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9 newbie tips for running dungeons without looking like a newbie - Sun, 24 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST

We were all newbies once -- and some of us who have left the game and come back have found themselves being newbies a second time. And while there's no way to avoid newbiedom entirely, with a bit of foresight, even the newest player can run a dungeon without looking like a newbie. These 9 tips should help you get started on your dungeon running career -- and even if you're well on your way to being a professional, a refresher course never hurt.

1. Know your (instance) role
If you've never been in a dungeon before, the idea of group roles may not be intuitive. But when you're working with a group, you'll typically have one person assigned to tank, one person assigned to heal, and the rest of the group dealing damage (DPS). Additionally, some classes have crowd control abilities they'll be called to use in instances -- if you've got one, make sure it's on a hotbar rather than hidden in your spellbook. Whether you're playing with friends or you've jumped into a random group, know what your role is before you go.

Need tips on getting started? Here's some advice on getting started as a tank, getting started as a healer, and tips on improving your DPS.

Continue reading 9 newbie tips for running dungeons without looking like a newbie

9 newbie tips for running dungeons without looking like a newbie originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 24 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Council Comic Fifth Element - Sun, 24 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST

Fifth Element is back with another raid video, this time in a sort of comic book style. While it's not quite as flashy or nostalgic as earlier Fifth Element videos, it still satisfies the group's unique, cinematic flair.

There's a lot to be learned from Fifth Element's dedication to cinematic openings. Raid videos can be a tough sell to the mainstream audience, but these outrageous openings really do a good job of getting you settled in. These have been my favorite raid videos in a long, long time.

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: Council Comic Fifth Element originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 24 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Azeroth - Sun, 24 Mar 2013 16:00:00 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 minor plunge into the idea of Azeroth as a fully-connected entity, and what the implications of that entailed. But there's more to the story than just a matter of connectivity. We know everything is connected. But what we really don't know at this point is why. What is the purpose of Azeroth? What were the Titans thinking? Why did they choose to forgo re-originating the world after discovering the Old Gods? Why have they gone silent, ignoring Azeroth for thousands of years?

Why does Azeroth exist?

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: Azeroth

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Azeroth originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 24 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Sunday Sunday Sunday - Sun, 24 Mar 2013 14:00:00 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. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Prepare to be ANNIHILATED!

Mikk asked:

With the new 5.3 pvp changes and the announcement that resilience will be removed from most items, has there been any indication of what they are going to do with pvp heirlooms? As a recent devote to pvp, I have been working on accumulating all the pvp heirlooms and I would hate to see all that work wasted ... Maybe they will replace the pvp resilience with pvp power on heirlooms? Any info appreciated.

The patch 5.3 PTR patch notes came out before a blog about the PVP changes could be published, so I imagine we'll be hearing a lot about what the changes mean for various types of gear soon (after PAX East).

Continue reading The Queue: Sunday Sunday Sunday

The Queue: Sunday Sunday Sunday originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 24 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Foppish - Sun, 24 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST

Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, we have a nice long list plus a slew of bonus material. Moeru (of Lo'meath & Huilii) has posted about her experiences at Toronto ComiCon 2013, including a few photos. Coffin, who has been recovering after a convention, posted some cool notes and drawings about the process of creating What's Shakin'.

Kuo is taking naming suggestions for a wolf and NPC posted some sketches in late February. Gratz posted several updates this week (with the much-promised action) and although Contested Territory is still on hiatus, there are several new sketches up that you might find interesting!

Trig, we're all still wishing you well and hoping for a speedy recovery! Ash (of The Trolling of Azeroth) also mentioned being sick, and we hope that by now you're doing much better.

As always, if you have any tips for comics to include, you're welcome to leave a comment with a link!

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: Foppish

Sunday Morning Funnies: Foppish originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 24 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Catch me if you can - Sun, 24 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST

Please don't taunt the immobile sha. "I'd just hit 90 on my gnome alt, and I was flying around the Summit to catch up on mining," writes submitter Whistlecheek of Gnomeregan Forever on Wyrmrest Accord (US-A). "I found myself face to face with the Sha of Anger, who looked surprised and amazed, then angry that a little pink-haired gnome was daring to get into his face. I must've really surprised him, because I was able to get right up next to him ... until I flew through his belly. Yeah. That's when I found out a) Shanger is really ticklish, b) really, REALLY ticklish, and c) he hates cute pink-haired gnomes who discover that fact."

