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Murloc bento box looks strangely tasty - Sun, 21 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST


A "bento" or "bento box" is a prepared meal in Japanese culture consisting of rice, some kind of meat (often sushi), and cooked vegetables. The big image above is a Murloc bento, put together by a WoW fan with some excellent culinary taste. The Murloc itself is made of cabbage, dyed tofu, and red and yellow pepper stripes, the hut to his left is made of Thai turkey meatballs and steamed cabbage, and the treasure chest is made of tofu and seaweed, while the sun and flowers are eggs.

Very interesting. It's still a work-in-progress apparently (though considering that it's all food, it can't take too long to make, can it?), as the creator still wants to get teeth on the Murloc. But it looks pretty ready to eat as is -- the hut and the treasure chest, especially, look pretty delectable.

[via PixelatedGeek, thanks, jessE!]

Murloc bento box looks strangely tasty originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 21 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Casual raiding and you - Sun, 21 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Hooray weekend! Boo Sunday! Let's jump right into things with Galipan's question...

Is casual raiding a possibility? Ive heard from many people that it isn't, however, I'm trying to get a guild started that does give it a shot.

Continue reading The Queue: Casual raiding and you

The Queue: Casual raiding and you originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 21 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard: We're working on the Comcast problem - Sun, 21 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST
Snowman Eyonix posted an update to the ongoing Comcast issues on the forums today: he says that Blizzard is talking to Comcast about the problem, and that they may have identified the problem in a third-party network between the affected folks and Comcast themselves. He says work on the issue is ongoing, and that while they don't have an ETA, he'll let us know when there is more to know.

We don't know if the "third-party network" includes those Los Angeles datacenters that were being blamed earlier, and to be honest, we don't even know how widespread the problem actually is. A few of our writers are on Comcast -- most of us haven't had any problems at all, though one of our writers in LA is experiencing lag and the occasional disconnect.

We'll keep an eye on Eyonix's thread and let you know if anything changes. At this point, it seems the problems are known and Blizzard is doing what they can to solve things.

Blizzard: We're working on the Comcast problem originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 21 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25-man Razuvious mage tanked - Sun, 21 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST


Instructor Razuvious is the first boss of the Military Quarter in Naxxramas. The typical strategy on the 25-man version of the the fight is to have a priest mind control one of his four adds and use that add to tank the boss, because Razuvious hits far too hard for normal tanks (hundreds of thousands on plate). But who needs a traditional strategy, right? A Team, of Stonemaul, decided they would do this fight with no priests.

The trick was to have a mage constantly spellsteal Bone Armor off of the trash leading up to Razuvious. The mage then tanked the fight, the healers kept the mage up, and all went well. The mage that had been tanking did die around 40%, but another mage hit the spellsteal, picked up the boss, and the fight went smoothly from there. There's a WWS available, if you're curious. The reason the mages don't come out on top for damage in is that it's all absorbed by Bone Armor (otherwise you'd have some very dead mages). Let's hear it for creative methods!

25-man Razuvious mage tanked originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 21 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wrath 101: Flight paths in Sholazar Basin - Sun, 21 Dec 2008 12:30:00 EST


If you liked my Grizzly Hills guide, you'll love this Sholazar Basin one. Sholazar takes the the honor of having the fewest flight points of any Northrend zone, featuring only two neutral points.
  1. Nesingwary Base Camp. This FP is interesting in that it is not immediately open - you need to do some quests to retrieve an engine and collect parts in order to rebuild the flying machine in order to be able to fly from it. After doing the quests, the flying machine itself, named the Spirit of Gnomeregan (26,58), acts as flight master.

  2. River's Heart, in the center of the zone. This FP (50,62) does not need to be unlocked by questing. There is also a Cold Weather Flying trainer here, in case you happen to ding 77 while questing in Sholazar (though on both of my 80s so far, I hit 77 either one or two zones earlier).

The next post will take me to my favorite Northrend zone, Storm Peaks, which is a little more interesting FP-wise. Until then, have fun, and if you see our local friendly spirit beast, be sure to tell a hunter.

Previously: Lower Northrend (Alliance/Horde), Grizzly Hills, Zul'Drak.

Wrath 101: Flight paths in Sholazar Basin originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 21 Dec 2008 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Dragonball - Sun, 21 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST

After some frustrations on the third phase of Malygos, the raid leader of <Dude its a game> on Skullcrusher scheduled a guild movement practice with the quest "Aces High." The guild went through some aerial acrobatics -- including this dragoncluster captured by Melaspike -- before going back to the Nexus and dewinging Malygos.

