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Predicting the WoTLK cinematic - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 19:00:00 EST

The Gnomes are revolting on the official forums! Also, some of them are mad. Lead by Gnomium of the Aggramar server, they are demanding that they be included in the opening cinematic for WoTLK. It is certainly true that they haven't really had their chance in the sun for the past 2 major cinematics, although to be fair, the Trolls didn't get much more than a quick flash across the screen. Still, I can get behind this, and not just because I like my ankles non-bitten. Give them some Gnomish love, eh Blizzard? Maybe even let one use an engineering trinket without backfiring! Or, you know, just give us a tableau of Lake Wintergrasp with Gnomes being loaded into catapults and flung at the advancing Horde, either way.

Of course, we can't really have the WoTLK Cinematic be all Gnome all the time, so how do they fill the rest of it? I have to say, there's potential here. We'll probably need a massive army of Scourge, seething masses of ghouls dotted with the odd abomination or meat wagon. Perhaps we could see a group of adventurers descending into Azjol-Nerub only to be set upon by a platoon of vicious Nerubians. For the amazingly, unbelievably epic win, we could even feature a Blue Dragon vs. Red Dragon battle, since apparently Alexstraza herself will be helping us stop Malygos' mad plans to control all magic in the world. We'll probably also need at least one or two scenes of a "rebel" Death Knight fighting the scourge or breaking free of Arthas' control.

What do you think? What other scenes would you like to see in assuredly soon-to-be-released (We hope) FMV cinematic for WoTLK?

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The Light and How to Swing It: State of the class - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 18:30:00 EST


When I first decided to roll a Paladin, I had no interest in healing or tanking. I rolled one back in the days before Burning Crusade, back in the heyday of the Reck Bomb. The idea of having what seemed essentially like a Warrior who had access to spells and could self-heal was extremely enticing. I've also had a fascination with the Paladin ever since I played Final Fantasy IV (released here in the States as Final Fantasy II). I've had a Paladin in every game I ever played where it was possible to have one.

I used paladins to great effect when I played Warcraft 2, and as anyone who's ever played Warcraft 3 can tell you, paladins were central to the story (Arthas Menethil, better known these days as The Lich King, started out as a Paladin of the Silver Hand under Uther the Lightbringer, the original Paladin). Oddly enough, when I started playing WoW back in June of 2005, my first character wasn't a Paladin (I rolled Horde, and thus couldn't). However, as soon as I started playing as Alliance on a different server, I created one immediately.

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: State of the class

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Blood Pact: Warlock tips and tricks - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 18:00:00 EST

Between Arenas, V'Ming spends his time as a lock laughing ominously in AV, tanking Olm with his own minions and pondering troll fashion from Zul'Aman. He's recently started to plumb the depths of SSC with his 0/21/40 build and bragging about 8k shadow bolts.

The internet is a beautiful thing. It gives everybody a voice and an easily accessible goldmine of human ingenuity and intelligence. (It is also a repository of human scum and stupidity, but we're not going there today.) As a warlock player, there are TONS of resources out there that you can use to improve your game. Unfortunately many of these resources are scattered far and wide - and it takes a certain deftness with search engines to separate the wheat from the chaff, or simply to find what fits your playstyle.

So, for the benefit of the newly initiated and the time-challenged, I'll start and maintain this list of tried and tested Warlock tips, from the frivolous to the essential. I will not claim credit for these tips, but humbly serve as the chronicler of community content in this case, and will give due credit wherever possible. If you have pet tips that you swear by as a Warlock, please feel free to share them - and I'll add it to this list after the jump.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Warlock tips and tricks

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Best starting race - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 17:00:00 EST


I've been leveling a few Draenei alts off and on and finally figured out just why it is that I keep rolling the damn things in addition to my beloved Tauren; their starting quests rock. You wake from stasis, meet the locals, save a princess, make early ties to the Alliance and find out why there's a good reason the some of 'em won't trust you right off the bat, discover nefarious deeds afoot, fight a dragon, and then save your people and get a cool tabard. "Find your way back to the Outland, Hero of Argus," Exarch Admetius tells you, in a nice preview of things to come, and Velen has a good lore moment with you shortly afterwards.

Having leveled a toon out of every starting area to at least 20, it's hard not to notice that some areas make it a lot easier than others. I don't mean the general ease of leveling per se, but just how fast the time seems to fly by. For all that a certain percentage of the playerbase frowns on RP on non-RP servers, most peoples' favorite quests do have an element of RP to them, or at least the RP sense of being fully engaged with the world. And in that respect the Draenei starting zones are, in my opinion, unparalleled. If I had to rank them --

Continue reading Best starting race

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How a quirk in the game can steal your loot - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 16:00:00 EST
There is a mechanic in game that we are all aware of, and one that exists for a good reason: when we attack a mob, we get the mob's loot. That's the mechanic. If you're solo grinding mobs out in Shadowmoon Valley for some Primal Fire, you want to be sure you're the only one that can get the loot. The same goes for groups - if you're grouping and killing Murmur in Shadow Labs, you want to be sure that everyone is going to get his pretty blues.

