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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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World of WarCrafts: Night Elf on her mount - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 19:15:00 EST


Today I want to show you one of the fan crafts that are being made by other WoW fans. While I love to craft this is something that I doubt I'll ever be able to create. Saturn over on the Craftster forums made this Night Elf lady on her mount. Made entirely of sculpy (craft clay) this lovely Night Elf seems to have gotten herself the Swift Zulian Tiger from Zul'Gurub since this tiger is a little more orange than the typical Frostsabers the Night Elves get.

I think she must be pretty uber leet too because she is hardly wearing anything and from what I have gathered the armor gets less and less....there as the game goes on. She must be a hunter too because it looks like a high end mail set to me. This just goes to show you just how creative you WoWers can get.

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The problem of burst drinking - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 18:30:00 EST
Yes, burst damage is an increasingly important factor in class balance, but have you heard of burst drinking? Apparently that's a big problem, too, as the latest update to the patch notes adds a very strange function to drinking: as of patch 2.4, "the benefits of drinking have been delayed," and the real mana regen won't start until five seconds after you've started drinking. Wha?

But it's true-- apparently Blizzard felt that anyone drinking for only five seconds (either in a PvP or PvE situation) was getting too much mana. Drysc confirms that it's a serious change, and that anyone worried about their mana regen only needs to drink for six seconds, at which point they'll have as much mana as before the patch (which suggests that there is a burst of mana given at the 5 second mark, to make up for the delay).

But is this really that much of a problem? Sure, with the changes to spell haste, things are going to get faster in the battlegrounds. But are we at the point already where an extra second of out of combat drinking makes all the difference? Blizzard thinks so.

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When your fearless leader hasn't played your class - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 17:30:00 EST
Back when I first started tanking 5-mans, there was a particular hunter who pulled off me with irritating regularity. This was partly because the early Druid tanking set at 70 is itemized more for mitigation than threat generation, but partly because he was a young guy, he was good dps, and he knew it. MM-specced Hunters actually do have a lot of control over mobs that get pulled off the tank, and I suspect on some level he made a game out of seeing just how long he could lock something down while the exasperated tank turned her attention elsewhere, usually after bellowing at him in party chat to "DISENGAGE! FEIGN DEATH! DISENGAGE!"

Not having played a Hunter at that point, I had a fuzzy notion that Disengage somehow reduced threat and was highly affronted at any hunter with aggro spikes who wasn't using Feign Death over and over again. After starting to level a hunter alt, it quickly became apparent that: a). Disengage was a melee-only skill that still had to "hit" the mob, and b). Feign Death wasn't exactly a spammable ability and could be resisted no matter what you did. I am by no means an expert hunter player, but I have at least learned to bellow, "FEIGN DEATH ON COOLDOWN!" if they're not trapping (and just minding my own business if they are).

I am still occasionally reminded of my days as a backseat hunter, and never more so than while listening to my GM trying to figure out what's gone wrong in a raid.

Continue reading When your fearless leader hasn't played your class

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Yet another Alterac Valley change in patch 2.4 - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 16:00:00 EST
Although this change is not quite like the others! It turns out that in patch 2.4, you will be able to join Alterac Valley as a group! What I can't tell you is whether or not you can join as a raid. Sorry!

Personally, I think this is a good change, even if you can only join as a group and not a raid. Especially if you can only join as a group, actually. Joining as a group will let you reliably play with your friends(without the use of tricksy mods) but won't totally throw off Alterac Valley by flooding it with 40-man premades. You can queue for every other battleground as a raid, though, so Alterac Valley will likely be the same. I look forward to this hitting the live servers, I've missed the days of getting into the more 'epic' battleground with a group of my friends, even if we lost due to complete nubbery. Sure, you could still sort of do it with the aforementioned mods, but it wasn't very reliable and unless I'm mistaken, it was slightly against the TOS.

