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Arcane Brilliance: Five things every Mage should do before they ding 80 - Sat, 18 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST



Each week Arcane Brilliance waves its wand and conjures a column about Mages. Then Arcane Brilliance turns the column into a sheep, sets that sheep on fire, and then freezes it into a flaming-sheep-sicle. This flaming-sheep-sicle-that-used-to-be-a-Mage-column is actually tastier than you might think, but also quite deadly. Having created it, Arcane Brilliance then proceeds to find the nearest Warlock and hurl the tasty-flaming-sheep-sicle-that-used-to-be-a-Mage-column-of-death at that Warlock, killing him or her instantly. It's the flamingest, frozen-sheepingest, tasty-deathiest Warlock-killingest column on this website, let me assure you.

Contrary to popular belief, Mages do not simply spring to life at level 80. Just like other, lesser classes, we too must begin at the lowly level of one. Even Mages must put their robes on one leg at a time, place one frail foot in front of the other, and trudge across Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms, Outland, and finally Northrend until our experience bars progress from the left side of the screen to the right side a total of 79 times.

Once upon a time, this process took awhile. An average trip to level 60 used to require the following:
  • Approximately 192 trips from the north end of The Barrens to the south end...on foot, uphill both ways, fending off Mankrik's wife and Chuck Norris with a stick.
  • Actually setting foot in Desolace.
  • Getting dismounted several hundred thousand times in Dustwallow Marsh because you'd strayed across three inches of water.
  • Having to wait several hours to turn in every quest in Hillsbrad Foothills, because the questgivers in Tarren Mill and Southshore are always dead.
  • Getting eaten by a giant and improbably stealthy Devilsaur in Un'Goro Crater at least a million times, and always as far from the nearest graveyard as possible.
This is all fact. Sadly (or totally not, depending on how sado-masochistic you are), leveling is no longer nearly as grueling and refining an experience as it once was. It's entirely possible to skip a whole lot of the early-game content these days, and come patch 3.2, PvP experience will allow us to skip all of it on our way to level 80. Still, there are some things I feel we're missing out on as we cruise through the old-world content these days. Follow me beyond the jump for a list of five things every Mage should do on their way to level 80.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Five things every Mage should do before they ding 80

Arcane Brilliance: Five things every Mage should do before they ding 80 originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 18 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mining the armory for Hunter pet statistics - Sat, 18 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST
With Hunter pet information recently added to the armory, Data Miner Zardoz has wasted no time getting his hands on the raw Hunter pet data and breaking it down. The data is only for level 80 Hunters, and only 10,000 of those at that, but it still gives a very interesting snapshot of what's going with the Hunter's best friends.

It might not be too big a surprise that Cats are far and away the most popular pet at a count of around 9500, nearly doubling again the amount of Wolves, who come in just under 5000, which are in turn used in numbers over twice as much as the next popular choice, Gorillas, who are just above 2800 in number. Now mind you, this information does take into account pets that are in the stables as well, and there's certainly the possibility that a lot of them have just stayed in the stables for a long time.

Continue reading Mining the armory for Hunter pet statistics

Mining the armory for Hunter pet statistics originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 18 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rampage battlegroup experiencing outages this afternoon - Sat, 18 Jul 2009 15:07:00 EST
We're starting to get reports aplenty of the (North American) Rampage battlegroup having server outages at the moment, but the exact nature is... fuzzy, to say the least! The login server doesn't seem to be the usual culprit, since the problem is exclusive to Rampage thus far. Looking at the Tech Support forum, it doesn't look like Blizzard has given any updates on the situation beyond asking players to run a traceroute if they have the knowhow. If you're the sort that knows how to do something like that, please direct yourself to the official forums.

Hopefully this outage doesn't last too long, because we're going to be quickly approaching Saturday primetime. That's definitely not a good time for server outages! If anything major comes of this, we'll be sure to let you guys know. If you all want to help us on that front, just keep us updated in the comments below if you're one of the unfortunate Rampage players. If you're not sure what battlegroup you're a part of and seem to be having server problems, the server list is behind the cut below.

Update: The customer service forum has a far more useful thread. An investigation into the issues is ongoing. Thanks, siech0.

Continue reading Rampage battlegroup experiencing outages this afternoon

Rampage battlegroup experiencing outages this afternoon originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 18 Jul 2009 15:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: The rare and benevolent internet troll - Sat, 18 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST


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

What's a blogger gotta do to get linked on WoW.com? It's no mystery. Allison Robert tells you exactly how to make it a fait accompli. Allison gives you the inside line on how to get your blog crashed by WoW.com: tip us off to specific posts, create useful content - oh, and develop some thick skin, because you're about to develop a fascinating collection of troll quotes. Among the descriptions bestowed upon Allison by her loyal (or maybe not-so-loyal) readers: "beyond terrible," "keyboard-thumping howler monkey," and the over-the-top favorite she wishes someone would be creative enough to deploy, "can't be trusted with animals, plants or reasonably intelligent paramecia."

The Chilli God: Hey, Allison? You can't be trusted with animals, plants or reasonably intelligent paramecia. ... There, now you don't have to pretend that it's a real troll quote anymore! Enjoy! :D

Allison Robert: /cheer Our readers always come through for us! :D

Gamer am I: It's the rare and elusive Benevolent Troll!! Someone take a picture!

WoW.com's [1.Local] channel - always ready to tease and to please. Read on for more of this week's thunder and nonsense.

