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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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WoW Machinima: Hockers - Fri, 17 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

RomireVids is hitting the street with a brand new video: Hockers. A Pawn Stars parody, this video turns Azeroth into a bizarre, huge pawn shop. It's got some shout-outs to bizarre lore moments of the past, a few slightly purple jokes, and more than a few punchlines.

This video is a huge step up for Romire. The graphics are solid for the subject matter and the voice acting is excellent. Most importantly, the script flows convincingly and sticks to a single train of thought. It's a nice video from Romire. My hat's off to you, sir!
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 Machinima: Hockers originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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University of Texas and Blizzard COO Paul Sams launch game design academy - Fri, 17 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

If you're looking to go pro in game design, Blizzard COO Paul Sams has teamed up with the University of Texas at Austin to create the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy. The academy will be led and taught by gaming industry executives and the curriculum will be guided by industry veteran Warren Spector. The 12-month, post-baccalaureate program will guide students through creating a game from start to finish, giving them the experience they need to join the gaming industry when they graduate.

"The University of Texas at Austin has a tremendous track record of building nationally recognized programs that generate the leaders and critical thinkers the gaming industry needs," Sams said. "The program will focus on building the skills required for students to lead teams and develop games from concept to completion, while growing talent for the gaming industry."

The program starts in 2014, but with only 20 spots available, you probably have a better chance of getting into a competitive raid guild.

University of Texas and Blizzard COO Paul Sams launch game design academy originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This crochet worgen will growl its way into your heart - Fri, 17 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

World of Warcraft's worgen aren't always friendly, but in the case of this crochet worgen we can confirm cuddliness. WoW player Venuz created this little guy for a WoW craft swap and we've got to say he looks true to in-game worgen, if on a more diminutive scale. Venuz has been crocheting for about 20 years now -- it's her favorite hobby outside of WoW -- and created the pattern for this worgen from scratch. So what's next on the crafting agenda? Venuz says she'd like to make an attempt at a crochet orc.

We have a full-sized image of this crafty creation after the break or you can check out Venuz's gallery on Imgur.

Continue reading This crochet worgen will growl its way into your heart

This crochet worgen will growl its way into your heart originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Unborn Val'kyr - Fri, 17 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

The ghostly creature hovered in the air, quietly chewing on a chocolate chip cookie. Her iridescent wings flapped in slow, lazy arcs.

"And you don't know where you got her?" Lolegolas asked. "No clue at all?"

"None," Throgg confirmed. "I just opened up my pet bag and poof. There she was. She's pretty cute, though. In an adorable way, I mean."

Lolegolas nodded. "So, she's a mystery. Why is she unborn?"

"It turns out her people don't consider you really born until you kill a worthy target," Throgg said.

"That's kind of harsh," Lolegolas said. "Does she fight well?"

"Incredibly well," Throgg said. "That's why I gave her a cookie. She totally decimated my opponent a few moments ago. She likes cookies."

Item Note: The Unborn Val'kyr is shrouded in mystery; we're not quite sure where you can get it yet. While Northrend is an obvious component, the details are still vague. Stay tuned for more details!
Phat Loot Phriday brings you the scoop on some of the most ... interesting ... loot in the World of Warcraft, often viewed through the eyes of the stalwart Throgg and indelible Lolegolas. Suggest items you think we should feature by emailing mikeg@wowinsider.com.

Phat Loot Phriday: Unborn Val'kyr originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3: Latest PTR build is a release candidate - Fri, 17 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Yesterday, we asked you what your best guess was for the arrival date of patch 5.3, and at the time the article was written, the PTR build was still a test. Since then, it has been updated, as many commenters mentioned, and is now a release candidate.
What does this mean for a potential release date? Looking back at patch 5.1, WoW Insider reported that a release candidate was live on November 13th, and the patch released on November 27th, a fortnight after the first release candidate went up. Patch 5.2 went to a PTR release candidate on the PTR on February 26th, and the patch dropped on March 5th, just one week later. We can't really discuss earlier patches, thanks to Blizzard's new, improved patch cycle, but these two indicate that the patch may well drop within the next fortnight, so May 21st or 28th, perhaps the first week in June at the latest.

Of course, this is just estimation, we're doing research and gathering clues, but it's not a firm confirmation. While you're waiting, you can check out all our patch 5.3 coverage.

Patch 5.3: Latest PTR build is a release candidate originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Community Blog Topic: Should well-behaved players be rewarded? - Fri, 17 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Last time we talked about getting rid of funsuckers, but what about the many players who enhance our gametime? Should they be rewarded? How would you go about it?

