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Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 4 - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, another Ulduar boss dies to moonkin nukes, feral claws, and tree slaps.

Chase Christian from Encrypted Text recently started a series of guides on doing Ulduar as a Rogue, and I must admit that the relative ease and simplicity of describing the role of a pure DPS while raiding is enough to make me sob quietly into a hanky. Meanwhile, I'm driving myself to the nuthouse trying to describe four entirely different roles for a single class. Pardon my saying so, but this column was the hell of a lot easier to write back when we sucked at everything that wasn't healing. Damn you, multi-spec viability! Damn you to HELL!

Before we get started, I'm going to continue what I did with the last Ulduar preview column, link to general strategy guides, and assume you have a basic familiarity with the encounter before delving into more Druid-specific advice. Today we're going to confine ourselves to Freya, as it's one of the few Ulduar fights I have now seen outside of the PTR. With luck, my computer is going to cooperate for a full clear this week plus a few hard modes, so I will be revising (and, as necessary, expanding) our current Ulduar Druid guides to reflect changes that Blizzard has made to the fights and a few notes concerning hard mode issues. Any changes made will be noted in next week's column.

Continue reading Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 4

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 4 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ghostcrawler talks about 3.2 Hunter changes - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST
I don't know about you, but with all these announcements about the 3.2 Patch being released. I have been sitting idly by gnawing at the bit and tempted to shout out, "Ghostcrawler! What are you going to do about us Hunters! Show us some love already!"

Well it seems that our favorite Lead Systems Designer must have had the same thought as he posted up some insights over on the Official Forums in the Hunter's Questions and Commentary thread.

In typical Ghostcrawler style we get no promises (I guess that pony is still not happening. Sorry Eliah.). But we do get some pretty interesting insights on what the Blizzard development team is considering to do to fix some very common complaints.

  • Ammo costs
  • Pet scaling
  • Crowd control and trapping

Read on for more details.

Continue reading Ghostcrawler talks about 3.2 Hunter changes

Ghostcrawler talks about 3.2 Hunter changes originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: That's right, walk away - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

The Daily Quest: That's right, walk away originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Save your Authenticator serial number before upgrading your iPhone - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST

Many people, myself included, are excited about the iPhone OS 3.0 update, which is released tomorrow for all iPhone and iPod Touch owners, though Touch users have to pay for it. If you use the Blizzard Mobile Authenticator app, though (and there's little reason not to; it is free, and extra security never hurts), you should take one precaution first.

Every so often, even the best-planned upgrades go awry. In case your iPhone 3.0 upgrade breaks and you have to restore the iPhone, you should make sure to write down the serial number of your Mobile Authenticator ahead of time (or take a screenshot of it and transfer it to your computer).

The serial number is found on the Setup screen of the Authenticator, and Blizzard will need this number from you if you need to detach the Authenticator from your account (because your iPhone needed to be restored the Authenticator got a new serial number).

For the majority of users, the upgrade process will probably go seamlessly and you won't need this. However, if you do, you'll be happy you have it.

[thanks, Tobbi]

Save your Authenticator serial number before upgrading your iPhone originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Art of War(craft): Examining the Isle of Conquest - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST


Wow. Can I just say that again? Wow. When Blizzard announced that they were introducing a new Battleground with Patch 3.2, I personally thought it was going to be some mid-scale map similar to Strand of the Ancients or Arathi Basin. Being a Battlegrounds nut, I was completely stoked. When Zarhym hinted that the new map would be "Wintergrasp combined with Alterac Valley," it became clear to me that Blizzard was thinking on a much bigger scale. If we look at their development patch for Battlegrounds and world PvP, it's no stretch to say that the Isle of Conquest is their most ambitious PvP project yet. More ambitious than Wintergrasp, in fact.

How can anything be more ambitious than Wintergrasp, which proved to be so tremendously popular that it tends to break realms? Well, the only real limitation to Wintergrasp was because it had no limits with the number of participants. That was the only thing that brought servers down to their knees. The Isle of Conquest takes care of that problem by limiting participation to a (mere) eighty people. This then leaves Blizzard free to implement all sorts of cooler stuff like parachuting into enemy territory. The new Battleground brings the much anticipated aerial combat element into World of Warcraft PvP.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): Examining the Isle of Conquest

The Art of War(craft): Examining the Isle of Conquest originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New details on the Argent Tournament update in Patch 3.2 - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST

Patch 3.2 is currently in development, and not yet on the PTRs. We've been told that it will focus on expanding the Argent Tournament that was introduced in patch 3.1, and we've also learned that it will feature new Druid form art and a new battleground, Isle of Conquest.

