that columnist Nick Whelan make a sacrifice! Either he must write on a relatively simple subject this week, or be doomed to perform poorly during his finals! Left with no other recourse, Whelan submits to the will of the column.

Spells are the essence of playing a Warlock. Just about every part of playing the game, save role playing, has spell casting as a central feature for us. Fighting for control of Arathi Basin, dueling on matters of honor with some upstart Mage, questing and leveling, or any instance from assailing Defias scum in The Deadmines, to unlocking the secrets of Azeroth in Ulduar. Without spells the only things a Warlock could do would be run, jump, and weakly bonk our foes with our staffs. And there just aren't enough platforming sections in WoW to make that kind of thing fun.

Depending on our spec and in-game vocation, different Warlocks focus on different spells. And the decision of which spells to focus on is based on numbers. Such as the time required to cast the spell, potential damage output the spell has, or the amount of time that the spell will allow us to reign destruction on our foes while they run around screaming in abject terror. Understanding the mechanical uses of spells is essential if we're to be effective Warlocks. But as I've said in the past: Rain of Fire isn't just an area of effect spell channeled over 10 seconds which causes 2-3k non-crit damage every 2 seconds to enemies within a 15 yard radius--it's fireballs falling out of the sky!

Continue reading Blood Pact: Spelling test

Blood Pact: Spelling test originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Battle of the BlizzCons - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 10:30:00 EST


Xtoferal of <Order of Valtiel> on Ravencrest writes, "After a server restart forced our 10-man Ulduar group to take a break before we fought Auriaya, as we were logging back in and waiting to regroup, I decided to pull out my handy Murloc costume. Another member of the raid summoned his pet Murky. Jealous because I wish I had that pet, I tried to show off by dancing. But Murky was having none of that. He ignored me the entire time. Sadness."

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

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

Around Azeroth: Battle of the BlizzCons originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More Algalon firsts from around the world - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST

The last couple of days have seen a few more 'firsts' around the world for Algalon, the supposed Destroyer of Raids. Premonition of the Sen'jin server scored the US first, roughly a week after Ensidia's world first. Their kill revealed two brand new drops from the boss, both of which you can see in the little gallery just below. Good work, guys.

In another part of the world, the infamous Chinese guild Stars (the one that moved to Taiwan servers to play Wrath of the Lich King) has downed Algalon as well. This is extremely impressive. Why? Well, Taiwan got their hands on patch 3.1 a full week after North American and European realms did. That means Stars killed Algalon in the same amount of time it took Ensidia to do it. If both regions received the patch on the same day, the two kills would have happened at very nearly the same time.

Congratulations to both guilds, and we look forward to watching the next raiding race when patch 3.2 rolls around!

[via MMO-Champion]

More Algalon firsts from around the world originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Is your class missing out on in-game lore? - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


When it comes to lore, Druids, Mages, Death Knights and Paladins have it covered. Druids have the Emerald Dream, Mages the Kirin Tor and Dalaran. Meanwhile Paladins and Death Knights' lore revolve around this chap called Arthas who did bad things and became one of the biggest bads in all of Azeroth. But what about the other classes?

When was the last time you heard of a decent bit of Warlock or Warrior lore? And I'm not just talking a class quest here, but actual lore with a capital L?

Shamans got a bit in The Burning Crusade but only if you were a Draenei. What about Hunters, Rogues, and Priests? So I want to know, dear readers, do you wish there was more lore specific to your class? Do you feel neglected as a sub-group within Azeroth? What kind of lore would you like to see associated with your (insert class here)? Speak up and drop your thoughts in the comment box below.

Breakfast Topic: Is your class missing out on in-game lore? originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Upcoming mount changes - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 21:11:00 EST


A very big announcement this evening from Zarhym. In the "next major content patch" (which means Patch 3.2) the mount system in WoW will be having some significant changes to it. The highlights are as follows:
  • Regular land mounts trainable at level 20 (was 30)
  • Epic land mounts trainable at level 40 (was 60)
  • Regular flying mounts trainable at level 60 (was 70)
  • Regular flying mounts speed increased to a 150% gain (was 60%)
The costs for all the training and mount purchases has been decreased outright, with the exception of the artisan riding skill (epic flying mounts). For all mount costs, faction discounts now apply.

