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Preparing for BlizzCon: What to pack in your suitcase - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST


BlizzCon approaches! Preparing for BlizzCon is your regular source for tips on how best to prepare for Blizzard's gaming extravaganza. These helpful hints are particularly suited for convention rookies. But if you are a con veteran, we'd love to hear your advice and wisdom in the comments as well.

If you don't travel often, packing can be rather daunting -- particularly with all of the post-9/11 air travel precautions. Because you'll probably be bringing back more than you take, I recommend checking a bag rather than trying to carry everything on the plane. Yes, the baggage claim area adds extra time, but checking your luggage will allow you to bring a larger bag and you'll avoid having to worry about 3-1-1.

Though I have been humbled (and educated) by reading the exploits of a truly expert packer, I used to travel a lot for business and have several tips for the infrequent traveler heading to BlizzCon.

Continue reading Preparing for BlizzCon: What to pack in your suitcase

Preparing for BlizzCon: What to pack in your suitcase originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Looking for interview subjects at BlizzCon for 15 Minutes of Fame - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 18:00:00 EST
The WoW.com team will be at BlizzCon in force this year. Between liveblogging the big announcements and resisting the siren call of the Diablo 3 demo stations, we want to talk to you, the loyal readers, and we don't mean just at our 3rd Annual WoW.com BlizzCon Meet Up.

We are planning a special BlizzCon edition of our weekly interview series 15 Minutes of Fame and are looking for some candidates for the column. We are especially interested in interviewing those WoW players who have a unique approach to the game.

Are you the oldest player in the game who doesn't play with family? Are you the youngest and shouldn't be reading this site without adult supervision? The guild leader who does things differently? The guy who plays without the UI/Keyboard/Talents, etc.? Are you famous for something in or out of Azeroth? Should we interview your entire guild at once?

If you think you bring something special to how you play the game and will be at BlizzCon next week, send us an e-mail at 15minutesoffame at wow dot com explaining what makes you a candidate for this special BlizzCon Edition of 15 Minutes of Fame. We'll pick the most interesting stories and contact you to make arrangements to meet during the convention for the interview. If we get enough interesting emails, we may even pick more than one.

Please send your emails by Monday, August 17th to give us time to read through them all and coordinate the interviews. Don't leave your story and contact info in the comments of this post, send them to 15minutesoffame at wow dot com.


"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" - neither did we, until we talked with these players. From an Oscar-winning 3-D effects director to a custom action figure artist and even a bunch of guys who get together for dinner and group raiding in person every week, catch it on 15 Minutes of Fame.

Looking for interview subjects at BlizzCon for 15 Minutes of Fame originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Simple things - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 17:00:00 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today is a day of, apparently, quick questions and quick answers. Most of the questions asked were fairly straightforward and not particularly involved. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is really up to you, but it is what it is: simple. I planned to embed a cartoon at the top of this video, but the aspect ratio made it gigantic if I used our standard width, so there's a link instead.

whalt asked...

"Any idea if prior season PvP weapons will ever be available from honor/arena points and not require an arena rating like the old Glad weapons were back in BC?"

Continue reading The Queue: Simple things

The Queue: Simple things originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Congratulations WoWathon! - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 16:00:00 EST


After almost two weeks, the WoWathon team dinged to 80 last night to the strains of The Final Countdown.

On August 1, they started their mission to raise money for the charity Child's Play by playing WoW straight from 1 to 80. They have suffered through griefers, trolls and extended maintenance -- all while streaming to the public. The team surpassed their initial goal of $5000 goal and have raised over $8000 as of this writing, all for making the lives of sick children more pleasant.

There is still time to donate, if you want to congratulate them in a charitable fashion. Just go to their main website and click on the ChipIn! button before August 15th. Any contribution helps, no matter how small.

I'm so proud of them (sniff) and I'm looking forward to next year's WoWathon.

Congratulations WoWathon! originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The purpose of Achievements, and how it's changed over time - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST
Moonglade has a good post up about the pros and cons of achievements. Nowadays, achievements are everywhere, but when they were introduced to the game a while ago, they were seen as a great way for Blizzard to integrate an idea that had really taken off on Xbox Live (and that an impending competing MMO, Warhammer Online, was implementing for themselves). They were mostly seen as a benefit for the solo player -- even if you hit level 80 and nabbed some awesome gear, there'd be some optional fun for you to have in the future.

Since then, achievements have changed quite a bit -- I'd argue that they're actually more used in groups than in solo play, as raids check players for achievements when inviting them, and guilds use achievements to rate where their proficiency lies. There are certainly still lots of things for solo players to do (every holiday, achievements come to the forefront again), but titles and mounts have become the main goals there, not just optional points. As Moonglade says, instancing and checking up on what players have done seem to have become the main point of achievements. What was just a bragging competition on Xbox Live has transitioned to a real yardstick in terms of what a player focuses on in game and what they've done so far.