Today Blizzard posted a preview of some of the Argent Tournament updates, and it looks pretty cool. There are going to be two new Tourney-related quest hubs in Icecrown: a Cult of the Damned camp overlooking the Tourney, and a Vrykul outpost on an island to the north. The Black Knight will also be returning; I guess it was only a flesh wound after all.

There are also going to be new dailies and new rewards for players exalted with the Silver Covenant/Sunreavers, as appropriate. Silver Covenant and Sunreaver tabards, their ground and flying mounts, and a Shimmering Wyrmling pet are all mentioned.

Furthermore, those who have earned the Crusader title will get some more dailies, and some exciting rewards, including new heirlooms (!), a banner, a tabard that ports you to the tourney, a squire with a mount, and a Paladin-only charger mount.

New heirlooms, you say? Nice, but I wish they weren't at the end of five tedious rep grinds. Oh well, time to get to work, I suppose.

Update: Blizz have edited the page to say the new squire will cost 150 Champion Seals to upgrade, will be summonable for 3 minutes every 8 hours, and will perform one of thee services: mail, bank, or vendor.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

New details on the Argent Tournament update in Patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask a Lore Nerd: Of Nerubians, Dwarves and Titans - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

I'm going to get this out of the way right off the bat since I know I'll get a dozen people asking again this week: Yes, Know Your Lore will be coming back, it is not gone forever. I promise. I will pinkie swear on it, even. Come on, who wants to pinkie swear? Anybody? Anybody?

Aler asked...


"On the topic of the Nerubians and the Qiraji, is there any relation in the lore between the two? Or are two insect civilizations coincidental?"


There's absolutely a relation between the two. They hold a common ancestry. Both the Qiraji and the Nerubians are offshoots of an even more ancient race, the Aqir. Way back when Azeroth was still very primal, and Trolls were the top dogs. There were three major players in the world: The Amani Trolls, the Gurubashi Trolls, and the Aqir. They warred for thousands of years. Thousands. It was a war of attrition on the grandest scale possible, and all involved more or less broke under the weight of their losses.

Continue reading Ask a Lore Nerd: Of Nerubians, Dwarves and Titans

Ask a Lore Nerd: Of Nerubians, Dwarves and Titans originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: All your fault - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


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

You know, I was getting bored of that whole musical intro thing, but having it around certainly made these preambles easier to write. What do you write here every day about a daily Q&A column? Guess what, guys! We're A'ing more Qs! Shock! Awe!

So you've broken me. Congratulations. I am now a hollow husk of a man that can do nothing but uphold the status quo. I hope you're proud of yourselves. Here it goes again.

WootZoot asked...


"Any word on if Blizzard is working on a new novel or RPG book?"

Continue reading The Queue: All your fault

The Queue: All your fault originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Wrought - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Wrought
is an exciting new machinima created by Cranius and Legs. As the story goes, a Human warrior and a Blood Elf woman fall in love. Clearly, this relationship is scorned and forbidden by the Sindorei. The Blood Elves attack the woman, and the human is killed in a vicious ambush. The warrior returns to life as Forsaken. He learns that his lover has been imprisoned, so he flies to her rescue. I'll leave the rest unspoken, so that I don't spoil the story for you.

This video is absolutely amazing. Cranius and Legs managed to get the WoW models to show an incredible depth of emotion. The entire storyline is shot with such precise framing and flow that you can't miss what's happening. The authors have really raised the bar in narrative music videos, and I desperately hope they tackle another project together.

The music itself is by a band called "Peratus." It fit the story well, and I really liked the song. My only disappointment in the music was at the end, when it spiralled into some harsher growling and vocal grinding. While I might just be an old fogey, I felt like that disrupted the overall harmony of the piece. Excepting that ten seconds or so, though, I really loved the song. It's actually inspired me to try and find their albums.

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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Wrought originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video of Christie Golden's Long Island reading - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST
I wasn't anywhere near Huntington, NY on Saturday, but our friend Medievaldragon from BlizzPlanet was, and he did stop by the Christie Golden reading at the Book Revue bookstore. He even brought videos back with him, and so if you're a Golden fan (she is a New York Times-bestselling author, after all) and want to see her reading from Arthas, there you go.

Apparently the reading was a pretty full house, too, and you can see from the video that there were all kinds of people there. Golden also says early in the video that Arthas is Blizzard's first big bestseller, and she repeats what we've heard before: that Blizzard loves having her write for them and she loves coming up with stories from their settings. The only big bit of news for fans from the reading is that while Blizzard is producing three different Warcraft books (of which Arthas is the first), they won't be a trilogy at all, just stand-alone stories. Big thanks to Medievaldragon once again for stopping by the event and grabbing video for those of us who couldn't go.

