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The Colosseum: Retrospective, Spring 2009 - Sat, 13 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST



The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

It's been six months since the last time we summarized our collection of Colosseum interviews. With at least a season and a half of Wrath of the Lich King now behind us, now's a great time to look over the gladiators who've shared their experiences. We've had Paladins, Hunters, Death Knights, Paladins, a Shaman, Paladins, and even a Warlock. There are certainly common themes among these discussions. By comparing them, we can hope to get a better idea of what's going on this season.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Retrospective, Spring 2009

The Colosseum: Retrospective, Spring 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 13 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A WoW player's guide to Free Realms - Sat, 13 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


Our good friends at Massively have written up a post just for you WoW players about the new hotness in MMOs lately, a game called Free Realms. I haven't gotten a chance to play it, but it's all the team over there can talk about, and the game itself just hit a whopping three million players. It's a free-to-play game (with more premium memberships getting more features -- the minimum is about $5 a month) put out by Sony Online Entertainment that aims towards a more casual audience, with extra content placed in for more hardcore gamers. The questing and leveling itself is very forgiving -- you have a dotted green line leading you to quest targets, and combat only takes place in instanced areas. But the crafting and other various minigames (in order to do mining, you actually play a Bejewelled-style matching game, and there's even a "Kart Driver" profession) can get pretty hard. Just like WoW, those who want to collect pets or build skills can do that, while those who are more interested in dungeon crawling have that option as well.

I've been meaning to pick up the game and check it out (on the free level, of course -- with my WoW subscription running, I'm not made of MMO money), and Massively's guide is an excellent first overview to how the game relates to our favorite MMO. If you're getting a little bored in Azeroth waiting for the next expansion announcement and are looking for something else to try, Free Realms might just be it.

A WoW player's guide to Free Realms originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 13 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Vote for your favorite fan-made Arena - Sat, 13 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


Arena Junkies has an appropriately-themed contest going on over at their site where they asked their community of high-rated Arena players to design their own Arena. The community was quick to whip out everything from pencils to 3D programs and came up with a pretty good selection of possible Arena maps. How good were the maps? Well, let's just say I'd take any of the submissions over the awful Ring of Valor Arena. Alright, so maybe that's not a good gauge... but it's worth going over the entries to see what creative ideas the Arena-enthusiastic community have come up with.

The top three winners will receive tickets to BlizzCon while registered Arena Junkies users who vote for the winning maps have a chance to win a Blizzard Authenticator. Pretty cool prizes for a pretty cool contest, so head over to their site and register if you haven't already. New Arena maps would be a welcome addition to the game and conceivably not too much work considering no new mechanics need to be in place unlike the Battlegrounds, which have different objectives. In fact, new Battlegrounds maps using the same mechanics would be an interesting addition to break the tedium.

Vote for your favorite fan-made Arena originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 13 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reminder: BlizzCon tickets need final names by 5pm PDT today - Sat, 13 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


We want to take a moment to remind folks that today at 5:00 p.m. PDT / 8:00 p.m. EDT is the last possible moment you have to change the names on your BlizzCon tickets.

The person who bought the tickets will receive a separate email for each ticket (sometime in the future) that will contain a barcode that must be printed off and presented with a valid photo ID at the time the tickets are picked up. That ID must match the name on the ticket, no exceptions.

If you do not enter names on each ticket by 5 p.m. PDT today, the tickets will be put in the name of the person who purchased them (via the Battle.net account). That person will then have to pick up the tickets and distribute them accordingly. The only time IDs will be checked is upon ticket pick up, not upon entering the venue.

Some folks at WoW.com have bought tickets for friends, and we all went around and made sure the names were exactly right last night. You should do the same!

In order to change the names on your tickets, log into your account management page over at https://us.battle.net/account/management/ and go to your order history. There, you'll see the BlizzCon ticket purchase, which you can click and be presented with the tickets and name change options.

WoW.com will be there in force this year, we have right now over 10 people going, so it'll be a blast for sure. We're planning our Thursday night reader meet up, and will have extensive coverage throughout the convention right here!

Reminder: BlizzCon tickets need final names by 5pm PDT today originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 13 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream - Sat, 13 Jun 2009 11:40:00 EST
Our podcast is back on the air again today, and it's going to be a good one: not only will Turpster and I welcome back Amanda Dean, but Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington, our newest writer here on the site, will join us to talk about his experiences blogging and playing his Hunter. And of course we'll chat about the most popular posts of the past week, including those mount and travel changes that are raising such a fuss, the Mountain Dew Battle-bots, and why an Authenticator (probably) can't steer you wrong. Plus, we'll answer your emails -- we've gotten quite a few movie posters from Turpster's suggestion last week, so stay tuned to hear about those (and you'll be able to see them here on our post next Monday).

