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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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We are all humans - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

Someone just asked me on Twitter if I thought humans in World of Warcraft are boring. I don't think that at all. I have several reasons for not thinking humans are boring, which I'll lay out for you now:
  1. Humans had/have the most elaborate and interesting political backstory in the game. The conflict between the House of Nobles, the stonemasons and craftsmen, and the House of Wrynn over Stormwind's rebuilding has led to the existence of the Defias Brotherhood, the machinations of the Black Dragonflight and the collapse of Stormwind's outlying territories. Westfall, Darkshire and Redridge are all cut off and fractured, and the aftermath of the war with the Lich King and the Cataclysm only kept the pressure on. Stormwind, as the last remaining human kingdom now that Theramore and Gilneas are effectively gone and Kul Tiras is missing, totters on the edge.
  2. Humans have a great tradition of loss and perseverance. The orcs lost a world, but they're the ones who destroyed it, so it's hard to sympathize with them. The humans rose from scattered refugees on an alien shore to seven mighty kingdoms that ruled much of the Eastern continent, and the loss of those kingdoms after the coming of the Burning Legion and the Scourge is a story of loss piled on loss, heartbreak piled on heartbreak. The refugees from Lordaeron that survived came to Stormwind, and it is that nation which has the lion's share of the burden of rebuilding from this staggering loss.
  3. Every other race in World of Warcraft is just a metaphor for humanity.
I'll expand on point three now.

Continue reading We are all humans

We are all humans originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Pogo - Roarcraft - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

You're not prepared for this video. I don't know how you could prepare for this video. It's not possible. Built from in-game tracks and largely sang by baby murlocs, Pogo's Roarcraft is one of the best WoW songs ever created. Inspired by this greatness, GoldPikPikCarrots wrapped a thematically perfect machinima around it. Take the time to watch this video; it's really that good.

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

WoW Moviewatch: Pogo - Roarcraft originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR: Flag carrying deals more damage to tanks - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST

The most recent batch of patch 5.3 PTR notes caused quite the stir thanks to one particular bullet point referring to PvP. WoW Insider thought this merited some clarification and background, and, it seems, so did both Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka, and Lead Systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, as both made an effort to clarify the change on Twitter. The change reads as follows:

Blizzard
Picking up the Alliance or Horde flag while in a Rated Battleground now increases damage taken by 50% for characters in a tanking specialization, and increases damage taken by 20% for characters in a non-tanking specialization.

To be completely clear, in an effort to avoid confusion, this change is currently only active on the patch 5.3 PTR, not on live servers. What's more, it only relates to Rated Battlegrounds. This is not applicable to random battlegrounds.

With that housekeeping out of the way, there's something else that everyone should know when assessing the weight and purpose of this change, which Brian Holinka clarified via Twitter shortly after the patch notes were released.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR: Flag carrying deals more damage to tanks

Patch 5.3 PTR: Flag carrying deals more damage to tanks originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Hand of Vengeance: Forsaken having the time of their unlives - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

Of all the cities in Azeroth, the one that seems to me most like a living, breathing city is coincidentally the one that's undead. The Undercity huddles beneath the ruins of Lordaeron, drenched in atmospheric detail: its hidden underground tunnel, an oft-confusing pinwheel layout and dangerous elevators that confound new visitors, the eerie ruins above with their invisible ghosts, the throne room with all its power struggles and heart-wrenching beauty -- and the Royal Apothecary Society. Who hasn't spent time cautiously exploring the Apothecarium, with its cages of groaning test subjects and burbling vats of green plague?

Many players haven't given much thought to the cadre of Forsaken apothecaries in an expansion or more, but you'd be a fool if you assumed they hadn't been busy. Their story has captured the imaginations of a group of players on Moon Guard (US), the all-Forsaken guild The Hand of Vengeance. Named for the Forsaken forces sent to Northrend by Sylvanas Windrunner to wreak plague and vengeance upon the Lich King, this roleplaying group functions within the context of the Royal Apothecary Society itself, continuing its evil work in a fascinating adventure that's captivated its all-undead player roster.

