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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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Blizzard soliciting feedback for pet battle changes - Wed, 22 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

Community Manager Crithto took to the forums, asking for feedback about changes to the mechanical and elemental pet battle families. As of right now, elemental attacks have both an offensive and defensive advantage over mechanical, making it imbalanced compared to the other families. Blizzard proposes to change which families both types of pets have an advantage against:

One set of changes proposes:
  • Critters would replace elementals in taking less damage from mechanical attacks
  • Dragonkin would replace critters in taking less damage from elemental attacks
  • Elementals would replace dragonkin in taking less damage from flying attacks
and the other:
  • Elementals would replace aquatic pets in taking less damage from undead attacks
  • Aquatic pets would replace elementals in taking less damage from mechanical attacks
The second set of suggested changes would require less alteration to the current system and therefore has my vote. Do you have an opinion? If so, take advantage of Blizzard's request for player input and cast your vote in the forums.

The full text of Crithto's post is after the break.

Continue reading Blizzard soliciting feedback for pet battle changes

Blizzard soliciting feedback for pet battle changes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Guards 3 - Wed, 22 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Work Warning: Lots of cursing and vaguely adult themes. A touch on the adult side.

Ian Beckman is a man who delivers. Whether it's a surprising range of comedic voice acting or solid graphics that deliver the funny, his machinima always serves up more than a few laughs. Guards 3 continues to lampoon COPS in this wild World of Warcraft.

I like how the small vignette turns into a larger story, and I'll admit the final bit was my favorite. Whether that's because I harbor my own angst about the king, or just because it was the most straightforward joke, the utter defeat of the villain serves as warning to anyone who gets a name wrong.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: Guards 3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Poll: Are you enjoying patch 5.3? - Wed, 22 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

So now that we've had a bit of time to play with Patch 5.3: Escalation on the live realms, what do you think of it? Worried about how nerfs or changes are affecting your game? Annoyed by bugs that made it live? Love -- or hate -- the new scenarios, battleground, or arena? Still getting used to the PvP changes? Into the story -- or frustrated that the alliance is just coming to the horde's rescue? Let us know how you really feel in the poll and comments.

View Poll

Poll: Are you enjoying patch 5.3? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The best -- or the worst -- of the WoW clones - Wed, 22 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

You've probably heard the term "WoW clone" applied to nearly every MMO out there, because as WoW borrowed ideas from older games like EverQuest, so newer games borrow from WoW. And any game with WoW-like features -- by which we mean nearly any MMO -- might get branded with the label "clone," no matter how good it is. However, some of these myriad WoW clones strike us as particularly... well, let's call it familiar.

Now don't get us wrong -- these aren't bad games, and every game builds on its predecessors in an attempt to make something better. But if you're looking for something that's distinctly different from WoW, none of these are going to fit the bill. However, any of them may be an entertaining change of pace or just an amusing venture into what some of the other MMOs on the market are doing.

Continue reading The best -- or the worst -- of the WoW clones

The best -- or the worst -- of the WoW clones originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Mastering Tricks of the Trade macros - Wed, 22 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Tricks of the Trade is a strange ability for rogues. Why would we sacrifice our own damage (by spending energy) to boost the damage of someone else? Aldriana and Pathal have both spoken out against TotT's misguided benevolence and its boring mechanics. Rather than being a situationally-useful ability that we pull out when the time is right, TotT has become a set-and-forget chore that we just auto-cast on the second-highest DPS in raid.

Lore issues aside, Tricks of the Trade is a pretty good ability. Used properly, it can greatly accelerate the rate that tanks pick up aggro, which makes dungeons and raids just a bit easier. While it's a DPS loss for the rogue casting TotT, it's a net gain for the raid's DPS, and that's a sacrifice that we'll have to make. It's also incredibly potent in PvP; granting an ally a 15% damage boost is a pretty big deal.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Mastering Tricks of the Trade macros

Encrypted Text: Mastering Tricks of the Trade macros originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The top ten most desolate spots in WoW - Wed, 22 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

A little while ago, we did a "Top ten most beautiful spots in WoW" post, and many commenters had an interesting request: a companion post of the ten most desolate places in WoW. We thought it was a great idea, so we're taking the suggestion to heart. This was an interesting topic to think about, because the desolate spots in WoW are the ones I tend to avoid. For the most part, I don't want to spend my fun WoW time in virtual wastelands! Then again, sometimes those deserted, eerie places have a haunting beauty all their own. Check out our list, and tell us your own favorite desolate places in World of Warcraft!