Continue reading [1.Local]: The rare and benevolent internet troll

[1.Local]: The rare and benevolent internet troll originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 18 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: When real life attacks - Sat, 18 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST

When talking to Editor-in-Chief Liz Harper this morning, I noticed something. A few of us here at WoW.com have sort of forgotten the P in WRUP. It's supposed to be What Are You Playing, not What Are You Doing In Real Life (WRUDIRL). Reading through this week's WRUP entries, I'm pretty sure Lesley isn't buying a camera in Stormwind, Lisa isn't vacationing in Nagrand, and I'm almost positive Matt Rossi isn't visiting a botanical garden in WoW. It's certainly possible, but unlikely. Honestly, it's probably more interesting this way. So what are we doing?
  • Adam Holisky (@adamholisky): Working my Rogue to 70.
  • Alex Ziebart (@aziebart): When I'm not trying to get things done around here? Gearing up my Alliance Death Knight while I can still use my Alliance resources, because I'll be transforming him into a Horde character as soon as that becomes available. He'll probably become a Blood Elf simply because Blizzard won't let Trolls wear shoes. When I'm not doing that, I'll probably try to spend some quality time with my personal blog.
  • Chase Christian (@madsushi): My guild's first Yogg-Saron attempts are this weekend, and he will die! Or whatever a God of Death does when you step on him.
Keep reading to find out what the rest of the team is doing!

Continue reading WRUP: When real life attacks

WRUP: When real life attacks originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 18 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Can't find my way home - Sat, 18 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


After hopping in the ocean near Eversong Woods for a midnight swim, Jìnx of <Demise> on Medivh was swept away by the tides. Now her only hope is to stay alive until a passing zeppelin notices her camp on the distant shore of Azshara. Luckily, she managed to salvage a fishing pole, a crude umbrella shelter and a picnic basket from the waves. And after tossing a few Chaos Bolts at a passing Balance Druid and his minions, she's got an excellent supply of moonkin flesh and some burning treant branches to cook with.

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

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

Around Azeroth: Can't find my way home originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 18 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Would you play a Worgen or a Goblin? - Sat, 18 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST


So it might just be some fanciful speculation, the product of rampant imaginings after digging through some game files. It could mean something, it could mean nothing. But yesterday's bombshell discovery of Halloween masks, traditionally reserved for playable races, threw a whole bunch of us into a tizzy. Goblins as playable races? That wouldn't be too surprising considering they've had models in the game that could wear player armor, anyway. But Worgen? I mean, wow.

It's not that far-fetched, either. The Undermine, the home of the Goblins, is situated near the Maelstrom. Remember how Blizzard trademarked Cataclysm, which in Azerothian terms actually refers to the events around the Maelstrom? That means we just might see The Undermine in the next expansion. So Goblins aren't such a wild idea.

But what about the Worgen?

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Would you play a Worgen or a Goblin?

Breakfast Topic: Would you play a Worgen or a Goblin? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 18 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Preparing for BlizzCon: News roundup - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST


BlizzCon approaches! Preparing for BlizzCon is your regular source for tips on how best to prepare for Blizzard's gaming extravaganza. These helpful hints are particularly suited for convention rookies. But if you are a con veteran, we'd love to hear your advice and wisdom in the comments as well.

The BlizzCon news is hitting us faster now, the closer we get to the event. In case you missed some, here's a roundup of the latest news pertaining to BlizzCon:

Don't have tickets? Enter a contest!
Want to enter Blizzard's creative contests? Deadline for Best Fan Art, Best Original Song, and Best Movie Using WoW Footage is July 31, 2009.

Who is going to be there?
What will the big announcement be? My guess is: Cataclysm with new playable races.

BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon, you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there are some great looking costumes.

Continue reading Preparing for BlizzCon: News roundup

Preparing for BlizzCon: News roundup originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard music to be featured at Gamer MusiCON '09 - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST
If you're looking for a way to relax this weekend, why don't you hie off to Houston and get tickets to the Gamer MusiCON '09, an all-day event celebrating music from the video game industry. If you're familiar with the Video Games Live, the whole event has expanded somewhat with the help of Blizzard Entertainment and will now have a full hour-and-a-half Blizzard Live! to go along with the traditional Video Games Live! concert.

Blizzard Live! will feature music, both old and some never performed ones, from Blizzard's different game worlds - Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft - paired with exclusive game footage and synchronized lighting. The Video Games Live! segment features music from other popular games like Chrono Trigger or Mega Man.

Of course, just like any great geek and gamer event, Gamer MusiCON will feature a lot of fun in between, such as costume contests, Guitar Hero faceoffs, a Q&A with Blizzard's composers, autograph signings, and lots of swag. The event, conducted by Jack Wall and hosted by Tommy Talarico, comes to life with the help of the Houston Symphony. It will be held at the Jones Hall in downtown Houston. You'd better get your tickets today! Oh, and don't forget to bring a date.

Blizzard music to be featured at Gamer MusiCON '09 originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show live tomorrow at a special time - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST


It's going to be an interesting WoW Insider Show tomorrow. We've tweaked the show time just a bit (and just this once -- we'll be back to our usual time next week), and everything will kick off tomorrow at noon Eastern time (or July 18, 2009 12:00 PM EDT) over on our Ustream page, or listen in on the embedded link below. And the stories we'll talk about are a little different than usual as well: 3.2 is in the air, even if it isn't quite out yet, so we'll talk about how to make money with the new patch, what kind of lore speculation we've seen for the upcoming expansion (as well as what might happen with the current battle), and whether or not WoW is still priority number one in the halls of Blizzard. And oh yes, we have to talk about that new app I've just installed on my iPhone, and what it means for Blizzard's involvement with the platform.

