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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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WoTLK to bring new emotes - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 20:00:00 EST

I know I've complained a bit about Warcraft's lack of character customization, but I must say that it seems like they've been slowly but surely taking steps to make things better on that front. There's the dance studio and the barber shop incoming, of course, but here's another leak that's popped up from the Alpha: New emotes!

I know it sounds silly, but having pre-made emotes can really add to the fun factor of playing your character. Add them in macros (but don't spam them, that's just annoying) or use them to register your enjoyment, surprise, shock, or disgust at the situation. There's some really good ones in here that I've been wanting for a while -- although, word to wise, Blizzard: Facepalming is generally done with one palm, not two. I know you've seen the facepalm ASCII on the General Forums, too. Also, I would like to thank you for allowing me to finally act as my hero, Phoenix Wright, through the magic of emotes.

I know it's just a minor thing, but still, I'm looking forward to having a bit more variety in playing with my character in the social part of the game. Now if we could only get outfits and player housing too...

[Via Deathknight.info]

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Video of the new TCG loot in action - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 18:00:00 EST

Last week we told you about the new loot Upper Deck was launching a new expansion to WoW TCG. We even showed you pictures of what the cool new stuff will like for Patch 2.4.3. Well, now you can see these juicy tidbits in action with our movie of them.

You'll see us testing The Path of Illidan, trailing green felfire from our footsteps while running, jumping and even dancing. We've also got video of a few cross-faction D.I.S.C.O. parties gettin' down and funky, with the music and sparkly lights. It was dance fever!

Then it was time to try out the Ethereal Soul-trader. He announces himself as if your life is finally complete and follows you around very dutifully. Enjoy the movie - Adam, Zach, and I sure enjoyed making it for you!

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Midsummer Fire Festival image gallery - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 17:00:00 EST

If you haven't yet been able to attend the Midsummer Fire Festival, we've started an image gallery for you to indulge in some of the eye candy, even if you can't be there yourself. Included with the image gallery are links to some of the related quest guides and informational posts we've had over the last few days if you're looking for more information.

We'll be updating this gallery throughout the festival, so make sure you check back frequently or add it to your bookmarks. If you haven't been able to see the festival yourself and you'd like to see something we don't yet have pictured, feel free to make requests in the comments section below!

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Midsummer Fire Festival quest guides - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 15:00:00 EST

As I am sure you all know by now, whether it be through WoW Insider or logging into the game and seeing it firsthand, the Midsummer Fire Festival went live this morning (June 21st) and will remain so until July 4th. The holiday has received a full revamp since last year, and has quite a few new rewards and quests. Some of those rewards have pretty hefty prices attached to them in the form of Burning Blossoms, and are a little intimidating. I sat down early this morning to figure out how many Blossoms I needed for what I wanted on just my main, and the total came to just slightly over 1,100. Ouch!

Surprisingly, it isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. A simple tour of Azeroth can net you hundreds of Blossoms, and the Festival offers many other options, too. If you're looking for a little help or guidance in your quest for holiday treats, WoW Insider is here for you! Click the links below to hop over to our Midsummer Fire Festival quest guides.

  • A Thief's Reward - Sneak into enemy territory, be handsomely rewarded.
  • Desecrating the Flames - Sneak near enemy territory, be handsomely rewarded. Includes a list of all of the fires in Azeroth and Outland.
  • Incense for the Summer Scorchlings - Take a moment out of your day to honor the spirits of summer.
  • Torch Tossing - Your first step toward becoming a master fire juggler!
  • Torch Catching - Your second and final step toward becoming a master fire juggler.
  • Unusual Activity - The Twilight's Hammer is up to something, but what? Epic revelations (and loot) await you!
  • Bonfire buffs - Honoring the flames before you go out to level or grind can bring some pretty nice rewards.
  • Ribbon dancing - Not level 70 yet? Find out how engaging in a bit of Midsummer revelry can change that for you.

