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

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All the World's a Stage: Ten Commandments of Roleplaying - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 22:01:00 EST
All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

WoW
Insider is not Mount Sinai, and I am certainly not the Burning Bush, but there is a need for a clear, concise list of "do's and don'ts" which new and experienced roleplayers can refer to in times of need. I therefore submit the following commandments as a guide and a reference to roleplayers throughout the World of Warcraft.

Obviously the list of essential rules I lay out here will be different from a list you might make, but hopefully the basic ideas remain the same. In addition, being as I am hardly a prophet of the Almighty, I reserve the right to edit these commandments over time as times change and new insights emerge.

1. Thou shalt not play God.

You only have control over the actions of your own character. When roleplaying with others, you must never ever use an emote or action which denies others the right to choose their own actions in response to yours. For example: "Moosis glares with white hot anger at Faro" is acceptable; "Moosis glares so intensely that Faro's face melts" is not. Whether or not two people's characters are fighting with each other, their act of roleplaying itself is essentially cooperative -- even in a battle of emotes, both players must work together to tell the story in an interesting way, neither one presuming what the other will do.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: Ten Commandments of Roleplaying

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Breakout in World of Warcraft - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 21:00:00 EST
One of the things I really don't like about World of Warcraft, or any other MMORPG, is the waiting that is involved in getting a group together. This can be a real problem in raid environments, where it often times can take half an hour or more just to get the group set. I've been a raid leader before, so I know that they are busy and there isn't much they can do about the time we all just sit there on vent chatting with each other.

One of things that I've recently came across to help ease the wait is a little in-game game of bricks, a.k.a. breakout. Breakout is the game that I used to play back in elementary and middle school on the old Macs* where you'd bounce a ball around, breaking (you guessed it) bricks. The ball is bounced off a small platform that you move with your mouse. Pretty simple, and mindlessly entertaining.

Lately I've been enjoying a version of this game called WoWonid, which is an Ace2 addon I found via my addon updating with the WoWAceUpdater. It's a good enough implementation of the game (and quite impressive when you consider that it's done in LUA and built using an interface that's designed for game addons). The controls are simple enough, and just like the old Mac controls: move the mouse left or right to move the platform, bounce the ball, pwn.

Continue reading Breakout in World of Warcraft

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Do records even matter? - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 20:00:00 EST
There have been a few records set recently. Some are people claiming to have leveled to 70 the fastest, some are groups of players downing a boss on the PTR before anyone else in the world, while others are PvP records yet to be made. Everyone likes to say "we broke a record." It makes them feel good, gives them a sense of purpose and measurable accomplishment, and generally will put a smile on their face. Even I've done that here at WoW Insider occasionally: "Hey, we had a record number of hits that day, cool!" (No, I'm not going to say when that was, I'll leave it up for you all to comment on and guess.)

With all these record breaking accomplishments, it begs the question: do they really mean anything? Does it matter if you've leveled up to 70 in the time that most people are still working on getting the Deadmines quests done? Let's take a look at what records do and do not provide.

One thing that they do provide is competition amongst a small group of players. To borrow a phrase from marketing, we'll call these players "alpha players." They are the ones that will always be the first to jump on new content, the first to let everyone know how to do it, the first to complain, and the first to get the benefits of completing the content. These alpha players are pretty hard core, and use world firsts and records to challenge each other. There is literally a whole 'nother side to the game that many of us don't ever see - hard core time based competition.

Read on for more and vote in our poll, after the jump!

Continue reading Do records even matter?

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CC: How to run instances without a net - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 19:00:00 EST
Running 5 man instances is the bread and butter of gearing up any PvE character. There are some short instances, and some longer ones. There are some bosses that are ready for fun, and others that like to die fast. Many people consider it a universal truth that all you need to do these instances is solid crowd control. When you're faced with a pack of six or seven level 70 elite mobs, the last thing you want is one or two of them running loose.

But what can you do if you don't have any CC available? Are you just out of luck? Nope! There are a few tricks to running instances without CC, and if you pay close attention, you won't miss the lack of sheeps at all.

In fact, you might just start preferring to run without crowd control entirely.

Continue reading CC: How to run instances without a net

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Fishing Extrava-lose-a - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 18:00:00 EST
Booty Bay's Fishing Contest started just an hour ago. I don't participate every week, far from it. Once a month, tops. I've been doing this since the contest started, and I just can't seem to pull off a win.