Plus, we'll have our good friends Lesley Smith and Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington on board with Turpster and I to chat with you live, answer your emails, and have as good a time as we always do. We'll see you tomorrow: remember, it's three hours earlier than usual, at noon Eastern time, so if you show up later in the day, that's why we're not there. And as you've probably noticed, we're getting alarmingly close to show number 100 (last week was 98, and this one is 99), so we'll probably have to chat this week about what kinds of special things we'll do next week. Giveaways? Video? Stay tuned to find out.

Again, for good measure, the show starts at noon eastern tomorrow, not the normal time.

Continue reading WoW Insider Show live tomorrow at a special time

WoW Insider Show live tomorrow at a special time originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Guest introduction - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

On the last edition of The Queue, I requested that readers write me an intro for this thing, and I would pick my favorite of the bunch to use to introduce the column. So here we go, an intro from Teregwynn:

"Each end every day, except those days when he doesn't, Alex Ziebart takes time out of his busy schedule to sift through your annoying, and often repetitive, questions to find those worthy of answers. Once selected, he conjures answers for these questions which baffle the minds of mere mortals, endowing them with a level of insight which they could not, but for having read earlier editions of this very column, have ever imagined."

Search asked...


"I have recently started on getting Loremaster and find it quite frustrating that I don't know how many quests I have accomplished in each area. Is there any way to see how much I have already done in an area and how much left still to do? Maybe some sort of clever addon that has eluded my search."

Continue reading The Queue: Guest introduction

The Queue: Guest introduction originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Halloween masks point to a new playable race? - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 15:25:00 EST


Here's an interesting tidbit from Scrolls of Lore, where they've dug up some files that could possibly hint at future playable races for the World of Warcraft. Remember that tidbit about Kalgan saying how Blizzard plans to "pre-seed" future playable races in the game before they actually become available? It's a different approach from the way they retconned Draenei into game.

Well, the folks over at Scrolls of Lore dug up some Halloween masks that have male and female Goblins - nothing new there - but a pair of werewolf, or Worgen, masks, as well. What's the curious thing about this? Well, we've never actually seen any female Worgen in the game, have we? Right. Well, there it is. A nice, pretty, green-eyed Worgen female mask. It may or not mean anything, of course, as these are just graphic files, or skins, placed on top of in-game models. But still... remember that Greymane Wall? Ever wonder why so many Worgen are outside of it? Remember how Blizzard hinted it would open up soon? Yeah. Just sayin'.

Many thanks to Tori for the tip! Also, Omacron links us to a blog stitching the faces together for a better look at the, uh, masks.

New Halloween masks point to a new playable race? originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 15:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Tanking, esports, and comics - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST

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

The Daily Quest: Tanking, esports, and comics originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Last Laugh - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST


This is probably my favorite name for an item in the game.

Name: Last Laugh (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic One-hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 192-357 / 1.60 (171.6 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +37 Strength, +73 Stamina. Interesting -- I don't know if I've ever seen a weapon where the attribute numbers are reversed like that. Probably not done intentionally, but it's an interesting little quirk.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Last Laugh

Phat Loot Phriday: Last Laugh originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drama Mamas: Of phone calls and slanderers - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST


Let the Drama Mamas guide you through the sticky business of dodging drama, toward becoming that player everyone wants in their group. Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players. And just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We are taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Like patches through the PTR, so go the Raids of Our Lives. (Thanks, Matticus!) We got quite a few questions after last week's column. There's a lot of drama out there! We'll be answering two questions each episode, so if we don't get to your question this week ... we will eventually.

This week, we're talking about the drama caused by fellow raiders when they take phone calls during raids. We also talk about how to handle officers who end up being not-so-loyal. Let's get to it!

Continue reading Drama Mamas: Of phone calls and slanderers

Drama Mamas: Of phone calls and slanderers originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Craft of War: BLIND - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST

It's been a few months since we've posted Craft of War: BLIND, which means we're due to start getting tips about it soon. To try and help head that off, I figured we'd take a moment today and re-watch one of the finest World of Warcraft movies so far. (That being, Craft of War: BLIND by Percula, of course.) While I love the embedded player, if this is your first time seeing BLIND, make sure to watch it full screen.

Some time ago, BLIND's original page had been removed by Vimeo, who had mistaken the animation for being mere "gameplay footage." I'm not exactly sure what game has this kind of footage, but I'd sure as hell like to know. After some wrangling, and then an apology on Vimeo's part, Percula was able to get his smash-hit video back up on the site. (In the mean time, other sites still featured BLIND, so it's not like the film disappeared from the face of the planet.)

BLIND has had an incredible impact on the fanbase. While machinima fans are already familiar with what authors like Soosdon and Selserene can do with the game models and animation tools, the incredible work performed by Percula brought in brand new fans to the hobby. It's worth taking a second look, and enjoying BLIND all over again.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Craft of War: BLIND originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 brings two more heirloom weapons - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST
We were all aflutter over the news of the new Heirloom chest pieces that give you an extra 10% XP, but we somehow forgot to mention the two new heirloom weapons. The Venerable Mass of McGowan and the Repurposed Lava Dredger are the two new heirloom weapons we'll be getting in patch 3.2, and sticking with the theme of the other heirlooms thus far, you'll recognize them instantly if you're an old school player.

