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WoW Moviewatch: Gargoyles: Ji-Kun - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

Fifth Element keeps on delivering. This time, their opening portrays the crack raid team as those legendary Gargoyles. These videos are like taking a long, pleasant drink of nostalgia lemonade on a warm summer Saturday morning. My hat is continually off to these guys for the mind-blowing animations and non-stop awesomeness. It's really amazing.

It's simply a bonus that they killed Ji-Kun in the last pull of the night.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: Gargoyles: Ji-Kun originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes for April 15 - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

The latest set of patch 5.3 PTR patch notes has just dropped, and boy is it a doozy. There are some pretty significant changes in there, so let's dive right in to the highlights, as ever the full notes are after the break.
  • Shado-Pan and The August Celestials daily quests no longer have a faction prerequisite to be Revered with the Golden Lotus.
  • A Test of Valor: Reduced the amount of Valor needed for this achievement to 3000 Valor Points, down from 6000.
  • Tyrannical weapons no longer have a conquest-earned prerequisite to purchase them.
  • Picking up the Alliance or Horde flag while in a Rated Battleground now increases damage taken by 50% for characters in a tanking specialization, and increases damage taken by 20% for characters in a non-tanking specialization.
  • Demonic Gateway cast time has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 5 seconds, and can now be attacked and killed by enemy players. Each gateway has 100% of the summoning Warlock's health, and 100% of their resilience.
  • Living Bomb's periodic damage has been increased by 121%. Its explosion damage has been reduced by 78%, but now scales with additional periodic ticks added by haste, and hits all nearby targets (up from 3).
  • Shuriken Toss now deals 100% more damage in the initial ranged attack, damage is no longer doubled when used on targets farther than 10 yards away, and energy cost has been increased to 40 energy, up from 20.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes for April 15

Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes for April 15 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR: Role Check in Battleground queues - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST

One interesting change to be added to the patch 5.3 PTR is shown in the above screenshot: role check. It will be familiar to any player who has previously used the Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder tools, with the three available roles that we're all used to.

So what is it doing in the battleground finder? This is all part of Blizzard's renewed efforts to bring much-needed changes to PvP. The plan behind this alteration is to balance the number of healers on each side of a battleground, to within a tolerance of one, as Blizzard PvP Designer Brian Holinka clarifies on Twitter. What does this mean? The plan is that, while there's no set number of healers for a battleground, there should never be more than a difference of one healer between two teams in a random battleground. Gone are the days of four healers on one team and none on the other, now, if one team has two healers, the other will either have one, or three. If one team has five healers, the other will have either six or four.

While my PTR shaman can't choose it, the tank selector is still active, for now at least. Certainly, there are several battlegrounds in the random queue where a tank isn't really a useful addition to a team, and so far we haven't seen any specific mention of an attempt to balance tank numbers, but it's possible that, in a flag-capture battleground like Warsong Gulch, there is an attempt to get each team a tank.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR: Role Check in Battleground queues

Patch 5.3 PTR: Role Check in Battleground queues originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The eternal question of mounting versus running - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

There is a question that always plagues me. If I have to travel a short distance in WoW, say, from the Shado-Pan Garrison Flight Master to either the Horde or the Alliance portals to Thunder Isle, would I be better off to run on foot, or mount up?

There are various factors that ought to be considered when making such an incredibly, earth-shatteringly important decision. The biggest consideration is the summon time for a mount, firstly, which requires that your character stand still for 1.5 seconds. That time is time wasted, time which could be spent running towards your destination. And what's more, many characters have speed boosts, like Blink, Heroic Leap, Feline Swiftness, Body and Soul, and so on. Those all have to be factored into your decision: to mount or not to mount?

I posted this question on Twitter last night, and among the discussion, a mathematical force emerged. Jarre, druid blogger at Rank4HealingTouch, leapt in with some calculations. They obtained their numbers for a character's base run speed, and put together what they referred to as "a bit of napkin math".

Continue reading The eternal question of mounting versus running

The eternal question of mounting versus running originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Another take: What is the Alliance missing? - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST

Yesterday, our own Anne Stickney posted an article here on WoW Insider asking -- and trying to explain -- what the Alliance is missing in its lore, story, and gameplay. In some aspects, I agreed. In others, I did not, as any person will. We all have our own opinions and preferences when it comes to gameplay. I've been playing Alliance since World of Warcraft launched, and I've spent nearly as long contemplating why the Alliance feels so flat compared to the Horde. As long as I have this soapbox to stand on, I'm going to use it.