Continue reading The top ten most desolate spots in WoW

The top ten most desolate spots in WoW originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: The Frenzy of Patch 5.3 - Wed, 22 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi has upgraded his gear and is now waiting for the first night of raiding in 5.3 to discover what got broke.

I have this weird thing where, if I see a lot of people doing something (like heroic scenarios or the new Battlefront: Barrens stuff) I tend to say "Eh, I'll wait until the furor has died down a bit" before I take part as well. So yesterday, I did a fun interview, logged on to upgrade all my gear with the 3000 valor I had saved up, then ran Black Temple for a bit before logging off. I don't know if it's simple obstinacy or simply the knowledge that all of this stuff will be here for at least a couple of months and there's no hurry to see it all right now.

Anyway, on to your questions.

Thieren said:
Also, since we're not quoting the Beastie Boys tomorrow's Queue should feature the Sabotage video.

I went with Intergalactic instead.

Continue reading The Queue: The Frenzy of Patch 5.3

The Queue: The Frenzy of Patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3: Known issues - Wed, 22 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

It's often the case that more patches means more problems, and while the majority of Patch 5.3: Escalation is running like clockwork, there are a few hiccups popping up along the way. WoW Insider reported on one late last night: the issues with the Tyrannical Conquest achievement. This achievement, awarded when a player has earned 25,000 conquest points in a season, also allows players to purchase conquest gear for honor. It was being awarded far too early, and allowing players who weren't entitled to do so to buy that Tyrannical gear for honor. A hotfix was swiftly implemented, blocking purchases from the vendor selling Tyrannical gear for honor, and a fix to the achievement is in the works.

The devs are also working hard on a fix that allows players to resurrect inside Lorewalker Cho's Seat of Knowledge room above Mogushan -- this contested territory is the base for the first run of new scenarios, so was seeing heavy traffic from both factions, and is out of reach from the normal resurrection run.

And what's more, Deepwind Gorge, the new battleground in patch 5.3, has been temporarily pulled from the rated battleground rotation, thanks to problems with base captures. Lastly, there are also reported problems with sound-generating addons such as Deadly Boss Mods, but WoW Insider has only been able to replicate this in certain situations. For the rest of the issues, hit the break!

Continue reading Patch 5.3: Known issues

Patch 5.3: Known issues originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hotfix incoming to fix Seat of Knowledge death issues - Wed, 22 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

If you're on a PvP realm, you may have noticed that with the release of Patch 5.3 that things have gotten kind of hectic at the Seat of Knowledge, where Lorewalker Cho hangs out when he's not pushing buttons randomly in MSV. Apparently the guards at the Seat simply cannot cope with the increased volume of Horde/Alliance aggression, and players who die in the fracas are finding out that they can't easily get back to their bodies.

Rygarius, ever the helpful hippogryph, informs us that there's a hotfix on the way to smooth out these issues and allow players to get back to their bodies if they die ignominiously at Cho's feet. Or in the vicinity of his feet. His feet will be close, is what I'm saying. We're told that the hotfix may require a realm restart to take affect, so be on the watch for that.

Hotfix incoming to fix Seat of Knowledge death issues originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Are you experienced? - Wed, 22 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Another entry from the archives of mega-submitter Taedran of Guilty as Charged on Silvermoon (US-A). I'm not entirely sure what has caused the rivers of Uldum to run red with blood, nor why the sky suddenly resembles the favorite poster of college girls everywhere, Van Gogh's The Starry Night. But I'm pretty sure that hallucinogens are somehow involved. Which, unless you are a devotee of certain American Indian religions, is officially Not Cool with the government. Please turn yourself in at the nearest police station.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Are you experienced? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 hotfixes for May 21 - Wed, 22 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Patch 5.3 is officially live on servers -- and of course, with a new patch, we've got a new round of hotfixes. While there are some class tweaks for druids, monks, paladins and shaman, most of the changes involve new content. Or in the case of one change, an adjustment to older content that ought to make pet collectors and Karazhan farmers very happy.
  • In the Chess Event over in Karazhan, the delay between moves for enemy chess pieces has been increased.
  • Out in the Battlefield: Barrens, map markers for caravans that have been destroyed ought to be properly removed from the world map. In addition, overturned caravans should now despawn properly.
  • In scenarios, the issue causing shape-shifted players to not shape-shift back into the correct race has been fixed.
Read on for the full list of hotfixes!

