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No Patch 5.3 this week - Mon, 13 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

We've been quietly downloading patch 5.3 on the background service for a little while now. Needless to say, the major question on everyone's minds today has been whether or not we'll see the new patch hit tomorrow. Wonder no longer: It's been confirmed both by blue posters and on the official Warcraft Twitter account.


It looks like those of you waiting patiently for valor point upgrades, new scenarios and more will have to wait at least another week. On the one hand, I'd really like to see all the 5.3 content on live servers -- on the other, I'm glad I don't have to worry about a new set of quests and story content to obsessively run through just yet. Whether or not we'll see it next week is up in the air, but given the active state of the background downloader, we can expect patch 5.3 ... soon[TM].

No Patch 5.3 this week originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: WoW Bosses as Actual Bosses - Mon, 13 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Ever had that feeling that your boss is secretly an ancient scion of evil, ready to destroy the world? Or that your supervisor would take an entire raid to defeat? It seems Slightly Impressive has had that feel because WoW Bosses as Actual Bosses is some hilarious stuff.

Whether you're being remembered from the mail room, or bowing down before the department supervisor, this video has a little work place humor for any office worker. My hat's off to Slightly for an incredible and hilarious joke. Nicely done, sir.
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: WoW Bosses as Actual Bosses originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Readers' ideas for WoW improvements - Mon, 13 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

A little ago WoW Insider posted an article asking our readers to suggest things they'd like to add to WoW to make the game better. We were really excited to hear your responses, and you didn't let us down. Several commenters had what we considered were actually some great ideas, and we thought we'd pull them out for some further discussion.
This is, in my opinion, a fantastic idea. Many's the time, when leveling a DPS character, that I've been conflicted between wanting to round off the storyline of an area, and wanting to progress with my leveling. With the speed of leveling in WoW at the moment with the buffs gained from heirlooms, guild perks and the like, it's really easy to out-level zones before you're done with the story. Now, of course, the option exists to simply ignore the gray mobs and the gray quests and the fact that you're being far less efficient than you would be if you moved on to another zone, but why should players have to make that choice?

Continue reading Readers' ideas for WoW improvements

Readers' ideas for WoW improvements originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Proceeds from Diablo III auction house exploit to be donated to charity - Mon, 13 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

At this point we all should be pretty familiar with what happened in Diablo III with the release of patch 1.0.8. The patch contained a bug in the way the auction house functioned that allowed for people to make lots and lots of gold - far more than they were intended to. The bug was fixed very quickly, but for the last few weeks Blizzard's been busy auditing both their code and the accounts of the players who exploited the bug. Late Friday evening, John Hight, the production manager for Diablo III, put up a post on the Diablo forums explaining in detail both what happened and what Blizzard has been doing about it.

The actions taken seem fairly straightforward and sensible - Blizzard has evaluated the necessary code to check for any other potential weaknesses, and they have either banned or rolled back the accounts of players who abused the bug's existence. That seems pretty typical. But, what's nicest to read is the fact that Blizzard is taking any real money generated by these auction house transactions - including their own transaction fees - and donating them to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. We have no idea as of yet what that amount might be, but it's certainly a nice gesture.

The full blue post is after the break.

Continue reading Proceeds from Diablo III auction house exploit to be donated to charity

Proceeds from Diablo III auction house exploit to be donated to charity originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Things that were harder before - Mon, 13 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

I did a post this week about raiding in previous expansions and in vanilla WoW, and how people often say those raids were harder and my opinion that it is easily demonstrable that current raids are if anything more complicated than they have ever been. I frankly believe there is almost no room for comparison between the game at 60 and today in terms of raid complexity and difficulty. Part of this stems from the many different variations on what the word hard means in this context. Something can be harder because it is conceptually or executionally more complex (the difficulty can stem from how much is required to successfully complete its mechanics) or it can be hard because it is laborious and/or time consuming. Was raiding with 40 people in classic WoW more laborious? Absolutely it was. It wasn't mechanically harder, but it was more time consuming and took a great deal of effort to organize and plan. It's the difference between working out a complex multi-stage math problem and carrying five thousand pounds of rocks from point A to point B.

But there were some points worth addressing. It absolutely has never been easier to level, even without heirlooms, than it is right now. Vanilla leveling to 60 took more time and effort than leveling to 90 does today. Even without heirlooms, one can easily and without much stress reach level 20 in a few hours, level 40 in less than two days, and be level 60 within a day of that, and this isn't spending all day staring at the screen either. This is a fairly casual leveling pace. I leveled a blood elf warrior to 35 in two days of rather casual play, an hour on followed by a half hour reading websites or having a snack or even going for a long walk.