Is that bad? I don't think so -- Blizzard has done with achievements what they've done brilliantly with all of the other features of their games: borrow them, polish them, and then make them better. If you look through that old thread, most of the talk was about achievements pushing people to keep playing the game, and that happened, but I think one thing Blizzard has done is use achievements as a way to see what people have done so far as well: what instances have you run, what quests have you completed, what titles do you have already? There's lots more value to achievements than what any of us originally envisioned.

The purpose of Achievements, and how it's changed over time originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More WoW tattoos to admire - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 14:00:00 EST


The_rabid_child's lovely tattoos posted on LJ today reminded me that it's about time we updated the WoW.com Tattoo gallery. Below you'll find a whole gallery full of tattoos sent to us by players with various Warcraft art or Alliance or Horde logos permanently embedded in their skin. Good times!

Truthfully, most of the tattoos we get from you all tend to be Horde tattoos, but we're not quite sure why that is. Are Horde-type folks more willing to ink up their bodies, or are they better at taking the pain? We do have a few exceptions -- Mike P. sent us this Lordaeron tattoo above (which in fact does look at little painful) that shows a little Alliance pride. If you've got a tattoo you want us to include here, feel free to send it along, and you just might see it here on the site.

Gallery: WoW Tattoos

More WoW tattoos to admire originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Why Hit is a "sexy stat" - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 13:00:00 EST
This post on Gray Matter has some pretty insightful thoughts about the much-maligned Hit stat. We've posted quite a few times about Hit with the various classes, and yet it's still fairly hard to get a handle on -- most people know their class has a "hit cap" that they have to reach to keep any of their swings or shots from missing, but other than that, they haven't really tangled with the stat much the way they might have some of the more core stats for their class. But Grey Matter argues that "Hit is sexy" -- despite the fact that, unlike other stats, Hit is required just to make your class do the right thing (rather than doing it better), Graylo still likes the idea, and actually likes the balance that Hit requires. No matter what ilvl your gear, you still need a certain amount of Hit on it, and the balancing job of keeping your hit cap met versus providing other stats on your gear is what Gray seems to like about Hit. While other stats just go up and up, Hit is the great limiter -- having more of it frees up space on other gear for more pressing stats, but you still have to balance out the pieces you wear to try and meet the cap.

To that extent, I agree. I do think that Hit is a relatively arbitrary stat (we know what it means in real life to be Stronger or have more Intelligence, but Hit is really just designed to keep game levels in line), but on the other hand, Gray's right -- because you need a certain amount of hit in your gear, it does become an interesting balancing game of "do I need this more powerful piece of gear, or this weaker piece of gear with some extra Hit on it?" It does a nice job of mixing things up as an endgame-balancing mechanic.

Why Hit is a "sexy stat" originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: World of Gnomecraft - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST

Warning: This review doth containeth spoilers.

It's certainly been a gnome-centric week here at WoW Moviewatch, as the good Baron Soosdon has been especially prolific with his releases lately. But, World of Gnomecraft is a great way to end that gnome-spree. The good Baron created this video as something special for the 150th video-show of the German web magazine, Buffed.de. And now, the machinima has been released into an unsuspecting world.

The plot summary is easy: Gnomes are tired of getting punted and abused by the Horde and Alliance alike. Partnering with their unique machine friends, the Gnome nation breaks bad on the tallfolk of Azeroth. They're not going to take it. No, they're not gonna take it anymore. Be sure to check out the special guest appearance by Thrall and Jaina.

This video is awesome. Even the Horde have to cheer when the Gnome assassin delivers a little something special to Varian Wrynn. My only regret about reviewing World of Gnomecraft is that I can't do a voice-over for it. "In a world where Gnomes are abused, one man stands against a million. Coming this summer!" I don't think that kind of cheese-filled voice over would be out of place, since the Gnomes deliver at least one Baysplosion!

So yeah, in the end, I really liked this. It kind of made my day brighter.



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: World of Gnomecraft originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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One Boss Leaves: Chrono-Lord Epoch stops Prince Taldaram - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 11:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to Round Two of the five-man Wrath of the Lich King season. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

Prince Taldaram claimed he would drink no blood before his time - and thus, he ran dry in last week's Thunderdome matchup with Chrono-Lord Epoch. The Chrono-Lord held off the Prince by a margin of nearly 10% of the popular vote, and pulling out a victory that could truly be characterized as "just in time."

Clydtsdk-Rivendare called the fight: Five words to stop you: Can't do that while stunned.

In all seriousness, it depends. If this were in game, Taldaram would have a massive edge, what with the life drain. However, in theory, CLE is able to travel in time; thus, if he makes a mistake in combat, he could correct it.