Continue reading Patch 5.3 hotfixes for May 21

Patch 5.3 hotfixes for May 21 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What peripherals do you use to play WoW? - Wed, 22 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

I started a bit of a discussion on Twitter yesterday, rather by accident, by talking about trackpads and their use to steer your character in WoW. I was writing outside, on my laptop, and wanted to log into the game to check something. It took me an age to steer my character over to the flight path in the Shrine, hop on a kite and head over to the PvP vendor to verify what I needed to check, and I momentarily glanced back to my first ever day playing WoW, when I used a trackpad. Man, that was hard. I quickly graduated to a normal mouse, and then onto a Razer Naga, and have never looked back.

As far as keyboards go, I'm still searching for the perfect one. I play on a laptop, and love the shallow travel, small reach and flat keys of my laptop's keyboard. I have a couple of external ones, so that I can play on a larger monitor, but haven't yet found one that replaces the laptop keyboard for sheer comfort and speed. The closest I've got is a Logitech super-flat keyboard. I'd use a Mac keyboard if all the keys weren't in the wrong places.

But how about you? Do you use a trackpad? External mouse? External keyboard? If so, which ones? And are you the mysterious, as yet unseen player who has played WoW on one of those mice that is a little rubber joystick in the center of the keyboard?

Breakfast Topic: What peripherals do you use to play WoW? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 22 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Conquest Vendors temporarily disabled - Tue, 21 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

Blizzard Community Manager Daxxarri has taken to the US and EU forums to explain a temporary issue that has led Blizzard to temporarily disable the Conquest quartermasters for both factions.
Daxxarri
The achievement, Tyrannical Conquest, is only intended to be awarded when players earn 25,000 Conquest Points. Due to an issue that was not detected during the PTR testing process, the achievement could be awarded much earlier than intended. We are currently in the process of working to resolve the issue.

In the meantime, we've applied a hotfix that temporarily prevents players from purchasing gear from Tyrannical PvP item vendors.

This achievement required a hotfix back in patch 5.2, too, as it was incorrectly calculating the points required. It seems that, with patch 5.3, things have gone from bad to worse. The reason this is an issue is that the achievement's completion, at 25,000 conquest, now allows players to purchase conquest gear with honor. Allowing players to purchase that gear with honor at a far lower points earned level than intended was clearly a bit of an issue! Hopefully the developers will be able to implement a fix very soon, so that PvPers can continue to purchase their gear.

Update: Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka tweeted WoW Insider this morning to clarify that the only disabled vendor is the one selling Tyrannical gear for honor. The Tyrannical conquest vendor is, in fact, still available.

Conquest Vendors temporarily disabled originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 PvP changes - Tue, 21 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

From a PvP perspective, patch 5.3 is one of the biggest patches in a really long time. A really, really long time! WoW Insider has been covering the changes from a PvP angle to a pretty reasonable extent, from the first moment the resilience changes were announced, through the new arena and the new battleground, right up to the more recent alterations to tank damage and the like. All our coverage is collected in one easy place, so do check it out if you're searching for more information.

So we've struck upon a few changes already, but let's dig into the patch notes and provide some additional clarity. I've pulled out the PvP-specific items from the patch notes, but if you want to see them in full, that's absolutely fine too.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 PvP changes

Patch 5.3 PvP changes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3: Known issue with pet licenses - Tue, 21 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Community manager Nethaera hit the official forums this afternoon to notify players of a known display issue with pet collections. The notice reads as follows:
Known Pet License Issue
We are currently aware of an issue in which upon logging into the game, it may appear that some pets are missing. A fix has been applied to address this issue, though it may take a few hours before pets appear on the pet list again properly.

In other words, while your pet pane may display that you're missing some pets you've previously acquired, they haven't actually been lost. By the time you read this, the issue may even have been resolved already. In either case, don't panic: your pets will return soon.

Patch 5.3: Known issue with pet licenses originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 Official Patch Notes - Tue, 21 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

Patch 5.3: Escalation is finally upon us! Players in the US and Oceanic regions will already have access to this new patch, while Europe is kept waiting for another night for things to get real between the world of Azeroth and Garrosh Hellscream's cronies.