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The Art of War(craft): Of Duelists and cupcakes, a farewell to Season 3 - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 14:00:00 EST


In the end we fell short. Last night, our team played its last Arena game of the season after an hour-long wait only to win 1 rating point. It had been that way most of the season, and in the end, it took its toll. We close Season 3 likely to fail in attaining our goal of making Gladiator, falling just outside of the projected 0.5% of our Battlegroup. Scheduling conflicts precluded further games for the week, and as the hours whittled down and everyone was getting tired and sleepy, we mustered enough courage to call it for the season. We thanked each other, logged off the game, and turned off Vent. For what seemed like a long time, the only sound I could hear was the drone of my computer's fan before I finally headed off to bed.

It had been a wonderful, if ultimately disappointing, experience. I love PvP. It's my favorite thing to do in the game. These past few weeks, I dreamt of Arenas every night. Our window was closing and we couldn't find the schedule to grind the final stretch. Last week, we only managed 12 games on a Monday prior to maintenance to scrape by on the minimum requirements and, with wins of 1 or 2 points each, didn't manage to get much closer to our goal for end-of-season rewards. Despite having won hundreds of games with a win percentage of around 81%, we ended up frustratingly short.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): Of Duelists and cupcakes, a farewell to Season 3

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Midsummer Fun: Ribbon dancing - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 13:00:00 EST

We've already covered the buffs you can get from the bonfires scattered around Azeroth during the Midsummer Fire Festival, but how about trying a little pole dancing too before you head out?

You may remember the Ribbon Poles from past years' Midsummer Fire Festivals. They're still there, and you can still "dance" at them by right clicking on the pole. However, instead of the +30 fire resistance buff of previous years, you'll get a new Ribbon Dance buff that will give you an extra 10% experience bonus from killing monsters. It starts at only a 3 minute duration, but if you dance longer, the duration of the buff will gradually rise to 60 minutes. If you're under level 70, it's well worth the trouble, especially if you combine it with the new buffs from the bonfires. The bonfire buffs will help you kill mobs faster, and the Ribbon Dance buff will get you more experience for each kill.

Like I said before, I'm suddenly not sure if I should be saving up Burning Blossoms to buy new treats with my level 70s, or just using all these amazing buffs to level my alts. I may just have to set aside enough time to do both.

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WoW Moviewatch: World of Workcraft - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 12:00:00 EST

When a group of dragon slayers spend all day killing and saving villages, how could they possibly unwind? They log in to World of Workcraft, of course. Whether the assignment is making sales calls, reading reports, or dealing with the epic boss, these guys are prepared, but will the new guy fail them?

Lagspikefilm, creator of the hilarious Thrall's Crib parody, has made another film that is both funny and genius at the same time. However, the film has multiple branding from WeGame, is not available on any other site, and Oxhorn voice acted in it. It looks like Oxhorn may not be the only one on the WeGame payroll.

[Thanks, Tumnus!]

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

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Midsummer Fun: The bonfire buffs - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 11:00:00 EST

When headed out to level, farm, or grind during the Midsummer Fire Festival this year, be sure to head to the zone's bonfire for your side (there's one outside of almost every Horde or Alliance settlement) and throw in a blossom. You'll be glad you did, no matter what your level. You'll get one buff right off the bat: The Fire Festival Fury buff. This 60 minute buff will not only give you a straight 3% to your critical strike chance, but you'll also get a damage shield that will do fire damage equal to your level to all who attack you. That's right, Thorns, eat your heart out.

But what's even better is that it doesn't stop there.

Continue reading Midsummer Fun: The bonfire buffs

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Around Azeroth: Miniature bone dragonling - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 10:00:00 EST


Pop quiz, hotshots. What is this?
  1. A non-flaming Nightbane as seen from a Karazhan tower, where perspective makes the giant dragon seem small.
  2. What happens when you're too busy raiding to take your Azure Whelpling out of your bags for three months.
  3. The cutest non-combat pet in the world OMG I WANT.
  4. An engineer who discovered that making an Arcanite Dragonling can sometimes result in a critical failure.
  5. Nightbane's young daughter, who will vow revenge against your raid for killing her father and thus somehow become a 10-man boss in Northrend, rather than hunting you down individually while you are asleep/drunk.
Thanks to Nesha of Stormrage-EU for this submission!

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. And please, no sunsets.

