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My log off spot - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 20:00:00 EST
Many of us that have played the game every day over the years have developed some habits of sort. One of the habits that I've found myself doing night after night is logging off in the same spot. For me, this spot is at the staff vendor in the Aldor section of Shattrath. I find myself logging off here almost every night since I hearth back to Shat when I'm done raiding, and then go and repair immediately (less I get yelled at for not being fully repaired).

I can imagine that there are some better spots than others to log off at. In particular the PvP servers I'm sure pose certain pragmatic limitations on where you can disembark from the game. In the PvE world, I could (if I wanted to) log off anywhere in the wild. Save for the wandering aggressive mob, I would be just fine. However, I don't think this would be too good in a PvP environment.

Continue reading My log off spot

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Brutallus encounter hotfix - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 19:30:00 EST


A few days ago it was reported on the PTR that those dastardly evildoers of dastardly deeds (aka: Warlocks) managed to enslave Brutallus. These vile locks then took their newly enslaved demon out to play. And playing for a creature of pure darkness means letting them wreak havoc onto the unsuspecting citizens of the Isle of Quel'Danas. I would have expected a hotfix to this almost immediately, and some form of public announcement that the bug has been fixed. However as of Saturday at 7 p.m. EST, there has been no such luck. Instead, Blizzard decided to hotfix the Brutallus encounter inside Sunwell Plateau, the new 25 man raid.

The hotfixes Blizzard has given the encounter are:

Continue reading Brutallus encounter hotfix

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Curse's terms of use deserve a closer look - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 19:00:00 EST
There's a storm brewing over in the UI & Macros forum, and it's about the terms of use for popular add-on site Curse. If you use mods at all, you're almost certainly aware of the site; I go there all the time. They're probably the biggest mod site right now. So it comes as something of a surprise to me that such a pillar of the scene would have what seems to be a pretty abusive set of terms service.

According to the analysis conducted in this forum thread, Curse's ToU "specifically removes any and all copyright that we as authors have on our addons." Yikes!

There are other bad parts of the ToU language too, including that Curse can change the ToU at any time without notifying authors. Of course, the site is within its rights to impose any ToU it wants on the users, but it's not nice to take control of creations out of authors' hands. I am not a lawyer, so it's altogether possible that I'm interpreting some of this incorrectly. The forum thread, however, claims that lawyers looked at Curse's terms and agreed that the interpretation is correct.

Until these provisions are changed -- and Curse promises that they will be -- I recommend mod authors use other sites like WoWInterface or wowui.incgamers.com. In writing this article I read the terms of use for those sites -- or rather, tried to. IncGamers doesn't even have their ToU up! But they've been a pretty well-behaved site in the past (they used to be worldofwar.net), so I trust them. WoWInterface's terms of service didn't seem to have anything like what Curse has, and a source at the site assured me that "we never touch an author's zip file without their knowledge and consent, ever." WI has a good history of respecting the community and the authors. Curse folks, are we all reading this wrong? Is there something in this issue that's being missed?

Update: As several of Curse's employees have helpfully pointed out to me, the new ToU are much better. However, I still have reservations about them.

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Forum post of the day: These are the people in your raid - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 18:00:00 EST

When you put five, ten, twenty-five, or forty people together you're bound to come across people who annoy, amaze, and amuse you. Peri on Terokkar posted a list of raid archetypes who may seem familiar to you. Some highlights of her post include:

  • The GM's Significant Other- Okay, so he was going to have to quit but he tricked his SO into playing. She loves it. She's terrible. You'll effectively 24 man every boss. Count on 4 constructs in the raid, every attempt. She plays a Belf.
  • The Backbone- Plays a tank. Doesn't have much to say. Made an error once in SSC, or so you heard. Will disconnect when Gorefiend is at 30% and keep aggro while offline for the rest of the fight. Has never said anything negative to the healers. Ever. GL with your progression without one of these. Hates the prima donnas.
  • The Prima Donna- Requires special attention from management. Constantly whining. Plays some vital role. Might be a main tank, mage tank, or lock tank. The officers really hate this guy and as soon as they can find another tank with 24,000 buffed HP, he's out.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: These are the people in your raid

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Patch 2.4 laced with Elixir of Giant Growth - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 17:00:00 EST
The latest build of patch 2.4 on the PTR bucks the trend of the ever-shrinking orc and draenei shoulder pads by treating us to monstrously large weaponry. Truly, this is a sign that Blizzard loves us and wants us to be happy. There is not a thing in this world that comes to mind when I try to think of something that makes me squeal in delight as much as a gigantic sword swirling through the air, or my enemies slamming into my massive shield and bouncing off uselessly.

