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

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Is WoW being run by its B-team? Is that bad? - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST


This post by Eric Heimburg on the excellent MMO design blog Elder Game, alleging that WoW is currently run by Blizzard's B-team, has ignited a fair amount of controversy around the blogosphere. The general argument appears to be that the people previously in charge of WoW, like Jeff Kaplan, have moved on to other projects. As a consequence knee-jerk changes are being pushed through very fast, without being sufficiently tested first. "Back in the day," claims the article, "QA held the game to a higher standard."

My reaction to these claims are mixed. Kaplan may not be in charge of WoW anymore, but I don't think that "the steady hand has left the rudder," or if it has, maybe a less straight-ahead course is a good thing. Changes may be getting pushed through very quickly - Ghostcrawler routinely refers to players getting whiplash from the frequency of balance changes - but in many cases, I think this is for the best.

Continue reading Is WoW being run by its B-team? Is that bad?

Is WoW being run by its B-team? Is that bad? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ensidia and Method to compete in Ulduar timed run - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST

Live PvP competition is old hat. 2009 appears to be the year of PvE (if you ask me, every year should be that year). At the Games Convention Online, in Leipzig over the weekend of July 31 - August 2, two of the strongest PvE guilds in the world, Ensidia and Method, are competing in a timed run of Ulduar.

It's going to be on 10-man, which is kind of strange, given that most people (and especially hardcore raiders) seem to think of the 25-man version as the "real" version of the raid. Maybe they wanted it to be easier for spectators to follow the action.

Points will be awarded for killing end bosses of a "zone" faster than the other guild, with points increasing from zone to zone. I'm guessing that by "zone" the press release refers to the Siege, the Antechamber, the Keepers, and the Descent into Madness, but the translation is not perfect - I could be wrong.

The Ensidia/Method matchup is going to be on August 2nd; as a prelude, two German guilds (Irae AoD and For the Horde) are going to compete on the same event on August 1st. Apparently the raids will be streaming live on allvatar.com, although I can't really get very far on that site - WTB English translation. Does anyone know if it will be free to watch or not?

Ensidia and Method to compete in Ulduar timed run originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Not Illidan - Tue, 14 Jul 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: Not Illidan originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hunter DPS analyzer now online - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST

A few weeks ago over on Scattered Shots I reviewed many of the different tools available for Hunters to improve their game. In that post I highlighted two of the most popular tools, The Hunter DPS Spreadsheet by Wertez over at my site The Hunting Lodge and the WOTLK Spreadsheet by Shandara on Elitist Jerks.

Knowing that both spreadsheets are good at what they do, there is one fundamental issue, both require you to have Microsoft Excel running on Windows or some selected Mac systems. Using this as a good excuse to become more familiar with JavaScript and Ajax, Zeherah took the challenge and created Zeherah's Hunter DPS Analyzer.

When I asked why she decided to pick up such a daunting task, Zeherah responded, "I was particularly interested because as a Mac user my ability to make use of the spreadsheet has always been limited, I don't have a Windows Excel and many features like the stat values and armory import don't work in the Mac version. This kept me motivated, but it also makes parts of this project extra challenging since I've had to try to figure out how parts of the code in the spreadsheet worked without actually being able to use or test them myself."

As with all any DPS modeling tool, this won't give exact DPS numbers. But being based on Shandara's DPS Spreadsheet, and using the bulk of the formulas and logic found in it, you will get a pretty good idea of how making changes to your gear, talents and glyphs, buffs and debuffs, as well as your pet will impact your DPS.

Taking the cue from Shandara, Zeherah has also enabled a PTR option on her site. So whether you're on the PTR or if our just wanting to see what might be in store for you in Patch 3.2, I highly recommend heading over to Femaledwarf.com and giving it a try.

(Update: To make sure your bugs are addressed you can either fill out the comment box on the site or visit the Online Hunter DPS Analyzer Development Discusson at The Hunting Lodge forums.)

Hunter DPS analyzer now online originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW gamer threatens to blow up plane - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST


A WoW player living in Indianapolis was arrested after he used in-game chat to threaten to blow up a plane, Indystar.com is reporting. The eighteen year old later told Johnson County sheriffs that he "was going to board a plane at 7:30 to Chicago and that (he) was going to try and kill as many Americans as possible".

His boasts were spotted by a Blizzard employee who called the police after seeing that the WoW player had made serious threats. When arrested, the man claimed his computer had been hacked into and then explained he had meant the statements as a joke. He had apparently made them because he didn't believe that, contrary to popular belief, that doing so wouldn't alert the police.