Video of Christie Golden's Long Island reading originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: It's only a paper moon - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


Jed sends in this screenshot of his paladin taking a nostalgic ride through Westfall at nighttime. Remember the early leveling quests in places like Westfall and Redridge? Where you didn't have all this story and meaning, and all you had to do was deliver messages from one lazy jerk questgiver to another, or try to find a boar with an intact liver among dozens of boars with hepatic failure? On second thought, the early levels can go hang. Chasing Arthas across Northrend is way more fun.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: It's only a paper moon originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
A World of Warcraft player's guide to Free Realms
Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into? Comparing one of the largest and most popular MMOs with the current fastest-growing MMO? Do I have a deathwish? Well, it turns out World of Warcraft and Free Realms actually do have a few things in common, but a straight comparison isn't the point of this article. We at Massively have decided to compile a guide for World of Warcraft players who may be interested in checking out what Free Realms has to offer. Even better, for those WoW players out there with children, this guide could be valuable for some alternatives to your usual family gaming choices.
DDO goes F2P: An interview with Turbine
As the news hit yesterday concerning Dungeons and Dragons Online going free-to-play, many MMO gamers collectively rejoiced, while others didn't. The idea of this hybrid business model is wonderful for those who have yet to experience DDO, as it now gives them a chance to play the game as long as they'd like, with no level cap restrictions for absolutely no cost. This means no credit card info changing hands, no commitments to a monthly fee and the implied need to "get your money's worth" and no real need to quit the game if you can't afford it. But it can't be that easy, can it? Well, there's a slight catch.
Free Realms breaks the 3 million mark
Sony Online Entertainment has just announced today that their kid-friendly free-to-play mega-hit Free Realms has hit the 3 millions registered user mark. This news comes less than seven weeks after the game's launch, and only two weeks after their last milestone of two million registered users.
Should MMOs have sequels?
From movies and books to computer games, the concept of the sequel is firmly embedded in the entertainment industry. It's usually a much safer bet to make a new part to an existing successful intellectual property than it is to back an untested product. In the games industry, sequels are a great way to make more money from the same game concept but as usual MMOs have proven to be something of a different animal.

Continue reading MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More cakes, plates, and tats in our galleries - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 08:30:00 EST


Yes, that's Arthas admiring his own title on a license plate -- Kallis of Silver Hand sent us this shot, presumably before his head was chopped off by Frostmourne. Trust us, if you think celebrities are angry when the paparazzi come by, you don't want to see what the Lich King does.

This picture and quite a few others are all new in our WoW-related license plate gallery, and we've gotten a few other new pictures of cakes and tattoos to share with you as well. Browse through all of the pictures from readers in the galleries below, and if you've gotten a new WoW-related license plate, someone's baked you a WoW-related cake, or you've picked up some new WoW-themed ink, feel free to send us a picture so we can share it here on the site.



Gallery: WoW Tattoos

More cakes, plates, and tats in our galleries originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: How should WoW end? - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


"The dark times will pass."

Blood Elf NPCs say this all the time, but how do they know? Are they just saying that to try to give us enough hope to finish the task they just gave us? Or do they actually foresee an end to the evils that we fight on a daily basis?

With 11.5 million subscribers, WoW is going to be around for a long time. Even if 8.5 million people leave for whatever reason, there will still be 3 million people left -- which is great for a pay-to-play MMO. But someday it will end and when it does, it would be wonderful if Blizzard provided us with a playable end of the world.

We discussed this a couple of years ago, but WoW has changed since then. We now have new possibilities for world-ending events and there will be more expansions and major content patches giving us even more paths to complete. But will the stories end and how would you want them to?

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: How should WoW end?

Breakfast Topic: How should WoW end? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday Morning Post: I believe I can fly at level 60 edition - Tue, 16 Jun 2009 07:00:00 EST
It's been a week of big news altogether around these parts.

Mount changes in Patch 3.2 were probably the biggest news. Not only will we be getting most mounts earlier, but normal flying mounts will gain a pretty sizable speed boost. Of course, this also means that class travel abilities will come earlier as well. And while we're on the whole faster transportation thing, we'll also see new portals to the Dark Portal for both sides, and a new Thunder Bluff Zeppelin for the Horde. And as long as we're on the subject, if you're looking to get a new flying mount because of the Patch 3.2 changes, remember that Mei Francis in Dalaran can hook you up.

But there were also a few other big stories and interesting happenings going on in the WoW community this week, and since we're coming up on some downtime from 5 AM to 11 AM pacific this morning, you should have plenty of time to read all about it right here on WoW.com. You'll find our usual 7-day roundup below:

Continue reading Tuesday Morning Post: I believe I can fly at level 60 edition

Tuesday Morning Post: I believe I can fly at level 60 edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Solo Hunters can also get phat lootz - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST
I have to confess something. I'm a sucker for hearing stories about someone playing their Hunter in offbeat ways. What do I mean? Well, take for example that fabled Hunter Tank Gweryc.