Perhaps we could have a dropdown box where you could report a player for being extra helpful or otherwise going above and beyond to make your day better. Perhaps someone answered your question politely in tradechat. Or a player asked if you were going for the mining node you were fighting on top of rather than just ninjaing it during your battle. Or maybe someone helped you fight a battle out in the wild that got out of control with adds.

Once someone gathered enough reports of being helpful, what would the rewards be? I would think it would have to be something that doesn't affect gameplay. If it did, guilds may insist on guildies reporting each other has helpful just to skew the system in their favor. Perhaps it would just reward a series of titles. Unfortunately, guilds may still require guildies to report each other in order to get those titles just to collect.

Continue reading Community Blog Topic: Should well-behaved players be rewarded?

Community Blog Topic: Should well-behaved players be rewarded? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 5.4 - Fri, 17 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Yes, patch 5.3 isn't even out yet, and we're already looking towards patch 5.4. Thanks to Ghostcrawler, we have this to think about for the future, namely that Vengeance is getting capped at a significantly lower threshold in raids in the future. If you remember back at August of last year, Vengeance saw some significant changes that increased how fast it could ramp up in raids and also gave it a far larger maximum potential. It's been adjusted over time, but in general what GC said back last August has held true -- tank DPS in raiding really did go up. To the point where on some pulls it's not unusual to see tanks leading the DPS, sometimes by extremely large numbers.

Since this is a big change that will drastically lower tank damage output (25-man tanks with their 600,000 or more health buffed will lose roughly 300,000 AP on fights where Vengeance was capping at 100% of their health) I'm not surprise it won't be coming in 5.3 -- I am a little surprised it's happening at all, because we all knew Vengeance and tank damage would do exactly what it has done when it was changed. Still, I wait to observe if it has much practical difference since aside from AoE tanking where a multitude of hits can roll in a short window of time (that 20 second ramp up period) and the tanks can make effective use of all that AP I'm not sure it will matter. 5-mans and scenarios were not mentioned, so for now I'm assuming this is only for the raids mentioned.

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 5.4 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Who do you call - Fri, 17 May 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. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is recovering from the plague. No, not the Plague of Undeath, although that might be kind of cool in retrospect.

I used to watch this cartoon religiously when I was a kid. Earlier this week, I took a good look at it for what it was: A group of miniature wild animals living in a city park with t-shirts that somehow changed color and gave them the power to fight crime. ... man I don't even know. But the kangaroo in the video up there? You might recognize her voice -- that's Nancy Cartwright, who also does the voice for Bart Simpson.

@_Vsmit asked via Twitter:

In Naxx, why does Thaddeus yell that we're too late, and he must obey? Did I miss something somewhere?

Ooo, this is a good question. Thaddius was supposedly built from the flesh of women and children -- their souls are fused together inside of him. If you listen to the ambient noise when you're in Naxxramas, you can randomly hear the screams of these people crying for help. Once you've killed Thaddius, the screams stop.

Basically, the screaming is the souls of the damned bound inside of Thaddius, hoping you'll come to rescue them. That intro quote is telling you that you're too late to save them all -- that's also why he thanks you when he dies.

Gross, huh?

Continue reading The Queue: Who do you call

The Queue: Who do you call originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Death is but the next great adventure - Fri, 17 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

I am dead, but I live? What sorcery is this? Submitter Aryon of AnyThingButSerious on Ghostlands (EU-A) caught Fleshcrafter Hoku literally contemplating his own mortality on the Isle of Thunder. Respawn timers take a lot of the sting out of the old "what happens to us when we die" question, don't they? Oh, when we die we come back a few minutes later, only to be killed again. It's like the dollar store form of reincarnation.

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: Death is but the next great adventure originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tom Chilton chats about what's coming in patch 5.3 - Fri, 17 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

We know Blizzard has a lot planned for patch 5.3, which could go live any time now. But to keep us busy while we wait for the next batch of new WoW content, Blizzard Insider has posted an interview with Game Director Tom Chilton. Though the interview mostly summarizes what we already know about the upcoming patch, it provides a great overview of what's coming with a bit of added insight Blizzard's development thought process. Covered in the interview are how the devs felt patch 5.2 performed, the storyline of patch 5.3, PvP changes and the new battleground, new scenarios (and heroic scenarios), gear and the ability to choose which spec you'd like gear for, and visible pet battles.

The patches are certainly coming our way quickly. Are you looking forward to patch 5.3 or still working on patch 5.2?

Tom Chilton chats about what's coming in patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are you a happy healer or a reluctant healer? - Fri, 17 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

I was smirking my way past the Gordon Ramsay-esque commentary on Twitter recently (go to the tweet to view it in all its unblurred, NSFW glory) when it struck me: Blizzard has created so many incentives to play a healer. Obviously, they've worked -- but are the healers enjoying it?

