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Insider Trader: Faction recipes for the rest of you - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 18:33:00 EST


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Over the past few weeks I've been discussing the factions that hold recipes for the various professions, and how deeply liked you'll have to be to get your grubby hands on them. Almost all of the profession recipes have been covered, from the amazing and profitable acquisitions down to the pointless and boring.

Of course, there are still a few straggler recipes out there that are meant for players whose professions are not getting much faction love, and therefore cannot make up an article of their own.

This week I'm going to finish up the series by discussing the rest of the faction recipes, the ones for cooking and engineering. Although there are not many, and some are not even very good, the series just would not be complete without them.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Faction recipes for the rest of you

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Pirate Loot Phriday: Foror's Eyepatch - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 18:00:00 EST


Yaaaarrrr maties, that scurvy-ridden deck-scrubber Schramm was made to walk the plank during the last plunderin' voyage on the South Seas, so I, Capt'n' Blackbeard, be here to tell yer about my favorite Pirate Loot in the game today. Ye may remember me from such posts as my Piratical quest guide, and if ye really want to dress up like a pirate, maybe ye'll be interested in some Savory Deviate Delight. But enough high seas promotin' -- let's get to this Epic eyepatch!

Name: Foror's Eyepatch (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowdb)
Type: Epic Leather Headpiece
Armor: 183
Abilities:
  • Yaaar maties -- this eyepatch increases yer Stamina by 19, which is good, because you'll need as much Staminer as ye can manage to drink toe to toe with ol' Blackbeard. O'course, +19 Stamina ain't much now that ye're sailing around the cosmos in Outland and such, but back when we pirates ruled the seven seas of Azeroth, it were plenty!
  • It also increases yer crit strike rating by 28 (which'll help ye stab yer rapier right under the shirt folds of those bastards in the Royal Navy), and increases attack power by 44.
  • Plus, it's as stylish an eyepatch as ye'll find. While there be plenty of eyecovers hidden in treasure chests all over the world, this be the only Epic one ye can wear (at least until our ships set sail again t'Northrend).
  • Which reminds me, ye scurvy landlubbers -- did I ever tell ye how I lost my own eye? It was the first day I had me hook. Arrr, but that's a story for another day.
How to Get It: Ah, to nab this beautiful booty for yerself, ye need to bring down the biggest freshwater kraken that ever terrified the trolls of Zul'Gurub. Aye, lads and lasses, Gahz'ranka, the dreaded Hydra that swims in the ancient Troll city. Once upon a time, the beast required a whole crew of 25 pirates to kill, but nowadays, with the shiny cutlasses and bootstraps ye adventurers have, ye can do it with just a few folks.

But bringing the beast up from the swirling waters of Zul'Gurub is a quest in itself -- ye've first got to go into the instance and get the measuring tape of ol' Nat Pagle. Now, Nat Pagle isn't a pirate by any means, but those of us swashbucklers have to respect a man who's tamed as many fish as he has, even if he is a lousy landlubber. Give him the tape (last the echoes of Davy Jones' locker told us, he was in Dustwallow Marsh), and ye'll find him with a Mudskunk Lure. Then ye've got to go back into Gurubsville, fish out five Mudskunks from the pools in the water, and finally ye'll be able to face Gahz'ranka. Ye'll see the eyepatch once out of every ten kills, so get to farming, scallywags! That eyepatch ain't going to pull itself from the beasts' guts on its own!

As for who Foror is, ye captain haven't a clue. But he must be a cursed yellow-belly landlubber if he's going to go leaving his eyepatch in the belly of Gahz'ranka! A real pirate would have taken off his boots (Posiedon knows ye don't want to get yer boots dirty), and climbed right down the throat of the beast to get it back!

Getting Rid of It: Disenchants into a Nexus Crystal (yer pirate ain't so sure of disenchanting -- fishing is his only profession, and voodoo is better left to those who know how it's done), and will sell back to vendors for 2g 59s 33c. But real pirates don't sell -- if ye got treasure ye don't need, just bury it on a remote island somewhere! That's the pirate way!