These two items are probably aimed at filling gaps in Heirloom itemization that left people like Enhancement Shaman and Feral Druids without a swank weapon to level up with. Naturally, other classes can use these if they want, but those two class/spec combinations really had no good options to work with.

I'm particularly pleased to see the Mass of McGowan being brought back. I don't know if it was the same on all servers, but on my particular server, that thing was largely believed to be a myth for the longest time. You see, the Mass only drops off of mobs that are level 60 or higher. Before they finished implementing Silithus, there were no non-elite level 60 mobs out in the world that you would just kill at random throughout your day. The only place you could find this thing was usually in raids. I'm sure my server had plenty more of them, but the only one I was actively aware of was one being used by the main tank of a Horde raiding guild. It had more mystique surrounding it than most of today's epics.

They just don't make blues like that these days. Le sigh!

Patch 3.2 brings two more heirloom weapons originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Beauty is only skin deep - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


Serith of <Dawn of Serenity> on Dunemaul understands that a successful Hunter of the most dangerous game needs to blend in with their environment. A white dress and purple skin is a perfect match for the white trees and purple skies of Crystalsong Forest. Blaze orange is so Hellfire Peninsula, don't you know? Unfortunately, the glowing eyes of Serith's Gondria pet are preventing her from being truly camouflaged. So she's decided to euthanize her companion with an arrow through the offending eyes. Try something in a purple nether ray next time, mmkay? And change your hair.

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

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

Around Azeroth: Beauty is only skin deep originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Why leveling will always be important to WoW - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST

Times they are a changin', and as Patch 3.2 hits the PTR with a new wealth of mechanics aimed at making the journey to 80 that much easier, why not take a moment to look back at how Azeroth has changed?

Leveling used to take a long time, and one of the first things a friend told me was that "the game started at 60." While the level cap might have changed, it's something I heartily agree with.Those of you who joined the game around the time of the latest expansion or even before might hear others speaking with misty-eyes of the olden days of Classic WoW when it took an age to get from Darnassus to Stormwind.

While WoW might have a much lower learning curve than, say, EVE Online, it does still have one. But WoW is known as a bit of a grind fest and the ever growing level cap, which currently stands at 80 but will no doubt go higher with the next expansion, can be pretty daunting.

Especially for a new player.

Continue reading Why leveling will always be important to WoW

Why leveling will always be important to WoW originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Missing Professions? - Fri, 17 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST


WoW lets you do a lot of things from cook great feasts for your raid-mates to spend a lazy evening in some peaceful part of Grizzly Hills catching some fish for dinner. You can make bandages, sew cloth into handy bags, skin beasts to make armour or even make your own mount from a rather expensive pile of tubes and springs or a few dozen bolts of highly prized cloth. I just mine and mine and mine. Then I mine some more and maybe do a little fishing in Dalaran fountain.

All in all the game is pretty well serviced in the realm of professions, both primary and secondary. However I can't help thinking there needs to be a bit more variety. People seem to pick the easy professions or the ones which make the most cash very quickly. Should there be tertiary professions, like lockpicking, and should they be made available to all? At the same time, do you think Blizzard were smart when they only provided two profession slots? Do you think people should be able to learn all of them, even if they could only take one or two to Grand Master level? Do you think, aside from first aid, cooking and fishing, there's a missing profession? If you could add one to the game, what would it be?

Breakfast Topic: Missing Professions? originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon Sweepstakes ticking down to deadline - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST


Just in case you aren't satisfied with one chance at winning tickets to BlizzCon, those guys from SteelSeries have teamed up with J!NX, BradyGames, Upper Deck, and Swag Dog to bring you the BlizzCon Sweepstakes. That's like an all-star crew of geek and gamer gear companies forming some sort of super team just for you. That's right, these guys want you to go to BlizzCon, too, and all you have to do is hop on over to their sweepstakes site, fill up a form, and you're in. It's that easy. First prize is a flight for two to Anaheim, 2 nights at a hotel, 2 passes to BlizzCon, and yes, even $300 in pocket money (so you can buy more of swag, I'd imagine).

Here's where the all-star crew comes in -- if you don't get to win the Grand Prize, five lucky chaps will go away with a SteelSeries World of Warcraft mouse, a $50 J!NX Gift Certificate, and the World of Warcraft Atlas from BradyGames. The rest of the lucky guys will get $25 Swag Dog Gift Certificates, Fields of Honor booster packs, World of Warcraft-themed mousepads, and a bunch of other cool stuff. Not a bad deal at all for just filling out a form. Of course, as usual, it's only open to residents of the United States and Canada (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and Quebec). The contest runs until July 31, so feel free to dilly-dally around WoW.com before you submit your entry.

Don't like that you can't enter the contest because of where you live? We don't like it either! Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it right now. But you can! In the US contact your Congressperson, in Quebec contact the Quebec government, and in the UK contact your member of Parliament. Tell them you want things changed so contests can be open for everyone.