It's also far easier to do the following things:
  1. Get a dungeon group. You can queue for dungeons at level 15, and from that point on, all you ever have to do to run a dungeon is hit that queue. If you're playing in the tank or healing role you can effectively chain dungeons all day, and even leveling as DPS there are stretches where you don't even need to quest or do anything but dungeon.
  2. Run a battleground. While you could argue that doing well at BG running as you level up and at max level takes some time and effort, if you want to risk queueing in whatever gear you have, it's simplicity itself.
  3. Getting ready to raid at max level. The game now has catchup mechanisms in place for players who start later. If you just got your alt to 90 and are switching to it for raiding, deciding to give raiding a try for the first time, or what have you it's not the case that your raid group is compelled to run you through previous raids for attunements and keys, much less gearing you through older raids to get ready for the current content.
  4. Find something to do. You could even argue that there's too much to do, or that it feels too mandatory. But you can't argue you don't have options - if you don't want to run dungeons, raid, or PvP there are pet battles, daily quests and scenarios you can do.
So the question then becomes this: is it better or worse for the game that these things are easier? For that matter, are they easy enough?

Continue reading Things that were harder before

Things that were harder before originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reminder: Deadline for BlizzCon ticket information is tomorrow - Mon, 13 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

For those of you planning to attend BlizzCon 2013, Blizzard has posted a friendly reminder on its community sites that ticket information needs to be finalized by Tuesday, May 14 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. That's tomorrow night, so get to it if you haven't already done so.
BlizzCon Ticket Reminder: Attendee Information Deadline-May 14
If you purchased BlizzCon 2013 tickets for family or friends, just a reminder you have until next Tuesday, May 14 to enter or edit attendee information, including:
  • The names to be printed on the badges.
  • Battle.net account names for the pre-show online merchandise sale for BlizzCon ticket holders-more details to come. (Please note that only registered accounts will be able to access this pre-show sale.)
  • Optional game information such as World of Warcraft character, realm, clan, and BattleTag.
If this information hasn't been entered by May 14, all badges will default to the name on the purchaser's Battle.net account. Don't miss the opportunity to customize your badges!

For more info, check out the Badge Information page.

Head to your Order History within Battle.net account management to edit attendee information before it's too late!

This information is particularly important if you're getting your ticket through a friend or family member. If the name on your ticket does not match the name on your photo ID, you will not be able to pick up your badge on your own. That, and if you don't select your franchise preferences, you might end up with a Diablo III badge instead of a World of Warcraft one. You wouldn't want that, would you?

Reminder: Deadline for BlizzCon ticket information is tomorrow originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The ongoing mystery of the Unborn Val'kyr - Mon, 13 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Earlier in patch 5.3's PTR cycle, developer Cory "Mumper" Stockton revealed the Unborn Val'kyr, a new wild pet coming to Northrend. That very night, players began scouring the PTR for any trace of it -- to no avail. A few days later, Stockton asked users on Twitter whether or not they'd found it yet. They hadn't, but as it turns out, at the time of those tweets, the pet had not yet been activated on the PTR at all. Whoops!

However, it has been active for quite some time now, and the community at large is still not entirely sure how it works. According to the information we've been given, the Unborn Val'kyr is not a pet that is randomly spawned, but rather only spawns under specific, unique conditions. The pet has now been found and caught, but the conditions under which it spawns to begin with are still unknown.

Continue reading The ongoing mystery of the Unborn Val'kyr

The ongoing mystery of the Unborn Val'kyr originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: The new burnout - Mon, 13 May 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.

Mists has delivered new content faster than any WoW expansion to date. The days of waiting six months, eight months, or more between major patches seem like a bad memory now. With patch 5.3 likely to drop in the next few weeks, that will mean we've had an average of one patch about every three months in the wake of 5.0.

In years past, officers had to steel their guild for long lulls, which always seemed to land in summertime. They had to make backup plans to account for long absences from players who just couldn't stand to run the same raid one more time. Guilds who couldn't find replacements sometimes found themselves closing shop instead.

In 2013, that age seems far behind us. However, the accelerated content has brought with it a new kind of burnout instead, and it's one that officers and raid leaders should keep in mind as we move deeper into Mists.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: The new burnout

Officers' Quarters: The new burnout originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Working in The Foundry - Mon, 13 May 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.

In today's edition of The Queue, I'm excited. Why? Because Neverwinter's Foundry feature is completely amazing and I pray every night that WoW implements something just like it.

@daveverity asked:

If WoW had a "Foundry" similar to NeverWinter, what dungeon would you create?