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Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 60-70 - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 09:00:00 EST



Mages sometimes get a bad rap. Some say we whine too much, while others claim we stink at PvP, or pull aggro too often from the tank. Here at Arcane Brilliance, we ignore these people, because we know the truth. You see, it's a well-known fact that while people tend to like awesome, they simply can't handle too much of it. When people see Mages in the back row, flinging giant balls of flame and ice from their fingertips, landing ridiculously large crits on everything, or plucking delicious magical food out of the air before them, their sense of what is and what isn't awesome gets skewed, and this makes them feel weird. They don't like it. They fear it. The awesome that Mages bring to the table is just too much for most folks to handle. Remember this the next time you get yelled at over voice chat, or someone posts a nasty thread on the forums. We Mages are just too awesome. It's our curse. Luckily, we can remove curses.

Last week, we hit level 60. A long time ago, this was the end of the line, the top of the heap. Once you hit level 60, your experience bar disappeared, and only by improving your gear could you continue to advance your character. That all changed about 18 months ago, when Blizzard introduced us to the world beyond the Dark Portal, 10 more levels of experience, and level 57 greens that were better than level 60 purples. Last week, we brought ourselves to the brink of level 60, to the doorstep of Outland, and this week we'll explore that vast and dangerous new frontier and see where it takes us. Join us after the break for a look at what to expect from the last ten levels of the current game.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 60-70

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Breakfast Topic: Is more data needed in the Armory? - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 08:00:00 EST


Yogi suggested in the forums that the Account Create Date should be added to the Armory. He would like that info so that he can tell the difference between people telling tall tales and actual veterans. Nethaera pointed out that there are many ways to assess people's abilities without this often inaccurate information. After all, some players are currently playing mains on what began as alternate accounts purchased months or years after first playing the game.

I think it would be fun to know the real veterans from the professed veterans, but I don't think exact account creation dates are the best or most fun way to do it. Actual in-game veteran rewards and titles would be much more fun, in my opinion, and could be listed in the Armory.

What information would you like to see added to the Armory? Do you think that account creation dates would be useful? And is it really necessary to call my poor neglected druid "untalented" for all the world to see -- in capital letters no less? Yes, I haven't logged on to her in years and her talent points are now reset and unspent but that hardly means that the poor thing is not gifted. Wouldn't "unknown" or "undecided" convey the same information without being so pejorative?

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The Midsummer Fire Festival has begun! - Sat, 21 Jun 2008 07:05:00 EST

For all of you late night/early morning readers, the Midsummer Fire Festival has just gone live on most US servers. If you're a night owl like me, you'll probably be hitting this fantastic holiday content hard and fast. Swing by Horde or Alliance capital city to get started.

You're likely familiar with some of the old content, such as the firepoles and stealing flames, but as the Schramm mentioned yesterday, there's a ton of new stuff, too: Ahune the Frost Lord, torch tossing, torch catching, a pocket firedancer, and some pretty fab Fire Festival clothing.

Get on out there and have some fun, and make sure to check back throughout the day. We'll have a lot of Fire Festival content of our own coming your way, right here on WoW Insider! Oh, and before you go questing today, stop by the firepole and dance with some friends. This year, it gives you a pretty nice boost to XP gains!

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Phat Loot Phriday: Golden Staff of the Sin'dorei - Fri, 20 Jun 2008 21:00:00 EST


Yup, that's it. This baby is pretty much tops if you are a healer who wants to max out Spirit and healing and all of those other good stats that help you keep others alive. This is the kind of staff that even makes Tanks go all Keanu: "whoah."

Name: Golden Staff of the Sin'dorei (WowDB, Thottbot, Wowhead)
Type: Epic Two-hand Staff
Damage/Speed: 146-338 / 3.20 (75.6 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +60 Stamina, +54 Intellect, +57 Spirit. Yeah.
  • Red and two Blue sockets, nicely fitted with some +22 healing gems and/or +10 Spirit gems and you're talking about some real power. +4 Spirit socket bonus.
  • Improves spell haste rating by 32
  • +550 healing, +183 spell damage. Yes, you read that right -- 550 healing. Not since right before the last expansion has there been a staff this nice in comparison to other gear, and even if you could match the healing on a one-hand/offhand combo (you probably can, if you get the right gear and enchants together), the Spirit bonuses on this baby are going to give that duo a run for the money. Take a good look, because this is the kind of stuff that's going to be dropping in endgame raids at level 80.
  • Sin'dorei, you should know by now (we're almost to the next expansion), means Blood Elves, or "children of the Blood" in Thalassian. And yes, the staff looks just like the one in the BC art, as seen above. This is very BC staff, if not the most defining staff of this expansion. Look for a lot less gold and green and a lot more blue and black in WotLK.
How to Get It: This is a Kil'jaeden item yet again -- it drops from the last boss currently in the game. And since we've seen so few drops from Killy Jay so far, we're not sure of the drop rate at all. Not that it matters much -- so few players comparatively are going to get loot from the fight with Kayje, that odds are you'll never see it.