Lemme give a short roundup.

Continue reading One Boss Leaves: Chrono-Lord Epoch stops Prince Taldaram

One Boss Leaves: Chrono-Lord Epoch stops Prince Taldaram originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Second star to the right - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST


Time we got under way ourselves, gentleman. Once again, we've saved civilization as we know it.

Course heading, Capitan?

Second star to the right, and straight on till morning...

How could I resist another day of SciFi movie quotes? Especially with this picture the Skybreaker sent in by Sylvanan of Ner'zhul.


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@wow.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 with dead gnomes any race at all, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Second star to the right originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show today at 1pm Eastern - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST
Our podcast is kicking off the weekend today at a special time -- I'm heading off to Gen Con this weekend, so we're recording the show live this afternoon at 1pm Eastern. Along for the ride will be Lesley Smith and The T, and we might even have another special guest or two in the mix -- tune in and find out. We'll be chatting about all of the biggest news of the past week in Warcraft, including the leaks about the new expansion, Cataclysm, Icecrown and how big it'll be, what to expect at BlizzCon next week, and the return of a certain black dragon.

Plus, we'll answer your emails, so feel free to send anything you'd like us to talk about to theshow@wow.com, and you might even hear it on today's show. It all kicks off this afternoon at August 13, 2009 1:00 PM EDT over on our Ustream page, or, as always, you can find the embedded stream after the break below. See you there!

Continue reading WoW Insider Show today at 1pm Eastern

WoW Insider Show today at 1pm Eastern originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What if you knew the day WoW would go offline? - Thu, 13 Aug 2009 08:00:00 EST



My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.


- Emily Dickinson

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: What if you knew the day WoW would go offline?

Breakfast Topic: What if you knew the day WoW would go offline? originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 13 Aug 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Onyxia returns in Patch 3.2.2 - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 21:12:00 EST


You read that right. In honor of WoW's 5-year anniversary, in the upcoming Patch 3.2.2, Onyxia will make her triumphant return to the world of Azeroth!

The patch will convert Onyxia's Lair to a 10- and 25-player dungeon, along with new items whose models match the old-school gear available in the vanilla instance, like Tier 2 helms. Additional rewards include a 310% speed flying mount modeled after Onyxia herself!

As a bonus, anyone who logs in during the 5-year anniversary event in November will get an Onyxia Whelpling pet.

The full announcement after the break!

Continue reading Onyxia returns in Patch 3.2.2

Onyxia returns in Patch 3.2.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 21:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Stormrage novel cover art revealed - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 20:00:00 EST
This isn't the biggest news in the world, but for those of you that really dig World of Warcraft's extended universe, it might be pretty exciting. Medievaldragon over at BlizzPlanet has an incredibly hi-res picture of the artwork that will grace the cover of the upcoming novel Stormrage, courtesy of Pocket Books.

I can't help but notice Malfurion's rather feral appearance there. Despite how much Blizzard loves the whole "falling from grace" thing for their characters, I somewhat doubt they will take that road with Malfurion, even with everything going on in the Emerald Dream.* Is he stalking some prey? Is he running from whatever gave him those scars? Is he pissed that Tyrande went Shadow and made him respec Resto, hence the foliage? Who knows, but I'm curious to find out, even if my least favorite Warcraft novelist is tackling this one. Maybe we'll get an excerpt to read in our swag bags at BlizzCon? We can hope, right?

*If they do, I assume it will be temporary. Chris Metzen seems awfully attached to Malfurion when he talks about him, so I don't expect they'll kill the poor guy off.

Stormrage novel cover art revealed originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PSA: Don't get scammed by Cataclysm phishing - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST


No, what you see above is not the logo of the (probably) upcoming World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. It's the graphic being used by a phishing site that's been making the rounds lately and we've received a number of emails about. To make sure everybody is completely clear, if you see the logo above, the website you're visiting is absolutely not legit. There are no Cataclysm Alpha invites going out to the public, and certainly not Beta invites. When Blizzard kicks off a beta, we'll be sure to tell you. And even better, Blizzard will be sure to tell you. Until that happens, please be careful about what you click on. The pre-expansion period is prime time for phishing attempts.

Naturally, even if that's not the graphic you see, you should be wary of Cataclysm-related phishing sites. There are quite a few right now, and they will even grow more numerous after BlizzCon. Be mindful of the sites you're linked, be careful where you enter your WoW account information, as well as your personal information. I know we've said it many times before, but we really can't say it enough. Don't do anything silly, and if you want to be absolutely sure that you don't do anything silly, grab yourself an authenticator if you can. If you can't get the physical authenticator, there's always one of the mobile authenticators.

