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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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Hunter's Helper running beta test - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 18:00:00 EST
If you're a fan of Gazmik Fizzwidget's addons (including Feed-o-matic, ReagentCost, and Linkerator), you'll be happy to know that he's already jumping on top of patch 2.4, and in fact he's working right now on a beta of one of his most popular addons, Hunter's Helper. You can download the beta over on WoWInterface -- it won't work so well under WoW 2.3, but it's designed to be taken out on the TTR (or the PTR, if that comes back before the patch drops), and tested out.

Since it's likely that the patch will drop tomorrow, hopefully Fizzwidget has worked out most of the kinks. But it's awesome to see an addon developer ready to go for a brand new patch -- it's too bad that Blizzard hasn't been more proactive in helping these guys out with distributing their new versions around a big patch. Maybe once the Armory has gotten to a point where it's serving all the needs Blizzard wants it to, they can start working on an official third-party addon site.

[Via Mania]

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Tips for the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 17:00:00 EST
I can't say that I've ever seriously tried to do the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza -- I've seen it happen a few times, and I love the idea, but I've never committed to fishing long enough to be competitive in it. But I'm reconsidering that after reading these extremely fun tips from Resto4Life. Some of them are Druid specific (I bet the Shaman waterwalking spell would come in handy when trying to cross over to islands and through streams), and some of them are just silly, but it's just the right kind of thing to get you in the mindset to do a little Sunday angling. The two sources Resto pulled from have more: Tree of Life has a few helpful tips, while The Game Dame goes in-depth in laying out exactly how to win the event.

And it's a good thing we've got these, too -- as of patch 2.4, as the anglers among you have already heard, there'll be a few new fishing daily quests, and some brand new rewards (the fishing hat is now blue) from both the quests and the Extravaganza.

I still don't know if I have the interest to sit there, rod in hand, waiting for a fish to bite, but there's no doubt that this is a fun little, often missed part of the game. Very nice to have something fun like this going on weekly on the servers.

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The evolution of World PvP rewards - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 16:00:00 EST
Relmstein has a good post up about how Blizzard's world PvP has evolved over time, and what we might expect from Lake Wintergrasp, the PvP zone in Wrath of the Lich King. When world PvP began, it was very much an ad-hoc environment, which lead to a lot of 1v1 battles that eventually escalated when wandering guildies or alts showed up. As Relmstein says, the large majority of battles started with that stealthing noise (that used to inspire chills in the spines of those on PvP servers), and ended with an all-out brawl with no rewards but to get the other guys back.

Nowadays, world PvP is much more organized, in the sense that there are specific objectives and goals to go after. The original reward was a zonewide buff (in Silithus and the Plaguelands), but Blizzard eventually morphed this into something more permanent -- in Auchindoin, you fight for a buff that earns you tokens for rewards, and in Halaa, you fight to get the rewards themselves.

Which leads Relmstein to suspect that Wintergrasp will have direct rewards of its own, almost equal to the gear you get from endgame dungeons and Arena PvP. He predicts that it will be token-based (not a bad idea, considering all the badge changes Blizzard has put in lately -- in fact, Blizzard might even cut a corner and have Wintergrasp reward players with WotLK's version of badges directly), and that it will be updated with each Arena season, to keep players fighting there. All good ideas -- Blizzard has definitely innovated (successfully or otherwise) in the area of World PvP rewards, and we'll look forward to Wrath to see what they come up with there.

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Samwise Didier on Blizzard's art and games - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 15:00:00 EST


Eurogamer has interviewed Samwise Didier, Warcraft artist and icon, and the man who's pretty much defined the look and feel of Blizzard since even the early days. There's a lot of great stuff for Blizzard fans in this one -- I had no idea that an early build of The Lost Vikings had about 20 Vikings in it instead of the three we know -- and Samwise talks about his influences, including the way that Blizzard makes twists on standard genre conventions.

But the guy still stays incredibly humble, and acknowledges that as great as Blizzard's art is, the thing that really brings people back to these games is the fun factor. It's the humor and the enjoyment that Blizzard fans love, and Samwise's (and all of the other Blizzard artists') art make it that much better.

[Via WorldofWar]

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The accidental ninja - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 14:00:00 EST
Spensi on WoW LJ says she may have accidentally ninja'ed -- it was clear before the raid that if Moroes' Pocket Watch dropped, she would get it. But when it actually dropped, she apparently looted it herself as main looter without saying anything, and her guildies didn't quite remember the deal before the instance started. Was it a ninja? I don't know -- there are good points on both sides.