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: Catch me if you can originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 24 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Do play behind, atop, or at the bleeding edge of the content curve? - Sun, 24 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST

I always smile when I come across someone aghast at another player's unfamiliarity with a particular instance or encounter. ("It's been months since that came out!") They're like the horrified grade-schoolers in the neighborhood we used to live in who simply couldn't fathom having a playmate who didn't carry Mom or Dad's cast-off iPhone. These players can't imagine what dire circumstances might keep someone out of Throne of Thunder or how somebody who's played for a year couldn't have Dragon Soul picked clean.

I understand the sense of urgency. Riding into new expansions and patches with a level-capped character and tackling every new update as it releases builds curiosity, motivation, and emotional investment. It's supposed to. But behind the leading edge are tiers and tiers of content that's -- surprise! -- not worn out and useless. With zone updates, raid tweaks, and ongoing tuning, Blizzard works steadily to ensure that players can realistically enjoy older content, too.

Whether you're a late starter or a late bloomer, a completionist still scraping clean nooks and crannies or a time-challenged casual player who simply hasn't gotten there yet, do you play WoW at a rate that's decidedly behind the curve? Like probably most readers here at WoW Insider, are you bobbing comfortably along somewhere in the Mists of Pandaria/Thunder King experience? Or are you chafing at the bit for time and your realmmates to unlock additional bleeding-edge content, thriving on taking down the latest content as soon as it's released?

View Poll




Breakfast Topic: Do play behind, atop, or at the bleeding edge of the content curve? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 24 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First impressions of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - Sat, 23 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST

Yesterday at PAX East 2013, Blizzard unveiled their first free-to-play game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The upcoming title is a digital, collectible card game akin to Magic: The Gathering Online, but designed to be easy to learn and accessible to a larger audience. The game is currently being demonstrated on the showroom floor at PAX, and I was able to play it a couple of times yesterday afternoon.

When starting up my first game, I expected to find Hearthstone confusing because I've never played Magic: The Gathering or any other strategy card game (e.g. Pokémon TCG, Yu-Gi-Oh!) before. I am vaguely familiar with some of the terminology of MTG, having spent most of my life around hardcore players, but I don't really know the rules or how the game is played. That unfamiliarity didn't seem to get in the way of Hearthstone, though. Within two turns I understood my resource system, and also how to play and use cards. By the fifth turn I felt like I understood all the basic mechanics of combat. Then, by the time my seventh turn came around, I was cursing paladins for being overpowered and itching to play another game.

Continue reading First impressions of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

First impressions of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 23 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: The Shaping of the World - Sat, 23 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST

The music of WoW lends a lot of drama, power, and gravitas to the game. It's easy to underestimate the incredible composition that provides flavor and emotion to each zone, expansion, and even instances. For such an integral part of the game, it doesn't get enough attention.

Plasma3Music created this remix of The Shaping of the World. This is what he had to say about it:
My orchestral remix is a more dramatic and epic version of World of Warcraft's "The Shaping Of The World". My intention was to put more energy and power into the song. The remix is accompanied by beautiful landscape shots of WoW Cataclysm.

The parts and melodies from 1:36 to 2:17 are new and composed by me.
No audio clips of the original were used. Every sound, instrument and note that you hear has been carefully programmed and mixed by me.

The end result is very effective. Take the time to listen and let Plasma know what you think.

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 Shaping of the World originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 23 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Preliminary DPS in Throne of Thunder - Sat, 23 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

So we've had the Throne of Thunder for three weeks now, and we're all progressing through it at our various paces. Some of us are working on heroic bosses, others are at particular normal mode bosses, still others are primarily exploring the raid via the LFR tool. However you're going about it, you've had a couple of weeks to start seeing the new fights.