Tune in this afternoon over on the our Ustream page at June 13, 2009 3:30 PM EDT , or you can jump after the break to see an embedded feed. It should be a good time as always, so stop by and say hi if you're around.

Continue reading WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream

WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 13 Jun 2009 11:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: River deep, mountain high - Sat, 13 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


Deathtoes of <Wrath of Honor> on Argent Dawn is attempting to live up to his name in this screenshot, as he prepares to take a leap into oblivion. Don't do it, Deathtoes! You have so much to unlive for! Of course, being a gnome, he could just be testing out whether the wings attached to his helmet are functioning or not. Gnomish engineering: a great career for those who survive.

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: River deep, mountain high originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 13 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Now with 100% more Twitter - Sat, 13 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


Summer is upon us -- and with it the promise of plenty of sunshine, occasional bouts of heatstroke, and lots of good reasons to stay indoors where it's cool and air-conditioned. (Anyway, in a couple of weeks we'll be able to enjoy all the fun of the Midsummer Fire Festival from our desks, won't we?) Our sunlight-addled brains have decided to make this week's WRUP more friendly to our friends and allies on Twitter -- sure, a lot of you follow us on @wowinsider, but if you're really into this social networking thing, maybe you'd like to stalk er, follow our writers individually. For your stalking following convenience, everyone's Twitter name is listed alongside their weekend plans. (Save for the clever, clever people who either don't use Twitter or won't confess to using Twitter.)

Onward, dear readers, into the breach! See what the WoW.com staff is up to in game this weekend -- and let us know what you're playing, too!

Continue reading WRUP: Now with 100% more Twitter

WRUP: Now with 100% more Twitter originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 13 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: How old is your character? - Sat, 13 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST
Bricu of WTT: [RP] put forth a pretty thought-provoking question the other day: How old are your characters? From one point of view, that's pretty simple. You do a quick /played, report back the number of days it returns, and there you go. But, especially for those of us who roleplay, it can sometimes go a bit deeper. Sometimes, we take our characters across games.

Of course, this doesn't mean importing characters completely wholesale, you understand. On the RP end, you're still going to want to convert them to be born and bred citizens of Azeroth (or Outland), and either way, you may not be able to convert them to the exact race or class they were. There's just no Human Rangers or Halfling Monks in WoW, more's the pity.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: How old is your character?

Breakfast Topic: How old is your character? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 13 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Long live the Queen - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.
  • Be warned, if you don't like loud noises or are currently somewhere that loud noise is unacceptable, the first 4 minutes and 55 seconds of the latest Yogscast (above) is not for you. However, the rest? Gold.
  • The launch of the brand new Magecraft.org has been making waves around the blogs, so all of you Mages out there should give their forums a look!
  • NoStockUI takes a look at eight addons aimed at professions.
  • Episode 47 of the Twisted Nether Blogcast is up for download, this time around it features the author behind Honor's Code!
  • And Two Rogues has a guide to gearing up for PvP as a freshly 80 Rogue.

The Daily Quest: Long live the Queen originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Fang of Oblivion - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


We haven't done a dagger in a while, if my memory serves. Plus, this one is made of stars.

Name: Fang of Oblivion (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDB)
Type: Epic Unique One-hand Dagger
Damage/Speed: 271-407 / 1.80 (188.3 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +47 Agility, +54 Stamina, and a Yellow Socket, which will probably let you add to crit, hit or haste, depending on what you need more of, with a +4 Agility socket bonus.
  • +1869 Feral attack power, so you can do more damage in your new kitty form.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Fang of Oblivion

Phat Loot Phriday: Fang of Oblivion originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Christie Golden signing Saturday in Long Island - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST
Warcraft book author Christie Golden (who, you'll probably remember, wrote Arthas, the book our guys loved so much) will be signing copies of that book at a bookstore called the Book Revue in Huntington, NY this Saturday at 7pm. In a quick interview with Newsday there, she also talks about both her background in fantasy and sci-fi (she remembers the days when sci-fi and fantasy were seen as silly diversions rather than premises for multi-million dollar movies and videogames, as do most of us older nerds, probably) and her experience with WoW. She says that having the chance to jump in and virtually visit the actual setting of her books is a real plus when doing research -- if she has a question about the layout of Stormwind, she can go over to that city and check it out herself.

