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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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Blood Pact: How to be evil, Warlock edition - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 19:00:00 EST

Between Arenas, V'Ming spends his time as a lock laughing ominously in AV, tanking Olm with his own minions and pondering troll fashion from Zul'Aman. He's recently started to plumb the depths of SSC with his 0/21/40 build and bragging about 8k shadow bolts.

Sneaky, backstabbing rogues and warlocks seem to fit naturally into the evil mold - with the latter summoning demons from hell and all. Unlike rogues, who seem more like common thugs and hired hands, warlocks are more akin in flavor to evil masterminds, orchestrating doom behind the scenes and manipulating their minions to get the dirty job done. Incidentally, it was a warlock who got us into this Horde-Alliance mess.

Like Elizabeth, who wrote the rogues' version of "How to be evil", I'm not a mean, vicious or even evil person. In fact, if you met me in a dark alley, you'd probably invite me home to meet mom. So how do good people like you and me play this deliciously evil class to its full creative potential?

Continue reading Blood Pact: How to be evil, Warlock edition

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World of WarCrafts: Elixir of Greater Intellect punch - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 18:00:00 EST
Every Wednesday World of WarCrafts features a recipe or craft that teaches you how to make own real life version of in-game recipes and items.

Weather or not you play a toon that uses Mana or has a use for Intellect you need to stay well hydrated to play WoW to the very best of your ability. Now, I know that the last time I wrote about a beverage 99% of your comments were about how I needed to add something, shall we say, stronger to give it more kick.

Once again I am not adding that stronger element but I have a good reason. If you are giving yourself an intellect buff don't you think it should clear your mind not make it more.... well, drunk? Now that I have given my recipe such a glowing introduction, I present you with Elixir of Greater Intellect Punch.

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: Elixir of Greater Intellect punch

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Are you an addon addict? - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 17:00:00 EST
We've covered alt-aholics, recipe completists and non-combat pet collectors, but Phaelia of the Resto4Life Druid blog has a different kind of addiction: addons. Using WoWAce Updater she was forced to realize that excluding the ones that come with the game, she has a grand total of 115 addons installed. That's a lot of bells and whistles.

She has taken it upon herself to cut down her addon list to what is really necessary. After all, load in and zoning times are important, too. After deleting some that were rendered obsolete by recent patches, some that weren't that great after all and some she couldn't remember what they even did, she got down to 79. Yikes.

I recently got a new rig so I have very few addons going right now. But I do have to clean out my Interface folder on my old rig which I still play on. One addon for sure I couldn't live without though is Outfitter which automatically switch gear sets between Druid forms.

Does your addon folder need spring cleaning? What addons can you simply not live without? Are you an addon addict or an addon newbie?

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The Light and How to Swing It: Levels 21-40 - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 16:00:00 EST


Over here at The Light and How to Swing It, we've gotten behind on our class guide. If you missed the first installment and have just rolled a Paladin, check out Elizabeth's guide on levels 1-20. As Elizabeth said in her article, until you hit 40 or so, Retribution is probably the best talent tree for solo leveling unless you're doing a lot of instances where you are healing or tanking. Even so, Prot and Holy specs get far more effective at 40, so my advice is also to stay Ret until then, as it really will speed things up.

Be prepared -- going from 20 to 40 will take you a lot longer than going from 1-20. If you're on a PvP server you'll have to level in a contested area (this means you are automatically flagged for PvP), and that means you are likely to be ganked by opposing players who will often be a much higher level than you. If you're on a PvE server there is no threat of ganking unless you flag for PvP or wander into an area held by the opposing faction, but the difficulty level also ramps up here as well. Mobs have more health and do more damage, and you will probably find quests are harder to complete. Generally, you won't need to group up for quests (your bubble and your ability to heal yourself is invaluable), but in many zones it's not a bad idea. Since Blizzard increased the amount of experience gained from quests in this level range, it may be advantageous to group up and finish a quest quickly, rather than do it solo.

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: Levels 21-40

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WoW China Distributor CFO Resigns - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 15:00:00 EST


According to Worlds In Motion, the CFO of The9, distributor of World of Warcraft in China, has recently announced her resignation in order to pursue other interests. Hannah Lee, The9 vice president and CFO, has worked with The9 for over four years and will be stepping down at the end of February. The resignation comes at a curious time as the Shanghai-based company outperformed expectations in the last quarter of 2007. The announcement dealt a crit to the company's shares, which subsequently fell over 8.75% on the Nasdaq.