One of the things that's struck me as a DPS player so far is how varied the individual fights are. Love them or hate them (so far I can't think of one I hate although I'll admit I don't like doing Ji-Kun when I have to do nest duty) there's a wide range of mechanics at play. As a result, although this is still a fairly preliminary statement there are a few things I feel comfortable saying at this point.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Preliminary DPS in Throne of Thunder

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Preliminary DPS in Throne of Thunder originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 23 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Hearthstone and our secret shame - Sat, 23 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST

Our bonus question this week was going to be about our dark, secret gaming habits. That was the plan. And then Blizzard went and released this mindblowingly awesome sounding game... so the bonus question changed. So when you're reading this, we're telling you both our guilty pleasure of gaming... and our excite about Hearthstone.

Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) This weekend is going to be spent working on projects around the house and getting some writing done. As for Hearthstone, it looks pretty neat! I think I may end up jumping in the beta just to play around with it and see how it works.

Continue reading WRUP: Hearthstone and our secret shame

WRUP: Hearthstone and our secret shame originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 23 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Hearthstone - Sat, 23 Mar 2013 12:00:00 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) has taken this thing over today.

I like to think those two cats are excitedly discussing anything relevant in the news. Today they are chatting about Hearthstone and whether or not they're going to sign up for the beta.

Adamndm_ asked:

Allow me to be the first to ask the obvious question we don't have a solid answer for yet: What is Hearthstone's release date?

We don't know, but supposedly it's soon -- not Blizzard Soon[TM], but actual soon!

EavenTheWarlock asked:

Q4tQ: Do you thing Hearthstone will eventually get an Android version? *tinfoil hat on* Or did they make a secret deal with apple to keep it exclusive?

They actually answered that question in their FAQ! Q: Are you supporting Android tablets? A: Hearthstone will launch on Windows, Macintosh, and, later on, iPad. We're looking into the possibility of supporting additional platforms in the future, but we don't have any further info to share at this time.

lucho_pinto asked:

I expect to see tomorrow's Q filled with Hearthstone questions that we don't know the answer to yet :D Kudos to whoever's tackling it tomorrow! I'll add my own question-that-probably-doesn't-have-an-answer-yet: Will this use/accept money from Diablo's RMAH? To buy boosters?

Continue reading The Queue: Hearthstone

The Queue: Hearthstone originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 23 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Hey, come out and play - Sat, 23 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Brandon and a large group of wannabe dino-killers on Thrall (US) got tired of waiting for Galleon to spawn, so they decided to speed it up with the eldritch magic of a proto-drake circle. Galleon did indeed appear shortly thereafter, but after seeing the mass of dragons arrayed against him, he hearthed back to wherever he came from and called Oondasta to come to the scene for some backup. And then everyone died.

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: Hey, come out and play originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 23 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Why join a guild? - Sat, 23 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST

There are lots of reasons to join a guild: it makes it easy to find groups and raids, you have guaranteed company while you're playing, and most importantly, guild perks. In case you've been living under a rock, guild perks give you great bonuses for guild membership based on your guild's level. Perks can boost the amount of experience, reputation, and honor you gain, make your hearthstone cooldown shorter, and even make flight paths go faster. So, really, the question seems to be why not join a guild?

The question's been asked on Reddit and it got me wondering why my own alt of choice (for the moment) is currently unguilded. It couldn't take much more than a polite request to jump on the guild bandwagon and get my hands on those yummy, yummy perks. It would stop the regular requests I get to join guilds (even if you've turned off guild requests, you do frequently get whispers) and it's not as though I'm in a demanding guild at the moment. And yet when I don't feel like doing much (or dealing with others), I hop on to my alt to solo for a while.

And what about you, fellow players? Are you guilded or unguilded?

Breakfast Topic: Why join a guild? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 23 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 21:29:00 EST

Hot off the presses tonight is the patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes. Right off the bat to quell any rumors -- there is no indication of when the PTR will be active (other than soon), or when this patch is going to drop.