A Blizzard representative is quoted as saying that the chat logs were "very serious" and didn't seem to be just jokes however she declined to show the logs to indystar.com. The man's PC was seized as evidence and the cased turned over to the FBI. We'll let you know more as we hear it but the moral message here is simple: don't threaten to blow up planes in Azeroth. It's not smart.

WoW gamer threatens to blow up plane originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Minutes of Fame: Learn to game, to game to learn - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST


15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Fun is a great motivator for learning - but you knew that, didn't you, World of Warcraft player? Think of all the math you've used poring over DPS charts and gear stats, all the reading you've done deciphering terse quest instructions ... the research you've put in to decode what you need to know and then where to find it ... the tactical analyses you've ground out figuring out how to get that last boss to fall ...

Peggy Sheehy and Lucas Gillispie came to our attention in the comments of a previous 15 Minutes of Fame about a player who teaches a college course inside the World of Warcraft. "My middle school will be starting with an after-school club (always the gateway)," wrote Peggy, "but others joining us will be implementing it with the 'at-risk' student population, the 'gifted' student group, as well as mainstream classes for specific content-area projects." This is no upstart project; Peggy established the first middle school on the Teen Grid in Second Life three years ago, while Lucas has established an online wiki where educators all over the world can collaborate on a standard-aligned curriculum for using WoW in the schools.

As Darkmaster Gandling would say, "School is in session!" 15 Minutes of Fame pulled up a chair to chat with Peggy and Lucas on using WoW as a platform for teaching.

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: Learn to game, to game to learn

15 Minutes of Fame: Learn to game, to game to learn originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Wherein Alex renames himself Nostradamus - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 14:00:00 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.

After a year of writing this thing, I've run out of quirky ways to introduce this thing that don't reek of veiled desperation. So screw the veil. Along with your question in today's edition of The Queue, I want you to write an introduction for the next edition of this column that I write, which will be the day after tomorrow. I will pick the best of the bunch to use. Keep it clean!

crusherkid asked...


"I've read reports that because of the servers going down in China that World of Warcraft has dropped down to only 5 million subscribers. Is that correct?"

Continue reading The Queue: Wherein Alex renames himself Nostradamus

The Queue: Wherein Alex renames himself Nostradamus originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Fan of Knives mechanics deep-dive - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 13:00:00 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 Fan of Knives, and how to get the most out of it.

One of the great Rogues on my server recently released a video, showcasing some unique world PvP clips. All of them involved aerial kills using Killing Spree and engineering items to blow up a target on a flying mount. I showed this video to a few of my friends who also play Rogues, and many of them were surprised that you could successfully kill opponents in midair, and that Killing Spree was even usable while moving.

The conversation that followed revealed that they were unaware of several other Rogue mechanics that aren't typically covered in your average "how to Rogue" guide or even completely understood by veterans who've been playing for years. I decided to do some intensive testing and exploration into a few of these mechanical anomalies that still elude even experienced raiders and arena combatants alike. I focused on Fan of Knives in particular, as this is the newest spell added to our arsenal.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Fan of Knives mechanics deep-dive

Encrypted Text: Fan of Knives mechanics deep-dive originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Restless by Neoz - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST


Restless
is the first machinima effort by a new author named Neoz. It's a story-based music video, featuring a few of Wrath of the Lich King's general themes. An undead scourge kills some innocent bystanders in Dalaran, motivating a human warrior to give chase on a quest for vengeance. While the pair of fighters battle it out in Northrend's rocky terrain, the human realizes that the undead was actually once a friend.

While the story itself may be standard fare, I think Neoz gave the visual effects of Restless a lot of energy and power. For a new machinima author, especially, Restless is a fast-paced treat. I think Neoz did a great job keeping the action moving.

The music selection for Restless is obviously a remixed version of a Linkin Park song. I usually reserve Linkin Park lyrics for Livejournal and angsty blog posts, but I actually really liked what Neoz did with it in Restless. The music matches the action perfectly, and Neoz didn't drown his story in gothic tropes.

Overall, I really liked the video, and I can't wait to see what Neoz does next.