This means that when you hit 60 you'll be able to fly around Hellfire and finish all those quests. Leveling from 60 to 68 is going to become easier and more relaxed. You'll hit Northrend much sooner with this change.

The full details after the break.

Continue reading Upcoming mount changes

Upcoming mount changes originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 21:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Rookie: Of hearth and home - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST
New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Looky, Mom, we're all original: we didn't call this post "Home is where the hearth is" (but only because that title was already taken). And speaking of being trite, hearthstones may seem like a rather mundane matter -- not exactly high-value gaming strategy, eh? -- yet seasoned players manage to accumulate a little hearthing savvy that makes life in Azeroth (and the Outland and Northrend) a little more convenient.

Hearthstones link you to an inn in a location of your choosing, allowing you to transport ("hearth") back there once every 30 minutes. Prior to Patch 3.1, when you could only use your hearthstone once per hour, choosing where to bind and how to most efficiently order your errands and quests called for more than an insignificant amount of thought. The lower cooldown time today makes planning simpler, but there are still a few points worth knowing to help tune up your efficiency and dial down your travel time.

Continue reading WoW Rookie: Of hearth and home

WoW Rookie: Of hearth and home originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Going out on an in-game date - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST
I thought this was a really cute idea: an in-game date, sharing some of the best locations and activities around Azeroth with someone you love (or just happen to be courting). There are lots of great ideas in that thread -- I agree that the Twin Colossals is one of the more scenic (and out of the way) vistas to visit, but there are plenty more to go to: The Grim Guzzler, a floating island in Nagrand, the Darkmoon Faire, inside the bio-domes in Netherstorm. Personally, I think the best date would be a picnic on the deck of the ship in Deadmines -- sure, you'd have to fight off ninjas every once in a while, but what is a date without a little ninja fighting, right?

If you do head out on a date, make sure you bring some roses and a bottle of wine (depending on how well you expect the date to go). If you've really thought ahead, you can bring a Romantic Picnic Basket, or you can shell out for a regular Picnic Basket, but otherwise, it's probably just best to have a snack of Delicious Chocolate Cake (it's guaranteed to make your date Very Happy).

Like I said, cute. Spending the time together with friends is what the game is all about anyway, and there's nothing wrong with taking some time to experience the world and hang out with each other. And if that's a little too boring for your tastes, maybe you can have your date tag along with you to some 2v2 Arena matches afterwards. Nothing gets the romance going like a little bloodshed.

Going out on an in-game date originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Maelstrom: Lore behind the possible next WoW expansion - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


Many of you have likely heard the theory floating around that the Emerald Dream might be the next expansion pack, but you may not have heard about the other popular theory: The Maelstrom.

How would you feel about an expansion where the naga are the villains, the murlocs do their bidding, a powerful queen emerges, and dormant gods awaken? We've braved alien lands and the cold, harsh climate of Northrend, so how would you fancy going out to sea, discovering new islands and diving down to sunken cities?

I have to admit, my first reaction to the concept was an inner groan of disappointment, but when I read into it further over at Lorecrafted, I became intrigued. After all, who hasn't dreamed of drifting off to explore the Great Sea? I've wanted to see a sunken city ever since my first character, a female Troll Shaman, discovered that she had no home city. Deep down, she was sure that there simply had to be some lost troll city, perhaps beneath the sea, or at the very least, a place to rebuild, reconnect and start anew.

What do you think, folks? If this were to be our next adventure, do you think you could get excited, or are you itching for the Emerald Dream or something else entirely?