PSA: Don't get scammed by Cataclysm phishing originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pocket Books releases signing schedule for BlizzCon - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 18:00:00 EST
Our friends at Blizzplanet have posted the official Pocket Books signing schedule for BlizzCon -- both Richard Knaak and Christie Golden will be live in attendance and signing throughout the weekend, and you can find the full schedule after the break. Both Knaak and Golden have written popular Warcraft novels, so bring your copies and you might walk away with them signed.

As far as I know, this is the first sign of a schedule we've seen for the convention. Blizzard usually does announce a schedule of panels and events a few days ahead of time (and of course, when you get your packet there at the door, there's a program with the full schedule inside), but they usually cut it pretty close. As of this writing, eight days until showtime, there is no official schedule yet posted on the site.

But this will give you at least one thing to plan on seeing (and we can tell you for sure that Friday morning will be the official keynote, with Saturday evening being the Ozzy show, if the way they've done it in the past is any indication). And as long as you're making a schedule up, don't forget to stop by our meetup on Thursday night -- not only will we have WoW.com staffers live in attendance, but there will be door prizes galore. More info on that soon.

Schedule after the jump.


BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon, you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there are some great looking costumes.

Continue reading Pocket Books releases signing schedule for BlizzCon

Pocket Books releases signing schedule for BlizzCon originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The lost art of crowd control - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 17:00:00 EST
The emblems changes are driving traffic back to the Heroics, and I love it -- 5-mans are my favorite thing to do in the game, and there's nothing more fun to me than sitting down with a group and trouncing a Heroic, reeling in all of the gold and loot we can carry. But there's something missing, still, even in these glory days of achievements and Stone Keeper's Shards and Emblems of Conquest. Yes, it's crowd control. Groups are still gung-ho on AoEing everything in their way, and Blizzard hasn't shown any indication, even in the design of the new instances, that crowd control is anything they want to keep around. I can't remember the last time I trapped something in a group on my Hunter, and I'm sure that the last time I did, some Death Knight broke it right open, Death Grip-ped it back into the group, and then AoE'd it down to nothing.

Bornakk actually replies in the thread that we're just being nostalgic for nostalgia's sake, and that even when CC was required, people whined that they needed to have certain classes in their groups. But what class doesn't have CC these days? Even Shamans got their CC, just as it wasn't actually needed any more. Crowd control added some semi-serious strategy even to trash fights in instances, and while we originally heard that it would come back at some point, Blizzard certainly seems to be done with it.

But we can be patient. The new instances in 3.2 are light to completely empty on trash, so maybe they're waiting for Icecrown to really put our CC skills and coordination to the test. I play a Hunter at endgame currently, so I might be biased, but I do love 5-mans, and I do miss the extra coordination and teamwork that a big CC-required pull provided. Hopefully they can find a way to mix that back in without requiring certain specs or classes to be along for the ride.

The lost art of crowd control originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Podcasts, Lord Jaraxxus, and playing the other gender - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 16:00:00 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.

The Daily Quest: Podcasts, Lord Jaraxxus, and playing the other gender originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: The Rogue Q&A in review - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST
Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about the Rogue Q & A recently released by Blizzard.

Last week, Blizzard released the long-awaited (at least by me) Rogue Q&A series. Ghostcrawler and the rest of the community team answered many of our long-standing questions, and gave us some insight into where Rogues are headed as a class. You can read the full details of the Q&A that Eliah posted for us.

After reading the questions and answers, I breathed a sigh of relief. No hints or indications of any nerfs coming our way, and Blizzard actually acknowledged several longstanding flaws with the class. Not only that, but they actually provided possible solutions; I'll be taking them with a grain of salt. New Rogues are excited about our class' complexity and diversity, while experienced Rogues are proud that we are now respected as damage dealers instead of being seen as second-class DPS.

The highlights are after the cut.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: The Rogue Q&A in review

Encrypted Text: The Rogue Q&A in review originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Guildwatch: Loot reservations required - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 14:00:00 EST


The hilarious screenshot above comes from Blitzkrieg of Twisting Nether -- I think it's probably the winner of guild screenshots we've seen so far. It's too bad they didn't get the actual Flame Leviathan model in there, but the guildies' names above their heads are perfect. Very well done.

Lots more downings (we're still cleaning up the ones before patch 3.2, but I expect after today, we'll be seeing some serious Crusaders' Coliseum progression), and of course the usual drama and recruiting news in this week's GW as well. Click the link below to read on, and enjoy.

Continue reading Guildwatch: Loot reservations required

Guildwatch: Loot reservations required originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Rookie: Save everything, sell everything - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 13:00:00 EST


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

It's clean-up time around here. Now that the WoW Rookie Guide is up and running to shuttle you to precisely the information you've been wondering about, we're poking through our older pieces to bring them up to date. (If there are any WoW Rookies whose datedness you find especially galling, shoot me a link at lisa [at] wow [dot] com and I'll prioritize it for updating.) Sometimes during the updating process, I uncover little gems, like this excerpt from Elizabeth Harper's 2007 piece Money-making 101. Be sure to visit the entire article, by the way; it's an outstanding resource to make sure you arrive at your character's more costly milestones with gold in your pockets.