I'm not nearly aggressive enough for the contest, the winners always seem to be the people that muscle others away from 'their' Tastyfish Schools on my server, and I just feel bad doing that to people. That's probably why I don't play on a PvP server. I've gotten close to winning a few times, usually only 4-5 Tastyfish short, and I would've pulled off a win if I didn't run by so many schools that had other people fishing them.
I'm sure there's other factors at work, I don't exactly have a proper circuit down because I do it so infrequently. I can't really 'practice' when I do it once a month or less. Looking at forums and the like, I don't seem to be alone in my failings. There's not a whole lot of winners when only one person per week can take the crown. So I'm curious, how many of you participate or have participated in the contest? How many of you have actually won? As a bonus question, how many of the rare fish have you caught? I've only gotten the Blue Striped Racer. QQ.

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They're magically delicious! - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 17:00:00 EST
Very early in patch 2.4's progressive development on the PTR, the ability to send raid icons over chat was implemented. The syntax is pretty simple, you place the name of the icon in those funny looking brackets, like so: {circle}, {star}, etc.

Personally, I'm not too terribly excited, it's not something you'll be typing on the fly, probably. I can't really see a Mage or Warlock(or anybody) taking the extra time to type that out properly when something goes wrong(ie death), as simple as it seems to do so. However, this could be a good tool for raid leaders, not so much the raiders. A raid leader could include these in a tanking/crowd control assignment macro. "/ra Matthew, tank {skull}. Christian, sheep {square}." That sort of thing.

Regardless of how often this will actually be used, it's a nice little feature, and I'm sure post-2.4 mods and addons will make good use of them, even if the players themselves don't.

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PTR is down, TTR is up - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 16:00:00 EST
Hortus, the spinning whirly jig wearing gnome, announced on the forms today that the PTR will be closed until further notice. This closure is in order to encourage more people to test out the TTR, which will remain open for the time being.

This is important news. First, it signifies that Blizzard is at least comfortable in stopping the testing of PvE content. This might not be the best news for those that were still engaged in PTR activities; or for those that think there are still serious concerns regarding the content and class changes. We might be seeing the Druid Cyclone nerf stay.

Secondly, we can infer that the two stress tests they've held might not have been everything they wanted. If they're asking for more testing we can make an educated guess that Blizzard either did not see the kind of numbers they were hoping for, or they have made additional server changes that warrant additional tests. Judging from the lack luster stress test that went on Wednesday night, I'm leaning towards the former as being the reason for the change.

Continue reading PTR is down, TTR is up

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Forum post of the day: "Long Road Home" - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 15:00:00 EST
If it were up to me, I'd call this "forum post of the month," but I guess March is still young and that would probably be premature. At 2,600 words, this is one of the longest forum posts I've read in its entirety, but it was entirely worth it. In fact, it was so well-written that it didn't feel like a wall of text at all. Alright, but what is it about?

Titled "Long Road Home - Vanilla to WotLK", this great post by Calian (of Norgannon-A) explores the history of the endgame in WoW, from the days when MC was the only raid and there were no battlegrounds all the way through to the forthcoming patch 2.4 and into Wrath. It focuses on the origin and development of the casual/hardcore divide, which has become one of the hottest topics in WoW discussion today.

You owe it to yourself to read the post, but in short, he comes back to the familiar conclusion that casuals need hardcores to inspire them, and hardcores need casuals to show off to; therefore the animosity between the two groups is very much misplaced, and they are in fact in a mutually beneficial relationship. I'm inclined to agree. What's your take on it?

[via WarCry]

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The lore flops of the Burning Crusade - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 13:00:00 EST
The Burning Crusade has a lot going on in it. In the very first zone you run into the Burning Legion, the Ilidari, the Fel Orcs, the Broken, the Forge Camps, the Mag'har, the Arakkoa, and so much more. This is a pleasant change from so many Azerothian zones seeming very static, fighting the same type of thing from one end of the zone to the other.

I found many of these stories to be very fun and interesting, but some of them just fell flat. For one, the Arakkoa. When the Arakkoa story began with Kirrik the Awakened and Rilak the Redeemed, I was rather excited. This race was pretty cool! The Arakkoa would be the most beast-like of the known Light-worshiping races and a recent addition to the Naaru's 'Army of the Light.' The models for the redeemed Arakkoa were cool, too. A bunch of pretty birds following them around? Neat!