[Via WarCraftMovies.com]


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: Restless by Neoz originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 11:00:00 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.
Blogger compares Aion to WoW and WAR
Keen has two blog posts up discussing the similarities and differences between Aion and World of Warcraft and Warhammer Online. The first thing you should bear in mind is that he has not played Aion all the way through to the end game, even though he has "finished" both other MMOs. The second thing of note is that these points of comparison were requested by his readers.
More server consolidations in WAR?
Less than three weeks after launching Land of the Dead, the Warhammer Online Herald is reporting another round of free transfers from several source servers to a few destination servers. Members of Ironfist, Vortex, Monolith, Magnus, and Skull Throne have been urged to transfer to more populated servers. Players on all servers are being rewarded with an extra 20% experience and renown bonus to mark the occasion.
Emergent behavior to be produced in Trion's Heroes of Telara
Emergence is one of the aspects that many MMOs aspired to, only to drop in favor of static storytelling. The problem with emergence is that simple decisions would have a compounding impact on the world. Heroes would solve problems, only to perhaps create further problems with their implemented solutions. Most game architecture can't handle decision making of that nature, as it would need developers to constantly code in the new events that would occur.
George Lucas involved with The Old Republic
This may not come as much of a surprise to Star Wars fans but according to BioWare's own Ray Muzyka, George Lucas is keeping an eye on Star Wars: The Old Republic. Of course, Lucas tends to keep an eye on generally everything LucasArts does, so this isn't so much a revelation as it is confirmation. Although it's important to point out that Muzyka has never personally shown anything to Lucas, not even that awesome CG trailer from E3, apparently.

Continue reading MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Dream big - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


"I finally got my Red Proto-Drake and took a tour all over Northrend showing its ruby-colored hide off," writes Drager of <Synod> on Lightning's Blade. "Flying through Borean Tundra I came across this pathetic little Gorloc. At the time of my arrival he was jumping around, trying to catch a bee. I'm sure he envied its ability to fly and so easily stay out of his reach. I can only imagine the extreme shock and awe that hit him when he saw me hovering above in all my rubicund glory. You can see the look of astonishment on his face." Thirty-six points for the use of 'rubicund' on a triple word score, Drager.

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 with dead gnomes, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Dream big originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumor: Ozzy Osbourne at BlizzCon? - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 09:30:00 EST


This is still rumor central here, but according to Zakk Wylde's Twitter account, we might be seeing a level of rock heads and tails above what Level 70 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain can offer at this year's BlizzCon. We might be getting Ozzy Freaking Osbourne.

Wylde's Tweet made it sound like he was surprised to hear the news (well, other news, but considering this was said in the same e-breath...), as if he heard it through the grapevine himself. Combine that with the fact that Ozzy at BlizzCon is such an absurdly amazing notion and you get one skeptical blogger. Still, I'd love to see it. Think of the possibilities! Ozzy and the crew doing L80ETC's I Am Murloc? ...Wait, actually, that would be hella lame. Let's pretend I never said that. I'm pretty okay with Ozzy doing his usual thing.

Considering this news came from Zakk Wylde's Twitter account, I feel it necessary to link this picture he posted a few days ago, posing with his new guitar.

[Thanks for the tip, Centipede!]

Rumor: Ozzy Osbourne at BlizzCon? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jay Mohr will return at BlizzCon 2009 - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST


Folks that paid attention to BlizzCon 2008 last year will remember the comedian Jay Mohr acting as host and funnyman. And while Blizzard has yet to announce it, WoW.com has been able to independently confirm that Jay Mohr will be back for BlizzCon 2009 this year, August 21st and 22nd at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

This year's BlizzCon promises to be big. The WoW.com staff is pretty much all in agreement that we'll have to hear something about the next expansion, and the recent trademark registration of Cataclysm really lends a lot of credence to that.

Of course perhaps the best part of BlizzCon is the costumes. After all, who doesn't want to see a pirate girl, two demons girls giving a kiss to a surprised kid, a turtle mount?

[Thanks to Sean Bryant for the original tip!]


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.

Jay Mohr will return at BlizzCon 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What Race or Organization should make a return in the Expansion? - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST
So I've been thinking a lot about lore lately, and one thing that's been nagging for a long time is how fast some really cool and interesting storyline and organizations seem to fade into the background once the patch or zone that focuses on them is over and done.

Example prime might be the Ethereals. They were an amazing group. The Consortium was Goblins except with actual charisma, business savvy, common sense, and inventions that worked. The Protectorate was a pretty badass group of elite fighters battling the forces of darkness. Even the Ethereum had a story of tragedy and corruption to make the Scarlet Crusade look like amateurs at the whole fanatic game.

But in Wrath? Okay, we get some Ethereum hanging out with Malygos' posse, but that's it. Poof. Ethereals are all but gone. I would have loved to see them selling their Eco-dome tech to settlers in Northrend's snowy areas or something, or handing us monthly gem bags for Frost Wyrm Ivory.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: What Race or Organization should make a return in the Expansion?