In the meantime, let's talk about what's worth selling and what's not. First of all: keep everything. Make buying or making big bags a priority; after all, you can't make money if you can't bring home loot to sell. If your bags get full, sure, go ahead and destroy grey items (items with their names listed in grey letters). (To destroy an item, left-click it, drag it to an open spot on your screen, and left-click again to drop it; reply "Yes" to the dialog box that pops up.)

Continue reading WoW Rookie: Save everything, sell everything

WoW Rookie: Save everything, sell everything originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Million Miles From Home - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST


According to Baron Soosdon, the creator of Million Miles From Home, this movie has been sitting on his hard drive since Spring last year. It had been intended to be sure for Olibith's Never Stay Tuned series. However, as is often the case with things like this, the good Baron lost interest in the piece. He wandered off to more engaging pastures. He's finally decided to release the piece as is, even though it doesn't meet all of his current standards for Soosdon machinima.

I think the sad story of Million Miles From Home and its creation is kind of a shame, because this snippet has captured my imagination like few other videos. I adore the retro sci-fi feel of a pink-haired Gnome and friend zooming through space on a pair of rocket mounts. It tugs on my heart-strings and sense of child-like wonder, and I find myself rooting for the two characters with a feeling of glee and expectation. I don't know how it would end if Baron had decided to finish his work on the video, but I can't help but speculate.

The Baron does say his protagonists will likely come back around in the future, and I hope they maintain the same sense of excitement and exploration. For all that Million Miles From Home may be unfinished, it totally won my heart.


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: Million Miles From Home originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Hump Day - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 11:00:00 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.

It's Wednesday, hump day. And that means it's time for some Black Eye Peas. NSFW, and all those young whipper-snappers love it. For you older folks, here's something you might enjoy. Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Conway Twitty.

Andrew R asked...

"Why do people always talk about how the alliance is full of little kids while the horde is where the "mature" players are and vice-versa? To add to that why do those same people talk about how bad the opposite faction is and they will never play that faction?"

Continue reading The Queue: Hump Day

The Queue: Hump Day originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Contact - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST


No - no words.

No words to describe it.

Poetry!

They should've sent a poet. (But instead they sent Silant <Exploding Kitty Brigade> - US Dalvengyr).

So beautiful.

So beautiful...

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@wow.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 with dead gnomes any race at all, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Contact originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Mimiron - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST


Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. T

Welcome back to Ready Check. We took some time last week to take a look at the changes that patch 3.2 brought to raiding in Azeroth, but now we're back to burning through Ulduar. Today, we'll take a look at Mimiron, and then start working on the final portions of the instance with General Vezax.

So far, you've wrecked the Flame Leviathan. You euthanized Razorscale. You gave a cold shower to Ignis the Furnace Master. You marvelled at Deconstructor. When it came to Kologarn, you damned well shall pass. The Assembly of Iron said court was out of session, and Auriaya and her small legion of adds gave you no pause. You've asked Hodir, "Who's your Daddy?" You've entered the mountain, and tackled Thorim.

Continue reading Ready Check: Mimiron

Ready Check: Mimiron originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: How phasing could be used in-game - Wed, 12 Aug 2009 08:00:00 EST

Phasing seems to be Blizzard's new favorite toy. It's being used be more and more as we progress through Wrath. From the Wrathgate to those annoying out of body/spirit quests in Zul'Drak, phasing is changing how we see Azeroth itself. But it strikes me there's once area where phasing should sometimes be used and isn't: bosses. Specifically I mean the big guys ... Kil'Jaeden, Illidan, Loken, Yoggy, Algalon and, of course, Arthas himself.

The logic here is simple, these are bosses key to game lore and killing them not only takes an enormous amount of effort (or in the case of Kil'Jaeden, banishing him back to where ever he came from) but it also has an effect on the world itself. Think of the impacts the events of the Sunwell had - phasing was never implemented there, and definitely should have been once Wrath was released.

Now I know you will be thinking: "Why should we only kill a boss once?" I'm not suggesting that once you kill the Lich King, for example, you are locked out of killing him again. Rather that his death triggers a change in Azeroth - which is where the phasing comes in. Icecrown Citadel could collapse or be recycled by other NPCs, such as the Ebon Blade. Once this happens, you could then walk in, click on an NPC and 'relive' the fight in the form of a new raid. The same thing could be done with the Sunwell, for example, and it could open up a new quest chain and further the game's lore in new and fantastic ways.