BlizzCon Sweepstakes ticking down to deadline originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Where the Action is Not - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST


The Care and Feeding of Warriors once more shuffles forth clad head to toe in clanking metal, devoid of holy light, harnessed death magic or any of that fancy stuff, to bash things about until they cough up shiny pixels. Matthew Rossi has been bashing things about for their loot since January of 2005. He'll be doing an analysis of the Warrior Q&A soon, he promises, please don't stab him with pitchforks.

Honestly, I'd like to rant more about how Warrior DPS is still way too low in PvE. Especially since I keep seeing posts on the forums from the blues telling me classes with equal or better DPS are in fact too low. It's sort of maddening, really. But as much as I'd like to go on a written rampage about encounter design serving as an arbitrary limiter to warrior DPS in Ulduar, and how paradoxically my DPS is at its best on fights that are supposed to be hard mode fights (this week, for instance, my personal highest DPS numbers were recorded on XT - 002's Heartbreaker mode, where two Warriors including myself finally managed to break the top four and were ahead of the other hybrids) due to the mechanics of those fights actually allowing the warrior some uninterrupted DPS time.

But unfortunately, a whole lot has been said about tanking this past week. So as maddening, vexing, downright baffling as I find the encounter design limitations of Warrior DPS in some cases (really, not much can irritate me like knowing my DPS time was broken up by big chunks of having to run away, run around, get out of the way of lightning or exploding seeds or any of the sixteen things Mimiron does that make me unhappy to be alive) that rant's going to have to stay confined to these opening paragraphs. (For a simulation of what I sound like during a raid, get four angry woodpeckers and have them attack your keyboard while you scream "Oh, COME ON" every few seconds and imagine you're the Gravity Bomb again.)

So what happened with tanking this week, you ask? Well, more was said about block, about avoidance, and about tanking specced players as DPS and in PvP. So let's go over what was said.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Where the Action is Not

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Where the Action is Not originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ESL interviews Tom Chilton - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST

Jay Harding from ESL TV was able to catch up to Blizzard Lead Designer and the resident PvP guru Tom Chilton at the World of Warcraft Arena Tournament Regional Finals in Cologne, Germany last June and got to squeeze a decent length interview. Because of the focus of the event, Chilton talked a lot about PvP changes, particularly the impact of the upcoming Patch 3.2. Chilton, also known as Kalgan, expressed Blizzard's intent on trying to keep different comps viable while taking small steps to curb the dominance of extremely popular comps such as RMP and cleave, which he stopped short of calling a "faceroll comp" (still goes to show he was thinking it, though!). Highlights from the video include:

  • Resilience - the change to Resilience in Patch 3.2 will make the greatest impact in Arena PvP, slowing down matches and likely impacting the effectivity of "burst" comps.
  • The nerf to the 2v2 bracket is intended to equalize class representation since 2v2 isn't always a good bracket for all classes. Chilton mentions that "as the bracket size comes down, you lose a lot of those different synergies between different classes"
  • Chilton says, "there's room for competitive Battlegrounds," and that "rated Battlegrounds is something that (Blizzard) has been thinking about for quite a while." He says they'll provide more information in the future.
  • Isle of Conquest is intended to be epic, they want to "bring back a little of that crazy, big battle feel" and intergrating some features of existing Battlegrounds with new ones.
  • Kalgan and his girlfriend will kick your butt in 2v2.
It's a nice interview for ESL's WoW Wednesdays, and while it doesn't give too much information we don't already know (especially since you obviously read WoW.com...), it's always good to hear news straight from the proverbial horse's mouth. This actually got me all excited for the PvP Panel during BlizzCon, hopefully we'll hear a bunch of new stuff there.

ESL interviews Tom Chilton originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Warrior Q&A Analysis - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST
Well, the warrior Q&A is finally here. if you play a warrior and you were hoping that this would be the beam of sunshine that would fix your issues with the class, I'm sorry to tell you that it probably won't be. This isn't a huge surprise... so far the entire Q&A series has been fairly conservative and this one's no different... but let's go over it anyway.

First off, of course, we have the intro to the class, which contains this interesting sentence: The warrior class has been a very tricky one to balance, largely due to the way rage converts into damage (which converts into rage, which converts into damage...), and we haven't completely nailed that design just yet.

I think it's fair to say that anyone who remembers Rage Normalization trembles just a little bit when they see sentences like that. It's so very easy to render warriors absolutely impotent by tinkering with our rage generation, so I'm going to say right now that I desperately hope they test whatever changes they make very, very thoroughly.

Continue reading Warrior Q&A Analysis

Warrior Q&A Analysis originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New PTR raid testing schedule - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST


The patch 3.2 PTR went down for maintenance today, but it's scheduled to be coming back up soon (if it isn't already). The 5-man dungeon will be available for testing "shortly after the PTR coming up." The main event for this PTR testing period, the Crusader's Coliseum raid, will have three bosses available for testing in each region (North America and Europe), on the following schedule:

  • North America:
    • Lord Jaraxxus (Normal only): tonight, starting at 7 PM EDT.
    • Northrend Beasts (Normal and Heroic): Friday, July 17, starting at 7 PM EDT.
    • Faction Champions (Normal and Heroic): same as above, Friday, July 17, starting at 7 PM EDT.
  • Europe (all fights available on Normal and Heroic):
    • Val'kyr: Friday, July 17, starting at 19:00 CEST.
    • Lord Jaraxxus: same as above, Friday, July 17, starting at 19:00 CEST.
    • Anub'arak: Saturday, July 18, starting at 19:00 CEST.