Breakfast Topic: What Race or Organization should make a return in the Expansion? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday Morning Post: Breakfast of Champions edition - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 07:00:00 EST


It's Tuesday morning, and you know what that means: downtime. On the plus side, we here on the US Servers don't have any more complicated type of down times with various groups of servers getting extra downtime seemingly at random and so on. Then again, that just means we all get to suffer through extended downtime together, from 3 AM to 11 AM Pacific.

Luckily, there's tons to read about while you wait out the downtime. In probably the biggest PTR news this week, Coliseum testing is now well underway (despite some hiccups at the start), and we were in the middle of it. We have galleries of some of the 5-man loot we discovered and first hand impressions of the place. Check out more news after the break:

Continue reading Tuesday Morning Post: Breakfast of Champions edition

Tuesday Morning Post: Breakfast of Champions edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Realm maintenance for July 14th - Tue, 14 Jul 2009 00:30:00 EST
The Breaking News box has recently cropped up in-game, announcing tomorrow's maintenance for North American realms. As you can see in the image to the right, servers will be down from 3:00 AM PDT until roughly 11:00 AM PDT, assuming all goes well. If you're not sure what time this is in your timezone, use this timezone conversion tool.

You know the drill, guys. WoW.com will, as always, be here all throughout the maintenance to cure your boredom. For you European readers, remember that some of you will be hit with an extended maintenance later on, which we've posted about already.

Realm maintenance for July 14th originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 14 Jul 2009 00:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: A look at the Q&A - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST


Crimson broth slides from pricked fingers. Droplets falling listlessly to a blank page below, leaving trails of vital ink in their wake. The sanguine blemishes blot, and shift. They twist and writhe on the page as though in agony, contorting into shapes, which become letters, which form words. The Warlock has sealed his legacy. A Blood Pact is forged.

After an arduously long wait, Blizzard finally rolled around to Warlocks in their series of Class Question and Answer sessions, and we got some questions answered. Or did we? In the past I've often been told that I'm far too forgiving of Blizzard, that I tend to support their position too easily. But even I couldn't help but feel dejected after this Q&A session. It would be hyperbole to say that we didn't get any answers, but it certainly seems like you could replace most of the answers we got with "maybe we'll address this someday, possibly," without losing too much in translation.

The questions themselves weren't bad. I often find Q&As and Interviews disappointing, because the things I care about are never asked, but that wasn't the case with this. Some people have complained to me that several of the questions were frivolous, but I honestly think it's about damn time Warlocks got some kind of official acknowledgment on the green fire issue. That said, many of the answers were, at best, vague and unhelpful, and evasive at worst.

Whatever the overall merit, however, the Q&A was long enough that I wont waste any more of my word count introducing it. So lets jump right into analyzing individual answers shall we?

Continue reading Blood Pact: A look at the Q&A

Blood Pact: A look at the Q&A originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Patch 3.2, Ulduar, and newbies - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 19:00:00 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: Patch 3.2, Ulduar, and newbies originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask a Lore Nerd: Looking to the future - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

This week I have a special request: I want any questions you might have about potential future expansions. Any questions at all are welcome, but I'm on a speculation kick recently, so next week's column will probably focus on the future and then we'lll be back to our regular deal after that. So no matter whether you think the Maelstrom could be next or something else entirely, ask!

Mark asked...


"Any chance that the Vrykul will be a playable race in a future expansion?"

Continue reading Ask a Lore Nerd: Looking to the future

Ask a Lore Nerd: Looking to the future originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Time change for this week's European extended maintenance - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST
European Blue Ancilorn has updated the times for this week's extended maintenance which will affect a large percentage of realms. We mentioned the extended maintenance to you last week and that Ancilorn was keen to make sure players had an "opportunity to plan accordingly".

The selected realms will be offline from 1:00am to 3:00pm CEST, not
3:00am until 5:00pm CEST as we previously reported. The following servers are affected by the extended downtime:

Balnazzar, Bloodfeather, Darksorrow, Defias Brotherhood, Earthen Ring, Frostwhisper, Genjuros, Haomarush, Hellscream, Laughing Skull, Lightning's Blade, Magtheridon, Neptulon, Nordrassil, Quel'Thalas, Ragnaros, Ravencrest, Runetotem, Shadowmoon, Shadowsong, Shattered Hand, Silvermoon, Skullcrusher, Spinebreaker, Stormrage, Stormreaver, Stormscale, Sylvanas, Terenas, The Maelstrom, The Venture Co, Thunderhorn, Turalyon, Twisting Nether and Vashj.

