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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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Study: Playing WoW makes you a better surgeon - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 19:00:00 EST
The American Psychological Association has released a study of surgeons (why they chose surgeons to study, who knows) that says surgeons who play World of Warcraft and other video games can make them a better surgeon overall. Not only does controlling a game character give you better motor skills, but playing an involved and complicated game can, not surprisingly, can make you a better analytical thinker and problem solver. Surgeons who played videogames (though they don't mention how much or how often) were faster at advanced surgical procedures and make fewer errors than surgeons who didn't.

So does this mean that playing videogames can replace education entirely? Not so fast, back to schoolers -- apparently playing games also makes things not so complicated seem not so interesting. While leading a pickup group in Karazhan will definitely help your problem solving abilities (though probably not your stress levels), it will make it harder for you to do things like settle down and study a book. As with everything, moderation is the key.

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All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a human - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 18:16:00 EST

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the first in a series of roleplaying guides on every race in WoW, in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well without embarrassing yourself.

I know, you're thinking "wait a minute, I'm already a human, aren't I? Isn't roleplaying a human in WoW just like being a human in real life -- plus some sword and sorcery, minus some boring office jobs and unpleasant bodily functions?" The answer is no, it's not so simple -- there's a bit of history and culture at work in Azerothian human society that all roleplayers of human characters need to be aware of. Otherwise, it's easy to fall into the trap of inconsistency with the Warcraft lore and the roleplaying that everyone else is trying to do within it.

Suppose for example that you say "Hi! My name is Walter and I was raised on a farm. Now I've come to Stormwind to have adventures and become a hero!" You may find the never-seen-danger-before style of new hero interesting to roleplay, but it would be very unlikely to find such a human in the actual Warcraft lore: ever since the orcs first came through the portal 30 years or so prior to the setting of our game, every human nation has suffered terribly as the human race barely survived 3 huge waves of devastating warfare, with some whole nations of humans completely wiped out. No human growing up in that time would have been untouched by the conflict -- and if you want to roleplay a human, you ought to know about it.

Similar issues exist for all the available player races in WoW; there are certain details about your race's history that you need to know in order to roleplay well. So today we will provide you with the basic knowledge you need to be a human. We'll leave the in-depth lore to other columns, though -- today is just a basic roleplayer's primer on one race, with other races to follow in the future.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a human

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Ask WoW Insider: Defining mains and alts - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 17:00:00 EST
There's a ton of asking going on around this site lately -- between "Ask a Lore Nerd" and "Ask a Beta Tester," you guys are asking more questions than a two-year old who just learned what "why" means. But this column, Ask WoW Insider, is the O.G. of Ask columns here on the site, and unlike all of the other Ask columns, we put the question back to you readers. Chippen of EU Doomhammer sent in this great question this week:

We are having a discussion in our guild whether alts have priority on loot before guild members and we do have different views on this. Some say that an alt is an alt, and need to wait to be geared up, while others can't really see the problem. What is a main and what is an alt?

I suppose a main is the...well...I don't know. The first character I created? Or is it the character I play the most? Or is it the character I want to play the most and also enjoying playing the most? When does an alt become a main, and is it possible to swap between the two?
If you're asking me, I'd say it's definitely possible to switch mains (I've done it a few times) -- your main is currently the character that's getting the majority of your playtime, and the one where loot matters the most to you. Some guilds ask you to declare a main, so that they can make a clear distinction for passing out loot, while other guilds just have players switch alts depending only on what situations require what.

So let's show up those other Ask columns and give this great, open-ended question out to you, our dear readers: what is a main and what is an alt? And what's the difference between the two?

If you've got a question for our readers to be posted right here in the original Ask column, be sure to send it along to ask@wowinsider.com. And there's lots more Ask WoW Insider, including this question on abusing the /roll, and how to make friends and influence raiders on a new server.