Continue reading The Queue: Working in The Foundry

The Queue: Working in The Foundry originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Heads of the class - Mon, 13 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Look, Officer, I really don't see what the big deal is. Noise complaint, you say? Well, I inherited this place from my undead grandmother, and for my first crop, I planted the seeds that were in the storage shed. The package said turnips on it. How was I supposed to know it would come up humans? It should have had picture of humans on it. Now grab a shovel and help me pound them down. We'll soon stop those noise complaints. (Thanks to submitter Nounours of GrandGalacticInquisitor on Llane [US-A] for the screenshot!)

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: Heads of the class originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Buffs and debuffs for warlocks and logs - Mon, 13 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill is almost free for summer. Almost.

The last two weeks have been on simple topics like glancing at a raid parse on World of Logs (WoL) or looking at the various graphs WoL has. Before we dive into the actual combat log itself with the expression editor, I'm going to take a stop at what buffs and debuffs are going on in the fight. This information is still broad in scope and can apply to almost anyone, but it's still important foundation knowledge for warlocks and logs.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Buffs and debuffs for warlocks and logs

Blood Pact: Buffs and debuffs for warlocks and logs originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What the biggest graphical eyesore in today's WoW? - Mon, 13 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

If you'd ever care to observe a WoW player heat up to a slow boil and finally explode in a spectacular, spittle-flecked rage over a minor technical issue, find someone whose favorite character model suffers clipping issues. Most long-term players have a character who can't wear or wield a much-loved item because it does something annoying -- clips through their back, chops off their hair, or disappears into the ground. This is a shoulder-shrugger of an issue to me, but for players who want their favorites to look their best, graphics clipping is utterly incensing.

After eight years, we've had ample time to grow weary of the ugliest graphical glitches that persist in the game. The old character models get cited for a variety of abuses. Night elf hands/mittens, anyone? Creepy. Sometimes, it's their expressions -- the terrifying rictus on a female night elf when she's "smiling." Just look at that screenshot up there. Definitely zombie material. And I know this isn't a superficial issue, because I swim. Ever looked up the skirt of a robe-wearing class while they're swimming? You can see their brains.

Blizzard's deft art direction and over-the-top, cartoon-ish fantasy aesthetic smooths over a multitude of aging and sins, but at some point, rough edges simply refuse to stay hidden. What do you find to be the most appalling graphical eyesore in today's WoW? Is it part of the older character models or landscapes and dungeon textures? Is there some aspect of WoW's graphics that shouts "old and tired" every time you see it?

Breakfast Topic: What the biggest graphical eyesore in today's WoW? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 13 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Curse of Flesh - Sun, 12 May 2013 20:00:00 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.
Abedneum: Accessing. In the early stages of its development cycle Azeroth suffered infection by parasitic, necrophotic symbiotes. Designation: Old Gods. Old Gods rendered all systems, including Earthen defenseless in order to facilitate assimilation. This matrix destabilization has been termed the Curse of Flesh. Effects of destabilization increased over time.
Brann Bronzebeard yells: Old Gods eh? So they zapped the Earthen with this Curse of Flesh. And then what?
Kaddrak: Accessing. Creators arrived to extirpate symbiotic infection. Assessment revealed that Old God infestation had grown malignant. Excising parasites would result in loss of host--
The early days of Azeroth's creation are a puzzle that has yet to be completely solved. The issue of Azeroth's creation lies in the order of events as they've been presented; we have two very different orders of events depending on where you're looking for reference. In one, the Titans arrived on Azeroth to find the Old Gods, put the world in order, then left for parts unknown. In another, it's implied that the Titans arrived, put the world to order, and left. At some point after this, the Old Gods arrived and wreaked havoc, prompting the return of the Titans and the imprisonment of the Old Gods.

So ... which one is correct? Well, there's an interesting part in the middle of all of this that can be used to try and unravel that particular puzzle. It's called the Curse of Flesh, and its shaped far more of Azeroth as we know it today than you'd think.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Continue reading Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Curse of Flesh

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Curse of Flesh originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 12 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Review of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders - Sun, 12 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Before I even begin, I'm going to state the one thing that's been on my mind, and likely the mind of anyone else waiting for this particular title: It's about time. World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is the offshoot of the World of Warcraft comic series, specifically, the characters introduced in the 2009 special issue of the series written by Mike Costa. Yes, we have been waiting for this graphic novel for four years now. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely.

Costa continues the tale started in that special issue and takes the reins of Dark Riders, skillfully weaving together one of those stories that isn't so much dependent on current game lore. In fact, it really doesn't address current game events at all. Instead, it takes the bold step of filling the gap between events that played out in WoW itself -- the disappearance of the Scythe of Elune from Duskwood and its sudden reappearance in Gilneas. And if that weren't enough, there's a wild trip through Karazhan and the questionable origin of the Dark Riders themselves, explained for the first time.

