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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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A spec for leveling and a spec for endgame - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 20:00:00 EST
This post by Catherine on WoW Ladies (about getting just the right spec for PvP and grinding) got me thinking about specs and their purpose in general. For a lot of classes, it's pretty much accepted at this point that you spec one way for leveling, another way for endgame, and a third way for PvP. While some classes can pull off all three with pretty much any spec (hunters and warlocks, ahem), other classes are much more confined (leveling as a resto shaman or prot warrior is possible, but I wouldn't want to do it any time soon).

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Blizzard has made a big deal (and a lot of money) about making sure that almost any class can jump into any situation at any time and do what they want to do. But the opposing viewpoint of that is that when all classes can do everything, no one class can do one thing better than others.

I think there's a good balance at this point, and though respec costs could be lower, they're definitely low enough that you can change spec a few times in the journey from 1-70 without a problem. But there are two ways to fall off the edge Blizzard is walking here: either specs become too limited, and you need to respec to do different things, or specs become too vanilla overall, and there's no reason at all to change anyway.

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Fishing up Chuck - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 19:30:00 EST


If Mr. Pinchy didn't revive the concept of fishing for you, sending you out with your rod, your bait and your bags, then maybe Chuck will.

Aikiwoce, after completing the new fishing daily quest on the PTRs, was awarded with Chuck's Bucket. What does this odd little bucket do?

Why, it summons Chuck the baby crocolisk of course! For those of you pet collectors out there, you'd best start leveling your fishing now! Even if you're not an avid collector, Chuck is the perfect toothy reptilian companion. Besides, any pet borne from Chuck Norris is a must-have. /wink

Aikiwoce was kind enough to forward us a screenshot; thanks Aikiwoce!

Of course, Chuck isn't the only mini pet making its debut through patch 2.4. If you want something a little less slimy and a bit more fiery, then the new phoenix pet might make your "to farm" list for after the patch.

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Why Karazhan still requires attunement - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 19:00:00 EST
Here's a good question from Strykt on the forums: why does Karazhan still require attunement? Blizzard has already dropped attunements on SSC and TK, and patch 2.4 will bring the removal of attunements on BT and Hyjal. So why are we still being forced to get those key fragments and attune people to Karazhan?

Bornakk shows up in the thread and says simply that it's a good way to find people to run Karazhan with, implying that Blizzard wants guilds to help each other get attuned, and that in essence, it's not so much a gear check as a group check-- you can't get into Karazhan as a guild unless you've helped each other to get in there first. And I actually like that idea-- if your guild wants your help in Karazhan, they've got to lend a hand first to get you into the instances to get the key fragments. "No guildie left behind," if you will.

I don't have a problem with having an attunement quest to enter the endgame (and you'll probably remember that Onyxia, BWL, and Molten Core attunements are all still in the game). And it seems that Blizzard doesn't either-- they're willing to open up the later endgame as time goes along, but you've still got to get some help to enter it in the first place.

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Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn: Sentry HQ - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 18:00:00 EST


Every Wednesday, Chris Jahosky brings you another page of Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn, a WoW webcomic you'll find only on WoW Insider!

Kat's made it to Sentry Headquarters and is going straight to Vincent Rhames, captain of the Menethil Sentries, for help. Byron's fate is unknown, but Rhames looks ready and able to take on some Naga! Let's hope they arrive in time to save him...

As usual, click the image above for today's page, or the gallery below to read from the beginning.

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Tharfor, his mouth, his foot, and shamans - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 17:31:00 EST
Man-- as if Blizzard really needed something like this to happen. Shamans are already unhappy with patch 2.4, and in replying to a relatively well-written and well-founded thread on why that is, EU CM Tharfor drops this bomb:

The stats don't show a lack of popularity for shaman, they just show a ridiculous popularity for other classes.

I am taking that out of context a bit-- Tharfor is basically saying that Shamans are in the right place, and it's other classes that need to be balanced on to them (and Thundgot later wants it clarified as "certain" other classes-- Druids and Warriors specifically). But as if the Shaman forums weren't enough of a firestorm, that statement has set off a whole other explosion of complaints. People are even asking if a statement like that is supposed to reflect Blizzard's feelings as a company or just Tharfor's as a CM.

I feel for Tharfor-- at least he wrote a lot on the subject, and at least he stepped up to talk to shamans about this, even when I'm sure the other CMs were tired of banning people after dot-shock. But this Shaman issue isn't a problem that can be talked out on the forums-- serious changes need to be made in game. From the missing Shaman review before BC all the way up to the new Stormstrike icon in 2.4, Blizzard has done very little to cure the basic problems with the shaman class (totem length and mobility, and mana management), and posting statements like the one above isn't helping.