Tank and DPS Patchwerks will also be back again. Daelo notes that much of the loot does not have its final art yet, and that most of the achievements should now be implemented.


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

New PTR raid testing schedule originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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We have a tabard: Make it so - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST


Warning: This guy is probably not someone you'd want as an officer. Nor is this video safe for work, small children, or anyone who is sensitive about cursing or animated depictions of sexual acts. But with that said, everyone and their grandmother has seen it, so enjoy.

Adding officers to your guild can help ease burdens on the Guild Master, and up efficiency within the guild. But poorly chosen or corrupt officers can do more harm than good within. Even before you select a cadre of officers, you should have an idea of what you'd like them to do for you. Let's take a look at the different types of officers you should consider having in your guild, and how they all interact with each other and your fellow guildies.

Class leaders are the first to come to mind. This type of authority should have a keen knowledge of the common specs and rotations for their class. They should be familiar with itemization for their charges and advocate for them in loot decisions.

Raid leaders are an absolute blessing for dungeon-crawling guilds. He or she can either be in charge of raiding as a whole or just fill in for the GM as needed. It is very helpful to assign an assistant Raid Leader to the Loot Master position so that the raid can continue with trash pulls as loot is distributed. Raid Leaders should be intimately familiar with the fights, and have enough patience to be able to explain them.

Continue reading We have a tabard: Make it so

We have a tabard: Make it so originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scattered Shots: Running solo with Tenacity - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST

Good day folks and welcome to Scattered Shots. The column that take a good look at what it takes to be a Hunter in the World of Warcraft. I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from the Hunting Lodge. This week we'll be discussing the best pets to use while playing solo. So grab your traps, check your ammo and let's go Hunting!

For the last couple of weeks I have been going over raiding specs. First, we reviewed the suggested specs for each all the Hunter talent trees. And last week we discussed how to spec Ferocity pets to partner with you as you raid and down bosses.

But we all know that there is much more to World of Warcraft than just running round min/maxing your character with best in slot items and downing bosses. For example, what do you do when you are out there leveling content? How about some way to take on multiple mobs at a time as you grind through for those twelve dozen Murloc eyes or maybe you are farming Arctic Fur for that Death-warmed Belt.

So I thought this week it might be a good idea to look at our options, and pick out some pets that would make really great companions when out farming and playing solo. Let's get started by taking a look at what are Tenacity Pets and how we can use them.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: Running solo with Tenacity

Scattered Shots: Running solo with Tenacity originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Class Q&A: Warrior - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 13:20:00 EST

Just days after the Druid Class Q&A, the blues have seen fit to post the Warrior edition. Look for in-depth analysis from our very own Warrior expert, Matt Rossi, soon. This purpose of this post is to get the news out there to you, dear readers, as fast as possible. Here's my very brief summary:

  • Historically, Warriors have been dominant in tanking and competitive in DPS and PvP. Balance is in a "fairer place" now.
  • Arms and Fury need a "hard look." They are happier with the Prot tree.
  • "Arms is supposed to be about weapons and martial training and feel 'soldierly.' Fury is supposed to be about screaming barbarians in woad."
  • They still want to get rid of stance penalties (like increased incoming damage in Berserker) eventually.
  • In the future, Prot warriors will generate more rage through doing damage. Long-term, they need "a better solution to rage generation."
  • "Block needs to be a percentage of damage blocked in order for the stat to do what we want" (though the frequency of block, and avoidance in general, would probably have to come down to compensate).
  • They want tanks to not ignore DPS stats quite so much.
  • Warriors have too much downtime when leveling.
Read on for the full Q&A with Ghostcrawler and friends.

Continue reading Class Q&A: Warrior

Class Q&A: Warrior originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Win a trip to BlizzCon from Razer - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST


Did you run out of tickets for this year's BlizzCon? If you're like the majority of people who queued up for tickets but clicked a nanosecond too late, and are now mulling over DirectTV's pay-per-view package (it does come with a Murloc...), the cool guys over at Razer might have something worth looking into. They're sending a pair of lucky Blizzard fanboys (or girls) to Anaheim, booking them at a hotel, giving them a pair of BlizzCon passes, and topping it off with $300 in pocket change. Sounds like a great deal, right? Of course it does, as long as you're a resident of the United States or Canada, that is.

That tiny little detail aside (sorry, all you folks from rest of the world), all you have to do is register over at Razer's BlizzCon '09 contest page and complete a pair of pretty cool quests which will require you to, ah, rifle through Razer's "book of faces" and tap into their "avian based network". It's a fun little exercise that won't take more than a few clicks and keystrokes with a dash of token sleuthing. If you don't manage to snag the Grand Prize, you just might be lucky enough to win one of ten DeathAdder gaming mice or one of ten Razergear Messenger Bags and laptop sleeves. It certainly seems easier than writing a letter to Nvidia, right? Now get hopping, all you citizens of the US and Canada! We'll see you at BlizzCon!

Win a trip to BlizzCon from Razer originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Two Fellas - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST


Warning: Spoilers about this movie appear in the review.

Like almost everyone else who is regularly featured in WoW Moviewatch, Silverlined Productions are busily grinding away on their movie presentation for BlizzCon. However, Nixxiom took a break from that effort, and threw together Two Fellas to keep us entertained during the interim.