But that's really just the tip of the iceberg here.

Continue reading Review of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders

Review of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 12 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: No, seriously - Sun, 12 May 2013 16:00:00 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. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I've been a pretty vocal critic of Diablo 3 in the past, and it still has its issues, but with the latest patch this game is insanely fun to play in Inferno. On Monster Power 1 or higher, the monster density is really high, especially in act 1, and it's an absolute blast to play through with others.

DanielHudson asked:

Still not following how Goblins can wield the Light. Wielders are supposed to be selfless from what I can tell. Goblins are the complete opposite, greedy little buggers.

You're probably thinking of paladins. Priests require discipline and force of will, not selflessness, to wield the light. Goblins are generally devoted to the almighty gold piece, so if the Light can help them get it, well, of course they'll use it. Light is money, friend!

Continue reading The Queue: No, seriously

The Queue: No, seriously originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 12 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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5 last minute WoW Mother's Day gifts - Sun, 12 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

The world's a busy place and grabbing time to go shopping can be difficult. But the nice thing about straddling your life between the real world and Azeroth is that there are plenty of opportunities for virtual gifts. Here's 5 last minute gifts you can grab to delight Mom without resorting to in-game trinkets. (Don't get me wrong: in-game gifts are awesome, but that list could get gigantic.)

5. StarCraft Anthology
If Mom hasn't spent time blowing up zerg and getting caught up on Blizzard's other Craft game, now's the time to look at the StarCraft Anthology. Boasting hours of gameplay and that nurturing-with-lasers aspect every gaming Mom loves, you can even enhance this gift with a few hours of alone time to make it even better.

Continue reading 5 last minute WoW Mother's Day gifts

5 last minute WoW Mother's Day gifts originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 12 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Fox Rain - Sun, 12 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

Each week, SMF is putting a comic into the spotlight. This week, the focus is on Kuo's Fox Rain:

Fox Rain is a WoW-related web comic surrounding the mysteries of the Scythe of Elune. Since October 2012, it has been undergoing a reboot. Although it is being redone in a different style and feel, the comic still features a WoW-inspired world.

The story follows Lis the genius and Biryuk the mysterious, who are on a quest to search for what's most dear to them. The comic is driven by the narrative and geared towards WoW-playing adults who love an involving story.

In the new version, more focus is being put into the artwork and pages often have only two or three panels, giving the story a slower pace that requires readers to invest their time in the characters and their world.

Kuo Comics started making WoW comics back in 2009 with one-off funnies based on raids, cooking dailies and the adventures of the author's Horde guild. After exhausting every punchline she could find, Jenn (aka Volucris) changed the comic to be story-based, linking the old Warcraft 3 and WoW lore together. It also featured guest comics from Keen (Rory) and Ssantoki (a Korean web comic artist) from time to time. Fox Rain was created to weave story, action, and humor into one.

The comic updates every Thursday New Zealand time (Wednesday US time).

"Fox Rain" is a word used in East Asia for what is commonly known as a Sun Shower. The bright light above the falling rain goes perfectly with the theme of Fox Rain.

In the near future, the comics will be translated to Korean and Japanese, so if you're interested, check those out too!

Words from Volucris - "Thanks so much for everyone who reads Fox Rain! And to those who haven't started, please go take a look! The comic will deliver story, fun, action, lotsa wolves and tons more mischief."

Words from Keen - "I love you readers."

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: Fox Rain

Sunday Morning Funnies: Fox Rain originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 12 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: The fall of the Jade Forest - Sun, 12 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

"This long, long war between Horde and Alliance: what has it gotten?" queried submitter Siobhraich of The Brotherhood of Iron on Wyrmrest Accord (US-A). "A formerly peaceful culture now at war within itself! Family against family! The destruction of centuries of heritage, culture, and pride -- evident in one cruel blow that shattered the mighty Jade Serpent and released the curse of the Sha. I saw it from afar, and could only stand in horror, watching as this land's protector shattered and the ancient demons of hate and anger raged forth ..."

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: The fall of the Jade Forest originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 12 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What type of character would your mother play in WoW? - Sun, 12 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Happy Mother's Day! I suspect that many WoW Insider readers are probably not mothers themselves (though surely some of you are), but I do know most of you are human, which means most of you have a mother or two. As such, I thought I'd use the day to ask this question: what would your mother play in WoW? Would she be a paladin? A warlock? Would she roll as a gnome or a tauren? What about her spec?