In all seriousness, this is probably a bug and some of it actually looks pretty ridiculous. When I first noticed it, I almost wondered if my paladin had actually shrunk because I had long ago adjusted to her Crest of the Sha'tar being amusingly small. It would be nice to have a shield that wasn't tiny like a bean, but an increase in size on everything in the game just doesn't seem intentional.

To give you a better idea of how much of an increase I mean, I've included a side by side comparison after the jump. I apologize for the difference in quality between the shots, I've forgotten how to change the format WoW screens are saved in. Hooray!

Continue reading Patch 2.4 laced with Elixir of Giant Growth

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Is the saga of Griftah over? - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 16:00:00 EST
While there's definitely been quite a few changes around Shattrath in 2.4, one thing that stayed the same was good old Griftah. It looked like he might be back to stay, the saga of his betrayal and exile over with his triumphant return to Shattrath, complete with a legitimate piece of merchandise to sell. Which was, in a way, a bit disappointing. After so many patches, seeing what Griftah got up to next was almost a tradition.

Luckily, it looks like we may not quite be done yet. Peacekeeper Jadaar has been standing in the World's End Tavern arguing with Investigator Asric for quite some time now, but if you talk to him, he still acts like he's standing outside Griftah's tent. World Event Designer Kisirani answered someone's question on this by saying it's been on her list and she's getting to it. Certainly, this could mean she just plans to update his speech to explain that the investigation failed and Griftah is back, but then again, it could mean we'll see more of this epic storyline. He may not have ended up being the real Zul'jin, but maybe he's still got a few more tricks up his sleeve. I'm thinking that at the least he'll start selling "genuine artifacts from the first Northrend expeditions" soon. Maybe "Defeat of Illidan Commemorative Coins."

It's definitely a storyline I'd love to see evolve some more. Even if he's not exactly M'uru, Griftah's earned enough of a place in Warcraft lore that he can't just sit comfortably in Lower City pushing trinkets.

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Love no longer in the air - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 15:00:00 EST


Our hearts may return to their regularly scheduled descent into blackness, Azeroth is leaving Valentine's Day behind today. At least, that's what the calendar says.

I hope everyone received all they had hoped for in WoW during this event, or you're in for a mighty long wait to try again. I personally received a number of scandalous dresses and fancy baskets over the course of the last few days. I don't have much to complain about this time around, except for the fact that it is always a little disappointing when one of Azeroth's many holidays comes to a close.

Even if the Valentine's Day holiday is quite fun in WoW, I still have a habit of wondering what could have been done better for any given event. I think it would have been great if voting for your favorite faction leader actually worked, and had some sort of effect. For example, if Tyrande winning for the day gave those that voted for her a buff. "Tyrande's Thanks" or "Sylvanas' Satisfaction" or somesuch. Even if it didn't do anything, having the buff would be really fun. Of course, I'm a big supporter of spells having extra sparkles just for the sake of having sparkles, so maybe only I would be interested in that. After all, Prayer of Mending turning into a laser gun kept me from quitting my priest early on in The Burning Crusade.

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One Boss Leaves: Ragnaros vs. Kel'Thuzad - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 14:00:00 EST


Last week the Firelord of Molten Core, Ragnaros entered the Arena to face down the Archlich of the Plagueland, Kel'Thuzad. Did Ragnaros' Magma Blast burn the competition into a crisp or did the lethal combination of Shadow Fissure and frost attacks send the Elemental Lord to Blackrock Mountain in defeat?

This was a close one, but Kel'Thuzad's dark and cold arsenal overwhelms Ragnaros' fiery bag of tricks. The lieutenant of the Old Gods could not escape Kel's Shadow Fissure. And even if he could, Kel's multiple shadow and frost attacks would overwhelm Rag's limited fire abilities.

