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Phat Loot Phriday: Digested Hand of Power - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 20:00:00 EST


Now this is a real offhand! The stats aren't so great, but wait until the next expansion -- surely the most disgusting item in the game will get a nice upgrade, right?

Name: Digested Hand of Power
Type: Epic Offhand Hand (Ha! Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Damage/Speed: N/A
Abilities:
  • +10 Stamina, +14 Intellect.
  • Restores 10 mana per 5 seconds. Which isn't great in this day and age, but was pretty nice back at 60, when this thing first came out. But don't worry -- considering that Naxx will be updated, chances are that either the stats will change or that we'll see another version of this one.
  • Looks like, well, a disembodied, digested hand. And considering who did the digesting, yeah -- that's pretty gross.
  • But here's what I'd like to know: whose hand is it?
How to Get It: Drops from Gluth, the Abomination boss in Naxxaramas. He's not very appetizing at all, though I don't think he's quite as disgusting as the Abominations in the Undead side of Stratholme -- those guys are really gross. Still, Gluth is no pushover.

And as you probably already know, Naxxaramas is being retooled to work as one of the first endgame dungeons in Wrath of the Lich King, which means Gluth will likely find new life, and hopefully his loot along with him. Right now, this offhand (Ha! again) gets dropped at around 15%, though of course we have no idea how the new version of the loot will work.

Getting Rid of It: Sells for 9g 13s 52c, and disenchants into a Nexus Crystal (remember those?). Here's hoping we'll see this baby again in the future -- in fact, let's shake on it.

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POLL: Age-o-meter - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST

Some of the best and worst times I've had in WoW have come from playing with people who were not anywhere near my own age. My very first WoW friend was 20 years younger than me and we had a blast. In fact, I ended up playing with her sister and her parents too. But just yesterday I was reminded that sometimes age does matter when I pugged with a bunch of, well, real doofuses (doofii?) whose every other comment was a poop joke. I have never before logged in mid-air while between flight paths, but that's how much they annoyed me. I'm sure that some of my comments that start with "Dude..." or contain the phrase "teh awesome" are just as annoying to other people. So, anyway, it got me to wondering about the game's age ranges. I think everyone assumes that most people who play the game fall into their own age group so I thought it might be fun to find out how the ranges really do break down -- at least for folks who read WoW Insider. So spill it! No one will know what you answered, but it should be interesting to see the results.

View Poll

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WoW Insider Show served fresh tomorrow afternoon - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 17:00:00 EST


Do you know what's brewing in World of Warcraft this week? Come dish with us on the WoW Insider Show live on the air tomorrow. We've got reservations at 3:30 Eastern on WoW Radio. As always we'll be taking on some of the spiciest topics from the past week. We're still simmering in the wake of WWI announcements, so it's certain that we'll have plenty to talk about.

With our intrepid co-lead out of town, the bloggers have cooked up quite a show. I've giggled and flirted my way to acting host for the day (or something like that). I'll be joined by piping-hot Daniel Whitcomb, the sizzling Robin Torres, and the ever-tasteful Turpster this week. What's on the menu? We'll start with a Broken Mage salad with a side of Conjured Manna Biscuits. The meat of the show will be a juicy discussion of what's happened in the past and what we expect for the future. For dessert, temp your taste buds with an array of Beta delicacies with a dash of Paladin Hope.

We'll also serve up some reader emails (theshow@wowinsider.com). And we'll cater to the live IRC crowd (at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel). Tune in tomorrow, the discussion should be delicious!

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How to start your own WoW blog - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 16:00:00 EST
I've been a blogger since before the term "blog" existed. (In the mid-90s, we called it a "diary" on our "zine.") I've been blogging about WoW for about a year now. For some reason, people really like to read and blog about WoW, which is the main reason WoW Insider even exists. WoW is a social game so it lends itself to group discussion. People want to share their experiences and their knowledge so much that there are literally thousands of WoW blogs out there. If you've been bitten by the blogging bug and want to start writing about your own game exploits, here's a 5-step mini-guide for you after the break.