To answer the question myself, I really had to consider all the angles. Generally I think of my mother as being very kind and nurturing, but I've also seen her stand up to people three times her size and threaten the neighborhood bullies with a gaze of death when I got picked on as a kid. All in all, I figure she's probably a druid since she's fairly attuned to nature and can make anything grow. She'd probably go main spec kitty DPS (she has her moments of being super sneaky) and restoration as her secondary spec. As for what race she'd be ... I see her more as a night elf but I know she'd pick tauren since the cows are so cute.

My stepmother, on the other hand, would totally go dwarf elemental shaman. Granted, she'd probably also have four level 90 alts and a bunch of battleground achievements ... She's pretty hardcore when she gets into stuff. She's told me herself that she'd get addicted if she ever started.

So, what about your mothers?

Breakfast Topic: What type of character would your mother play in WoW? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 12 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Speedy days of summer - Sat, 11 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

Well, it's time for us to WRUP it up again. For some of us, the weekend might feel like it's half over. For the rest of us? We're just now starting to fire it up!

Something about the high speed of life these days make it seem like weeks just fly by. With that in mind, we present our bonus question: what do you do to try and savor those finest moments of summer?

Continue reading WRUP: Speedy days of summer

WRUP: Speedy days of summer originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 11 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Stwarkwaft II - Sat, 11 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Work Warning: A touch graphic and violent. You know, like StarCraft.

This could be the best translation of StarCraft II voice acting that I've ever heard. Frankly, it's so good I almost question why the actual game wasn't produced this way. SilverlinedPro's amazing graphics and fine eye for parody puts the murloc in the marine and provides a fragging good time. While this video dates all the way back to 2010, I think it counts as a timeless classic.

Thanks to Thomas for the tip!

WoW Moviewatch: Stwarkwaft II originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 11 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Talent switching, conditional use and gear - Sat, 11 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I switch around my talents pretty consistently when raiding Throne of Thunder. I know some people will tell you it's always a DPS decrease to use Bladestorm, but on Tortos Bladestorm is an absolute treasure if your tank is rounding up the bats and bringing them to melee. When I say it is a treasure, I mean that it is an idol and I think you should have to engage in a whip based economy for it. (I don't use Shockwave much as DPS due to the positioning needed.) But like a lot of you, I drop it on fights with a minimal AoE component for Dragon Roar, because DR always crits and does a pretty healthy amount of damage even on single target. Here's a question I hadn't asked myself until this week, however: do I really need to be doing this?

I use Second Wind as a raiding talent for two reasons:
  1. I don't have to think about it at all. If I go below 35%, I get some healing. That's it. It's not better than Enraged Regeneration, but it doesn't require me to do anything. Similarly, it's not that Impending Victory isn't good, but it's another attack and I don't need another attack right now. Both my arms and fury rotations are plenty busy (arms in particular does not have a lot of slack time when I'm not doing anything) and putting in another attack doesn't really benefit me.
  2. It's never unavailable. With Enraged Regeneration and Impending Victory, there are times I can't use them because I have recently used them. Second Wind will always proc once I drop below 35%. It's always there. It does nothing for me if I never drop that low, and it won't save me if I get gibbed for huge damage and die, but if I drop below 35% and don't immediately die, there it is, plugging away some healing for me.
This is what got me thinking about talent switching while raiding. There are some talents I just never switch out of, and then there's the big three of Bladestorm, Dragon Roar and Shockwave. These see a lot of switching, to the point where I carry about 40 tomes per raid because I know I'll use at least five and I want to make sure I don't run out. But am I obsessing over nothing? Does it really matter if I don't switch between Bladestorm and Dragon Roar depending on the fight?

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Talent switching, conditional use and gear

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Talent switching, conditional use and gear originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 11 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The useful distinction between casual and hardcore - Sat, 11 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Earlier this week, WoW Insider's Matthew Rossi argued that there is no point in distinguishing between hardcore and casual players, and that doing so actually detracts from the game. I, however, don't agree and will be presenting a counterpoint in this article. So, if you haven't read Rossi's side yet, be sure to check it out first.

Now before I explain why I think the distinction between hardcore and casual is useful, I think it's necessary that we all be on the same page as far as what hardcore and casual actually are. I found Rossi's argument against the usage of these words particularly flawed because he was working around an assumed and rigid definition of what a hardcore player and a casual player are. Toward the end of his article he pointed out that the casual/hardcore metric doesn't work when you consider the various ways in which some players are engaging with the game. Not every player raids, he explained, but that doesn't mean they can't be hardcore.

Now, I agree with that for the most part, but I disagree with his understanding of hardcore and casual. You see, hardcore and casual are not and have never been part of any metric. It's actually impossible for them to have ever been since the definition of casual and hardcore is subjective. Ask any two people what kind of behavior distinguishes a casual player from a hardcore player and the answer will be different in some way ... And if the definition of something varies from person to person, it can't logically be used as a standard of measurement.