But what if the mechanics of the boss fight dictate that you won't hit the boss? In fact, what if successfully killing the boss means that you have to stand on the opposite end of the playing field the whole time? You don't hit the boss, you don't get the loot - but you've done everything right. In this, the game mechanic does not represent fair play, nor does it encourage success. In fact, the mechanics are a complete contradiction of each other.

I've recently encountered this problem, and it's a real pain. Read on after the break for what happened, and what can be done to solve it. It's rather long, but this is a serious problem that Blizzard needs to fix, and all the facts need to be laid out completely and in a way that is full of thruthiness.

Continue reading How a quirk in the game can steal your loot

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Free realm transfers (EU only) - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 15:30:00 EST
Thundgot, the undead European CM, announced today that there are a few free character transfers amongst realms that will be starting today, and go through March 25th.

You can move from Al'Akir, Frostmane, Grim Batol, Outland, or Twilight's Hammer over to Burning Steppes or Spinebreaker. Of course, this only for all our European readers. No U.S. realms are current open for free transfers.

If you want to take advantage of this, do so quickly! They often close down these transfers early when they meet their internal goals.

Enjoy your new realm!

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Baron Soosdon hired by machinima.com - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 15:00:00 EST


Machinimaker Baron Soosdon (you've seen his work here multiple times before) has been hired as a community manager over at Machinima.com. His first order of business as a CM seems to be to create some exclusive movies, "a series of some sort for starters." He'll also apparently be handling other WoW-related machinima content, and he asks for ideas about contests as well, so we can probably look for those, too.

Seems like the perfect place for him to be, and it's terrific to see that such a talented "machiminauteur" is going to be getting paid to do what he's good at.

[Via Machinima for Dummies]

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Tour inside Blizzard's memorabilia museum - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 14:00:00 EST

We haven't seen much inside the doors of Blizzard HQ, but just recently they've apparently started letting the press in -- first we had that OC Register look on the inside, and now this, a little video shoot inside Blizzard's on-campus museum. And sure, the museum is cool and all (it's got all the licensed material, concept art from all the games, and even a copy of Starcraft that actually went into space), but am I the only one that would kind of rather see the Warcraft-themed cafeteria and the employee gym. I've already seen the Warcraft board game -- bring on the places that we can't go!

Still, the museum seems like an "awesommme" place, according to this woman. And I especially like the statue that they're going to put in the courtyard. It's just the kind of thing you might see outside an evil mastermind's lair, or a training school for supervillians. Wait a minute...

[Via Massively]

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The 7 best trinkets in the World of Warcraft - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 13:00:00 EST

You know, if there's one thing I have noticed digging through my bags, it's that I have a whole mess of trinkets. Of all the gear slots, it seems like trinkets are some of the most versatile and swappable. Depending on whether you need a bit more hit rating, a bit more critical strike rating, a bit more mana regeneration, a bit more health, a bit more armor, or you plan to go PvPing for a bit, you can fill up bags upon bags alone with a whole bunch of trinkets, waiting for the right moment to spring them.

Then there's the really bad ass trinkets. I'm not talking trinkets that are traditionally defined as "useful," I'm talking about the trinkets that make you into the life of the party. The ones that make other people notice you, make them stand up and say, "Woah, that guy is using some CRAZY trinkets." You know what I mean. Stop trying to get yourself that Ashtongue Talisman, these are the REAL deal.

Continue reading The 7 best trinkets in the World of Warcraft

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WoW Moviewatch: MMOvie, Installment 1 - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 12:00:00 EST

If you're looking for your next parody fix, the wait is over. The first installment of MMOvie is finally out. However, if you've seen the trailer, I don't think you'll be as impressed by the movie itself.

I realize that the trailer and the movie are cut differently to serve a purpose, but I thought that all of the good material came from the teaser video. I was able to recognize many of the real films that the trailer parodied, and only a certain few in the final cut. Despite the weak storyline, I thought that it was really well done. Hopefully the second installment will hold more exciting material!

[Thanks to everyone who suggested this!]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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WoW TCG March of the Legion Tour coming to hobby shops this April - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 11:00:00 EST

Here's some fun news for our TCG players. Upper Deck reveals a new March of the Legion Tour coming to various North American hobby stores this month. WoW TCG team members will be coming to the stores and playing against all comers at sealed deck tournaments at each stop. Anyone who beats one of these "Legionnaires" will win a Varimathras extended art card and a Leeroy Jenkins T-shirt. Everyone who stops by will get Weeble extended art card (I approve of cute Gnome Warrior chicks, but how is she a protector if she's dual wielding? Learn to use a shield, newb).