Time change for this week's European extended maintenance originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: A PTR preview of 5-man Crusader's Coliseum Tank loot for Death Knights - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column, where all Daniel Whitcomb wants is his runeblade back. But he'll settle for a sweet axe if he must.

Ok, Casual and non-raiding 2 hand wielding Death Knights, you might want to sit down, because I have some big news for you: You may finally be able to chuck that Titansteel Destroyer. That's right, we're getting a new, higher level epic weapon in Patch 3.2's 5-man Crusader's Coliseum. The loot we're seeing come out of the Coliseum is all epic, and all amazing, and if you haven't even been to Naxxramas yet, either by choice or by lack of time or opportunity, you're going to have a reason to love the coliseum.

Weighing in at a whopping 203.7 DPS with a high end damage of 856, the Edge of Ruin is pretty much the dream for any serious casual Death Knight. It's right up there with Death's Bite or Armageddon from Naxxramas. The only downside is that it's an axe instead of a suitably awesome sword, and that it switches out hit rating for armor penetration, which means you may need to do some regemming to stay at the hit cap. Other than that, this is probably the number one thing you want to be gunning for once the Coliseum goes live. It even has a big chunk of strength and stamina, making it great for tanking as well.

Of course, that's not all you'll want to grab out of the Coliseum. Let's start with the tank loot.

Continue reading Lichborne: A PTR preview of 5-man Crusader's Coliseum Tank loot for Death Knights

Lichborne: A PTR preview of 5-man Crusader's Coliseum Tank loot for Death Knights originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dan Jolley talks about TOKYOPOP's Death Knight manga - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST
Things have been a little bit quiet on the manga front, but not for long. Warcraft Legends editor Troy Lewter has pinned down Dan Jolley, writer for the forthcoming Thassarian-centric volume Warcraft: Death Knight, and posted the interview with him on the official TOKYOPOP site.

To be fair, the interview is not as focused on the manga as the one we did with Jolley a couple of months ago but it does look at how writing for the anthology volumes of the series compare with a longer story. Lewter also quizzes Jolley about how he got into the business and the last question about sharks and bears is also worth the read alone.

For those waiting on the release of Warcraft: Death Knight, it might give some new insight into how manga happens. Don't forget, you can also check out our interviews with both Dan Jolley and Troy Lewter.

Dan Jolley talks about TOKYOPOP's Death Knight manga originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: Comotu of Executus - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, Furious, 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. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player.

Comotu is the Paladin in the 5v5 team "ROFL My Copter," the 3v3 team "RMP," and the 2v2 team "COMOFOLD." While developing his skills since Season 2, Comotu has had the opportunity to work with several players. Even more importantly, he's preparing himself and his team to excel in future seasons.

Comotu spent some time with The Colosseum, talking about how he came about playing a Paladin, how his teams got together, and what kind of dynamics he experiences in current matches. Check out what he had to say behind the cut.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Comotu of Executus

The Colosseum: Comotu of Executus originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Best in slot - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

The phrase "best in slot" has taken on an almost untouchable mythos. It's not hard to see why. The experts spend a large amount of time crunching numbers and evaluating items for every spec of each class. They write software just for the purpose of telling you what items are better. When those people say that an item is the best in slot, that's the one. That is the item for the slot, and no better item exists. Anything else is just a placeholder until you get the best.

Of course, a lot depends on what other gear you are wearing. Even so, as raiders, those best-in-slot pieces are highly desirable. But what if our best in slot isn't our main armor type?

Hi Scott,

Recently my guild has gotten into what's turning out to be a hot debate.

It all started when a Paladin and Shaman both rolled on a mail belt; now this item was a best in slot piece for the Paladin but the officer automatically dismissed the Paladin's roll because "Paladin's normally wear plate and Shaman normally wear mail" and this was the only reason that the Shaman was awarded the piece over the Paladin. The pally did state before it was awarded that it was a BiS piece for him, but that fell on deaf ears.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Best in slot

Officers' Quarters: Best in slot originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: B Mashina - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST


B Mashina
by Free Dwarf Studios is a little odd compared to our usual movies. It's a music video, featuring the work of gothic industrial band Laibach. (No doubt someone will disagree about Laibach's genre, but I'm just trying to summarize here, not write a music theory thesis.)

The author says that he had to struggle with the video, because he was constrained by the 100MB limitation. I'm not quite sure why Free Dwarf had that limitation, but the video seems to suffer a little from it.

Overall, I actually really liked the video as a sort of moody, experiential piece. While I'm not sure I could stay glued to my monitor to watch it over and over, B Mashina seems like it could set the mood for a trendy dance club somewhere. I felt like the video had a point, even if I couldn't tell you exactly what that point was.