We've already seen how phasing can change Northrend, just look at how it's used post-Wrathgate. How do you think it could be used (particularly considering that the new expansion is called Cataclysm) to change how we play, the bosses we kill, and how we raid?

Breakfast Topic: How phasing could be used in-game originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 12 Aug 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How the "Summon Memory" fight in the Trial of the Champion should have been done - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 20:06:00 EST

Responses to the implementation of Patch 3.2 have been pretty mixed. I've been trying to see as much of it as I can. I loved Children's Week, for example, but over the weekend, I ventured into Trial of the Champion, the new 5-man content in the Crusaders' Coliseum. My curiosity had been piqued by talk of Hogger as a raid boss and whispers of the power to fight Illidan and Lucifron. Now, having never ventured into either Molton Core or Black Temple, I was quite keen to experience the encounter for myself. So I grouped with my guildies (who all seem quite addicted to the quick runs, easy fight and shiny loot) and headed into the unknown.

I was already aware that Trial of the Champion sees you fighting a bunch of champions on horseback, then getting either Eadric the Pure of High Confessor Paletress. We, luckily, got the latter. I like Paletress. She's an intriguing character as well as an epitome of goodness who's not afraid to fight for her beliefs. She also has the coolest attack in the Trial: she summons the memory of a past encounter. This was the bit I was waiting for and when Onyxia appeared, I was momentarily stunned.

Continue reading How the "Summon Memory" fight in the Trial of the Champion should have been done

How the "Summon Memory" fight in the Trial of the Champion should have been done originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 20:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The making of the World of Warcraft - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST
Eurogamer has a nice long look at the early days of World of Warcraft, way before Northrend and Outland and even Molten Core, back when the question wasn't just how big the game would get, but whether Blizzard, a company known for their polish rather than their size, could pull off an entry in this new MMO genre. They've interviewed some of Blizzard's luminaries, and the piece offers a really good look at what it was like at Blizzard even before WoW's release, when they were hashing out some of the ideas and mechanics that have now set the bar with World of Warcraft: the stylistic Warcraft look, and questing as storytelling (originally, they thought they'd only do quests through the starting levels, and then have the game move to a grinding, monster-killing stage towards the end, but players said the game was boring without quests).

There are all kinds of great little tidbits in here: originally, Warcraft III was planned with the over-the-shoulder look that WoW now has, and that's one of the reasons they wanted to create a more straightforward RPG game. Tom Chilton showed up on the team about a year before WoW's release, and to his surprise, the game was almost completely unfinished -- the level cap was only 15, the talent system wasn't implemented, the AH or mail systems weren't in, PvP wasn't in at all (of course, even at release it was pretty barebones), and endgame raiding was nonexistent. Most of the things we think of as intrinsic to the World of Warcraft -- even things like the Horde and Alliance not speaking to each other -- were debated and almost not in at all as they moved towards release.

Continue reading The making of the World of Warcraft

The making of the World of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Moonkins Anonymous - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 18:00:00 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.

The Daily Quest: Moonkins Anonymous originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Death to spell power plate - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 17:00:00 EST
In a recent set of posts on the subject of Prot Paladins wearing holy gear in PvP, Ghostcrawler mentioned that Prot Paladins are not intended to be able to out heal Holy Paladins in the same gear and that fixes are intended that will remove their ability to do this. I'd like to offer a suggestion: destroy all spell power plate. Destroy it! Destroy, destroy, destroy! Exterminate it! Extirpate it from the surface of Azeroth! Perhaps in a Cataclysm of some kind. (Except Judgement. That can stay.)

My reasoning isn't to nerf Holy Paladins as healers. I love all healers equally. Rather, my idea here is to incorporate a class design that's been picking up steam since the end of Burning Crusade. Back before patch 3.0 dropped, two Paladin specs wore spell plate, Holy and Protection. Since that was two specs out of a possible six plate wearing talent specializations (2/6 = 1/3 = roughly 33 percent, I'm not doing a repeating) that meant that there was a fairly sizable minority that wanted the stuff.

Flash forward to Wrath of the Lich King. There are now three plate wearing classes. Two of them (six total talent specs) have absolutely no use for spell plate. The one class that does use spell plate? Well, the Protection tree was revamped, so tanking Paladins don't wear it. Retribution has been giving spell plate the stink eye forever. So we now have 1 out of 9 possible specs wearing the stuff, and yet it drops everywhere. There's no reason spell plate needs to exist, much less be a protected species by Blizzard when they went out of their way to do away with tanking leather, for example.