Action and reaction

Anne brought up the topic of active vs. proactive stories. I'm glad she did, because Anne and I discussed it together before that article was written. I want to reiterate it, because I feel it's the most important issue at hand. This problem has been made obvious in Mists of Pandaria and Cataclysm before it: the Alliance doesn't seem to have a story of its own. The Alliance has been written as a reactive entity, not proactive. On the other hand, the Horde is almost entirely proactive. The Alliance's actions only happen in the context of the Horde, but the Horde forges its own path. Take Mists of Pandaria, for example. Why is the Alliance on Pandaria? Because the Horde got there first. Why is the Alliance bringing down Garrosh Hellscream? Because Vol'jin began his rebellion and we chose to aid him and follow his lead.

Continue reading Another take: What is the Alliance missing?

Another take: What is the Alliance missing? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 7-14, 2013 - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

Every Monday evening, WoW Insider brings you a long list of WoW podcasts that were published the week and weekend before. If you don't see your favorite World of Warcraft podcast listed, just let us know in the comments. Be sure to leave a link to it, and we'll pick it up next week.

All podcasts and content belong to their owners. WoW Insider is not responsible for what you hear, and some of the content may not be safe for work.

Continue reading Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 7-14, 2013

Weekly Podcast Roundup: April 7-14, 2013 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: The chaotic influence of haste - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill may play affliction in-game, but really she's a destro 'lock IRL.

I'm starting to dislike hit rating again. Previously, with reforging, it was totally possible to sit there with 14.96%, 14.97%, 14.98%, 14.99%, or the occasional rare times I nearly hit fifteen-even, just off by a mere handful of rating points. Now, with the huge amounts of stats on our gear, I feel like we're approaching Wrath-era hit rating juggling, where a new piece means you're way under hit cap or way over hit cap.

This is not a fun stat balancing. Hit is coming back around to the pre-reforge era where it it's actually irritating to balance, not just annoying.

But I don't want to talk about spell hit this time. I want to talk about the very-coolness of haste.

Continue reading Blood Pact: The chaotic influence of haste

Blood Pact: The chaotic influence of haste originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Reworking a guild concept - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Ideas for unique guild concepts are hard to come by. This week, a guild leader who thought she had a winning formula finds out that no one is interested. Let's look at what she came up with and how we can rework her ideas to entice more recruits.

I have recently transferred from Nazgrel to the RP server of Moon Guard. I did this with a certain goal in mind, to establish an all Goblin Trade Guild. I have hit a crucial snag however and can't seem to generate any interest in my Guild idea. One major selling point of my Trade Guild would be that we would hold a monthly [Bazaar] in which other Guilds would be encouraged to join in and sell their wares along with us. Using [Gryphonheart Items] we would create an item catalog and haggle over prices. I was hoping that this would help revitalize the role play community. Nothing I have tried has worked to recruit Any suggestions?

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Reworking a guild concept

Officers' Quarters: Reworking a guild concept originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Two dead gnomes - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Why are they here? Nobody knows.

On second thought, maybe they're grummles.

@Skeptikk asked:

Read any news from Blizzard on the new spam in the calendar that players are seeing?

Continue reading The Queue: Two dead gnomes

The Queue: Two dead gnomes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Eros and Thanatos - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

We've featured these two dead dinosaurs on Around Azeroth before -- they're one of my favorite little nuggets of scenery in Pandaria. Submitter Valjae of Only the Strong on Aegwynn (US-A) apparently feels the same way, because she's chosen the remains of these doomed reptilian lovers as the site of her first blind date since her divorce. These morbid tendencies might shed some light on why her husband left her for that skanky night elf. Go find yourself a nice Forsaken, girl!

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Eros and Thanatos originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Drama Mamas guide to handling in-game harassment - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

You've tried being clear, and you've tried being firm. Somebody's on your case in game, and they're not letting up. What are your options for managing in-game harassment?

Rule #1: Managing harassment is about protecting you and your enjoyment of the game, not about stopping or changing a harasser's behavior. You can't change other people. It's extremely unlikely that anything you do or say will inspire someone to see the light and become a thoughtful, more compassionate person. Managing harassment, then, is not about how to "fix" your harasser but how to extricate yourself from the situation so you can get on with playing your game.

