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Below is a list of Article headlines from WOW Insider. This are used on our main page and updated daily. Each article contains links back to WOWinsider, which allow you to view the whole article

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Guildwatch doesn't have time to play games, either - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 21:00:00 EST


And yet we play World of Warcraft all the time. You wouldn't think this tiny little tell, above, would cause a guild to rupture apart, but in fact it did exactly that -- Runforyalife sent this tell to someone, they posted it on the forums, and the next thing you know, the GM had kicked Run right out. For his part, Run regrets what he said (we think the GM is a little testy, and whoever posted the tell is at fault, too), but there's a point to be made here: even the little tells you send in game can cause big trouble.

All this drama and more after the break. We've got good news too, though: there are guild downings aplenty, as well as a few recruiting notices (though it seems recruiting has slowed down with the Wrath beta in full force. If you've got a tip, send it to wowguildwatch@gmail.com as always. Click the link below to read on.

Continue reading Guildwatch doesn't have time to play games, either

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The strange task of entering Dalaran - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 20:00:00 EST

Here's a somewhat annoying little problem with the Beta. As of the latest build, you can't just walk into Dalaran, or rather, you can't just use the teleportation crystal go up. Instead, you have to complete a quest to align yourself to Dalaran. But this quest is only available at level 74.

In the Outlands, it's not uncommon for a fresh 58 to head through the Dark Portal and right to Shattrath City. Binding in one of the Inns there essentially puts all of the Outlands before you, with flights connecting you easily to where you wish to go.

It seems strange that Blizzard has put up this strange quest attunement roadblock to those who wish to alight from the boat to Northrend and head straight to the capital. Perhaps it's a similar decision that caused them to restrict flying mounts to level 77 and above -- they don't want people skimping on exploration and seeing content, so they make you hang around the newbie zones for a while before you can just stick with Dalaran.

Luckily, not all is completely lost. Much like with Shattrath before level 58, You can still get teleported or summoned up by a Mage or Warlock before level 74. Still, it's a strange little extra hoop Blizzard's having us leap through to get the to top.

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Last remaning BlizzCon tickets go on sale at 8:00 p.m. PDT tonight - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 19:32:00 EST
If you want to go to BlizzCon in October, you have one last window to buy your tickets: 8:00 p.m. PDT tonight. That's 11:00 p.m. Eastern, and 10:00 p.m. Central. This news comes from an announcement on the main page of the WoW website. The announcement further tells us that all the available tickets were sold out within minutes of the Blizzard Store coming on-line this afternoon.

Considering there will be a third hall open this year, we believe around 12,000 tickets have been made available (this number has also been reportedly confirmed by phone sales reps), which is 50% more than the 8,000 that were sold last year. The World Wide Invitational that took place in June also sold out very quickly.

In the case of the WWI, additional tickets were made available after the primary batch had sold out. However, and this is important, there is no indication Blizzard will do this again.

We'll update with any further information when we have it.

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Arena Junkies hosts Arena Olympics - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 17:00:00 EST

If you haven't heard, Arena Junkies is hosting their own Arena Junkies Olympic Contest. So while many of us are working on getting our own Spirit of Competition from the Azeroth Olympics, the Arena minded can compete to win a key to the Wrath of the Lich King beta.

Basically, you start a team with the phrase "AJOlympics" included in its name. Then, you go play in the Arena. The better you do, the more chances you get to win a key in the final drawing. You have to get at least a 2k Rating to even get one chance, so finally a 2000 rating will mean something again.

They'll keep updating their leaderboards until the end of the contest, so you can see how many people you'll be facing off against in the final drawing. I think it's a pretty cool contest, and I wouldn't mind seeing one of our readers win it. Not that I'm hinting at y'all or anything.

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BlizzCon tickets listed as sold out [UPDATED] - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 16:20:00 EST


Most of those who wanted to buy a BlizzCon ticket have just been through two horribly rocky days marked by constant refreshing, stylesheet errors, and the dreaded Fail Murloc. For better or worse, it looks like that wait is at an end, as the multiple sources are reporting that BlizzCon Tickets are sold out.

