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Know Your Lore: A discussion of Med'an - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 19:00:00 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.

Med'an is a controversial character.

Well, maybe not. If Med'an were controversial, that would mean that some people like him and some people hate him, but so far, if Med'an has fans they're being awfully quiet about it. Now, that doesn't mean they don't exist, but until I see evidence for them existing I'm going to assume that they don't. So Med'an isn't controversial because there's no controversy. People either hate him, or they don't care about him at all. But there's the rub. By nature, I tend to dislike just going along with the common opinion without examining it for myself. So now, I find myself forced to ask: is Med'an that bad?

Med'an is as far as I know the only character to get dismissed from existence by the Ask CDev responses. There's a vague response at the end of Ask CDev 3 that implies that he left Azeroth entirely, and that's the last word we've gotten on the character. And I kind of understand why - taking a look at Med'an's backstory, it kind of sounds like something you'd see in someone's FlagRP profile that got out of hand.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: A discussion of Med'an

Know Your Lore: A discussion of Med'an originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: What My WoW Characters Are Thinking - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST

Wowcrendor is the machinimator that made you realize the game is still fun, even if you find some things frustrating. Wowcrendor is the machinimator who virtually invented a genre; we call it Wowcrendorism. What My WoW Characters Are Thinking is the video Wowcrendor most recently released about WoW.

Whether he's poking fun at warlocks or pointing out our own game-addled amusements, you can always rely on Wowcrendor's mostly harmless humor to highlight those unique cultural moments. Like that character that was going to be your main... or the one you were going to play with your friends but then you wandered off. It's like he can read my mind. I've had every one of these.
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 My WoW Characters Are Thinking originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR: Challenge Mode titles for fastest clear times - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST

In patch 5.4, Challenge Mode players who have already earned gold will have a strong reason to continue running them. Players who earn the fastest clear times in a Challenge Mode dungeon will receive a title specific to each dungeon. As long as players hold the record for the top time, the title will remain. A permanent Feat of Strength will also be earned upon reaching the fastest time.

However, there is a caveat: the Challenge Mode group must have at least 3 players from the same realm to earn the titles.
Patch 5.4 Challenge Mode notes
Players who obtain a realm-best time in a Challenge Mode dungeon (group must contain at least 3 people from the same realm to qualify) will receive a temporary title specific to each dungeon (e.g. Siegebreaker for Siege of Niuzao temple, Darkmaster for Scholomance, etc.). This title will persist for as long as a player retains the top time on the realm. Holding a realm-best time at any point will also confer a permanent Feat of Strength to record the accomplishment.


It's not enough to go for the gold anymore. How far will you go for the titles and Feats of Strength?

Patch 5.4 PTR: Challenge Mode titles for fastest clear times originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Combat and the GCD - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST

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

The three rogue specs share many common mechanics. They all follow the same formula: generate combo points, use finishers, activate your cooldowns when they come up. The real differences between the specs only show up once you start playing them. Assassination is well-known for being more relaxed and favors pooling energy over spamming attacks. Subtlety rogues have a knack for massive burst damage via their complex cooldown, Shadow Dance.

Combat is arguably the simplest of the three specs, and is often characterized by its fast-paced gameplay and high actions-per-minute rate. Adrenaline Rush, which has been combat's signature cooldown for years, is designed to let you push buttons even faster. Assassination's Vendetta lets you hit harder, subtlety's Shadow Dance lets you use openers, and Adrenaline Rush doubles the numbers of buttons you can push. Unfortunately for combat, the concept of "push more buttons" can't scale forever.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Combat and the GCD

Encrypted Text: Combat and the GCD originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR: New scenario, Stromgarde Keep - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST

Tucked in among all the other patch 5.4 files dug up by Wowhead is a new scenario with little to no information in terms of maps, bosses, or achievements. You might overlook this scenario in favor of other information, but Alliance players in particular may want to look again, because it looks as though we'll be paying a visit to Stromgarde Keep. Players may or may not remember the deserted ruins over in the Arathi Highlands, once home to the Trollbane line -- unfortunately, the zone didn't get much of a revamp during Cataclysm.