Continue reading The Drama Mamas guide to handling in-game harassment

The Drama Mamas guide to handling in-game harassment originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Everything's a battle pet - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

Thanks to a curious side-effect of battle pets in WoW, I now wander around the neighborhood doing little pet battles in my head. That potted plant over there? Elemental, probably. That angry-looking chair with the nom-nom face? Mechanical pet of doom. I've devolved to the point that I'm pretty sure my daughter would make a killer critter-type pet.

I may even have gone so far as to stage a full-out battle and training scenario in my head for my trusty labrador retriever against some local chickens. Purely in my head, though, I promise. It's led me to some bizarre desires for in-game pets, though. I'd like a fighting coffee mug, perfect for chasing away the morning blues. Maybe a fierce table lamp, ready to toe-to-toe with the most dangerous tanks.

What about you? What battle pets are you eager to see borrowed from real life and inserted into the game?

Breakfast Topic: Everything's a battle pet originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: What is the Alliance missing? - Sun, 14 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Alliance lore and the Alliance storyline in general have both been subjects of contention since some point early in Cataclysm, and the complaints don't seem to be getting any quieter. In the upcoming patch 5.3, the Alliance will be taking a direct hand in the events playing out near Orgrimmar, but not in the way you would readily expect. And oddly, this has Alliance players worked up in a near frenzy on realm and story forums, bitter and angry about the direction the Alliance storyline has been taking and repeatedly demanding more.

And it is incredibly difficult to understand just what all the fuss is about. There isn't a tangible moment that one can point to, there isn't a cohesive example of what has been happening. There's just a sense of unhappiness that is, to Alliance players, absolutely real. So this week, we're going to take a slightly different route for Know Your Lore. We're going to look at the nuts and bolts behind Mists of Pandaria, the Alliance, and the story so far. And we're going to do so in as analytical and constructive a manner as possible, to try and find that specific what-happened that seems to be bothering so many players.

Let's take a deep breath, dive in, and ask ourselves not "what is wrong," but instead, "what is the Alliance missing?"

Please note: Today's Know Your Lore contains some spoilers for patch 5.3 content. If you're trying to avoid spoilers, you may want to turn away.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: What is the Alliance missing?

Know Your Lore: What is the Alliance missing? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gold Capped: How to make cheaper Enchanting materials - Sun, 14 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make gold on the Auction House. Check out Basil's gold making podcast, Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

One awesome side effect of the latest patch's new PvP gear is a way to make Enchanting materials much more cheaply. Since all the new gear is iLvl 458 blues, they disenchant into an Ethereal Shard. Sometimes two of them, although that is probably from the guild perk. By far, the most popular profession to use to craft this type of gear for disenchanting is Tailoring. Windwool Cloth is cheap and plentiful, and 20 of them make a single Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's piece that can be DEed.

The best pieces to make are the ones that take 4 Bolts of Windwool Cloth: After these, the materials start going up. That doesn't mean you can't use them, just that you'll have to live with a higher cost than all your competitors.

Continue reading Gold Capped: How to make cheaper Enchanting materials

Gold Capped: How to make cheaper Enchanting materials originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hearthstone gameplay video pits Jaina against Thrall - Sun, 14 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST


If you're hyped about Hearthstone -- or even if you're just curious as to what Blizzard's latest is all about -- you'll want to check out this gameplay video. The video shows a complete match between Jaina (a mage) and Thrall (a shaman), giving us a good look at how the game plays as well as the abilities of these two heroes. And, just so we aren't lost in the newness of it all, the video features a narrated play-by-play to walk us through the action. We've got to say, it looks promising: featuring familiar characters, skills, and abilities, brightly-colored Blizzard art, and fast gameplay.

Psst, Blizzard, our beta keys are in the mail, right?

Well, even if they aren't, we hope this is only the first of many such videos on PlayHearthstone's YouTube channel, because it really just makes us curious as to what other classes and heroes can do.

[via Massively]

Hearthstone gameplay video pits Jaina against Thrall originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Sunday morning cartoons - Sun, 14 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) loves Animaniacs almost as much as she loves Freakazoid.