Last week I got a great tip from Darth Solo over at WoW Alone about another offbeat Hunter idea. Seems Darth is a fan of solo play. At first I thought as you that this probably isn't completely original. We Hunters tend to just run with our pets anyways. But something kept nagging me to go check out WoW Alone and see just what Darth was doing.

Turns out he's put a lot of thought into how to get the most out of your World of Warcraft experience without having to worry about the drama associated with PUGs or even some guilds.

Of course I would be the first to admit that this kind of play style isn't for me. But if you want to find ways of enjoying your Hunter, getting loot all the while avoiding the drama associated with PUGs. Go check out his Hunter Solo Guides for gear, glyphs, and suggested specs for the Solo Hunter.

Solo Hunters can also get phat lootz originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft trends big on Twitter video games - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST
TweetMyGaming is a site started up by our friends over at gamerDNA (they routinely contribute to our sister site Massively, including sharing some great information on WoW's demographics), and while the site is designed to track all mentions of video games on Twitter, one game has more or less dominated the discussion since the site debuted about a month ago. Well, actually, it was The Sims 3 -- apparently as big as World of Warcraft is, it still can't stop EA's Sims series for sheer popularity (or top the series in sales). But still, WoW is sitting at a respectable number two in tweets, and watching the feed go by over on the game's page lets you in on all the different slices of the game's community, from the hardcore raiders to the folks just trying to grab some time to play.

Of course, all of the values on the site are constantly changing, and we're sure they're still tweaking the formula of how games move up and down the list -- The Sims 3 is coming hot off of its release a few weeks ago, and while WoW has a vibrant twitter community for sure, the news about mounts and the new patch 3.2 information last week probably helped keep it up on the radar (just wait and see what happens over BlizzCon -- I wouldn't be surprised to see WoW-related topics trending over Twitter at large).

But WoW is definitely a game that people talk about no matter what's in the news lately. Interesting, but not surprising, that it's holding its own even among the trendiest games on Twitter.

World of Warcraft trends big on Twitter video games originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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It Came from the Blog: Now recruiting - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


[Guild Recruitment - City] It came from the Blog is now recruiting. We are an ultra casual guild where WoW.com writers join in scheduled events with readers. We have a tabard and even a Guild Bank (though usually empty). PST to Robiness if interested.

With the Midsummer Fire Festival coming up, we think it's time to revive the activities of our very own guild: It Came from the Blog. We will be announcing the date and time of our desecrating fires run soon, as well as other events that may or many not coincide with in-game holidays.

If you want to join us, make a Horde character on Zangarmarsh U.S. and ask an ICftB member for an invite -- many have the ability. I will also be popping in and out on one of my characters: Robiness, Robinelle, Robinella or Robinara. (Perhaps you see a trend?)

Events in the past have been for any level and the Midsummer Fire Festival get-together will be the same, but it is always easier to get around if you are mounted and/or old enough to defend yourself against mobs along the way. Also, there will be some events that are designed for higher levels. If you are interested in joining us, I recommend making a Death Knight on Zangarmarsh and getting it through the initial quests, so that it will be available when we start up again.

For more information about It came from the Blog, please read our FAQ.

It Came from the Blog: Now recruiting originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft Game Fuel commercial hits the airwaves - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


People have only been able to get their hands on the WoW themed Mountain Dew Game Fuel within the last couple of weeks (and is only officially supposed to be in stores today), despite the months of hype being thrown behind the product. Throwing more gasoline on the hype-fire comes the new Game Fuel commercial, which you can watch above. Watch it a few times, actually. You may need it to fully comprehend what you've just watched.

It's terrible. Nobody who actually plays WoW will find this commercial anything but corny. It's definitely not aimed at us. Or if it is, the people who made it probably... you know, shouldn't have been the ones to make it. And does it frighten anybody else that even though they used two females as the soda-swilling gamers, one of them turned into a dude? I mean, play whatever avatars you want in-game, but there's something disturbing about a pretty young lady hulking out and turning into a bulging green monstrosity. And I'm not talking She-Hulk. I'm talking a throbbing mass of masculine muscle. Augh. I'm not sure I want to let my girlfriend drink this stuff anymore.