Continue reading How to start your own WoW blog

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WoW Radio fighting claims of malware - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 15:00:00 EST
A few readers (thanks!) have sent us news that visiting the website of our good friends at WoW Radio has caused their Firefox browser to flag that there's malware present over there. I visited the site last Sunday, and my browser tossed up error messages aplenty at me. But after talking with Totalbiscuit and Duncor, I'll repeat their message here, so just so everyone knows: there is no malware problem with WoW Radio.

Totalbiscuit has posted a notice on their front page explaining what happened -- sometime last week, a hacker attempted to post some kind of malware nonsense on their forums, and was headed off at the pass. Unfortunately, Google just happened to catch one look at a possibly negative piece of code, and thus the site was flagged (strange that just one flag would cause the kinds of alerts that Firefox is spitting out, but that's a discussion for another day). But at this point, we know for certain that there is no malicious code on WoW Radio, and even Google admits that the one piece of code it saw was the fault of a third party, not the WoW Radio folks.

Both Totalbiscuit and Duncor tell me they're working with their ISP and Google as much as they can to get the warnings removed. But in the meantime, you've got nothing to worry about -- you can listen to our podcast (or any of the other podcasts over there) without worry.

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[1.Local]: WoW Insider's local chat comments this week - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 14:00:00 EST
[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

It was a chatty week at WoW Insider this week. More than a few posts bristled with multiple pages of comments. [1.Local] looks back at not only the popular posts, but others that may have slipped beneath your radar: the need for a global chat channel, a popular list of common in-game annoyances, and a good, old-fashioned, rough-and-tumble debate over whether or not the Mage class needs buffing.

The week continued with discussion on the new ratings balance in Season 4 PvP , WoW Insider's new weekly crossword puzzle and whether or not leveling is more enjoyable than end-game activities. Readers with an intellectual bent got a kick out of our discussion of WoW's digital culture, and readers with an phlegmatic bent got down and dirty in a lengthy debate on sexism in WoW.

Join us after the break for this week's meatiest reader comments here at WoW Insider. Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

Continue reading [1.Local]: WoW Insider's local chat comments this week

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Blizzard Authenticator may or may not be for sale again - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 13:30:00 EST

In what may or may not be good news today from the Blizzard Store, it looks like the Blizzard Authenticator was back on sale for a short time. It sold out rather early, and there was some rockiness with some orders, but it looks like Blizzard's at least trying to get back on track in delivering this extra layer of account security. Unfortunately, although it was showing as purchasable just an hour ago, it once again shows up as Sold Out currently.

There's no word yet on whether they've fixed any problems with keeping the Authenticator in stock, so it may be that they simply got in one shipment and are waiting for another. Hopefully, that shipment comes soon and they can work out their stocking problems a little more permanently. Until then, I'd sit tight and wait a bit. At the least, you don't want to be like the poor folks tipster Aaron pointed out to us, who are bidding up to $93.00 for one on eBay.

Thanks to everyone who sent us a heads up on this!

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Video Games Live to release CD - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 13:00:00 EST
Record company EMI Classics has announced the release of Video Games Live Volume One, a recording of the famous traveling orchestra (led by friend of WoW Insider Tommy Tallarico) that plays videogame music, including that of the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series. You may have seen the group last year at BlizzCon, this year at WWI, or (likely) this year again at BlizzCon, and they got rave reviews every time they played.

The recording was conducted by Tallarico, recorded at Abbey Road, and features the Slovak National Orchestra, The Crouch End Festival Chorus, and "the videogame pianist," Martin Leung. The CD will have eleven tracks (full tracklist after the jump), and will feature music from a slew of terrific videogame soundtracks, including our own Warcraft series (and Civ IV, which is probably the best music I've ever heard in a videogame, ever). EMI plans to release the CD in America on July 24th, and in Europe and the rest of the world on August 20th. It should be available for digital download right now in the UK, and an iTunes exclusive release will be available on the 20th.

