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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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Insider Trader: Enchanting, the final stretch - Fri, 16 May 2008 19:28:00 EST


Enchanting, as a profession, can be an extremely expensive thing to level, although some people manage profits even while working on their skills. It all depends on which recipes you can get and how you got them, how often you're in the right place at the right time, and your connections in the community.

This week, Insider Trader will be walking you through the cheapest method of reaching 375 enchanting from a skill of 300, as well as providing tips for making some money while you're at it.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Enchanting, the final stretch

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Phat Loot Phriday: Dragonheart Flameshield - Fri, 16 May 2008 18:00:00 EST


Boy, is it hot in here, or is it just my SHIELD THAT BREATHES FIRE!?

Name: Dragonheart Flameshield (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowarsenal)
Type: Epic Shield
Armor: 4872 (122 Block)
Abilities:
  • +19 Stamina, +21 Intellect, which pushes this shield a little bit more than usual towards PvP.
  • Increases damage and healing by up to 23. Which ain't bad. There are lots of better shields out there, but for where this drops (it's late Karazhan gear), that's a respectable amount of SD.
  • +7 mana per 5 seconds, which is where this shield really shines. It's a very nice shield for elemental Shamans, and Paladins and Resto Shamans can use it also, as long as they've got beefed up stats in other areas. Again, this is husky loot -- if you're working up to Black Temple, it will get replaced. But any elemental Shammy using the Crystal Pulse Shield should be happy to see this one drop.
  • Did we mention it breathes fire?!
  • Also, we probably can't mention this shield without mentioning the Mazthoril Honor Shield -- they share a skin (with fire) and basic stats besides the mp5. Either one is a great shield, and we could just as well have done the MHS here this week. And healers around this level should check out the Light-Bearer's Faith Shield as well -- both it and MHS are badge gear. If you're a caster farming Kara and the Heroics, you've got lots and lots of shields to choose from.
How to Get It: But the Dragonheart Flameshield requires a little instance running -- it drops from Nightbane in Karazhan. At one point, he was considered the hardest boss in there, but nowadays, there are tons of guilds farming Karazhan like it's corn in Nebraska, so the odds are that you'll have no problem seeing him sooner or later.

The droprate is 14% on this one, which isn't bad, and the fact that this is strictly a damage-dealing caster shield means you probably shouldn't have too much trouble claiming it. Pallies and Shamans might do a little fighting over it, but if you go a few runs and don't pick it up, at least you'll have enough badges to grab one of the other shields available.

Getting Rid of It: Sells for 7g, 30s, 15c, and disenchants into a Void Crystal. Careful while disenchanting it, though -- you don't want to get BURNED!

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Gaming without Guides - Fri, 16 May 2008 17:30:00 EST

Is WoW really player friendly? Tobold doesn't seem to think so. Says he, there's a lot of things that it doesn't tell you or you can miss the first time around, such as spending talent points, and that at the end game, he constantly has to check outside sites to figure out what he needs to grind to get certain drops and recipes. WoW does things better than most other MMORPGs, he says, but it is far from perfect.

But, me, I'm not sure he has it quite right.

Continue reading Gaming without Guides

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What will we find at BlizzCon? - Fri, 16 May 2008 16:00:00 EST
BlizzCon was announced on Monday, and ever since, there's been a question bouncing around the back of my mind: just what is it for? Blizzard doesn't just host an event because they love us or because they feel like it -- they host events to release news. WWI last year was where Starcraft II was announced, and Wrath of the Lich King got announced at the previous BlizzCon.

We do know that we're expecting Wrath in "the second half" of the year, and whatever we see at BlizzCon could depend on when that releases. If Wrath appears in August (before BlizzCon in October), we might be seeing the announcement of the next expansion (probably the Maelstrom or the Emerald Dream, or both) in Anaheim: Blizzard has said that they want to release them faster, and there'd be no time like BlizzCon to get an announcement out. If Wrath doesn't show up until November or December, though, Blizzard could use their convention to announce brand new features we haven't heard about yet -- maybe another Hero class?

Of course, we could be grinding the wrong quest mobs entirely -- remember that BlizzCon is about Blizzard, not just World of Warcraft, so anything they announce might have nothing at all to do with their MMO. Diablo 3, anyone? Or maybe they do just want to hang out with their fans and get some good press before the big release. We won't know for sure until they open the doors at the convention center in October.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Wrath on the horizon - Fri, 16 May 2008 15:00:00 EST
The Care and Feeding of Warriors waxes philosophical this week. Matthew Rossi has been switching between a tank and a DPS warrior all week and it's gotten him all misty eyed.