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WoW Insider Show tomorrow afternoon on WoW Radio - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 17:00:00 EST


We have a confession to make -- this week's WoW Insider Show has already been recorded. I know, I know, we really enjoy getting on IRC and doing the show live, too, but Duncor the (so-called) Dependable is heading out to a wedding this weekend, and since he's our producer, we had to fudge things a little bit, and we recorded the show last night. Worry not, though -- we'll still be playing the show for the first time on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 over on WoW Radio, and if I'm around, I'll try to jump into IRC to chat while we listen.

The good news is that we finally have some good Mage talk in the show -- blogger Andy "Aurdon" Scott of ISheepThings.com joined us on the show, and if you've been waiting to hear some good discussion about the food-and-drink dispensers of the world, you'll hear it. John "BigBearButt" Patricelli was also on with us with his great insight as always, and Duncor came on as well (Turpster is still jetlagged from his trip to the States and will be back next week). And in addition to all the Mage talk, we talked about the release date for Wrath, whether that mount achievement is too hard, and whether it's ok for motorcycles to be in a fantasy game, among many other things.

If you want to chat on IRC Saturday afternoon while we listen to the show, join us at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel, or just click "Chat" on the WoW Radio homepage. And you can email us, as always, at theshow@wowinsider.com. Be sure to tune in tomorrow afternoon -- it won't be live (have a nice time at the wedding, Duncor!), but it will be a good listen.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A short intermission - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 16:00:00 EST


In all the talk about the beta, about nerfs and buffs to the class, about design philosophies and alterations to talent trees it can be pretty easy to lose sight of the class as a living entity. The other day, while trying to level my night elf warrior on test in the face of the 132 error (I'm pretty sure my drivers are up to date, but I'm going to check to make sure after I get done writing this) a friend asked me why, since I'm almost always tanking, I'm so concerned about the fury and arms trees and their upcoming viability.

"You never DPS. You're always tanking. So what if fury and arms aren't as good?"

I had a hard time answering this until I logged onto my old Horde server and talked to Elle, a friend of mine who plays a warrior. Elle has never played prot spec seriously, doesn't like tanking. A discussion of the state of the various trees made her unhappy, and she made the point that even if prot were capable of good DPS, it wasn't a playstyle she wanted for her warrior. This makes sense to me: she's always leveled as fury or arms, generally, and she's done so in a guild with at least two serious, dedicated tanks around most of the time. The thing about tanking is, you only need so many. In a guild that fields at best a 10 man raid by itself, two or three tanks is plenty.

With paladins, druids and DK's as well as warriors, that's four tanking classes, all of whom are expected to be viable for trash, offtanking and MT positions. Warriors are one of the most played classes in the game, so it's clear that with four tanking classes not all members of these classes are going to be tanking. And two of those classes can only DPS or tank, there's no healing DK or ranged caster DPS warriors.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A short intermission

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Berserk (bear) buffed - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 15:30:00 EST
Yesterday, we were promised that more news was coming on Berserk (for bears), and now we have not only that, but some bonus changes for extra fun. I really appreciate how communicative the devs have been during this beta process. What's in store?

  • Faerie Fire (Feral) is going to be a core ability. This doesn't make much of a difference for feral druids, since we tended to pick it up anyway and we'll probably pick up the talent that's replacing it (more on that in a moment), but it will be nice for other specs, I suppose.
  • FFF is getting replaced with a talent that gives the Last Stand component of Berserk (temporarily grants 30% of your maximum health), but usable in both cat and bear form.
  • Berserk for bears is getting reworked as follows: last stand component split off as detailed above; Mangle goes back to hitting three targets; Maul doesn't, but it doesn't matter, because for the duration of Berserk, Mangle has no cooldown (aside from the GCD). Fear immunity is still there as well. Cat Berserk does not change.
  • Brutal Impact is trading places with Savage Fury to make it harder for non-Ferals to get to; and remember, from yesterday, it now lowers the cooldown of Bash as well as raising its duration.

Oh, and to clarify yesterday's change to Bash (adding a three-second silence): this means it will now interrupt spellcasting even against a stun-immune boss.