As the video itself warns, Nixxiom didn't spend an inordinate amount of time building the video. It's interesting to note, though, he said it took three hours on the long end. That's a good point for folks who are new to machinima. This brief, short clip took three hours. It's important to keep that in mind when evaluating how much effort machinima authors spend creating their work.

The story is pretty short. A pair of humans are chilling out in Lakeshire, talking about how a pretty good movie was spoiled at the end by some randomness that didn't make any sense. Then a nun appears, who turns into a worgen. And then, randomness occurs. The final line of the movie is something like "I'm gonna rape you."

I found the bit pretty funny and enjoyed the movie. But the politically aware person wonders about that final line. Since the whole point is "this is random and crazy," I don't imagine there's any harm meant. After all, a common PvP phrase is "I'm gonna own you!" You're not really referencing slavery with that phrase, and Nixxiom wasn't trying to make light of rape as a subject. It was just a phrase. Still, it stuck out in my head, and I thought I'd mention it.

Overall, this video was actually a lot of fun, and I totally tip my hat to Nixxion. Thanks for the taking the time to put something out there, even while working hard on your BlizzCon efforts.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Two Fellas originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: Ley-Guardian Eregos vs. Loken - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

We've witnessed some pretty strange matchups during the first round of the Wrath five-man boss season of Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves. We think the first bracket has successfully set the baseline: it's not who wins or loses - it's how they play the game. You folks out there in the stands have been great. We've evolved beyond lame comments droning on about "X is a boss?!? HAHAHA Y wins, my group beats X every time," to recent battles, with truly captivating scenarios such as Bobobe's ironic twist at the end of last week's Anub'Arak versus Elder Nadox battle.

For the final match of this season's first bracket of battles, we present to you another unusual (even in TBE's terms) scenario featuring two bosses that are probably among players most dreaded bosses: Ley-Guardian Eregos of The Oculus versus Loken from the Halls of Lightning. Yeah, yeah, we know ... the Drakes ... Come on, you didn't really think we were going to perch Loken atop one Super-Drake with all the abilities, did you? It's a fantasy series! Loosen up your deathgrip on those Drake reins, and let's look at this week's ground rules.
  • The Drakes are out. Poof - gone.
  • Assume that Eregos and Loken share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
  • Do me a favor and read the previous bullet point again, please?
  • This deathmatch takes place in neutral territory.
  • Ley-Guardian Eregos will be able to summon his Whelps.
  • Gameplay mechanics are significantly different here, since we have no Drakes. Don't worry about what actual players and Drakes might do in the encounter; they're not here.
  • Focus on the three S's: style, story and scale.
Now, we all know who will probably capture the most votes - but without the Drakes and a comparatively level playing field for damage done, are you certain? Join us after the break to cast your vote and tell us how you think the winner pulls it off.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Ley-Guardian Eregos vs. Loken

Two Bosses Enter: Ley-Guardian Eregos vs. Loken originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Casual content in a hardcore way - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST


Even by WoW standards, Aavryn of <One Percent> on Kul Tiras might have too much time on her hands. Sure, anyone can grab items from all eight holidays. (For those of you playing along at home, she's got an Elune Stone from the Lunar Festival, a Blue Brewfest Stein from Brewfest, a Sleepy Willy pet from Children's Week, a Hallowed Helm from Hallow's End, a Romantic Picnic Basket from Love is In the Air, a Brazier of Dancing Flames from the Midsummer Fire Festival, an Egg Basket from Noblegarden, and the Red Winter Clothing from Winter Veil.)

But how many people would find a way to get all eight into one screenshot? Or spend two hours trying to find the perfect lighting, synchronizing the cooldowns, and then waiting for people to stop running into the shot? And how painful must it be to get all this done and still be one achievement short of your Violet Proto-Drake?

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

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

Around Azeroth: Casual content in a hardcore way originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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One Boss Leaves: Azjol-Nerub was merely a setback - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

We had to do it. Both Anub'arak and Elder Nadox have been waiting patiently all season for their chance in the ring, after all. But did anyone think this Two Bosses Enter matchup would come out any other way? "Anub'arak wins, mandibles down," states faithful reader aarsej. "The truth is, Anub'arak is actually Hogger in disguise." Reader votes might actually support that conclusion: Anub'Arak supporters pushed this fight perilously close to a 90% slaughterfest.

Clydtsdk-Rivendare called it for the few dissenters.

Clydtsdk-Rivendare: This one is actually really close, IMO. Both mobs go invincible and summon adds, so it really all comes down to Nadox being smart enough to realize how strong Pound really is. If Nadox is invincible when Anub'arak uses Pound, Nadox wins. Otherwise, the sheer force of the blow tilts the scales heavily towards Anub.

... To make Nadox's add situation make sense, we'll set this fight in his "nest," if you will. Anub's adds come in from either doorway (the geography of this always confused me). Nadox is out of the nest for whatever reason, but when she returns, she sees Anub about to kill her kids. Nadox runs forward to engage Anub. Anub and Nadox trade blows for a while, when Anub sets off Carrion Beetles. Nadox sends his small adds to take care of these while she continues after Anub.