I think it's fair to say now that the shockwaves from the oncoming expansion are being felt. Guilds are disbanding, new ones are being formed, you see people reporting that they've burned out on the existing content while others try and get groups together so they can see it before it is essentially 'gone'. Some guilds are rerolling on the opposite faction, or taking a more casual approach.

All this is to me at least very familiar: I was in Naxxramas the last time the pre-expansion wave hit (I don't really consider it a 'depression' as such because it had some positive effects for me as well as negative ones) and I simply got tired of doing what I had been doing since MC and rerolled Horde. It ended up saving the game for me, I made a lot of really good friends Horde side (Go Consummate Vees) and when I went back to my alliance characters I did so feeling refreshed and ready to tank. Learning how to adapt to the new realities of tanking (prot spec becoming a lot more necessary, for just one example) with 10 more points to spend and 41 point talents to consider helped make it a whole new game for me.

As things stand, I'm fortunate enough to be in two guilds (one horde, one alliance) that are raiding at different progression levels. One's moving into Hyjal and BT, phasing out the SSC/TK raids, and the other is just starting to consider regular 25 man runs. I play a warrior in both: my human is a dedicated main tank, while my tauren is a DPS/offtank. As a result, I'm getting to see a lot of fights I've only ever seen from the perspective of standing in something's crotch calling it names from the fresh new perspective of standing behind it stabbing it.

It turns out that Nalorakk has a massive butt. I mean, seriously, that thing is just huge. I'd never seen it before. Now I'm wondering if Supremus could possibly have so impressive a hinder. It'll probably be a while before I can check, though.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Wrath on the horizon

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Overhauling the engine - Fri, 16 May 2008 14:00:00 EST



The fine folks at Eurogamer noted that, during their interview with the recently ubiquitous Kaplan and Brack, some tantalizing hints were dropped about an update to the WoW graphics engine. It's not coming in Wrath, for better or for worse.

"That's actually something we talk about every expansion," he said. "I'm positive we'll talk about it next expansion."

To a degree the World of Warcraft engine is showing its age. That doesn't really bother me very much... I enjoy the semi-cartoon look of the MMO as it seems evocative of the RTS games, especially WCIII, and stands out against a sea of very flat and sterile attempts to make hyper-realistic graphics in games. For all that I would like a bit more flexibility in my character design, I don't mind that WoW has a low polygon count or whatever. But I am very curious as to what they'd do with an updated graphics engine. I believe it was Jeff Kaplan who said, perhaps in jest, "Our designers assure me we haven't even begun to see how big shoulder armor can get."

Continue reading Overhauling the engine

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WoW Insider Show Episode 38: Lunatic edition live tomorrow - Fri, 16 May 2008 13:30:00 EST

For tomorrow's WoW Insider Show (which you can hear live at 3:30pm EST on WoW Radio), the lunatics have taken over the asylum!

Mike Scramm is on vacation, and he has left the show in the hands of John Patricelli (the Big Bear Butt) this one time. Since one chance is likely all I'm getting for this, we're pulling out all the stops by having the Turpster, Matt Rossi, AND Dan Whitcomb on hand to talk about all things hot in the news of WoW Insider from the last week.

We'll of course be talking about Patch 2.4.2, the 'epicness' of ten manning Arthas in the upcoming expansion, changes to scare beast and growl, and the possibility of Wrath mounts with passengers.

We may also be able to fit in some time to talk about the recent break up of the guild Death and Taxes.

And as is the tradition on the WoW Insider Show, we'll have reader mail, which you can send to us at theshow@wowinsider.com, and we'll be chatting in IRC as well at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel.

It promises to be an experience, so make sure you don't miss it.

Tune in tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio. See you there.

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[1.Local]: The week from a reader's point of view - Fri, 16 May 2008 13:00:00 EST
[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The excitement of the all the new Wrath of the Lich King buzz this week must have gone to some readers' heads, making them testier than usual. This week saw several squabbles in post comments, from mild differences of opinion to outright controversial debate. News about the shape of raid instances to come brought out plenty of opinions both for and against the new raid sizes. Should Arthas be 10-mannable? With even well known raiding guilds such as Death and Taxes burning out and moving on, are raiding applications still necessary in this day and age?

The comments got hot and heavy in a post that sparked plenty of discussion about racism in Arena team names. Readers also seemed of two minds at the efforts of top-tanked 5v5 Arena team M L H, who've turned out to be prolific points-sellers. But commenters pulled together in a post advising one reader whose system seems to have slowed to a crawl. And reader Kershner wrapped it all up on a chilled note for the weekend with a great macro to help us kick back and enjoy some fishing.

Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one, silly!) and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

Continue reading [1.Local]: The week from a reader's point of view

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WoW Moviewatch: Chronicle of the Annoying Quest, Episode 24 - Fri, 16 May 2008 12:00:00 EST

It's been 3 weeks since the last episode of Chronicle of the Annoying Quest. Episode 23 dealt with the Alliance preparing to fight the Horde in Warsong Gulch, however things don't go as planned. In Episode 24, the Horde finally arrive in Orgrimmar, while the Alliance are introduced to some interesting new characters.

Bakasavant Productions
has been working on this series for ages now, but I feel like it never gets any closer to a resolution. They've improved their editing skills immensely and have better voice actors these days, but those that are new to the series are forced to watch from the beginning to even understand what's going on. What is the ultimate goal at this point?

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Well Fed Buff: Essence Mango - Fri, 16 May 2008 10:30:00 EST


Well Fed Buff serves up tasty dishes to boost your HP, stats and appetite - with that special WoW twist, of course.

Those Trolls from Yojamba Isle were on to something. Before The Burning crusade, one of the cool foods that players could get were Essence Mangoes, a quest reward that could be obtained by handing in a Zandalar Honor Token. These weren't actually any better than Alterac Manna Biscuits, and back when Zul'gurub was still in vogue, the tokens weren't quite worth turning in for an average food that didn't give any buffs. But the quest describes mangoes as luscious fruits from the South Seas, and it couldn't be more true.

Mangoes are significant fruits in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. In the Philippines, where I live, mangoes are an everyday treat and I think we have the best mangoes in the world. Today on Well Fed Buff, we'll put a new spin on the Essence Mango (which is essentially just a fruit) by making a simple, healthy drink that is sure to restore your health and mana as well as tickle your taste buds.

Continue reading Well Fed Buff: Essence Mango

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Around Azeroth: The writing on the wall - Fri, 16 May 2008 10:00:00 EST

That's progress! Truxilo of Spinebreaker was revisiting his roots (and leveling herbalism) in Mulgore when he stumbled upon an ancient cave drawing -- a crude horse and some hoofprints. He was so moved, he had to kneel in deference to his ancestors. It's hard to believe that a species that was little more than wall-painting, nomadic outcasts a few short years ago built that marvelous triumph of engineering in the background. Come on, there's no way Thunder Bluff exists without some major structural support. How many cows do you think run across those flimsy little bridges every day?

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. And you've actually been very good at not sending in sunsets, so I need to figure out a new ending joke. Curse you all! How did the Simpsons come up with new blackboard jokes for nineteen years?

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Staying out of Outland - Fri, 16 May 2008 09:00:00 EST
If you listen to me (or anyone else around here, it seems), the major consensus seems to be to head to Outlands right at 58, period. The leveling is faster, the quests are more interesting, and the money is plentiful, as are the drops. But cyanrose over on WoW LJ makes an amazing case for exactly the opposite: staying in old Azeroth from levels 58-60.

She's been rolling around Hearthglen picking up items and XP, and from the way she tells it, things are almost as good there as they are in Outland. A dropped Orb of Deception (which was sold for a whopping 700g) didn't hurt, and there's lots of Rich Thorium around as well. Since old Azeroth is so empty, she hasn't had any problems with PvP, and apparently there's some good AoE grinding to do around there as well.

Great example of going against convention and finding your own way to play through the game. Outlands is there if you want it at 58 -- you can replace your gear in just a few quests, and get started on the new reputation grinds early. But don't let the popular opinion stop you from exploring the old world if you want -- there's lots of loot and fun to be had there, too.

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Breakfast Topic: Old school - Fri, 16 May 2008 08:00:00 EST
At this point, the thread that inspired today's breakfast topic is, itself, pretty old-school, but anyway, here's the question: What is the most obscure old-school thing you remember? The OP's contribution is when he looted a BoP axe in his first instance, thinking he could give it to a friend, but he is quickly trumped by the second poster: dwarf mages.

As for me, I have a pretty terrible memory, but I do dimly recollect taking tailoring on my first character, a Hunter, because I'd heard about shirts and they sounded cool. But that fits more in the "noob" category than "old-school" proper. Inner Fire raising attack power and not having charges? Throwing weapons that couldn't have their quantity refreshed? Reck bombs? Decursive? I haven't been playing since beta or anything, so none of this is too crazy. What's your favorite memory of WoW past?