World of Warcraft Game Fuel commercial hits the airwaves originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Keep watching the skies - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

The Daily Quest: Keep watching the skies originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ghostcrawler: Totem position will always matter - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST
We've talked about the limits and benefits of totems before, but Shamans have pretty much agreed that, especially since totems are starting to see some shared usage with other classes' spells, they could really use a revamp in terms of base mechanics. The main issue is simply mobility -- totems are designed to be dropped and immobile, and that on its own starts them at a disadvantage when compared to buffs that are placed directly on players. There have been lots of ideas passed around about how to get out from under that limit -- a "relay" totem that could spread buffs around, a mobile totem attached to the Shaman him/herself, or just a kind of totem pet that could be directed by the Shaman as needed.

But Ghostcrawler just plain says no. In response to many issues with the totem mechanic, he chooses to focus on mobility, saying the fact that Shaman totems have limited range and must be placed in certain places is intrinsic to the way the class functions. He admits that totem mechanics are being examined (the main issue the OP has is totem health, and indeed, it may be tough for Shamans to keep both their totems and their mana up), but says that mobility is not a change they're planning for: totems are designed to be strategically placed once, and that's the way they'll stay.

Bad news? Not really -- when I played as a Shaman, and for most of the Shamans I know, the totem mechanic is something to be proud of. Sure it's a pain, but a physical manifestation of the spells and buffs we cast is unique to the class. The only issue will be whether Blizzard makes up for that disadvantage in some other way -- so far, it seems most totem-droppers would say they haven't.

Ghostcrawler: Totem position will always matter originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Minutes of Fame: The furry fandom - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

If you think "the furry fandom" sounds like a bunch of players who like playing Tauren, you'd be right -- to a tip-of-the-iceberg degree. This week's 15 Minutes of Fame looks at a often maligned, frequently mocked yet little understood hobby and lifestyle: the furry fandom, or furries. Furries (or "furs") are fans of fictional, anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Together, these furries form the furry fandom, a community of artists, writers, roleplayers and general fans of the furry art forms who gather on the internet and at conventions. Yes, these are cosplayers in fur suits - but there's a lot more to it, as this week's profile will show.

Now, before we proceed: Yes, there's a segment of the furry community that's into erotic art. While the media have had the proverbial field day with this furry fodder, the sex-focused furs are by no means an especially representative segment of furry fandom. Even if they were, this profile is not headed there. Instead, let's head back to the WoW.com context of the furry fandom: a World of Warcraft player (and frequent WoW.com commenter) who expresses himself emotionally and spiritually through his furry persona.

EDIT: As always, hateful, insulting and trollish posts will get deleted. You don't have to agree, but you can disagree without resorting to personal attacks. Multiple offenders will be banned, k thx ~ The Management

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: The furry fandom

15 Minutes of Fame: The furry fandom originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 94: More zones than we can remember - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 15:30:00 EST
Our podcast was live on the virtual airwaves last Saturday as usual, and it was a pretty wacky affair -- Turpster, our newest blogger Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington, and I dissected those mount changes that dropped last week, the Mountain Dew Battle-bots and how you can get your hands on one, and how scammers can get past your Authenticator (and how to stop them from doing so). We answered your emails as well, including tips about how to make sure one of your characters finally gets to 80 and all kinds of movie posters from Turpster's little "Ocean's 87" script idea a little while ago. You can check out all of the fan-submitted posters in the gallery below.

Download the show via any of the links below, and do make sure, if you haven't yet, to stop over in iTunes and give us a nice review telling us what you think of the show. It's been a while since we had any reviews go up over there, so mixing in some new voices will probably do us some good. Thanks for listening as always -- we'll see you next week!



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WoW Insider Show Episode 94: More zones than we can remember originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reader UI of the Week: Metzerott - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST


Reader UI of the Week is back! Each week WoW.com will bring you a fresh look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using, to readerui@gmail.com.

This interface, by Metzerott, is one of the more unusual I've seen. With 90% of the submissions I get featuring rectangular unit frames towards the bottom, a large bottom panel studded with action buttons, and a customized mini-map moved to the middle of the bottom, it's nice to see something a little different. Well, it still hits the last point, but two out of three ain't bad.

More importantly to me, it's very minimal. It covers less of the screen than any interface I've seen recently, including the default UI. I'm going to guess that the left unit frame is the player, the right is the target, and the small user frame to the upper-left of the target frame is target-of-target.

Continue reading Reader UI of the Week: Metzerott

Reader UI of the Week: Metzerott originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Need flying mounts? Mei Francis has you covered - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST

Patch 3.1.2 brought it with the usual slew of undocumented changes, but here's one that appears to have flown under the radar for a while -- Mei Francis, Dalaran's exotic mount vendor, now sells basic Outland flying mounts (read: gryphons and wyverns) at both regular and epic speeds. This is great news for, well, anybody who doesn't want to go to Outland! I know that when my shaman hit 77 and I bought all of my flying skills, it was a pain to have to go to Shadowmoon Valley to buy my mount, so I can certainly appreciate the change.