I'm unsure how this will change queue times. Queueing as a 5-man probably won't change much for you from what queue times are right now, but I imagine a 40-man team will be standing around Shattrath for quite a bit longer. I would go try it myself, but I unfortunately do not have 40 friends on the PTR. So lonely.

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GDC08: Live from Rob Pardo talks about Blizzard's approach to MMOs - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 15:00:00 EST


Rob Pardo, Blizzard's Senior Vice President of Game Design, is speaking at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this afternoon and WoW Insider is here live to catch it all. Though the auditorium is just filling up, Pardo should be out in a few minutes to tell us all about Blizzard's approach to multiplayer game design. Catch the full details after the break.

Gallery: GDC08: Blizzard's approach to MMOs

Continue reading GDC08: Live from Rob Pardo talks about Blizzard's approach to MMOs

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You too can be a Tauren Chieftains groupie - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 14:30:00 EST


Did you know that the Tauren Chieftains (formerly Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain) hang out on a balcony in Silvermoon City inbetween gigs? Well, some of you do, but as usual, I'm late to the party.

If you are the L70ETC fangirl (or boy) that I am, head on over to the Walk of Elders in Silvermoon. You'll see their manager chatting with some groupies. Then just look up to the terrace above to see our favorite in-game band. Each of the Chieftains will /dance with you, /wave at you, /rude at you and if you /kiss at one, he will flex for you.

If you're not a fellow Hordie, you can make a Blood Elf noob and just run over to Silvermoon City. It's a safe run and should be easy to find. The band is just inside the entrance and to the right.

I spent quite a long time trying out emotes on the band and giggling happily. But I'm a dork. Insert fangirl noise here.

Were you able to find another emote they respond to? Isn't Samuro dreamy?

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Encrypted Text: My bad reputations - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 13:32:00 EST

Of all the things I fail at in WoW, one of my most epic failures is my reputations. Something about facing the long grind to exalted kills a part of me. Looking at my Armory, I'm exalted with exactly three factions: Sporeggar (because I wanted to be the only alchemist with Shrouding Potion), Frostwolf Clan (for the ram), and Scryers (for the offhand dagger that I replaced, like, FIVE DAYS after getting the rep to buy it.)

I blame my dislike for rep grinds squarely on the Cenarion Circle. Endless hours in the desert of Silithus for a mediocre cloak made me lazy. But there are lots of decent reputation rewards available out there, mostly for newly 70 rogues. So what are the best factions for rogues to grind?

Cenarion Expedition

This reputation is worth it to drive to revered, if only for the Glyph of Ferocity, which is the best rogue head enchant in the game. Otherwise, it's all profession stuff and druid/hunter gear -- with one exception. The CE is a necessary stop if you're planning on getting the Opportunist's Battlegear, the new, rep-based version of the old PVP GM/HW gear. This set is meant as a starter for arena newbies, or PvErs looking to try out some PvP. You need to be revered with CE to pick up the headpiece. Watch out, though -- it's going to be a long haul to get all five pieces.

Honor Hold/Thrallmar

This isn't one of the best rep grinds for rogues, although you'll need to get to honored if you want to grab the Opportunist's Leather Gloves. And considering that the gloves make your Deadly Throw silence enemies, you'll definitely want them. Other than that, Alliance can pick up the Footman's Longsword at honored, which is okay for early Outland leveling, and exalted brings both sides an excellent bow or gun.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: My bad reputations

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2.4 PvP sets: Gold and rep requirements - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 13:00:00 EST
There's a lot to get excited about in patch 2.4, without a doubt. A lot of raiders will be looking to the Sunwell to provide new content and those addicted to daily quests will certainly find a lot to do as well. I'll certainly appreciate these things, but there was one new item that piqued my interest as an altaholic: the new blue PvP sets available from reputation vendors.