Hey, it's Sunday morning. Well, technically Sunday afternoon. Who cares, have some cartoons!

demon.within.x asked:

Q4tQ: Are Spirits of Harmony still slated to become BoA?

They were never "slated" to become BoA, or even BoE for that matter. People expect them to do so because they've done so with nearly every crafting material prior in every prior expansion. However, Motes and Spirits of Harmony are easily and readily farmed, so I don't know if we'll actually see them ever become BoE. It could happen, but we haven't heard anything to suggest it would happen!

Continue reading The Queue: Sunday morning cartoons

The Queue: Sunday morning cartoons originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: What's Shakin' - Sun, 14 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

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

Each week, Sunday Morning Funnies is spotlighting a regularly updating comic based on or inspired by WoW. This week's feature is What's Shakin':

What's Shakin' is a comic that chronicles "the epic adventures of Coffinshaker and friends." It is based on the original characters from Coffin Comics, which is now about a variety of video games and other topics.

While it is inspired by
WoW, it is an original story set in its own world. Shawn Tommelleo, the creator, describes it as "fantasy drama with a splash of humor."

Coffinshaker is the "fun and lovable fire mage" with a big imagination. He's quiet, a touch odd, and really doesn't have much hair. Ell is the "smokin'" hot healer of the group who specializes in defensive magic. Nith is a holy battlemage and trouble-maker, while Pai is a summoner (complete with guardian spirit, Berry, who - alas - can't use magic).

What's Shakin' updates Mondays.

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: What's Shakin'

Sunday Morning Funnies: What's Shakin' originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Just a good ol' boy, never meaning no harm - Sun, 14 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

Doop a doo doo doo. Don't mind me, folks. I'm just walkin' over to the auction house to check on my bids. Afterwards I'm planning on doing a little fishin', maybe fry up some catfish. Oh, this? On my forehead? It's just a Mephistophelean symbol of pure evil, you know, a sigil through which the Dark Lord can channel his forces into this dimension. It's nothing to be worried about. Hey, did you see Duck Dynasty last night? Wait, where are you going? And where did all these priests and paladins come from? Come on, dude! I thought we were cool! (Thanks to submitter Inkuoh of No Way on Quel'Thalas [EU-H] for the screenshot!)

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Just a good ol' boy, never meaning no harm originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What in-game help tools do you use? - Sun, 14 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

"Help?! We don't need no stinkin' help playing WoW!" ... Well, except when we do. As streamlined as World of Warcraft is today, the gameplay isn't 100% intuitive or foolproof. Come on, surely everyone here has at least once noticed a loading screen tip that's inspired if not a revelation then a determination to remember to try something that way.

I'd venture to say that there are so many avenues of in-game help today that the very idea of in-game help is losing its training-wheels stigma. We have the dungeon journal, the What's Changed tab, the Core Abilities tab ... I use most of these at least somewhat regularly as I switch from alt to alt, to refresh my memory since the last time I dusted off that character. Which of these in-game help tools or others do you use? Is the level of detail there too light, too dense, or just right?

Breakfast Topic: What in-game help tools do you use? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 14 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR: Blood in the Snow overview - Sat, 13 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

If you've been wondering what's been going on in Ironforge during Cataclysm and Mists, patch 5.3 ought to fill you in. The first of two scenarios required to unlock the quest chain for 5.3, Blood in the Snow tells the story of Moira Bronzebeard and her attempt to prove to both the Bronzebeard, Wildhammer, and the Alliance itself that the Dark Iron are worthy allies. One tends to forget that Moira's roots lay originally with the Bronzebeard clan -- and she's not out for blood, she's out to prove that both she and the clan she now runs aren't the one-dimensional villains everyone would like to make them out to be.

Does she succeed in this goal? Well ... that remains to be seen. But given Cho's story of the three clans, the tale that pointed out that both Wildhammer and Bronzebeard were being perhaps unnecessarily paranoid, it looks like the dwarves might finally be moving in a direction of actual unity. Meanwhile, the scenario itself is actually pretty fun, and presents a bit of a challenge without being impossible.

Please note: This post contains spoilers for patch 5.3 content.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR: Blood in the Snow overview

Patch 5.3 PTR: Blood in the Snow overview originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: This machinima was scientfically created to put you to sleep - Sat, 13 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

This fine video is brought to you by Fireside Guild. Not only is it beautiful to watch, but it could be one of the best sleeping aids you'll ever encounter. See, Weightless by Marconi Union was created along with the British Academy of Sound Therapy to be one of the most relaxing songs ever heard. They were so successful that listeners are warned not listen to the song while driving.