Of course, there are even more mount changes in store -- a 150% speed flyer at 60, for example -- so this is obviously part of the devs' mission to streamline the leveling and traveling process for players of all levels. A welcome and unexpected change for quality of leveling life -- that's what I like to see.

Need flying mounts? Mei Francis has you covered originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Normal raiders are people, too - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

"Normal" mode sounds so dull, doesn't it? Who would want to be "Normal" when you can be "Heroic" -- particularly when being Heroic garners better loot and, for healers specifically, a chance at the ultimate healing mace, Val'anyr. Most guilds on my server prefer the larger raids, and who can blame them? Normal mode is often seen as a fun distraction. Something for raiders to pass the time with, or gear up their alts in, when their guild isn't tackling the "real" version of the instance.

Sometimes Normal mode is easier. There's no question that fights like Vezax are much less complicated when you're only dealing with 10 players. It's certainly nice not having to worry about switching tanks on Kologarn or interrupting Auriaya's Sentinel Blast. But sometimes Normal is not easier. The margin of error is a lot thinner when one death means you've lost half your tanks, a half or a third of your healers, or 15-20% of your DPS. And it could be that your raid doesn't have a single battle rez, let alone three or four. Maybe that's why players prefer Heroic raids: Unless you're going after the more difficult hard-mode encounters, it's not the end of the world when you screw up and die.

This week, one guild leader asks, when most serious raiders only want to run Heroic raids, how can someone recruit for a Normal raiding guild?

Hi Scott,

I'm the GM of a reasonably-successful 10-man raiding guild (we're ranked in the top 90 US guilds according to GuildOx's "Strict 10-man" filter). Like many other guilds, we're seeing a decline in attendance lately (as per your most recent column, "Surviving summer"), and it's become obvious that we need to recruit 4-5 more people of various classes/specs so we can reliably run our scheduled raids without depending on 100% perfect attendance from anyone.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Normal raiders are people, too

Officers' Quarters: Normal raiders are people, too originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Happy Up Here - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Happy Up Here
is the new machinima by that maestro of Gnomes, Baron Soosdon. He spelled out the premise of the video best when he said, "So, I was flying around in Elwynn and found this lonely little house in mountains. It had no residents so that had to be changed!"

Happy Up Here shows the same inspired music choice as the Baron's previous works. According Soosdon himself, he's not done "area creation" before this video; he just wanted to make a video that would help folks smile. Considering the laughs and smiles the gnomes seem to be having, I think he succeeded. The little gnome resort he's created looks like it would be a rolicking good time, complete with dance space, rockets, swimming pool, bars, and more.

This is definitely a fun video to watch, though I could see some folks might be confused if they're looking for something like Little Nikita's action. This video just doesn't work that way. It's a short vignette of fun, and just meant to be enjoyed in its bite-sized lightheartedness.

If you have trouble with the YouTube stream, you can also see Happy Up Here on Vimeo or WeGame.

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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Happy Up Here originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: Jewelry and bleach shirts, take two - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST


World of WarCrafts returns to WoW Insider with a broadened focus to spotlight art and creativity by WoW players and fans, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction - and yes, (War)crafts. Share your creativity: tip us off via the tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts).

Fans of Sugarrat's WoW Bleach Shirt didn't waste a moment after last week's feature to get working on their own creations. We begin this week's World of WarCrafts with another version of the bleach shirt from reader Andy (Zorren of Auchindoun-EU). "I made basically negative versions compared to hers, as the bleach isn't the outline - it's the fill," he wrote. "I based them on spray-paint stencils but had fun bleaching the designs ... and my pants ... and the tablecloth ..."

... and apparently, a hip flask for his friend Criterous of Auchindoun-EU, too. "Similar method to Sugarrat's, except I cut the design from sticker paper and spray painted over it," he noted. It appears to have played a major part in a happy birthday celebration, from the look of things -- check out the photo of a happy Criterous at the very end of this article.

Another bleach shirt, plus a handmade racial necklace (and Criterous' happy day), after the break.

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: Jewelry and bleach shirts, take two

World of WarCrafts: Jewelry and bleach shirts, take two originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: The eye of the universe - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


The aptly named Lightbright of <Night Renegades> on Baelgun sent in this screenshot a while back, accompanied only by the warning "Do not eat all the herbs you gather in Northrend!" Sage advice, although Lightbright appears to be having a pretty good time, just chilling out in the middle of the galaxy or wherever he's at. I think this is what happens when you look directly at a solar eclipse. Those white spots aren't stars; they're holes burned into your eyes by radiation. (Note to science nerds: yes, I know this is not what happens during an eclipse. Work with me here.)