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Petaholics Anonymous releases a pet name generator - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 16:00:00 EST
About a month ago, we posted in anticipation of a pet name generator that Petaholics Anonymous was working on (especially of interest to me, since I've been playing my Hunter like crazy lately), and now the Pet-o-licious Namerator is now up and running. Right now, I've got a raptor that I've named Jumpy, but I very well could have named it "Bahir" or "Claws," both good names out of the Namerator. As was decided back on the poll, PA has apparently put the names into Silly and Serious categories, so you choose your pet's family and whether you want a silly or serious name, and you can choose from the ones that pop out (and if you don't like any of them, you can click Generate again and you'll get more).

If you've got a great pet name that's not in there, you can submit some more, as well, and apparently Bats are the most needed category (though I really love "Guano" as a silly Bat name, and "Vlad" as serious -- why would you need anything else?). Definitely some fun ideas in there for Hunters to choose from. Unfortunately, we'll probably still see Hunters going around with their pet "Cat" following them (so boring!), but maybe this will help.

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Thrall art on European ghost train ride - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 15:00:00 EST


Paul sent us this picture (thanks!) he saw on a ride at a traveling fair -- he doesn't say where he's from, but he does play on the EU realms, so we imagine this to be somewhere in the gypsy country of France (France has some gypsy country, right?), in among the carnies and popcorn. As you can see, it's everyone's favorite Warcraft image, "repurposed" into a scary ghost train ride. And if you click to embiggen the photo, you can see that it's not just Thrall on the sign. Apparently ghost train ride artists aren't scared by a little thing like copyright law.

Of course, while non-Warcraft players would probably see a sign like that and think it's gross or scary, we know the truth: Thrall's a loveable badass. He's the guy you elected the supreme leader of Azeroth by a huge margin, so using him on a ride that's supposed to be scary kind of defeats the purpose. While most might leave that ride screaming in fear, we'll probably just leave it screaming, "For the Horde!"

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Characters for iPhone updated to 2.0 - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 14:00:00 EST
The Warcraft Characters app for iPhone that we reported on a while ago has been updated to version 2.0, and with it come a host of terrific improvements. As we were told last time, gear has been added in, so your iPhone can not only show you information about your (or anyone else's) characters, but it can now also show you all of their gear, and even reputation status. And there's good news for non-US users, too: the app now supports characters from any and all realms, not just US and EU, but Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese realms as well. The only thing that's still missing is seeing individual talents -- otherwise, it's as featured an app as you can get. Sure, guild search and stats might be nice, and there's always extra features like be.imba integration, or character comparisons, but as a portable Armory, it works great as is. We're not sure if this is all Rudi's work or a result of a teamup with Omen of Clarity (who's been working on an iPhone web app for a while), but either way, great job.

And there's a shiny new icon, too (and I like it a lot better). Characters is now available on the iPhone's App Store for the low, low price of free.

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Leipzig's Games Convention to feature Wrath Cinematic - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 13:30:00 EST

We originally predicted that we'd finally see the Wrath cinematic at BlizzCon in October, but we may not even need to wait that long. Multiple sources are reporting that Blizzard plans to show off the cinematic at the Games Convention in Leipzig on August 21st at 1PM.

If this is true, that means we only have 3 days left until we finally see if Gnomes get their cinematic day in the sun. We'll be sure to keep you updated on the cinematic and any other new information that comes out of Leipzig, so stay tuned.

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Officers' Quarters: Padding your resume - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 13:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

I'm not sure how, because I usually avoid the topic around "civilians," but the subject of Warcraft came up a few weeks ago as I was speaking with a co-worker in my department. I don't mean my glamorous position blogging for WoW Insider that has made me a globally recognized household name -- in this case, I'm talking about my corporate, Clark Kent job. When you talk about the Lich King there, people think it's some kind of organic fast-food restaurant.

During this conversation I started talking about my role as a guild leader. While I was explaining it, I realized just how much of this role I've applied to situations in my office life. Wouldn't a company value this type of training? The author of this week's e-mail asks just how to present your guild leadership experience to a potential employer.