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: B Mashina originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: Sounds like a whole new Stratholme - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by contacting our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) -- not-for-profit work only, please.

In this week's World of WarCrafts, the "dark and haunting tale" of Stratholme comes alive with a custom audio build from Ashram of Darksorrow-EU. Ashram paid a visit to the burning city, capturing it on video and then setting it to all-new audio - from spell effects to NPC voicing to birds cawing in the background, all set against an atmospheric soundtrack that injects an eerie edge of desperation to an instance that's become old hat.

Ashram brings a good bit of recording and audio experience to the project, having spent several years singing in a band and recording most of their material. "This is the first time I've ever attempted something like this with a full rebuild of a game's audio," he admitted. "This project was much more complex than anything I'd ever attempted before."

We visited with Ashram (thanks for the tip, Foulbourne!) to learn how he brought dread and despair back to old Stratholme.

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: Sounds like a whole new Stratholme

World of WarCrafts: Sounds like a whole new Stratholme originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Where eagles dare - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


Sputnik of <Bizarro Knights> on Azjol-Nerub-EU writes, "I was in Storm Peaks when I decided to fly around a little in my Swift Flight Form. I decided to go take a look around Icecrown. A real, close look. I flew around the Icecrown Citadel, swooping in and out of the structure. I did not realize how beautiful, and yet rather scary the area was! With the surrounding weather and daunting atmosphere I decided to head on to Dalaran to land, but just as I left, there was a stunning moment of the setting sun shining in the distance as I flew, showing the Icecrown Citadel on the left, and the pathway to a more hopeful feeling on the right."

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: Where eagles dare originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 98 with special guest Medros - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST


Yes, our friend Medros of All Things Azeroth joined us on the podcast last week for an extra long show, and what we can say? There was just tons of things to talk about. Medros, Turpster, our own Lesley Smith and I answered your emails (including updates on faction changes as well as the big response we got from fans of Ensidia last week), and talked about the most popular stories from the World of Warcraft. Of course we didn't need the chat channel to remind us of the Worgen pet issue (though they reminded us anyway), we talked about Tom Chilton's interview and the chance that WoW may one day go "free to play," and we talked about Bind to Account items twice: how they'll work with faction changes in the future, and what items like the Tome of Cold Weather Flight tell us about Blizzard's plans for the future.

Lots of laughs were had, and hopefully we gave out some insight as well. Enjoy the show, and we'll see you next week. I'll still be out of town, so we're not quite sure when it'll be broadcasting live yet, but stay tuned here to WoW.com -- we'll let you know as soon as we do. Or just subscribe up in iTunes, and you'll get every show sent directly to your iPod every week like clockwork. And if you do head over there, be sure to toss us a rating and/or a review -- the more you put in there, the merrier we'll be. Thanks!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

WoW Insider Show Episode 98 with special guest Medros originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Pick a faction, any faction... - Mon, 13 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST


It's one of the first choices you make when you start to play: Alliance or Horde? Horde or Alliance? Orcs or Elves? From thence forward, your entire gaming experience is defined by this decision. So -- which way did you choose? Do you fight for the glory of the Alliance? Or for the honor of the Horde? And whatever you chose... why? Did a particular race appeal to you? Were you joining friends? Do tell!

View Poll

Breakfast Topic: Pick a faction, any faction... originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Premonition grabs US-First Alone in the Darkness - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 23:00:00 EST


Yogg-Saron's woes continue, as the Guild Premonition of the US Sen'jin server, Alliance side, becomes the first US guild and the third guild in the world to get the Alone in the Darkness Achievement, thereby also earning the Death's Demise title. Alone in the Darkness requires you to defeat Yogg Saron without the help of any Keepers, thereby eschewing the requisite buffs they give. They're hot on the heels of Paragon, which got the EU first kill, and Stars, which got the world first (and by extension, Taiwan first) kill.

This is definitely a difficult achievement, and, some argue, possibly even harder than killing Algalon himself. Congratulations, Premonition!

Premonition grabs US-First Alone in the Darkness originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: Out of Character - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 22:00:00 EST


All the World's a Stage. It really is. All the World of Warcraft is a actually a stage -- and all its orcs and humans merely players, each one with a role to play.