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Shattered Sun Offensive phase 1: Sun's Reach Sanctum - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 17:00:00 EST



When you first arrive at the new zone, the Isle of Quel'danas, in patch 2.4, you'll find a chaotic scene, even if there aren't hundreds of naked, level two Blood Elves running around getting slaughtered by level seventy creatures, as there are on the PTR. The Shattered Sun Offensive, the united group of Scryers and Aldor, have a small presence on the isle, consisting of a few tents and a boat, and they're combating a large group of demons and Blood Elves. As time goes on and more daily quests are completed, the new faction will gradually retake buildings on the isle, unlocking vendors, quest givers and a portal to Shattrath. Here's a quick run down of the quests and NPCs involved in the first phase of the offensive, which came to a close a couple of days ago on the US PvE PTR.

The first building that is retaken is the Sun's Reach Sanctum, pictured above. It's infested with Wretched, the undead-looking, lowest form of Blood Elves and it's security measures are non-functioning. This of course leads to our first daily quest, "The Sanctum Wards". In this quest, you must obtain four Mana Remnants from the Wretched and then use them on one of the large red crystals near the Sanctum to help recharge them. The crystals are wards that, when recharged, begin to zap nearby baddies with magic. Basically, you need to kill a few Wretched (the drop rate of the quest items is pretty high) and then click on the items in your bag while standing near a crystal. This quest was quick and easy to complete even with a lot of competition from other players.

Continue reading Shattered Sun Offensive phase 1: Sun's Reach Sanctum

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Blizzard wins the Oscars of online games - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 16:40:00 EST
As Oscar time gets closer, some of us gamers may start wishing for awards of our own. Mass Effect was at least as good as There Will Be Blood, right?

Luckily, on February 7th, we gamers got our own red carpet show, as The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences hosted the 11th annual Interactive Achievement Awards in conjunction with the DICE Summit at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Blizzard, of course, managed to snag a few rewards of their own. Not only did the Burning Crusade pick up Massively Multi-player Game of the Year, but Blizzard President Mike Morhaime was inducted into the Academy's Hall of Fame.

Gamespot had video coverage of the event, which you can check out here, or if you'd rather just cut to the meaty stuff, the Academy's website has a PDF with a list of the winners here. You can also check out some wider commentary on all the awards from our friends at Joystiq here.

We'll expect trophies for Wrath of the Lich King and Starcraft II next year!

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And another Brutallus bites the dust (spoilers) - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 16:20:00 EST
If you remember the Kalecgos video from a few days ago, and how massively loaded with spoilers it was, then you'll either damn me or appreciate this spate of Brutallus videos. They are also massively loaded with spoilers.

I was going to link to this video, but it already seems to be down. I provide the link anyway in case it comes back up. Instead, I'll provide you with this video (you will either love or hate the music - I didn't make the video, remember) showing a successful Brutallus kill, as well as linking to this World of Raids thread showing a Brutallus enrage.

Since commenting on the videos could be seen as a spoiler, I'll simply leave those links for you to examine yourselves. If you want to watch a bear druid attempt to solo the big man, here's another video for you. It doesn't end well for the poor guy.

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Incoming dragonhawk mounts? - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 16:00:00 EST
I love new mounts. When the Shattered Sun Offensive rewards from patch 2.4 were first posted, I combed through the listing searching for some sort of new faction mount reward, and was disappointed not to find any. There ought to be a new mount in this patch somewhere, right? So imagine my surprise when opened up Mania's Arcania and saw a picture of some elf riding a dragonhawk!

Apparently, there is no dragonhawk mount available for players to purchase just yet, but when you take the flight from Quel'Danas island back to the mainland, you fly on the back of a dragonhawk. Also, there is a dragonhawk-riding bombing quest you can run (which Mania says is kind of annoying). Finally, there are new enemy elves who ride dragonhawks, and new silvery-grey ones at that!

If you ask me, it's just a matter of time until Blizzard puts dragonhawks into the game as the latest and greatest flying mount you can get. They'll probably make it an exalted Shattered Sun Offensive reward which is unlocked as that faction's presence on the island grows stronger, or else make it a rare drop from one of the bosses, like the bear mount from Zul'Aman. It would be a true shame indeed to taunt us with all this other dragonhawk riding if we couldn't also get one of our own, after all, and Blizzard isn't that mean... are they?