Continue reading Death to spell power plate

Death to spell power plate originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Upper Deck finalizes Gen Con plans - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 16:00:00 EST
Anybody else going to Gen Con this coming weekend? I'll be there on Saturday (and we might even be having a mini-meetup on Saturday night -- Twitter is probably the best place to listen for that), and I'll be sure to take pictures and/or movies of anything WoW that I see on display. Upper Deck has finalized their plans for the event, and it appears they'll be out in force. In addition to what's been announced previously, there'll be a North American Continental Championship for the WoW TCG, with the winner walking away with $10,000 in prizes, including a brand new MacBook Pro, $1000 in Amazon gift cards, and a 30" monitor. But if, like me, you're far from a pro player, you'll still be able to get in on the fun: they'll be demoing the game all weekend, and giving away special promo cards with every demo. WoW Minis will also be there, and they'll be selling a special limited edition Fleet Master Seahorn figure for $9.99, which introduces the questing mechanic to the minis game (we'll expect to see those at BlizzCon as well, I'm sure).

Plus, who knows what else we'll see there -- in the past, we've seen some great displays from Blizzard partners, and even a real-life server protest a few years back. Gen Con is one of the biggest gatherings of gamers in the country, and wherever there are gamers, odds are we'll find World of Warcraft. It'll be my first time seeing the convention this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Upper Deck finalizes Gen Con plans originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chinese Warcraft casemod is awesome - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST


A few things about this Warcraft-flavored PC casemod, seen over on this Chinese website. First: it's awesome. Warcraft art is faithfully recreated, and as you can see, there's a nice Horde montage on one side, Alliance on the other, and the Dark Portal sitting right there in front. Second: it's probably pretty old -- most of that art is from the game's original release four years ago.

So it's probably not exactly the latest and greatest in Warcraft PC designs (though it might be a little later than the ghost train pirate art). But still, it looks great. And I definitely wouldn't mind wandering around Azeroth on that rather than my current gigantic black tower of a PC.

Update: Turns out the case is for sale. That is, if you want to spend $299 on a case.

[via Technabob]

Chinese Warcraft casemod is awesome originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chinese WoW partial relaunch pics, comparison shots of censorship - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 14:00:00 EST


MMOsite.com has nabbed some pictures of the return to the Chinese World of Warcraft. As you know if you've been paying attention, the game has been offline over there for a few months now, but the game just recently got approved to go back online, and so they're in the middle of a "partial relaunch" (which I believe is taking the form of a closed beta) and the servers are crowding up again. As you can see, there's a stampede (much like ours) going on in Thunder Bluff -- looks like players are happy to be online again.

They also have some comparison images of the censorship found over there. Anything with skulls or bones on it is out, and the offending images have been replaced with piles of dirt and bags and debris. Blood appears as black oil rather than red liquid, and even player corpses are out. As you can see, everywhere players die, there are instead little graves and tombstones around. Very interesting. No idea if this actually "helps" in China (or what the point of the censorship is -- seems as though it's a cultural thing, more like it's a respect for death and dead bodies rather than worrying about whether people will be disturbed by the mention of violence), but of course the government over there has final say on what goes into the game, and apparently this is what they approved. Hopefully Chinese players will be headed back to Northrend before long.

Chinese WoW partial relaunch pics, comparison shots of censorship originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Exploits and dirty cheats - Tue, 11 Aug 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

The video embedded in today's edition of The Queue isn't a silly music video this time around, I'm afraid. No funny business today. Today is for game faces. Today is for serious business. Today is for italic letters.

Sashay asked...

"I have found a glitch that has caused many people to have their hearts broken.

This glitch is the "underground" mining technique that people use so they will not be attacked by enemies. Does this happen because they found a "Under Stormwind" glitch somewhere in Northrend? Maybe they put their toon in the tourney castle before it was built and now they are under everything?"

Continue reading The Queue: Exploits and dirty cheats

The Queue: Exploits and dirty cheats originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arena Season 6 to end soon - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 12:50:00 EST


Bornakk has just announced that the end of Season 6 will come as early as Tuesday August 25th. You'll want to be sure that if you're eligible for arena rewards that you don't transfer your character or generally screw with your arena team. Just relax and let the rewards happen.

After Season 6 ends, there will be one week of downtime where no rated matches can happen.

Season 7 will begin after this week of downtime, at which time all team and personal ratings will be wiped, along with your arena points. According to the announcement matchmaking ratings will remain (as well as honor points). None of this should come as too much of a surprise, as we've known about it all for a while.

This roughly places the start date for Season 7 at Tuesday September 1st. However these things can change, so just pay attention to the news and watch out for the exact date.

Arena Season 6 to end soon originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 12:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Warriors Dance - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST


After the good Baron Soosdon worked with Olibith on Never Stay Tuned 4, he continued to chase an interesting idea. Warriors Dance is the result of that idea. According to the Baron's description of Warriors Dance, the dance club Shortchange was created after the liberation of the gnomish people from the traitorous Alliance. However, things get a little different by the end of opening night.