The Archlich moves on to the Final Four to face off against Sapphiron in the battle of the Undead Shadow/Frost bosses. Tomorrow, the infamous Illidan Stormrage goes head-to-head with The Twin Emperors of Ahn'Qiraj. And the winner of that epic battle will face off the winner of next week's Princess Huhuran/C'thun deathmatch. With only a few weeks left, we will soon see who will be the winner of Two Bosses Enter.

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Hail to the (Lich) King, baby - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 13:00:00 EST


Believe it or not, World of Warcraft is the most popular massively multiplayer online roleplaying game in the world! Our super blogger Mike Schramm shared this report over our sister site, Massively. It probably comes as no surprise that WoW is topping the chart. There are more active accounts on WoW than all of the competition combined.

I didn't know there were quite so many MMORPGs active on the gaming market. WoW is unique among this video game genre because of it's continued growth. The player base for other games have leveled or tapered off. I couldn't even guess where the population will top out. With the popularity of the Burning Crusade and anticipation of Wrath of the Lich King, I would not be surprised to see more than fifteen million WoW players.

Continue reading Hail to the (Lich) King, baby

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Character copy up, for now [Updated] - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 12:45:00 EST
Many of our readers will be happy to know that several people are reporting that the character transfer to the PTR is up and running. Our thanks to WoW Insider reader Jason for pointing this out to us.

You can get on the PTR and learn to love patch 2.4 by heading over to the Account Management page on the main World of Warcraft site. When there, click on the "Test Realm Character Copy" button, and then on "Copy a Character". After you've asked Blizzard to copy your character over, come back and check about every hour to see if they've done it yet. Even though the wait time says four days, in my experience it has been substantially less.

One last tip: if the button comes up gray, just hit refresh a few times.

Good luck!

Updated 1:15 p.m. EST: Screams of frustration can be heard around Azeroth as Blizzard plays dirty tricks with their character copy process. People are now having mixed results in getting their characters copied across. It might be that the queue is full again.

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WoW Moviewatch: How to paladin Insanity remix - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 12:00:00 EST

I could try to explain this movie, but I'm not sure if that's possible. The first time I viewed the latest video in the How to Paladin series, my jaw was on the floor the entire time. If you have some kind of insight into what goes on in Shepiwot's head, please let me know.

Htp Insanity remix is almost six minutes of head scratching, seizure inducing machinima. He really has a gift for finding epic music and getting the timing down, but how does he come up with this stuff? Be on the lookout for his next video, How to paladin: Driven to Insanity remix. I'm kidding ... I think.

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Arcane Brilliance: A squishy year in review - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 11:00:00 EST

With so much to look forward to in patch 2.4 and WotLK, Arcane Brilliance would like to take one last look back at the road behind, mostly to see if there's a Rogue back there waiting to stab us. It's a little late, perhaps, but here's a look at the year that was, from a Mage's perspective.

2007 was a splendid year. Someday, when our children's children are grown, we will bore them with stories of 2007, and perhaps refer to it as "back in the day," or "the year I dinged 70," or "the year I learned never to mix chili with microwavable burritos in the hopes that their powers will combine to form 'Chilitos,' the perfect food." Here at Arcane Brilliance, we like to think of it as the "Year of the Mage." We also like to think of 2006 as the "Year of the Mage," and frankly we think of 1902 the same way, so take that in whatever way you wish. Basically we like Mages here, and 2007 was a fun year for those well-versed in wizardry. Not everything was magelicious, though. The highlights--and lowlights--after the jump.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: A squishy year in review

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Around Azeroth: Stormwind Park - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 10:00:00 EST


An anonymous reader sent in this nicely framed shot of The Park in Stormwind. Tucked away in the corner of the Alliance city, the Park servers as the home to a contingent of Night Elves complete with trainers and a Moonwell. Stop by for a pleasant picnic or a hide-a-way from the unending turmoil that engulfs Azeroth.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime. Oh, and no more shots of Omen killed in Ogrimmar. It's cool, we get it. A lot of it.