This is probably something Blizzard's going to see some backlash on one way or another. Whether it was poor planning, poor servers, an expected deluge of customers, or a combination of all 3 and more, the experience of trying to buy a BlizzCon ticket for most has been anywhere from 12-36 hours of pure agony marked by small 5-20 minutes windows where handfuls of lucky customers made off with the precious tickets.

Of course, all hope may not be lost for those who failed to capture a ticket, as this may simply be yet another CSS error.

In addition, Blizzard did sell the Worldwide Invitational tickets in waves as well. They may need to do the same for Blizzcon here, if only to give a fair shake to everyone who could never get past the CSS errors and the cold unforgiving face of the Murloc.

EDIT: A commenter on the official BlizzCon forums says that a Blizzard phone rep told him they are not sold out.

EDIT 2: The ticket page appears to be working again and not showing the tickets as Sold Out. The Fail Murlocs and XML errors continue apace, however.

Edit 3: The saga continues. as of 4:40 PST EDT, some sources are reporting the dreaded sold out notice again -- or are having the ticket mysteriously disappear from their cart once they make it to checkout.

Edit 4: Nethaera has just posted to say that most BlizzCon tickets are now sold out. However, they will be selling a small reserve starting tonight at 8 PM PDT.

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Hunter Beta News: Tranquilizing Shot explained, pet focus system adjusted - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 16:00:00 EST

Good old Tranquilizing Shot seems to be getting a lot of attention in the beta world yesterday. Ever since it was bought back to prominence when it inherited Arcane Shot's old dispel mechanic and the ability to dispel PvP enrage mechanics, people have been wondering what exactly it will be able to do in PvE.

Lead encounter designer Daelo clarified the other day with some information on how enrage type effects will work in Wrath:

Continue reading Hunter Beta News: Tranquilizing Shot explained, pet focus system adjusted

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The9 scores again in Q2 '08 - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 15:00:00 EST


The9, which is the company in China that runs Blizzard's World of Warcraft game there, has released their second quarter financial numbers, and they're rocking yet again -- they pulled in record income and revenue, nabbing about US$66.3 million, a full $60.7 million of which came directly from World of Warcraft and all the deals they have surrounding that property there. And their peak concurrent user total for WoW topped 1 million, which means one million accounts (not necessarily people) were logged on and playing at the same time.

Apparently the company is also running a few other games, but clearly WoW is dominating their income, and, needless to say, doing very well for them. And probably won't be stopping anytime soon -- if Blizzard follows through on their plan to release Wrath asap in China, odds are that The9's biggest game will get even more popular.

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Mounts now welcome in Booty Bay - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 14:00:00 EST
Tcher on WoW LJ comes through with an interesting change in the Wrath beta: mounts are now usable throughout Booty Bay. Personally, I've never had a problem navigating around there without a mount, but apparently it's a welcome change -- you'll be able to go all around one of the coolest cities in Azeroth without dismounting.

Even more interesting than the change itself, though, is the thinking behind it -- apparently Blizzard is still tweaking where mounts can and can't go. And though it's a small complaint, this has always been an area that's been a little confusing -- why were mounts fine to use in Ironforge but not in Booty Bay? Why weren't ships ever considered "outdoors," but the crates on them are?

At any rate, if Booty Bay stays changed through the updates on the live realms for 3.0, it'll be clear Blizzard is still tangling with their strange definition of "outdoors," and the rules on where mounts can and can't go, even in old Azeroth.

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BlizzCon ticket fiasco sparks fan-created game - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 13:30:00 EST


If you've been one of the many frustrated players attempting to purchase BlizzCon tickets online since yesterday, then you'll really get a kick out of BlizzCon 08, a mini-game created by Belneiros of Moon Guard (or Toneslice of Exodar).

It's extremely simple to learn how to play, and follows a classic arcade pattern. The premise is that, as a Failbot aka Blizzard employee, you arrive at work only to learn that (gasp) Blizzard forgot that the BlizzCon tickets are going on sale that day! In order to save face, you're going to have to start shooting as many down as possible. After all, there's no superior diversionary tactic.

Armed with your gun, you must do everything possible to prevent the sale of BlizzCon tickets. The more customers that get tickets, the closer you are to death.