Unfortunately, it's not all flowers and happy time in Feral land. Ghostcrawler also had to give us the bad news that barber-shop type customization of druid form skins will not be done in time for Wrath, saying "it's a high priority after Lich King" (which I read as "content patch"). This is pretty disappointing. We still might be able to use glyphs to change the appearance of our forms, but I was really looking forward to a more developed system, and one that didn't cost me a glyph slot.

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Mythic makes one last case for switching from WoW to Warhammer - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 15:00:00 EST


We've been posting a bit about Warhammer Online lately (since the launch of the game was this week), but this will probably be the last we'll post about it in a while -- we're a site about WoW, not WAR, and if you want more indepth news and views on the new game, Massively's got you covered there.

That said, we'll give Mythic's lead designer Marc Jacobs one more chance to tempt you away from Azeroth, if you so want to be tempted. MTV Multiplayer asked him one last time why WoW players might want to switch over to Warhammer, and he put the case pretty succinctly: Mythic put a focus on "Realm vs. Realm" combat in the game (like faction vs. faction), and that's what you'll find there. WoW, he says, like all MMOs, has an expiration date, so if you're looking for a difference experience, he recommends you give his game a try.

There. Now, odds are that you've probably already made up your mind at this point -- either you're already trampsing around the Age of Reckoning, you're looking to give it a try after Wrath dies down, or you're a die-hard WoW player. Either way, you can't blame Mythic for trying to pull people away (and Blizzard for trying to keep them). Time to let the chips fall where they may.

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Gamestop listing for "WorldofWarcraft Gaming Mouse" - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 14:00:00 EST


We got sent this picture by a rogue Gamestop employee -- he says he found a listing in their computer not only for the upcoming Zboards for Warhammer and Wrath of the Lich King, but as you can see, there's also a listing for a "WorldofWarcraft Gaming Mouse." There's no company listed, so we don't know who might be making it, and no other features are listed except the price, which stands at a hefty $99.00. There have been WoW mice available in China for a while, but with the price on this one, we're guessing it'll be a little less colorful and a little more "professional." Hey, if it's got extra buttons on it to help me level up fishing, I'll give it a look.

Our tipster also says it's listed as a November release date, and as you can see above, it looks like we can expect it around November 3rd (a week before Wrath's release). If your mouse is looking a little old and busted lately, and you've got some of that tax refund check still sitting around waiting to be spent, it could be just the thing to help you run around Northrend.

Update: Intrepid commenter Folinger found a cache of a Gamestop page for the mouse -- apparently it's also from Ideazon, and comes adorned with WoW art and 15 programmable buttons. Hopefully one of them will help me with my current goal of powerleveling fishing.

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Pirate's Day is today! - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 13:30:00 EST

Ahoy, ye scurvy currs! If ya havenae heard yet, today's Talk Like a Pirate day, or 'Pirate's Day' in the sewer we be callin' Azeroth. All ye gotta do to join in on the festivities is head on down to Booty Bay an' pay yer respects to our cap'n! She'll help ye dress the part. Watch yer step, the port be in our hands today!

So c'mon down, enjoy the rum, the scantily clad ladies (and lads, if ye swing that way), the reckless firin' o' cannons, and frightenin'ly catchy tunes, which ye can see up above and behin' this contraption ye internet folk call a 'cut.' Too much of a land rat ter make it down this eve? Click on through to our little Pirate's Day galley!

...yarr, I meant 'gallery.' Ach, the captain'll have me hide fer that one fer sure. But don't let that get ye down! Go on, have a fine Pirate's Day!

Gallery: Pirate's Day

Continue reading Pirate's Day is today!

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Addon Spotlight: Mac Dual-boxing - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 13:00:00 EST
The new Recruit-A-Friend program has taken the World of Warcraft community by storm, perhaps more so in the dual- and multi-boxing circles. I'll admit that while I advocate enjoying the leveling process and experiencing the lore through quests and in-game events, once you've hit 70 a couple of times, the magic tends to wane. With the coming of Wrath of the Lich King, we've had some time to re-evaluate our WoW experience. For many of us, finishing up some alts has become a way to prepare for the expansion. I've had a number of alts since I started playing, but have only managed to ding two paladins and a rogue. Each time I play in a battleground I see a member of another class do something crazy cool and ponder rolling whatever class it is.