If you're in or near Long Island and are a Christie Golden fan or are looking for something Warcraft-y and fun to do on Saturday, there you go. She's got more information on her blog about the signing (looks like she'll be reading as well). If you do go, let us know how it went.

Christie Golden signing Saturday in Long Island originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Popular scams and how to avoid them - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST


We have a lot of reports of scams coming in to our tip line and many of us are receiving the same phishing emails you are. Even Scott Kurtz from PvPOnline was tweeting about getting one the other day. These scams can be initiated via email to any one of your email addresses. Or they may start in game. Regardless of where they attack you, most of the scams require some form of social engineering to get your info and therefore access to your in-game valuables.

What is social engineering? Social engineering is manipulating victims to volunteer personal information about themselves in order to perpetrate a con, scam, fraud, etc. If you have seen the movie Groundhog Day, then you have seen a very good example of it. Phil, a television weatherman, is living the same day over and over. One iteration of his morning, he asks an attractive woman her name, where she went to highschool and her English teacher. The next iteration of his morning, he "accidentally" runs into her and pretends to know her from highschool, resulting in her going to bed with him.

Continue reading Popular scams and how to avoid them

Popular scams and how to avoid them originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Addon Spotlight: Essential addons for raid leaders - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST

Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

A reader wrote in a few days ago with the question "What add ons would you consider helpful/essential for a new raid leader?", and as a raid leader myself, I thought it was such a good question that I'm devoting this Addon Spotlight to it.

Deadly Boss Mods

Boss mods are very helpful for all raiders, of course, but particularly crucial for raid leaders, who need to call out when raiders need to do things. If you're not familiar with boss mods, they basically aim to tell you any information about boss abilities that you might need to know during a fight. For instance, on XT-002, boss mods will tell you if anyone has a bomb debuff, when XT is about to throw a Tantrum, how long the heart has left, and so on.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: Essential addons for raid leaders

Addon Spotlight: Essential addons for raid leaders originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 2 - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST


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

Last week, Insider Trader discussed the profession-only bonuses associated with Inscription, Jewelcrafting and Enchanting. This week, I'm going to walk you through the rest of them, and include a final summary and comparison at the end.

Tailoring Perks

Tailors have the ability to enchant their own cloaks. Other players can get cloak enchants from Enchanters, although the Tailoring ones are superior in many cases.
  • Darkglow Embroidery: Chance to restore 300 mana on spell cast. There seems to be a 60 second internal cooldown, with a proc rate of 35%, which is equal to 25 mp5.
  • Lightweave Embroidery: Chance on spell cast to increase your spellpower by 250 for 15 seconds.
  • Swordguard Embroidery: Chance for melee and ranged attacks to sometimes increase your attack power by 300 for 15 seconds.
There seems to be a 45 second internal cooldown on Lightweave and Swordguard, meaning that for 15 seconds out of every 45 seconds (+, if you don't proc it on the next hit, but they do seem to proc within a hit or three), you have the effect. This averages out to 83 SP, and 100 AP respectively, in ideal conditions. Depending on your luck with procs, the average decreases the longer it takes you to proc it again.

For example, after 45 seconds, each spell has a chance to proc the effect. If you managed it at the 50 second mark, the average becomes +75 SP.

Casters who are not Tailors can currently choose between Enchant Cloak - Wisdom and Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed.

Wisdom grants you a measly 10 spirit, as well as a now obsolete 2% threat reduction. The +23 haste rating is nice, but provides neither mana nor spellpower.

Enchant Cloak - Major Agility grants you +22 agility to cloak. Agility is inefficient to everyone except rogues, hunters, shamans and druid cats, who would get +22 AP from it as well as the crit/dodge/armor. In terms of attack power alone, the Swordguard enchant is the clear winner.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 2

Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Isle of Conquest details released - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST


Vaneras has just released the details for the Isle of Conquest, the new battleground that will be appearing in Patch 3.2, Call of the Crusade.

You can read the complete details over on the official forums or check 'em out after the break. There are some key things that everyone should be aware of:
  • IoC will be a 40-man battleground. Yes, you read that right. This is the first 40-man content released since Naxx 1.0. That is going to make some old school players very, very happy. I know I'm already giddy with excitement.
  • There will be significant use of siege and vehicle combat. This includes going on The Airship Hanger and using parachutes to drop teams onto the enemy keep from above.
  • You will need to kill a general held up in the enemy keep, much like Alterac Valley.
  • Reinforcements will be used. Capture resources to boost your strength.
This looks like an amazing new battleground, and one that I'm sure many of us cannot wait to try out on the PTR. There has been a ton of new information about Patch 3.2 released in the last few days, so it looks like PTR might be soonish. Keep your fingers crossed.