The9 is China's biggest online gaming operator -- naturally with the license for WoW -- and also develops as well as distributes games in the region. Among its licenses are familiar titles such as Guild Wars and Hellgate: London, as well as titles more popular in Asia such as the control-three-characters-at-once Granado Espada, Ragnarok Online 2, and others. The company's CEO had this to say, "Hannah has been with us since before The9 went public in 2004. Over the years, she has played a vital role in transforming our company into a highly regarded US- listed public company with substantially improved financial reporting and internal control systems. We want to thank Hannah for her many contributions to The9 and wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

The company has announced a search for a replacement and expect to make an appoinment before the end of February. Let's hope that The9 stays in good shape despite the departure of the key person responsible for crunching their numbers! Otherwise, we might no longer see silly news stations using maps of the Arathi Highlands!

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Size does matter - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 14:30:00 EST

One of the first rules of WoW I learned was Big = Bad News, and the Sons of Arugal beat this lesson into my head until it stuck. Initially I thought that the size of a mob would be a great tool in figuring out what I shouldn't be fighting. I mean, if they're bigger than other stuff, how could I miss them?

So you're out in Eastern Plaguelands, merily working on your 1078th Plague Bat so Tirion can get his jollies by standing next to a hero, and suddenly your screen fills with light tan wings. You try to run, but it's too late. It's not like you can see where you're going anyways, with giant Chiroptera butt in your face. You've just been Dustwing'd.

And once you hit Outlands, it seems like there's a giant baddy around every corner. Fel Reavers roam, looking for... spare parts? Lost love? I don't know, but it was pretty obvious that I should stay away when all I could see were his hubcaps. I also give wide berth to rare striders (ok, all striders because I can't tell the difference) in Zangermarsh, dragons in about 100 different zones, and anything that looks even mildly "elitish" in stature.

It's not just the bad guys that are getting in on the sizing action, either. Those enough with the good fortune of travelling to Mount Hyjal get to see the new and improved Jaina and Thrall. I can't tell you how many jokes exploded in Vent when we first saw them. Yep, that's me next to Jaina in the picture at the top. And no, I didn't have Noggenfogger on. She's really that huge now.

So who's your favorite giant mob? Do you still suffer from weekly "ZOMG NOOO..." nightmares from EPL like me?

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Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn: The chase - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 13:00:00 EST


You know, you don't normally see Naga this close up, and generally that's a good thing. Unfortunately for Kat, they spotted her after she shouted her warning and now want to get up close and personal. She's stuck on top of a very tall tower, so her options are limited, and she knows exactly what will happen to her if she's caught.

Does she get away? You'll have to read this week's page to find out. Click the image above to read today's page, or the gallery below to start from the beginning.

Bonus: I've released a wallpaper based on the cover of the first volume. You can find it here at 1600x1050 or here at 1920x1200. Enjoy!

Gallery: Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn

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WoW Moviewatch: The Captured Exarch - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 12:00:00 EST

I'm a firm believer that artists need encouragement, or they won't know what they did right or wrong. They won't be able to improve their work and, with nothing but silence or discouragement, they might not make another video. It would be hard to find production-quality WoW machinimas with storylines, or special effects, every day of the year. Those are just the special gems.

With that said, Geis Archrion, creator of The Captured Exarch, works on improving his craft with each video. The machinima focuses on the suicide of a man, who leaves behind a mysterious note. Athanatoi, a scouting mercenary guild, must decipher it in order to figure out the next target of The Essence.

There's plenty of action, and just enough of a cliffhanger to make me want to see what he does with his next video. While the camera work is shaky and the voice acting is rough, it's not that bad.

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch...

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Patch 2.3.3 glitches - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 10:00:00 EST

With the advent of Patch 2.3.3 yesterday, there have been reports of unusual behavior. A few people in my guild say that while the load times might be shorter, when they do log in, everyone is naked. I DC'd twice last night standing in Shatt (which never happens), and the World Server took a dirt nap for a bit. Sadly for one rogue I know, the WS went down exactly as she was swapping gear for a BG, effectively destroying her Belt of One-Hundred Deaths. GM ticket? She has it!

Over on WoW Ladies, a few players have reported that after downloading the patch yesterday afternoon, they couldn't play WoW at all. Either they couldn't connect or would get fatal errors. After contacting Blizz customer service, they were instructed to reinstall the entire game. Since then a hotfix has been issued that seems to have corrected the problem.

Did you experience any patch bugs or has it been smooth sailing?

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Around Azeroth: Splash! - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 10:00:00 EST


Reader Michael sends in this shot taken in the lush landscape of Feralas. And though you may be inclined tot take this for just another waterfall, Michael points out an interesting detail: the water splashes off the rocks as it falls. Is this a recent addition, or just something we've never bothered to pay attention to before? Either way, lovely! (Also available in wallpaper size.)

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

Gallery: Around Azeroth

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Breakfast Topic: The bandages - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 08:05:00 EST
This morning, while catching up on my weblog reading, I came across a post written by Kestrel pointing out that many players still have not trained first aid, and are not carrying, or using, bandages.