Some of the highlights of this patch thus far include:
  • Gold Rush, a new battleground.
  • Shado-Pan, a new arena.
  • Major PvP changes. Largest in quite a while.
  • Battle of the High Seas, Blood in the Snow, Dark Heart of Pandaria, The Secrets of Emberdeep -- four, yes not one, not two, not three, but four new scenarios.
  • Heroic difficulty for scenarios added, awards valor and a chance at Raid Finder quality items.
  • You can now duel with your pets in dungeons and raids.
  • Bonus rolls have a progressively better chance at awarding loot if you've used them and they turn up nothing.
  • We can now pick a loot specalization that's different than our current spec for LFR, Bonus Rolls, and Pandarian quests.
The full patch notes after the break.

Continue reading World of Warcraft Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes

World of Warcraft Patch 5.3 PTR Patch Notes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 21:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Band of Finding - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST

The worgen ran on all fours. Thick padded feet pounded earth and stone and grass. He occasionally swapped out the canine gift of his nation for the more magnificent speed of a stag. But mostly, the worgen just ran.

The Band of Finding glittered on his paw. Hand. Hoof. It's a druid, it changes, okay?

While the ring would hardly be the biggest upgrade the druid would see in Pandaria's misty realm, he liked the synchronicity of it. The druid was trying to find his band, so why not use the Band of Finding?

So still, he just kept running. After so long a separation, the druid was pretty sure he'd beat up the blood elf and orc as soon as he found them. It seemed appropriate, at this point.

Item Note: You pick up the Band of Finding from Finding Your Center or Instant Messaging. You get it fairly early into the late 80s, so it's not like it's a mind-blowing ring long term. But if you're gearing up a Strength DPS character, make sure to tuck it away in your pocket. I found myself using it for a surprisingly long time.

Phat Loot Phriday brings you the scoop on some of the most ... interesting ... loot in the World of Warcraft, often viewed through the eyes of the stalwart Throgg and indelible Lolegolas. Suggest items you think we should feature by emailing mikeg@wowinsider.com.

Phat Loot Phriday: Band of Finding originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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"Crash Bandicoot" creator comments on Cataclysm's problems and the evolution of WoW - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 19:00:00 EST

I didn't see this until recently, but I'm really glad I did. Andy Gavin, the co-creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, ran a series between the end of November and mid-January examining WoW, its four expansions, and how each of them succeeded or failed through both personal and professional eyes. His particular focus is the endgame in each and how it worked to attract and retain players -- or, in some cases, didn't.

While there's certainly been no shortage of player commentary on how WoW's developed, Gavin's experience as a game developer who's not involved with Blizzard is a pretty unique perspective. I found his article on Cataclysm to be particularly adept at putting into words a lot of things I felt but had difficulty articulating. Most of the expansion's developmental time had to go into a revamped leveling process that few people saw unless they wanted to level a new alt. The content at 85 that greeted more casual players got bottlenecked in a series of difficult heroics that frustrated players dropped constantly.

Personally, I still consider Cataclysm to have been a necessary expansion -- it did a lot of stuff that Blizzard had to do for the game even if it wasn't as eye-catching as what BC and Wrath did -- but I think Gavin's assessment is accurate and measured. (And many of Blizzard's own observations aren't all that different.) Funnily enough, with lots of people leveling new monks in Mists of Pandaria, more people might be seeing Cataclysm content now than they did during the expansion that was actually dedicated to it.

I've linked Gavin's full series here. While it's long, it's an incredibly interesting and detailed read:

"Crash Bandicoot" creator comments on Cataclysm's problems and the evolution of WoW originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: The Search for Hope - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST

It's been a little while since we've heard from Croftzi, so when I got a mail from her, I was pretty excited. This is a fairly straightforward video, but I can't tell you anything about it. You have to experience it. However, it Croftzi's word, she tried to make it "a very dramatic story." So kick back and take a couple minutes to watch The Search for Hope.

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 Search for Hope originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Poll: What zone has the best music? - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 17:00:00 EST

I'm going to open this one with a personal story. In 2009 at a Blizzcon party, I had the good fortune to be introduced to Russell Brower, and I promptly went all starry-eyed and gushed about how much I loved WoW's music. His face lit up and he said, "Oh you are just the best thing!" and kissed my hand. Then asked me what my favorite was. My answer was immediate, and without hesitation: Black Temple.