While a lot of players will likely overlook or outright dismiss these new sets, they are a godsend to someone, like me, that has a ton of high-level alts. While these sets are clearly geared towards PvP, they'll definitely help fill out some of my alts' PvE sets. Additionally, they'll make good starting sets for anyone that wants to get more involved in the arena or battlegrounds.

Continue reading 2.4 PvP sets: Gold and rep requirements

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WoW Moviewatch: Inventing Swear Words 4 - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 12:00:00 EST

Oxhorn must be all settled into his shiny new machinimator gig at WeGame. He just released the fourth movie in his Inventing Swear Words series! As always, you can read the script if you enjoyed the film.

In this latest episode, Inventing Swear Words 4, Mortuus, the uber-l33t undead pwner dude, is all set to marry Lacy, the cow/woman hybrid. This machinima is full of surprises, so I don't want to spoil it for you. However, check out more singing by my future husband (He doesn't know it yet.), Hat!

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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The Art of War(craft): Motion Theory Part III - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 12:00:00 EST


Alright guys, you got me. Last week, I dissed Priests for their lack of mobility, but some of you, such as user thebvp pointed out that Priests are more slippery than I gave them credit for by pointing out their dispel abilities, among other things. With a little more thought, I really have to agree and re-assess Priests on the movement hierarchy. To kick off the final installment of this overly long review on class mobility, we'll start with a second look at Priests.

Priest

As pointed out by your comments last week, Priests have the first tier Discipline talent Unbreakable Will, which is a key PvP talent that increases Stun resistance by a massive 15%. This gives Priests more flexibility to move, although a Rogue spamming Kidney Shots every 20 seconds will probably still be a real pain to deal with. While Priests have no natural movement enhancing capabilities, they benefit from instant cast spells in the same way that Druids do. In PvP, particularly in Arenas, the ability to cast Renew, Power Word: Shield, or Prayer of Mending while on the go is critical. I cannot stress enough how instant cast is king in PvP, and Priests have it in spades.

Draenei and Dwarf Priests also have Chastise, which replaced Fear Ward. With a 30-second cooldown, it is a fairly reliable means of crowd control, arguably even better than the Paladin's 31-point Retribution talent Repentance. It is effectively a spell interrupt every thirty seconds, and the incapacitate effect gives the Priest a small window within which to move away from undesirable encounters. Of course, enjoy it while it lasts as Patch 2.4 reportedly brings a change to Chastise. It will no longer be a an incapacitate effect but a root. As far as movement goes, it's a winner, but will no longer be usable as a spell interrupt. The change also makes Repentance slightly less embarrassing.

Dispel Magic is an instant cast spell that Priests can use to full effect because it is like a mixture of both Purge and Cleanse, usable on both friend and foe alike. Against magical snares such as Entangling Roots or Frost Shock, Priests can remove the debuffs on themselves as well as their allies. This ability extends to limiting the movement of certain classes such as Shamans, whose Ghost Wolf spell is actually a magical buff rather than a physical form, or Paladins, who rely on Blessing of Freedom constantly in PvP. Lastly, I forgot to mention how Priests and their friends can be highly resistant to fear thanks to the now-usable-by-all-races Fear Ward and Shadow Protection. Since a good number of Fear effects are shadow-based (Vims, I'm looking at you), the latter ability provides excellent protection against CC in PvP. Of course, as far as CC goes, Priests have Mind Control, so they can turn enemies into friends for a short while until they can run them off the side of cliffs or until the cavalry arrives. Good times.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): Motion Theory Part III

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Blood Pact: Why we Lock - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 11:00:00 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.

I've been playing my Warlock main since forever. While some guildies have kept themselves busy by bring their fifth or sixth toon through Karazhan attunement, I've been content pottering around with my warlock, dipping into alts only when there aren't any groups or raids going on.

