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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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Lord Ahune strategy and walkthrough - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 18:30:00 EST


The Lord Ahune encounter is very easily one of the most enjoyable 5-man encounters we've seen in a very long time. The Burning Crusade added some elements we had never seen in the pre-expansion days, and I feel that this boss takes it much further than that.

Ahune is found within the Slave Pens, and while he's fairly close to the beginning of the instance, you'll need to do a little bit of clearing before you fight him. Since Slave Pens is one of the easier dungeons in The Burning Crusade (both Normal and Heroic versions), you shouldn't have much trouble with this step. Once you've reached the area where you summon Lord Ahune (and you will know when you get there), buff up, drink up, and make sure your party is ready. While not the most difficult encounter in the world, this alternating two phase boss fight can drag on a really long time if you're not ready.

Continue reading Lord Ahune strategy and walkthrough

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Does Blizzard need to put out more content faster? - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 17:30:00 EST

It seems a complaint I've heard a lot about Blizzard lately is that 2 years between expansions is just far too long. We'll languish too much without new content, and people will leave for Age of Conan and Warhammer Online and other games, they say.

Myself, I think the length between expansions is acceptable, provided that Blizzard is working on improving and adding new content. To some extent, they are doing this. 2.4 was a tour de force that granted us a whole new area to grind and quest in, and if Blizzard can be out patches like 2.4 on a regular basis, I can forgive them for a few delays in the expansions.

That said, I do feel like they could stand to pick up the pace.

Continue reading Does Blizzard need to put out more content faster?

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Midsummer quest guides updated - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 15:35:00 EST

Some of our quest guides have been updated since yesterday with a few bits of missing information. It should be a little more friendly to players completely new to the holiday, as well as those that have only played one of the two factions. Not only are there more details throughout, but the zones are listed beside the cities in our Desecrate the Flames list, which was one of our most requested additions to our guide.

Hopefully our guides are helping you all in your Midsummer questing. Make sure you keep an eye on WoW Insider as well, because later today we have a Lord Ahune walkthrough coming your way!

The Midsummer Fire Festival is upon us! Check out WoW Insider's complete quest guide to collect those Burning Blossoms. Also, don't forget to eyeball our screenshot gallery of Midsummer events and a break down of Lord Ahune's loot table.

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All the World's a Stage: How to roleplay your way to level 70 - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 13:01:00 EST
When you decide to roleplay, a whole new world of imagination opens up to you -- soon you realize that all the World of Warcraft is a stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players.

A friend of mine recently complained that lately leveling has been extremely tedious. Even with characters he might feel excited about at first, he eventually gets bored after just a few quests. We talked about this for a little while, and he brought up the fact that if he was going to play WoW by himself he might as well play a single-player game instead.

It got me thinking that, in spite of all the demand people have for more solo and casual content, this is significantly better when we play it together. Even when I play by myself, my eye is always on my friends list to see if someone I know is going to show up and chat with me. Thinking about my friend's problem, I thought maybe it would really help if he and I were to go questing together -- so we found the two characters we had with the smallest level gap between them and we decided to go at it. Rather than just just going through the motions of killing the various enemies listed on our little quest sheets as if we were buying groceries or something, we made it into a neat little roleplay experience.

In fact, there are lots of quests in the game that are very appropriate for roleplaying. When you get together with your friends to level up and quest together, you can focus on the quest that has the deepest possible connection to your own character, or the one with the most intrinsic storyline. Of course there are many other throwaway quests you can do along the way, like "kill 10 Generic Humanoids" or whatever, but it works best to pick one that seems to have some meaning to you or your character and start there.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: How to roleplay your way to level 70

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WoW Moviewatch: Animal I have become - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 12:00:00 EST

In our daily quest for acceptable machinima to feature on WoW Moviewatch, it's very rare that we ever come across someone that we feel could end up as epic as Baron Soosdon, otherwise known as Rick Astley, Jr. Apein managed to start his path to greatness from his very first (and only!) video, Animal I Have Become. We haven't been this impressed with an up-and-comer since Lagspikefilm and Gnomechewer!

Apein has some big shoes to fill, but he already has a blog, where he posts teaser shots of his work in progress, and knows to upload to Vimeo. We were also impressed that he was able to keep the aspect ratio intact throughout, not get excessive with Model Viewer, blend platforms, and not go super crazy with the effects. However, we do object to the heavy blurring and the random zooms in and out. That wasn't enough to distract us from the beauty of this music video, though.

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

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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Lord Ahune's loot table - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 11:00:00 EST
Like Halloween's Headless Horseman, the Midsummer Fire Festival's summonable boss Lord Ahune offers a nice selection of epic loot, as well as some really fun vanity/joke loot to keep the mood light. Most of the epic drops from the Frost Lord are duplicates of old Badge of Justice loot to help save you a fair amount of badges, but there are also a few new, completely unique drops.

From completely awesome scythes to the Frost Lord's personal booze, we have a full listing of Lord Ahune's known drops. Even if you're geared to the teeth from Sunwell Plateau, Ahune has something for you, though it might come in a form a little sillier than traditional equipment. Take a look behind the cut below to see it all!