WoW Insider has been putting out a lot of coverage on all the various aspects of patch 5.3, but we've now got the official patch notes from Blizzard for your perusal. Hit the break for the full notes!

Continue reading Patch 5.3 Official Patch Notes

Patch 5.3 Official Patch Notes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: The Adventures of Tinkerbottom Part 9 - Tue, 21 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

I space out how often I talk about The Adventures of Tinkerbottom because, while it's cool, there are too many videos to keep up here. But the interactive video just reached a major milestone: Tinkerbottom now must suffer a consequence.

If you've not been following along, the premise is fairly simple. The videos focus on Tinkerbottom and the choices he faces. Commenters basically vote or suggest what his action will be. It's like a crowdsourced Which Way book with a video component. All in all, it's a pretty interesting experiment and definitely worth your time to check out.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: The Adventures of Tinkerbottom Part 9 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The top five things you need to know about patch 5.3 - Tue, 21 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

Patch 5.3 has arrived, and there are a truly staggering number of changes to the game, many of them with significant effects to gameplay. You can check out Blizzard's complete patch notes on their blog, but for the sake of brevity, WoW Insider has compiled a list of the top five changes that are most likely to be of the biggest interest to the average player. If you haven't been paying much attention, this is the stuff you probably really want to know!

1. The experience required to go from level 85 to 90 has been reduced by 33%

Mists of Pandaria has been called very alt-unfriendly, and while this particular change won't entirely fix that, it does help. Along with the changes to reputation factions -- the Shado Pan and August Celestials dailies are no longer hidden behind the gate of "Revered" with the Golden Lotus -- this will make it easier to get your army of alts up to speed to hop into max-level content.

Continue reading The top five things you need to know about patch 5.3

The top five things you need to know about patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: Gul'dan, Doomhammer, and the nature of the Horde - Tue, 21 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Garrosh Hellscream is many things. He's brash, headstrong, arrogant, concerned for his people, determined to deliver the whole of Azeroth into their dominion no matter what anyone thinks about it, but one thing is clear. He's not Gul'dan. For all the grief I like to give Horde players (mainly because it's easy to rile Horde players up, I know, I raided as Horde for all of Cataclysm and a good chunk of Mists) It's true that on the surface, the Horde of today has changed greatly from the Horde Gul'dan created.

The Horde as it exists today is the spiritual successor of the Horde that Orgrim Doomhammer created when he seized power. Was Doomhammer a kindly, soft spoken orc who loved kittens and rainbows? No. No he was not. He was an orc who had come to power as the right hand of Blackhand the Destroyer, a hunter and a warrior who had spent his entire life in combat. He was strong, devoted to his people, and absolutely committed to an orc victory no matter the odds. In a way, minus Garrosh's bluster and bravado, the orc he most resembles from the history of the old Horde is Orgrim Doomhammer.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: Gul'dan, Doomhammer, and the nature of the Horde

Know Your Lore: Gul'dan, Doomhammer, and the nature of the Horde originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: Final notes on patch 5.3 and a legendary shortcut - Tue, 21 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

By the time you read this, patch 5.3 should be on live servers. We've already written a couple columns on what patch 5.3 will mean for death knights, but as always, things change on the PTR. With that in mind, this week we'll take a final look at patch 5.3 for death knights and what you can expect and do once the servers are back up (if they aren't already). I also have a couple notes on completing Wrathion's legendary quest line for death knights.

Continue reading Lichborne: Final notes on patch 5.3 and a legendary shortcut

Lichborne: Final notes on patch 5.3 and a legendary shortcut originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Restoration and the Throne of Thunder, Part 4 - Tue, 21 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and content creation at InternetDragons.TV), shows you how

Turtles and Hyrdas have a special place in the sewers of the Isle of Thunder. Their existence does sort of answer the question about what happens when turtles and snakes find their ways into the refuse of an empire full of magic and chemical experimentation. I mean, I know that was a burning question for me before this raid tier started. But now that you've stomped shells and knocked out a few one eyed monsters tentacle things, I'm sure you think you've done it all. Well, there's more to do still.

As you dive deeper into the sewers looking for a way back into the main castle, there is still a great number of horrors that await you. Well, rather, they're waiting for you so that they can try to eat you whole. The good news at least is that they mark the midpoint on the way to the final encounter with the Thunder King himself.