It sounds like the events should be fun. I'm actually liking the Varimathras card, if only because he's one of my favorite shady characters in WoW lore thus far, and I cannot wait for the day that he assassinates the Dark Lady and uses his loyal pawns, the Deathstalkers and Defilers, to take over the Undercity and rule with an iron fist as the new supreme ruler of Lordaeron. But I digress. Anyway, it look like it should be a good time for all you TCG fans.

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Around Azeroth: Pass the marshmallows - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 10:00:00 EST


Kitara of the Kudzu guild on Underbog has a great story behind this campfire shot:

This is from our first kill of Kael'thas last night. One of the advisors, Capernian, basically can't be melee'd; it is up to the ranged DPS classes to bring her down. So while this advisor is up in phase one, the melee group had a little pow-wow off in the corner.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. And please, no more sunsets. This means you. I'm not kidding, yours is not the exception. No, really. Sigh.

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The Guild on Mahalo Daily - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 09:00:00 EST

Veronica Belmont of Mahalo Daily had the opportunity to interview Felicia Day (Codex, the healer) and Sandeep Parikh (ZABOO, the warlock) of The Guild at SXSW. The interviewer gives the viewer a picture of how the guild got started and where it will going from here. Sandeep/ZABOO gives us a brief lesson in the true meaning of an online winkie. ;) Take a look at The Guild Drama so far: Episode 1; Episode 2; Episode 3; Episode 4; Episode 5; Episode 6; Episode 7; and a very Guild Christmas. If you like what you see, remember that today is the last day to vote for The Guild on the 2007 YouTube Awards.

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Breakfast Topic: Patch 2.4, for better or for worse? - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 08:00:00 EST


Patch 2.4 draws closer every day. Many players were speculating that it was going to be released yesterday (March 18, 2008). Blizzard has promised that the patch is coming soon and the background downloader has appeared. My best guest is that we'll be visiting Sunwell Isle on March 25, 2008.

The day that patch 2.3 was released I attempted to rush home from work to check out the new changes, but was thwarted by cross-town traffic. There are some things that I'm excited about for in the newest patch, but I'm not nearly as stoked as I was for the last major update. I try to keep in mind that what we've seen so far on the Public Test Realm is not the final product for the patch, but it gives us a pretty good indication of what's coming.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Patch 2.4, for better or for worse?

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Reader WoWspace of the Week: Aryc Ogre - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 07:00:00 EST


Welcome once again to Reader WoWspace of the Week! Now I know a lot of people like 'em messy, but as some have noted, we just don't get too many messy ones. It seems like we generally only get them when they're clean. (Of course, you have to wonder if we couldn't market WoWspace participation as an effective office organization tool!) This one comes to us from Aryc Ogre, who didn't send in his character name, server or anything, but his case makes us wonder if he isn't the prot Paladin from this recent Penny Arcade comic. For his story and lots more pictures, be sure to join me after the break!

Continue reading Reader WoWspace of the Week: Aryc Ogre

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Guildwatch: That's rediculous - Wed, 19 Mar 2008 01:00:00 EST


Yes, we know the headline is spelled wrong -- that's the joke. (So feel free to make fun of anyone who points out the misspelling in the comments; they're fair game.) In the meantime, the more "rediculous" the guild names, the better for us. Why would you want to name your guild Sentinels of Azeroth when you could name it something like Dont Be That Guy?

In the meantime, click the link below to see all the drama, downed, and recruiting news we got from across the realms this week. And don't forget to send your tips (especially drama -- let us know if you see anything either on your realm's forums or on your guild's forums) to wowguildwatch@gmail.com. Because not sending your tips to Guildwatch is pretty rediculous, if you ask us.

Continue reading Guildwatch: That's rediculous

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Shifting Perspectives: 2.4 Badge-A-Palooza, Druid style - Tue, 18 Mar 2008 21:35:00 EST


Every week, Shifting Perspectives is written by someone who is not me. Except for that one time. Rather an addictive experience, stealing this column. Does anyone even read the italicized portion at the top? Hello? Nobody? I'm just gonna sing. "My baloney has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R, my baloney has a [censored over copyright infringement] (ed. just do the column, please).