The complete statement on the new Isle of Conquest after the break!

Continue reading Isle of Conquest details released

Isle of Conquest details released originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Analysis of Shaman Q&A - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


This week saw the first of Blizzard's class Q&A columns. Amazingly, we shamans got to go first. While Eliah already covered the basics for us, I thought going in depth with the discussion would be worthwhile. There's a lot of information in the Q&A as a whole to go over and discuss. For example:

  • One longer-term change we are considering is removing the buff totems (replacing them with normal spells) and making all of the totems do something more active, like the current damage or healing totems. We've even discussed letting shamans carry a totem on their back (the tauren do it already) but that may be too far out there.
No, no it's not too out there. Make it happen, make it happen now please. I don't care if you have to make a new weapon category that only shamans can equip for this to happen, I want to see shamans with those great big honking totems on their backs already.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Analysis of Shaman Q&A

Totem Talk: Analysis of Shaman Q&A originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: The day the music died - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Long long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music make me smile, Alex.

And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they'd be happy for a while, Alex.

Tim asked...

"When discussing new content coming out, why does Blizzard always play so close to the chest? For example, the mount changes are due to be "in the next major content patch" which everyone knows is going to be patch 3.2, why don't they just say it?"

Continue reading The Queue: The day the music died

The Queue: The day the music died originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Warcraft Meets Star Trek - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


At first, I wasn't entirely positive how I felt about Warcraft Meets Star Trek. The author, who goes by muffstermunch, doesn't have a lot of credits to his name yet, and does say this is his first full-length music video. So, while I was definitely interested in the idea, I wasn't sure what to think.

As I fired up the YouTube stream, though, my beloved Draenei fiancee saw it over my shoulder. Recognizing the song from old Dr. Demento shows, she started laughing at the dancing gnomes and immediately yelled, "Oh my god, that's awesome!" So, if nothing else, that experience instantly won me over.

Warcraft Meets Star Trek is one of those machinima pieces that is just plain fun. The sheer ridiculousness of the WoW models chosen to represent the original cast is brilliant. The idea to use of a brooding Night Elf as Spock was particularly inspired, in my opinion. While the ending credits could probably be shorter for most people's tastes, I think the author has created an overall laugh-worthy, fun music video.

The author definitely won me over with his freshman effort, and I truly hope to see more comedic bits from him.

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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Warcraft Meets Star Trek originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Spreading Taint plans pride parade on Proudmoore - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST


The Spreading Taint, a GLBT guild that we've featured here on the site before, is hosting an in-game event next Saturday, their fifth annual Pride Celebration. Just like real-life Pride events, they're planning quite the spectacle, from floats of all kinds (I'm curious to see the ">8< Spider Pride" float, featuring spider pets aplenty, both Hunter and vanity), a crafting fair in Booty Bay, and contests like a Naked Dueling event and a modeling competition. They've even got "a professional" shooting footage of everything, so you might be able to see yourself in the official video as well.

As we talked about in our 15 Minutes interview with them, these folks are very social and a lot of fun -- while their roots are in the GLBT community, they're interested in including people from all backgrounds, and obviously this event is open to everyone who wants to have a good time in-game (though they are strictly disallowing PvP -- if you want to fight, go elsewhere). The event kicks off next Saturday, June 20th, at noon server time over on Proudmoore. The parade itself starts at Camp Taurajo in the Barrens, but we're sure no matter where you are on the server, you'll probably hear about them -- just follow the wackiness.

NOTE: All hateful comments will get deleted and repeat offenders will be banned. You don't have to agree, but you can disagree respectfully without personal attacks or insults.

The Spreading Taint plans pride parade on Proudmoore originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Elemental fury - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST

Considering the headaches and sheer frustration involved in running even the most well-disciplined raid group, you've got to admire Mathirin of <The Blackguard> on Wyrmrest Accord. According to our submitter, Oesah, Mathirin has been shepherding multiple cross-guild groups through old world and Burning Crusade raid content. Oesah sent in this picture from a recent successful Archimonde raid, which seems to be heavy on the shamans. Way to go!