In fact, it seems the only way to really avoid loot drama is to, unfortunately, be as selfless as possible. Last night, I did a run of Ramparts on my up-and-coming hunter, and on the first boss, the Hunter mail pants dropped. The other Hunter in the party needed them as well, so we rolled on them, and I won. Later in the instance, another green piece came up that we both needed, but to be fair, I let him have it. And finally, on the second boss, the mail hands dropped, and I did need them, but once again, to avoid drama, I just let the other Hunter have them. I could probably have made a case for at least rolling on them, but it wouldn't have been fair for me to walk away from the instance with two blues when he only had a green, so to keep the peace I let it go.

It worked out, too, because I picked up some great blue hands anyway when I turned the quest in. And that's the thing to remember when it comes to loot -- there will always be more of it. Even if your item doesn't drop, or you don't win this roll, or your guildie gets angry because you nabbed an item, even though they knew you needed it, there'll always be more drops and more rolls and more loot to get.

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WoW Rookie: Raid 101 - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 13:00:00 EST

WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.

It's been brought to my attention that there are rookies of all levels. Recent columns have covered very basic topics such as instance play, group etiquette, and account security. Once you get to level 70, you'll have several options including solo play, PvP, and instance raiding. Raiding is a major part of the game, but can be somewhat overwhelming at first.

Raid instances vary from ten, twenty, twenty-five, and forty players. These instances are similar to five-person dungeons but require considerably more coordination. Ever player must work in concert to bring down challenging bosses, and they are typically rewarded with excellent gear for their efforts.

Continue reading WoW Rookie: Raid 101

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WoW Moviewatch: Fury Trailer 2 - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 12:00:00 EST

In the internet age, it's extremely hard to stay relevant without releasing new content. If you're not staying in the public eye by either contributing something to someone else or participating in community, your audience will possibly forget about you, or grow angry at you. Let's hope that Seksi Productions doesn't fall by the wayside, as they announced that their "early 2008" release date for Fury would be delayed by the break that they're taking.

We previously covered Fury back in October 2007, when they released a teaser trailer for their action movie. One of our readers brought it to our attention that we missed the second trailer, which was released in December 2007. That teaser explained the storyline of the Alliance people and how they were waiting for a hero to come along and save them. Before I cue Nickelback and cringe, let me tell you that I loved the voice acting on this video. I thought the entire film was a superb example of what you can do with WoW machinima. Hopefully the final release will be more TotP3 than IDEFO ...

[Thanks, Leaf!]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Officers' Quarters: The road to mediocrity - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 11:00:00 EST

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

We've all come across those mediocre players. They are the hunters that can DPS but don't know how to trap a mob; the shamans that never break crowd control but windfury their way to the top of the aggro list every single pull; the warriors who excel at single-target tanking but can't hold more than one mob at a time. Where do these players come from, and how do they stay so mediocre after 70 levels? The author of this week's e-mail thinks he has the answer: The road to mediocrity is built by your own guild.

Scott,

I enjoy your Officers' Quarters articles on WoWInsider.com, so maybe you can tackle this subject for me in your next piece:

I am now a casual player (played since beta and used to be hardcore) and I'm in this nice and friendly social guild. I'm not an officer, nor do I have the desire to be one. I just want to log on and do whatever I feel like with my limited play time. This guild puts no pressure on me and I appreciate that.

The guild leaders' philosophy is to be helpful to one another - helping on whatever is needed by other members. Guild members get rank up by how much they help others. This was a noble idea . . . but there's a huge caveat.

One of the things that lower level members often ask higher members for help on is to run them through instances. However, there's a very bad side effect to this: mediocrity.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: The road to mediocrity

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Around Azeroth: Burning for you - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 10:00:00 EST

I've been to Stratholme many times, and while I've enjoyed the whole Arthas-goes-too-far storyline, I've always been too caught up in the nasty trash pulls to realize that the city is still, in fact, on fire. Jarsa, a player from Death of Art on The Sha'tar-EU, has taken the time to photograph the burning city. Hopefully he did it quickly, since that zombie on the right looks like it has pathing straight towards the camera in its future.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because 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. And please, no more sunsets. We're secretly vampires and they burn us!

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Tuskarr Animation movie - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 09:00:00 EST

While 2.4 has been mostly concerned with the Sunwell and Kil'jaedan, there's still WoTLK to look for in the future, and still a few preliminary tidbits hidden away in the patch files. We've already showed you some shots of the Tuskarr that made it in, as well as the preview page for the race over on the official WoTLK site, and now it looks like someone's dug a bit deeper into the files and found the Tuskarr Animations. The animations are pretty straightfoward, mostly just running, fighting, and casting, but there is an animation in which the Tuskarr jumps up and slams his behind on the ground - perhaps a high powered War "Stomp" to make even Taurens envious? Enjoy this closer look at the gentle giants of the Borean Tundra!