But the potential for this new scenario is huge, depending on what exactly we'll be doing while we're in there. There doesn't appear to be a faction requirement for the scenario, so it seems both Alliance and Horde players will be entering the zone -- whether or not we'll be able to keep our appearance, or be under another disguise effect, is currently a mystery. However, Stromgarde holds tremendous potential, because it represents a foothold steeped in a staggering amount of history for the Alliance, and the human race.

Continue reading Patch 5.4 PTR: New scenario, Stromgarde Keep

Patch 5.4 PTR: New scenario, Stromgarde Keep originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Axe me no questions - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST

Karazhan is a pretty dull place nowadays. They used to welcome thousands of guests a week, and now they're lucky to see a few dozen warriors. So the bosses have decided to mix up their battle tactics when a group does come around. "To this day I still have no idea what made Shade of Aran want to wield an axe instead of his trusty cane," writes submitter Colter. "Perhaps Karazhan just required more lumber."

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: Axe me no questions originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR: New pets, pet battle tournament, and more - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 13:00:00 EST

In addition to Moon Moon, the dire wolf pet dropped by the new Darkmoon Faire boss mentioned earlier today, patch 5.4 already seems full of new content for pet battle aficionados.

First is a datamined scenario currently titled The Celestial Tournament. As of now, the achievement for this tournament is listed under the Pet Battles subcategory, so it's very likely the pet battle tournament mentioned in the patch 5.4 patch notes. A new battle pet named Essence of Xuen provides some hint as to the rewards possible.

Continue reading Patch 5.4 PTR: New pets, pet battle tournament, and more

Patch 5.4 PTR: New pets, pet battle tournament, and more originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR: Dungeon Journal for Siege of Orgrimmar - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST

I don't think this even needs to be said, but huge huge spoilers ahoy.

With patch 5.4 going on the PTR with the quickness, we're starting to see just who, exactly, we're going to be fighting in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, and it's definitely not as straightforward as we might have thought. With the folks at Wowhead having the zone page and Dungeon Journal information up, we can take a look at what's to come. Be warned, there are spoilers for the upcoming raid in plenty past this link. If you don't want to know what the bosses will be in this raid, then do not read past this point.

Okay, now that they're gone, let's gorge on what we can discover.

Continue reading Patch 5.4 PTR: Dungeon Journal for Siege of Orgrimmar

Patch 5.4 PTR: Dungeon Journal for Siege of Orgrimmar originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Patches always drop when you're sleepy - Wed, 12 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. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

So yeah, I was hoping to go to bed when patch 5.4 news dropped and I ended up being awake for hours working on posts about it. I may be ludicrously groggy right now. Anyway, best news of patch 5.4 is Titan's Grip for polearms wooo! There's other stuff ... proving grounds, flex raiding, virtual realms, something in Orgrimmar ... but all of that pales compared to the majesty of TG with polearms. Many warriors will now twirl our way to greatness.

Since none of you knew that 5.4 would drop on the PTR when you were commenting in yesterday's Queue, most of your questions won't be about it. That's okay, it happens. As a result, we're lucky that folks on Twitter never sleep.

@AlternativeChat asks on Twitter:
Chances of mail across Virtual Servers? So you can finally send Heirlooms?

It looks pretty good, considering you can join a guild across them, use a shared AH across them, and do dungeons and raids (and no word of limits on that) across them. I would be very surprised if you couldn't mail across them. We'll see, though. The patch notes don't say yet.