It's actually a fun little pass-time that doesn't use much processing power at all. It's a quick play, and its inspiration came from the same refreshing, Failoc ordeal that we've all had to endure. If you sift through our live coverage yesterday, you'll notice that Belneiros wasn't the only bored player that got creative!

Stay tuned to our live blog today for news on ticket sales and our luck (or lack thereof) with acquiring some of the elusive tickets.

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WoW Insider Show: The 50th episode - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 13:00:00 EST
It was our 50th show this past week on the WoW Insider Show, so you'll have to forgive us for doing a little more backpatting than usual -- we promise that next week we'll be back to form for sure. But in the second half of the show, we did get down to talking WoW business, and the results are now posted online for your listening pleasure. When we weren't looking back at our favorite moments in the show's history so far (and giving away stuff to people who tuned in live), we also hit on:

  • A live version of Ask a Beta Tester, where we answered listeners' questions about the Wrath beta in real time, including how professions work with Death Knights, what we're not so excited about in the beta, and whether there are any grind quests to be found.
  • We devoted some time to discussing the Vicarious incident, and why it's wrong (or, in Adam's view, right) to give a Legendary ranged bow to a Rogue.
  • And we answered emails about Hero classes and the possibility of another expansion announced at BlizzCon, as well as the fact that I dinged 70 last week, and the terrific Nethack, supposedly the first game with Achievements in it.
Lots of fun stuff in the show. If you have questions or concerns to share with us, please do so by sending an email along to theshow@wowinsider.com, and you might even hear it on next week's show. And as always stay tuned to WoW Radio on Saturday afternoons at 3:30pm Eastern to hear the show live, or hit us up on iTunes to download each show automatically. Until next time, have a great week.

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WoW Moviewatch: Jump in My Car - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 12:00:00 EST

There are some songs better left unmachinimated. Jump in My Car is so thoroughly terrifying and funny at the same time that it definitely falls under that rule. It really could be the new Rickroll.

Poor David Hasselhoff is ripe for mocking, especially in this other commercial for Brewfest. For those unfamiliar, "The Hoff" was an actor in the 80s and 90s, known for such classics as Knight Rider and Baywatch. Lately, though, he's pretty much a parody of himself. Antigon went and did the unthinkable by putting him in WoW form, but I kind of like it -- in a train wreck sort of way!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

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 quest for BlizzCon tickets, day 2 - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 11:15:00 EST


We spent most of the day yesterday refreshing the ticket sales page for BlizzCon tix, and considering we came up short, we're going to go at it again today. A few people, including a few folks at WoW Insider, were able to make it through yesterday and buy tickets, but Blizzard closed the page down last night (posting the maintenance SCV, which you can see above) to keep people from refreshing the page all night, and that's where we stand now.

Their offices in California opened up at 8am PST, just a few minutes ago, and they said that they'd be reopening ticket sales at the start of the business day today. Here's hoping we have better luck this time around. Updates will be posted after the jump as they come in.

Continue reading The quest for BlizzCon tickets, day 2

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Ask a Beta Tester: Blacksmithing and socket slots - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 11:00:00 EST


Today we're going to kick things off not with a question, but with a statement. Eldacar of Boulderfist wrote in to tell us that he's just managed to hit 450 skill in Blacksmithing and to report on the new sockets available to Blacksmiths. Several people have asked how the sockets work, but with my complete lack of Blacksmithing skills, I haven't had much to say on the subject. Here's what Eldacar had to tell us:

The bracer and glove sockets are Blacksmith-only and both add uncolored sockets that accept any color gem. They will add the socket even if the item already has a socket. Currently I have not tested if you can use these sockets to meet socket bonus requirements, however I have verified they do not cause problems if you have already met the requirements. The tradeable epic belt socket, Titanium Belt Buckle, is bugged and not currently applying the socket to your belt despite consuming the item, but it is safe to assume it will add an uncolored socket as well though.

For more of your questions -- and our answers! -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: Blacksmithing and socket slots

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Around Azeroth: Clash of the product placements - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 10:00:00 EST


I know that WoW is an enormously successful video game with many spin-off products. But these commercial tie-ins may have gone too far. Why else would this shot from the WOTLK battleground Strand of the Ancients feature a night elf mohawk assaulting a Toyota Tacoma? (That night elf really does have a purple mohawk. Check the big version if you don't believe me.) Sure, you say it's a total coincidence. That's what they want you to believe. When that Recipe: Quarter Pounder With Cheese drops for you in the Nexus, don't come crying to me!