With the RAF program in full effect, I decided that dual-boxing with the 300% XP and Summon Friend ability would be the most efficient way to get my alts Wrath-ready. This How-To is specifically for players using Macs, but in essence many of the principles remain true for PC users.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: Mac Dual-boxing

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WoW Moviewatch: The Captain's Wife's Lament - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 12:40:00 EST


(Warning: This machinima contains insinuations that will probably offend you. While nothing outright is dirty, we'd like you to approach caution when viewing this video. Also, it's Talk Like a Pirate Day!)

Ahoy, me Moviewatch beauties! We have a special treat for all you land lubbers out thar. Mike "Spiff" Booth, the scurvy scaliwag that he is, has created a new music video for the Paul and Storm song, "The Captain's Wife's Lament".

Spiffworld be no stranger to controversy, havin' been a key player in the V-Day Riot o' '08 (Very NSFW). However, comparatively, this music video looks like a Disney film. If you enjoy Seamen everywhere, though, then you'll definitely get a kick out of it. Arrrrrr!

[Thanks, Joshua!]

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

Previously on Moviewatch ...

Check out the video after the jump ...

Continue reading WoW Moviewatch: The Captain's Wife's Lament

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Ask a Beta Tester: Mounts, threat meters, and tabards - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 11:00:00 EST

We'll jump right into things in today's Ask a Beta Tester, because destiny waits for no man!

andyjay220 asked...

How have people liked the new threat meter? I have tried PTR but I don't really understand it as I am used to Omen. As far as I can tell the only information it gives you is "YOU NOW HAVE 100% AGGRO" which isn't very helpful. I want to see a meter showing how far away from pulling aggro I am so i can gauge my attacking accordingly. Any way someone could explain it to me?

The threat meter's UI is pretty simplistic. It displays yellow when you're close to pulling aggro, and red when you've done it. It's accurate, but hard to gauge how close you really are. It shows the percentage in your tooltip... but that's a strange place for it. It won't replace things like Omen (when it's updated for 3.0.2) but its addition will allow Omen and similar mods to be much more accurate.

Of course, for things like 5-man dungeons, you don't need to the nitty gritty numbers, really. There's very little reason to be at the max possible threat before pulling aggro, just take it a little easier. Raids, though? You'll want Omen.

Read on for more answers to your questions!

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: Mounts, threat meters, and tabards

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Around Azeroth: Full moon fever - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 10:00:00 EST

Are you one of the people desperately longing to get into the Wrath beta? Well, keep in mind one thing -- it's a beta, not a way to play Wrath early and free (listen up, complainers of Howling Fjord general chat!) That means lag, bugs, and crashes.This particular crash brought down the whole continent of Northrend and left the death knight Stoker stranded in mid-air when his zeppelin disappeared. Apparently, Stoker was stuck there through the sunset and late into the night, unable to use his hearthstone or the unstuck command. He finally found a friendly warlock to summon him back to reality. In the meantime, I bet he got to know his ghoul's personal history really well.

This image came to us straight from 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. No more battleground scoreboards, please.

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Official WoW costumes for Halloween - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 09:00:00 EST

Have you ever wanted to be a fearsome Orc? Maybe you wanted to wear your Season 2 Warrior helmet out on the street? Or maybe you figured it was time you need to dual-wield WoW's legendary weapons in real life, like some other folks? Gosh, maybe you just want pointy ears.

Turns out, this Halloween is going to be your chance. Not only do you get to enjoy the real world holiday in game, but you get to enjoy the game in your real world holiday. Amythys of Mug'Thol tipped us off that Costumes Inc. has a series of licensed World of Warcraft costumes on sale. Licensed means they're official and for real -- note that the artwork on the ears is Blizzard's own art.