As a long-time healer, I find myself broken-hearted at the idea that players are going through the motions of healing simply because for the sake of faster random queue times or to fill a hole in a roster lineup. Healing by people who aren't passionate about healing? Healing by people who aren't glued to the action? Healing by people who might be watching "other things" on another screen, or eating pizza, or, or ...? Dear readers, we're talking about saving lives here. I weep. Seriously, I weep.

Still, there seem to be quite a lot of healers going about their business in today's game. If you're a healer, do you enjoy the role? Did you choose to be a healer of your own volition, or were you influenced by queue times, role benefits, or the needs of your raid or guild? If you were nudged into healing by outside forces, has it been worth it? Are you a happy healer or a reluctant healer?

Breakfast Topic: Are you a happy healer or a reluctant healer? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 17 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cryptozoic smashes funding goal for new Hex TCG - Thu, 16 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

You've no doubt heard about Cryptozoic, who makes the World of Warcraft trading card game. But these days, Blizzard is focusing on its home-brewed digital TCG Hearthstone and Cryptozoic is working on a new project: Hex, which they call an MMO trading card game. Hex takes advantage of its all-digital nature to add some MMO elements like characters, gear, and guilds to a traditional TCG game. And, while it's not out yet -- Cryptozoic expects the beta to start this September -- the Kickstarter campaign to fund the game is happening now. With 21 days to go, Cryptozoic has already blown past their $300,000 funding goal with $567,000 raised at the time of this writing. Now they're working on stretch goals which will add new gameplay features for everyone -- and new bonuses for backers -- as they're reached.

If you're interested in a different kind of TCG -- or a change of pace from World of Warcraft -- you might want to check out Cryptozoic's Kickstarter. Contributing $10 will get you into the beta this fall and $20 and up gets you beta access and cards once the game launches -- including some special cards you'll only ever be able to get through this Kickstarter campaign.

Cryptozoic smashes funding goal for new Hex TCG originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Convert to Raid interviews Ion Hazzikostas - Thu, 16 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Convert to Raid, the podcast for raiders in the World of Warcraft, recently interviewed Blizzard's Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas. You can listen to the full interview over on their site, and in the video above, but we've plucked some of the best bits out for your convenience.

Pat started off by asking Ion how he felt the raid tier, Throne of Thunder, had worked out, what he was happy with, what could possibly be improved for future tiers and so on. Ion responded that they were very happy with the tier, the structure and feel of the dungeon, and particularly the progression of the World First race. He spoke about the Lei Shen encounter really delivering on what a heroic end-boss should be, in terms of difficulty and fight construction. However, when Pat asked about learning points, Ion had plenty to say.

Continue reading Convert to Raid interviews Ion Hazzikostas

Convert to Raid interviews Ion Hazzikostas originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Batman Beyond Twin Consorts - Thu, 16 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

It's a little-known secret that Batman Beyond remains one of the best Bat-reimaginations we've seen. Clinging to continuity with a tenuous but resilient grasp, Batman Beyond captures some of the best bat-themes and bat-ideas.

You can imagine my thrill when I saw Fifth Element's bat-video, Batman Beyond Twin Consorts. With the same sense of excitement and flair they bring to all their videos, the raiding team of machinima gives Terry a whole new spin.
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: Batman Beyond Twin Consorts originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 is pending, but when will it drop? - Thu, 16 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Now, don't pretend you're not already guessing. There have been several official Blizzard blogs, on the new scenarios we're expecting, as well as a general guide to how you can best prepare for patch 5.3, and what's more the devs have begun their latest round of interviews. The official World of Warcraft twitter account even went as far as tweeting to confirm that the patch wasn't landing on Tuesday May 14. So, all this being said, what's your prediction for the launch date? Where's the smart money?

What do we have in the way of additional clues? Well, there's the PTR build information, which previously has flipped from "Test" to "Release" when a patch has crept closer It still says test, as you can see to the side. Also, the patch 5.3 PvP information has previously talked about a conquest catch-up of 15,000, and it'd be 11,000 right now. But of course, these are just clues. So what's your bet? And why?

View Poll


Patch 5.3 is pending, but when will it drop? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Free WoW graphic novel previews for a limited time - Thu, 16 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

WoW's twitter announced last night that, for a limited time only, previews of three of the latest World of Warcraft graphic novels are available for free on both Kindle and iTunes. The three comics avaialble for preview in this book are Pearl of Pandaria, Dark Riders and Bloodsworn. Pearl of Pandaria was released last year, but Dark Riders has only been out for just over a week, and Bloodsworn is currently only available for pre-order in anticipation of its upcoming release on August 13, 2013. So this free preview is a great chance to whet your appetite for the full works. What's more, did we mention it's free?

