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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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Levels 20-30: How to level a hunter and stay sane at the same time - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 19:00:00 EST


(Hunting strategies + Hunter tips) love of pets - discombobulating misinformation = Scattered Shots

Shall I compare hunter leveling to a summer's day? It is as long and as sweaty. Oh, how many days ago it was that we began the journey from level one to level seventy. How the weeks and months have passed us by! Do we forget the long stretches of time casting the same repetition of spells over and over? Can we disremember the times we ran out of mana while our pet took all the damage on our behalf? Indeed some of us have gotten bored in this journey across the desert of time, and have charged forth into the enemy to do melee damage.

Dearest hunters, do not despair! Do not raise your two-handed axe in anger at your enemy! Do not give into the temptation that speaks within your heart: "must... charge in... must... use eviscerate!" Hunters are an endurance class, not in the time it takes us to level, but in the way our leveling doesn't change unless we push ourselves to the limits, bend and break the boundaries of space and mana. Take heed, lest ye give into complacency and huntardiness! Beware, lest ye give into your non-hunterly instincts and rush into melee range of your enemy with as much effectiveness as wet noodle!

Consider, on the path from level 30 to level 40, all the new spells which you may add to your arsenal of death and destruction, and decide how you may use them in your quest for ever-more interesting forms of damage-by-distance.

Continue reading Levels 20-30: How to level a hunter and stay sane at the same time

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Totem Talk: The future, shaman? - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST

Welcome back to Totem Talk. Last week I said we're talk about pre-Kara cloth and leather gear for shamans. So of course, being my usual distracted, scatterbrained self, I've spent the entire week poondering and fretting about completely unrelated issues like shaman stacking for 25 man raids, the future of the shaman class when totems go raid-wide in Wrath, shamans in PvP and other such issues facing the class.

The cloth and leather discussion is still important (the comment thread from last week was very active, which I always take as a sign that you guys want to talk about it) and so I want to give it the detail it deserves. I think at this point it should go beyond Karazhan and into drops in ZA, SSC, TK with an eye towards gearing your shaman for Hyjal Summit and Black Temple. Which means I should also expand on a basic gear guide for what drops you'd want to get BT/Hyjal ready for all shaman specs, and that's going to take a few columns to do properly. I'm aiming to start that next week, unless you guys leave a lot of comments telling me you're totally uninterested.

So first let's talk about PvP, or at least my recent experiences with it, and then we'll talk about Shaman Stacking..

Continue reading Totem Talk: The future, shaman?

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WoW blogging step 3: Figure out your slant - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 17:30:00 EST


Starting your own WoW blog is a lot of fun. We gave you the mini-guide to starting your own WoW blog, and then went into more detail on finding a blog host and determining your goals. In today's step, we'll help you work on what your slant is. A slant is your unique (or peculiar) way of looking at the topic you chose in Step 2.

Scout the competition
You need to know what's already being done out in the blogosphere in order to find out where the gaps are. For example, coming out of Step 2 you've decided that because you are a huge fan of the Hunter class you'd like to blog about all things hunting. You probably already subscribe or read some Hunter blogs already, but if you don't, a simple Google search of "WoW hunter blogs" will turn up over 400,000 pages. That's a lot of Hunter talk! But don't panic. Remember that the first search results page or three will list the most popular blogs on that topic and those are the main ones you need to look at. Subscribe to them and read them daily. In fact, putting your own spin or argument on a topic that another blogger discussed while linking back to that blog is a good way to pique the interest of the bloggers themselves. (We'll talk more about backlinking and blogrolling in Step 5.) So with all these blogs, how do you enter the fray?

Continue reading WoW blogging step 3: Figure out your slant

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A few bits on shaves and haircuts - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 17:00:00 EST

The biggest news of the day so far would have to be the Achievements system. Linked within Blizz's Achievements page is the screenshot you see above (click to embiggen), which contains some interesting new hints for the highly anticipated haircut system that we'll be getting access to in Wrath:
  • You'll be able to change:
    • Hair Style
    • Hair Color
    • Facial Hair (and presumably the attributes in that slot for other races/genders, like jewelry)
  • It looks to be pretty cheap - the example price here is a mere 2 silver. This is surprising to me because I was pretty sure it was going to be a big gold sink.
  • The barber shop looks pretty cool; apparently, this one is run by goblins, although the engineering on the chairs looks more Gnomish to me.

Alright, there's not a lot there, and as the beta has not even begun yet any of this may well change (especially the price), but it's something. By the way, does anyone have a clue as to what the icon on the top-right of the minimap is? That's where the sun/moon icon usually goes. David hazarded a guess that it's a picture of a window, indicating that you're inside; my only theory is that it's the icon for the Achievements interface, though it's oddly big and in a strange place.