I can vouch for the effectiveness. In the early heady days of parenthood, when the Shieldling refused to go to sleep, my wife and I resorted to playing this song for her. And it worked. If there wasn't something particularly wrong (like diapers), then Weightless would put her to sleep. It's amazing.

I am thrilled beyond words to see it put to a WoW machinima. Nice job, Fireside!

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: This machinima was scientfically created to put you to sleep originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Tanking stats and design - Sat, 13 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

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

I decided it was time to give some attention to tanking, because I've been all about the DPS lately. Now, I haven't raid tanked in quite a while, since Tier 14 really, so outside of some LFR and some heroics I haven't really been putting tanking through its paces. Still, I do keep my prot offspec current, keep my gear up as best I can, and run both LFR and heroics as prot to keep my hand in.

What got me thinking about tanking for this week was this older column from Theck that I never got around to discussing. Part of that is the piece is mostly math, which for the average warrior tank just wanting to know what she or he should do is kind of over the top. What's really important about the piece is that it helps to explain why dodge and avoidance are better for warrior tanks than paladin tanks (or, really, any tanks) - basically, it highlights how Revenge works with avoidance stats on gear. It also covers how Revenge as a rage generation ability falls off when you're not getting directly attacked so that you can't dodge or parry anything, and how while it's not a crippling result (He puts it at about 4% of your total rage generation, due to Shield Slam being a higher priority than Revenge) it does cost you.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Tanking stats and design

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Tanking stats and design originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Light and How to Swing It: In defense of stamina - Sat, 13 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

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

If you have spent much time on the official forums at any point since the beginning of -- oh, say, Cataclysm -- you'd notice that there is a particularly prevalent slur that is oft flung around in tanking discussions. This slur cuts to the very core of what it means to be a tank, it is an accusation of seeking vainglory over properly gearing ourselves for survivability. Worse, it is an accusation of being behind the times on tank theorycrafting due to either apathy or incompetence. It is the Scarlet S.

Stam stacker.

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: In defense of stamina

The Light and How to Swing It: In defense of stamina originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Hey - Sat, 13 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Sup.

sergel92 asked:

Do you think Blizzard will change the size of LFR in future expansions?

Like instead of 25 maybe make it 15 or 20?


It's pretty unlikely. The reason why Raid Finder mode is 25-person only is because it's the ideal ratio of tanks, healers, and DPS compared to who's waiting in the queue. Going to a smaller size means messing with that ratio and affecting queue times. Like it or not, 25 is the best size for everyone right now.

Continue reading The Queue: Hey

The Queue: Hey originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: This is my ribbon of many colors - Sat, 13 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

"I was just flying by Menethil and I happened to notice all of these Alliance and Horde laying down on the lake like this," writes submitter Dreyfusxano of Focus on Durotan (US-A). "Upon closer inspection, they were laying down on the lake in the formation of a multi-colored ribbon. With April being Autism Awareness Month, and just learning that I had Asperger's about a year ago, I wanted to start doing my part to advocate for autism. This felt like a good step in the right direction. Needless to say, everyone who participated in this ended up leaving with wet backs and robes."

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Around Azeroth: This is my ribbon of many colors originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Has player-made gear become irrelevant? - Sat, 13 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

How many pieces of player-made gear is your character wearing right now? What if we specified PvE characters only? I'm betting you could count your crafted pieces on one hand -- and more likely, one finger or less. While recent buffs mean that crafted PvP gear still has legs (literally and figuratively) for players in transition and building mode, there aren't a whole lot of must-have PvE crafteds in the game anymore.

Player-made gear used to be a staple for leveling players, and many pieces were coveted even into the raiding game. Crafted blues and purples made all the difference in whether you could mow through the content or simply plink away. Today's players sail through the levels and clear raid content faster than they can gather the mats while a piece is still relevant. And leveling a production profession to make your own gear? To keep your skills on par with your level, you'll need to keep a hawkish eye on your adventuring XP, devoting regular sessions to pulling your crafting skills up to the bar. You can probably find crafted gear for sale in the auction house if you play on a realm with a robust economy, but the easiest path to power these days is simply to play a couple of hours and ding up another level.