It's not easy to be the GM/officer/leader in a successful guild, regardless of how you define 'successful.' We work hard to keep drama at a minimum, create an environment where our members are comfortable and having fun, recruit new folks, 'fire' bad seeds among many other duties and obligations. All while developing our own toons, often to be on par with the best of the rest.

To me, that sounds like a great resume builder for the real world. Employers are looking for that kind of leadership, discipline, and knowledge.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Padding your resume

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WoW Moviewatch: Bathing with ghosts - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 12:35:00 EST

(Warning: This video contains some harsh language.)

If you thought you were having a bad day, you haven't met this guy. Apparently every time he takes a bath, he sees dead people! We applaud him for repeat attempts to bathe ...

Paus, from #machinima on Quakenet IRC, supposedly put secrets in each scene of this machinima. The story audio comes from the beginning of a Radiohead song, All I Need, from their In Rainbows album. How many hints can you find?

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

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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Ask a Beta Tester: Rogues, Druids, Malygos, and more! - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 11:00:00 EST


Let's start the week out right by diving straight into some juicy questions!

Gilgamesh asked....

With Hunters getting Exotic Pets and Warriors getting Titan's Grip, is the Rogue getting anything interesting?

Though I do know a thing or two about Rogues (in that I have one at level 70), I'm no expert (it's very much an alt). I don't personally find the new talents to be all that thrilling -- the trees seem to continue much the same as they are now, without any big talents that scream "pick me! pick me!" And I have to say, Rogues on the beta forums don't seem particularly excited, either. Beyond new talents, they're picking up only a couple of new abilities on their journey to level 80: Dismantle (which, by the way, is considered a "replacement" for the disarm mechanic currently in Riposte -- in the Wrath beta, Riposte slows your target's melee attack instead of disarming) and Fan of Knives. Yes, you'll get additional ranks of existing skills, but not much new. For a full rundown on the changes in store for Rogues in Wrath, check out our beta patch notes writeup.

I consulted our resident Rogue expert, Jason, who unfortunately has not made it into the beta, but has been analyzing what's what on paper, and from what he sees, "Rogues are doing just fine. I think the crux will be how the changes in Hunters, Mages, and Warlocks work out. PvE-based we still do crazy damage if we are spec'd right so that's not changing. But will we be number 1 or 2 on the meters? I don't know." For a more thorough rundown of changes, check out Jason's analysis of the Assassination tree -- Combat and Subtlety to come soon!

For more of your questions -- and our answers! -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: Rogues, Druids, Malygos, and more!

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Around Azeroth: Theatre des vermins - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 10:00:00 EST


"... and what's the deal with those dwarf warriors? You know what I'm talking about. No regard for us critters at all, and then suddenly they get a shiny new weapon and hunt us down high and low. And every time they kill us they get a number like "238" above their head. What is that, anyway? The number of days since they've bathed? (No one laughs.) They're almost as bad as the newbie blood elves and those Silvermoon cats. Talk about a feline massacre. Mee-ouch! (No one laughs.) Well, you've been a great audience tonight. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here, mostly because we're about to be run over by an Elekk. Thanks for attending Level 1 Critter Stand-Up, and remember to come back tomorrow, when Archie the cockroach reveals the dark secret of Jeremiah Payson."

Anderek of Lightbringer sent us this image straight from the underbelly of Dalaran in the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, beta or not, sharing it 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 strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no sunsets.

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BigRedKitty: Chimaeras - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 09:00:00 EST


Daniel Howell contributes
BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

Ki-MEER-Uh.

Seriously, we honked up the pronunciation of this one, and big time. But it's much too late to remaster the silly movie, so just bear with us as we say it improperly. Again and again and again. Please?

The other thing we flubbed is the "or" part of our macro:

/use [pet:cat/chimaera] roast clefthoof

Not a comma, but a slash. Tell ya something about making movies... post-production is a PITA.

Chimaeras are next in our look at the Wrath of the Lich King hunter-pets. This is the first Cunning pet we've tried, and we like this tree a bunch. The Chimaera may not be as pretty or as big or as exotic as the other pets we've reviewed, but it has something special in the form of its Froststorm Breath spell. It's a doozie!