I've talked about leveling a Warlock, but haven't really looked at why people would pick this class in the first place. Or why some don't. So all the WoW rookies out there still sitting on the fence of class choices, or seasoned players considering yet another alt, consider this an expansion of the Warlock section in Elizabeth's excellent "Choose your class!" article.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Why we Lock

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Around Azeroth: The shadow of death - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 10:00:00 EST


Ubarjabula, a Troll Shadow Priest on the Uther server took advantage of his Merciless Gladiator's Satin Hood, Shadowform's effects on a mount and the shaft of light courtesy of Shattrath's Naru. Together they make for quite a chilling effect. Death from above never looked so imminent.

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. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime. Oh, and no more shots of Omen killed in Ogrimmar. It's cool, we get it. A lot of it.

Gallery: Around Azeroth

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PTR Notes: Patch note watch 2/20 - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 09:30:00 EST
We already highlighted some of the most important changes in the updated 2.4 PTR patch notes, but here is every difference in full, brought to you by the unblinking eye of diff. Anything that looks particularly significant to me, that wasn't in the previous post, is bolded. This includes a new Mage talent, a reworking of Power Infusion, and more...take a look!

  • Druids
    • Lifebloom healing coefficient has been reduced.
    • Many shapeshift form tooltips have been updated to be consistent with each other.
    • Natural perfection reduces damage by 2/3/4%, down from 1/3/5%.
    • Nurturing Instinct increases your healing spells by up to 50/100% of your Agility, and increases healing done to you by 10/20% of your Attack Power while in Cat form.
  • [Hunter] Improved Mend Pet now has a 50/100% chance to remove one Curse, Disease, Magic, or Poison effect, up from 15/50%.

Continue reading PTR Notes: Patch note watch 2/20

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Arena Tournament details - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 09:00:00 EST


Blizzard provided further details on the much anticipated 3v3 tournament. A mere $20* entry fee per player will give you a shot at the $75,000 grand prize. That's $25,000 a piece (unless you have more players on your team), which is not too shabby. Second place will net your team $30,000 and the third place team will get $15,000. There will also be monetary rewards for regional finalists.

Your entry fee will grant you access to the arena server for the entirety of the six-week qualifying tournament. You will be able to create up to three characters on the server. This tournament will be about skill rather than gear. You may select your weapons and armor from arena and raid epics. You will also be able to select honor-based rewards and enchantments for your items. If you don't like your original selections, respecs and gear will all be free of charge.

Continue reading Arena Tournament details

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Breakfast Topic: Grinding Tunes - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 08:00:00 EST
Unless I am doing Arenas or for some other event that involves voice chat, I usually turn my WoW sounds off. I either watch episodes of my favorite science fiction shows or listen to music.

I have compiled the following WoW-inspired, classic-rock soundtrack for grinding.

Ozzy Osbourne - The Wizard, for the Mages of the world.
Aerosmith - Dude Looks Like a Lady, with all due respect to elves of both factions.
Ted Nugent - Cat Scratch Fever, I guess I could have gone with Fred Bear- either work for Druids.
Queen - Fat Bottom Girls, because Tauren females make the rockin' world go 'round.
Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear the Reaper, in honor of Undeads.
Black Sabbath - Iron Man, perfect for Warriors and Paladins, but more for Warriors.
The Eagles - Witchy Woman, which seems to fit Warlocks.
Styx - Mr. Roboto, for everyone who's ever been stomped by the Fel Reavers in Hellfire Peninsula.
Led Zeppelin - Ramble On, OK it's about a different fantasy epic, but it's a great song.

What do you listen to while you play?

EDIT: Corrected the spelling of Ozzy, but I'm leaving it as an Ozzy song rather than Black Sabbath as the version I have is solo off the "Hot and Heavy" compilation disc. Thanks though!

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Guildwatch: Ninja happens - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 02:09:00 EST


I've been fortunate enough to have never seen a ninja go down live (as seen in the pic above), but I know it happens all the time. Master Looter, people! Of course, even then, if you pass off Master Looter to the wrong person, you're still going to see some trouble. And with the name changes and server transfers nowadays, you just kind of have to let it go. Ninja, as they might say, happens.