To get your hands on these previews, it seems like you'll currently need to be a US resident, but you can get hold of them via iTunes or Amazon, simply by following the links. If the previews are sufficiently exciting for you to consider dropping some actual cash into the writers' coffers, then you can obtain all three titles from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble via the links provided on the Blizzard blog post. Naturally, as mentioned, Bloodsworn is currently only available for pre-order.

What do you think of these graphic novels? Is this your preferred format for absorbing World of Warcraft lore? You can also check out WoW Insider's reviews of Pearl of Pandaria and Dark Riders.

Free WoW graphic novel previews for a limited time originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Does WoW still surprise you? - Thu, 16 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

I didn't start playing World of Warcraft right at launch, but it's safe to say that I've been playing for a long while. For me, WoW is the video game equivalent of an old, worn t-shirt: it's comfortable and familiar. It's a game I often launch when I'm not looking for something fun and distracting, but not anything that's going to challenge me too much. I still find WoW to be a lot of fun -- I wouldn't keep playing if I didn't! -- but it's still usually something I play with the television on in the background.

But sometimes, still, even after all these years, WoW does things that manage to surprise me. Of course WoW has new content -- lately, it's come more quickly than ever -- but even, sometimes, when I'm not looking for it, I'll run into something new. Now and then I bump into quest text I hadn't read carefully before, a Cataclysm change that I'd never noticed, or an Easter egg the developers snuck in.

And you, reader? Do you keep finding that WoW surprises you?

Does WoW still surprise you? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Would you play this mocked up Warcraft fighting game? - Thu, 16 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Let's be honest with ourselves: chances are we'd all play this Warcraft fighting game mocked up by Redditor GuardianReflex. And while this game isn't a reality, we can always hope that Blizzard will one day allow us to do to participate in an epic battle in which Varian gets to punch Sylvannas in the face (or vice versa). And if this epic, Blizzard vs. Capcom style battle isn't possible, perhaps a pet battle in which we control tiny faction leaders?

But since we aren't likely to see this in actual game any time soon, GuardianReflex is making more mockups based on user requests. We have Thrall vs. Garrosh behind the cut and hope to see more soon!

Continue reading Would you play this mocked up Warcraft fighting game?

Would you play this mocked up Warcraft fighting game? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Community Blog Topic Results: How to get rid of funsuckers - Thu, 16 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Last week we discussed how to get rid of the funsuckers making our WoW time less enjoyable. There was quite a bit of discussion in the comments and we had one blogger address the issue as well.

Account-wide ignore
I and others suggested one step in the right direction would be to make ignore account-wide. As long as the other characters on the ignored account were added to the ignore list invisibly, it couldn't be used for griefing.

Peer review
I had also mentioned the Tribunal system that League of Legends uses to police its player base. Commenter Yoojine linked to a video that described the science behind LoL's techniques. If you have the time to look at it, I highly recommend it for those who are interested in studying human behavior. It's fascinating and also heartening that a game company is going through so much effort to make the gameplay experience less toxic for everyone. Basically, they use peer review, direct feedback and the concept of priming to lower the toxicity of the in-game experience. I think that WoW could benefit from Blizzard conducting similar experiments on us.

Continue reading Community Blog Topic Results: How to get rid of funsuckers

Community Blog Topic Results: How to get rid of funsuckers originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: My World of Warcraft and 151 nations - Thu, 16 May 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.

There's no end to the number of people who will tell you how to play this game. None. Even here, despite having a large audience of varying playstyles, we can let things slip through about the only way to do things.

You must raid to experience WoW, you must PvP, you must level your pets from 1-25 to be any sort of serious pet battler.

But you know what?

We're all full of a bunch of hot air. At the end of the day all we're able to do is give you what we think is the most fun way to enjoy WoW based on our experiences. The same goes for Ghostcrawler, Zarhym, Neth, Bashiok, etc... All they can do is tell you how they enjoy it, how they experience it. At the end of the day WoW is a highly personal experience, one that humanity hasn't had before. It's an entire virtual world, whose population would be the 91st largest country in the world (down from 74). Let that put the subscriber drop in perspective for you.

There are 151 real life nations that are smaller than WoW. And none of that matters, because it's your World of Warcraft. As in the rest of your life, make of it what you will.

Paul asked:

The latest scuttlebutt reported on the idea of a WoW film was that the project is in danger of being scrapped (yellow/red lighted) in the wake of the latest game news. It'll probably depend on what the future news is, but even the devs indicated they expect the population to continue declining over the next year; we'll probably never see a WoW film come to light.

