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Addon Spotlight: Achievements - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST
I have to say; at first I was not a fan of the new Achievement system. Feathers in my cap didn't intersest me on Xbox Live, and even Warhammer Online's achievement system didn't do much for me during my short stint as a Marauder. I don't think I could attribute my newfound obsession to any genius on the part of Blizzard, but I do have to admit that I've fallen for achievements in World of Warcraft. Perhaps it has something to do with the massive amount of time played, or a sense of having been there and done that. Naturally this led me to start mixing my passion for achievements with my passion for addons. This week, we're going to take a look at a few addons specifically built to enhance or simply the new system.

Let's start with one bearing a name alluding to one of my favorite movies. Urban Achiever replaces the default Achievement UI. It adds a search feature, making it easy to find an achievement amongst the many available. It also replaces the tracking feature, while even automatically tracking time achievements when they begin. Players can track up to five achievements at a time. In the end, this one is really a matter of preference.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: Achievements

Addon Spotlight: Achievements originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wrath 101: Wintergrasp zone overview - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST


These days, my schedule revolves around partitions of two and a half hours. This is the time I allot for meals, errands, work, showers, and most other mundane things. In between those two and a half hours, I take a break from whatever I'm doing and play ten to forty minutes of Wintergrasp. Ever since I made my way into the zone, I've made it my second home in the World of Warcraft. I log out in Wintergrasp about as often as I do in Dalaran. I know I said that PvP is sort of pointless right now, but Wintergrasp is the most fun I've had in Wrath and the game in a while. Nowadays, whenever I dream, I dream of siege vehicles and exploding walls and towers.

Wintergrasp is the smallest zone in Northrend, bordered by Sholazar Basin, Icecrown, and Dragonblight. It is a PvP zone, which flags all players entering it for PvP. This isn't an issue on PvP servers, but on normal or RP servers, this makes everyone in the zone fair game. There is no physical way to access Wintergrasp other than through a flying mount, creating a natural Level barrier of 77 although lower-level players can be summoned or take the portal from Dalaran. It is my favorite zone in Wrath of the Lich King, although it isn't without its flaws.

Gallery: Wintergrasp

Continue reading Wrath 101: Wintergrasp zone overview

Wrath 101: Wintergrasp zone overview originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Military Quarter) - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we visit some Death Knights in their natural habitat.

Are you a fan of our new death knight brethren? If so, you're in for a treat: there are plenty of them in store for you in this quarter of Naxxramas, as we continue our journey towards Kel'Thuzad's throne. Our whistlestop tour will pop in and visit Instructor Razuvious, Gothik the Harvester and finally the Four Horsemen, whose charismatic yells punctuate the wing as a whole.

Remember, if you want everything to be a surprise, don't read beyond the cut!

Continue reading Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Military Quarter)

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Military Quarter) originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gearing up your Holy Paladin for Crit - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST


Mmmm, Crit and Holy. For a long time these two have been BFFs, and Crit was always a priority for Holy Paladins. So much, in fact, that the proliferation of Crit plate in The Burning Crusade and the mad scramble to stack it resulted in the great Illumination nerf of 2007 (to borrow a phrase from BRK). In my gear guide for Haste, some of you asked why I prioritized Haste over other seemingly important stats like Intellect, MP5, or even Crit. Well, I didn't, really. Most Spell Power plate will already have Intellect, so all you really have to do is avoid the ones that don't.

I've never been a big fan of MP5 on Plate, as it is a poor man's substitute for Crit after Illumination was nerfed in Patch 2.1. It isn't specially important now, either, with the help of Divine Plea. Spell Power values only differ by a small margin between items, so I tend not to prioritize that. Haste and Crit tend to be the values that I look for in items because it's easier to pad Spell Power through enchants than it is to raise Haste and Crit. Both are good stats, although nowadays I tend to pursue Haste because I want my heals to land faster. It's extremely useful when healing Death Knights, for example, who tend to take large spikes of damage.

Continue reading Gearing up your Holy Paladin for Crit

Gearing up your Holy Paladin for Crit originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Forum post of the day: No really, you are not prepared - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST
Khanagi of Maelstrom sent out a plea in the official forums for players to be prepared when they group up for a heroic instance. His main complains is that as a Warrior Tank, he is often out DPSing the DPS. He feels that everyone in the group has a job to do, and many are falling short of their appointed task. His sentiment was met with considerable agreement from responders, who pointed out that AOE tanks will often have high DPS. This does not excuse the DPS from their responsibilities.