Continue reading Lord Ahune's loot table

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Around Azeroth: Summerfest, and the living is easy - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 10:00:00 EST


Well, except for those torch quests, which seem to be tripping a lot of people up. Like any good summertime tourist, Stryper of <Destruction> on Moonrunner always brings his camera with him. This time, he's caught a Festival Scorchling outside of Booty Bay as he begins to change form into Ragnaros. Unfortunately, in the rigidly class-based society of WoW villains, the Scorchling has no hope of advancing his station in life. And Ragnaros has got to be super-powerful by now -- after all, how long has it been since any adventurers have killed him?

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 or terrible-looking Mike Myers movies. What is this, 1997?

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Sunday Morning Funnies: A random intermission - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 09:00:00 EST
This week, Sunday Morning Funnies includes ranting, crying, joking, and even some crazy old guys trying to fight each other.

  1. Prepothteruth from Dark Legacy Comics talks about predictability and improbability that can creep into plots.
  2. Extra Life speaks out against level 30 mounts, crying, I earned that thing!
  3. Shakes and Fidget meet The Guardian. You even get a joke, an intermission, and some explanations (sort of).
  4. You may have noticed that we've been talking about the Spore Creature Creator lately. While it isn't Warcraft-related in itself, many people have been using it to create sporelings similar to WoW characters! We even have a gallery. So, to celebrate, and pique your curiosity, I am including GU Comics' The Spore Creature Editor.
  5. LFG's Richard is starting to go a little bit bonkers. No no, more than before. In fact, he even fancies that he has a destiny.
  6. NoObz has a lovely father and son moment.
  7. Ding!'s Kissybear is taking a walk on the Alliance side of things.
  8. Teh Gladiators come upon an old, old arena match.
  9. On The Adventures of Disgraph T. Dwarf, Shari begins ranting about the rampant use of the word "gay" by certain types of players.
Are you ready to cast your vote?

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: A random intermission

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Breakfast Topic: The Midsummer Fire Festival so far - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 08:00:00 EST

So by now, hopefully a lot of you have had time to check out some of the new stuff that's shown up at the Midsummer Fire Festival this year. With the help of our walkthroughs, it's a piece of cake to get right into the thick of things.

My impressions so far have been pretty favorable. I very much enjoyed being a crab (and asking everybody for "maybe little pinch"), and while it took me a while to master Torch Catching (It became easier once I turned spell effects up to high so I could see the shadow of the torch on the ground), I've gotten pretty good at that already. If there's one thing I'd complain about a little, it's probably the fact everything seems a bit expensive. With 3 level 70s and a couple level 60+ types who might like Braziers, Robes, and Sandals, it'll be a bit of a pain to get all the stuff for them, and it should take quite a few hours to desecrate or honor enough fires for all that. Still, at least you get good gold for all that desecrating, so it's not a complete waste.

How's your experience been so far? Is Torch Catching a challenge? Are you a thief yet? What about Lord Ahune, have you seen him fall yet? Share your experiences in the comments.

Keep watching WoW Insider while you're at it. We're hard at work writing more guides that will tell you everything you need to know about Lord Ahune and the rest of the Midsummer Fire Festival, and they should appear on the site today and tomorrow.

The Midsummer Fire Festival is upon us! Check out WoW Insider's complete quest guide to collect those Burning Blossoms. Also, don't forget to eyeball our screenshot gallery of Midsummer events and a break down of Lord Ahune's loot table.


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Rolling restarts at 5am PDT today - Sun, 22 Jun 2008 06:45:00 EST
Just a heads up to all our American night owls and Oceanic players: There will be rolling restarts for all Realms starting at 5am PDT, about an hour and fifteen minutes from now. Each realm will be down for about 15 minutes, and the entire process will take about an hour.

It's likely that this downtime is for working out a few kinks with the Midsummer Fire Festival. Kisirani confirmed earlier that there is a problem with the Striking Back quest for those under level 65, so it's likely that these rolling restarts will institute the hotfix to that problem. In addition, there's been some rumors that Lord Ahune's Normal and Heroic loot tables are not properly separated, so it's possible that this will fix those issues as well.

Speaking of Ahune, be sure to keep your eyes glued to WoW Insider today. We're writing a complete loot guide and a strategy walkthrough for the new holiday boss as well speak. You can also check out the Midsummer quest walkthroughs we already have set up -- they're perfect reading material for the downtime. Happy reading, and we'll see you on the other side of the restarts.

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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!

The Midsummer Fire Festival is upon us! Check out WoW Insider's complete quest guide to collect those Burning Blossoms. Also, don't forget to eyeball our screenshot gallery of Midsummer events and a break down of Lord Ahune's loot table.

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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.

  • Where to begin - Just starting your Midsummer adventures? Find out where the quests are to be found!
  • 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.
The Midsummer Fire Festival is upon us! Check out WoW Insider's complete quest guide to collect those Burning Blossoms. Also, don't forget to eyeball our screenshot gallery of Midsummer events and a break down of Lord Ahune's loot table.

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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.

The Midsummer Fire Festival is upon us! Check out WoW Insider's complete quest guide to collect those Burning Blossoms. Also, don't forget to eyeball our screenshot gallery of Midsummer events and a break down of Lord Ahune's loot table.


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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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