The Maelstrom: Lore behind the possible next WoW expansion originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mountain Dew pets not for EU gamers - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST


This was going to be a post about how EU gamers can still attain the Mountain Dew Battle-Bot pets even though the warning above says they're for US folks only, but never mind -- Blizzard's server alert says they are putting out a hotfix on the EU realms to remove any and all pets that made it through their guard. Some people could get the pets just by clicking through, and some people couldn't, but Blizzard says no -- the Mountain Dew promotion is apparently for US folks only, and anyone who has one on the EU realms won't for long. Players are understandably frustrated, though some of them are happy that if they can't have one, no one can. MVPs on the forums are saying that the pet is also available in Canada, even if the soda promotion isn't, but that may change as well.

Pretty poor show. Sure, Mountain Dew's rules say US-only, but they definitely should have realized that there were plenty of EU players who would want in on the promotion. We doubt this is over -- it would certainly be a mark on their campaign that would engender a lot of ill will, and Blizzard will likely try to find some way to get the in-game pet up and running on the EU realms.

Mountain Dew pets not for EU gamers originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The truth about Authenticators [Updated] - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST

After getting a glimpse into the operations and motivations of a scammer, a lot of questions have arisen about the Authenticator. Can it be circumvented? Briefly and with your help, yes. Is having an Authenticator worth the hassle? Absolutely. These are just quick answers, and this is a topic worthy of more in-depth questions and long answers.

What is the Authenticator?

The Authenticator is a small device (pictured right) or an iPhone/iPod Touch app that can be tied to your account and provide an extra layer of security. The application is free, but the physical Authenticator costs $6.50 with free shipping in the U.S. They are also available in other countries.

How does it work?

The Authenticator generates a code that you must enter after entering your username and password when logging into WoW or when accessing your account management screens. This code is a one use code that is valid only for a limited time. But it is valid for longer than it lasts on the Authenticator. A new code is generated every few seconds, but an unused code is valid for longer than that (I'm not sure how long). For more details about how the Authenticator works, please read our interview with Blizzard.

Continue reading The truth about Authenticators [Updated]

The truth about Authenticators [Updated] originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 4 - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST
Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about the last two bosses in Ulduar, and what role you'll be playing in the encounter.

Only two bosses stand between you and victory in Ulduar. General Vezax, leader of the Faceless Ones, guards the entrance to Ulduar's final chamber. Inside that room, we find Yogg-Saron, the Old God, who's powerful influence captured the Titan's minds and ensnared the denizens of Ulduar. With Yogg-Saron out of the picture, perhaps you will be able to clear the corruption from Northrend.

While not quite the technical challenge that is Mimiron, these two bosses are the strongest two enemies you'll encounter in Ulduar. More importantly, each fight has very specific roles that a Rogue will need to play in order for the raid to succeed. After the cut, we'll explore exactly what you'll be responsible for as you descend into madness.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 4

Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 4 originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ten things WoW players should know from E3 - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


Blizzard, as you probably already know, was not at E3 this year (officially, anyway -- they did have at least a few folks wandering the exhibit halls). But that doesn't mean there wasn't anything for you WoW fans: both Elizabeth Harper and I were there from WoW.com working with our sister sites Joystiq and Massively, and as WoW fans, we saw plenty of awesome games and demos that you should know about.

So even if you haven't been paying attention to E3 information on other sites, here's a quick wrapup of ten different things you should know from last week's big convention if you're a WoW player. There were no big expansion announcements or hints at future Blizzard releases -- they're saving all of that for BlizzCon this year. But there were a few games to watch, a few booths to marvel at, and a few trends to notice that you'll want to be aware of even if you're spending most or all of your gaming time in Azeroth. Hit the break for the first four.

Continue reading Ten things WoW players should know from E3

Ten things WoW players should know from E3 originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Old Druid bear and cat form models removed in patch 3.2 - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


This is no surprise, but the new bear and cat models (which you can see in the gallery below) are going to be the only bear and cat models as of patch 3.2. You won't be able to keep the old models even if you want to - Zarhym confirmed it in a post from last night.