Continue reading The Hand of Vengeance: Forsaken having the time of their unlives

The Hand of Vengeance: Forsaken having the time of their unlives originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3: New Battleground Deepwind Gorge - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST

The battleground is set in a relatively large map, reflective of its 15v15 size, with three mines in a north-south line across the middle. From the top to the bottom of the map, they are the Pandaren Mine, the Center Mine, and the Goblin Mine. The Alliance base is at the eastern end of the map, with the Horde starting at the western end. There is only one graveyard on either side.

As can be seen from the screenshot in the header image, there's a pretty open central run from the Alliance to the Horde bases, both of which look down on the Center Mine, which is indicated by the vertical beam of light in the middle of the image, and in the middle of the map!

Continue reading Patch 5.3: New Battleground Deepwind Gorge

Patch 5.3: New Battleground Deepwind Gorge originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Navigating the loot - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

While perusing Wowhead's blue tracker the other day I stumbled across this thread on the EU forums about the LFR loot system, its frustrations, and potential alternatives. Community manager Draztal is pretty active in the thread, which is nice to see -- there is plenty of back-and-forth and, despite player accusations of just parroting Blizzard policy, Draztal has a lot of good points to make about the nature of effort and reward.

The truth is that WoW has never consistently rewarded players for running dungeons or raids. I still get a little involuntary curl to my lip anytime I think about Burning Crusade-era heroics, particularly Magister's Terrace, and how often I ran them trying to get some piece of gear, and how often my groups wiped and nothing I needed dropped anyway (and all those useless PvP gems).

I agree it's frustrating to run LFR and only get gold, though I did have to sit down and think about why, in particular. After all, I killed Saurfang in Icecrown for probably upwards of three months before I finally got the Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff. During all that time it never occurred to me that my failure to receive loot was an indication that the entire system needed an overhaul. After a couple minutes ruminating, though, I think the answer is pretty obvious: loot is the only real reason to run LFR (with the exception of just experiencing content, for those who may not have the opportunity to raid otherwise).

Continue reading Navigating the loot

Navigating the loot originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Legendary Meta Gem restrictions for upgraded items - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

The Legendary meta gems, added in patch 5.2, as the reward from the latest part of Wrathion's quest chain are getting quite the reputation. Amongst others, top EU guild Method asserted that these items were key to their World First Ra-den kill, as the buff they provide to gear, particularly the proc, is so substantial.

But there's some confusion around regarding their usage. A cursory glance at the tooltip indicates that they can be socketed in any item with an ilvl of more than 504. A poster on the EU forums has asked today for explanation on why his ilvl 496 helm, which he had upgraded to ilvl 504, is still considered too low-level for the gem. Blizzard Community Manager Draztal responds as follows:

Draztal
Quote:

Is it intended that you aren't able to socket upgraded gear prior to 5.2 with the legendary Meta? I have a 496 helm upgraded to 504 but it still denies that it is high enough to be socketed. Some dev feedback be appreciated.

Yes, it is intended that you can't put the legendary meta gem on an upgraded 496 helm, but the developers are currently discussing how upgraded items may behave down the road.

No promises or any specifics we can share at this time, though.

What's your take on this? I suspect that it's potentially born of an issue with the way upgrades are designed. It seems odd that, while the item has the required ilvl, an error is still generated. Perhaps it's an effort on the developers' part to ensure the Legendary meta can only be equipped in gear obtained from Throne of Thunder normal mode, or last tier's heroic gear.

Ghostcrawler tweeted the following, which seems slightly contradictory to Draztal's post, but does clarify Blizzard's intent:


Given that we've had reports of the gem working in last tier's Heroic items, it seems a little odd that upgraded gear should be excluded. Nonetheless, forewarned is forearmed, so we thought we should inform you!

Legendary Meta Gem restrictions for upgraded items originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.2 hotfixes for April 16 - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

The latest set of hotfixes are here, and as you'd expect, a lot of them relate to the Throne of Thunder raid, the last Raid Finder wing of which opened yesterday in the US, and today in the EU. Amongst the abilities and elements which have suffered nerfs, Durumu will now pause for longer after his "Eye Sores" -- the maze of purple doom -- before starting up his regular attacks again. Tortos' whirl turtles have now had an issue removed where, just occasionally, they would proceed towards the boss at what seemed like a glacially slow speed, even when kicked in a timely fashion!