Now, let's fast-forward to today, in 2013, almost four years later. Has my answer changed? Maybe. Black Temple is still definitely up there, but I'm not sure it's the out-and-away winner anymore. With Cataclysm many of the zones got updated music, so areas I wasn't super enthused about before suddenly became much more compelling. In the end, the five I've come up with are Grizzly Hills (a perennial favorite), Black Temple (still love it), Ashenvale ("Nightsong" alone makes this nomination), Karazhan (haunted mansion!), and Kun-Lai Summit (mostly for "Way of the Monk," which plays upon entry into the Temple of the White Tiger). Vote on your favorite in the poll, but don't think this is the definitive list. I'm sure there are plenty of zones I've overlooked, so tell us what I've missed in the comments.

Poll: What zone has the best music? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Oondasta's health pool nerfed by 50% - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST

The deadly dinosaur that caused the mass destruction you see documented in this picture, which was tweeted recently by Dave Kosak, has had a massive nerf to his health. It's gone from 872 million to 436 million, which is a 50% nerf.

The reason for this is likely twofold. Firstly, the boss was very hard to kill, and players were not unfairly deciding that the cost in repairs and time of killing Oondasta was too much compared to the gear drop chance and the quality of the gear. With patch 5.2 there are easier ways to get gear than killing this boss.

Secondly, the huge numbers "required" to kill this boss meant that servers were struggling under the load of hundreds of people taking on this boss. One viable "tactic" was to get so many people attacking Oondasta that the server lagged out so badly that he was only using a few of his abilities with long intervals in between.

Rygarius said a while back that while Oondasta was great, in that he brought back the epic outdoor raid feel, but that the big groups were causing server stability problems, so this is likely another step in trying to fix that issue. It seems like the nerf, meaning that the graveyard zerg tactic would likely not need 200 people to succeed, will make players happy to pull with smaller groups. This will help with the server stability, but is it a worthwhile exchange?

Hit the break for Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas' input on the change.

Continue reading Oondasta's health pool nerfed by 50%

Oondasta's health pool nerfed by 50% originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TradeChat rounds up Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 15:00:00 EST

Well, if you haven't been watching the blog today, you might not have heard: Hearthstone has been announced. An online, free-to-play digital card game, Hearthstone might start a whole new wave of WoW madness. TradeChat explains the game, shares the preview, and basically tells us what's up. Find out what we know so far about the new game!

TradeChat rounds up Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lunch Topic: What's your WoW Achilles heel? - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST

What aspect of WoW has given you the most devilish time? Maybe it's something that you've finally come to grips with after many arduous hours, like PvP. Or maybe it's something that's made you throw your hands up in exasperation, resolving to avoid it forevermore, like PvP.

Let's face it: PvP certainly has quite a rep for intimidating and exasperating players. Not me, though. I'm totally down with PvP. The thing that throws me for a loop is the whole economy and Auction House thing. Despite editing Gold Capped after Gold Capped article during my time in the WoW Insider editorial chair, I've never managed to wrap my brain around strategizing how to make money in game. I use an AH addon strictly to help me get the heck outta Dodge. I want that stuff gone! Since much earlier eras, I've never been short on funds for anything I really wanted to buy, so my slapdash approach seems to serve me adequately. As a result, the inner workings of my AH addon and the realm economy in general remain all rather mysterious to me. I simply can't (and won't) take time to digest all that twitchy detail.

I have a friend, though, for whom playing the market is an amuse-bouche to any good play session. Unfortunately, his idea of a good play session and mine diverge at the point that it's time for him to move out of the fire -- his painfully evident Achilles heel. I have no idea how he hasn't internalized this basic by now, but there it is. He's just not a mover. I heal him a lot. We love him anyway.

What part of WoW's gameplay bedevils you to this day? Maybe it's something that took you more time than you'd have liked to master. Perhaps you're still struggling. Or maybe it's something that you've just never figured out (and possibly never want to). What's your WoW Achilles heel?