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Elemental fury originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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wowTwitter is a Twitter just for your characters - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST
I'm not sure how well this will scale, but it's an interesting idea: while it's certainly possible to just create a Twitter account for your World of Warcraft characters (so anyone interested can always see what you're up to), the folks behind a new site called wowTwitter have gone a step further, and recreated Twitter's functionality specifically for Azeroth's virtual denizens. It's very barebones right now, but basically, after you register, you can punch in any of your characters, "verify" them by changing something about them in the Armory (like unequipping the piece of gear on your wrist), and then you can send and receive messages on that character, with special channels created for the guild, your realm, and so on. I thought it used Twitter somehow, but it seems completely separate: they're running their own database and servers, so while the two work the same way (there are "@" replies and hashtags), they don't interact at all.

Which means they'll also have all of the problems that Twitter has had -- when only a few people are using your database, it runs fine, but if it starts to scale up at all, then you run into lots of "Fail Whale" downtime. And I'm not sure we need a whole other system just for WoW characters (though this one does have the nice bonus of "claiming" your character so it can't get impersonated). At any rate, they're in beta right now, and actually hosting a cash money prize contest for the most characters verified and tweets posted, so a link from us will probably show them how ready their system is. If it's your thing, go forth and wowTweet!

wowTwitter is a Twitter just for your characters originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite raid boss? - Fri, 12 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST

Here's a good question from the official forums: What's your favorite raid boss, and why? The original poster chose C'thun, from classic WoW's second-hardest raid, AQ40; Bornakk agrees. I haven't actually seen C'thun, but from what I hear it was both incredibly frustrating and incredibly awesome. Crygil picks Doomwalker, but he might be a little biased.

As for me, picking out of the fights I've done, I'm going to say Hodir. I don't remember classic raiding very clearly, and I only got through Karazhan and most of Zul'aman in BC. Ulduar is probably my favorite raid instance out of all the ones I've done, and the Hodir fight is really fun and demands a good amount of coordination from your group. What's your pick?

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite raid boss? originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 12 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Yogg-Saron and Flame Leviathan nerfed tonight - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 21:30:00 EST

It looks like some pretty big nerfs to the Yogg-Saron fight tonight. Ulduar's big bad (well, one of two) will have a much easier first phase, as the Guardians of Yogg-Saron have ceased mind-controlling players, as well as becoming "more forgiving" in their spawn rate. Additionally, flash-frozen players that touch a cloud will no longer bring forth a Guardian.

Flame Leviathan's hard mode was hit as well. The amount of extra health he gets per tower up was reduced and the snare effect of Hodir's tower removed. Additionally, vehicles caught in a flash freeze will be freed with a single shot from a Demolisher or Siege Engine cannon. Players will also not go quite so high when ejected from Flamey following a stun, which should make them a bit easier to pick up.

Oh, and XT-002 Deconstructor won't make people into bombs quite so often (and his heart's health was reduced a touch on 25-man). Overall, it seems Yoggy will be significantly easier. My guild isn't there yet, though (next up for us is Mimiron) - people who have done the fight, how big of a deal will these changes be?

Yogg-Saron and Flame Leviathan nerfed tonight originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: General Bjarngrim vs. Sjonnir the Ironshaper - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

This week's electrically charged boss battle is a real shocker: General Bjarngrim from the Halls of Lightning versus Sjonnir the Ironshaper of the Halls of Stone. There'll be adds and sparks galore in this deathmatch between two Iron Vrykul.

The ground rules:
  • Assume that these foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output.
  • This match takes place in neutral territory.
  • Both bosses will get their usual adds, but Brann Bronzebeard is out of the picture.
  • Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
Focus on the three S's: style, story and scale.

What do you think would happen during this battle? Leave a comment explaining what you think will go down, then cast your vote for who you think will be left up.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: General Bjarngrim vs. Sjonnir the Ironshaper

Two Bosses Enter: General Bjarngrim vs. Sjonnir the Ironshaper originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Guild hosts a Worst Guild Candidate Ever video contest - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


The Guild (which, as we were told by Michele Boyd last week, just started putting together their third season last weekend) is having a video contest, with a little twist. They want you to make a one minute video of a potential guildie for The Guild that would obviously get rejected -- in other words, a worst guild candidate ever video contest. So maybe you could clearly be a loot hog, or not know anything about your character (but claim to know everything). Or whatever else you come up with -- it sounds like they want the entries to be as embarrassingly bad as possible. To enter, you'll just have to create a video, upload it to a sharing site like YouTube or Vimeo (make sure you save a high-quality original of it just in case), and then drop them an email with a link to the video.

Sounds like fun. If you win, you'll get featured on their website, and/or have a chance to get your video on their season 3 DVD release. They've also got legal rules over on their site (unfortunately, it's US-only, like so many other contests on the Internet), and have discussions about the contest going on their forums as well. Good luck to all who enter -- we can't wait to see the results!