Back in the day, when Burning Crusade was launched, one had to be revered to get their heroic instance keys. This meant you had to grind out reputation with a particular faction to get the heroic key, usually through the highest level instance. This changed in Patch 2.3.0, which lowered the requirement to honored. At that time, there was much rejoicing. Honored reputation with a faction can easily be achieved with leveling quests. You no longer have to cross the threshold of a dungeon to meet this requirement.


Continue reading Forum post of the day: No really, you are not prepared

Forum post of the day: No really, you are not prepared originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Feral staves no more in patch 3.0.8 - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST
So back in another life, when I was a Druid, there was always something that got me a little hot and bothered: Seeing another class with a feral weapon. Sometimes it was a Night Elf Hunter running around Hellfire peninsula with an Ursol's Claw, sometimes it was a Gnome Warrior hanging in Shattrath with a Terestian's Stranglestaff.

Whatever it was, it always bothered me a bit. I wondered if they had just taken it because there was no Druid in the group, or if there was some poor feral scrub out there wandering lost and lonely without a feral weapon because some guy who couldn't even use all that delicious feral attack power wanted it for the agility or whatever. I have to admit, though, many feral staves are some of the coolest looking items in game, so I wouldn't necessarily blame them for taking one.

After Patch 3.0.8, they'll have even more reason to take them.

Continue reading Feral staves no more in patch 3.0.8

Feral staves no more in patch 3.0.8 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Working at Blizzard: Sunshine, rainbows, claymores, backrubs - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST
I know what you're thinking! "If anyone could write up a scandalous exposé of what working at Blizzard is really like, it'd be our old pal Mike. I bet he's got the inside scoop of what goes on at Big Blue behind closed doors. I paid for the whole seat but I'll only need the edge."

Yeah, well. I'm going to disappoint you here and instead link you to an article from the OC Register, longtime reporter of all news Blizzard given the company's stature in the SoCal business world. They interviewed Blizzard COO Paul Sams about the studio's recent award of "One of the best places to work in Orange County" and why that award was deserved.


Continue reading Working at Blizzard: Sunshine, rainbows, claymores, backrubs

Working at Blizzard: Sunshine, rainbows, claymores, backrubs originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New items show up in Patch 3.0.8 - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 10:30:00 EST


While we've gotten a glimpse of the two new Kirin-Tor rings that Adam gushed about, more items have shown up on the PTR for Patch 3.0.8, such as the promised Sigils for Death Knights. One, in particular, is the much-needed tanking Sigil. Death Knights, who have no shields for mitigation, thirst mightily for Defense, many even going to the point of looking for Burning Crusade enchants such the Enchant Bracer - Major Defense. The Sigil of the Unfaltering Knight should help relieve that need, and is available for fifteen Emblems of Heroism.

Notable changes include the availability of rare Northrend gems from pimp daddy Harold Winston in Dalaran, purchaseable with ten Emblems of Heroism. PvP gear will finally become available with 3.0.8, as well. Savage, Hateful, and Deadly Gladiator gear purchaseable from various sources, from the Arena vendors in Dalaran to the Honor vendors in capital cities. More interestingly, new boots and helm pieces, as well as trinkets will be available in Wintergrasp for Wintergrasp Marks of Honor. Prior to 3.0.8, the Marks were purely cosmetic, but the new patch will allow players to buy account-bound Honor as well as gear. A comprehensive list of the items can be viewed over at World of Raids and MMO Champion,

New items show up in Patch 3.0.8 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Nature's hot tub - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST


Sardo of <The Risen> on Thorium Brotherhood sends us this screenshot of his guild relaxing in an impromptu hot tub in Ashenvale. I'm pretty sure this is what a lot of people on non-roleplaying servers think RP is like. Nothing but hot baths, steamy soft-lit screens, and naked blood elf backrubs. But it's not all fun and games, people. We have to deal with scheminig guild usurpers, tribal enemies, and, of course, naked orc backrubs.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. 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 or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Nature's hot tub originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Orphan kibble - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 09:33:00 EST
It is another Sunday, and there are only 11 sleeps until Christmas. Or, more accurately, one day until the Feast of Winter Veil and a mere two maintenance days between now and the 25th, when Greatfather Winter leaves presents for all.