What's more, there have been several nerfs to heroic boss abilites, which implies that, with the world first race over, heroic progression might not be going quite as quickly as the development team had imagined. Again, these are targeted nerfs to specific abilities, and to a few bugs, such as Iron Qon's champions trying to reposition themselves. However, Heroic Primordius has taken a flat 11% health nerf in both 10-man and 25-man heroic difficulty.

There have also been several adjustments to the procs of the Legendary meta gems, with changes being made to both Clearcasting and Fortitude which should allow them to function correctly. Hit the break for the full changes!

Continue reading Patch 5.2 hotfixes for April 16

Patch 5.2 hotfixes for April 16 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Not an opera - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST

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

Today's Queue is not about opera. Rejoice.

Donald asked:

Alex, I was reading your post on what the Alliance is missing. As a Horde player, it felt like our faction could use similar things like more familiar faces questing etc. How would you feel if the horde got the same treatment?

Continue reading The Queue: Not an opera

The Queue: Not an opera originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: By the dawning of the sun, she'll take over the world - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

"Why yes!" exclaims submitter Nounours of GrandGalacticInquisitor on Llane (US-A). "I most certainly do intend to take over Tanaris and then the rest of the World (of Warcraft) with my Spider-Death-Machine. How kind of you to ask!" You're trying to take over Tanaris? Way to set your sights low. Let's capture the empty scorpion-filled desert from the intoxicated pirates and the poorly-organized trolls! Next on the invasion list: Winterspring! We'll need at least a level 70 for that.

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

Around Azeroth: By the dawning of the sun, she'll take over the world originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: The Horde vs. the Horde - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

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

Spoilers for patch 5.3 to follow

Back in the day, and be not mistaken the day was well before The Burning Crusade was even a glimmer in our eyes, I rolled a tauren warrior. His name was Vorn. Vorn went on many quests, because questing was my favorite way to level. Vorn went all over the world, exploring the Horde and the lands under its control, and he found a lot he liked about his allies. He could respect the orcish ferocity and skill in war, the trollish craft, guile, and restrained sense of humor (the Darkspears are sardonic in their way), and even the forsaken seemed to have a wide disparity of personality types. I met forsaken in Thunder Bluff who sent me across the world to return a locket to a tombstone, and that quest moved me to explore the forests of Silverpine, and in time to go to Undercity itself. To be sure, I found there to be aspects of their unlives that disturbed me, but they displayed a strength in adversity that I found admirable.

And then they ruined it.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: The Horde vs. the Horde

Know Your Lore: The Horde vs. the Horde originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: We've all been a ninja - Wed, 17 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

My esteemed colleague Sarah Pine and I were, as ever, chatting about nothing in particular in WoW Insider's chatroom, when we stumbled upon the question of ninjas. No, not quite what you're thinking, the bad kind of ninja who steals loot from under the noses of the noble, but the other kind of ninja. Yes, it's also a bad kind of ninja, I'm thinking today about the ninja that pulls.

Ninja pulls are almost always embarrassing, and you can tell from an (admittedly lengthy) reading of my past breakfast topics that I love asking you all to share your darkest WoW secrets. So let's talk about ninja pulls. I've definitely had my share, everything from the bog-standard "oops, got a little too close there" to accidentally activating auto-run, the dreaded hunter auto-shot pull, and more, but one that particularly sticks in my mind is when my guild was first taking on Stone Guard.

Our warlock had, helpfully, put a Demonic Gateway to take players from the entrance end of the room to the end of the room where Feng hangs out. Very generous indeed. Now, I'm a jumper. I leap around the place while I'm waiting like a particularly excitable kangaroo. It must drive people half mad. Anyhow that day, I was bouncing about as I always do, and accidentally leapt into the Gateway. No big deal? Well, this was before you had to click the Gateway to use it. I flew through the air, swearing like a fishwife, straight into the Jade Guardian. We wiped. I apologized, profusely, and was roundly chastised for my jumpy ways!