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Barrens Chat: Encore - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 16:00:00 EST


I don't get to play World of Warcraft very often anymore. Real life comes up and gets in the way all the time, and then you have to sit back and listen to your friends talk about how much fun they've had in the past few weeks you've been away. So you sit, and you wait, and eventually you get time to log on again, run around, and have a jolly old time. Especially when you get to hang out with good people.

I've never had Ventrilo or any other sort of microphone attachment that would broadcast my voice across the Internet. For one point, I'd have to break down and buy a headset of some sort. Knowing me I'd likely break it within a week, so I'd actually need to buy two, but that's alright. The other reason is, I'm not entirely sure I want the ability to hear other absent minded people like me babbling to themselves, forgetting the rest of the world can hear them.

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Continue reading Barrens Chat: Encore

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UDE Tabards delayed until August - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 15:00:00 EST

If you remember way back to the end of June, we told you about the new tabards available for purchase using your UDE points from the WoW Trading Card Game. At the time, Upper Deck said the new tabards would be included with patch 2.4.3. Well, 2.4.3 is here, but the tabards are sadly not.

According to UDE_Patrick, the plan for releasing the tabards is now a little different. The first tabard will be available on August 1st, and each additional tabard will be added one at a time over "several months." He doesn't really specify why this change has been made, or even which tabard will be first.

Some of us will obviously be disapponted (like tipster Donna, who already has ample points to pick up one for her, and one for her boyfriend). Some of us will have a little more time to pick up more points in before the release, and maybe score some of the cool loot cards from the new set.

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Hunter, Paladin, and DK info from the alpha forums - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 14:30:00 EST
With new talents and spells for all the other classes having come to light by now, it would be easy to understand if Paladins and Hunters were feeling a little bit left out. I don't have talent trees or anything to share with you right now, but I do at least have a few tidbits that appeared in the official Wrath of the Lich King Alpha forums yesterday:

  • Hunters:
    • Loyalty is being removed for pets, though you will still have to feed them to keep them happy.
    • They're looking at pet stat scaling, especially in PvP, and particularly resilience; they want pets to be killable if that's what other players want to do. The idea is to make you, the Hunter, strike a balance between damage and mitigation for your pet.
    • There will be new abilities in the pet talents, including "some that will make it less painful when your pet dies just a few moments into a fight."
    • They want all pet families to be viable (Wryxian mentioned specifically turtles; they should have more DPS now while still having powerful defensive abilities).
    • Update: New pets will only need to gain a maximum of five levels, implying that if you're level 80 and tame a level 17, it instantly becomes level 75 [thanks, Wabbajack].
  • Paladins: The devs recognize that Holy is at a bit of a weak point right now relative to the other healing classes. The goal is for Holy Paladins to be powerful single target healers: they should be tank healers, or be able to spot-heal a low-health target "super fast." They're working on building "mechanics that don't make running fights so punishing," as well as new talents and skills.

There's also a note for Death Knights: Death and Decay and Army of the Dead are feeling too similar, both being long-cooldown AoE abilities. To remedy this, Army of the Dead is going to become an emergency button (Wryxian compares it to Retaliation or Recklessness), while Death and Decay is having its cooldown lowered to let it become more part of your normal spell rotation.

[via DeathKnight.info]

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Achievements officially announced for Wrath - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 13:40:00 EST
As we suspected from some hints in the alpha, Wrath of the Lich King will indeed feature achievements. Blizzard just put up a page about them on the Wrath site, including lots of juicy information:

  • The system will launch with over 500 achievements, from all corners of the game: exploration, PvE, PvP, professions, and "character development." They promise something for everyone.
  • Some achievements will have rewards, but the rewards will be "purely cosmetic and just for fun" (examples are vanity pets, tabards, and titles).
  • Additional achievements will come "with each new WoW content update" (which I take to mean "major patch or expansion").

Continue reading Achievements officially announced for Wrath

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Anetheron's Infernals hotfixed - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 13:00:00 EST
Quite a few raiders, including some of our own here at WoW Insider, noticed one more big change to a raid boss that that came in with patch 2.4.3: Anetheron, the second boss of Mount Hyjal, was not dropping Towering Infernals on random players as usual. This made the battle pretty trivial for most raids by making it more or less a run of the mill tank and spank.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on how challenging you like your raids -- this was not an actual intended change. Vaneras and Bornakk are both reporting that Anetheron has been hotfixed and should start dropping infernals again. Sorry guys, no more free loot. Well, no more freer loot, at least.

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WoW Moviewatch: The Little Gnome - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 12:00:00 EST

Oxhorn may have just found his #1 fan. Irdeen, a 13-year old Swedish kid, came out of nowhere with his latest project, The Little Gnome. Clearly influenced by Oxhorn, you can definitely tell when you see the stairs, the credits, and the fact that the score is composed by Nathan Allen Pinard. However, the story itself isn't even in the same genre as WeGame's funnyman.