Sounds like an amazing recording -- fans of Video Games Live will certainly enjoy it. You can see the full tracklist below.

Continue reading Video Games Live to release CD

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WoW Moviewatch: The BS-1337 Nuclear Rocket - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 12:00:00 EST

While most of Baron Soosdon's entries into the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitational were disqualified due to private server usage, he did manage to place second in the commercial part of the machinima contest. The BS-1337 Nuclear Rocket is part evil and part awesome at the same time. For the true villain in all of us, the rocket offers 9000 megatons of fun in a convenient package. What will ACME think of next?

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Karazhan DPS gear continued - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 11:04:00 EST


The Care and Feeding of Warriors returns at last to its guide to DPS gear to get your fury or arms warriors ready for Karazhan. Matthew Rossi, seen above on one of his many warriors taking a wine and fish break in Kara itself (hey, the food's pretty good considering that it's served by the walking dead) realizes that he took a lot longer than he expected to write this column, but in his defense, Titan's Grip. You understand.

And so we return to DPS gear for Karazhan in the form of boots, bracers and belts. If we get past that, we may shoot for rings, necks and trinkets, but let us see how far we get first. The problem with the slots in question... the belt, bracer and boots you need for your DPS kit... is that there are often not all that many options outside of PvP or crafted epics to meet or exceed your needs, and worse, there's really not much you'll get in Karazhan in terms of DPS plate either. As a result, expect me to be extremely flexible in terms of what I recommend here, and if you can think of a suitable offering I've missed for some reason, feel absolutely free to mention it in the comments. I'll probably be forced to mention the most readily available PvP options: there's really no way around it with the paucity of gear inside Karazhan to meet your DPS needs.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Karazhan DPS gear continued

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Around Azeroth: Dirty deeds done dirt cheap - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 10:00:00 EST


I've always been perplexed as to the state of personal hygiene in Azeroth. Aside from one zombie and that dwarf in Searing Gorge, no one ever needs to use the restroom, and I'm sure that the occasional moonwell isn't an adequate bathing facility. Our characters must be completely covered in fel orc blood, snake venom, and murloc slime by now. Luckily, Cheekz of Sporeggar-EU seems to have located a rare Azerothian sink -- the better to wipe off the dirty business of leveling as Horde. Just wait until you do the Tarren Mill apothecary quests, Cheekz. No amount of water will wash out the stain those leave on your soul.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. And please, no more sunsets.

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Insider Trader: Faction recipes for tailors - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 09:00:00 EST


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

You are a newly minted level 58, and you are about to walk through the Dark Portal for the first time. Once you set foot on the other side, and with a bit of wandering, you will surely begin to realize how many factions there are whose reputation you may or may not need to grind.

As a tailor, you will unfortunately not find too many exciting new recipes aside from the threads you will learn to craft from your Scryers or Aldor allegiance. Here is the quick breakdown:
  • Honored with the Consortium
  • Honored with Lower City
  • Revered with Sporeggar
  • Exalted with Scryers or Aldor
  • Honored with the Ashtongue Deathsworn (Black Temple)

Continue reading Insider Trader: Faction recipes for tailors

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Breakfast Topic: Themed names - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 08:00:00 EST
Emy on WoW Ladies LJ is asking about +hit gear, but I'm actually more interested in the second question posted: How many among you have named all your characters the same way? I'm not a theme-namer -- most of my characters are named after whatever popped in to my head when I created them, creative or otherwise. But some players like to give all their characters the same suffix or prefix on their names, or name them all after something in common (Emy names her characters after stones, so "Garnett", "Ameythyst," and so on.