Continue reading The lore flops of the Burning Crusade

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WoW Moviewatch: Assassinate - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 12:00:00 EST

When I first saw this video, I couldn't believe how horrible the rapping was, or why it was in such a low voice. Curious, I checked out the music video that it was parodying, Concentrate, by Xzibit. It turned out that Nyhm's version is actually better by a long shot.

Nyhm, rebounding from his disastrous Pretty Fly for a Draenei, decided to make a video, Assassinate, for the rogues. Apparently, he likes to hide out on alts and has grown to love the class. The machinima is designed to fit around the song. While not flashy, it does the job just fine.

Excellent comeback to PFfaD, Nyhm!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Macro Anatomy: Walk phase - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 10:30:00 EST
If you have been following Macro Anatomy, you should be comfortable with macro basics by now. If not, you may want to consider taking a moment to review what we have covered thus far. For the rest of you, welcome to the next installment, where we'll be covering a commonly used, but powerful macro type, the /castsequence command.

This slash command will allow the user to specify a given sequence of commands, tied to a single button. As a reminder, this will not facilitate one-click sequences, but will require you to click or press a bound key for each iteration in the sequence. This also means you'll be timing your input in step with the Global Cooldown.

The most obvious use of the /castsequence command comes into play when you realize you're casting the same spells in nearly every fight. I use this type of macro for grinding, with one for PvP situations as well. (Curse of Exhaution be praised!)

To use this macro, you simply open your macro interface, create a new macro and in the text box, start with /castsequence, then list the spells you want to cast, in order, separated by a comma. It should end up looking something like this:

/castsequence Spell 1, Spell 2, Spell 3, Spell 4


Continue reading Macro Anatomy: Walk phase

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Around Azeroth: Zangarmarsh showers - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 10:00:00 EST


Player Cosmokramer of the Vanquish guild on Kul Tiras realm was slogging through the fens of Zangarmarsh when he spied this waterfall. Being a gnome, he knew it he had to take his opportunities to bathe where he could get them.

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. This means you. I'm not kidding, yours is not the exception. No, really. Sigh.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Happy Clefthoof - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 09:30:00 EST
It's Sunday morning, and if you're not sleeping in after raiding with your guild until 5 a.m., then allow us to deliver "teh funneh". This week's selection is small, but competitive, and includes a new strip from The Night Council.

If you're ready to vote, jump on through!

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: Happy Clefthoof

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It's Druid's turn for a(nother) nerf - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 09:00:00 EST

I'm pleasantly surprised at the minimal amount of crying that Druids are doing over the reduction of Cyclone's range to twenty yards. Sure there have been complaints, but as a whole, the Druid community seems to have been pretty mature about the nerf. Hortus assured us that although the change was left out of the patch notes, it was an intended modification.

The passive response could be because it wasn't cited in the patch notes, but I'd like to think of it as Druids' recognition that all classes will face changes once patch 2.4 is released. Nohealforyou of Wildhammer noted that Cyclone more of a class perk than a core Druid ability. Thus far I have seen no protests staged about the nerf nor has there been the promise of mass exodus from the game among Druid players.

Continue reading It's Druid's turn for a(nother) nerf

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Breakfast Topic: How do you distribute 5-man loot? - Sun, 16 Mar 2008 08:00:00 EST

I've noticed something a bit unexpected and confusing over the last few months: apparently, the way my server generally deals with loot in 5-mans is strange. Rather than rely on the in-game roller, we pass on all loot, and let people call need on a piece. Then we all roll need or greed on the stuff. If there's an enchanter in group, they can disenchant the loot for the winner on a greed roll and hand over a shard. Lately, though, since Blizzard started allowing server transfers, it seems a lot of the new 70s have come in and told us that this method is a bit weird. Why don't we just use the in-game rolling system? Why should enchanters be expected to automatically be willing to shard gear for non-enchanters without compensation? These are questions that are really alien to most of our server community, but there they are.

So, I thought I'd ask you, dear readers. How do you deal with 5-man loot on your servers or groups? Do you just use the built in roll system? Do you use Master loot? Do you pass and discuss? Is it generally expected that an Enchanter will gladly shard loot for everyone in the group, or is it expected that an Enchanter only need shard his own loot?