The Guild hosts a Worst Guild Candidate Ever video contest originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Ulduar Tips Continued - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


Last week, we started our homage to Chase's rogue tips for raiding Ulduar by discussing what you, as a warrior, can expect from that massive Titan fortress/prison for old gods and their flabby, tentacle faced minions. That's right, Vezax, I'm calling you flabby. This week, we'll discuss the bosses of the Antechamber, Kologarn, Auriaya and the Iron Council, three bosses in one! I was hoping that the warrior class Q&A would be up by the time I sat down to write this so we could discuss that as well, but such does not seem to be the case.

Since the Iron Council is the most complicated of these three encounters (and because it has two alternate, or hard modes, we'll discuss it last. Of course, as a warrior you'll either be tanking or DPSing in these fights... there's simply no alternative role for warriors... but there's more to it than that in each case. Let's start with Kologarn.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Ulduar Tips Continued

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Ulduar Tips Continued originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Frenzy - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:30:00 EST


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

The Daily Quest: Frenzy originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Buzz buzz - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue is a pretty short one, but it's an important one. I'm making a change to the format of this column, which will be explained in our very first question of the day. Why is it so short? When you read the answer to the question, you'll understand. I just ran out of steam after pulling that off.

elstor asked...

"What's with the music lately? Why did you have to start this?!"

It's something we did for giggles once, people liked it, we kept doing it just for kicks. I'm pretty bored of it though! We should pick a new Whatever of the Day instead of songs. Extreme Stunt of the Day?

Read this edition of The Queue while doing a kickflip out of a burning building and through the moving blades of a helicopter, then land in the middle of the ocean where you will wrestle a shark. While covered in bees.

Continue reading The Queue: Buzz buzz

The Queue: Buzz buzz originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The ins and outs of the Shroud Loot System - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST
Both Blessing of Kings and Unbearably HoT have posts up talking about the Shroud Loot System, a looting system designed to serve as an alternative to the standard DKP setups. The main point of SLS is that unlike DKP, it rewards points not just for downing content, but for just attending content, so that the focus is more on attendance and participation rather than progress (which, you'd assume, would eventually come if people are constantly showing up). Instead of kills, points are awarded at the beginning and the end of raids (no matter how much progress is made), and then when an item drops, players can bid points either by "Shrouding," spending half of their DKP (whoever spends the most gets the item), or by bidding a low fixed cost (and then they roll off for the item, with whoever wins paying the low fixed cost). BoK has a great example of how it works: either you spend half your points (if you have the most overall DKP, you're guaranteed to win) or you take your chances against a dice roll.

Continue reading The ins and outs of the Shroud Loot System

The ins and outs of the Shroud Loot System originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Class travel skills changing in patch 3.2 - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:39:00 EST


They're reading my mind! Just an hour or two ago I was thinking to myself, "if I can get a mount at level 20 in patch 3.2, what's the point of all those level 20+ speed-increasing skills?" Zarhym has solved my conundrum: they're all going to be reduced to level 16!

This includes Druid Travel Form (was level 30), Hunter Aspect of the Cheetah (or as I like to call it, Aspect of the Cheater; was level 20), and Shaman Ghost Wolf (was also level 20). Also in this post, the skull confirmed that class-specific mounts will come at the same levels as generic mounts will: Paladin and Warlock ground mounts at 20 for normal and 40 for epic, Druid Flight Form (now enhanced to 150% speed, like the other normal-speed flying mounts) at level 60, and Swift Flight Form at level 70.

So the days when Ghost Wolf or Travel Form was all you had to go faster for 20 levels may be over, but at least it will be useful for four. There has been a lot of debate back and forth about these changes, but for my money, if they're not going to let us start alts at high levels, this is the next best thing: making leveling much less painful.

Class travel skills changing in patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scattered Shots: What you see is not always what you get - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST

I can't believe it either, WoW.com actually decided to bring me back for another week! I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from The Hunting Lodge and I'll be your tour guide each Thursday as we explore what makes our Hunters tick and how we can make them better.

Last week we talked about the many different resources are available for Hunters. This week I thought to build on that and talk about item level (iLevel) and what makes a good upgrade.

Yes, I'm sure you are already thinking, "Boring! How difficult can that be?" Maybe for some that would be true. But the changes that happened with Wrath of the Lich King have forced us to rethink some of the old standards. For example, Agility isn't always the king stat like it was in the past. Sometimes you might need to decide between adding Critical Strike Rating, Armor Penetration, or Attack Power all the while considering how much Hit you might be losing.