Continue reading The Queue: My World of Warcraft and 151 nations

The Queue: My World of Warcraft and 151 nations originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Love and rockets - Thu, 16 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Sporkwind of That Takes Effort on Terenas (US-A) was tired of his travel form not being able to keep up with his friends' mounts. So with the help of a local engineer, he retrofitted a rocket to fit his stag form's hooves. Sadly, his plan hit a snag when he tried to fuel up his rocket with grass and herbs, and discovered that a high-tech mount takes more effort to maintain than the organic kind. I can't tell who has the nastiest sneer on their face -- the rocket or the deer.

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: Love and rockets originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wowcrendor: The nice guy behind the biting machinima - Thu, 16 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

One might expect a machinimist to be come at you with a rather snarky, biting personality, especially a creator who's known for poking fun at WoW player stereotypes. Not so Wowcrendor. Wowcrednor's a nice guy in the true sense of the word. He also happens to be funny -- funny enough, in fact, that the list of posts of his WoW machinima here at WoW Insider goes on for pages and pages.

So how does a nice guy who has fun making video game machinima end up making a living at it? We wondered, too, so we asked -- and nice guy that he is, Wowcrendor spilled all the beans.

WoW Insider: So you're living the dream, making a living making WoW videos. Congrats! How has that changed the way you play the game? Things must be quite different now.

Wowcrendor: It is really a dream come true. One day you're sitting in a college math class writing scripts about Mankrik's wife, and the next you're making a living off it. I don't think I ever saw it growing to the point it's grown to, but I'm thankful for it nonetheless.

As for how it's changed the way I play the game, I think it's actually impacted me negatively, as odd as that sounds. Before I made videos about the game, my sole focus was just having fun or getting involved in the virtual world of Azeroth. Now that I do this as a living, it really shifts your mindset. If I'm playing the game, I'm constantly thinking if something could be made into a video instead of actually focusing on enjoying the game. For example, before I started making videos, I raided in every expansion. I enjoyed raiding and even got to raid with the guy who inspired me to start making WoW videos, a surreal experience at the time.

Continue reading Wowcrendor: The nice guy behind the biting machinima

Wowcrendor: The nice guy behind the biting machinima originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What makes you love your favorite battleground? - Thu, 16 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Alterac Valley sets my towers aflame. I fell in love with AV during classic WoW, in those sprawling, drawn-out matches that spun out over a day or longer. With a big map and plenty of time, you can savor the micro-encounters that make up a true battle -- that exquisitely frozen moment when you come face to face with an opponent behind a bunker, the off-objective chase that neither of you will give up, the "happy" grudges that leave you seeking out the same opponent the moment you respawn. I gulp down that stuff like water. Objective-driven play has its appeal, but it's the serendipitous moment of connection with the enemy that really turns my flag.

I have a friend who adores siege weaponry. For him, PvP queuing means a beeline for Wintergrasp, Strand of the Ancients, or Isle of Conquest. That's fine. While he's staying busy with catapults and cannon, I'll be slowly throttling some newly met nemesis in the somber shadows behind the keep.

What do you enjoy most about your favorite battleground? Is it something that's there by design, or is it some player dynamic or bit of byplay that fires you up?

Breakfast Topic: What makes you love your favorite battleground? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 16 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Your PvP Questions: Spell announcers, MMR and patch 5.3 - Wed, 15 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

It's been a little while since I last did a PvP mailbag, and the emails have been piling up! So, if you have PvP questions, do drop me a line, I will do my best to respond to them, possibly in columns such as this one, or if I can fire off a quick email I will. Do note that I'm far from a PvP specialist in all the classes in WoW, and PvP questions which are class-specific would probably be better directed to the relevant class columnist.

Janrana wrote:

Hi Olivia, since reading about it a while back in one of your columns I've been a big fan of SpellAlerter, but it doesn't seem to have had any updates in a long while and is a bit broken for me. It doesn't seem to have all the spells any more and it also causes some errors to appear when it's on. Do you know of any alternative?

As it happens, I do! First and foremost SpellAlerter is alive and well... ish. It was updated for patch 5.1, but hasn't had any further updates since then. It still works at least fairly well, but I wouldn't rely on it completely. At least, it still allows you to set up custom alerts, so if there are spells it's missing you can add them in.