Complaining aside, I don't think many people will mind too much (although a few surely will). The new Night Elf cat forms are not my favorite, but I do think they're better than the old one. I wouldn't use the old one if it was available (I'll be Drama Club Cat, thank you very much). And the old models would look incongruous next to the new high-detail ones.

Thus a long era will end, as we proceed into the round-pawed future. While we try to forget our hideous forever-open mouths, remember the lessons of Alamo. Durids is very storng, and durids is must always halp eech other. And ultimately, every1 is like a fun time durid!!

Old Druid bear and cat form models removed in patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Valley of the Damned, Episode 01: Forbidden - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Valley of the Damned, Episode 01: Forbidden is the first part of an ongoing series by Cerinne, whose previous credits were mostly focused on raiding videos. Valley of the Damned is a character-driven story which takes place before the Scourge Invasion and the Third War. Lady Fierine Calloun is a noblewoman who comes to Dalaran to be trained in the ways of magic, and begins uncovering more about the "dark arts" than she was expecting.

For a first episode from a relatively new machinimist, I was fairly pleased with Valley of the Damned. The voice acting needs a little polish, but I thought the actors did a pretty good job portraying their characters. The scripting did a good job of setting the pace and tone for the series' world, but hopefully the next episode will be a little faster paced.

The animation is based purely on in-game graphics, with the odd filter thrown in here and there. I actually found that to be a strong point in favor of Valley of the Damned, because it lets the viewer "live" in the story the same way they'd escape into the game. It roots the episode to our in-game experiences, instead of creating a wholly different world which just happens to be using WoW graphics.

[Via WarcraftMovies.com]


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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.

WoW Moviewatch: Valley of the Damned, Episode 01: Forbidden originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: You can't take Spell Power away from me - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST


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

There's a great question about the mechanics of spell casting when a proc / buff is or is not active. It's a very fine point that most people don't consider, and it's a mechanic that has been reiterated by Ghostcrawler and company recently. Take a few minutes to read it, you'll be glad you did.

Today's reading music is Frank Sinatra and Natalie Cole singing They Can't Take That Away From Me.

I love the way we dance 'till three.

Mortur asked...

"Now that the Battle.net conversion has been released for a while and bugs have been being dealt with, do you feel that there is much reason anymore for holding off on converting your account to Battle.net? Have the authentication issues after a patch been going away?"

Continue reading The Queue: You can't take Spell Power away from me

The Queue: You can't take Spell Power away from me originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Kind of blue - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST

This is just a nice little character portrait of Blood Elf Death Knight Valanar in Icecrown. Death knights blend in well with the ice and blue of Northrend, but I can't help thinking about how silly they look in, say, Stranglethorn Vale. Pale, deathlike skin, brightly glowing eyes, and thick armor with spikes are not ideal for wandering around a jungle hunting down tigers.

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

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

Around Azeroth: Kind of blue originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Class Q&A: Shaman questions answered - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


The first answer post from the class Q&A series is up! 6:30 PM on a Tuesday night is not exactly when I expected this to drop, but I'm not complaining, and neither are most shamans, I expect. 4,400 words from the devs answering the community's questions is always nice. I've summarized the major points below; my summary may seem long, but it is only 20% of the original post.

As of Wrath, the goal is for all three Shaman trees to be viable in end-game raiding, and for Shaman DPS to be not necessarily quite as high as pure classes, but close; the goal is that "no raid worth its salt would turn down" any shaman out of concerns that the class is underpowered.

They do think Shamans are a bit underpowered in PvP, especially smaller Arenas, and view that as a problem. They mention particularly wanting to improve Shaman performance on 2v2s.