Tony sent us this image straight from the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, beta or not, sharing it 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! Unless it's a sunset over Arthas's grave.

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WoW Insider's Utgarde Keep walkthrough - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 09:40:00 EST

If you're dying to see the inside of some of Wrath's dungeons, you're in luck. We've put together a small walkthrough-in-pictures for Utgarde Keep for you to peruse. If you're in the Wrath beta and haven't run Utgarde yet, maybe you'll be able to put this to good use. If you're not in the Wrath beta, look through it anyway! It's a nice little preview of the dungeon and the types of mechanics you'll be running into when you first reach Northrend.

If you don't know what Utgarde is, it's likely the first dungeon you'll run through in Wrath of the Lich King if you're the instancing type. It's set in the Howling Fjord, and is a vrykul fortress from which they plan their attacks on Alliance and Horde settlements. It's the first of two dungeons that will be taking place in Utgarde, the other being Utgarde Pinnacle.

As always, if you want to see a larger version of the pictures, click the Hi Res button in the upper right of the gallery. I especially recommend that for our Northrend galleries, you simply can't see some of the detail in the low res versions.

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Caption This! - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 09:00:00 EST

Welcome back! Now that our enforced break is over, Caption This has returned, with an all-new chance to win fabulous prizes! (Note: prizes may not be considered fabulous by non-WoW players.)

The story goes like this: I post a picture during Tuesday maintenance. You write a humorous caption for this picture by Friday, August 15 at 11:59 PM EST. It could be a funny description of the situation or a quote that you imagine the characters in the screenshot saying. Examples of previous winners can be found here, here and here. Leave your captions in a comment on this post, and keep it clean -- if Blizzard would warn you for saying it in-game, don't enter it in the contest. During the weekend, the WoW Insider team responds with their favorites, and ten of those will be chosen for the final vote. On Tuesday morning, we put the top ten up for a public vote in a new post. Voting ends Wednesday, August 20 at 11:59 PM EST. After the voting, we notify the winners. If they respond to our e-mail and confirm that they're eligible to win, we mail out their prizes and write a "winner" post whenever we get both responses.

And what are these prizes, you ask? Well, first place winner gets a 60-day game card, worth approximately $30. And for a change of pace, the second-place winner will get his choice of one of these seven World of Warcraft action figures from Toyglobe, subject to availability: night elf druid, human warrior, gnome warrior, troll priest, dwarf warrior, orc shaman, or blood elf rogue, worth up to $20. No, you can't have Illidan or the draenei harbinger.

However, to win you have to be eligible -- and to be eligible, you have to be a U.S. or non-Quebec Canadian resident at least 13 years of age. Sorry, EU and Oceanic readers, but legal restrictions make it impossible to include everyone. The official rules for the contest can be found here. Read them or be faced with a wave of attack lawyers!

This picture, featuring tons of elvish goodness, comes from the official WoW screenshot archives. Good luck!

Gallery: Caption This!

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Breakfast Topic: Does the levity mess up the lore? - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 08:00:00 EST

Warning: Wrath spoilers ahead!

Blizzard's pretty good at Lore when they want to be, with the whole 2.4 storyline, the Battle of Ahn'Qiraj, and many epic storylines promising to come out of Northrend. At the same time, they also have their own offbeat brand of humor that is never far gone from their design philosophy, and it shows up in their stories too.

Sometimes it serves them well and adds a bit of levity, but other time, it seems to take on a life of its own, a life that can strangle what could have otherwise been something compelling and interesting. Zul'Aman is perhaps the most pertinent example. What could have been the last attempt of the Farstriders to shut down the troll menace threatening their people, what could have been a revival of the Troll killing tradition of the Arathi, or an examination of the High Elves who stayed loyal to the Alliance but still hate the Amani, instead turned into a cheap redneck treasure hunt. It killed much of the allure of the zone and turned what could have been a epic struggle against a former hero of the Horde into a run of the mill bunny bashing session.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Does the levity mess up the lore?