And because we haven't talked about the best way to tame a new hunter-pet, or the best macros to use to feed your pets, we're gonna throw that bit in as a bonus. Just for you!

You are invited to download the YouTube version (44MB) of this movie here, and the full-sized version (170MB) here.

As always, a great big Thank You to the WoW Insider editors for allowing us to publish this movie both here and on our little blog at the same time!
From his video guides to Karazhan For Hunter Dummies, nobody covers raid Hunters like BRK. Looking for more Hunter goodness? Check out our non-raid Hunter column, Scattered Shots or the WoW Insider Directory of Hunter Guides.

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Breakfast Topic: What tabard do you wear? - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 08:00:00 EST

So I have to admit, one of the most annoying parts of Beta testing my Death Knight is that I don't have access to any decent tabards. It's annoying, and I feel almost naked without one, but I don't have the time to grind exalted with any factions.

Thinking about that got me thinking about my tabard choices for my other characters. Of course, in Wrath, tabards are going to get all mixed up a bit, what with that new championing system, but I'll probably keep my favorite tabards on hand for swapping in when I'm not grinding faction. Actually, I may just tend toward my guild's tabard in Northrend, since our guild's backstory is intertwined with Northrend itself. Besides, I like to show a little guild pride when I can, and it's been a while since I wore a guild tabard on any of my alliance 70s.

Currently, my Druid wears the Cenarion Expedition tabard. Not only does the green and brown go well with his leather, but it's the closest there is to a Cenarion Circle tabard. For my Dwarf Hunter, it's an Argent Dawn tabard, since she's an especially zealous enemy of the Scourge. For my Warlock, the Scryer's Tabard, because he admires the Blood Elf race and (what he sees as) their dedication to knowledge at any price.

So why do your characters wear the tabard they wear? Do you plan to do any tabard swapping for Wrath of the Lich King?

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Forum post of the day: Born with a plastic spoon - Mon, 18 Aug 2008 02:56:00 EST

Aside from players that are bitter because they missed out on Recruit-a-Friend benefits, is there anything wrong with this program. Kuahs of Kil'jaeden has encountered problems with raising enough cash to keep up with gear and ability upgrades. He has a level 70 character, but rerolled with his recruit on another server. He can't simply send money down from his main, and is sitting at level twenty-two with level twelve abilities.

Many posters suggested sending down money from a main character, which isn't so helpful on a new server. Others made the usual suggestion of gathering skills for sale on the auction house. While this is a good suggestion, mining and herbalism will suffer the same problem of being outpaced by leveling. There is always the option of begging for gold in major cities, though I personally don't recommend this method.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: Born with a plastic spoon

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"Waow" comic published, apparently without Blizzard's permission - Sun, 17 Aug 2008 18:00:00 EST

Blogger DeSlisser was in Paris recently when he came upon a strange sight in a store: A comic book called "WaoW" that covered the journey of a newb in the world of "Razemoth" as he looks for a dungeon to level in. It's very definitely suppose to be Azeroth, and even the dungeon he eventually finds is clearly the Deadmines. The comic book, however, does not seem to be an official Blizzard product.

Of course, we've seen pirated Warcraft items before, but this would be the first foray I've heard into the world of pirate comics. The phenomenon is widespread enough in Japan that it has its own convention simply for the selling of these books that, according to many, violate Intellectual Property rights.

So perhaps Blizzard is getting to that point too. Will they crack down on comic books like "WaoW?" Should they? After all, they don't crack down on WoW fanart. But then again, most WoW fanartists don't try to sell their work in bulk either.

[via Tobold]

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Dating tanks is hard to do - Sun, 17 Aug 2008 16:00:00 EST
In keeping with the trend of bringing on the comedy every Sunday with Sunday Morning Funnies, a generous tipster (thanks David!) has sent in an article that gave me a laugh.