Continue reading Your PvP Questions: Spell announcers, MMR and patch 5.3

Your PvP Questions: Spell announcers, MMR and patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dawn of the Aspects Part IV preview - Wed, 15 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

For all you lore fans out there, Dawn of the Aspects Part IV will be available in five days, on May 20th. To tide us over, community manager Bashiok has posted a preview on the story forum, featuring our fearless dragon quintet facing an undead menace. I don't want to spoil too much for those who are waiting to read the whole thing once it's all finished, but as the penultimate addition to the story, there's some name dropping that might come as a surprise if you haven't been following along. The excerpt hints at some tense situations for the soon-to-be Aspects, and Ysera, in particular, plays an important part in this scene. There are even a few hints that she might have some kind of hidden, unexpected power, but we all know that's because Ysera is the best Aspect anyway. The position of my druid as my perpetual main has in no way influenced my opinion on this matter.

Make sure to check out WoW Insiders' reviews of the previous parts of Dawn of the Aspects. The full part four preview is the break, and keep your eyes peeled for Dawn of the Aspects Part IV.

Continue reading Dawn of the Aspects Part IV preview

Dawn of the Aspects Part IV preview originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Hearthstone warrior card revealed - Wed, 15 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Blizzard has been steadily tossing us tidbits of information on the upcoming Hearthstone game. Earlier this month they gave us a preview of the Void Terror warlock minion card and some instruction on when and how to use it effectively during a game. Yesterday they posted the warrior ability Commanding Shout, which makes your minions impossible to kill for the duration of your current turn.

I'm sure there are approximately a bazillion different situations in which this could come in handy, but what makes it extra appealing for the warrior is how it can be paired with mechanics that depend upon a minion receiving damage in order to reach their full potential. Got a berserker minion who gets +3 to attack after being hurt? Toss him Commanding Shout and you don't have to worry about him dying that round. Got your opponent's minions on the brink of death, but not sure you'll survive the next attack? Pair Rampage's +3/+3 with Commanding Shout and watch the other player squirm with impotent rage as you annihilate all their best-laid plans. What could possibly be more satisfying?

Check out WoW Insider's Hearthstone coverage for further information, and we all look forward to Hearthstone's release!

New Hearthstone warrior card revealed originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Celebrate Diablo's anniversary with demons rather than cake - Wed, 15 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

It's flown by, but believe it or not, Diablo III is a year old today! Blizzard Community Manager Lylirra has put together a special message on the Diablo forums about the special buff you can get in return for simply logging in to defend Sanctuary.
Lylirra
One year ago today, the gates of the Burning Hells opened and Diablo III was unleashed onto the world. Since then, millions of heroes have been created, billions of hours have been spent in games, and trillions of demons have been slaughtered without mercy. We've grown and improved a lot since release, both as a game team and as a community, and thanks to your feedback, passion, and unquenchable bloodlust, we expect the next year to be even more epic.

To celebrate this milestone and the community that made it possible, we're giving away free buffs! (Who doesn't like free buffs?) Players who log in to defend Sanctuary between May 15 and May 21 will receive a 25% boost to their Magic Find and +EXP stats. The buff is only available while logged in to the game, but it will apply to all characters as well as stack with other similar bonuses -- the +EXP bonus will stack multiplicatively and the Magic Find bonus will stack above the 300% cap!

This is somewhat similar to the buffs players can receive when it's WoW's birthday, so Diablo III fans can probably expect it to return every year. Happy birthday, Diablo!

Celebrate Diablo's anniversary with demons rather than cake originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Why raiders and multiboxers are overestimated - Wed, 15 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Recently, Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted the following:
This was something of a surprising tweet. Now, of course, there are several subjective notions in there, but it merits some discussion nonetheless. Firstly, what is considered the forum posting or tweeting community? It seems that this would simply be those who regularly contribute to either of those venues, putting it simply, and indeed those with whom he is in regular contact. Do you consider yourself part of either community? And why does that community overestimate the number of people raiding or multiboxing, if they do at all?

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is a cognitive science term, that describes a human tendency to search for, remember or interpret information in such a way that it confirms one's own preconceptions. A fine example of this is the "everybody thinks X" idea, which crops up a lot. If you believe that, for example, frost mages don't have enough burst, you might seek out other opinions that support your own, and partly ignore the clamoring crowd who assert that frost mage burst is out of control. Confirmation bias is particularly prevalent on the internet, where it's almost always possible to find another opinion that supports your own.

Continue reading Why raiders and multiboxers are overestimated

Why raiders and multiboxers are overestimated originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Catching up with the lore for patch 5.3 - Wed, 15 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

Okay, so let's assume for the moment you're interested in the advancing storyline for the Mists of Pandaria expansion as we head into patch 5.3, but are wondering if you missed anything or have just started leveling to 90 and want to make sure you get caught up with what's happening. Why is the Horde in such a tizzy? What's the Alliance planning to do? Who are the major players, and why are they doing what they're doing? Don't worry. We here at WoW Insider have been covering this all expansion, and we can help you get up to speed.