Sunday Morning Funnies: Orphan kibble originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 09:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What's the First thing you did when you got to Dalaran? - Sun, 14 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST


So Alex's latest Know Your Lore on Dalaran got me thinking. Now, some part of me is still sort of annoyed that Rhonin was made archmage and the Horde got to enter Dalaran with nary a peep about their tendency to kill all those citizens of Dalaran in Alterac or Silverpine, but I have to admit, Dalaran is an amazing city.

Everywhere you turn, there's something interesting going on, and every shop has its own life. The Architecture is an amazing blend of human and elven styles that looks to have organically evolved from a rich magical culture, and the atmosphere is lively without descending into the constant laughing and lag inducing sparring of the Aldor and the Shattered Sun Offensive that plagued Shattrath's outer ring. It also feels livelier and more city-like than Shattrath's strangely alien fortress and adjoining shanty town.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: What's the First thing you did when you got to Dalaran?

Breakfast Topic: What's the First thing you did when you got to Dalaran? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: Patch 3.0.8, or Blizzard's love letter to Arcane Mages - Sat, 13 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST



Each week, Arcane Brilliance gains 5,000 reputation with the Kirin Tor by writing a column about Mages. That's right, I said 5,000. Are you reading this, Kirin Tor? I'm declaring myself exalted. Give me my dagger already, you selfish jerks.


I may have mentioned this before, but I'm an Arcane Mage.

I wasn't always. I spent my initial leveling days as a pure Fire Mage, and loved it. I spent a good chunk of time PvPing as a Frost Mage, and had a glorious time. But now I'm all Arcane, all the time, and I'm as pleased with it as it is possible for an unapologetic cynic like myself to be pleased with a thing.

And so, as you can imagine, I look at the PTR 3.0.8 patch notes as Blizzard's Christmas gift to me personally. It's as if they decided, "yes, we would like to keep taking money from your credit card, Christian, and so make our product better specifically for you." Actually, that's probably exactly what they decided, only substituting the names of every person ever for my own. The difference is that for me specifically, they've actually been successful. Anytime you give me a patch that buffs my spec of choice specifically and also fails to nerf it in any way, your "give him what he wants and he will give us money for it" business model has been successful.

Follow me after the break and we'll discuss what will hereafter be referred to as patch 3.KeepChristianHappy.8 (ok, maybe not...that's incredibly cumbersome), and all that it will change for Mages, especially those of the Arcane persuasion.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Patch 3.0.8, or Blizzard's love letter to Arcane Mages

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 3.0.8, or Blizzard's love letter to Arcane Mages originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing up your Holy Paladin for Haste - Sat, 13 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST


At around this time, a good bunch of us should have hit 80 by now. A fortunate few will already be raiding, while others will slowly be gearing up for them. I've put together a quick guide to the gear that Paladins of all specs should be looking forward to. With blue, or rare, gear easily attainable through several sources, it should be extremely easy to gear up in preparation for ten- or even twenty-five man raids.

Of course, before we get all our gear, we have to have a clear idea of what we want from them considering Blizzard has seen fit to load some Plate with Haste and others with Crit. Protection Paladins have no problem because as soon as you see a Defense value, we'll know it's meant for us. Holy and Retribution don't have it as easy, and must often choose between Crit and Haste. Don't worry about Tier 7 and other raid epics -- they're loaded with both. There are benefits to both, so we'll examine those are after the break.

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing up your Holy Paladin for Haste

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing up your Holy Paladin for Haste originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Trial and error - Sat, 13 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Hello, everyone! Did you all grieve for me yesterday when The Queue never showed up? Yes, I apologize. My internet connection going down for 14 hours sort of caused some problems. But I'm back and better than ever! Well, I'm back at least. That second part is still up for debate.

Spoonman asked...

I have been hearing that the price for epic flying mount is going to drop to around 2500g, have you heard anything about this?

Continue reading The Queue: Trial and error

The Queue: Trial and error originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Dalaran rings on the PTR - Sat, 13 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST
There are two new rings that the Kirin Tor are offering to us all on the PTR (Public Test Realm). They are called the "Loop of the Kirin Tor" and the "Ring of the Kirin Tor."