Although this shouldn't have struck me as surprising, it did make me pause. Didn't everyone get the memo that post-expansion, bandages are integral? Hasn't everyone been bullied into training it? Are there really still players running around wiping more often simply because they won't carry a stack of bandages?

Evidently. If you need convincing information as to why you should be carrying this item, posts like Kestrel's will walk you through some of the situations in which not doing so can be disastrous.

As a last note on behalf of all hunters; please heal your pet in groups. Better yet, get a macro.

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Guildwatch: Unannounced visitors? Preparations must be made... - Wed, 23 Jan 2008 01:18:00 EST


Let's face it-- anybody can down Attumen. A Karazhan PUG can drop Attumen in their sleep. But Moroes is the first real boss of Karazhan. If you can get him down, you're ready to roll all the way up to Curator. Finishing that undead steward off for the first time just feels so good.

News of Moroes downings and more in this week's GW, which starts right after the jump. Send us you drama, downed, and recruiting tips, as always, at wowguildwatch@gmail.com. Click the link below to read on!

Continue reading Guildwatch: Unannounced visitors? Preparations must be made...

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Gold farmers try to take their game onto guild web sites - Tue, 22 Jan 2008 18:00:00 EST
Last week I wrote about my harrowing experience of finding a gold farmer in one of my instant messaging windows. Apparently somebody "in one of those countries" (I'm slapped on the wrist every time I single-out China) must have swallowed a creativity pill. Just when I thought there was nothing new on the horizon, Aleeyah from Livejournal posted an article -- complete with screenshot -- of an odd in-game e-mail that was received from someone we can fairly safely assume is in the professional gold farming business.

The written English in the in-game message is nearly bad enough to send one of my editors into a seizure. It's almost bad enough you can't understand it at all. The bare essentials that I can (barely) glean from the message is that the farmers are now offering gold to guilds in exchange for advertising.

Why would they do this? As I said in my last article on this subject, I think they're losing on the home front. I think their current marketing techniques are not bringing the level of revenue that they want. I think more and more people are discovering just how easy it is to right-click a spammer when they're checking their mail, silence the spam, and have the feel-good feeling of knowing they've done something right for their community. I know I do it all the time. I won't go as far as to call Blizzard's anti-spam tactics a flourishing success, but as the old saying goes "If you can't beat 'em, wear 'em down," and I think that's exactly what is starting to happen.

So if real-money transactions are frowned upon by Blizzard and prosecuted by Blizzard, why wouldn't they just try and move their advertising medium to neutral ground? Sure, there are lots of guilds that will have nothing to do with selling their corporate souls to the devil in this manner. You can rest assured however that there are also lots that would jump at an opportunity like this that could pay for all their bank tabs for nothing more than a measly advertisement on their guild web site. It does bring up the interesting question however, of whether a guild that supported a gold farming business financially could potentially face retribution from Blizzard. While I can't see a guild getting banned en masse for this, it would sure be a wakeup call if such a guild logged in to find their tag gone along with all their guild bank slots and contents.

Does this mean that the spamming around the Ironforge and Orgrimmar mailboxes is going to let up? Not likely, or at least not very much. It just means "these people" have found yet another way to devastate our server economies for their own profit.

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Build Shop: Paladin 0/46/15 - Tue, 22 Jan 2008 17:00:00 EST


So recently I put together a list of all the Build Shop articles that have ever been written on WoW Insider, and I found out something surprising -- there hasn't been a Build Shop for paladins! Today, I correct that grave injustice by looking at a heavy Protection build. Without question, a Paladin is my favorite type of tank, especially for 5 mans. Who needs crowd control? Just have the Paladin consecrate everything and let the AoE attacks fly. For those of you who haven't experienced that joy yet, I highly suggest you find a good Prot paladin and let him tank your instance.

I covered Paladin tanking techniques in a past article, so I'm just going to jump right into the build. This is one that people are sure to have mixed feelings about, but then again, that usually happens on Build Shop. The most scandalous suggestion I'm making in this build is not picking up Reckoning, but I have a few reasons why -- read on to find out.

Continue reading Build Shop: Paladin 0/46/15

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Chinese television reuses Azerothian maps - Tue, 22 Jan 2008 16:30:00 EST


This is wild. According to Variety's Asian film blog, the above is reportedly a picture from China's military television channel, from a documentary about troop movements last year between Turkey, Iraq and Iran. See anything familiar?

They have reused the mountain textures and background from WoW's Arathi Highlands map. There's been a little bit of tweaking, but it's pretty clear that they overlaid the countries on the Highlands. Apparently Stromgarde got split between Turkey and Iraq, and Baghdad sits right near the Circle of Inner Binding, while Refuge Pointe (and the Alliance entrance to the Arathi Basin) is right on the Iraq-Iran border. Who knew there was so much oil guarded by Fozruk and those ogres?

