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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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Interview with Ludo Lullabi, artist of the WoW comic - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 20:30:00 EST
The good folks over at MTV's Multiplayer blog continue their coverage of the WoW comic with an interview with Ludo Lullabi. Lullabi is the regular artist on the book, and it's great to hear that he's not only a big fan of Warcraft, but that he understands how important it is to use the game as a source-- he even draws straight from screencaps sometimes.

Of course, the game can't always work as inspiration-- he says he really had to spruce up the Dire Maul arena to get it to look right in the comic. And he's taken it easy on the game lately while working on the comic. Not being able to play that much of the game because you're spending too much time trying to work on describing it? I can definitely identify with that one.

But all in all, Ludo sounds like a smart and talented guy. Good to know the art side of the comic is in such good hands.

[Via Incgamers]

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Fixing battlemaster blocking - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 19:30:00 EST
I haven't had this happen to me specifically, but I know it's happening out there-- players are blocking battlemasters by flooding around them, and hiding them inside other models, leaving them unclickable. We've heard about this before, and apparently it's a growing problem.

So Blizzard has come up with a fix-- in 2.4, says Tigole, all the battlemasters will be standing on platforms, which will be coded with collision, so player models can't invade them. It's not that big a change (imagine the auctioneers in Ironforge and Silvermoon), but it should make for a little different visual-- it'll be a crowded little pavilion where the battlemasters are in Shattrath.

Of course, that doesn't solve the problem of blocking NPCs, only of blocking battlemasters. But there are probably enough repairers and questgivers around at this point that there's no reason to put all the NPCs on pedestals just to keep them away from the maddening crowd.

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Stand up for Blade's Edge bugs - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 18:00:00 EST
This is the best bug I've heard about in the game yet so far-- Drysc has confirmed that there is a known bug in the Blade's Edge plateau area which will cause everyone, when someone starts up the Bombing Run quest, to stop eating and drinking and stand up. It's a respect thing, you know? Stand up for the cause!

No, it's just a really, really weird bug, and a fix is on the way in an upcoming patch (I'm a little surprised they don't aim to fix it earlier, but apparently all that will be lost is the food anyone sits down to eat at the wrong time in Blade's Edge). Once again, I am dumbfounded at trying to figure out just how Blizzard's code works-- seems like they have the absolute weirdest bugs happen to them sometimes.

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The Art of War(craft): A Resilient Argument Part I - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 16:30:00 EST


If you're interested in PvP in any way whatsoever, you've probably heard of a little statistic called Resilience. Introduced a little before The Burning Crusade was released, Resilience reduces the chance a player will be struck by critical strikes from spells or attacks. It also reduces the damage taken from critical strikes and Damage-over-Time (DoT) spells. It is a landmark change in PvP mechanics, qualifying as the most important improvement to World of Warcraft PvP since the game was launched. With the introduction of this new item property, PvP became less a matter of damage output -- although that's still important -- and more a matter of survivability or, well, resilience.

Battles are now intended to last a little longer, Resilience greatly reducing the chances of frustrating (for the recipient, anyway) instagibs. Prior to Patch 2.0, the premiere PvP stats used to be Stamina and Spell & Attack Critical Strikes, which were abundant in PvP-obtained items. However, both item properties were often also useful in PvE, which made many PvP items desirable even outside of PvP. Conversely, the sheer strength of PvE raid items were dominant on the PvP front, in many cases overpowering Stamina. This changed with the introduction of Resilience, which drew a defining line between PvP and PvE gear. With the new mechanic, in order to PvP more effectively, one had to wade into the thick of battle and earn Honor or Arena points. All players will start off with no Resilience, and it takes a conscious effort to accumulate the gear for it. Before undertaking such an endeavor, let's take a look at other forms of damage mitigation that are more accessible in the beginning stages of acquiring Resilience gear.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): A Resilient Argument Part I

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How much moderation do the forums need? - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 15:30:00 EST



Before we even get started, I'm going to warn you now that some of the language behind the links in the next paragraph is not safe for work, so please be careful when you click.

Warcraftchicks.com argues that the official World of Warcraft forums need full time moderation. This is an issues that I am very divided about.

I generally fall under the 'say anything' school of free speech. If you know me personally you know that, while I'm capable of expressing myself without any vulgarities at all, I'm actually a fairly salty individual and when I talk I can be rather crude. Furthermore, I'm very comfortable with discussing topics that would probably nauseate or sicken a lot of people. I grew up on a farm and spent a lot of my time doing things that most people don't nowadays. One of my summer jobs every year was working in our slaughterhouse, and I spent almost every morning mucking out stalls. To this day, I can talk about these kinds of things while I eat. So I generally have a much higher threshold before anything really bothers me, my hot buttons tending to be overt racism or prejudice, and even then I usually just opt to avoid talking to the people spewing those kinds of things.