Some of them are obviously tailored to be friendly to folks who don't know the game. The Season 2 Warrior helmet mask is titled as the "Wild Beastman Mask." And, oddly, there are three versions of the Arcanite Reaper -- one handed, standard, or long. Thunderfury makes an appearance, and it looks sweet. Of course, there's requisite elf ears available in both the Night and Blood varieties.

Check it out in the gallery.

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Breakfast Topic: Will the classes be balanced in time? - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 08:00:00 EST
Now we know. The clock is ticking. Blizzard has given themselves a deadline by which they have to get the expansion and all of its nifty features into our hands. This in itself isn't that hard, I'm sure. The hard part is getting the expansion to us in a state that we enjoy. Polished. Finished. Done.

Case in point here is the essential balancing element between the classes in terms of how they perform versus one another in PvE and PvP. Looking at the current state of things on the beta, many people have been looking at the amount of balancing work left to be done, then looking at the time Blizzard has left to do it, and thinking that our favorite little company that could isn't going to make it.

Then again, most of the people saying this are players of one particular class or another. Very few have the ability to stand back and see all the classes at once from a very knowledgable and objective point of view, how they interact with one another and what their various strengths and offsets are. Most players see the entire game from their little own little vantage point, and are apt to view their class's shortcomings as serious failures of game design rather than areas in which they'll need to get their friends of other classes to come help them and work as a team. Sometimes, after playing for a while, the general playerbase realizes that the huge nerfs everyone was yelling and screaming about just a little while ago aren't really that bad, and the game is still very enjoyable regardless.

What do you think? Are the classes going to be balanced by the time the expansion goes live? Or are the actually more balanced than they seem, even now? Is it going to be a huge disaster with just a few classes stomping all over the others, or is Blizzard going to pull some magic rabbits out of their hat just in the nick of time? Will we see tons of post-launch minor adjustments, or certain classes just languishing for months at a time, or will it all turn out to be okay pretty much from the beginning?

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Know Your Lore: Stalvan Mistmantle - Fri, 19 Sep 2008 02:00:00 EST

Welcome to this week's edition of Know Your Lore, bought to you today by assistant lore nerd Daniel Whitcomb.

Stalvan Mistmantle, an inhabitant of Duskwood, is one of those guys who just sort of sits there in lore, provoking admiration in some, malaise in others, and a lot of questions in others. Most Alliance have likely at least heard of him, but if you've leveled exclusively in the Horde, you may never have met him. His story is presented in a very sinister fashion, but as to the man behind the quest, and how exactly he came to surrounded by Necromancy and horror, that is a little less clear.

As an Alliance member, you first hear of Stalvan through a vision of Death received by Madame Eva. Specifically, she senses Death in the future for her granddaughter, and hears a name in her visions - Stalvan. Heading to Daltry, the town clerk, you begin your investigation. As you continue it, you find out more and more about Stalvan's life. Strangely enough, although it starts out benign, and in fact paints him to a pleasant fellow, an itinerant wanderer and country teacher, spirits appear and try to end your investigation violently. In addition, you often find yourself cursed simply from handling his old belongings.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: Stalvan Mistmantle

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Skill Mastery: The Art of War - Thu, 18 Sep 2008 23:30:00 EST


For today's Skill Mastery, we'll take a look at a passive talent instead of a fancy button you can press. This has been my favorite talent ever since it was introduced in the Beta even though it has seen numerous iterations -- so many, in fact, that it might be a little premature to write about it. On the other hand, this latest version feels like it's almost in its final form -- not overpowered and quite utilitarian.

The Art of War is a two point talent on Tier 7 of the Retribution tree that increases the Critical Strike damage of Judgements, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm. For PvE, that's a simple DPS increase that scales properly while in PvP, it helps to counter Resilience. Ideally, however, the number should be tweaked to completely negate it as Resilience damage reduction from crits is capped at 25%. The damage bonus is a good buff for the three main damage sources of a Retribution Paladin, but the better part of the spell is the reduction in the cast time of Flash of Light.