When people hear about roleplayers in WoW for the first time, some get the impression that we take our little game of "let's pretend" way too seriously, that everything we do in the game has to be some sort of mind-blowing expression of our innermost true feelings. But the truth of the matter is that only a portion of what we do in the game involves stories and character -- a lot of what we do and say to other players is not "in character" at all. In fact, our out-of-character (OOC) communication is essential in order to properly enjoy the in-character (IC) elements, and good roleplayers do a lot of cool things to help make both sides complement each other.

Much of what roleplayer does is out of character, and rightly so. Even just pushing buttons in order to activate abilities could be considered "OOC" -- in a way, the only character you can ever totally immerse yourself in is... yourself. Any time you play a role that isn't yourself, there's always some part you which is there in the background, knowing that it's all just a show. You can't really ignore your true self -- you have to let it guide and inform every part of the role you play.

The same is true when roleplaying in WoW. Roleplay is strengthened when you open up and accept OOC communication with others, establish real relationships in addition to those your characters create. Actors in a play have to support each other as real people or their play will fail, and in the same way, the honest communication we open up with our roleplaying friends can sometimes be what defines our roleplaying experience and gives it true meaning.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: Out of Character

All the World's a Stage: Out of Character originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Real-life WoW-style name tags - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST

Now this is the sort of thing YouTube was made for. Aram Bartholl, a German artist "famous for his exploration of the relationship between the digital and physical world," did a WoW-inspired project at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, CA yesterday afternoon. It looks like it was a repetition of the project in the video above, which took place in Germany Belgium (sorry!) in 2008.

Essentially, he has participants construct big floaty name tags, like the names that show up over your characters' heads. The people then walk around the city with the tags floating over them, held by additional participants. The overall effect is pretty cool. If anyone was in Laguna yesterday, I want pictures and/or video, please.

Real-life WoW-style name tags originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Online gaming up in the US - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST

Our economy may still be pretty much in the gutter, but one industry is still going strong. If you glanced at what site you were reading this on and guessed "online gaming," congrats! You win a gold star. Here you go: .

Anyway, according to this industry report featured on GameSpot, online gaming overall (including MMOs, in turn including WoW) was up 22% year-over-year in May 2009. 87.1 million people were estimated to game online in the USA, an impressive 28% of our estimated total population.

Of course, a huge chunk of this is browser-based games (think Bejeweled or Yahoo! Games). WoW is apparently the 21st most popular "online locale," clocking in at 2.2 million US visitors. Still, I'd say 21st isn't bad for a game with a subscription fee; 2.2 million players at $15 a month is $33 million a month (assuming the each have exactly one account). The next-closest MMO, according to this report, is RuneScape, at 202,000 players. Really? Aren't there other MMOs with more than that?

Anyway, online gaming, like online everything else, is on the rise. Single-player, localized games are starting to feel positively quaint, although I still think Chrono Trigger is the best computer RPG of all time.

Online gaming up in the US originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What If We Lost: An argument for losing a major lore-based battle - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST
Warning: This article does contain spoilers for the Argent Coliseum Raid. If you want to be surprised, skip this article!

There's a pretty long thread going on in the General Forums right now that makes an interesting request of the dev team: Let us lose. The argument goes that we've been sort of steamrolling our way through massive challenges and insurmountable odds pretty much the whole raid game, and it's just getting boring. Nothing feels like a threat anymore. We know we're going to defeat it and move on. We need to shake things up.

The more I think about it, the more I like it. Why not let us be on the losing side, at least for a few patches? The Lich King himself could use a bit of help in that vein, for sure. The early leveling game did manage to conjure up a few heart-stopping moments where Arthas "let us win," but when it was time to take that to the next level, it seems like Blizzard's sort of backed off and gone stale. Now, we're holding a Ren Faire on his front lawn while his scourge mostly mills around aimlessly and doesn't make more than a token attempt to do anything threatening.

There would be no quicker way to get him to burst back on the scene by having him or one of his lieutenants deal us a devastating blow, one which we will find it hard to recover from.

Continue reading What If We Lost: An argument for losing a major lore-based battle

What If We Lost: An argument for losing a major lore-based battle originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to get your blog crashed by WoW.com - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST


Every day, our tip line gets a number of requests for link exchanges, publicity, and feedback on whether a post would be good for inclusion in the Daily Quest. We're really happy to be able to direct traffic to bloggers with good information, but sometimes we get requests that leave us baffled, uncomfortable, or both. While it's pretty easy to deal with some of these (gold-selling sites wishing to advertise here are a quick, "No thanks"), some of them come from otherwise well-meaning bloggers who want a link, but who may not get the desired results from one. Naturally this leaves us with a bit of a dilemma, and these are the things I think about while nosing around incoming links and my own list of favorite blogs:

Please don't ask us to link your blog. Ask us to link a post.