These rings were added, one can assume, over a lot of protest and QQing by tanks and healers. While the two rings currently in the game can be used by both roles in some situations, they are by no means what healers or tanks would be looking for.

As a Protection Warrior I'm looking forward to this change going live. I'll have to fork over another 8,000g or so, but such is the price of epics.

A closer look at the rings and their stats after the break.

Continue reading New Dalaran rings on the PTR

New Dalaran rings on the PTR originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard misspells "Arthus" in Wrath's box - Sat, 13 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST


In the product catalog that comes with Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard misspells Arthas as "Arthus" on page six. It's pictured above for those of you not digging through your stuff to grab the catalog and see for yourself.

I'm not going to criticize the folks at Blizzard for making a spelling mistake. God only knows that I've made a number of them myself. But usually I do them without an editor or reviewer. But that's just me. I don't know enough about the situation at Blizzard to really comment otherwise.

None the less there it is, and you're free to make whatever assumptions you may make about it.

Thanks to Knuxx and Taeous for the picture and tip.

Blizzard misspells "Arthus" in Wrath's box originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW, Casually: What Patch 3.0.8 holds for casual players - Sat, 13 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime.

Patch 3.0.8 is on the horizon and there are a lot of interesting changes coming our way. Leveling will become even more convenient, some fundamental gameplay changes are being made and classes are being adjusted... again. While these changes affect everyone, I'll be going over the ones that will particularly matter to those of us with limited playtime.

(Edited to add:) What you won't see here is Dual Specs. They are scheduled for Patch 3.1.

Although this info is currently on the PTR (or Public Test Realm for those of you not into acronyms), this does not mean that it is final. A lot of things could change before this patch goes live, but as things stand, here is a list of changes to be ready for.

Continue reading WoW, Casually: What Patch 3.0.8 holds for casual players

WoW, Casually: What Patch 3.0.8 holds for casual players originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: How much is that tauren in the window? - Sat, 13 Dec 2008 10:15:00 EST


Now available for adoption at HordesMart: One three-month-old tauren calf. He answers to the name of Omaku Wildhorn. He has already learned several complete sentences, mostly involving a search for a tank or healer. Omaku has shown great kinship with the local animals, possibly foreshadowing a future career as a hunter, druid, or creepy obsessive vanity pet collector. If you adopt now, we'll throw in his blanket for free. It was knit by one of our Forsaken foster mothers. Ignore the skeletal arms -- they got tangled up in the yarn and she had to leave them there.

(Thanks to Luke for the screenshot!)

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. 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 or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: How much is that tauren in the window? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are you a Trade Chat grammar narc? - Sat, 13 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST

I don't know which is funnier, watching people in Trade Chat trying to figure out what to call someone with the Inscription profession or watching the people who get upset by it. "Inscriptionator" versus "It's SCRIBE, you morons!!" -- they are both pretty funny.

Trade Chat, as you know, includes a lot of things besides Trade chatter: Guild recruitment, LFG, general help, gold spam and, of course, every topic under the sun. It also includes a lot of typos and grammar errors. Some of them are pretty benign, but others are so bad it's hard to decipher the meaning. And then there are the pet peeves.

You're a literate bunch. Do you correct people in Trade Chat? If not, do you mind or care when people do? And doesn't it take longer to type "ne1" than it does to type "anyone"? I know it does for me.

Breakfast Topic: Are you a Trade Chat grammar narc? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Northrend Gourmet made possible in patch 3.0.8 - Fri, 12 Dec 2008 23:30:00 EST
The Northrend Gourmet has been a hot topic achievement since Northrend hit live realms, because it simply wasn't possible. Four of the required recipes were completely missing. As of the current PTR build, that's no longer true. Two of the recipes have been re-added to the game, and two recipes have been wiped out of existence. Not added to the game, but no longer an achievement requirement either.

Shoveltusk Soup and Succulent Orca Stew were the two that didn't make it back into the game, which makes one of 3.0.8's patch notes make a lot more sense. You know, the one about Shoveltusk Meat being converted to quest items? And orcas are just Chilled Meat fodder now, it seems.

Continue reading The Northrend Gourmet made possible in patch 3.0.8

The Northrend Gourmet made possible in patch 3.0.8 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Dec 2008 23:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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