Continue reading The Queue: Patches always drop when you're sleepy

The Queue: Patches always drop when you're sleepy originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR: Item enhancement changes for low-level players - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST

In patch 5.4, it's going to be a little easier to deck your character out in some pretty fantastic gear. According to the patch notes, all item enhancements from Enchanting, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, and various vendors and quests will be able to be applied to any piece of gear, regardless of item level. What does that mean for an aspiring alt? It means that all that wonderful heirloom gear you've managed to acquire over the years can finally be enchanted.

There are limits to these enchantments, however, so don't bust out the Mongoose for your max-level character just yet. Although high-level enchantments applied to items equipped by low-level players will have their power scaled down to be more appropriate for that level range, low level enhancements will not scale up beyond their intended level range. In other words, it appears as though the enhancements aren't exactly scalable.

From what can be gathered so far from the patch notes, it appears as though you'll be able to simply enchant your gear as you go. If you use a high-level enchant, it'll be scaled down to you. Players looking for a way to improve their heirloom quality gear now have a method of doing so. Although the patch notes aren't 100% clear on this mechanic, we'll know more once patch 5.4 hits the PTR servers.

Patch 5.4 PTR: Item enhancement changes for low-level players originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR: Moonfang, new dire wolf boss, to prowl the Darkmoon Faire - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST

Among the data mined from patch 5.3 is a potential new addition to the Darkmoon Faire: a new boss. In the current PTR build, the boss's name seems to be Moonfang. In the full version of the picture above (which can be found on MMO-Champion), you can see a crescent moon that floats above Moonfang's head.

Chances are good this new dire wolf will work similarly to the Darkmoon Rabbit added back in patch 5.0.4, which is a ferocious world boss despite its unassuming appearance. Like the Darkmoon Rabbit, this new dire wolf boss appears to drop a battle pet: Moon Moon.

In addition to the battle pet, Moonfang will also drop Moonfang's Paw. Moonfang's Paw is a statless vanity fist weapon to be used in transmogrification.

Patch 5.4 PTR: Moonfang, new dire wolf boss, to prowl the Darkmoon Faire originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are you prepared for Virtual Realms? - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST

We mentioned them last night while covering the surprises of patch 5.4, so now I roll around to you this morning. Did you see virtual realms coming? Do you like or hate them? Are they a cool way to avoid forcing players to worry about name changes and server moves or are they just a half step that needs to go further?

Personally I'm really interested because with this, the day comes ever closer that I could pug any raid with any friend I have of the same faction. It's a change I never expected to see, and one I'm very interested in watching. If this eventually leads to, say, one North American virtual realm for all players, I might be okay with that.

But enough about me. This is about you. What do you think? Let us know, we're keen to hear it. Patch 5.4 definitely isn't afraid to shake up the status quo so far.

Breakfast Topic: Are you prepared for Virtual Realms? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR: Proving Grounds - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 06:00:00 EST

Patch 5.4 already? When they said patches would be coming more frequently they were not kidding - we've only been in patch 5.3 for a month or so and patch 5.4 is already on the PTR. And it is packed with new features, some of which we've been waiting for all expansion, like the long discussed proving grounds.
Rygarius - Patch 5.4 Coming Soon!
New Feature: Proving Grounds
  • Proving Grounds is a new feature for individual players to test and improve their combat skills.
  • At the Proving Grounds, players may undertake trials, designed for Damage, Tank, or Healer roles.
  • It provides a great opportunity to learn how to Tank or Heal, without the need of a group.
  • Each trial is available in four separate difficulties: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Endless. Harder difficulties include more difficult and varied enemies.
  • Endless mode allows you to test your mettle against increasingly difficult enemies. Compare your best scores to friends and guildmates!
  • [PTR]: Access to the Proving Grounds and more information is coming soon.


While we still don't know quite a lot (like what form these will take, whether they'll be in their own location like Brawler's Guild or queued for like scenarios) we do know they're currently planned for 5.4, they'll allow for DPS, tanks or healers to face solo challenges to improve in their chosen role and they'll have multiple difficulty levels. This has been a feature long anticipated and requested, so I for one can't wait to see how it is implemented.