I've always thought that we should have some way of tracking which player owns which character, either within the guild interface, or within the game at large -- though people probably have privacy concerns about that, it's interesting to me to see people playing different alts and how they act differently. But theme names are one way of showing that characters are all part of a larger group, without actually revealing those ties to anyone not in the know. It's a cool idea -- almost makes me wish I'd put a little more thought into my characters when starting out.

So: do you have a theme behind the names of your characters? Did you plan it out or did it just happen? And is it clear (they all have the same root) or is the theme known only to you? What, if any, are the ties between the names of your different characters?

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Forum post of the day: A crushing blow to Warriors? - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 03:00:00 EST

Due to itemization and abilities, Warrior and Paladin tanks currently have a greater ability to avoid Crushing Blows than Druid tanks. In the near future, this may become a moot point. Khurg of Spirestone, a Tauren Warrior, worries that Warrior tanks may become somewhat obsolete with the removal of Crushing Blows from boss mobs and a potential thirty second cool down on Shield Block. He asked "What will be the purpose of defense in WotLK ?" The following response from Rawglrlrgll of Lothar was that the defense statistic prevents critical strikes and still buffs the chance for avoidance.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: A crushing blow to Warriors?

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Reminder: Win Manaprincess gift pack from WoW Insider - Fri, 11 Jul 2008 01:00:00 EST


What's going on WoW Insider reader night crew? Don't tell the morning crew we told you this, but we know you're good people (some might say even better than the early risers are). You're willing to come and read the site late into the night, and for that, we'd like to make sure you don't miss our Manaprincess contest, going on right now. You could win a Manaprincess gift pack, complete with these Hearthstone charms as well as a set of Health and Mana potion pendants, from Manaprincess and WoW Insider.

To enter, you've got leave a comment on our contest post (not this post, that post), and that's it. Please only comment once, and do it before Friday night at midnight, when we'll randomly pick a winner to give the gift pack to. Once more, to enter you must comment on the contest post (commenting on this post will give you nothing at all but the satisfaction of having left your mark on this page).

You're some of our favorite readers, late night crew, so we wanted to make sure you got a chance to enter, too. Just don't tell the morning crew we did -- oh, hi there, morning crew! Didn't realize you all were coming in so early this morning!

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Scattered Shots: Sting operations - Thu, 10 Jul 2008 23:00:00 EST

Scattered Shots is for Hunters. This week, Daniel Whitcomb will be covering for David Bowers, despite the fact that his Hunter isn't currently specced for Scatter Shot.

As Hunters, our primary role is and likely always will be the DPS. Even the new pet talent trees probably aren't going to change that too much. In the end, we sit back and fill the giant target full of arrows or bullets. That said, we also have quite a few tricks up our sleeves, a few stops we can pull out to get jobs done. Some of these come in the form of stings: a series of shots that put a debuff on the mob that can, when used correctly, turn the tide of a battle. Today, we'll look at each sting, what it does, and how best to utilize it in PvP and PvE.

There's a few universal truths to look at before we start: First, all stings are poison. This means that they can be cleansed, and that certain mobs will be immune to them. Second, there's only one sting allowed per a hunter, and most stings don't stack. That means that you can only apply on sting at a time as an individual hunter. Still, that can turn out to be helpful in some cases, as we'll discuss later. In addition Viper and Scorpid Sting can only be cast by one Hunter at a time, so in multiple hunter situations, be sure to decide amongst yourselves who's casting what, should they be needful.

And now, on with the stings!

Continue reading Scattered Shots: Sting operations

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PTR maintenance concludes, Hallow's End up for testing - Thu, 10 Jul 2008 21:30:00 EST

An apparently new Blizzard employee named 'Boxinabox' (uh, what?) has just announced that the PTR is back up and fully functional after a 'maintenace' period. Man, who the heck is this guy/gal?

The interesting part about this phase of the Test Realm is that Hallow's End is up for testing! We might get to see Horseman mounts if the models that have been dug out of the game files are any indication, but we won't really know until we actually see them drop. Maybe they've gotten rid of the oh-so-phallic Broom mounts this time around? We'll find out, won't we?