Crafting my own gear and being able to make a coveted piece for a friend or guildie used to be a highlight of the game for me, but my most recent characters have simply never given crafted gear a second thought. Has player-made gear become irrelevant in today's game? Would you prefer more of an emphasis on crafted gear, or are you just as happy to see it fade?

Breakfast Topic: Has player-made gear become irrelevant? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 13 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 easy (and not so easy) achievements to work on while leveling - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

If you've played WoW for more than a half hour or so, chances are you've noticed the game's achievement system, which rewards you with (meaningless) points and sometimes more tangible rewards (like unique tabards or special titles) for doing certain things in the game. You'll find you get achievements for leveling, achievements for completing quests, achievements for picking up gold, achievements for leveling professions, there's even an achievement for visiting the barber's shop. We've gathered some achievements that are a bit more out of the way, but many you won but all of which you can either pick up or work on while you're leveling. They aren't all easy, but none of them require you to be level 90 and epiced out.

So if you're leveling but are interested in upping your achievement game, give these a try. We've ranked them in what we think of as order of difficulty. If nothing else, they're a distraction from the leveling grind!

1. Duel-icious
All you have to do here is duel another player and win. Any player -- even if they're much lower level than you are -- will do. We recommend asking a friend to duel with you, but you can request duels from anyone. Just remember to be polite about it rather than just going around challenging everyone in an area to duels!

Continue reading 15 easy (and not so easy) achievements to work on while leveling

15 easy (and not so easy) achievements to work on while leveling originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

TradeChat's Panser returns with this week's WoW Insider news recap, where we look back at the hottest news from the past week and whatever other kickin' rad things may have come our way. This week's topics include:
If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave a comment, and come back next week for the next episode!

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: The Blingtron 4000 Song - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

Those rapscallions from the Fireside Guild are back with this clever homage to one of the most frustrating robots in the history of WoW. Nimii and Behradin nailed the truth of the matter in The Blingtron 4000 Song: you will never get the Orb of Mystery from him. Never.

The singing in this video is fantastic and the animation is equally fun. Nimii's skills are obvious and I always look forward to what they're going to do next. In the words of Olivia, "I quite like this one." I think you'll agree.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: The Blingtron 4000 Song originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to post a good thread on the WoW forums - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST

The WoW official forums are known as many things among fans and players, and some of those things are not-so-nice. However, they can also be an invaluable resource for both players and developers alike. I personally will forever be grateful to the very useful thread several years ago that taught me how to level my priest without dying every two minutes, and the community managers do consistently remind us that they use the forums as a way of consolidating player feedback, especially for the PTR.

Sometimes, though, things get ugly. People get emotional, and in a fit of anger or frustration they post something they either wish they hadn't, or which turns out sounding less like an eloquent criticism and more like an incoherent rant. Over on the EU forums, Pondato is tired of seeing their posts get locked or ignored, and wants some advice on how to avoid that fate.

The thing that's really great about this post is that it immediately has useful answers. Especially good is how MVP Shammoz quickly breaks down the difference between "discuss" and "vent," two things that are often mutually exclusive. The advice to write your post out in advance, in another window (or word processor), give it some time, and then go back to it is also a good thing to keep in mind, and something I do regularly for all types of writing. If you've found your posts on the wrong end of a banhammer recently, or know someone who has, this might be a nice resource to keep in mind.

How to post a good thread on the WoW forums originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Achoo! edition - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

How's those allergies treating you? Here in lovely Washington, DC, the cherry trees blossomed for an entire half hour or so before impending storms threatened to whip away every flower. In the meantime, though, allergies are thick enough that I'm pretty sure the Sha of Allergies is lurking around the corner.

Our bonus question this week: How do you feel about the pace of the expansion so far? It seems to be going pretty well, and it feels right. I mean, dailies, blah blah, but the content patches seem pretty swift.

Continue reading WRUP: Achoo! edition

WRUP: Achoo! edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The pleasures of the empty time - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST

It's just a fact that raiding normal or heroic raids is a communal activity. When you said "I cleared Heroic ToES before the patch" what you mean is "We cleared Heroic ToES before the patch" because unless you have a Martin Fury in your bags, you didn't solo it. Progression raiding is always about the group. You don't accomplish things we do. The same is true for arenas or rated battlegrounds - these bastions of elite PvP are group activities, and your success or failure is shared with others. World of Warcraft is an MMO, after all.