I do agree that determining your next piece of gear should be relatively simple process. And for the most part, it is. But as with everything, there seem to be exceptions to the rule. Sometimes choosing between two items on the fly or in the heat of the moment just isn't that simple.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: What you see is not always what you get

Scattered Shots: What you see is not always what you get originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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One Boss Leaves: Anomalus comes up short - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

For the second week in a row, the victor of Two Bosses Enter ... One Boss Leaves was determined by a margin of fewer than 100 votes. Anomalus fell short of his task of protecting Brann Bronzebeard throughout the Hall of Stone's Tribunal of Ages event, falling to the combined forces of the Tribunal's defenses.

"Anomalus wins this one without a sweat," wrote Saravok for the dissenters. "Anomalus engages the adds while moving around to avoid the mobs. When he opens a rift, his own adds join the fray. Soon enough, having lost about 25% of his HP, he shields himself. The Tribunal adds now fight Anomalus' adds. Anomalus' adds are losing -- but BAM, the AoE evens up the contest, and the fight rages on.

"Anomalus retakes the battle, with the Tribunal kicking it up a few notches to boot. Once again, our elemental hero takes a beating, pops up some rifts and hides in his shield. The multiple rifts now attack the adds, with lots of AoE. The Tribunal adds are quickly slaughtered."

Continue reading One Boss Leaves: Anomalus comes up short

One Boss Leaves: Anomalus comes up short originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New zeppelin and portals coming in Patch 3.2 - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST


Another patch 3.2 announcement today, this time from Zaryhm concerning a few travel options in Azeroth.

First, there will be a new zeppelin route between Thunder Bluff and Orgrimmar. We heard about this before, but now we know in what patch / context it will be released in.

Secondly, there will be portal in Stormwind and Orgrimmar leading directly to the Stair of Destiny at the Dark Portal. No more need to haul yourself out there at level 58. Just take a portal instead!

The portal in particular should help people level in Outland much easier. It should also help to significantly decrease the use of Hearthstones for traveling back and forth between Outland and Azeroth. Now you can fly to Shat in your 150% flying mount at 60, take a portal to Stormwind to train, and then portal right back to the entrance to Outland where you can hop on your flying mount again and return to grinding levels. Very quick, very easy, very smooth.

New zeppelin and portals coming in Patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW.com's Geeky Clean "Dirty Jobs of Azeroth" Contest - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST

We know that questgivers have you do some pretty ridiculous stuff in exchange for paltry rewards. They have you sift through talbuk dung, swim through pools of muck, and even dress like a murloc (oh, the shame!). But what's the dirtiest job in Azeroth? In the spirit of cleanliness, Geeky Clean and WoW.com are teaming up, and we want you to find it! We've got five (5) prize packs of five (5) different Geeky Clean soaps ready for the people who send us a screenshot of your character performing one of Azeroth's dirtiest jobs. To enter, take your screenshot and send it with a text caption or description to contests@wow.com before 2PM ET on June 18th, 2009. We'll choose our five favorites and post them soon after.

Be creative, original, and funny to win this contest! You'll be judged 50% on originality/creativity and 50% on presentation. And be sure to use an email address to which you have regular access when submitting your entries, because that's how we'll get a hold of you!

You may enter only once. The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older. Click here for the complete Official Rules.

WoW.com's Geeky Clean "Dirty Jobs of Azeroth" Contest originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The opposite of Heroics - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST
Reader Malos on Nagrand sent me an interesting idea that I thought was worth some discussion. For a long time now, I've been a big fan of the idea of turning the old instances into Heroic versions -- I think it would be really fun to play Deadmines as a level 80, or roll through Scarlet Monastery for badges. But obviously the problem there is that Blizzard already has enough to do -- they're focused on creating new content, not revamping old instances that people have already played.

So Malos has a solution: instead of tweaking the instances to us, how about tweaking us to the instances? He suggests a set of gear, much like the Heirloom gear, that matches your character to whatever instance you happen to step into -- if you enter Deadmines, it powers down your level 80 character to an appropriate power and level for the instance. That way, all Blizzard has to do is make one set of gear per class (that could even scale upwards, so they never have to make it again), and boom, every instance could be played at the standard difficulty by any character any time.

Will it happen? Probably not. But I really like the idea of tweaking the players, not the instances, and I think there's a lot of possibility there for Blizzard. They've had such a tough time trying to balance out content for all kinds of players (including all of the hard modes and extra gameplay in Ulduar), that it might be interesting to try and measure the difficulty by going the other way -- balancing players out for all kinds of content.