Baron Soosdon has created another entertaining, fun location, though this one is wildly different from the paradise he put together for Happy Up Here. I think if the Shortchange were an actual, functioning dance space is Azeroth, you could probably find dozens of Alliance jostling to get in.

I continue to be amazed at how well Soosdon pieces his musical choice together with the video he puts on screen. The rhythm, words, and general vibe of the music matches the thriving, vibrant graphics. Ultimately, this video was awesome, and is going to be one I replay frequently.

In case the embedded video doesn't work out for you, you can check out a few different streams on the Baron's blog.


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: Warriors Dance originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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European weekly maintenance: 12th August 2009 - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 11:00:00 EST


Happy Tuesday to our European readers! We're nearly halfway through August, BlizzCon is just 10 days away and we already know what races we'll be playing in the next expansion. The sun is shining and the internet is thrumming with promise of something Cataclysmic approaching. It can't get any better than that! I'm already thinking of names for my alts. Any suggestions?

(Note to self: hyperactivity in posts is not a good thing. You might want to start drinking coffee to mask the new-expansion-news-high.)

But back to reality for a minute. As usual, the middle of the week is once more upon us. Fortunately things are starting to calm down. Blizzard have just announced scheduled maintenance for tomorrow with all European realms will be offline from 3:00am until 11:00am (CEST). On top of this, a selection of 'lucky' realms will be undergoing an extended maintenance from 1:00am until 11:00am (CEST):

Alonsus, Anachronos, Bronze Dragonflight, Burning Steppes, Darkmoon Faire, Darkspear, Kor'gall and Lightbringer.

That said, it's not too bad as extended down time goes. But as always there's plenty to do in the meantime, especially as we've told you which faction will be getting which race in Cataclysm. Daniel W. has a great post summing everything up from news to hints about Patch 3.3.

European weekly maintenance: 12th August 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard officially announces Ozzy at BlizzCon 2009 - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 10:02:00 EST


The Prince of F!@$#ng Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, has officially been announced as headlining the closing concert at BlizzCon this year. We've previously reported on this, both in the rumor mill and then from a DirecTV listing.

The DirecTV listing has since been changed to remove any reference to Ozzy, however it appears they jumped the gun on the announcement initially.

The press announcement of the closing concert, which was just released this morning, doesn't give many details of anything special that will happen. Other than "Ozzy will unleash a thunderous spectacle of rock to put the Lich King in his place and cement his own title as the one true Prince of Darkness." Morhaime goes on to say that "Many of us at Blizzard are lifelong fans of Ozzy's music, and we're thrilled that he'll be performing for all of our BlizzCon attendees..."

So there you have it. Rumor confirmed! I wonder what else might be announced... WoW.com will let you know!

Edit: Check out the Ozzy splash at the World of Warcraft Homepage.
BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there's some great looking costumes.

Blizzard officially announces Ozzy at BlizzCon 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 10:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Me and my shadow - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST

Some things should be taken literally. Some things should not. Arinod of the <Armored Bear Cavalry> on Kargath US seems to have discovered one of those things that should not. Avinrod, the dashing fellow in the foreground, woke up one day to find the slightly-less-dashing fellow in the background following him around. No matter how many people tell the poor guy that's not what Shadow Priest means... well. Shadows can't hear, apparently. Avin, my friend, it might be time to look into a restraining order.

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@wow.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 with dead gnomes any race at all, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Me and my shadow originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively - Tue, 11 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Final Fantasy XIV's first jobs and race names revealed
New information is dropping rapidly on this game. Now, Final Fantasy XIV's race names and first classes have been revealed. Hmm, maybe those rumors of an earlier than expected beta carried more weight to them than we thought.
Former Warhammer Online GM gives perspective on game's decline
At Massively we must often report on declining subscription numbers and subsequent layoffs in the MMO industry, just as we do when the games we love are healthy and growing. When you look beyond the numbers though, such industry statistics are ultimately about people whose lives have been negatively impacted. They face uncertainty in their career and likely have tough times ahead.
The Daze of Darkfall epilogue: The Siege of Andruk
So I thought I was done with my whole "month long investigation of Darkfall." Best way to end out the series was to include some PvP being lead by Wardragon Drow (*gasp*, a last name, and I'll get to that in a second) and then close it off there. Well, sadly, Darkfall had one more surprise left for me. Or, should I say, the Blackrock Clan had one more surprise for me. A siege.
Choose my Adventure: Lord of the Rings Online
With our Guild Wars adventures behind us, it's now time to branch out into our next game for the Choose my Adventure series. According to your votes accumulated this week, Lord of the Rings Online will be my next game to explore, with a little help from you, the readers. You also voted to keep the format the same, so I'm happy to hear that it's been working well so far.

Continue reading MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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