You can drool, though. And in ten levels, when we're all working through Naxx again, maybe you can convince your raid to go back and help you get it.

Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 20g 54s 93s and disenchants into a Void Crystal. But look how shiny! Have a good weekend.

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Insider Trader: Leatherworking in alpha, and profession changes for patch 2.4.3 - Fri, 20 Jun 2008 18:46:00 EST
Although there is information being leaked about the upcoming expansion Wrath of the Lich King, because of the alpha testing that is currently underway, it is too soon to tell what will make it into the final copy, and what will not. Furthermore, most things will be changed, and there are details that may never be leaked until, of course, release.

Still, it is a valuable experience to peer into Blizzard's process of designing, reforming, and progressing the game's professions. This week, Insider Trader will focus on analyzing the tentative progression of the leatherworking trade.

In addition, we'll take a brief look at professions-related changes in the upcoming patch 2.4.3. While mounts at level 30 and Haris Pilton might be first in your mind, Blizzard isn't overlooking the trade sector this round.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Leatherworking in alpha, and profession changes for patch 2.4.3

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Gearing for Karazhan, Fury/Arms pt 2 - Fri, 20 Jun 2008 17:00:00 EST


Once more into that there breach what with the dead already filling the walls and suchlike.

When last we left our intrepid band of heroic warriors (that's you guys) they were about to head into Karazhan and hit stuff. We've already covered what to wear if you're one of those warriors who hits things and gets hit back in return, and last week we did an overview of the main slots (head, shoulders, legs, chests and hands) for your aspiring breaker of limbs. Whether it's arms or fury you intend (or some weird hybrid of the two like the spec I'm currently playing with on my tauren) you need attack power, crit chance, hit and other good things on the armor and other gear you choose to help you achieve your aim of wanton re-slaughter. I assume it's re-slaughter. I mean, most of the stuff in there has died at least once.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Gearing for Karazhan, Fury/Arms pt 2

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[1. Local]: This week in WoW Insider comments - Fri, 20 Jun 2008 16:00:00 EST


[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

We start off this week's look at reader comments with a handful of theories, notions and opinions on a variety of topics: why Warhammer won't rival WoW, what could be behind the upcoming universal spellpower change, and the root of the whole Horde vs. Alliance struggle.

Readers had high praise for the most recent installment of our informative Tank Talk column, before adding their two copper to the last installment of Thrall's story in Know Your Lore. And finally, readers had a lot to say about cross-faction camaraderie among fishers, more kudos for a tote bag that'll leave you in Stitches, and some off-color ideas about the influence of team colors on PvP success.

Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

Continue reading [1. Local]: This week in WoW Insider comments

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Richard Bartle grudgingly plays World of Warcraft - Fri, 20 Jun 2008 15:00:00 EST
Richard Bartle hasn't necessarily been super kind to Blizzard's game in the past, but our sister site Massively recently sat down with the legendary MMO developer to set the record straight. In an interview from the Indie GDC from earlier this year, Mr. Bartle speaks candidly about his job as a consultant to MMO companies, and while he says that he has leveled three characters to 70 to see what all the fuss was about, he's not that interested in playing World of Warcraft -- he'd rather make his own games.

He does have good recommendations for what he'd tell Blizzard to change, though: first things first, he wants to see an official "WTB" mechanism for the Auction House, where you can offer a price not only for what you want to sell, but for what you want to buy as well. He'd also fix the LFG system (and who wouldn't, really? has it ever worked?), and he says that Karazhan was a great example of a mistake -- by putting such a rough, guild-killing instance first in line for progression, Blizzard really put the hurt on players (especially solo players -- he says Karazhan is impossible to PuG) heading into the endgame.