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Mobile WoW officially being considered - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 15:30:00 EST


Here's another one from the files of things we've desired/dreaded for years. In a post-DICE interview with Blizzard cofounder Frank Pearce, MTV learned that Blizzard is definitely thinking about making some kind of mobile WoW interface. He says it would probably just allow you to chat and monitor auctions and mail, without actually being able to buy and sell things. Still, I don't think I'm exaggerating much when I say hundreds of thousands of players would use an app like that. When last this was discussed here on WoW Insider, many of you were of the opinion that a mobile WoW would be yet another infringement on our already dwindling time for "real life," and that's a definite threat, but ultimately I think it's just as easy (or as hard) to exercise self-control on a cell phone as on a PC.

Other fun news from that interview:
  • Players in Taiwan have the shortest wait time for tickets
  • Blizz is working on a way to stream a trial version of WoW so people who want to try the game can be playing in 10 minutes. Is that even possible?
  • Wrath "should feel at least as substantial as BC"
  • The movie was delayed by the just-ended WGA strike, but the project is now running again and looking for directors. Pearce: "When we talk about the quality of our movie and the quality of the movie we want to see delivered, we're talking about the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy. That's what we want to deliver, that kind of epic experience." Yeah, good luck with that.
[via Joystiq]

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From the Forums: Draenei Hunter 2-man instancing - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 15:00:00 EST
From the European forums comes a pretty awesome leveling concept: Suppressor and Restrainer, two Draenei Hunters from the Hellfire(EU) realm, who since level 18 have leveled exclusively by 2-manning dungeons and turning in only dungeon-related quests. They attempt to run the entire dungeon, not skipping bosses. At the time of the linked post, they had made it to level 38 and were attempting to conquer Razorfen Downs. A Quick check of the Armory shows them in gear from Uldaman, so it sounds like they've shut down the Coldbringer and headed on. I'll be interested if they post an update, especially if they can bring down Archaedas.

Suppressor has posted an excellent overview of the strategies and tactics he and his partner have used to get this far. Plus, his advice to stay calm and think wisely when faced with bad pulls or unexpected adds is golden even for those of us who insist on taking all five people to a dungeon. They haven't given themselves quite as much of a handicap as Gweryc or Gutrot, perhaps, but it's still an amazing thing they're doing, and it'll be fun to see if they can make it all the way to 70.

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Nethaera: "We do have class changes planned for patch 2.4.0." - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 14:15:00 EST
In a thread on the General forums, Nethaera's spoken up to clarify a few issues in regards to the current patch and continued testing. She explains that with all of the major classes changes in 2.3.2, they wanted to see how they played out before adding more. However, they do in fact have more class changes planned for the current patch.

In addition, she states that the patch notes will be the main thing to watch when figuring out when more of the "progressive patching" takes place. She also clarifies that it is not their intention to create huge "undocumented" changes, and that if there are any currently undocumented, they will go into the patch notes soon.

The news that there are more class changes to come should be welcome for classes that feel that Blizzard hasn't been paying enough attention to them lately, especially Shamans. However, since we don't know for sure what the changes will be, and we were told earlier that there won't be any sweeping changes to classes this patch, we may not want to hold our breaths. Either way, with any luck, we'll see our first batch of progressive changes soon, so we can figure out what to expect when the PTRs close and it all goes live.

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New and improved Trade Chat spam - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 14:00:00 EST


I stumbled across a new feature in patch 2.4 that I hadn't noticed in the PTR patch notes while snapping in and out of a nap on the horribly long flight that is Ironforge to Quel'Danas.

You can apparently link quests and spells in select channels now. This doesn't work in General or custom channels(without a mod of some sort) but it does work in party chat, raid chat, tells, the Trade channel, guild chat, and things like that. Basically, if you can link items in the channel, you can now link spells and quests.

The quest link is pretty neat, it gives a brief description of the quest you're linking and a list of its requirements. The color of the text also reflects what level the quest is. Grey quests will have grey links, red quests will have red links. Shiny!

The spell links are pretty simple, not much to them. Light blue links, and simply includes the spell's tooltip. Not as useful as quest links, but that doesn't mean it isn't shiny!

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Making the most of long arena queue times - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 13:00:00 EST

Fighting in the arena is hands down my favorite thing to do in WoW these days. I do get very bored while I'm waiting for queues to pop. Since I usually do 2v2 and 3v3 battles I'm usually looking at wait times between five and ten minutes. Drysc stated that this occurs due to a limited number of instances that can be hosted at any given time, the problem will not likely be solved in the near future.

Instead of complaining about it, I try to find something productive to do with inevitable delay. There are several in-game activities that to do with these unexciting minutes. I love to window shop the next piece of battleground or arena gear that I'm working for. It is also an excellent time to work on crafting and auctioning items. Skinners who queue up in Blade's Edge, find themselves in a perfect position for killing Bladespre Raptors for Knothide Leather.