Even LFR or random heroic dungeons or scenarios are group dependent, it's just that in these cases the groups are assembled for you by the game. You may well queue up for each of these alone, and you may leave and go about your business afterwards just as alone, but the actual raid, dungeon or scenario will have other players in it with you. This is an inescapable, inseparable part of the WoW experience, and it is one of the things I enjoy about the game.

However, as much as I do enjoy group activities, as much as I love raiding and going into a dungeon or raid zone with a group, there are times I just want to be alone. And it is this desire to sometimes play at my own pace, to my own schedule, that has me reconsidering my expansion-long disdain for the daily quest structure of World of Warcraft.

Continue reading The pleasures of the empty time

The pleasures of the empty time originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Titan's Grip and polearms "on the list for patch 5.4" - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

Since my current weapon is a polearm, I've been dying to be able to use it with Titan's Grip, and it had appeared that my dreams were coming true in patch 5.3. Both Wowhead news and MMO-Champion had posted that as of build 16837 the restrictions on Titan's Grip disallowing polearms and staves have been lifted. Is this a case of tooltips not being updated properly? I had hope not. I'd really like to dual wield a pair of Hellreavers. Since I know that datamining can lead to weird tooltip issues, I asked Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street for clarification on twitter.

So it's probably not going live in patch 5.3 - whether the PTR change is just a tooltip error or a test of the possible functionality we'll find out once 16837 goes live.

I don't know if this also means that polearms will be usable with swords, axes and maces for transmog or if they'll still be considered to share a class with staves. I have a lot of staves in the bank just in case, though. I like hitting people with Damnation.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Titan's Grip and polearms "on the list for patch 5.4" originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Depths of Uldaman: Why we should go back - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

I wrote a KYL this week talking about Uldaman, and one thing became clear to me very quickly - there's a ton of things we haven't done in Uldaman yet. We barely explore the place at all, really - the Map Room we find during the dungeon clearly shows many, many more buildings than the few we actually explore, and it's telling that the Reliquary dig and the Explorer's League digsite are half the length of the Badlands away from each other. Furthermore, the long Wrathion quest chain makes it clear that there was a lot going on in Uldaman - the Eye of the Watchers used to purify Wrathion's egg comes from Uldaman.

Uldaman is often referred to as one of three Titan cities along with Uldum and Ulduar, but unlike those two it has barely been explored due to its position buried beneath the Badlands. It's possible that the original Uldaman complex reaches as far as Khaz Modan (both Gnomeregan and Ironforge are settled by beings that would have traced their descent to Uldaman, and the troggs flooding into Gnomeregan are escaping from Titan vaults that are part of the Uldaman complex) which would mean that its size rivals the Storm Peaks Titan complexes that were part of the Forge of Wills inside Ulduar or the vast Uldum ruins.

Continue reading Depths of Uldaman: Why we should go back

Depths of Uldaman: Why we should go back originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Blossoming Ancient - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

The miniature ancient crossed its arms and disapprovingly glared back at Throgg. For his own part, the orc sat on his heels, kneeling to stare intently at the tiny wood creature.

"The new rule," Lolegolas sighed, "is that every time you make me ask 'What are you doing?' then you also have to buy me a backrub."

"Little elf," Throgg complained. "It's happening."

Just quickly enough to see, the Blossoming Ancient's white, faded leaves burst with vibrant green. Small flowers appeared on its branches.

"Wait, did that just... is it blooming?"

"Blossoming," Throgg countered. "It's Blossoming. Ooh! Look, a flower!"

"Where did you get it?" Lolegolas asked. "That's awesome, I want one."

The ancient gave Lolegolas a huffy, annoyed look in response.

"It seems like you'll have to get it from the Store," Throgg answered. "But I think it's worth it."

"Absolutely," Lolegolas said. "Completely worth it."

The Blossoming Ancient huffed and walked his flowers on down the road.

Item Note: Details are scarce, but so far, it does seem like you'll get this guy from the Blizzard Store.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Phat Loot Phriday: Blossoming Ancient originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Deep Blue something-or-other - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) just saw the above video for the first time.