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: The eye of the universe originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Flame Leviathan - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST



Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we step back a little and look at endgame in the context of sports.

Ulduar. Land of legend. Realm of confused Titans. Raid of epics. Ulduar is home to some of the finest fights available in Azeroth, not to mention leagues of incredible lore. Over the next few weeks, your intrepid Ready Check columnists will be taking a look at what you should expect from Ulduar, in both 10 man and 25 man versions.

We're going to go in a simple format. We'll look at the trash before a boss, the boss, then the next trash. So, let's get started with that beautiful runway before Flame Leviathan.

There's a little extra to cover with Leviathan, because of the fight's unique vehicle dynamic. Today's Ready Check will be focused exclusively on this fight. It's not because the fight is so difficult, but because your method for fighting it has absolutely nothing to do with the class you play. You get to learn entirely new stuff for this fight.

The three parts of our Flame Leviathan guide are:
Or you can jump behind the cut to get started.

Continue reading Ready Check: Flame Leviathan

Ready Check: Flame Leviathan originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Do you buy just because of the WoW brand? - Mon, 15 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST
So Mountain Dew is pushing Game Fuel, the site has been live for a couple of weeks and now Battle Bots have gone live for all you lucky people in the US who asked for one. Now I love the WoW brand as much as anyone but that doesn't mean I want to quaff strange liquids in the hope of winning prizes.

It makes me wonder, does seeing that shiny WoW logo on a bottle, a mouse mat or some other item of merchandise make you more likely to buy it? Do you think that the WoW logo brings with it some kind of quality mark that sets such an item out as being worthy of your purchase? Drop your thoughts into the comments box below.

Breakfast Topic: Do you buy just because of the WoW brand? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft comic issue #20 preview - Sun, 14 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST

The World of Warcraft comic train keeps a-rollin' with the upcoming twentieth issue, with this one focusing on everyone's favorite pre-Wrath Scourge invasion. Here's what the official PR solicitation has to say:

The Scourge makes their move and attacks from all fronts intent on taking no prisoners! No longer united, can Varian and Thrall survive the onslaught? And will Valeera once again succumb to her addiction to magical energy?

Oh no, dear readers! Can they? Will she?

I guess you'll just have to pick up the comic. If you need a quick fix, though, you can check out BlizzPlanet's scans of the preview that they've so graciously provided. At a glance, the art seems to be a bit improved over the Onyxia arc (thankfully) and, possibly more importantly, we're finally getting into recent and familiar territory. Heck, the comic's only a few months behind us now! Maybe soon you'll read about yourself killing Yogg-Saron before you even do it.

World of Warcraft comic issue #20 preview originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 14 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: The all a-Twitter edition - Sun, 14 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Ahhh, Sunday -- what's known around our place as "the day of extras": extra sleep, extra housework (blarrrg), extra mileage on the jogging trail, extra errands in game (going fishing in hopes of catching up with Mr. Pinchy, anyone?). If you're pining for some WoW love this weekend yet find yourself stuck outside of the game, don't feel as if you're all on your lonesome. Join the WoW crowd on Twitter. Most of the WoW.com team is there, plus a wider community of WoW players from all over the world. It's addictive - come follow the latest scuttle and see for yourself.

More of the latest scuttle, of course, from other WoW.com readers, after the break.

Continue reading [1.Local]: The all a-Twitter edition

[1.Local]: The all a-Twitter edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 14 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ashbringer TPB is pretty legendary - Sun, 14 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


It was with a mix of anticipation and apprehension that I wrote about the Ashbringer Trade Paperback by Wildstorm which collects all four issues of the limited series. After all, I wasn't entirely impressed with the regular series featuring Varian Wrynn but thoroughly enjoyed Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends manga, so while I was decided upon getting Ashbringer, I had moderately low expectations.

The good thing about having low expectations is that it's hard to get disappointed. It turns out, however, that I didn't have to set my expectations so low... the Ashbringer comics are a very good read from start to finish, particularly for readers who play World of Warcraft. In fact, that might be its one caveat -- the Ashbringer limited series is a decent read for the average reader but truly shines for players, who are familiar with the story and recognize the characters.

Continue reading Ashbringer TPB is pretty legendary

Ashbringer TPB is pretty legendary originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 14 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: The core layer - Sun, 14 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


This week's edition of All the World's a Stage concludes a three-part series on the layers of social interaction in roleplaying. Next week we will continue looking at how to roleplay one's professions.