Continue reading Class Q&A: Shaman questions answered

Class Q&A: Shaman questions answered originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Have you turned to the Dark Side (of Battle.Net)? - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


I'd been holding off on merging my World of Warcraft account with Battle.Net account for a while now. I really didn't see the point, even though I'm certain to buy Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 when they come out... soon(R). I also haven't been hearing too many good things about the service, although to be fair, log-in problems happen to all World of Warcraft accounts whether they've been merged or not. I didn't really think about it much until yesterday, when Battle-Bots became available over at the Mountain Dew Game Fuel site.

It's a trap. I mean, this is Blizzard's not-so-subtle ploy to get everyone to merge their accounts into Battle.Net. And boy it's a really good one. The thing is, even scammers seem to think that Battle.Net is a good idea -- hacked accounts are immediately converted to Battle.Net to make it harder to recover -- so it might be better to beat them to the punch. I'm not too worried about account security since I've got an Authenticator, but Battle.Net has now become much more attractive to me now that there's a Battle-Bot bribe thrown into the mix. What do you think? Do you guys have Battle.Net accounts? Is the Battle-Bot worth it? Or is Battle.Net the spawn of the devil?

Breakfast Topic: Have you turned to the Dark Side (of Battle.Net)? originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Guildwatch: He's really, really sorry - Wed, 10 Jun 2009 03:00:00 EST


You've got to hear this guy included in our drama section this week -- he accidentally ninja'd a piece of loot, and he was so sorry that he not only apologized on the forums, he actually made some YouTube videos to apologize in virtual person. And they are terrific -- the music is amazing, and he just keeps talking and talking and talking. We could listen to him all day, actually. Definitely check it out.

That story and many more in this week's Guildwatch, back up to full strength after a short version last week. If you have drama, downed or recruiting tips to share with us from around the realms, send them right along to guildwatch@wow.com. Click the link below to read on.

Continue reading Guildwatch: He's really, really sorry

Guildwatch: He's really, really sorry originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 03:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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European weekly maintenance: 10th June 2009 - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST
Welcome to Wednesday in Europe. While the Americans are still sleeping and dreaming of that next boss kill, it's a brand new day and, with it, a bunch of rolling restarts to boot.

Yes, rolling restarts: it's a different kind of maintenance this week. We'll be getting fifteen minute warnings before the restarts take place between 5:00am and 7:00am CEST so do bear that in mind when you start that wee-small-hours-of-the-morning raid in Ulduar. The rest of the downtime is forum and website-side with both going offline between 3:00am and 5:00am CEST.

So it's a relatively painless bout of maintenance this week, one I fully intend to sleep through. If you're looking for something to read on the bus to school or the commuter train to work, then Daniel W. has plenty for your to browse through. Personally I think it's just an excuse to post that Sailor Moon kitty form although I freely admit the anime fan in me is currently screaming loudly for my own senshi makeover.

European weekly maintenance: 10th June 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Brewfest mount probably easier this year - Tue, 09 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


Oh, Brewfest mount. How much you have taunted me over the ages. I still recall last Brewfest, when a guildy of mine was quite distraught that he was not going to get the mount before the festival ended, only to get it on his very last Direbrew kill (and remember, we used to kill that sad dwarf five times a day). I've never gotten one myself, but that may change this upcoming Brewfest.

Bornakk has just announced that "there is quite a possibility that a change is in the works" for how the mount is acquired, and that "it will most likely be easier to get." A return to a token-based system, perhaps? Just a higher drop rate? A reward for the meta-achievement? I don't know, but we'll be sure to report as soon as we find out.

The token based system might be unlikely, actually, since earlier in the thread he said "I doubt we will make them purchasable with tokens, if we want to make changes to this we will likely go a different route" (comma splice!). How do you think they're going to make the mount easier?

Brewfest mount probably easier this year originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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

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

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

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

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

Take a look at some of these post titles:

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

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

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: Discover your inner ShrinkGeek

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Gallery: Battle Bot

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

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


We love in-game fixes, right?

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

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

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

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

Continue reading Tuesday's in-game fixes

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Jack Spicer asked...


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

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

Continue reading The Queue: The roof, the roof

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

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