Gallery: Around Azeroth

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A message to those that ask me to group - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 09:00:00 EST
Dear PUG Members,

Recently you've asked me to group with you. This is cool, and I appreciate being wanted. It gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside. The same warm and fuzzy feeling you get after you've killed a million boars and are holding the Sword of a Thousand Truths. However, if you don't mind, could we go over a few dos and don'ts?

Here's what you should do:

  • Do ask nicely if I have time to join your group.
  • Do look to see if I'm using the LFG tool. If I'm not, I probably don't want to group.
  • Do offer me at least 100 gold to run you through the Stockades. The two gold you're putting forth does not make up for the time it's going to take me to run you through.
  • Do talk in English or some other real language. I'll even accept Klingon. Leet speak is not a language.
  • Do ask if everyone is ready before MDing the boss to me.
  • Do use Omen or KTM.
  • Do use something more than auto-attack.
Here's what you should NOT do:

Continue reading A message to those that ask me to group

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Breakfast Topic: Skill or +resilience gear? - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 08:00:00 EST

The calls go out through trade chat, "Premade AB, must have 250 resil." "Warlock looking for 5v5, have 400 resil, pst." It takes some doing but with Season 1 (soon to be Season 2) Arena gear available as PvP honor rewards, this is not outrageous. Changes on the public test realm that allow the purchase of Gladiator gear with Badges of Justice would make it still easier to acquire gear that is loaded with resilience.

Resilience was introduced along with the Burning Cruasde, and has had a massive impact on PvP gear. This combat statistic was designed to reduce the chance of being struck with a critical hit. It also reduces the damage caused by a critical strike. This stat was implemented in order to extend PvP combat.The presence of resilience is the main feature of PvP gear that sets it apart from PvE gear.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Skill or +resilience gear?

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Possible new Badge of Justice loot unlocked on the PTR - Sat, 16 Feb 2008 07:00:00 EST
MMO-Champion has just posted a whole batch of loot that's just been unlocked on the test server. It seems no-one's found a vendor for it yet, but especially with some it still sporting "Sunwell Badge Loot" names, speculation right now would suggest it's part of the new tier 5 Badge of Justice gear we were promised by Drysc a bit back. Right now, one of the new daily quest givers at the Sun's Reach Armory named Smith Hauthaa implies that if you can help her get supplies, she will be able to sell you powerful weapons and armor. It looks like we'll need to do her daily quest "Making Ready" enough times to unlock the ability to buy the gear.

There's definitely some sweet upgrades here. Casters who've not had any luck getting Prince Malchezzar to drop his dagger (and even those who have it) should be ecstatic for the Scryer's Blade of Focus, while the hunter in me is drooling over the Crossbow of Relentless Strikes. Haste and spell haste rating seems to figure quite prominently on the various types of armor, but there's also a good amount of hit rating as well. Some of the cloth pieces might even get some tailoring Shadow Priests and Affliction Warlocks to shed their Shadoweave sets. The search goes on for a vendor for all these goodies, but with any luck they'll be found soon.

If this is the badge gear, and it is unlockable by finishing different levels of the daily quests at Quel'danas, I'd say it's another great mechanic by Blizzard, in that it's yet another thing that'll definitely bring the server together by giving a really excellent incentive to finish the race. In addition, the badge gear should not only let casuals who prefer to stick to clearing Karazhan and running Heroics have a definite avenue of improvement, but also let raiders who have been waiting forever for that one boss drop have a chance at picking themselves up some reasonable side-grades, especially now that they'll be able to get the badges they need from the 25-man raids themselves.

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PvP for PvE on the PTR - Fri, 15 Feb 2008 23:30:00 EST
The changes just keep on coming, and at the oddest times too. The following was just unlocked on the patch 2.4 PTR: Arena gear is now obtainable in exchange for PvE tokens. According to World of Raids, Tier 4 tokens will get you season 1 gear, T5/6 will get you season 2, and the new Sunwell T6 tokens will get you Vindicator gear. You can also, apparently, exchange Badges of Justice for "all PvP gear," as pictured.