Finally, he's excited for "Lich Kingdom" as he calls it, but not really happy about it: "The only reason that I played up to level 70 was credentials," he says, "and when Lich Kingdom comes out, I shall have to requalify myself." We can't say he doesn't have a point -- as popular as WoW is, competition always makes a marketplace better, and up to this point, WoW hasn't had any competition at all, leaving its faults glaring to an expert developer like Bartle.

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Blizzard deals Alpha leak site a potential killing blow - Fri, 20 Jun 2008 14:30:00 EST


The Wrath of the Lich King Information Wiki, the primary source of leaked information from the friends & family Alpha, is currently not hosting any information on its site. Reports say that the WotLK Wiki team has been served a Cease & Desist order by Blizzard's legal team and given stringent restrictions on hosting Alpha information. A brief message on the site explained how the site administrators were contacted by a legal firm. The issue dealt with a few key points, such as the site referring to themselves as the "Official WotLK Alpha Wiki" despite not being endorsed by Blizzard; not having a copyright on any of the information, necessitating the inclusion of a copyright line to the main pages; and an order to remove all of what Blizzard considered "over-the-line" content such as leaked screenshots.

The WotLK Information Wiki formerly had detailed information on the spells and abilities of the new hero class, the Death Knight, as well as new 51-point talents for most classes. It also hosted and updated a copy of the latest build of the Alpha client, and showed previews of numerous models in the expansion such as speculated vanity pets and armor sets. None of this information is currently available, although the site's message states that they are "having a little trouble" and "hopefully will be back shortly". The current refuge of Alpha-hungry players are in an IRC channel called #wotlkwiki in irc.mmoforge.org, where the header cryptically (or not-so-cryptically) states that "THE MEN IN SUITS, THEY TOOK THE WIKI ON VACATION TODAY. Might return tonight."

If the Alpha wiki team succeeds in conforming (or going around) the rules laid by the intellectual property firm, it might return to serve up information sometime soon. We'll keep a close eye on these developments; whatever happens, we've learned that it's tough to keep a good secret from getting out.

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WoW Insider Show live on the air tomorrow - Fri, 20 Jun 2008 14:00:00 EST


Once again, the WoW Insider Show is returning to the virtual airwaves, and this show is taking place in a very different world than last week: Turpster's Shadow Priest is 70, dogs and cats are living together, and I am out for the week. But worry not -- the very capable John "BigBearButt" Patricelli is stepping in to take on the hosting duties, and joining him will be the raid-ready Shadow Priest himself, Turpster (John, could you do me a favor and ask Turpster when he's going to start leveling his Paladin now?), along with another man with his own popular WoW blog, Matt "Matticus" Low. I'm sure they'll chat, as we always do, about all the big news from the World of Warcraft in the last week, including level 30 mounts, the various talent changes that have come down, and what's on deck for the Midsummer Fire Festival next week. Since I'm not around, they probably won't talk about Shamans at all, so you can look forward to that.

And if there's anything else you want to ask them, it's easy and free -- just drop them a note at theshow@wowinsider.com, and they may even answer your question live on the air. During the show, you can even join them in IRC for a live chat -- point your IRC client to irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel and make sure to say hi for me.

Should be a "hum-dinger," as they say in the business. Well maybe they don't say it in the business, but I'm sure they say it somewhere. Tune in to WoW Radio tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 Eastern to hear BBB, Matticus, and Turpster take on the past week in Warcraft.

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Raid Rx: Analyzing your healers Part 2 - Fri, 20 Jun 2008 13:00:00 EST

Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you. Interweb friends, I am sorry I've been MIA so long. It was an accident, I swear! I have missed you. /sniff

Last time, creatively called Part 1, we went over healing analysis philosophy and all the tools you'll need to be sure you're seeing the whole picture. This time? My little whelps, we are going to start in on the big one: WWS healorz style. Grab a snack and join me after the break as I cover exactly what you should have in your grubby little hands before even pretending to know what's going on in WWS.

Continue reading Raid Rx: Analyzing your healers Part 2

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