The Little Gnome is one of those "feel good" machinimas that adds a little extra spring in your step after watching. It's about a gnome that sees a bird pass by and is inspired to take flight himself. When he faces some setbacks, will he give up?

[Thanks, #machinima on Quakenet IRC!]

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

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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World of WarCrafts: Cataclysm's Edge - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 11:00:00 EST
Every Thursday, Shelbi Roach of The Bronze Kettle guides you in creating WoW-inspired crafts using real world mats with World of WarCrafts.

Ever wanted to wield an epic weapon from the game in real life or at least put one up on display to promote your geekdom? With a few simple supplies from your neighborhood hobby merchant and a bit of elbow grease you could be the proud new owner of your very own Cataclysm's Edge... replica. Or you could just spend close to 4 Benjamins and order this fine piece of weaponry.


Here is what you will need:

  • Balsa Wood x2
  • Wood Shapes (squares)
  • Spray Paint (black, red, silver, orange/yellow)
  • Acrylic Paint (black, brown, silver)
  • Paintbrush
  • Xacto Knife (with new blades)
  • Ruler
  • Wood Glue
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.

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Around Azeroth: Around the universe - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 10:00:00 EST

Because I am a Bad Person, I visited the Caverns of Time long before the Burning Crusade ever came out. In fact, I even brought a friendly warlock and offered to summon guildmates for guided tours. One of our tourists, a well-geared mage, decided it would be a great idea to jump off over the side into the endless void. We didn't hear much from him about the scenery, aside from "OMG SUMMON ME QUICK", but I suspect his character's last sight before death was something like this. (And if you think sneaking into the Caverns is unethical, you do not even want to know what I did with the BC alpha ...)

Sikran from <Renaissance> of Sha'tar-EU got a nice, unimpeded view of the scenery when his game made the unilateral decision to remove the caverns and the characters, leaving only the sky. Was it a glitch, or yet another incidence of your video card on drugs?

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets.

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Toying around with Valeera Sanguinar - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 09:00:00 EST


I love toys. And because I play The World of Warcraft, I specially love the action figures that DC Direct has been churning out. The Series 2 action figures have just been recently released and I'm looking forward to picking up a couple when they finally hit our shores. The great thing about the action figures is that they actually tie in to lore, making appearances in the Chris Metzen-approved and supposedly canon WoW comic books.

Out of all the comic book characters and available action figures, I've taken quite a liking to the spunky Valeera Sanguinar. Sure, it's weird that she fights in the Arenas alongside a Night Elf Druid and the thinly-disguised Human Varian Wrynn, but she's pretty cool despite being stuck in outdated Bloodfang Armor. I picked up the action figure some time back, and even though I have a few quibbles about the toy, I'm looking forward to getting more, particularly Vindicator Marrad and his Hammer of the Naaru. My thoughts on the action figure and close-ups of Valeera Sanguinar in the gallery.

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Breakfast Topic: Why is this hard? - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 08:00:00 EST


I should be more specific: why is this hard for me? Because for lots of people, leveling a hunter is the easiest thing in the world, to hear them tell it. It's a super easy class that has high DPS and a tanking pet to keep it alive. I should be blowing through the levels.

Instead, I've just recently managed to get my draenei hunter, who I created back when TBC launched, to level twenty eight. In the time since I've created this character I leveled my original warrior to 70, created a new draenei warrior and leveled him to 70, and leveled a draenei shaman to 70, plus went back and leveled two horde (warrior and shaman) to 70 and created a BE paladin and got him to 65. I leveled a paladin to 65 faster than I could level a hunter to 28! What is this, bizarro world? My orc and night elf warriors both hit 70 and I created them more or less as alts to play with RL friends on different servers, which means they get played once a month at most, and yet, here is my hunter, a year into the expansion (over a year, in fact) and I am just now heading into the 30's. And to be honest the only reason I even cared enough to level him this much was because I wanted to get him a mount.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Why is this hard?

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Forum post of the day: I need that for my PvP set - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 03:00:00 EST

I'm sure at some point in time we've all seen epic looting nightmares. More than once I've been hoping for a drop in an instance only to have another party member beat me on a need roll. Usually, though it's something they actually do need, at least as much as I do. Sometimes ninja looting is even an accident, but other times it is not.

Avirisa of Mannoroth is a might miffed that she was outrolled for a Commendation of Kael'Thas ... to a Hunter... for PvP. As a tank, she said he was running the instance to acquire that drop. Most responded that this behavior is part of what gives Hunters a bad name in the game (Huntard). Some blamed the original poster for inviting not only a Hunter, but a Night Elf Hunter to the group.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: I need that for my PvP set

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WoW Rookie: Keyboard shortcuts - Thu, 17 Jul 2008 01:55:00 EST
WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.