Continue reading Catching up with the lore for patch 5.3

Catching up with the lore for patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gold Capped: Never scan the Auction House again - Wed, 15 May 2013 14:00:00 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!

Have you ever scanned the Auction House with TradeSkillMaster (the best auction management addon, well worth the trouble of learning) and not gotten a complete scan? Maybe you see an error message and your crafting window starts displaying unknown materials prices, even though you can see the prices right front of you when you search? This is a bug that affects anyone on a realm with a lot of auctions (more than 42554, according to the TSM error message). In essence, the GetAll scan that's used to grab a dump of the AH in a few seconds can be incomplete if there are a lot of auctions.

As far as I know, the traditional scans are immune to this, but they take a lot more time; like 20 minutes instead of 20 seconds. Even if the scans work perfectly on your realm, scanning is still an extra step that you have to do every time you want to update the prices before you queue up your crafting list. Luckily, there's a way you can get up to date price information without ever having to scan the AH again.

Continue reading Gold Capped: Never scan the Auction House again

Gold Capped: Never scan the Auction House again originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Should you play a druid in WoW? - Wed, 15 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Just getting started in World of Warcraft and not sure what you want to do? Or maybe you've been playing for a while but aren't sure which class you like best. We're here to help by taking a look at what each class can do and leading you to the right one. Today, we're talking druids.

Druids harness the powers of nature to help their friends or harm their foes. They wield can wield magic to harm like a mage or heal like a priest and can shapeshift into animal forms to dive into melee fighting. Like the monk and paladin, druids are a hybrid class that can fill any role in the game they wish: if you play a druid, you have the flexibility to do whatever you please. But are you up to the task of wielding the raw elemental power of nature? We'll take a look at just what druids can do and try to decide if it's the right class for you.

Continue reading Should you play a druid in WoW?

Should you play a druid in WoW? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Five macros every rogue should know - Wed, 15 May 2013 12:00:00 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.

Macros are designed to allow a player to combine commands and modifiers (targeting, non-GCD abilities) with regular abilities in a quick and efficient manner. Macros can't make decisions for you. There is no macro that will automatically switch between Mutilate and Dispatch for you on the fly. There is no macro that will use Revealing Strike when it fades and Sinister Strike otherwise. Macros aren't intelligent - they have to be told what to do.

Pure classes tend to have fewer abilities than hybrids, and after the merging of spells like Envenom and Eviscerate, our action bars are sparse. The average raiding rogue might only need a dozen or so abilities per encounter, and that's including defensive cooldowns. A typical assassination rotation consists of Mutilate or Dispatch, Rupture and Envenom, and a few Feints or Cloaks per fight. Rogue macros tend to focus less on day-to-day rotation assistance and more on strategic abilities and cooldowns.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Five macros every rogue should know

Encrypted Text: Five macros every rogue should know originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Looking to the future - Wed, 15 May 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.

In yesterday's edition of The Queue, there seemed to be more questions about the next expansion than the current one. Since the next expansion hasn't even been announced yet, there isn't much we can do with those, but we sure can try.

Joey4 asked:

weapon models to me seem to go by expansion theme, wrath had a dark cold look especially on greens and mists had the Asian theme, do you think we will see awesome looking models again like BC xpac had in the next xpac?

Continue reading The Queue: Looking to the future

The Queue: Looking to the future originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Champagne supernova - Wed, 15 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Deepholm is the rare zone where you can't hit an invisible ceiling on your flying mount and fall to your death. But somehow Nölan of Caelum on Sylvanas (EU-A) has managed to hit ... something. An invisible force field? The "sky" from The Truman Show? A translucent plate? Whatever it is, it's stripped all the flesh from his bones, and it's a long way for a skeleton to fall.

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: Champagne supernova originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: Of Wolves and Mages - Wed, 15 May 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.

You probably don't know who Ur was, and even if you do, you don't know much about him because there's not much to know. We know the following - Ur was a mage who lived in Dalaran before the coming of the Scourge to the Eastern Kingdoms, who apparently died during the invasion Arthas led to retrieve the Book of Medivh so that Kel'Thuzad could use it to summon Archimonde the Defiler. It's possible that Ur, being a remarkably skilled and knowledgeable wizard, was one of the three archmages slain by Arthas while maintaining auras that protected Dalaran from the undead.

What's interesting about Ur isn't what he himself actually did, however, but what was done with the work he left behind. Ur was the author of two tomes (that we know of), The Book of Ur and Ur's Treatise on Shadow Magic. Ur's knowledge of other planes of existence was significant, if faulty - while in practical terms his understanding was great enough that it was possible for Archmage Arugal of Silverpine to use the Book of Ur to summon worgen forth from their prison in the Emerald Dream, it's notable that Ur didn't actually understand what the worgen really were, or what druid magic was - he simply saw the worgen as monsters from another world. Still, without Ur, it is unlikely that Arugal would have been able to bring forth the worgen he did.