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Breakfast Topic: First Things First - Mon, 24 Mar 2008 08:00:00 EST


We know that patch 2.4 is on its way, sometime soon. The World of Warcraft page has been updated and the background downloader has appeared. Many of us are itching to experience the Fury of the Sunwell. Tomorrow was the second most frequently projected date in our "Guess the release day" contest. As always, Blizzard says it'll go live when it's ready, but tomorrow seems likely to me.

The first thing I'm going to do when the patch goes live is check out the patch notes and see which changes were actually included, what's been rolled back, and what's been replaced. After that I'll be heading into Warsong Gulch to see if the developers have found a way to make the battleground experience a little better. I hope they did better than the promised debuff after five minutes of flag-carrying time.

What's the first thing you're going to do once the patch drops?

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Forum Post of the Day: What type of music do Azerothians make? - Sun, 23 Mar 2008 20:00:00 EST
Acerba of Cenarion Circle started a pretty fun discussion the other day on her server boards: What type of music would typify various races and cultures of Azeroth? Sure, we all have our soundtracks for when we get tired of the in-game music, and the in-game music itself often has various themes that show again and again music to represent various concepts, but thinking about what music your character would listen to or what sounds you might here around a bonfire at Razor Hill (Well, besides L70ETC) or in a fine mansion in Silvermoon City is a really fun exercise. I'm one who often creates soundtracks for my PnP and MMORPG characters alike in order to understand this, so I find it a useful exercise for us roleplayers, as well.

Continue reading Forum Post of the Day: What type of music do Azerothians make?

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All the World's a Stage: Finding the right realm - Sun, 23 Mar 2008 18:56:00 EST


One of the most common difficulties many roleplayers face is that of finding other people to roleplay with. To help overcome this challenge, All the World's a Stage presents a guide to finding roleplayers in three parts: "finding the right realm" for roleplaying, "joining the right circle" of roleplaying friends, and "wearing the right mask" to attract other roleplayers to you.

Due to reasons we have discussed earlier, RP servers can vary widely from a very few who maintain their immersive roleplaying atmosphere, to the majority which often seem little different from a normal PvE or PvP server. Although Blizzard takes their RP server guidelines "seriously," they cannot enforce these rules wholesale, and rely on the players themselves to do much of their own policing and reporting where necessary. RP servers thus vary a great deal in terms of how many people there actually make roleplaying a priority, how many will report someone breaking the RP rules, and how many will strive to maintain that precious gem of mass cooperation: the roleplaying atmosphere.

It may not be obvious to a new player, but there are tools roleplayers can use to find the realm that suits them best. There may be no standardized way to group up for RP, but the fact holds true: "seek, and ye shall find."

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: Finding the right realm

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Defense cap defined - Sun, 23 Mar 2008 18:00:00 EST
Many WoW players (and several of our readers) often comment that there is no such thing as a defense cap. This is true in the strict sense that there is no upper limit on how much defense you can have, nor any statistical diminishing returns. However, that's not to say that there's not a point where the utility provided by more defense starts to fall off - so there is a point where the utility given by more defense actually provides a practical diminishing return, and that point is referred to as the defense cap.

What is the magic number? 490 defense for Warriors and Paladins, and 415 defense for Feral Druids. To come about this number, you need to do a little math. First, it's important to note that a raid "boss" mob is considered three levels above the player. This means that the math is based off the boss mob being a level 73 mob, and the player being level 70. A player's base defense is defined by the formula Base Defense = level * 5. A player that is level 70 would thus have a base defense of 350 (70 * 5 = 350).

Continue reading Defense cap defined

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In Russia, World of Warcraft page visits you! - Sun, 23 Mar 2008 17:00:00 EST


Blizzard has released the Russian World of Warcraft webpage over at their European site. I can't read a darn thing on it, so I'm forced to rely on other's translations of it, and some good old Google Translator action on the press release.

A couple interesting things. First, they'll be releasing the fully localized version of Russian WoW in a few months. The second interesting thing is that they're actually looking for some people fluent in Russian to work for them, and this is a good thing since the Russian version of the site isn't nearly as complete as other language's versions of the site. Finally, ignore the translator error given by Google: "Our list of frequently asked questions concerning the withdrawal of Russian version of World of Warcraft." There is no withdrawal, there will be a Russian WoW.