So tell me about your ninja pulls. Don't be afraid, we're all friends here!

Breakfast Topic: We've all been a ninja originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Will WoW ever come to consoles? - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

With Blizzard taking Diablo 3 to the PlayStation, we kind of have to wonder... is World of Warcraft ever going to make a console debut? And before you say it's impossible, that World of Warcraft is too complicated to play on a console, once we would have all said that about Diablo, too. And if Diablo makes the jump successfully -- there's no release date yet, so it's hard to say when we'll be able to judge its success -- maybe WoW will follow. At any rate, seeing WoW come to a console is probably a lot more likely than ever getting that pony Ghostcrawler promised us.

So, fellow gamers, if WoW did come to consoles... would you be playing it? Would it encourage you to buy one of those next gen consoles we've heard so many rumors about? Or would you stick to your PC gaming rig?

Will WoW ever come to consoles? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pinnacle of Storms is now open in Raid Finder - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

If you're looking for something to do in WoW tonight you're in luck because the Pinnacle of Storms wing of Throne of Thunder has just opened in the raid finder. If you haven't kept up with the story of patch 5.2's massive Throne of Thunder raid, this wing will pit you against Iron Qon, the Twin Consorts, and even Lei Shen, the Thunder King himself. If you need some help figuring out these fights, check out our PTR guides to Iron Qon, the Twin Consorts, and Lei Shen as well as Icy Veins strategy guides for Iron Qon, Twin Consorts, and Lei Shen.

Good luck and happy raiding!

Pinnacle of Storms is now open in Raid Finder originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Swirly Ball and a bag of coins - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

When Blizzard reintroduced Detection via the Glyph of Detection, I was ecstatic. Trap detection had been baked into the class when Detect Traps was originally removed, but that didn't stop rogues from waxing nostalgic about Swirly Ball. Warlocks wanted their green fire, warriors were trying to use Titan's Grip with polearms, and rogues begged for Swirly Ball back. The Glyph of Detection is the perfect minor glyph because it's fun and it's purely cosmetic. Or is it?

Balarak, who is unfortunately a hunter, discovered a secret rogue event while infiltrating Ravenholdt Manor. Nobody expected what he found there. Ghosts and spirits, a hidden tribute to the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, a rogue-only item with amazing capabilities, and the implication that maybe, even in this age of data mining, we haven't found everything WoW has to offer.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Swirly Ball and a bag of coins

Encrypted Text: Swirly Ball and a bag of coins originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Game of Gnomes - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST

Game of Gnomes is a pretty good send-up of HBO's massive epic series based on the books of the same name. Slightly Impressive obviously couldn't feature some of the naughtier aspect of the show, but he definitely pointed out some of the more absurd ones.

That throne of swords is pretty amazing. We need that model in game. And I have always wondered about that "Winter is Coming" thing, especially when they're standing neck deep in snow. If nothing else, Game of Gnomes gets you caught up on the basic things you need to know about the series.

Hodor. Hodor Hodor Hodor.

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

WoW Moviewatch: Game of Gnomes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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33% off the Battle Chest for this week only! - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

For this week only, ending April 22, the Battle Chest is available on the battle.net store for just €10. This basically equates to a third off, save the euro cent, and this is reflected in the sterling price of £7.99. Based on our past experience here at WoW Insider, we are fairly confident in asserting that a US sale will follow shortly, and we'll update this post to reflect that.

Why should you purchase a Battle Chest? You're already playing WoW! Well, imagine if more of your friends played WoW, too. This is a great way to get started, and do remember that, of course, given the recent addition of Wrath of the Lich King to the Battle Chest, and the change meaning that all players can play all races, there's a whole lot of WoW here for your money.

This is also a great way to get your hands on a mount, the Obsidian Nightwing to be precise, and as we investigated here at WoW Insider a while back, Recruit-A-Friend a pretty reasonable way to buy a mount. You also get some sweet leveling bonuses, grantable levels, 300%XP, that sort of thing, and you get the chance at a Scroll of Resurrection, when those next come around.