If you're interested in checking out and testing Hallow's End before it gets pulled, you ought to hurry and get on the PTR. Brewfest was pulled after only a few days, so your time may be limited.

Edit: Never mind. See you in 5-7 hours!

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Tank Talk: The irresistible fight - Thu, 10 Jul 2008 20:30:00 EST


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and Allison Robert (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish.

Since Tank Talk began, we've gotten a few questions from people about raid fights that require tanks to use resist gear. With all of Burning Crusade's raid attunements now removed, and with lots of guilds testing the waters in Tier 5 and Tier 6 before Wrath hits, I figure now's as good a time as any to discuss what resist sets you're going to want if your guild is intent on progression. The resist gear issue is nowhere near as dire as it was in vanilla WoW (Molten Core, anyone?) and in general the raid as a whole rarely needs to worry.

Tanks are special. But you knew that already, didn't you?

This guide covers all of the existing 10-man and 25-man content in the game outside of Sunwell Plateau:

Continue reading Tank Talk: The irresistible fight

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Death Knights and the new design directive - Thu, 10 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST


I've been having fun with Wowhead's new Wrath of the Lich King talent calculators lately. Since I couldn't fiddle around with my favorite class' talents just yet, I decided to play with the Death Knight talent trees. Although I have yet to actually playtest the class (keeping my fingers crossed for that elusive Beta key...), studying the new talents and spells made it apparent to me that Blizzard was now working on a completely different level. The class design is so bold, fresh, and completely unlike any class we've seen before.

With each patch and expansion, Blizzard has demonstrated a keen sense of learning. One of the things I truly enjoy about their talks, such as the panels during the Worldwide Invitational event in Paris, France last month, is when they illustrate their learnings and what they've come up with in response. For the most part, each iteration of their designs is progressively better than the last. Take World PvP, for example. Their first attempts were silly and laughable, such as the sandlol in Silithus. In Outlands, however, they implemented several World PvP objectives that were more successful, particularly Halaa and the Bone Wastes. In Blizzcon 2007, they talked about the things they learned so far, which make me truly excited for Lake Wintergrasp.

The Death Knight is another matter altogether. It's a new class. With the Burning Crusade, Blizzard simply added new races, which wasn't too difficult to balance. With the coming expansion, they've designed a class from the ground up -- and from what I can see so far, they've broken the mold and created something that doesn't quite follow the conventions we're become accustomed to. If anything, the Death Knight is a shock to the system. Looking through the talents and spells, a few key design points stood out for me.

Continue reading Death Knights and the new design directive

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Totem Talk: Why cloth and leather? - Thu, 10 Jul 2008 17:01:00 EST


I still remember hitting 40 on each of my shamans. In each of their cases I'd been running Scarlet Monastery non-stop collecting the mail pieces that dropped off of each of the bosses, and I'd managed to acquire the helmet, shoulder, legs and chestplate before I dinged on my draenei. (I didn't do as well on my orc, I only got the helmet.) When I hit 40 and trained to wear mail, I was ecstatic. No more leather, I swore then and there. No more rogue squishiness without rogue stealth! I went forth to level through the 40's and 50's thrilled with my new gear (I wore that shoulder for a very long time, at least into the mid 50's) and eager to sing the praises of mail. Sure, it's not plate, but it's the second highest armor available, and if you're a shaman you can even equip a shield and get even more armor if you're a healer or ranged DPS, making you even less squishy in those roles.

In short, I love mail for my shaman, and my other shaman. I don't like wearing cloth, or leather armor for elemental or enhancement. (In fact, I really don't recommend wearing cloth for enhancement.) Sometimes, however, you will end up stepping down your gear to leather or even cloth for a variety of reasons. Before we attempt to work up a comprehensive 'this is the leather/cloth gear you want for this role' post, let's discuss the reasons you may find yourself turning to those kinds of armor over mail.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Why cloth and leather?

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