This song was stuck in my head all day yesterday, so you guys can have it now. Also, while I'd heard this song about a million times, this is the first time I've seen the video. Man. I'd forgotten how lame hair was back in the mid-90's.

Moving on!

Alexey asked:

Do you think Blizzard is kinda...overdoing Garrosh's, er, villain-ness? The more info I see on next patch, the more one-sided he gets. Somehow it seems like he's trying to get as many people angry as possible on purpose. It doesn't even look like he simply doesn't consider consequences - he just specifically choses the worst thing to do!

Oh I do love talking about Garrosh.

Continue reading The Queue: Deep Blue something-or-other

The Queue: Deep Blue something-or-other originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Everybody wants to be a panda - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

"The Pandarization of Azeroth is complete," writes submitter Gimmlette. "After seeing all these people with such interesting gear come to visit him, Arthas decided that he needed to find out what this tranmogrification business was all about. But because he can't leave the Frozen Throne, he did the next best thing. He started the assimilation of the first pandaren he could reach, Munkendronk from Spectacular Death on Llane [US-A]. While the group thought the hat really highlighted the armor, ultimately, they preferred their tank with them and not trying to keep the Scourge at bay."

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Everybody wants to be a panda originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Archivist: Players who went too far - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

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

With a community of millions around the world, Blizzard has no easy job trying to keep botters, gold sellers, cheaters, and other hooligans in check. Blizzard has enacted many rounds of mass bannings over bots and hacks. As Archivist noted last summer, several guilds have been banned or suspended for abusing exploits in raids. Among the countless players and guilds who have earned Blizzard's ire over the years, a few stand out as worthy of revisiting. Here are their stories.

Still just roleplaying?

In an online environment owned and operated by a company, "freedom of speech" does not extend quite as far as it otherwise might. That, at least, is what members of Abhorrent Taboo found out in the fall of 2007. The Horde-side Ravenholdt roleplaying guild boldly proclaimed their identity as an "extreme erotic RP guild."

The guild's welcome message laid out their philosophy:

Role-playing is legal. Even if you are role-playing something that would be considered deplorable and highly illegal IRL, it's still just role-playing and isn't subject to any form of disciplinary action. Negative publicity is still publicity. Make a Digg or website about how sick we are. Report us to PervertedJustice. All it does is bring in more members. In fact, the Digg the guy on Ravenholdt made about us was so effective, several people signed up for WoW just to be in our guild. The bottom line is: We're allowed to do what we do on any server we please and no one can do anything about it.

As it turned out, that last sentence was not 100% accurate.

Continue reading WoW Archivist: Players who went too far

WoW Archivist: Players who went too far originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: That's the zone that I used to know - Fri, 12 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

Maybe I just can't get that song out of my head yet... you know the one. But I was kicking back last night thinking about Silithus, and how it's that zone that I used to know. And then the expansions came along and they cut me off, making it out like those hours running around gathering the spice never happened.

But zones are like that. You spend untold hours farming spice, or getting yeti parts, fighting undead forever and a day, or just farming giant earthworms. And then an expansion comes along and now you're just rifling through dailies with every ounce of tolerance you can muster. That old favorite zone (Silithus, Plaguelands, and so on) becomes a distant memory.

What's the zone that you used to know? That one that was part of your daily routine but now, steeped in the brews of Pandaria, you can't believe was ever a part of your life.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Breakfast Topic: That's the zone that I used to know originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR: Patch note update for April 11 - Thu, 11 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

The patch notes for the patch 5.3 PTR have received a small update today on the official blog. Included are some adjustments to Pet Battles and PvP, as well as some really interesting changes for healing abilities and summoned pets/totems. Faster casting for summoned pets? Yes please.
  • Gargoyles, Forces of Nature, Mirror Images, Water Elementals, Searing Totems, Doomguards, Terrorguards and Wild Imps all will now chain cast their spells with no delay between casts.
  • Creatures that are level 90 and above should now have a chance to drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune, in case you weren't getting enough of the things elsewhere.
  • Owners of the Teldrassil Sproutling, Ruby Sproutling or Withers will note that the Shell Shield ability for these pets has been replaced with a new ability: Ironbark. It's very successful.
You can see the full list of patch notes at the official site, but if you'd just like a list of the new changes, follow after the break for a consolidated list.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR: Patch note update for April 11

Patch 5.3 PTR: Patch note update for April 11 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 11 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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