Update: The Battle Chest is now also on sale in the US for $10.

33% off the Battle Chest for this week only! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Winners announced for Blizzard Student Art Contest - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST

Blizzard's second annual Student Art Contest has announced its winners. There were three announced winners for environments; Nick Dariano, Daehi Kim, and Kyoungche Kim all won fo their work designing environments. The character design winner was Ariel Fain for her "Old Crow" who I immediately demand as a playable race in the next expansion.

You can see the awesome winners and the honorable mentions (all of which are pretty awesome as well - I especially like the Mole Master character design) at the official site.


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

Winners announced for Blizzard Student Art Contest originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The WoW Insider Show Episode 290 - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

Every week, join us as we present you with The WoW Insider Show podcast -- an hour's worth of WoW community discussion covering everything from the week's top stories here on WoW Insider to emails from our readers and what's been going on with our particular characters in Azeroth.

Want to have your question answered on the air? Email theshow@wowinsider.com!

Get the podcast:

[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:


The WoW Insider Show Episode 290 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Watch out: Most game hacks are actually malware - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

We know that all of our readers are swell guys and gals who would never cheat at World of Warcraft, but just in case you needed another reason to avoid that kind of thing, anti-virus maker AVG is reporting that 90% of game hacks contain malware. And beyond the fact that using a hack will get your account banned by Blizzard, malware has a good chance to steal your WoW account and other sensitive information -- like bank account information or credit card numbers.

We know it seems to take forever to grind for gold or levels sometimes, but if you see something offering to get you gold, levels, achievements, or anything else with the click of a button -- don't click! If these things sound too good to be true, they probably are. So instead, keep your account secure by avoiding hacks and being sure you only download addons from trusted sources. Your account, safe and secure, will thank you!

[Via The Escapist]

Watch out: Most game hacks are actually malware originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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UI Surgery: Downsizing your UI for a smaller screen or resolution - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

Sometimes players find themselves in the position where they have to downsize. It happens to us all now and then, for whatever reason, you're heading to someone else's house and need to play on their computer, your monitor explodes and you find yourself using that little one you had in the attic to make your raid happen, your desktop decides enough is enough and you're stuck with a laptop, your good laptop goes back to Asus to be repaired for the third time and you've got to use the little laptop with the lower resolution. And your UI's a mess.

We've actually had a few emails about exactly these sorts of issues, asking how to rework or resize a UI for a smaller screen, what's good and what's bad, and what works the best for form and function over both different sizes and on a small screen. Last week's Reader UI of the Week, from Thieren, made an excellent job of this. Thieren plays on a 1280x1024 monitor, and, thanks to her preferred in-game activities, requires both large chat panes and a lot of screen space, something that isn't often available on a smaller monitor, but makes great use of what she has to play with.

Continue reading UI Surgery: Downsizing your UI for a smaller screen or resolution

UI Surgery: Downsizing your UI for a smaller screen or resolution originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

Given the events of the last day, I have little taste to write and talk about WoW at the moment. While video games are a fun distraction, sometimes I think that there needs to be a little less escape into the hyperreal of our simulated environs and more focus on the desert of the real itself. WoW isn't The Matrix, but I've been wondering lately if it's getting too close for comfort. With us being on the verge of complete environmental simulated encapsulation through either consumer-friendly VR glasses or full-room projections, the day will come where we're able to transport ourselves directly into our characters. I don't know if philosophically that level of escapism is advisiable.

So in today's Queue, let's cover some other subjects I can talk about. We'll hit up some WoW, too.

Shannon asked:

Okay, opera then: What's your favorite opera? Do you sing, & if so, what voice part? Do you have a favorite role or character?

Continue reading The Queue

The Queue originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: The achievement that ate my brain - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Exys of Invalid Target on Mal'Ganis (US-H) has stalled out at level 80 so she can gear up her death knight for the Herald of the Titans achievement. Although this isn't the craziest achievement possible (see: I Thought He Was Supposed To Be Hard) or the most time-consuming (see: Insane in the Membrane), it's still pretty rare, especially considering how difficult it must be to find a group to get level-appropriate gear nowadays. Exys took this screenshot after she caught Malygos's aggro and perished in the Eye of Eternity. Ah, it makes me nostalgic for the days of Wrath, before I got dumb and had a kid, when I was able to play for more than fifteen consecutive minutes.