While I sincerely hope the rumors about the patch hitting soon aren't true because I'm sitting on all of 43 badges of justice right now (g@^#(*% mother-expletive piece of $%^@ fire resistance set), I am forced to admit that the times may possibly have caught up with me. I confess that for a long time I hadn't even looked at the new badge loot that will become available ingame, partly because things have gotten markedly busier with my guild of late and partly because I'd planned my 2.3 badge acquisitions very carefully and wondered if I could get away with keeping myself somewhat unspoiled for 2.4. That lasted until I found out just how expensive the 2.4 gear is actually going to be ("150 badges for a new weapon, Zach? Are you @*(#&#% kidding me?"). Noble effort while it lasted, though.

Well, no more. If 2.4 does hit next week, I'm going to be ready to stand in front of the badge vendor and know exactly what I can't afford to buy for all three specs.

This treatment looks exclusively at the new leather gear offerings available in 2.4 and assumes that you won't have access, or at least immediate access, to the new 25-man raid Sunwell Plateau. For my part I am still using six -- count 'em, six -- pieces of badge gear for various tanking purposes in Tier 6 content, which either says a great deal about the general quality of badge gear or says a great deal about how bad feral itemization is in endgame content. I'll be magnanimous today and say it's both.

Continue reading Shifting Perspectives: 2.4 Badge-A-Palooza, Druid style

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About the Bloggers: Mike Schramm - Tue, 18 Mar 2008 19:00:00 EST
Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more About the Bloggers.

What do you do for WoW Insider?

I first started writing for WoW Insider way back in August of aught-six, and my first post on the site wasn't even actually about World of Warcraft. A few months (and many posts) after that, I was invited to co-lead the blog with Elizabeth Harper, and nowadays (many, many posts later) I work alongside Dan O'Halloran in running the whole site and coordinating all of our talented writers, as well as posting news I find whenever possible. I've also done quite a few of the podcasts.

What's your main right now?
My main main is Shamanic, a level 70 resto Orc shaman on Thunderhorn (Horde-side). I also have a level 68 Undead rogue there named Punishment (best rogue name evar), and lately I've been playing a level 61 Night Elf hunter on Cenarius (who needs a guild, by the way). I've also got quite a few alts floating around, including a level 60 gnome warrior, a shadow priest who's about 50, a blood elf hunter around 30, another undead warrior around 30, and maybe twenty or so alts below that. A couple of them are, yes, paladins, but I've never been able to play them past about 25, and I've never gotten a warlock past about 15 for some reason. No idea why.

Lots more (maybe too much more) after the break.

Continue reading About the Bloggers: Mike Schramm

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15 Minutes of Fame: ORLY warrior made of win and wooden shoes - Tue, 18 Mar 2008 18:00:00 EST
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - both the renowned and the relatively anonymous.

In the course of interviewing WoW players from the mainstream to the niche and from the casual to the hardcore, 15 Minutes of Fame has developed an intriguing little theory: players who confess to being "obsessed" with WoW actually have a pretty down-to-earth approach to the game. Oh, they love WoW, it's true, and devote hours and hours to it on a regular basis. But it seems that the players who profess their love for the game the loudest have given themselves permission to indulge in WoW as a hobby. While they dive into the game and related activities with complete abandon, they also seem to recognize that it's merely one part of their lives (albeit a fairly big one). In a nutshell, these aren't your fabled antisocial basement geeks; in fact, we find they tend to be downright warm, funny folks with a lot of interesting ideas and activities on their plates.

Take Kooz, the main tank of Fractured on Euro realm Bloodscalp and one of the creators of the O'RLY Show (seen at WoW Radio, along with the WoW Insider Show). Kooz's energy virtually leaps off the page, even long distance from The Netherlands - he's a fun guy to talk to who sounds as if he's building himself a fun life centered around his passion for gaming.

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: ORLY warrior made of win and wooden shoes

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WoW Insider Weekly - Tue, 18 Mar 2008 17:30:00 EST
Time once again for WoW Insider Weekly, where we put all of the best weekly content of the last week all in one place for you to click and browse as necessary. Warning: Reading content linked from WoW Insider Weekly may cause your player skill to exceed ownage limits. Take as directed.

Guildwatch drinks your milkshake
You know that feeling you get when you join a group without a warrior, and when you ask who's tanking, the hunter says, "My pet"? That's the feeling that guild drama creates in most guildleaders.

WoW, Casually Patch 2.4 preview
What's new for casual players in the upcoming patch (And we mean "upcoming," as in next week or later. Sigh...)


Blood Pact: Warlocks are red, mages are blue
One casts Fireball constantly and the other owns U!



Know Your Lore: The Grimtotems
Elizabeth Wachowski lays down the lives, loves, and laments of the nega-Tauren and their evil crone.


If you win Arena matches for more than four hours in a row as a result of reading these columns, please seek medical attention. Click the link below to see more helpful features from our columnists here at WoW Insider.

Continue reading WoW Insider Weekly

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