What I'd like to know is how this connection was made in the first place. It's probably too good to be true, but I'd like to think that the graphic designer for this documentary was trying to figure out how to make this graphic, played a little WoW, and recognized some familiar shapes when he pulled up the map on his level 35 alt.

[Via GSW]

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About the Bloggers: David Bowers - Tue, 22 Jan 2008 15:30:00 EST


Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more About the Bloggers.

What do you do for WoW Insider?

I blog about whatever seems interesting at the time, and I also write the roleplaying column, All the World's a Stage. I'm especially interested in writing about roleplaying and PvP, too, because they're the things I participate in most often. Everything and everyone in the game is interconnected, though, so even if I'm not a big raider, for instance, I still care a great deal about the things raiders are going through.

What's your main right now?

My current main is a draenei hunter, pictured above, but I'm spending just as much time with other alts right now, trying to decide which one will be my main Horde character. My most-played Hordie is currently a warlock. Previous mains I don't play as much anymore include a druid and a rogue, both Alliance.

For the Horde or Glory to the Alliance?

Heh. For both! I used to be all for the Alliance because I couldn't relate to the whole deformed and inherently violent look that many Horde characters have, but I'm one of those people for whom blood elves really opened up access to the Horde and see them in a new light. I like to appreciate the stories of the monstrous Horde races without actually having to play a monstrous character myself.

Continue reading About the Bloggers: David Bowers

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15 Minutes of Fame: Hammer time - Tue, 22 Jan 2008 14:30:00 EST


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - both the renowned and the relatively anonymous. Know an interesting player you'd like to see profiled? E-mail us your tips.

This week's 15 Minutes of Fame subject has earned her time in the limelight - and it's actually worth more than a mere 15 minutes. Auden, creator of the wry and witty Hammer of Grammar, shines her sharp wit into all the little cracks and crevices of WoW culture and online life. Hammer isn't another off-the-grid, lore-based fantasy adventure; instead, through their doggedly domestic lives, Auden and her partner in crime Gweryc (yeah, the melee hunter guy) make us chuckle over the little things that endear the game world to us.

The proverbial "one tough cookie" IRL, Auden's unquenchable spirit comes through not only in her comic but in this exclusive interview with WoW Insider. Read more about what keeps her in the game and at her design desk, after the break.

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: Hammer time

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WoW Insider Show episode 21: War on Staghelm - Tue, 22 Jan 2008 14:30:00 EST


Episode 21 of our official podcast is now online and ready for your ears to take it all in. We finally lay to rest one of the biggest debates on the show-- yes, we finally pick an Alliance cry (and you can probably guess what it is). Also, we answers lots of viewer email, and:
And we also declared war against Fandral Staghelm in Darnassus-- if you kill the guy (and you should), be sure to post your killshot over in the WoW Insider Show forums. When we get a bunch of them together, we'll roll them all up into a gallery on the site here.

If you've got feedback on the show, feel free to drop us an email at theshow@wowinsider.com. And don't forget that we do this every week-- we'll be back on the air this coming Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm EST. Mark your calendars and enjoy the show!

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Around Azeroth: Arf! - Tue, 22 Jan 2008 14:00:00 EST


Kiwibird of Shattered Halls sends in this photo of Spike. Spike lives in Arathi Basin where he spends his time hanging out around the blacksmith's and occasionally chasing the cat. (Kiwibird would have gotten the cat's name, too, but got caught up in the heat of the battle.) Spike looks a bit... unfriendly... in this shot, with the Horde holding the blacksmith, but I wonder if he turns into a more ordinary pup when the Alliance take over.

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

Gallery: Around Azeroth

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Patch 2.3.3 live - Tue, 22 Jan 2008 13:42:00 EST


Although the realms aren't up for a bit yet, the latest tiny patch, 2.3.3., is apparently going live today, and so you can go ahead and download it right now. Here's the entire list of changes:
  • General
    • Some players may notice improved data load times when newly entering the world and after zoning into new areas.
    • Character/NPC load times have been decreased, and now should appear faster. You're not hearing voices, there really are people in Shattrath!
  • Bug Fixes
    • Felspine the Greater in Shadowmoon Valley will no longer evade when engaged.
    • Guttripper in Nagrand will no longer evade when engaged.
    • Players will now be correctly credited with their arena points if they purchase an arena item during weekly arena calculations.
    • Using a castsequence macro on a target moving out of range will no longer cause it to stop working.
Here's hoping this means they'll be getting 2.4 up on the PTR quickly.

[Thanks, V3T]

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