Continue reading The useful distinction between casual and hardcore

The useful distinction between casual and hardcore originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 11 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: The most adorable sound in the world - Sat, 11 May 2013 12:00:00 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. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) used to have a squeaky toy that made that exact noise.

I don't even know how it makes that sound. All I know is that it is the most adorable sound ever.

akionite asked:

Q4tQ: There's something I've always wondered when talk about subscription losses comes up. Does that count players who buy their game time on online store or with time cards? I shut down my renewing subscription a while ago since I just didn't like the idea of being automatically charged each month, and usually play on and off each month or when a new patch comes out.

It's pretty much anyone who has an active account with time on it. Doesn't matter if you use the prepaid cards to pay, or a credit card -- as long as it's an active account, it counts.

Continue reading The Queue: The most adorable sound in the world

The Queue: The most adorable sound in the world originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 11 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Hanging by a limb - Sat, 11 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

"Many tales have been told about the incredible feats performed by the monks of Azeroth," writes submitter Panddha of Sinners on Darkspear (EU-H). "This particular monk took the vow of toes. Meditating for days and nights, balanced on the tip of his pandaren nails, his only reward being shown on WoW Insider." Well, how can I resist that sort of guilt trip?

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: Hanging by a limb originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 11 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: How familiar are you with all the classes? - Sat, 11 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Word on the street is that fewer players maintain level 90 alts these days, preferring to concentrate their efforts on a single main character and goof off in the 1-to-90 game rather than the endgame. Does that sound like you? And if it does, has it affected your grasp of gameplay mechanics for the classes other than your main?

I've never been a member of the "one of everything" crew. My typical realm loadout is a level-capped priest, a mid-range paladin and mage, sometimes a high-level rogue, and a banker -- and then more priests, paused at varying states of leveling up alongside now-inactive partners or guild groups. I've earned my understanding of other classes through hours painstakingly assembling raid strategies during early WoW (before the advent of the Dungeon Journal and boss videos) or, more recently, via hard knocks in PvP -- the best teacher, in my humble opinion. Nothing lends a dawning awareness of how another player's skill works better than an injection of quick, brutal death with it.

How familiar are you with the mechanics of today's WoW classes? Do you know all the contemporary systems like the back of your hand, or do certain specs or classes remain a mystery? Do you play the classes you seek to understand, or do you conduct your field research in other ways?

Breakfast Topic: How familiar are you with all the classes? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 11 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat - Fri, 10 May 2013 21:00:00 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. 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 Fri, 10 May 2013 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The false memory of WoW's difficult past - Fri, 10 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

Vanilla raiding was not mechanically more difficult than current raiding. In fact, in terms of encounter difficulty, raiding in World of Warcraft has never been as challenging to remember and execute as it is right now. Fights like Lei Shen, Twin Consorts, Iron Qon, and Durumu ask players to learn mechanics and execute awareness at a level rivaled only by fights like Mimiron's Firefighter mode. And I'm not even talking heroic difficulty for those fights. Yes, it was often harder to get 40 people together, I'm not disputing that. But that's not design difficulty, that's social difficulty. The argument that WoW was objectively harder back then is beyond absurd.

I was there for all of those raids. I've raided in vanilla, in BC, in Wrath, and in Cataclysm. I've done hard modes and heroic modes since they were introduced. I'm neither the cutting edge progression raider nor someone who raids occasionally for fun -- I've been everywhere from a raider pushing for realm firsts to one leading a semi-casual 10-man while tanking. One thing I can and will say with absolute certainty is this: every single expansion to World of Warcraft has increased the complexity of the raid design.

Continue reading The false memory of WoW's difficult past

The false memory of WoW's difficult past originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What are you afraid to do in WoW? - Fri, 10 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

There are certain things in WoW that I just don't do, not because I don't think they're fun, but because they intimidate me. Those activities would be tanking and PvP. Here's the thing, I don't dislike those thing, and actually, I'd love to do more of them! Sometimes I'll sit down and think, "Yeah, I would love to try tanking that boss!" or "Man, running battlegrounds seems like fun!" And then I kind of swallow anxiously and think, "Well, maybe another day..."

What's ridiculous about this, for me, is that I have successfully done both those activities in the past. I tanked tier 9 on my druid when my 10-man team needed a change of pace, and I spent significant periods of time in Arathi Basin circa level 45 back in Burning Crusade, also on my druid. Feral PvP was fun! And challenging! Those were the days when you couldn't transfer directly between druid forms; you had to shift to caster form in between (i.e. bear > caster > cat), so there were some different challenges to manage compared to PvE, and I like that! Oh, I also tanked on my paladin when he was a lowbie - Shadowfang Keep, Blackfathom Deeps, stuff like that. Considering I once had so much fun doing these things, I have no idea why I find it so intimidating now!