Continue reading One Boss Leaves: Azjol-Nerub was merely a setback

One Boss Leaves: Azjol-Nerub was merely a setback originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: So when is Patch 3.2 going to hit? - Thu, 16 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST


As I'm sure you all know, the Patch 3.2 background downloader has appeared, that fabled herald, signaling that a new patch will finally be appearing on live servers. The PTR has been heaving, bosses have been tested, Druids are rejoicing at their fresh new forms and even more Druid lore has been revealed. Can you feel the electricity in the air yet? The crackle of an-ti-ci-pation (Rocky Horror anyone?) as the patch drip-feeds into your computer? Exciting, huh?

Except it's never as easy as that, there's usually a gap between the appearance of the downloader and the patch actually going live. It's normally a couple of weeks but, well, when do you think it's going to be? We've guesstimated when it might drop in terms of months but the downloader is a sure sign that Patch 3.2 will be hitting Soon (TM). As usual we're probably not going to know for sure until the patch actually hits or we get confirmation from a Blue in the wee small hours of a Tuesday morning, but that doesn't stop a little healthy speculation now, does it?

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

Breakfast Topic: So when is Patch 3.2 going to hit? originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Armory for the iPhone released - Wed, 15 Jul 2009 21:09:00 EST


Blizzard has just released an official WoW Armory client for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The App features the ability for users to see a number of important things on their iPhone that they normally would be able to get in-game or through use of the official armory site. Some of the major features include:
  • Character information, including gear, achievements, and specs
  • PvP leader boards
  • Talent calculators
  • Official Blizzard news
  • An integrated item browser
  • In-game calendars
You can download the app right now from the WoW Armory page and the App Store. The app is free. This is the second mobile application Blizzard has developed, the first being a mobile authenticator app.

Some first impressions of the app after the break!

Continue reading WoW Armory for the iPhone released

WoW Armory for the iPhone released originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 15 Jul 2009 21:09:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: You had me at Sudowoodo - Wed, 15 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST


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

The Daily Quest: You had me at Sudowoodo originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 15 Jul 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard warns against Three Wolf Moon at BlizzCon - Wed, 15 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST


Grainne was posting over on the BlizzCon forums today, and brought up a very good point. We all need to be very careful about wearing our Three Wolf Moon shirts to BlizzCon.

My first experience with this shirt of legend, like many of you, came through the largest digg in the known universe. It became so popular that the digg counters are even screwed up. It's just that awesome. When my shirt finally arrived I immediately found that all the Blood Elves were attracted to me, even the dudes. But that's okay, because such a powerful shirt demands respect. I was attracted to me too.

I think Nethaera must have had such a similar experience. Perhaps she was posing in game as one those Blood Elves? Because that would explain her warning:

"Whoa... no need to dress up that much! Not to mention, it may cause a disturbance you know."

Continue reading Blizzard warns against Three Wolf Moon at BlizzCon

Blizzard warns against Three Wolf Moon at BlizzCon originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 15 Jul 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon creative contests open for entries - Wed, 15 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST

Attention aspiring artist, songwriters, and machinimators: want to win an awesome Alienware laptop? Sure you do. Well, here's your chance. Blizzard is holding three creative contests at BlizzCon this summer: best fan art, best original song, and best movie using WoW footage (i.e. machinima).

Entrants in each category have until July 31 to submit their best work. Various countries and localities around the world are eligible, although not all; this is due to legal issues, and not Blizzard hating Italians and residents of Vermont (which Alex claims are called "Vermites").

For the full rules, see Blizzard's contest page, but the general guidelines for submissions are as follows:

  • Art must be high-res Photoshop files.
  • Movies must be under three minutes and 100 MB, and should be WMVs, AVIs, or MOVs. Music must be either by the entrant or by Blizzard.
  • Songs must be MP3s under 2 minute and 5 MB. Lyrics (if any) should be without profanity, in English, Spanish, French, German, Korean, or Chinese, and if not in English, must come with a written English translation.

For second place in each category, Blizzard will be awarding some Razer equipment, and third place will get an unspecified NVIDIA video card. The top two winners in the Movie contest also each get a copy of Adobe CS4, which is pretty sweet. So get creating!

BlizzCon creative contests open for entries originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 15 Jul 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 background download begins - Wed, 15 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST


Here's another step in patch 3.2's slow march forward: the background download has begun. The first 273 MB chunk of the patch file is now available in a Blizzard Background Downloader app near you. Blizzard has been using this method to pre-distribute parts of patches as they get finalized for quite some time now, to lessen the bandwidth strain on patch day.

What does this mean for the patch's ETA? Not much, I'm afraid. All we can surmise from this is that some parts of the patch artwork are ready to go. The time between the background download becoming available and the patch going live varies widely, from less than a week to over a month. We'll just have to wait and see.

[thanks, Steve]


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

Patch 3.2 background download begins originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 15 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: A second look at Maiev Shadowsong - Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST


Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? Leave a comment below!

As I mentioned previously, Maiev Shadowsong is one of my favorite characters in all of Warcraft lore. When I said that, the statement was quickly met with the cries of people calling her all sorts of unpleasant names. And you know what? That's the beauty of the character. Sometimes, not all good characters are people you would sit down and have a beer with. In fact, some of them are downright nasty people. I wouldn't go that far with Maiev, but I think it's okay that she's not a peaches and sunshine sort of character, especially considering what's been done to her.

Yes, Know Your Lore has covered Maiev before, but now it's my turn. Elizabeth and I have pretty substantial differences of opinion on the Warden, so I don't think you'll mind too much.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: A second look at Maiev Shadowsong

Know Your Lore: A second look at Maiev Shadowsong originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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