Lunch Topic: What's your WoW Achilles heel? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.3: Item upgrades to return for PvE, not for PvP - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 13:00:00 EST

Blizzard posted a blog today on the much-discussed return of the item upgrades to the game in patch 5.3. Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street had commented in recent interviews that the system would be very unlikely to return for PvP, so there's no great surprise in that statement. There will still be upgrades available in patch 5.3 for season 12 gear, which was always upgradeable, at its original cost, so 750 Conquest for four item levels, useable twice. As the blog states, "no other PvP items are upgradable, and no new PvP items for the foreseeable future will use the upgrade system."

This is a good thing. There are already potential issues emerging thanks to the item levels of the new gear, where the gaps in between the lower tiers and the upper tiers look to be too great, and adding item upgrades into the mix would only cause more problems.

For PvE, as expected, the item upgrade system will be reappearing in patch 5.3. However, some changes have been made that iron out some issues the Blizzard team was unhappy with.

Continue reading Patch 5.3: Item upgrades to return for PvE, not for PvP

Patch 5.3: Item upgrades to return for PvE, not for PvP originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Part-time model - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 12:00:00 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. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Let's get in a cab. I'll buy you a kebab!

stingjc asked:

Do I need to have completed any of the Black Prince quests to loot a sha-touched weapon? I still need to collect one more Sigil of Power to get the gem, but Spiritsever hasn't dropped for me yet after ten rolls. Is my RNG really that bad, or do I need to finish The Strength of One's Foes?

Nope, I haven't completed The Strength of One's Foes on my DK and just yesterday got a Shin'ka from the Sha of Fear. You just have rotten luck!

Continue reading The Queue: Part-time model

The Queue: Part-time model originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What we know so far about HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:40:00 EST

We're going to keep this post updated throughout the day with all the latest HearthStone information. Here's what we know so far.

General Information
  • HearthStone is a new digital collectible card game (CCG) that takes place in the Warcraft universe.
  • HearthStone is free to play.
  • It's set for release this year. The beta will happen this summer.
  • You can sign up for the beta now over at HearthStone's site.
  • It will initially be playable on the Mac and PC. iPad version to follow soon (and not Blizzard soon, but reality soon).
  • PC and iPad version are playable now at PAX East.
  • Blizzard is looking at the possibility of future platforms (in response to the Android comments), but development is focused on PC, Mac, and iPad right now.



Continue reading What we know so far about HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft

What we know so far about HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HearthStone Cinematic - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:39:00 EST

Blizzard has just released the cinematic for HearthStone, embedded above. It's fun and goofy, which is the impression I have of the game itself! The voice-over goes through some of Warcraft's most notable heroes: Thrall, Jaina, Illidan, Garrosh, and settles on some beer-swilling dwarves telling you to forget about blood and honor and just sit back and enjoy yourself. Kind of sounds like a Saturday night in Ironforge, doesn't it?

I'm already looking forward to this game more than I would have thought. I'm a sucker for cartoonish fun, which this game looks to have in spades. I've always enjoyed card games like Magic: The Gathering but I hate physically collecting cards, and I've moved so much in the last ten years that I lose them anyway. Digital card games are growing in popularity, and Hearthstone seems like a solid addition to the genre.

HearthStone Cinematic originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard announces HearthStone at PAX East 2013 live blog - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 09:10:00 EST

We don't have any idea what it's going to be (besides something new), but Blizzard is going to be announcing it at PAX East today. We'll keep run a live blog of the announcement right here! Expect more throughout the day.

The live blog will begin in your timezone at:
  • 10:00 a.m. EDT
  • 9:00 a.m. CDT
  • 8:00 a.m. MDT
  • 7:00 a.m. PDT
  • 2:00 p.m. London

Continue reading Blizzard announces HearthStone at PAX East 2013 live blog

Blizzard announces HearthStone at PAX East 2013 live blog originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 09:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Girls with low self-esteem - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 09:00:00 EST

It's been a while since we've featured bad in-game interior design here on Around Azeroth. After the goblin decorating fiascos of Cataclysm, there was really nothing uglier to design, although the Velvet Elvis of Icecrown still holds a special place in my heart. This painting of a scantily clad woman holding a fan is actually not too bad, but submitter Nounours of Spectacular Death on Llane (US-A) doesn't seem too fond of it. Maybe she thinks that the model's lack of body hair promotes unrealistic body image standards for worgen ladies. Real women have top hats!