Do you have any similar hang-ups in WoW? What aspects of the game intimidate you? What would it take for you to give it a shot?

What are you afraid to do in WoW? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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8 ways to stay in touch with all your old WoW friends - Fri, 10 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

When it finally comes time for your ship to make a final departure from the shores of Azeroth, the lands you're leaving behind will almost certainly not be what your heart aches for the most -- it's the people. Skittering about atop superficial friendships with guildmates and situational acquaintances is easier than ever in the age of LFD and LFR, but we're sure it's unnecessary to remind you that lifelong friendships and marriages are forged and strengthened in Azeroth, as well. The people we meet here are most assuredly part of our lives - and stepping away from WoW (whether for a temporary sabbatical or on a permanent basis) doesn't inevitably mean losing touch.

We never recommend sticking with the game solely to stay in touch with or please other players. It's no fun to play if your heart's not in it, and nobody has any fun if you're obviously slogging along with little real enthusiasm. If you need to take a break from World of Warcraft but you don't want to lose touch with the people here who've brightened your life, you can keep in touch so many other ways.

Continue reading 8 ways to stay in touch with all your old WoW friends

8 ways to stay in touch with all your old WoW friends originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to check the Black Market Auction house without going there - Fri, 10 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

The Black Market Auction House is a special AH that allows you to buy items that are rare and sometimes unobtainable with gold otherwise. It's an extremely effective gold sink, but it's tucked away in the middle of nowhere, and you can't see what's for sale on your realm from the remote AH. Unfortunately, since Blizzard doesn't make the BMAH accessible through the same API as the regular Auction Houses, you are expected to log in and travel to the Veiled Stair in order to see whether there was anything there for you.

The Undermine Journal is a website that collects, organizes, and displays information about the Auction House of every realm: Horde, Alliance, and Neutral. Additionally, starting in January, they launched a (still beta) feature that shows us the contents of the BMAH. Assuming you're not on a PvP realm, you can avoid the flight to the Veiled Stair to check whether there's something worth buying by simply checking the Undermine Journal.

Continue reading How to check the Black Market Auction house without going there

How to check the Black Market Auction house without going there originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The good and bad of GOGOGO - Fri, 10 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

This week on Drama Mamas, we discussed a couple that disagreed on how to handle GOGOGO PUGs, the sort that attempt to rush through everything as fast as possible. The tank felt that the DPS who pulled should not be healed, while the healer believed that everyone should be healed indiscriminately. In my opinion, the tank should pull and the healer should stay with the tank, healing others as needed as long as they are in range. But many in the comments disagreed.

Leveling dungeons are, for the most part, easy places to run -- over and over -- for experience and loot. The question is, are they only that or are they also places to practice your role for the endgame? Many commenters believe that endgame playing should be left for max level and that leveling dungeons should be raced through. Others believe that keeping to a standard pace is boring and chain pulling, even by DPS, is the only way to go.

In practice, a tank has little to no queue time, so the pace ends up being whatever the tank wants, else he or she will just accept the votekick and get into another group immediately. Though I don't believe in strongarm tactics, I do think the pace should be set by the tank, even if it ends up being a little slow. Learning on the way up is good. On the other hand, there is a challenge of the GOGOGO team that can be appealing.

What about you? Do you prefer GOGOGO dungeons while leveling? Why or why not?

The good and bad of GOGOGO originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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No talent overhaul likely - Fri, 10 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

If you're interested in WoW design and discussion, but don't yet follow twitter, you might want to reconsider. A lot of the developers are regularly active there. For example, yesterday our own Adam Holisky had a nice little chat with Ghostcrawler, Bashiok, and some other folks about WoW's talent design, and wondering if there was another big overhaul being considered for the next major expansion. The answer, bluntly, is no. Blizzard seems content with the current system.

Player Mihaly Ducz replied that three choices every fifteen levels feels kind of thin, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with Bashiok's response on that one: there are already plenty of spells and abilities in the game; I am perfectly content to have fewer of them, or at least more passive options so I don't have to agonize over how to redo my bars again. How about you? Are you content with the current talent system? What might you like to see changed or modified in the future?