Good friends are stars in the sky of life, and especially as roleplayers, friends are absolutely essential to our hobby - our whole reason for playing WoW involves creative social interactions. Even if you never really know who a roleplaying partner is in real life, just roleplaying with him or her for a few minutes can create a memorable experience.

Previously, we discussed how to roleplay when you first meet someone, as well as what to do once you've gotten to know them a bit more. The key in each case is remembering that roleplaying is a social experience first, and a creative one second - your character must conform to the rules of good socialization before he or she can succeed creatively. Even though at first this seems more limiting, in the end it will be more liberating, because through sociable characters, you can collaboratively create stories and experiences in a way that no other form of storytelling can.

In fact, the closer you become to your group of friends, the more the possibilities bloom. The core concept characterizations you used to use to entertain strangers are still useful, but here they can take on a deeper meaning. You still listen to your friends and adapt your own character to theirs, but now they will listen to you, and adapt their characters to yours. The closer your friendships are, the more your exploration and creativity are truly mutual and cooperative, and the more you can try out new things that you've never done before.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: The core layer

All the World's a Stage: The core layer originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 14 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How not to apply to a guild - Sun, 14 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST
The Wordy Warrior covers a well-traveled subject in an interesting way in her latest post. We've already talked in-depth about how to get into a good raiding guild (and we've even covered some amazing guild applications), but straight from the trenches of guild leadership, Ariedan sends an open letter to anyone applying to her guild with, some might say, the wrong attitude.

Here's the thing: especially if you're applying to a progression guild, odds are that they don't need you. They're progressing just fine, and bringing you in just opens the door for more drama. It's a risk, and it's your job to convince them to take that risk, hopefully for the benefit of both. So if you show up to an application and don't take it seriously, and flip out when they question your background, and expect them to take you on without any proof you'd be valuable to them, don't be surprised when they laugh you right out of their forums.

We're probably preaching to the choir here -- if you're reading this site, you probably already have at least one clue, and are either in a guild you like that is not a raiding guild, or are in a progression guild that you got into because you were able to justify that risk. But if you're still having trouble figuring out how to get where you want to be, take WW's advice to heart: it's on you to justify your entry to the guild, it's not on them to put up with you.

How not to apply to a guild originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 14 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW, Casually: Tips for leveling on a PvP realm - Sun, 14 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

I have played on a PvP server for years, so I can tell you with authority that I cannot recommend choosing a PvP realm if you have limited playtime. PvE servers have it so much easier as far as questing solo in contested territories. I can only imagine how much easier it would be to quest in zones like Hillsbrad Foothills and Stranglethorn Vale without the fear of being ganked every few minutes. And as you can see above, my time in Borean Tundra hasn't been exactly gank-free.

Continue reading WoW, Casually: Tips for leveling on a PvP realm

WoW, Casually: Tips for leveling on a PvP realm originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 14 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: The great race - Sun, 14 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


You know you've been waiting too long for new content when you start organizing events like this one. "It's been a long-standing tradition of my guild to run level 1 naked gnome/dwarf races, or as we call them, "nakkid" races," writes Baddad of <Survivors of the Storm> on Madoran. "The goal is to run from Dun Morogh into Ironforge, through the Deeprun Tram (players can take the tram and it's often VERY funny to watch someone just barely miss the tram and fall into the pit) and then through the gates of Stormwind." That's Baddad refereeing in the middle with his impartial Felguard advisor. He adds that in this particular race, first place went to Nenet, with Tiberiusll as runner-up and Sycosimp taking the bronze.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: The great race originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 14 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Do I sound fat? - Sun, 14 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST
Today's comic list is full of surprises, including great artwork, plot development, hilarity, and one or two that didn't really tickle my fancy this week. Perhaps if I were a bigger fan of tacos....

Sunday Morning Funnies: Do I sound fat? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 14 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What do you think of region-specific pets? - Sun, 14 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


European gamers are not happy bunnies. Blizzard implemented rolling restarts to remove whatever bug had allowed gamers to get themselves a Battle Bot pet. Yes, they stood before European WoW players and said: 'No you shall not have a Bot' leaving them feeling unloved and bereft. It does kind of make sense though given Mountain Dew is almost unheard of in Europe.

This is that first time that I can recall when Blizzard have made a non-combat pet region-exclusive. However with the promise of a Jade Green Panda (most likely a gift to compensate all the millions of Chinese players who have been without WoW for weeks during the transition from The9 to NetEase) I don't think it will be the last.

So, dear readers, what do you feel about region-specific pets? Do you think they're a great idea to reward gamers in a specific region? Not got a Battle Bot and a feeling a little neglected? Do you think Blizzard should just give every players the ability to get a pet rather than make it region/account specific?

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of region-specific pets? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 14 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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