Patch 5.4 PTR: Proving Grounds originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR: Datamined NPC, mount, and pet models - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 04:00:00 EST

Along with the recently released patch 5.4 patch notes, our friends at MMO-Champion have data-mined some new models including armor for tier 16 and season 14 gear. Garrosh Hellscream gets a new look and we get a sneak peek at the latest sha! Everything behind the cut contains spoilers for the upcoming patch 5.4. Click through and view at your own risk!

Please note: This post contains spoilers for patch 5.4.

Continue reading Patch 5.4 PTR: Datamined NPC, mount, and pet models

Patch 5.4 PTR: Datamined NPC, mount, and pet models originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 04:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR: Virtual Realms announced - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 02:07:00 EST

What, you may ask, are virtual realms? Well, they're a very interesting new feature (and if you choose, you can pretend they're the new feature Ghostcrawler mentioned for 5.4) that will have quite an impact on how we play the game. To quote the patch notes:

Rygarius - Patch 5.4 Coming Soon!
Virtual Realms are sets of realms that are fused together, and will behave exactly as if they were one cohesive realm. Players on the same Virtual Realm will be able to join guilds, access a single Auction House, join arena teams and raids, as well run dungeons or group up to complete quests.

This is basically the first step in the creation of a unified, single realm across whole regions of World of Warcraft. Similar in concept to a PvP Battlegroup, this basically allows you to treat players from other realms in the shared virtual realm as if they were on your selfsame realm, including all the benefits of guilding, grouping and raiding.; This is an enormous game changer, and I admit, I don't think I ever expected to see it happen. For guilds on low pop servers, this drastically increases the potential player base that you can recruit, for just one potential benefit.

Do remember, however, that this is the PTR. As Ghostcrawler says:

Stay tuned for more news -- this is definitely an exciting change.

Patch 5.4 PTR: Virtual Realms announced originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 02:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.4 PTR Patch notes - Wed, 12 Jun 2013 01:53:00 EST

The official patch notes for the 5.4 PTR have been posted on the official website. While the PTR is not available at this time, you can check over some of the changes, new additions, and updates. Keep in mind that the PTR patch notes are not a final version, they will likely change between now and when the patch itself goes live. In addition, not all content may be available for testing immediately. However, there are some pretty amazing things to be found so far!
  • Flex raiding, which we've already been introduced to.
  • Proving Grounds will finally be making its debut in patch 5.4
  • New Feature: Virtual Realms. Virtual realms are sets of realms that have been fused together and will behave exactly as if they were one cohesive realm. Say what? You heard me!
Read on for the full PTR patch notes.

Continue reading Patch 5.4 PTR Patch notes

Patch 5.4 PTR Patch notes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 01:53:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Round Table 3: Flexible raiding and its impact on WoW - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST

Welcome back to episode three of the WoW Insider Round Table! This week, we had Olivia Grace, Dawn Moore, Matt Low and Sarah Pine, and new panelist Joe Perez, and our topic of discussion was, inevitably, flexible raiding. We started off, selfishly, by giving our own opinions, the panel runs teh gamut from the hardcore end to the casual, so we had most perspectives covered. We discussed whether this would cause or contribute to burnout among hardcore raiders, as well as wondering what the impact on casual guilds would be.

We then moved on to consider the new tier's impact on the Raid Finder, whether players would choose to run this new content instead of the Raid Finder, particularly tanks, and while the panel concluded that a good number of them would, they were fairly sure that, while queue times were likely to increase, the Raid Finder would not die an untimely death.

As far as other considerations for the new raid system, the panel discussed some of the issues inherent with flexible raid sizes, particularly the numbers and how abilities would scale, before moving on to talk about the looting system chosen -- the same as the system for Raid Finder. We concluded, just as we began, that this was a system that would have a positive impact, far more so than the Raid Finder. One panelist even asserted that this was what they always should have done, instead of LFR. We hope you enjoyed this panel, and if you have any ideas for future topics, do let us know!