The opposite of Heroics originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Alliance vs. Horde - Episode 1 - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


We've seen WoW-based Mac commercial spoofs before, such as the epically famous Frost Shock. BroncoTV is now continuing the legacy with their own donation to the effort, Alliance vs. Horde - Episode 1. The series will be focused on the two player factions, and their ongoing argument about who is better and why.

This particular episode digs up the old chestnut about who has the best girlfriend and why. I admit, I had a brief chuckle when the dwarf claimed Onyxia as his girlfriend. I guess I can't blame him, as there was something a little fetching about her appearance in BLIND.

Ultimately, I thought the video was amusing, and I really look forward to more. I think the later episodes are going to get better, though, as the authors expand their development of the two main characters. As these figures "grow up" in the comedy series, I think the dialogue will get even better.


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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Alliance vs. Horde - Episode 1 originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Spelling test - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST


With a flash of flame and a gout of smoke, Blood Pact appears again! It demands that columnist Nick Whelan make a sacrifice! Either he must write on a relatively simple subject this week, or be doomed to perform poorly during his finals! Left with no other recourse, Whelan submits to the will of the column.

Spells are the essence of playing a Warlock. Just about every part of playing the game, save role playing, has spell casting as a central feature for us. Fighting for control of Arathi Basin, dueling on matters of honor with some upstart Mage, questing and leveling, or any instance from assailing Defias scum in The Deadmines, to unlocking the secrets of Azeroth in Ulduar. Without spells the only things a Warlock could do would be run, jump, and weakly bonk our foes with our staffs. And there just aren't enough platforming sections in WoW to make that kind of thing fun.

Depending on our spec and in-game vocation, different Warlocks focus on different spells. And the decision of which spells to focus on is based on numbers. Such as the time required to cast the spell, potential damage output the spell has, or the amount of time that the spell will allow us to reign destruction on our foes while they run around screaming in abject terror. Understanding the mechanical uses of spells is essential if we're to be effective Warlocks. But as I've said in the past: Rain of Fire isn't just an area of effect spell channeled over 10 seconds which causes 2-3k non-crit damage every 2 seconds to enemies within a 15 yard radius--it's fireballs falling out of the sky!

Continue reading Blood Pact: Spelling test

Blood Pact: Spelling test originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Battle of the BlizzCons - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 10:30:00 EST


Xtoferal of <Order of Valtiel> on Ravencrest writes, "After a server restart forced our 10-man Ulduar group to take a break before we fought Auriaya, as we were logging back in and waiting to regroup, I decided to pull out my handy Murloc costume. Another member of the raid summoned his pet Murky. Jealous because I wish I had that pet, I tried to show off by dancing. But Murky was having none of that. He ignored me the entire time. Sadness."

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Battle of the BlizzCons originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More Algalon firsts from around the world - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST

The last couple of days have seen a few more 'firsts' around the world for Algalon, the supposed Destroyer of Raids. Premonition of the Sen'jin server scored the US first, roughly a week after Ensidia's world first. Their kill revealed two brand new drops from the boss, both of which you can see in the little gallery just below. Good work, guys.

In another part of the world, the infamous Chinese guild Stars (the one that moved to Taiwan servers to play Wrath of the Lich King) has downed Algalon as well. This is extremely impressive. Why? Well, Taiwan got their hands on patch 3.1 a full week after North American and European realms did. That means Stars killed Algalon in the same amount of time it took Ensidia to do it. If both regions received the patch on the same day, the two kills would have happened at very nearly the same time.

Congratulations to both guilds, and we look forward to watching the next raiding race when patch 3.2 rolls around!

[via MMO-Champion]

More Algalon firsts from around the world originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Is your class missing out on in-game lore? - Thu, 11 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


When it comes to lore, Druids, Mages, Death Knights and Paladins have it covered. Druids have the Emerald Dream, Mages the Kirin Tor and Dalaran. Meanwhile Paladins and Death Knights' lore revolve around this chap called Arthas who did bad things and became one of the biggest bads in all of Azeroth. But what about the other classes?

When was the last time you heard of a decent bit of Warlock or Warrior lore? And I'm not just talking a class quest here, but actual lore with a capital L?

Shamans got a bit in The Burning Crusade but only if you were a Draenei. What about Hunters, Rogues, and Priests? So I want to know, dear readers, do you wish there was more lore specific to your class? Do you feel neglected as a sub-group within Azeroth? What kind of lore would you like to see associated with your (insert class here)? Speak up and drop your thoughts in the comment box below.

Breakfast Topic: Is your class missing out on in-game lore? originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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