This will not be a comprehensive boss guide, instead this will be a quick run down on things that you, as a resto shaman, should be aware of or tips to help make your healing of the encounter easier.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Restoration and the Throne of Thunder, Part 4

Totem Talk: Restoration and the Throne of Thunder, Part 4 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: No sleep till Orgrimmar - Tue, 21 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is impatiently waiting to upgrade her gear.

Oh hey, hello there patch 5.3. Nice to see you on live servers! I don't know about you guys, but first item on my priority list is upgrading all my gear. Or maybe scenarios. Or maybe just running to the Barrens and smacking things around. So many choices!

Richard_BB1 asked:

Patch 5.3 is tomorrow? I know it was rumoured,. but do we have any proof?

There will be as soon as the servers are online! I promise.

anastrace asked:

Silly question, but do you have to make Lightning Steel Ingots at the forge on the isle of thunder once you learn how to do it? In other words, is it like dark iron bars? Because that would suck.

Continue reading The Queue: No sleep till Orgrimmar

The Queue: No sleep till Orgrimmar originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Close encounters of the blurry kind - Tue, 21 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

"As I was leveling herbalism in Westfall, I noticed something unusual," writes submitter Jkal of Alexstrasza (US-A). "A white, glowing blur would zoom across the landscape about five feet up in the air. I couldn't target it and it was fast. It was like nothing I'd seen before in game. It would always head towards Longshore and disappear. I think I got a picture. But I still don't know what it is. Sure looks like a UFO to me. This one was stationary when I found it. It just slowly blinked out as I stood there watching."

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Close encounters of the blurry kind originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Last Week in WoW: Flying toward patch 5.3 edition - Tue, 21 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Patch 5.3 is here. As you read this, the servers should be down to apply the patch. This means you'll want to use this time get caught up on all the latest patch 5.3 news, which, as always, you can find right here. Start off with our patch 5.3 roundup for an overview of everything. You'll also want to check out our exclusive interview with Lead Systems Designer Greg Ghostcrawler Street. Gamebreaker TV also did an interview with Ghostcrawler and Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka.

You can also check the roundup below for more of this week's WoW news, from patch 5.3 and elsewhere. Realm maintenance begins at 3 a.m. PDT today and is expected to last 8 hours, so you'll have time.

Hot news and features

Continue reading Last Week in WoW: Flying toward patch 5.3 edition

Last Week in WoW: Flying toward patch 5.3 edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Should Blizzard brake base XP while preserving boosts for experienced players? - Tue, 21 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

We recently explored how you felt about alternate characters, whether you believe they should represent true alternatives to your first character or whether they should remain secondary to a more fully developed main. Either way, there's no stuffing rapid leveling back into the bag. WoW's current leveling design pushes players forward relentlessly, whether they're experienced gamers or not. The problem is that today's leveling pace already outstrips zone content, quest lines, gearing -- you name it. Should Blizzard apply the brakes to base XP while still permitting seasoned WoW players to choose to move more rapidly?

Consider this: What if the leveling experience weren't tuned to catapult players so quickly through and past leveling zones and dungeons? What if the pace were a little looser, giving new players more time to soak up the leveling game itself -- and then at the same time, the current XP boosts were spread across tools designed for experienced players who choose to hop, skip, and jump their way to 90?

The precedents are there -- just look at the heirloom armor system. Today, you can buy Grand Commendations to boost various reputations for your characters once you've played through them once. And remember when everyone was buying the Tome of Cold Weather Flight for their alts? The tools are already in place. From leveling XP to reputation gains to player convenience, the helping hand of a level-capped main character is key.

Do you think WoW's leveling experience should remain something to be played through quickly and efficiently, even for brand new players, or do you think there's merit to allowing that part of the game to move at a more deliberate pace? Would you support more mechanics that give experienced players a way to speed up leveling for their alts, preserving a slower pace for new players and players who enjoy slower leveling? If you like a strong emphasis on mechanics like heirlooms and commendations, should those tools be simple, affordable purchases for any level 90 player, or should they take some time, effort, or money to earn?

Breakfast Topic: Should Blizzard brake base XP while preserving boosts for experienced players? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 21 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider's patch 5.3 news roundup - Mon, 20 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

You've heard that patch 5.3 is arriving this week, but do you know just what is in store? There's been a lot of news, but we'll point you towards the highlights so you can get up to speed and into patch 5.3's new content immediately.