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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Dragonball originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 21 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Smawt in the bwain! - Sun, 21 Dec 2008 09:00:00 EST
In case you might have forgotten, like I almost did, today is yet another Sunday. The stores are crowded, the kids are home from school, and competing to finish your dailies is a little more stressful. Why not relax with your weekly dose of WoW-related comics?

  1. Flintlocke has been terrorizing Darnassus.
  2. Donald's Dedumbification is the latest Dark Legacy Comics entry.
  3. Experience Points examines the economy, and the obviously unforeseen consequences of username choices.
  4. Check out Simple Minds from Extra Life.
  5. Check out LFG's latest.
  6. Noobcow Pugs a Heroic.
  7. Teh Gladiators presents Stupid is the New Black.
  8. WoW, eh? hosts another guest comic.

Sunday Morning Funnies: Smawt in the bwain! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 21 Dec 2008 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Presents! - Sun, 21 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST
Winter Veil is here. The cities are decorated, snowballs are flying, and everyone will be waking up early in a few days to see what Great Father Winter has left under the Christmas tree. We recognize the holidays as a time to share with family and friends.

Outside of services, parties, and shopping you're probably still spending a considerable amount of time with your cohorts online. I'd like to know if anyone is planning on sending gifts to their guildies and other WoW buddies. It's unnecessary but still thoughtful to recognize these folks we spend so much time with. I think it might be fun, but I'm not sure what to get.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Presents!

Breakfast Topic: Presents! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 21 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The nipples of dragons - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST


So, Arena Season 5 has started. There's a lot of new stuff, and it's pretty cool how it's easily available to everyone, isn't it? Except for the top gear, pretty much everything can be farmed even without having to do any PvP whatsoever. All very well and good, but have you actually taken a look at any of the new PvP gear? Back in Burning Crusade, the Arena sets were mere re-colors of the raid sets, a mistake that Blizzard said they'd avoid in Wrath. They made good on that promise with Season 5, but somehow, the appearance of the sets are kind of... meh.

The lackluster designs came under fire on the forums a few days back, and Zarhym was quick to defend the art team, saying that "the looks of the sets will improve as the seasons continue," and that if Blizzard had started the first sets with awesome designs, the latter seasons might see Thrall being worn around players' heads. It's a pretty funny joke, but I'm not quite sure it holds water. Zarhym continues to say that the design philosophy is that "in PvE you're killing very rare and challenging creatures of Azeroth, while in PvP you're receiving gear from the crafters (so to speak) of your faction to get you battle-ready."

He goes on to make a truly memorable line, "chances are you're going to be given the gear that'll get the job done rather than the gear that has to be constructed entirely out of the nipples of a 7,000 year-old dragon." Now that's pretty clever. It makes a lot of sense, too. Except, my question is, why can't 'crafted' gear that 'gets the job done' be, well, badass? Remember the Level 60 PvP sets? Now those were totally badass.

Continue reading The nipples of dragons

The nipples of dragons originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: What to give the Mage who has everything - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST



Each week, Arcane Brilliance comes down the chimney with a sack-full of Mage. We Blink into your living room, conjure our own milk and cookies, set fire to the tree, and turn the family cat into a sheep. Then laying a finger aside of our nose, we turn invisible and walk out the front door, because that's how we roll.


In case your recurring stress dreams aren't enough of a reminder, let me throw it out there that you have less than a week to do your Christmas shopping. Seriously, you probably ought to just go now, bring a cattle prod, a ballistics vest, and possibly a taser, head to the mall, and let the carnage begin. If you get in line now, you might be able to check out by Thursday.

The good news is that if you're shopping for a Mage, your job isn't quite so difficult, and not nearly as perilous. Mages aren't picky about gifts. If it has spellpower on it, chances are we'll love it. We tend to like big sticks and fancy dresses, and Gnomish Warlocks always make great stocking stuffers.

Follow me after the break, and I'll give you my short-list of great things to get for the Mage in your life this holiday season.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: What to give the Mage who has everything

Arcane Brilliance: What to give the Mage who has everything originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Warlocks taking a hit - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 17:10:00 EST


Have you seen any Warlocks lately? For some reason, the only remnant of Warlocks that I see are the odd Demonic Circles scattered here and there in Dalaran. Otherwise, pretty much everybody's re-rolled the flavor-of-the-month Death Knight or a Retribution Paladin. Where's the love? As much as Warlocks are reputedly overpowered in PvP, exactly how a Warlock deals with Death Grip, Strangulate, and a string of crits from the Death Knight and his friends isn't exactly the kind of stuff that make PvP legends.