The Russian version of WoW was announced back on December 10th, 2007. It's good to see that Blizzard is continuing the localization of the game. Many international users are forced to either play on the plethora of European servers or come play on the United States servers. This can be a difficult thing, in that the distance between the realm server and the player's computer is so great that very large and unruly ping times often result. This is not a good thing if you're trying to have any sort of skillful game playing.

All and all a nice little present for our Russian friends.

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Macro Anatomy: Run phase and beyond! - Sun, 23 Mar 2008 16:00:00 EST
Welcome, troops, to the final stage of your lock-step macro training. This phase is when you will learn all about modifier keys. I had planned to include conditionals in the Run Phase, but that subject will necessitate its own series of posts, so look for that in the future. From here on out, Macro Anatomy will focus more on macro development and specific macros rather than teaching you the basics. In case you missed out on the basics, go check out my Macro Primer, then you can graduate to the Crawl and Walk phases of macro development.

As I said, we'll be taking a look at modifier key, which can extend the functionality of your macros, as well as helping to cut back on how many buttons you are using on your action bar.

Modifier keys allow you to change the behavior of a macro when pressing one of three keys. The keys available for use as modifier keys are:

  • Shift (shift)
  • Control (ctrl)
  • Alt (alt)
Keep reading to find out how to use these three modifier keys.

Continue reading Macro Anatomy: Run phase and beyond!

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Noblegarden in Pictures - Sun, 23 Mar 2008 15:30:00 EST


After having the chance to actually get out there and start my Egg Hunting, I can confirm that no, there really isn't anything new for the Noblegarden event this year. That's alright though, it entertained me for awhile, and I know for a fact that the Midsummer Fire Festival has a lot more in store.

On the bright side, I did get my Elegant Dress this year! An entire day dedicated to finding this dress last year got me nothing but cruddy candy. Within twenty minutes this year, I got my dress! Of course, it doesn't look very good so I'll probably never put it on my character again, but I have it. That's good enough for me.

If you're not able to participate in the event, or you're reading this after it has ended, do not fear! You didn't miss out on any leet items, and I did my best to capture the fun of the event in the gallery below. Go on, take a look! You know you want to.

Gallery: Noblegarden

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Two Bosses Enter: Sapphiron vs Kel'thuzad - Sun, 23 Mar 2008 15:00:00 EST


Two bosses enter... but only one will get to leave in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches. We've scoured the instances of Azeroth and Outland looking for the most interesting bosses Blizzard has to offer us and picked out a group of 32 to pit against one another until we come out with a single winner in the end. And the best part -- you get to tell us who wins.

We're down to the Final Four. First up, two bosses of Naxxramas face off. Will the undead frost wyrm Sapphiron be able to take down his partner in crime, The Archlich of the Plaguelands Kel'Thuzad? Want to learn more about these two bosses and voice your opinion on who would win in a fight? Keep reading

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Sapphiron vs Kel'thuzad

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Player versus NPC health - Sun, 23 Mar 2008 14:00:00 EST


A comment left by Argent on my article about the maximum amount of stamina got me thinking. How does player health stack and scale against NPC health? I quoted 17,500 unbuffed health as a good target for maxed unbuffed stamina, which equates to about 22,000 health fully raid buffed (possibly more depending on group, consumables, and talent composition).

So, let's take a look at what some mobs are that have around 22,000 to 23,000 health. Remember, this is as much as a fully equipped tier six warrior will probably have in raid.
If you want to just go by unbuffed numbers, some famous mobs that have around 17,500 health include:

Continue reading Player versus NPC health

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Angelista? Who the heck is that? - Sun, 23 Mar 2008 13:00:00 EST

I've been looking through patch 2.4's loot tables fairly frequently, and just the other night one piece in particular really jumped out at me. Angelista's Revenge. Yes, good ol' Angelista is back yet again.

There's no lore or backstory for Angelista, she's not really a lore figure at all. Like Foror and Styleen, Angelista is a just a little plug for a Blizzard employee, or friend/family member of a Blizzard employee. We don't know exactly who she is, but it's fun to see all of the signs pointing to her that crop up. Ahn'Qiraj, Stratholme(see above), Blackwing Lair, and now the Sunwell.

Even though I know there's no real lore for Angelista, I have a mind obsessed with story telling, so I started to wonder what she would be like if she was a Warcraft figure. Her name sounds like a Priest, but her equipment definitely isn't priest-like. There's cloth belts in BWL and Mount Hyjal, a melee DPS ring in 2.4, a tanking ring and healing neck in Ahn'Qiraj... the only classes Angelista could possibly be are a very, very confused Shaman, Paladin or Druid.

Continue reading Angelista? Who the heck is that?

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