Click the link below to see this week's GW, which is full to the brim with drama and downed news. We've got recruiting news, too, but not as much as usual-- if you've got a tip for next week, from your guild or another, sent it along to wowguildwatch@gmail.com. And we'll ninja it right out from under you.

Continue reading Guildwatch: Ninja happens

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New class changes found in the PTR notes [Updated] - Tue, 19 Feb 2008 23:55:00 EST
Tipster Pzychotix has uncovered some new class changes in the latest round of patch notes, and some of them are doozies:

For Druids, the Lifebloom healing coefficient has been reduced. It'll be interesting to see how much. Rolling Lifeblooms have been the healing method of choice for most discerning trees, but if the nerf is severe enough, perhaps we'll see some return to Regrowth and Healing Touch. In other changes, Feral Druids are heading further and further to side of agility, with Nurturing Instinct now increasing your healing spells by up to 100% of your agility, and increasing your healing received by 20% of your attack power while in Cat Form. This seems like it may make Cat Druids at least a bit less squishy in PvP, if they're paired with a healer or can find a spare second to duck out of the fray and heal themselves.

Lots of additional changes after the break!

Continue reading New class changes found in the PTR notes [Updated]

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Blizzcast winners announced - Tue, 19 Feb 2008 22:20:00 EST
Blizzard's official podcast, Blizzcast, had its first episode a bit over a month ago. It had an interview with art director Samwise Didier, as well as an interview with Jeff Kaplan about Wrath. If you haven't listened to it yet, it's still up at Blizzard's site for streaming or download.

Anyway, when the episode came out, they decided they wanted some feedback on it, so they ran a contest: write in and tell them what you think for a chance to receive a Logitech 5.1 speaker set and a groovy Starcraft II hat. If you are one of the following people, you won! Congratulations. And the rest of us kind of win too -- due to positive feedback, the next Blizzcast episode will be "more than twice as long." Here's hoping it has some juicy details about something WoW-related.

Continue reading Blizzcast winners announced

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WoW Insider Show Episode 25: Craziness on the PTR - Tue, 19 Feb 2008 19:00:00 EST


We reached our 25th episode of the podcast this last Saturday, and it's all up right now for you to listen to over on WoW Radio's site. Turpster (who, I hear, has posted something on Massively today), Matthew Rossi, and I all sat down to talk about all the biggest stories in World of Warcraft over the past week, including, but not limited to:
I'll give you a hint: it's not Uwe Boll. Listen in to the podcast every Saturday afternoon starting at 3:30pm EST on WoW Radio, and hear intelligent er, interesting, um, audible commentary like this every single week! And in the meantime, if you have something want to share with us, feel free to drop an email to theshow@wowinsider.com, and you may hear us talk about it on the next show.

Enjoy this week's podcast, and we'll see you next week.

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Build Shop: Mage 17/0/44 - Tue, 19 Feb 2008 18:15:00 EST


Every Tuesday, Chris Jahosky contributes Build Shop, which takes a look into one of the many talent specs available to players.

Today's build has been sent in by a number of people now, so this week I'm taking a look at one of the more popular Arena Frost Mage builds -- 17/0/44. There are a number of variations of deep Frost builds, but this one goes far enough in the Arcane tree to grab the very useful and powerful Improved Counterspell. The Frost tree has been synonymous with survivability for a long time, so it's no wonder that it is so often seen in the Arena. As with other builds of this nature, it picks up talents that increase your damage output as well as those that boost your ability to stay alive. Frost allows you to kite your opponents, or hit them with reliable burst damage utilizing Shatter.

As usual, there is some wiggle room with the talent spread, so you may want to shift points around depending on your personal taste, or even the Arena bracket you spend most of your time in.

Continue reading Build Shop: Mage 17/0/44

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