In fact, the way we're designed to deal damage in a slow, painful stream, Warlocks downright blow in PvP -- particularly Arenas -- right now. The king of Arenas today is burst damage, and instagibbing an opponent with a zerg is the order of the day. With very few players stacking the necessary Resilience, Arenas are dominated by players who have gear from heroic Naxxramas.

Out of all the cloth classes, Warlocks are the only one without a natural 'out' of a zerg save for the preparation-heavy Demonic Circle (which doesn't break a stun, by the way, and has a meager 40 yard range). Mages still have Ice Block, Blink, and the target-removing Mirror Image. Priests, more than ever, have higher survivability across the board, specially with Pain Suppression, Guardian Spirit, and Dispersion across three trees and a plethora of instant heals. This makes Warlocks Target #1 when it comes to a zerg train in Arenas. And it takes about 4 seconds for us to blow up.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Warlocks taking a hit

Blood Pact: Warlocks taking a hit originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 17:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wrath 101: The Vault of Archavon - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST


So you've won Wintergrasp. Now what? Well, the very first thing that most players do when they wrest or maintain control of the zone is head into the Vault of Archavon. The vault is a raid instance accessible only to members of the faction that control Wintergrasp. It is one of the more important reasons why control of Wintergrasp is so important. Archavon the Stone Watcher is an extremely easy raid boss who drops pieces of Tier 7 and Arena gear. In short, he means free epics.

While there are no level restrictions to entering Wintergrasp (though if you can't fly you'll either have to take the portal or be summoned), players must be Level 80 and in a raid group in order to enter the Vault of Archavon raid instance. It's a very short raid with exactly four trash mobs who have special abilities, but are essentially tank and spank and prepare the raid for how the boss will be like. Archavon is a DPS race.

Continue reading Wrath 101: The Vault of Archavon

Wrath 101: The Vault of Archavon originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW, Casually: A casual guide to the Feast of Winter Veil - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime.

Nothing says Winter Veil like a skanky santa outfit. Ho ho ho, indeed. The winter holidays in Azeroth have enough sex and violence (mostly violence) to counteract all of the feel-good, family-friendly holiday cheer going on in the real world. It's exactly what you need after going anywhere near a mall parking lot at this time of year.

In-game holidays are always good for those of us with limited playtime because the quests give good experience, fun loot and there are often entertaining stories and activities to go along with it. The Feast of Winter Veil is no exception. While it doesn't have the ridiculous xp of the Midsummer Fire Festival or Hallows End, it does have some great Achievements, virtual toys and enough xp to make it worth your while. Following is a casual player's guide to the festivities.

Continue reading WoW, Casually: A casual guide to the Feast of Winter Veil

WoW, Casually: A casual guide to the Feast of Winter Veil originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Art of War(craft): Wintergrasp - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST


Now that you've familiarized yourselves with the zone and Wintergrasp gameplay, it's time to look at the strategies used in order to win. As you can probably guess, the strategies for offense and defense are somewhat different. Playing defense, you must play for the full 40 minutes in order to win while playing offense, you want to finish the game as quickly as possible. If the timer hits ten minutes and offense hasn't broken down the doors to the inner sanctum, it's in trouble.

Just like other Battlegrounds, organization goes a long way. Unlike other Battlegrounds, however, you won't automatically be grouped into a raid, so a lot of the time players will be looking to join a group when the battles start. As long as you know what you're supposed to do, you should be fine, though. The good thing about the zone is that the map will show you where battles are and where vehicle movement is taking place, so even if you're going solo, you'll have an idea of where to head for some action.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): Wintergrasp

The Art of War(craft): Wintergrasp originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Echoes of War hits iTunes - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 12:00:00 EST
Awhile ago, we announced that the Echoes of War music set, the CD set by the Eminence Symphony Orchestra highlighting the music of Blizzard's most popular games, had finally been released for purchase. For those of you that prefer to get your music digitally (what's a CD?), good news! The official World of Warcraft site announced earlier today that you can now purchase Echoes of War on iTunes, either whole hog or individual tracks.

If you're on the fence about picking up this album (or some of its tracks), remember that the Echoes of War site has some sample music that you can check out. Personally? I'm a fan. I adore how Blizzard uses music in their games. Still, there are a few tracks I don't care for since Diablo III will be the first one I'll have ever played (shameful, I know), and I have no emotional attachment or memories tied to those tracks at all. They're pretty music but not something I'd listen to every day. The Starcraft and Warcraft tracks are definitely cool to have, though.