No talent overhaul likely originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Throne of Thunder With Protection Paladins: Being awesome - Fri, 10 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

It's not a new phenomenon for protection paladins to be able to use their extensive utility toolbox to mitigate or outright circumvent fight mechanics; it's something that we've been doing since Uther first picked up a blunt object. Throne of Thunder continues that lofty tradition with all sorts of mechanics that can be ducked or dodged by crafty paladins with an excellent sense of timing and the proper addons or macros. We'll also touch on whether it's a good thing that one corner of WoW's tanks can break aspects of an encounter, and the ramifications of such possibilities.

Continue reading Throne of Thunder With Protection Paladins: Being awesome

Throne of Thunder With Protection Paladins: Being awesome originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: WildCats: Iron Qon - Fri, 10 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

It's the return of Fifth Element with an homage one of the most... niche cartoons of the last 20 years. You either loved the WildCats or you hated them. Or, maybe, you didn't notice them. Regardless, Fifth Element reached deep into the caves of creativity and translated its unique rap opening into the intro to an Iron Qon video. So, here we have it: one last hope at redemption for WildCats.
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: WildCats: Iron Qon originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Mouse deer - Fri, 10 May 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. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

"Wow, we're all so shocked that Mike posted a video of a tiny ungulate!" - No one.

Drindaar_Lightkeeper asked:

Do you think along with new models we could see greater customization options? Like a choice of noses, eyes, etc. Maybe even a choice of sub-race (wretched, broken, etc.) as long as it made sense lore wise? Or will the character creator remain the same with just a shinier models.

I don't want to be too cynical, but I think it would be best to go into this with the expectation that we'll just be getting newer, shinier models instead of sweeping customization changes and additions. Whatever we get will be lovely, I'm sure. Just maybe don't expect more.

Continue reading The Queue: Mouse deer

The Queue: Mouse deer originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Welcome 2 Pandaria - Fri, 10 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Wauzledop of Ancient Order of UMs on Doomhammer (US-A) has only recently set foot in Pandaria, but he's already amassed himself a little cult following. Little being the operative word here. Sure, Wauzledop might be strutting around the Jade Forest throwing up gang signs, but it's very difficult to establish a hegemonic criminal enterprise when your minions are constantly getting patted on the head and called adorable snuggly-bumpkins.

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: Welcome 2 Pandaria originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Archivist: Launch classes' 9 biggest aggravations - Fri, 10 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

The launch of WoW was a magical time -- everyone who played the game back then would agree. The concept of questing rather than grinding was fresh and exciting. The world felt immense, full of secrets and adventures.

Classes, on the other hand, were very raw compared to today. While many players yearn to play on vanilla-only servers, I doubt that most of those players would prefer their class to return to its vanilla version. Though some were better than others, every class had its problems. In this column, I'd like to highlight the biggest aggravation, as I see it, with each of the original eight classes -- and how Blizzard has since fixed every one of those issues.

Continue reading WoW Archivist: Launch classes' 9 biggest aggravations

WoW Archivist: Launch classes' 9 biggest aggravations originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What's your least favorite Mists 5-man or scenario? - Fri, 10 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Just the other day, we talked about your favorite Mists 5-man instance or scenario. Turn about's fair play -- and come on, what's a little grousing and griping among friends?

You git what you git, and you don't have a fit. The 5-man instances we have in the game right now are all we're getting for the rest of the Mists expansion. But with new scenarios keeping things fresh, we'll have plenty of material to rescue us from instances or scenarios we've come to find an utter drag.

So let it all out: What's your least favorite Mists of Pandaria 5-man instance or scenario? Do the revisions of Scarlet Monastery or Scholomance rub you the wrong way? Is there something about a barrel full of monkeys that's less than a barrel full of monkeys to you?

Breakfast Topic: What's your least favorite Mists 5-man or scenario? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What's on the horizon for monks in patch 5.3 - Thu, 09 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

There's a lot of cool stuff coming our way in patch 5.3, including a new battleground, new scenarios, new quests, and a host of PvP changes. But while these splashy changes have been getting all the attention, monks haven't been left out of the action. Be aware that patch 5.3 is still on the PTR which means we may still see changes before anything his the live servers, but working from Blizzard's official patch notes, we can get a pretty good idea of what's coming. Let's take a look!

Help for healers
First up, there's a change to all healing spells that pick their own targets -- which includes things like Renewing Mist and Chi Wave. These abilities will now pick their targets a bit more intelligently. Says Blizzard, "Targets with lower % health will be preferred, and players are weighted more heavily than pets." It's hard to say how much this will impact gameplay in practice, but it's a definitely a buff.

Mistweavers are also getting a buff to Revival, whose healing cap is now 15 raid members (instead of 6) when used in a 25-player raid.

Continue reading What's on the horizon for monks in patch 5.3

What's on the horizon for monks in patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 09 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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