From Blizzard
Interviews

Continue reading WoW Insider's patch 5.3 news roundup

WoW Insider's patch 5.3 news roundup originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3's pet battle changes - Mon, 20 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

If you haven't caught the pet battle fever yet, now's a great time to start. New rewards make pet battles a great way to help earn some of your raiding currency, such as Valor Points or Lesser Charms, and mechanics changes make the whole system more transparent and less frustrating.

New rewards

Tired of killing daily quest mobs for VP? Why not pet battle for it? All of the master tamers in Pandaria, as well as the Spirits and Beasts of Fable, now offer daily quests for their defeat that offer the standard XP, 5 VP and 2 Lesser Charms per turn-in. The Beasts of Fable quest has been split into three parts, giving you a total of 14 pet battles you can do daily for VP, charms, and a chance at a battle-stone.

Those battle-stones should be more common as well, with "bad luck protection" added to the game. Every bag without a battle-stone increases the chances of the next bag containing one. If you're using pet battles to level alts, all the pet battle daily quests now award XP as well. All of these quests now show up on the map, so you can find them easily.

Continue reading Patch 5.3's pet battle changes

Patch 5.3's pet battle changes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How long are you willing to wait for a group to form? - Mon, 20 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

In the leveling homestretch, I tend to follow a pattern. My main goal is to boost my ilevel as soon as I hit 90 to get in on Raid Finder. Although, once I get there, I end up feeling bitter because waiting in a Raid Finder queue isn't fun. Even if you're not into Raid Finder, WoW presents players with plenty of opportunity to wait around at some point -- battleground and dungeon queues, or even sticking around for a PUG to come together.

As a tank on my main, I groan when thinking of entering Raid Finder, mainly because of the wait. There are only two tank roles, after all. With the new loot specialization coming to 5.3, players looking to win tank gear have hope of a less painful wait in a DPS role, at least. Even if you're used to the long wait, everyone has a limit. I remember waiting as a tank in a Raid Finder queue for an hour and forty minutes. I'm not usually willing to wait that long. I'm relatively comfortable with waiting about thirty to forty minutes before moving on.

When it comes to PUGs, I'm quite patient, usually waiting longer than I probably should. In a PUG, I tend to have a personal connection to at least one of the other players in the group, so I'm not quick to leave.

How long are you willing to wait, whether it be for a dungeon, Raid Finder, battleground, or a PUG? While in queue, how do you pass the time? I usually find myself completing dailies or battling pets. But at what point do you throw up your hands and leave?

How long are you willing to wait for a group to form? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What new players need to know about WoW patches - Mon, 20 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

If World of Warcraft had but one holiday, it would be Patch Day: the glorious Tuesday (or Wednesday) in which the WoW servers go down for maintenance but come back online brimming with new, unexplored content. If you're new to World of Warcraft, or MMOs in general, you may not entirely understand all the fuss the community makes over patches. So just what is a patch? Why are they so important? And how can you get your hands on one? We'll do our best to explain.

What is a WoW patch?
Did you know we're playing version 5 of World of Warcraft right now? It's true: Version 1.1 was World of Warcraft's launch client and every expansion since has bumped the version number up a full number, while each patch release is a decimal place. The original game went up to patch 1.12 (the 1.1 launch client and 11 patches after), Burning Crusade (2.0) had a scant 4 patches, Wrath of the Lich King (3.0) had 3, Cataclysm (4.0) had 3, and Mists of Pandaria (5.0) is about to see the release of its 3rd patch, patch 5.3. These days, patches are coming more quickly than ever and we have no idea how many patches to expect before the next expansion arrives.

Continue reading What new players need to know about WoW patches

What new players need to know about WoW patches originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Not All Roleplay is Serious - Episode 7: NOOB - Mon, 20 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Work Warning: Minutely blue humor found herein.