Echoes of War hits iTunes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST


Yes, our weekly podcast is going live again today, and it should be a great show: BRK is returning to us again (though I promise there won't be nearly as much Hunter talk in the show this week), and our own Amanda Dean will join us on the virtual airwaves. We'll be talking about Winter's Veil, how to take down Loken, good deals gone bad, Blizzard's new ads, and everything else that happened in the World of Warcraft this past week.

And as usual we'll be chatting live and answering your emails -- you can send us questions, comments, insights or insanity at theshow@wowinsider.com, and if you send something right now you might even hear it on the show today. It all starts at 3:30pm Eastern over on our Ustream page, or I've embedded the feed right here on this post after the break. And as usual, we'll have a quick aftershow right after we turn off the recording, so if you tune in live, that's about 10% more show to listen to (and that's when we say all the fun stuff).

See you this afternoon, and hope you enjoy the show.

Continue reading WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream

WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: All I want for Christmas is a pile of corpses - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST


This picture, taken in Ironforge by Zenaik of <Alts Anonymous> on Turalyon, shows that the power of the holiday spirit quickly pales next to the prospect of acquiring a Black War Bear. But I suppose that peace on Earth and good will towards men can take another one for the team again this year, hmm?

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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: All I want for Christmas is a pile of corpses originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Casual play - Sat, 20 Dec 2008 08:40:00 EST


I have a confession to make. I don't have as much time to play this game as I'd like. With the Holidays coming around, there's just a lot to be done... last minute shopping for gifts, family dinners, and rushing work all on top of taking care of an increasingly hyperactive thirteen month old toddler. My wife and I find it difficult to raid with our future Horde crying for attention and trying to tug at our set-ups' wires from underneath our tables. With merely a few hours a week to play, I think my wife and I have become something of casual players.

That said, we've gotten our share of playing time and snagged a few epics here and there. I made sure to craft myself a Titansteel Destroyer and a Spiked Titansteel Helm just so I don't have to worry about drops from normal Naxxramas. Not that we do it a lot, anyway. I log in roughly every 2.5 hours to make sure I play some Wintergrasp and do the dailies there. My wife makes sure to do at least her Jewelcrafting daily quest and logs in to Research or Smelt Titansteel. Even casually, though, the game's been pretty good to us. Wrath gives such awesome rewards now that even with little playing time, we slowly get geared up.

What would you say are the best things to do with casual play? I thought it was an appropriate question because a lot of us are going to get some playing time this weekend and with the Holidays coming around. This is usually Robin Torres' domain, and she has excellent suggestions every time (another WoW Casually is coming out today, yay!). What are you casual players doing this weekend? What gives the most bang for the buck? I was planning to do Wintergrasp, but maybe you've got a better suggestion...

Breakfast Topic: Casual play originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 08:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: I loathe/love achievements edition - Fri, 19 Dec 2008 21:00:00 EST


Whether you enjoy achievements or not, Winter's Veil has arrived in the world of Azeroth with a full set of achievements and its own title. (Doesn't everyone want to be a merrymaker?) And just in time for the holidays we're launching WRUP (read as "what are you playing") where the WoW Insider team talks about what they're going to be up to this weekend in-game and we invite you to, as well. But what's this about achievements? I point you to Daniel and Daniel's weekend to-do lists:

Daniel "BigRedKitty" Howell: Cramming guildies through heroics, running 10-man Naxx and Satharian, putting down the tools after getting leatherworking to 450, chugging through Sons of Hodir, and trying to find the one quest I need in Borean Tundra to get that zone done, thus completing the achievement for getting all zone-quest-achievements done. I loathe achievements.
Daniel Whitcomb: Trying to ding 80 on Death Knight and get revered with both Wyrmrest Accord and Argent Crusade while also finishing up my Winter Veil achievements. I love achievements.

I think this is the start of a beautiful argument. For the rest of the team, read on.

Continue reading WRUP: I loathe/love achievements edition

WRUP: I loathe/love achievements edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 19 Dec 2008 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Vile's Uglystick - Fri, 19 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST


I couldn't remember the last time we did a big two-handed mace (or as I like to call them, "facebasher"), so here's something to quest for this weekend, if you're into that sort of thing.

Name: Vile's Uglystick (Wowhead, Thottbot, Magelo)
Type: Uncommon Two-handed Mace
Damage/Speed: 350-525 / 3.30 (132.6 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +53 Strength, +80 Stamina
  • Equip: Increases your parry rating by 53.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Vile's Uglystick

Phat Loot Phriday: Vile's Uglystick originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 19 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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