Continue reading Making the most of long arena queue times

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Solving recent connection issues - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 12:30:00 EST
Many of us, both in and outside of the United States, have been having serious connection issues with the game recently. Not only can we not connect to the game, but we can't even get on the main World of Warcraft website. This can be particularly infuriating because we can't go and find help. When I got dropped in the middle of Kael'Thas (the real fight, not the weeksauce one in Magisters' Terrace), I wanted to take my computer out to a field and yell obscenities at it about PC load letter.

WoW Insider feels your pain! After all, imagine having to write about WoW only to find out you can't get into WoW.

I wanted to answer a lot of the comments about what people can do. First and foremost, we're not Blizzard. So we can't really say for sure what's going on. We can make educated guesses through. Continue reading after the break for what you can do and where you can go to solve this problem.

Continue reading Solving recent connection issues

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WoW Moviewatch: Here Without You - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 12:00:00 EST

This machinima is almost three years old, yet it still holds up today. Here Without You, by Dimoroc, doesn't have special effects, a flashy intro, or even any dialogue. It tells the story of a Forsaken and how they became that way. Using music and powerful scenes, he is able to convey emotion that I did not think possible of World of Warcraft.

The story of Dimoroc himself is a mystery. He showed up at Warcraftmovies, uploaded this one video, and then disappeared shortly after. Almost two years later, he popped up under a different account to thank everyone for their comments, then disappeared again. However, present or not, he has left a lasting impression on the WoW machinima community. If you're out there, Dimoroc, thank you for creating one of the few machinimas that made me cry!

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Unlocking the Sunwell: Essence of the Immortals - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 11:30:00 EST
We've known for a while now that the Sunwell Plateau would start small, with more bosses being unlocked along the way until you could finally face down Kil'jaedan himself to prevent him from coming into this world. But with 2.4 out on the PTRs, the question becomes, how do you start unlocking the plateau?

The answer comes in a form of a drop off each of the bosses inside the instance: The Essence of Immortals. With this essence, the mages of the Shattered Sun Offensive are able to bring down the magical gates inside the Plateau, three in all, that block access to Kil'jaedan himself.

Continue reading Unlocking the Sunwell: Essence of the Immortals

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Math behind 2.4 honor gains - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 11:00:00 EST


Almost everyone has heard by now that once patch 2.4 drops, we will no longer have to guess at our honor gains. We will no longer have to wait in order to reap the rewards of our victories, and our honor will not diminish with each kill of a player.

Because of this, our knowledge of the honor calculation system as explained to us after patch 2.3 by Nethaera needs to be revised. Will we be gaining more honor, more quickly? Just how much of a potential is there to earn more?

Let's take an in-depth look at the new math behind our patch 2.4 PvP kills and compare it to what we have been used to. Because these changes will be applied to individual kills and not to honor awarded for objectives, any questions about each individual battleground's honor potentials can be answered using our explanation of the honor system, or by consulting our discussion of the 2.4 changes to Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch.

Continue reading Math behind 2.4 honor gains

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Some good news, some bag news - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 10:35:00 EST

Yet another fun little tidbit slipped by unnoticed in the recent frenzy of 2.4 news, but no longer! Behold, a WoW Insider exclusive!

Okay, so it's not that special and I may have exaggerated the weight of this news item just a little, but I think most of you will be happy to know that the Magisters' Terrace drops a 20 slot bag: The Sun Touched Satchel. It is unique, but it seems to be a fairly common drop off of the trash inside of the instance. I don't have statistics and percentages for you but when I mentioned it in General chat, a fair number of people spoke up to say they had one as well. Judging entirely off of that, I assume it won't take you dozens and dozens of runs to get your own.

I'm sure this is a bit of a sting in the bum of Primal Mooncloth tailors when combined with the near-free 20 slot bags from Zul'Aman, but keep in mind that the bag is unique. I don't expect this will cause the market for 20 slotters to change much, if at all. Besides, I think everyone in WoW can agree that more bag space is a good thing, no matter the source.

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Around Azeroth: Kael'thas rises - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 10:00:00 EST


Player Ilithiel of the Serious Business guild on Argent Dawn thought this screenshot would be perfect for a spotlight considering the information coming out of Patch 2.4 on the PTR. His guild had just finished Phase 4 of the fight against Kael'thas Sunstrider, the final raid boss of The Eye in Tempest Keep. Kael'thas is seen here rising into the air to destroy the walls around him. Of course, that doesn't stop him from getting thrashed soundly by Ilithiel's guild.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime.

Gallery: Around Azeroth

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