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Breaking News: Death and Taxes guild disbands [Updated] - Fri, 16 May 2008 02:34:00 EST

Something strange is afoot in the wee ours of the morning here, as Nihilum is reporting that the Death and Taxes guild on the Korgath US PvP server has disbanded. This guild has long been considered perhaps the premiere raiding guild of the US Servers. As of this writing, there is no further word on why they have disbanded, only that they have and that some of them will reroll Horde.

The front page of the official Death and Taxes site does not have any sort of news post on the issue, but does have a banner that reads "Rest In Peace Death and Taxes, Beta 2004-May 2008," and has a list of their world and US first kills. The forum's name has been changed to "Death and Taxes - Keep in Touch," though there does not appear to be a forum post accessible by a basic account that gives any insight or information as to the disbanding. Hopefully more information is revealed soon.

Death and Taxes has been hot on the raiding scene for some time, gaining US and world firsts starting in AQ40 and Naxxramas, and continuing into the Burning Crusade, including their most recent US first kill of Illidan Stormrage and a few key PTR kills in the Sunwell Plateau as well.

For now, we'll watch and see if more information comes forth. Perhaps they may be like Risen, believing the end-game progression is worthless but possibly reappearing in WoTLK. Either way, their achievements were many, and they will be missed.

Thanks to Liam for tipping us off on this.

Update: A poster called Flux (who is not a DnT member but claims he has talked to some), posting on Nihilum's forum thread on the disbanding, claims that they were having trouble retaining guild members due to the long stretch of time between Illidan's downing and any new content, and that the first week of Sunwell raiding was difficult. After attempts to mass-recruit to fill holes ended in a lower level of raiding ability than they were used to, DnT's leaders decided to disband. Apparently, many DnT members will be rerolling Horde on Blackrock.

You might want to take this information with a grain of salt, but it's the best we have for now.

Behind the cut is a list of Death and Taxes' world and US first kills.

Continue reading Breaking News: Death and Taxes guild disbands [Updated]

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The Guild, season finale: Boss Fight - Thu, 15 May 2008 23:09:00 EST


The Guild ends its first season as all good raids usually end: with a big boss fight. Zaboo's mom appeared in the last seconds of the previous episode, and in this one, the Guild pulls and... well, you'll just have to watch and find out whether it's a wipe or whether the loot drops. I have to say, it is pretty classic -- I officially renounce my complaint before that they've never shown ingame action. Out-of-game action like this is much more fun to watch.

Curse also interviewed both Felicia Day and producer Kim Evey about what it's like making the show (it sounds pretty rough, actually -- hopefully Felicia won't get so famous that she doesn't have time to do this any more), and in there they mention also that DVDs of the whole thing are coming soon. So maybe if they put something up for sale, we can make sure that these guys get rewarded for all the great work they do.

There's no info yet on Season 2 or when it will come, but considering that this episode is led off with a big reminder that this is an award-winning and viewer-acclaimed series, we're guessing it won't be too long.

Like The Guild? We do, too! We've got all the episodes of the first season: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. And don't forget to check out our interview with Felicia Day, The Guild's appearance on Mahalo Daily, their visit to Blizzard, and The Guild's gag reel.

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It came from the Blog: Revenge of the Orc-Moms - Thu, 15 May 2008 19:30:00 EST

Last Sunday, It came from the Blog celebrated Mother's Day by taking a bunch of female Orcs to the Barrens and telling "Your Mom" jokes. I had a lot of fun and discovered that my ICFTB guildies were very creative. Daniel Whitcomb also joined us with Okasama, his Orc-Mom.

On Saturday, I was on the WoW Insider Show with Mike, Turpster, Amanda Dean and her mom, Linda Emrys and we discussed what we would be doing for the event. Turpster joked that we would be telling jokes such as "Your Mom is so supportive, she's like a suspension bridge." I contradicted him on the show, but he ended up being right to a point. Many of the jokes did begin "Your Mom is so cool..." and "Your Mom is so hot...", but there were of course plenty of "Yo mama is so fat..." and the like, as well.

Continue reading It came from the Blog: Revenge of the Orc-Moms

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Main hands and one-hands after 2.4.2 - Thu, 15 May 2008 18:30:00 EST
I only slightly mentioned this back on the podcast, I think, but there was a fairly interesting change that snuck in the patch notes on 2.4.2: lots of formerly main hand weapons have become one-hand weapons. There are a couple of theories poking around about why this could be -- dual wield is first and foremost, of course, as this change allows classes who dual wield, including Rogues and Enhancement Shammies, to have a little more choice as to what weapons they can use. Death Knights will also be able to dual wield in the expansion, and this will open things up for them a bit as well. And Blacksmithing weapons were apparently changed as well (in addition to losing their "unique" status), so Blacksmithers have a little more leeway, too.