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Hybrid Theory: Dear engineers, please build me a walking bank - Sat, 15 Mar 2008 19:00:00 EST


Welcome to another installment of Hybrid Theory, wherein columnist Alex Ziebart assures the world that he does not, in fact, hate Retribution Protection Paladins. In fact, he raids with a Retribution Protection Paladin. Really. He does. Pinky swear.

Nearly every hybrid has felt the sorrows of lacking itemization at one time or another. Every hybrid has seen its ups and its down, has watched class balance fall into and out of order, and embraced their spec through the good and the bad. Throughout all of this, though, there has always been one ever-present issue. Completely unchanging. Viability and acceptance? Oh, no no no.

Bag space. The Blue Crew of Blizzard has made it very clear over the last few years that limited bag space is fully intended. It's viewed as an important aspect of game play. A mini-game, if you will. I must say, being forced into choosing whether you want to keep an item you enjoy or vendor it in favor of that new piece of resist gear that is mandatory for your raid's upcoming boss fight is the worst game ever. Sometimes little vanity items mean quite a bit, like your first epic. A lot of them are just plain neat, like the furbolg outfit maker.

Continue reading Hybrid Theory: Dear engineers, please build me a walking bank

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Don't do it, it's a trap - Sat, 15 Mar 2008 18:20:00 EST


Zanzer of Mal'Ganis posted on the World of Warcraft test realm forum that he is displeased with the user interface change that shows hunter traps in the combat log. Obviously this is a PvP related change, as PvE mobs probably don't care if a hunter sets traps or not. The ability to trap is one of the most important features of the Hunter class.

Typically players know when Hunters are dropping traps for two reasons. First, there is an unmistakable squatting animation that shows the character setting the trap. Of course you have to have your camera on the Hunter to see the animation. Second, Hunters who are worth their salt lay traps whenever they are able to in the PvP environment. The difference is the combat log now states what type of trap has been dropped.

Continue reading Don't do it, it's a trap

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Gold spammers at it again - Sat, 15 Mar 2008 17:30:00 EST


Last week reader Jay sent me a screen shot of something I hadn't seen in a while - a gold seller using /tell to spread their wares. For a long time Blizzard has maintained this is illegal activity, and has taken substantial steps to negate the spammers ability to do this. In game spam protection done behind the scenes has been working well. However it looks like the gold spammers have found a way around this.

Initially I was pretty surprised to see the screen shot. After all, this hadn't been happening much. However a couple of days after getting this, I found some gold spam in my chat log as well. I was floored. Now they're back to their old tricks, and even some new ones.

Continue reading Gold spammers at it again

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Blizzard Worldwide Invitational Tickets - Sat, 15 Mar 2008 16:00:00 EST

The Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational information page has recently been updated. Tickets for the event will be going on sale next week for the event held at the Porte de Versailles Exposition Center, Paris . Tickets are priced at 70 € which converts to about $109 USD. The Invitational will take place on June 28 and 29, 2008.

Tharfor posted details on the European World of Warcraft forums. Some of Blizzard's executives and members of development teams from Europe, US, China, Taiwan, and Korea will be present to for signings and seminars. This is a great chance to get a peek at Wrath of the Lich King and Starcraft II. The event will also feature game, dance, costume and machinima competitions. For more information on conference events and rules, check out the Invitational's FAQ page.

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Addon Spotlight: Minimap mayhem - Sat, 15 Mar 2008 15:00:00 EST
In the shadow of an ominous sense of addon doom, I wanted to talk about a problem that some of you may relate with. I have issues with cluttered user interfaces, specifically a messy minimap. I should really consider myself blessed that this one can be near the top of my list. Either my life is boring or I am very much a control freak.

I've recently taken it upon myself to combat the rude nature of a cluttered minimap, only to find myself somewhat frustrated by a lack of viable options. I'm going to guess that many of you many be screaming Ace right now. To that, I say stow your bilge, my pretties. The Ace solution fails, which simultaneously surprises me and makes me sad.

In my efforts to enforce my Spring Cleaning initiative, I recruited MinimapButtonBag to wipe up the little buttons that surrounded my minimap. This little Ace addon did the job about as perfectly as possible, with one glaring flaw. The little "addon that could" was a memory hog; a beast that defiled my allocated addon memory. The fact that it was stomping around with the same clout as my beloved AtlasLoot Enhanced and the godly QuestHelper irked me to no end.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: Minimap mayhem

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