But clearly the examples SugarChick lists are, in addition to being insanely crude, horribly racist (especially the lists posted on Martin Luther King day that she mentions) and otherwise generally unfit for social discourse with strangers (which is, after all, what the forums ultimately are) have no purpose aside from trying to be offensive or shocking.

Continue reading How much moderation do the forums need?

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WoW Rookie: I rolled the wrong class - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 14:30:00 EST
If, like I did, you came into World of Warcraft with no real idea what the game was about, you may have just picked the first class that looked interesting and started playing. (If, instead, you read a guide to what the various classes can do, you may not have the following problem.) In my case, I picked Paladin, because I'd been playing a lot of D&D beforehand and the Paladin class there is a good melee combatant, especially against demons, undead and other evils, with some spot healing thrown in. I expected to run around hitting stuff with a sword. I didn't understand how healing works in WoW (that you could stand in one spot casting heal spells on someone else while he tanks a monster, for instance, didn't even occur to me) and so I happily leveled him to the mid 20's grinding away, doing the occasional quest, and finally got my first invite to a Deadmines group.

As the healer.

Now, I didn't even understand how healing worked in the game yet, much less that I was expected to do it: I knew there were healing spells, mind you, but I figured they were for after the fight or emergencies in it, and that (like the paladins I'd played in other settings) I'd have to run up and touch folks to use them. I had no idea I could stand back and cast heals, much less that all that lovely 'of the bear' gear I'd been collecting meant I had the mana pool of a diseased marmoset.

Continue reading WoW Rookie: I rolled the wrong class

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WoW Idol voting begins - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 13:00:00 EST
WoW Radio (home of our illustrious podcast) has announced the finalists in their WoW Idol contest, and you can listen to and vote on them right now over on their web site. There are a ton of interesting choices, too, from Sevhnn's dance-hop flavored "MS Warrior Tribute," to Selserene and Rob Munsch's delicate classical turns on Azerothian themes.

I have to say that I especially like Jeff Wichtowski's "Keep the Tank from Dying," just because it sounds so perfectly like one of those songs. But these are all good-- "Strength and Honor" from Liquidator and Threat sounds good (is that a Fort Minor sample at the end?), and "I Smile When I Gank" (by Daryl Brewer, who apparently won the last WoW Idol) is hilarious (love the backing vocals), and the Hyskelettes' "Heal!" is a great Beatles cover/parody.

But only one can be the WoW Idol popular choice, and win some great prizes (WoW Radio has also added some new ones in-- I believe the winners are also going to get some Winter's Veil boxes from Upper Deck). So definitely run over there and get your vote in ASAP.

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WoW Moviewatch: In for a Penny Prologue - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 12:00:00 EST


When I first saw Selserene's Warcraftmovies Christmas Spirit Contest entry, I knew that she would be someone to watch in 2008. Her latest video, In for a Penny: Prologue, certainly doesn't prove me wrong. The editing is brilliant, the storyline is engaging, and well, it's just awesome. As always, if you liked the movie, you can download the high quality version.

When a clueless blonde ends up in the wrong part of town, she uncovers a seedy underworld like no other. A seductive belf temptress lures a strapping belf lad to bed, which leads him to discover a body outside. When the police arrive, he is falsely arrested for the crime.

It's a little too convenient if you ask me. Hell hath no fury like a belf woman scorned. I guess we'll have to wait for the movie to come out this Spring!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch...

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Officers' Quarters: Drawing the line - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 11:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

We often talk about our guilds as if they are families. A family would do anything for each other, wouldn't they? The writer of this week's e-mail asks, When it comes to helping your guildmates with real-life problems, where do you draw the line?

I've been reading your Officers' Quarters column, and I would like your input. I am a longtime (2 years plus) member of an Alliance guild and also a senior officer in a similar-sized Horde guild. In the Alliance guild, one of the members is a teenager who has also been in the guild for a long time. This guildie, along with his father, are well-known in the guild, but the teen is more known for his offensive and insulting behavior in guild chat and in raids. Several members of the guild have left specifically because of this kid. It's also known that he is on medication for behavioral problems. Despite his unpleasant behaviour, he has not been removed from the guild, which has caused a lot of friction.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Drawing the line

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Around Azeroth: One zeppelin, two zeppelin... - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 10:00:00 EST


Ben writes in with this zeppelin-filled screenshot from Grom'Gol in Stranglethorn Vale. Though I'm sure some of our readers could do a bit of math and come up with some exact numbers on how often two zeppelins arrived in Grom'Gol at once, I'll simply say it's an uncommon sight. Or, as Ben says, a "memorable event!"