What does this change signify? Yet again, Blizz is trying to open up progression. Whether this is in advance of Wrath, when this all will be relatively meaningless, or simply in response to continuing pressure for advancement from players, this is probably a change that will be lauded by those who don't already have what it gives. If you've got this arena gear already, it might seem unfair that people can get it through alternate paths, and maybe it is. But I like that Blizz keeps trying to make it easier to be versatile in the game, to not just have to devote yourself to either PvE or PvP. Players being able to take advantage of all the game has to offer is key to its continued success.

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There is no Wrath beta - Fri, 15 Feb 2008 20:00:00 EST
This is a public service announcement from all of us here at WoW Insider: there is currently no beta running for Wrath of the Lich King. This means that if you receive an invitation that claims to be for a Wrath beta, it's definitely a scam and you should under no circumstances click the links therein. If there were an actual Wrath beta, you would surely hear about it here and/or on the official website. If you have signed up for any alleged beta test, it would be a good idea to change your account password as soon as possible; you can't be too safe these days.

Oh, and while we're on the subject of misinformation about Wrath, release dates on retailers' web pages mean nothing. They have to make a date up in order to enter the product into their system most of the time, but unless they're Blizzard, they're just guessing, and your guess is probably as good as theirs. Now have a nice weekend, and don't sign up for any dodgy beta tests.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Learning how to wipe - Fri, 15 Feb 2008 19:30:00 EST



The Care and Feeding of Warriors would like to pretend to be an exhaustive and comprehensive overview of warrior issues. Unfortunately, they're letting Matthew Rossi write the thing, and he's equal parts obsessed maniac, egotistical loon and occasionally informed poster. Proud pappy of three level 70 warriors, we think he may have been dropped on his head a lot as a child. That would explain why he enjoys playing the class that gets hit all the time.

Playing World of Warcraft is supposed to be fun. I know I play for enjoyment. In the past I've done so through PvP, although I was never as much of an enthusiast as some warriors. Lately, I've gotten back into raiding, mostly because I have a lot of experience tanking and I found guilds looking for a dedicated prot warrior. In the short time that I've been with my new guild, I've gone from tanking A'lar in blues and greens to gearing up in Karazhan and the lairs of Gruul and Magtheridon respectively. These 'loot runs' aren't progression, and so they feel less 'real' as a tank than Zul'Aman, Serpentshrine and Tempest Keep do (Kael and Vashj are all that stands in our way now) because they lack that one crucial element that sets aside 'real' progression tanking.

Wipes. They lack the endless wipes. We wipe in ZA, SSC and TK because we're still learning them. For some reason, I've come to associate real progression in raiding with wiping over and over again, watching incremental progress as people come to understand the fight. From the first time I killed Nefarian, a fight that took us several days and quite a few wipes to master, I seem to have been hard wired to accept wiping as part of the process. If you want to kill the bosses you have to die first. As a tank, one of the harder lessons you'll ever learn is in dealing with this expensive and often personally aggravating necessity of raiding. You have to grow a thick inner skin, not allowing the setbacks and odd quirks of a particular fight (A'lar won't move platforms, Tainted Cores aren't being handled fast enough, people are grouping up too much on Shatters) to frustrate you or cause you to start pointing fingers at people.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Learning how to wipe

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PTR Notes: Patch note watch 2/15 - Fri, 15 Feb 2008 18:30:00 EST
Since the blues told us any new changes to patch 2.4 would show up in the PTR patch notes, I decided it might be profitable to save copies of the patch notes every so often and run diff on them to see if anything's changed. It looks like there were some changes today; here's what I found that we haven't discussed in full yet:

  • The benefits of drinking out of combat have been delayed. It will now take five seconds before the full benefit of the mana regeneration will come into effect.
  • Hunters will no longer spin around if they cast Aimed Shot or Steady Shot while facing away from their target.
  • Arcane Explosion: The damage cap for area of effect damage on this spell has been increased by approximately 50%.
  • Drain Mana: This ability no longer increases in power from bonus spell damage effects. Base points of the effect increased by 50%.
  • Queue times for arena matches have been reduced. Players will now be able to enter matches faster than previously.

Continue reading PTR Notes: Patch note watch 2/15

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