Even if we love your site and we read it all the time, we still need a reason to link you that's relevant to a subject we're writing about. Readers dislike getting recommendations like "It's a great blog!" or "You're going to love it!" Uh, why is it a great blog? Why should they love it?

Nothing speaks so loudly or effectively as a great post on a good topic. Moreover, if we're linking a post of yours, your blog's main page should be linked as well. Even if we got dumb and forgot, it should be a simple matter for readers to find your central page (and you've got a design problem on your hands if they can't).

Continue reading How to get your blog crashed by WoW.com

How to get your blog crashed by WoW.com originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: The state of the Mage, volume 3 - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST



Every once in awhile, on a semi-regular basis, at randomly determined intervals, Arcane Brilliance (a weekly Mage column that is apparently also self-aware) likes to indulge in a little self analysis. Unsurprisingly, Arcane Brilliance's verdict is usually positive. Arcane Brilliance thinks very highly of itself, an attribute about which you may already have become painfully cognizant, if you have even briefly glanced at any Arcane Brilliances previous to this one.

Yes, we've done this before. But in a persistent game like WoW, where the nature of things are in such constant flux, I like to take a step back every now and again, gain a bit of perspective, and take a long look at the class I love and its place within that ever-fluid world. I choose this week, as we approach the second major content patch of this second expansion of the World of Warcraft, to do so once more.

On my imaginary WoW timeline (and in this case, when I say "imaginary," I mean completely made up), I have patch 3.2 as the literal midpoint of the game, halfway through the game's middle expansion. There will be one more major content patch in this expansion, and then three more expansions will follow. The next will be called "Maelstrom," followed by a fourth expansion called "Return of the Wrath of the Lich King," and finally, the long awaited but ultimately disappointing fifth expansion, titled "This is pretty much it, guys, now go buy WoW 2...um...of the Lich King." It is as logical a place as any to take a look at the state of the Mage class. Join me after the break for as much commentary as you can stand on Mages: where we've come from, where we are at this very moment, and where the class seems to be going as we march on into a future almost guaranteed to be nothing like my imaginary and completely ridiculous made-up timeline.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: The state of the Mage, volume 3

Arcane Brilliance: The state of the Mage, volume 3 originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Stars discuss their Yogg+0 kill - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST

You've probably heard that the Chinese guild Stars has pulled off the world-first Alone in the Darkness, killing Yogg-Saron with no watchers helping. You may have seen the video they posted of their winning strategy. But here's something even more interesting, for me: a Q&A with the guild about their strategy and their experience with the fight.

It was originally in Chinese, but a poster on the MMO-Champion forums did a translation. It's a really interesting read. For one thing, Affliction Warlocks turned out to be the most valuable class, since DPS have to turn away periodically in phase 3 to avoid Lunatic Gaze and a heavy DoT-based class doesn't lose as much doing this.

Continue reading Stars discuss their Yogg+0 kill

Stars discuss their Yogg+0 kill originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: You had us at "Toolhelm" - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST


Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Would a Maelstrom expansion mean the return of Maiev Shadowsong? At least one WoW.com reader hopes not.

Kylenne: For the love of everything holy, I hope he's wrong about Maiev. I don't think there's anyone I hate more than her in all of the lore, up to and including the various jerkfaces we've come to know and hate in WoW (including Fandouche Toolhelm). Probably my favorite mission in TFT was killing her over and over to save Illidan from her little red wagon. I'm kind of sad she didn't end up entombed with her girlfriend in Suramar.

Really, she inspires some pretty bad nerd rage in me. I would take an entire raid of nothing but Murlocs before having to deal with that chick again.

You had us at "Toolhelm."

Continue reading [1.Local]: You had us at "Toolhelm"

[1.Local]: You had us at "Toolhelm" originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Imitation of life - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


Not content with the current druid tree form, Bruincub of <Preemptive Retribution> on Silver Hand wants to upgrade to something a bit more intimidating. However, posing like an Ancient Conservator isn't enough to turn you into one. This might be a good thing. Sure, Conservator's Grip would be killer in Wintergrasp, and you could start some epic tree vs. tree battles outside of Darnassus. But the fun would wear off about the time you realize you can no longer fit through the door to repair in Orgrimmar and all your armor starts growing kudzu.

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: Imitation of life originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: If you wannabe - Sun, 12 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST
This week's list is short but sweet. Tried and true. We're still missing Disgraph (cries) but most others are present and accounted for.

Sunday Morning Funnies: If you wannabe originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 12 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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