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see your idea of the best looking instance 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!

Gallery: Around Azeroth

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Breakfast Topic: What would you do differently? - Mon, 21 Jan 2008 08:00:00 EST
Galo of the Ardent Defender blog has responded to a recent blogger meme, asking the question what would you do different in WoW if you got to start all over again? Same character, same server, same friends, same guild, same adventures. But now you have special knowledge of your game playing career to avoid the pitfalls.

For Galo, the answer is to be smarter about making money. Taking two gathering professions, buy bigger bags as soon as possible and focus on getting an epic flying mount to gather even faster. I think he may have some cash flow regrets.

If I had to do it all over again, I would probably have not changed tradeskill professions 4 times. I also would have started tanking sooner as a feral Druid than before. I wasn't a fan of tanking, but got asked to do it as a Druid. Now I enjoy it greatly. And I would have used voice chat more often. Things go a lot smoother on voice, even for the times that I can only listen (playing the game is one thing, being on the "phone" at the same time is another with the significant other.)

What about you? What would you do different if you knew what you know now.

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Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories - Sun, 20 Jan 2008 17:00:00 EST
This week's round up of WoW-related posts on our sister site Massively spans the range from NSFW to Tauren Chefs. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed.

Building a better MMOusetrap: PPOrnography in games
How is the ESRB rating system affecting your favorite MMO?




The WoW starts now!
A Second Life fan tries World of Warcraft for the first time. Read her impressions of an MMO newbie.



WoW comic artist on keeping the fans happy
The MTV Multiplayer staff interview the penciller behind the World of Warcraft comic.




Animations to die for
Should WoW have encounter specific death animations?




A tale of grinding, sucking and snowboarding
Should WoW add a snowboarding mini-game to make it more casual? Kyle Horner investigates the ramifications.



Behind the Curtain: Great Expectations
Craig Whithers uses this week's Behind the Curtain column to explore expectations players have going into many of the major MMOs (including WoW) and how well each game fulfills them.


WoW Europe spotlights noted machinima artists
Machinimist extraordinaire Baron Soosdon is interviewed by WoW Euorpe. Hear what he has to say about his art. Also, Olibith has his own interview exploring how he approaches his popular work.


The Escapist spends a day in the life of a WoW addict
Not all stories about playing WoW are downers about too much time in Azeroth. This one is about how WoW brought two people together.


Is that a Tauren in the kitchen?
A book of real life recipes based on in-game foods? Sounds familiar.




MMOGology: Leaving home
In his weekly column MMOGology, Marc Nottke asks "Do you have to stop playing one MMO to start a new one?"

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All the World's a Stage: A little help from my friends - Sun, 20 Jan 2008 15:00:00 EST


All the World's a Stage is a column for cooperative minds, playing with roles every Sunday evening.

Roleplaying a new character can be hard, even for advanced roleplayers. Usually you only begin with the fragment of a character, some vague idea of what you want your character to be like. Even if you have a pretty clear idea of your character already in mind, you may discover that actually playing that role in communication with others causes issues to come up that you never could have thought of all on your own.

Thankfully, roleplaying is a cooperative activity. Unlike PvE and PvP, there is no "versus" in RP. Even if two characters are bitter nemeses, still their characters must cooperate with one another to share an interesting story. Otherwise, they will find themselves "god-modding," or roleplaying in such a way that they don't give one another any room to improvise. (Two god-modders may fight something like this, using custom emotes: "Darkmystery stabs Elfman and cuts out his heart," followed by, "Elfman dodges Darkmystery's sword and then rips his head off," and so on.) These people aren't really roleplaying in the same way that two people shouting at each other in different languages are not really communicating. Roleplaying's very nature requires that each person work together with every other person, or else it isn't really roleplaying at all.

Though the rare "god-modder" can attract a lot of attention, in fact most roleplayers are quite eager to cooperate and assist one another as much as possible. For every one drama queen or king who simply must be the center of attention at all times, there are 5 roleplayers standing in the background listening quietly, wishing that someone else would talk, and 15 more who went off to roleplay their own stories instead. Most roleplayers reach out to each other for support, suggestions, background story ideas, and are more than willing to lend a helping hand in these areas to anyone who asks. Such mutual reciprocity forms the foundation of what roleplaying is all about.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: A little help from my friends

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WoW Moviewatch: Damaged Dreams - Sun, 20 Jan 2008 12:00:00 EST

After watching Arithmomania yesterday, I decided to dig into the vault and discovered that we hadn't featured Yume before that! Today, we're highlighting Damaged Dreams, an older music video of his. I declare this a Yume weekend.