Accept this fact: to be good at playing WoW, you need to learn to use your keyboard at least some of the time. You don't have to bail on your mouse, but it's very helpful to learn some of the very basic keyboard shortcuts that will make your life in the game that much easier. (Easy is good, right?)

Using the game interface
There are hotkeys for almost everything you do in-game. You can find most of them by just hovering your mouse over the icons that you click -- as no doubt you may have already noticed. Let's start with the button bar that you use to bring up your Quest Log, Spellbook and other things. You'll see that when I hover my mouse over the gold cup icon, a tooltip pops up. The L in parentheses after "Quest Log" means you can just press your L key to bring up the log instead of clicking the icon. (Don't worry that it's a capital L, just press lower-case L. When a keyboard command is capitalized, it's written as "Shift-L".) After the break, you'll see a list of keyboard shortcuts for the game interface.

Continue reading WoW Rookie: Keyboard shortcuts

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Blizz accidentally puts DK description on classes page - Wed, 16 Jul 2008 23:25:00 EST


Ooh, someone on the Blizzard web team is going to get in trouble. I took the above screenshot straight from the official Classes page, and obviously it wasn't ready to be published quite yet (click for a slightly bigger version). But can we actually glean anything new from the Death Knight text? (The "Find out more about death knights" link returns to a 404, so no help there.)

No. There is absolutely no new information here. There are some obvious mistakes though:

  • Type: should probably be "Tank and melee DPS" or some such (so should Warriors, come to think of it).
  • Available weapons: as far as we know, DKs won't be able to use daggers, fist weapons, staves, or polearms. I guess that may have changed, but I'm just not seeing "rune staff."
  • Standard Bars: no mention of runes or runic power.

And it's pretty amusing that they clearly made the Death Knight section by copying and editing the Warrior section (which is how these inaccuracies crept in there). Anyway, I take this as a sign that development on Wrath is moving forward and the beta is approaching (after all, the alpha is over).

[Thanks to Fennrahn and Iggo]

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Two new offline LFG channels - Wed, 16 Jul 2008 19:00:00 EST
The first social step anyone has in WoW is your Guild. We've talked about how it can form the core of your player experience, for good and bad. But, not everyone's lucky enough to have a Guild ready-to-go at everything you might want to do, and what's more, ready at a moment's notice. Many Guilds (rightly so) will expect each members to show some individual initiative, and maybe brave at least a few PUGs. Well, a pair of tools have popped up recently to help you get set up with people outside the limited scope of your Guild.

As a caveat: Both sites I'm presenting here are relatively new and untried. You're getting in on a ground floor, but we can't promise fame and fortune from them (yet).

Continue reading Two new offline LFG channels

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Old BG Mount haunts Karazhan - Wed, 16 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST

Akussa sent us this ghost of Battlegrounds-past, which he and some guildies spotted being rode outside Karazhan. (You can see that it's relatively recent in that it's open to the Blood Elf race ... kinda.) The source of interest in the item comes because it only requires level 55, for a "very fast mount."

What some may have thought was a bug, a patch change, or even some kind of clever exploit is actually a remnant of times gone by. A veritable gremlin of the wonder-years of a battleground where -- to get the really good stuff -- you competed against every person in your own faction.

Back in that day, you'd try and outplay every person in your own faction to earn the top-dog spot. The better you did against your faction-mates, the higher rank you got. Then, in the old Honor system, if you got to Rank 11, you could buy your faction's honor mount pretty simply.

When they changed the mount system (making training expensive, and mounts cheap instead of vice versa), if you had the Rank 11 Mount. . .you got grandfathered to have the riding skill. WoW Insider extraordinaire, Daniel Whitcomb, reports still seeing the occasional 59 twink hanging out upon ancient War Wolf. I, on the other hand, ain't seen one in forever.

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2nd Qualifying round of the official 3v3 Arena Tournament ends - Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:00:00 EST

In the midst of the hubbub over the Worldwide Invitational 3v3 Arena tournament and the MLG PC Circuit tournaments in San Diego and Orlando, the official 3v3 Arena Tournament seems to have fallen by the wayside -- At the least, people don't seem to remember it much.

It looks like it's looking to burst back onto the scene in a big way, though, as Blizzard announced the end of the 2nd qualifying round of the tournament today. The next round will see the winning teams from the 1st and 2nd qualifying rounds facing off in live matches in Boston, Madrid, Seoul, and Taipei in the coming months.

The list of first round winners has some familiar faces in it already. MLG San Diego winners Frag Dominant will be competing in the Boston event, WWI winner Council of Mages will be competing in Seoul, and WWI runner up Improved Clicks will be headed to Madrid. There's no word yet on which teams won the 2nd round, or when the next round's matches will take place, or whether we'll get live streaming from the events. We'll be sure to let you know all the details right here as soon as they're available though.

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