It's been a while since we've seen a new video from Nixxiom (also known as SilverlinedPro). That makes this delicious bit of machinima even more tasty. With a somewhat painful look on those first seconds of a Tauren roleplayer's life, Not All Roleplay is Serious - Episode 7: NOOB demonstrates only the finest irony of a beginning roleplayer. Watch your flags!
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: Not All Roleplay is Serious - Episode 7: NOOB originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Live video interview with Ghostcrawler and Brian Holinka - Mon, 20 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

Today starting at 3pm Eastern time, Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, and Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka will be interviewed live on video over at Gamebreaker.tv. You can watch the stream above, where they will discuss upcoming PvP and PvE changes in patch 5.3, with Gamebreaker's Gary Gannon, and WoW Insider's Olivia Grace.

If you miss the live interview above, it will be replaced by the stream recording once it is uploaded, and you can also watch it on Gamebreaker's site. WoW Insider's Anne Stickney also interviewed Ghostcrawler, talking about patch 5.3, from a more PvE-focused angle.

And If that isn't enough patch 5.3 information you can check out all WoW insider's patch 5.3 coverage, as well as our write-up of Convert To Raid's earlier interview with Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas. The fansite interviews are coming in thick and fast, with patch 5.3 launching tomorrow in the US and Wednesday in the EU.

Live video interview with Ghostcrawler and Brian Holinka originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Catching up on Patch 5.3 - Mon, 20 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill is free to pet battle all day, e'ry day.

I tried to gauge when Patch 5.3 would hit so that I'd end the series on World of Logs just in time, but unfortunately I overestimated and the new patch has cut me off. With my original plan of posts, I'd be a week short, but now...uhhhh it might be a halftime break.

In case you've missed the World of Logs posts so far, here's a recap:
  • A brief overview of ranking and the combo of how to tell what warlock or pet you would or should be looking at,
  • Looking closer at some of the graphs on World of Logs, and
  • How to use the buffs and debuffs graph to gauge proper cooldown or proc usage, as well as a basic understanding of what stats (for trinket procs) do for each spec.
I intend to explore some warlock-specific examples using the expression editor to dive deep into the combat log, but I'm not sure I can fit it all into one post. I'll finish the series off with a deeper look at the damage done tables and how the spells spread for each spec in general raid encounter styles.

But this week? This week is a little shorter and lighter while we go over what Patch 5.3 means for warlocks.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Catching up on Patch 5.3

Blood Pact: Catching up on Patch 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drama Mamas: Conflicting personalities - Mon, 20 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

This week we have two letter writers having personality conflict problems with fellow guildies.
Hello Drama Mamas,

Long time reader, first time writer. I'll keep this as short and sweet as I can. My problem arises from two things 1. a misunderstanding between two guildmates and 2,) limited activity.

A guild mate and I, in an out of game chatroom, have had some misunderstandings. While I attempt to not bring said things up in game, believing that OoGD (Out of Game Drama) remains OoGD, I am worried that this person should we have to work together, or talk to one another would shun me and be very nasty to me. A point I brought up to one of the Officers and explained that I wasn't sure if I was good a fit in the guild do to the "limited activity." The Officer told the GM, and that was when that whole mess got started. He put most, if not all, of the blame on me even though I had screen shots to prove otherwise. I have tried to smooth things over, even apologizing, and tried to explain to the GM what was going on-with the screenshots-only to be rebuked and told off, presumably (though I don't know for certain as they are good friends) with the other person also told off.

Continue reading Drama Mamas: Conflicting personalities

Drama Mamas: Conflicting personalities originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: 9 new guild activities in Mists - Mon, 20 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Mists of Pandaria has given us some fantastic raiding experiences -- it's easy to forget just how many activities this expansion currently offers. Much of this new content is either group-oriented or can become group-oriented if you want to make it so. With Mists' third content patch set to go live tomorrow, now is a great time to look at some of the many guild activities that are possible in this expansion. Here are nine ideas that go beyond raiding.

1. Earn your Stormbreaker titles.

Some of the achievements for this meta can only be accomplished solo, but many of them are much easier with some help -- and some all but require it. The summoned elites for It Was Worth Every Ritual Stone, for example, mostly require a group to take down. Some classes can't solo Tak'u with all of his powers active if they can't dispel his robust HoT for Our Powers Combined.

Ready for RAAAAIIIIDDD?!?ing is rough to solo. It can be accomplished most easily right after a server reset, but with a raid group you skip that hassle. Every roach squished counts for everyone in the raid.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: 9 new guild activities in Mists

Officers' Quarters: 9 new guild activities in Mists originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Patch 5.3 comes - Mon, 20 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

It's Monday. I'm tired. Let's do this.