Damaged Dreams was completed in October 2007, and it's not as polished as Arithmomania, but I'm not sure that it was meant to be. The song is edgy and you can feel the beats in each lightning-fast cut that he makes. An interesting tidbit is that he filmed it all in Burning Crusade, without the help of the model or map viewers. There are too many favorite scenes to list here, so you'll have to watch for yourself. If you enjoyed it, check out the high-resolution version!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch...

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Around Azeroth: A thorny screenshot - Sun, 20 Jan 2008 10:00:00 EST


Mike sends in this shot of an impressively large bramble outside of Brambleblade Ravine in the Tauren starting area. Or maybe it's not Brambleblade Ravine... Says Mike, "'At least I'm pretty sure it is. But you know, it could be outside Razorfen Kraul too. Anyway, it's a cool bramble!" We concur wholeheartedly.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see your idea of the best looking instance 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!

Gallery: Around Azeroth

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Dark forces - Sun, 20 Jan 2008 08:30:00 EST
This week there seems to be a running theme of dark forces throughout the comics. From naga and murder to Blizzard employees, you won't want to miss the intrigue.

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: Dark forces

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Breakfast Topic: Instance hour - Sun, 20 Jan 2008 08:00:00 EST


I don't know about you, but my guild tends to run its raids and instances during "prime time" server hours, from around 8PM to midnight. But then there are a dedicated group of night owls who stay up for the "late night" instance run after any officially scheduled runs, sneaking in one last instance somewhere between 1 and 2 in the morning. (And I have to say, sometimes these casual groups, filled with players half-asleep or perhaps a bit tipsy, are sometimes the most fun to be in.) So this morning I ask you: when's your instance hour? What time of day do you always manage to get your circle of friends online and hitting up the instances you all need?

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Unable to connect? [Updated x 2] - Sun, 20 Jan 2008 01:16:00 EST


Network outages started plaguing the realms late Saturday night, with connection issues across all US realms. It appears to be a network issue, preventing many, but not all players from connecting to the servers. (So if you were wondering why you were the only one who showed up for your guild's late night raiding session, that would be why.) The forums are offline as well, so the only official information we have from Blizzard comes from the breaking news box on the login screen, shown right, which gives us no ETA but thanks us for our patience.


Update, 1:22 AM EST: The breaking news box has been updated, telling us that there's an issue with AT&T's network. Blizzard is in contact with AT&T and waiting on an ETA for resolution. We should have an update on status within the next 30 minutes (as of the time of this writing, quite soon), but for those of you on the east coast, this probably means it's time to go to bed.

Update, 1:28 AM EST: Though there's no official update from Blizzard, authentication is working for at least some players. (Read: my Shattered Halls group is back at it. You can 3-man Shattered Halls, right?) The realms haven't been offline through this period, so you should be able to pick up right where you left off. (Presuming you can get back online.)

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Two Bosses Enter: Lady Vashj vs. Princess Huhuran - Sat, 19 Jan 2008 21:30:00 EST


Two bosses may enter... but only one will get to leave in WoW Insider's fantasy deathmatch series. Every week we pit two of the World of Warcraft's raid bosses against one another in a battle that your votes get to decide. This week we have Lady Vashj from Serpentshrine Caverns in Outland matching up against Princess Huhuran from Ahn'Qiraj in old Azeroth. Though both of them are perfectly happy to wipe player raids, how would they fare against one another? Ultimately, that's for you to decide -- so read on!

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Lady Vashj vs. Princess Huhuran

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One Boss Leaves: Twin Emperors vs. Chromaggus wrap-up - Sat, 19 Jan 2008 18:30:00 EST


As you might guess from the image above, the Twin Emperors came out ahead in our last matchup, though the final votes were close. As usual, debate raged over the abilities each boss would be able to use, with complaints being raised over both the Twins' healing ability (which we considered out -- and come on, folks, if it were allowed, there wouldn't have been any point) and Chromaggus' breaths (which eventually turned the target into a drakonoid) considered in. In the end, however, the Twins winning by 40 votes. Interested in more boss on boss action? Check back tonight for the next fight in our line-up, Lady Vashj vs. Princess Huhuran!

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