WoW Insider Round Table 3: Flexible raiding and its impact on WoW originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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5 tips you may be embarrassed you didn't know - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST

We recently asked, "What are you embarrassed that you didn't know?" Some of the same answers kept popping up and I learned a couple of other things to be embarrassed about.
  1. You can put any color gem in any color socket. Matching colors is only if you're going for a socket bonus.
  2. To move up and down while flying, you can can press the spacebar for up and the X key for down.
  3. Holding down the Del key while flying will make your flying mount do a loop de loop.
  4. Shift-click on mail to have all of the enclosed items go into your inventory.
  5. There is a search bar at the top of your main backpack and your bank that searches all your bags.
Did you know all of these things? I had no clue about the loop de loop myself. What fun!

5 tips you may be embarrassed you didn't know originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A beginner's guide to WoW's crafting professions - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST

We've talked about WoW's gathering professions, but now that you know gathering, it's time to talk about what to do with the materials you've gathered: craft. World of Warcraft has eight different crafting professions -- alchemy, blacksmithing, enchanting, engineering, leatherworking, tailoring, jewelcrafting, and inscription -- which means that a wannabe crafter has plenty of options. So follow along as we walk you through your WoW crafting choices.

Alchemy
  • What does it do? Allows you to create a variety of potions, elixirs, and flasks, as well as transmuting certain items into other items. Most of an alchemist's skills involve providing buffs for anyone using their brews: potions provide an immediate benefit (like restoring your health), elixirs provide buffs for an extended period of time, and flasks provide buffs that last through death.
  • Do I need any gear? Crafting potions will require herbs and different types of vials.
  • Do I get any extras? Alchemists have access to the passive ability Mixology, which doubles the duration and increases the effect of flasks and elixirs they use. High level alchemists have access to a number of useful trinkets and, if they also study Archaeology, can learn to transform into a Sandstone Drake.
  • Why take alchemy? It's definitely useful to be able to make your own potions: you'll find you're never lacking for them. And paired with herbalism to gather herbs, you'll be entirely self-sufficient. However, you might also take alchemy purely out of interest in high-level trinkets or the Sandstone Drake.

Continue reading A beginner's guide to WoW's crafting professions

A beginner's guide to WoW's crafting professions originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Squirrel in My Pants - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST

The title of this new video by Off the Air is actually Squirrel Challenge, but I've already come to think of it as Squirrel in My Pants. The song is from Phineas and Ferb, and apparently involved woodland creatures running rampant through trousers. I guess that's a thing that happens.

As the story goes, a commenter challenged the guild to create a music video to the song. Off the Air knocked this out of the park. The video is huge fun, complete with a dancing troupe of orcs carrying the chorus. Whether or not the challenge was actually intended to be difficult, Off the Air used it to create one of their best videos yet. So kick back, have some fun, and lament the pants-borne squirrels that are plaguing Azeroth.
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: Squirrel in My Pants originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The WoW Insider Show Episode 298: A great day for a red wedding - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST

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

This week we continued with our return to the live show format! We were thrilled to be joined by everyone late last night for some good ol' fashioned WoW Insider Show fun. Sacco was out, so I was fortunate enough to sit in with the crew on the live end, instead of just hanging out behind the scenes making 'totally appropriate' comments.

Want to have your question answered on the air? Email theshow@wowinsider.com! And don't forget to join us for the live show again next Monday at 8:00 p.m. PDT!

Get the podcast:

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

Listen here on the page:


The WoW Insider Show Episode 298: A great day for a red wedding originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: Addressing ability bloat in death knight skills - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Recently on Twitter, Lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street was asked what issues he'd fix if he could immediately wave a wand and make it better. One of the ones he mentioned was ability bloat. Ability bloat is the term used to describe a class needing to press too many buttons simply to perform the basic tasks expected of them in group PvE and PvP content.