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The Tuesday Morning Post: I survived the Fail Murloc edition - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 05:30:00 EST

Good Tuesday Morning, everyone! By now, I'm sure you're all aware of the amazing and frustrating odyssey that has been the attempt to secure BlizzCon tickets, as documented here by Mike. This writer finally managed to buy his ticket only at 9 PM PDT yesterday, despite having been poised at the virtual ticket counter since approximately 7 AM yesterday. The sight of the Fail Murloc and his cousin the Fail SCV (shown at right) have almost been burned into my very retinas. As of this writing, some of my colleagues still haven't managed to get through to buy a ticket.

As a reminder, the store will reopen sometime this morning, and Blizzard has said that there are a lot of tickets remaining.

Despite the hubbub, all this trouble hasn't (completely) dampened our enthusiasm for the wonders of BlizzCon. We've spent the refreshing time tossing around speculations about what we'll see on October 10th. See if our predictions match up with yours.

In other news, it's an extended maintenance this morning, which means downtime goes from 3 AM PDT to at least 11 AM PDT, which means you should have plenty of time to read WoW Insider. There's plenty of news to catch up on, of course, especially with a new build hitting the Wrath Beta servers. Let's take a look at some of it:

Continue reading The Tuesday Morning Post: I survived the Fail Murloc edition

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Forum post of the day: Broken records incoming - Tue, 12 Aug 2008 03:40:00 EST

Although at times contentious, the current recruitment promotion has certainly sped up leveling. The triple experience point bonus comes to mind first, but the ability to give levels at a rate of one per two gained is also a real boon. The rule is that the levels can be applied to a character lower than the givers current level, capped at level 60. Theoretically someone who has reached level 60 could donate enough levels to raise another character from 30-59* in a matter of minutes.

This new mechanic is pretty easy to use and potentially abuse. Málfurion of Wildhammer is not happy with the change. To quote "I just saw a Warlock go from level 31-59 in 10 seconds in front of my eyes... The new recruit a friend is bull > <.... NERF NERF NERF!" The post was met with some disbelief, but it clearly is a possibility. Some players indicated that they have something similar in mind. Abilene of Aegwynn believes that this practice ruins the game for some.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: Broken records incoming

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Engineering goodies in the latest beta build - Mon, 11 Aug 2008 21:00:00 EST

Hot on the heels of flying carpets and spring-loaded cloak expanders comes word of a few more interesting crafted items in Wrath of the Lich King, especially some engineered ones, this time spotted by World of Raids in the latest beta build. Check their page for the full list, but here are some of my favorites:

  • [Cooking] Delicious Roasted Boar - Creates a delicious roast boar platter for you and your friends to enjoy. Group food! Mages, look out.
  • Blacksmithing gets recipes to socket bracers and gloves, each requiring four Saronite Bars and usable a level 60 or higher item. (For more new blacksmithing patterns, check out our rundown of recipes added in the latest beta patch!)
  • Engineering:
    • Scrapbot construction kit - Creates a mechanical vendor that buys anything. The scrapbot leaves after 5 min. I hope the mats will be relatively cheap. This is a great idea, as it's one of the best parts of the new repair bots, for when you don't need repairs.
    • Nitro Boosts - Permanently attaches overpowered nitro boosts to a pair of boots, allowing a skilled engineer to greatly increase run speed for until cancelled. The nitro boosts can only be activated every 5 minutes. There's that rocket-boots enchant. There's also a parachute cloak one listed.
    • Hyperspeed Accelerators - Permanently attaches hyperspeed accelerators to a pair of gloves, allowing a skilled engineer to increase their haste rating by 340 for 8 sec. The gloves can only be activated every few minutes.
    • Gnomish Lightning Generator - Generates a bolt of lightning to strike an enemy for 2250 to 2750 Nature damage. This entire device is made of metal, and the bolt occasionally hits you.

There's more cool new stuff for engineers listed at World of Raids. This might even be enough to get me to take engineering on my upcoming Paladin; it's always seemed gimmicky and PvP-oriented to me, but Blizzard seems to have realized that they need to move away from that.

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