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

Around Azeroth: The achievement that ate my brain originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Last Week in WoW: Alliance pride edition - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone. It's been an undercurrent for a while now, but a pressing question seems to be sweeping the WoW world lately. Is the Alliance getting a bad deal in lore right now? A lot of people think so. Our writers got in on the discussion too. Anne talked about reactive vs. proactive storytelling, while Alex advocates a return of some Alliance heroes and more equality for the Alliance player character, among other things.

I won't lie, I side with those who are disappointed with Alliance lore lately. I've tried to console myself with cinematics of our glory days, including that one at the top of this article. The other option was ice cream, but I'm trying to lose weight.

Luckily, no matter what you think of Alliance lore, the rest of game is still pretty awesome. For proof, read on. We have a roundup of all the latest news, including some of the good stuff coming with patch 5.3. Realm maintenance starts at 5 a.m. Pacific time and lasts 6 hours, so you have time to read up.

Hot news and features

Continue reading Last Week in WoW: Alliance pride edition

Last Week in WoW: Alliance pride edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Talent chaos - Tue, 16 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

Choosing talents is a fun aspect of playing WoW. Many talents are situational, or work in concert with certain glyphs to produce unique effects. Some healers and tanks use their second spec not for a solo or questing DPS build, but as another healing or tank spec specifically tuned to certain encounters. Some people have a PvE and a PvP build, or a battleground build and an arena build. The bottom line is that talents add options and choices, leaving players to determine what they like and what works best for them.

New expansions and available levels bring us new spells and abilities, and with talents, we often get even more. I'll admit, I pretty quickly fall into the "overwhelmed by options" box. For me, the first question I ask myself when picking a new talent is, "Does this tier have a passive option?" I love passive options. I don't have to figure out where to keybind another button!

This doesn't mean that I'll always take the passive option, of course. Sometimes it's just really not a good idea. For example, as a resto druid, there was no way I was ever going to pick Soul of the Forest over Incarnation. But for my feral spec, I picked Dream of Cenarius (though I am considering switching to Heart of the Wild), and both specs get Feline Swiftness. Though I can justify those choices in other ways, I won't pretend that the fact that they are passive abilities wasn't also a huge draw. My kingdom for extra spaces on my bars!

How about you? Do you, like me, groan at the thought of having to rearrange your action bars yet again to make room for some new ability you can't pass up? Do viable passive options bring you inordinate glee? How do you deal with the glut of choice in this game?

Breakfast Topic: Talent chaos originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: 3 silly little death knight problems - Mon, 15 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

A few weeks back, I wrote a column singing the praises of the patch 5.2 death knight. I definitely stand by that column. Death knights remain a solid, fun class to play this patch. That said, there's always problems. Some of them probably won't ever be solved by patch changes. Today, we're going to look at some of the sillier death knight problems I've been dealing with lately, and see if there's any chance of relief for them.

My weapon won't drop

This is a problem I've had for ages. It seems like ever since Wrath, my death knight has had to wait a little longer for the weapon I actually want to wield because either it never drops or because someone else generally wins the roll or pays more DKP than me.

I, of course, do my best to do a little bit of every spec every patch because I want to be able to report on DK issues first hand, but my first death knight love and my main spec will always be some form of two-handed DPS.

Continue reading Lichborne: 3 silly little death knight problems

Lichborne: 3 silly little death knight problems originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes for April 15

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR: Role Check in Battleground queues

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading The eternal question of mounting versus running

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

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

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

Action and reaction

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

Continue reading Another take: What is the Alliance missing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading Blood Pact: The chaotic influence of haste

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Reworking a guild concept

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

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

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

Why are they here? Nobody knows.

On second thought, maybe they're grummles.

@Skeptikk asked:

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

Continue reading The Queue: Two dead gnomes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading Gold Capped: How to make cheaper Enchanting materials

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

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