It's a quick read about a girl who is a serial tank-dater from Sheepbreaker. Quirky and well-written, I especially got a kick out of the subtle jokes and innuendo. Go ahead and find out why Tanks Make Lousy Boyfriends.

If you're itching for additional funny, check out our humor feed. In fact, you can even host it on your website, blog or guild page, or subscribe to it directly.

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Ask a Lore Nerd: Skeletons, slavery, and the shadows - Sun, 17 Aug 2008 14:00:00 EST


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer your question in a future installment!

Be warned, ladies and gentlemen: There are a couple of minor spoilers for Wrath of the Lich King in this week's Ask a Lore Nerd. I don't think they're very substantial ones personally, but the choice is yours whether you want to continue reading or not.

Soirgriffe asks...

What tribe, if any, did the dire trolls come from and if not a tribe, where in general?

Just how dire trolls come to be is largely an unknown, but they don't seem to be an independent race. They're just bigger, stronger versions of a troll. All of the tribes seem to have dire trolls.

There are a couple of quests in Wrath of the Lich King that might suggest dire trolls are regular trolls who have been 'empowered' but to avoid spoiling too much, what goes on in those quests is pretty different from seeing Jin'rokh the Breaker hanging out with the Zandalari. So all that we really know is there is no racial distinction between Dire Trolls and Regular Trolls of the same tribe. One is just much, much bigger and stronger for some reason.

Continue reading Ask a Lore Nerd: Skeletons, slavery, and the shadows

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WoW Moviewatch: Cooking with Ethnea, Episode 1 - Sun, 17 Aug 2008 12:00:00 EST

If you're a fan of Well Fed Buff, you'll enjoy the first episode of Cooking with Ethnea. I dug into the reader submissions to bring you an unpolished video with a lot of potential. Adreena, an aspiring machinimator, decided that she wanted to humorously visualize recipes instead of just read about them. Now I have to warn you, this machinima is really rough around the edges, but I love the concept. That's why I'm going to offer up some tips for her to use in her second episode.

The most glaring mistake comes from improperly chroma keying the WoW Model Viewed character. The timing is off, so there is a noticeable difference between when Ethnea and the background appear. She also didn't adjust the high and low thresholds for her character, which is causing transparency issues. If you're just going to use still shots of your character in a picture of a background, you may as well put your character in the picture itself by using a photo editing program.

[Thanks, Melissa!]

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

Previously on Moviewatch ...


Read on for more constructive tips ...

Continue reading WoW Moviewatch: Cooking with Ethnea, Episode 1

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Ask a Beta Tester: Everybody loves Warlocks edition - Sun, 17 Aug 2008 11:00:00 EST


There are apparently some classes we haven't been paying a lot of attention to lately, as several commenters have pointed out. Today, a little about Warlocks, and tomorrow a little about Rogues. See any classes we haven't been talking about yet? Then ask your questions about them -- we can only answer 'em if you ask 'em!

alx1231 wants to know....

I haven't heard much on the state of Warlocks in Wrath. Is there anything cool that I should be looking forward to?

Though I'm not the expert (my days of raiding as a Warlock are long behind me), I'd have to say that Warlocks have a lot to look forward to -- enough that I'm considering dusting mine off. My favorite new spell has to be Metamorphosis, a high-end Demonology talent that turns your Warlock into a demon for a brief period of time. But don't take my word for it! Michael did a thorough rundown of the Warlock Wrath patch notes when they initially came out if you want the full details, and V'ming discussed the implications of Wrath on every Warlock's wishlist.


For more of your questions -- and our answers! -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: Everybody loves Warlocks edition

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Around Azeroth: Revenge of the failoc - Sun, 17 Aug 2008 10:00:00 EST


The failoc, an unofficial symbol of all that went wrong with BlizzCon's ticketing process this year, has appeared in everything from player-created games to t-shirts. But Fawxy of Trollbane decided to go a step farther and bring the failoc to the Stormwind Bank. This failoc features a full BlizzCon murloc suit, a tiny little flag, and the BlizzCon motto, "An error has occured."

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 strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets.

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