Ability bloat is certainly something that's been on my mind as well, so this week we'll consider the possibility of ability bloat in death knights and figure out various ways to address it. Much like how talents were pared down for Mists, I wouldn't be surprised to see abilities pared down in major ways for the next expansion, and we might as well start anticipating it.

Continue reading Lichborne: Addressing ability bloat in death knight skills

Lichborne: Addressing ability bloat in death knight skills originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dawn of the Aspects Part V excerpt now available - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST

It's been a long journey, but it seems that the latest Warcraft fiction offering is now wrapping up and coming to an end. An excerpt from the fifth and final chapter of Dawn of the Aspects is now available for reading on the official website. Dawn of the Aspects, by Richard Knaak, details the origins of the Aspects and the five dragonflights. The five-part miniseries has been released in installments over the last several months, and the fifth chapter ought to wrap up the tale and establish exactly what Kalecgos has learned from the mysterious artifact he's found.

As for the blue dragon's mysterious dive into the past, it seems that the events of long ago are finally reaching their climax -- Alexstrasza, Ysera, Nozdormu, Neltharion and Malygos are preparing for the final battle with Galakrond, a battle that will change the course of their race forever. Will Kalecgos discover the true purpose of the artifact? Will he break free of its mysterious hold, or will he remain stuck in Malygos' memories for eternity? And will Malygos and the not-quite-Aspects prevail, or will history itself unravel? Good question! While the excerpt doesn't provide any answers, it does offer a good glimpse at the final chapter. You can read the excerpt in full on the official website.

Dawn of the Aspects part five will be available for purchase in several different ebook formats for a wonderfully low $1.99 on June 17. Head to Simon & Schuster to purchase the installment in ebook format -- and if you're looking for a different format for your e-reader, the website has links to several different retailers on their listing page. Hopefully the release of the final chapter will encourage Blizzard to release a print edition of the novel in full, too -- I have an empty spot waiting on my bookshelf!

Dawn of the Aspects Part V excerpt now available originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Talents and abilities you never use - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 13:00:00 EST

Any given class in WoW has a ton of different spells and abilities. More than I can reasonably hotkey to my decidedly un-fancy two-button mouse and $5 thrift shop keyboard, in any case. I do my best with keybinding and click modifiers, but inevitably there are some things that just aren't going to make the cut. Fortunately, these abilities usually present themselves without a whole lot of deliberation.

For example, on my druid, I don't remember the last time I used Soothe. The other ability I find gathering dust in my spellbook is Hibernate. I know I used Hibernate to help with crowd control for trash packs in Ulduar and Ruby Sanctum during Wrath of the Lich King, but since then? Nope. Hibernate does not live on my bars.

Continue reading Talents and abilities you never use

Talents and abilities you never use originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: A truly hot tub - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST

Boiled clams, anyone? Submitter Eostre of Dark Steel Knights on Fizzcrank (US-H) really needed to get clean, so she pulled out her Gokk'lok's Shell for a quick portable bath. Sadly, she didn't look closely at where she was setting it up. The boiling water was hot enough to melt the very flesh off her bones! Wait, she was like that already? Never mind then. It probably just gave her a nice crispy bacon flavor.

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: A truly hot tub originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Tanks and raid leading - Tue, 11 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. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

Today's Queue is coming out at 11 o'clock in the AM, specifically for one of our readers.

Bam. Delivered.

Fraug asked:

What role does your raid leader play?

Continue reading The Queue: Tanks and raid leading

The Queue: Tanks and raid leading originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST

TradeChat's Panser returns with this week's WoW Insider news recap, where we look back at the hottest news from the past week and whatever other kickin' rad things may have come our way. And if you didn't notice, this recap is coming on a Tuesday! Is this a new thing? Why yes, yes it is.

This week's topics include: If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave a comment, and come back next week for the next episode!