Nocjin asked:

Are there any icons you've spent years not knowing what they actually are? It took me about 4 to realise that the cleave icon was not a parrot, and that there's a hand in the holy fire icon.

Continue reading The Queue: Patch 5.3 comes

The Queue: Patch 5.3 comes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: I hate your stupid face - Mon, 20 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Everyone might be focused on unseating Garrosh Hellscream right now, but there are still a few Alliance folks who aren't too happy with Varian Wrynn. But they can't exactly start a revolution, not with the Horde threatening and all those damned Stormwind guards hanging around. So what are they to do? Why, slap a humiliating mask on the king! Ha ha! Look at that big orange frown! Sure, you'll be dragged to the dungeons and executed the next day, but it's totally worth it. (Thanks to Dukii for the screenshot!)

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: I hate your stupid face originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3 and more with Ghostcrawler - Mon, 20 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

In case you hadn't heard the news, patch 5.3 is set to hit live servers tomorrow. While 5.3 doesn't include a new raid, there are a host of different new activities, including four new scenarios, heroic scenarios, a ton of pet battle changes, and of course the advancement of Mists of Pandaria's storyline as the heat ramps up between Alliance, Horde, and an outlier faction of Horde rebels. It's back to the Barrens again -- and this time, Crossroads isn't the area of contention.

But on top of all of the new content comes a ton of different class and content changes as well. We sat down to chat with Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street about patch 5.3's changes, as well as some upcoming changes for patch 5.4, response to subscription losses, Vengeance changes, that big unannounced feature we've all been dying to hear more about, and much more.

Continue reading Patch 5.3 and more with Ghostcrawler

Patch 5.3 and more with Ghostcrawler originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Should alts remain secondary to a more developed main? - Mon, 20 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Ready to move all those alts through Mists of Pandaria? The XP reduction for levels 85 to 90 in patch 5.3 isn't something I'm particularly excited about. Leveling goes more than quickly enough for my taste. It's the part of the game I'm enjoying most these days, so why would I want less of it?

At its most basic, pushing players through the levels is a matter of character focus. In Mists of Pandaria, WoW turned away from spreading its affections amongst the so-called stable of alts in favor of encouraging a single main character. That's a compelling approach for players like me who enjoy running down the side streets and back alleyways of gameplay in search of every last way to improve a character. Players who leveled up during Blizzard's later era of streamlined leveling, however, are used to cutting a direct line to the finish with an expectation that they'll be able to maintain multiple characters all the way through the endgame.

What do you think about swinging the focus back to a single main character? Do you think bringing alts up to the same level of development as a main character should be easy, making them true alternatives to your primary character? Or should alts remain easy to level but harder to fully round out at 90?

Breakfast Topic: Should alts remain secondary to a more developed main? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 20 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Celestials, Ancients and Aspects - Sun, 19 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Last week, we took a tinfoil-hat look at the Curse of Flesh and why, exactly, that strange curse came to be. We also took a look at theories behind why the Titans didn't simply wipe the Old Gods out of existence -- and in what order Azeroth's creation took place. If you haven't read last week's offering, I'd suggest doing so now, because the theories I'm going to present today tie into that material. While the Old Gods have been pointed out time and again as being on Azeroth since the dawn of time, there are other creatures with just as lengthy a history.

The Ancients are, as their name suggests, ancient -- and the Celestials of Pandaria seem to be just as ancient and wise. These creatures are all there to supposedly help the mortals of Azeroth and protect the world from harm. In the War of the Ancients, many of these odd demigods helped the kaldorei fight off the Burning Legion, and with a great deal of success. In Pandaria, the Celestials have their own curious methods of helping out the world -- after all, it was the Jade Serpent who told Emperor Shaohao of the sha, albeit indirectly.

So who are the Celestials? Who are the Ancients? And how do they tie into that weird mystery that is Azeroth?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Continue reading Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Celestials, Ancients and Aspects

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Celestials, Ancients and Aspects originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 19 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Moves - Sun, 19 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

It's not the Dance Studio but Moves by Oveoflod serves up the kinds of dance we've always wanted to see. When you start the video, make sure you give it a few second to get into the groove. This absolutely fantastic dance video serves up the rhythm, rattle, and ... well, just watch it. Moves will be the Dance Studio of your imagination.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: Moves originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 19 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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