Amazingly, despite knowing nothing of druidism and only having a hazy understanding of the worgen origin Ur's research allowed Arugal to pull Alpha Prime and other ancient members of the Druids of the Scythe to Azeroth. Considering it was Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage who placed Ralaar Fangfire and the other druids who'd helped create the Scythe of Elune under Daral'nir (the great tree in the Emerald Dream for which Tal'Doren is a mirror) in the first place, the fact that Arugal managed to draw them forth is astonishing. Yet manage it he did, with Ur's book.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: Of Wolves and Mages

Know Your Lore: Of Wolves and Mages originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Your greatest WoW save - Wed, 15 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

I no longer remember the exact boss or who was raiding with me, but I do clearly remember having a conversation with a friend while I was healing Karazhan. At the time, I was grumbling that I didn't think we had the right group composition to do an encounter successfully -- but it was only after the group's other healer died that my friend agreed. Of course it was then that I decided this wasn't going be a wipe -- something I hadn't thought was possible until just then. (Certainly no one was more surprised than I was when I pulled it off.)

Whether raiding or not, we all have close calls in game -- that was only one of many I've had. But it was certainly memorable. So what about you, dear readers? Share your stories, your near-misses, your especially memorable almost-but-not-quite deaths.

Breakfast Topic: Your greatest WoW save originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 15 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reader UI of the Week: We've come a long way, baby - Tue, 14 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

A little while back, I put out the call for UIs with a bit of history, a bit of evolution to them. I love seeing how my UI has evolved over the years, starting off with the basic Blizzard UI, until I realised that I could tinker with the overall scale, and then began adding unit frame addons, then action bar addons, castbar addons, and the whole thing got completely out of hand and escalated to the point where I started writing addon and UI columns for WoW Insider! And it's always interesting to see how others' UIs have developed, too.

Today, we're delving into the past and present of Alphabot's UI. He's sent over several pictures, of both his current UI and his UIs past. So here, in chronological order, are UI shots one, two, three, four and five, and his current UI out of combat, in combat, and with everything on -- in test mode, so to speak. Let's move into Alphabot's email.

Continue reading Reader UI of the Week: We've come a long way, baby

Reader UI of the Week: We've come a long way, baby originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 14 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3: Mining and herbalism able to be leveled exclusively in Pandaria - Tue, 14 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

A fair while back, Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg " Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted that the development team would be looking to implement catch-up mechanics, similar to those in place for cooking, to other professions. Blacksmithing had its changes, and now Mining and Herbalism are next on the agenda. MMO-Champion reported today on some changes on the patch 5.3 PTR, that make the grind to level these professions a whole lot easier.

I went onto the PTR, with a pre-made level 90, and learned apprentice herbalism and mining, then went and found some nodes. The tooltip shows the nodes as orange and they can be mined by characters who have only just learned the profession, with a skill level of 1, as can be seen from the image after the break.

Continue reading Patch 5.3: Mining and herbalism able to be leveled exclusively in Pandaria

Patch 5.3: Mining and herbalism able to be leveled exclusively in Pandaria originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 14 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Queen Azshara's Revenge - Tue, 14 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

I'm not sure how realistic the idea of Azhshara retaking her throne actually is, but Killer Cookie seems to have put some real though into it. With a haunting soundtrack and wonderfully rendered graphics, Queen Azshara's Revenge nearly makes me root for the return of the vile queen.

Putting together faux-lore videos requires some forethought. If you stick too closely to the plot, then it's easy to confuse a viewer into thinking this is actually in the game. If you go divergent, you'll find that your audience doesn't care about your fiction. Killer Cookie nailed a middle ground in this video and created something truly interesting. And, like I said: totally gorgeous stuff.
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: Queen Azshara's Revenge originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 14 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes for May 14 - Tue, 14 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

The latest sets of PTR patch notes materialized a few hours ago, mostly featuring a multitude of class changes.
  • Some reasonable nerfs to hunter pet CC, several abilities have had their cooldowns doubled.
  • Some changes to the interaction of Tricks of the Trade with Blood DK abilities
  • A buff to Necrotic Strike's attack power scaling
  • A PvP-related change to Incanter's Ward, halving the effect but doubling the duration, as has been recently discussed the devs think this might be a part of their burst issues in PvP.
And lastly, Eye of the Black Prince can now be used to apply a prismatic socket on Reborn weapons. Hit the break for the full notes.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes for May 14

Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes for May 14 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 14 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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