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Last Week in WoW: Flexible news edition - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone. We're another week into patch 5.3, but alas, no sign of the patch 5.4 PTR just yet. Still, the news has been coming in copious amounts, so we're probably okay. Of course, the big news is Flexible raids. Now, having 12 signups for 10 raid slots may not mean you need to leave 2 people behind. This, of course, has generated a lot of discussion, much of which is summed up in an editorial by our own Matt Rossi.

There's lots more things, big and small, to cover, and we have the usual roundup of the week's news below. As of this writing, there's not been any announced downtime for this morning, but whether there is or not, a little break to get caught up can't hurt.

Hot news and features

Continue reading Last Week in WoW: Flexible news edition

Last Week in WoW: Flexible news edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Do you have trouble playing a non-humanoid race? - Tue, 11 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST

When it comes to our avatars, some of us are better than others at handling anthropomorphism. I don't personally have anything against the non-humanoid races, but I find I don't ultimately bond with a character that looks like a bear or a cow or a wolf. These characters end up feeling like cartoon game pieces that I move around on the game world rather than "my girls," even if "my girl" is undead or has gigantic tusks or a tail. Unbridled fantasy elements? I'm totally down with that. But big, furry critters feel like caricatures that I just can't take seriously -- and if I'm not taking my character seriously, I'm not taking the rest of the game seriously, either.

Are you comfortable reaching outside the humanoid comfort zone by playing goat-people and walking cows? Or do you need a character that's plausibly humanoid?

Breakfast Topic: Do you have trouble playing a non-humanoid race? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 11 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The WoW Insider Show LIVE! - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 22:30:00 EST

Tonight we're going live at 8:00 p.m. PDT / 11:00 p.m. EDT with the WoW Insider Show. You can join us right above with the live stream or head over to our Twitch.TV page and chat with us there. If you can't make the show don't worry! It'll be posted on iTunes tomorrow, along with a full recording right here.

This week we'll be reading the following emails:

  • Going to a Class
  • The Quest for the can't Miss Quests
  • Dragonmaw Gnomes
  • Paid to faction change
  • Does Matt listen to black metal music?
  • History of the Dwarvens
  • Lore, lore, and raids
  • What's happening in Outland?
  • Loot spec and Night Elves of pew pew
For a transcript of the emails, check out our original announcement post.

Remember that we need to keep the chat civil, so there are mods about to make sure everyone plays nice. Thanks for stopping by!

The WoW Insider Show LIVE! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 22:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 hotfixes for June 10 - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 20:50:00 EST

Another round of hotfixes for patch 5.3 have just been posted to the official blog. Many of today's hotfixes will require a realm restart to address -- expect to see all applicable hotfixes live and functioning after maintenance. This includes that all-important change to Lei Shen and Titan Runestone aquisition!
  • In the Throne of Thunder, Lei Shen will now always drop a Titan Runestone or Secrets of the Empire for players on the legendary quest line.
  • Hey hunters! Arcane Shot, Cobra Shot and Steady Shot will all deal 10% more damage after that realm restart.
  • Durumu and his minions have got us all figured out. Elixirs of Detect Invisibility will no longer allow players to see fog beasts while they are invisible.
Read on for the full list of hotfixes.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 hotfixes for June 10

Patch 5.3 hotfixes for June 10 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 20:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Beta testers wanted for Battle.net launcher update - Mon, 10 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST

Last November, Blizzard announced that they were working on testing updates to Battle.net's communication and login functionalities. That testing is ongoing and has now been moved to an open beta. Blizzard is looking for interested players to help them test a new desktop application designed to improve the launcher and login experiences for all Battle.net users.

If you're interested in being a part of this beta test, you can head on over to your account page and opt-in to a Blizzard game universe beta test. As is usual, invites will go out in waves, so you might not get yours right away. Happy testing!

Beta testers wanted for Battle.net launcher update originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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