But there is one thing that, according to Blizzard, will always keep weapons in one-hand status. Caster stats, according to both Drysc and Hortus, will mean that weapons will always stay one-hand. So feel free to do as much switching around as you want in terms of speed and melee damage, but there'll be no stacking of healing or spell damage bonuses (with Shamans or Death Knights).

Which isn't really a big loss -- it means that Blizzard has much more leeway in creating healing and spell damage weapons than they do while making melee weapons. But it does mean that if you want to play around with weapon combos, you have to go melee -- healers and casters get to choose one and stick with it.

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Scattered Shots: Hunter problems and predictions - Thu, 15 May 2008 18:06:00 EST
Scattered Shots is for hunters. 'Nuff said on that topic. The Freezing Trap David was stuck in last week also wore off a little bit, thanks to Daniel, permitting him to write once more without his fingers snapping off from the cold.

In the wake of the recent confusion regarding Scare Beast, once again some hunters have gotten to complaining a lot about the state of their class. While on one hand, there are certainly problematic issues hunters are having, it's really not fair to say that the class is broken. It isn't -- being a hunter is more fun than its ever been, and it looks like this class will only get better in the future.

Nonetheless, looking at the problems we do have might give us a clearer sense of where we're going in the future. With more and more information coming out about Wrath of the Lich King, and especially since Blizzard started asking for feedback from hunters, it's worthwhile to have a look at what holes do exist for our class, and how future changes might seek to plug them up.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: Hunter problems and predictions

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Encrypted Text: Roleplaying as a rogue - Thu, 15 May 2008 17:00:00 EST

Much like the rogue class itself, Elizabeth Wachowski's Encrypted Text usually pops up just when you're not expecting it, is prone to disappearing without notice for large periods of time, and steals your lewtz.

Hey, fellow rogues! It's been a while! Well, more like nearly two months. Sorry. But we're back with some fresh ideas, one of which is this: how can you roleplay as a rogue without seeming like a cliche?

Admittedly, I'm new to RP, and my RP character is a draenei priest -- about as far from my beloved troll rogue as one can get. So this article is geared to people who, like me, are new to RP. The more experienced RPers can correct all my horrifying, glaring errors in the comments.

So, let's start out with:

Picking a race

Each race has different rogue traditions, heroes, and senses of morality. Here's a quick overview:

  • Humans control several rogue organizations: the Ravenholdt guild, their archrival Syndicate organization, and SI:7, the official intelligence agency of Stormwind. If you're interested in "joining" any of these organizations (or the vaguely rogue-ish Defias Brotherhood), human would be a good choice.
  • Night elf rogues would seem to have some difficulty fitting in with their peaceful, nature-loving society. However, night elves have skills at stealth, and every society needs its enforcers. The night elf police force, known as the Wardens, always has room for a good rogue -- and the archdruid Fandral Staghelm might not be above employing some sneaky folk to advance his political goals.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Roleplaying as a rogue

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G4TV previews Wrath of the Lich King - Thu, 15 May 2008 16:30:00 EST


Blizzplanet has a new Wrath of the Lich King related video from G4TV. It has interviews with Jeffrey "Tigole" Kaplan and J. Allen "No nickname I'm aware of" Brack and very short previews of the new zones, the Death Knight hero class, quests and raids. It also has a very annoying soundtrack underneath the interview snippets which made me want to rip the speakers off of my computer when I watched it the first time, so be warned. A few notes of interest during the interview:

  1. They definitely want to make sure that the Horde and Alliance experiences in WoTLK are different: "While some of the story threads will be the same, how you get there will vary for Horde and Alliance."
  2. We will apparently not just ally with, but also have to fight some of the Tuskarr. This makes me sad. I don't want to kill the Wilford Brimley's of Azeroth. I mean, I'll do it if there's a shiny copper piece involved, don't get me wrong, but it still will make me sad as I rip that purse off of their blubbery corpses. I just dread the "Gather x Tuskarr tusks" quests I fear are coming. I saw tusks right on him! What do you mean he doesn't have any?
  3. They're planning out all their patches in advance this time. I didn't actually know they didn't already do this, so it was news to me.
You can check the video out on Blizzplanet here.

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