Continue reading Skill Mastery: The Art of War

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Spirit beast pet family on Wowhead (Updated) - Thu, 18 Sep 2008 22:59:00 EST


Over on Mania's Arcania, sharp-eyed commenter Goofball Jones noted an interesting tidbit: there's a new family of pets on Wowhead's WotLK site. Spirit Beasts. What do they look like? No clue yet, but one commenter noted the new skins for cats in Zul'Drak and posted a tantalizing screenshot from Wotlkwiki.info.

Now, I'm not a hunter nor do I play one on TV, but I do note, looking at their abilities, that they appear to have cat family abilities save for replacing Rake with Spirit Strike, an arcane damage ability. While that makes poster Mattias's theory make sense to me that it's one of the cats from Zul'Drak, it's hardly conclusive.

That's pretty much all I know to date. The family exists on Wowhead and has a very similar ability spread to cats. I now await hundreds of hunters running around taming everything that might even remotely be in this family for feedback. Keep an eye on Mania's Arcania as I'm sure news will break there first.

(And thanks to my lovely wife for the tip and encouragement... we'll go with encouragement... to post.)

Updated: Yes, that is a spirit beast. Kudos to Mania and her readers for solving the issue.

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It's gettin' silly in the underbelly - Thu, 18 Sep 2008 22:30:00 EST


Tipster Dinnerbone threw us a bone (sorry, couldn't resist) by sending us information on the starting-to-bustle Underbelly of Dalaran. Whereas old builds of the Wrath Beta saw very little in this part of the magical city, the latest build revealed little changes that indicate that the Underbelly could very well shape up to be the funner side of Dalaran.

For one thing, the bottles that used to be scattered all over the place were once low-level potions but were now called Underbelly Elixirs. Drinking one -- and you really should be careful about drinking magical concoctions found discared in the sewers -- can create three known effects. One effect turns the imbiber into a wasp, which is pretty cool except that Dalaran itself is a no-fly zone and instantly zaps the user back into her original form. Using it in the Underbelly lets the player buzz around as a wasp for ten minutes, though.

Continue reading It's gettin' silly in the underbelly

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[EDITED] Paladin changes in Beta build 8962 - Thu, 18 Sep 2008 22:00:00 EST


Unlike last build, where Paladins got so many important changes it took me two posts to cover them all, we get just a little love this Beta build. So little, in fact, that I didn't bother writing it up until now. For those curious Paladins, however, here are the goodies (and baddies) that popped up in Beta build 8962.

Protection
Hammer of the Righteous was changed from a triple-target Crusader Strike -- which was kind of silly, really -- into a weapon strike that works off DPS as base damage. The spell now reads: "Hammer the current target and up to 2 additional nearby targets, causing 3 times your main hand damage per second as Holy damage." Which means that even fast one-handed weapons work well with the spell because it calculates from DPS. It makes perfect sense and is a definitive step away spell damage weapons, which traditionally have low DPS. Meanwhile, Improved Devotion Aura's healing effect was also buffed to a maximum of 6%, up from 3%, and Toughness was nerfed to a 30% duration reduction for all movement impairing effects.

Continue reading [EDITED] Paladin changes in Beta build 8962

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Player-created hairstyles look pretty snazzy - Thu, 18 Sep 2008 21:00:00 EST


The Blizzard-created hairstyles revealed from a while back didn't really impress too much -- while almost everyone will certainly be trying the barbershop in the expansion, no one I know is running there just to put a certain haircut on. But Kxara has set out with some texture design and a model maker to change all that -- she's come up with some of her own hairstyles, and they look really great.

Some of them are just jokes from real-life hairstyles (the Duke is really funny, and I like the dastardly Blood Elf mustache, too), but some of them really pull off the characters in a way we haven't seen before. There no afro, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), and Kxara says that's because of the low polygon count on the characters -- either they'd have to go with high polygons and wreck low-end machines, or go low polygons, and it would look bad for everyone.

With barbershops in the game, Blizzard's starting haircuts are probably not the last we'll see (and maybe someday we'll even have faction or question haircuts), but these specs put together by Kxara are a good place to start if they decide to add more.

[via Resto4Life]

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