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: Girls with low self-esteem originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 5.2 hotfixes for March 21 - Fri, 22 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST

Just when you thought it was over, another round of hotfixes have been released. Today's list of fixes is pretty short and sweet, with only one small class related bug fix. The rest of the tweaks by and large involve the Isle of Thunder and the Throne of Thunder raid. And for those diligently working on stage 3 daily quests out there on the Isle, one of these changes should be a welcome relief.
  • Statue pieces for the Crumbled Chamberlain now do not despawn when looted, which means the hours of trying to beat other players to those pesky gear icons are officially over. Rejoice!
  • Because everyone loves a laser-slingin' dinosaur, Oondasta now respawns much more frequently.
  • Melee, you can cease fearing the snail. Gastropods in the Throne of Thunder should now favor attackers at range.
Read on for the full list of hotfixes.

Continue reading Patch 5.2 hotfixes for March 21

Patch 5.2 hotfixes for March 21 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nethaera wants to know your most coveted and unusual items - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST

Over at the official forums Community Manager Nethaera has a bit of an unusual question for everyone: do you dream of electric sheep? Well, okay, it's not exactly that question. She wants to know what unusual or unique items you hoard, keep, or carry and the reason why. Do you hang onto Pamela Redpath's tea for courage when you face the undead? Do you keep Archmage Vargoth's Staff for some company on those long, Netherstorm nights? Or is it a practical item that you prefer - a repair bot or the Direbrew Remote for when you simply must have some of that Dark Iron brew?

This question is actually a tough one for me to answer. Not because I don't have an answer but because I have entirely too many answers. My bags and bank are stuffed full of random items that I refuse to get rid of, even now-useless stuff like Shard of the Fallen Star. I guess if I had to choose, I'd say it'd be a tie for two: my Orb of Deception and Orb of the Sin'dorei. I love turning my night elf into an undead or blood elf, respectively, though unfortunately the Orb of Deception requires being equipped in a trinket slot to work, so it's not very practical for raiding. The Orb of the Sin'dorei you can just click to use. True story: once upon a time back in Wrath I was hanging out, transformed into a blood elf, at the Ulduar summoning stone helping bring my guildmates to the raid. Another Alliance player walked up and /spit on me. When I whispered him with a frowny face emote, he freaked out and thought I was a hacker. Helpful tip, my friend: a blood elf in full tier 7 druid gear is not actually a blood elf! Also, you shouldn't /spit on people, it's really rude!

Nethaera wants to know your most coveted and unusual items originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The OverAchiever: The game's 13 vanished titles - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 19:00:00 EST

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we rue the lack of High Poobah among the game's honorifics.

An interesting question in the Tanking forum about a month back spurred an article for readers here about which title they find most reassuring on a fellow player. The discussion that ensued was a reminder that you can't get some of the more popular picks anymore, and just why they meant -- and continue to mean -- something in the first place.

Sad to say, these titles are no longer accessible, unless you manage to find some far-flung server at the end of the universe where no one's bothered to kill Sartharion at all.

Continue reading The OverAchiever: The game's 13 vanished titles

The OverAchiever: The game's 13 vanished titles originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: You Stole My Toon - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST

Work Warning: Characters with no armor appear in this video.

Have you ever felt the pain and shame of having your character stolen, stripped naked, and left for dead? At this point in the game's history, many of us have taken that walk of shame to the GM's doorstep to ask for help.

This is a pain that Rogahar and Sharm seem to know well. You Stole My Toon features the mournful lament of a character who's lost everything. The video apparently took a very long time to create, with the last scene alone taking 50 hours to render. It's easy to see where the time went: some of the animation is downright impressive.

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: You Stole My Toon originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Who here has the most level 90s -- and why? - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 17:00:00 EST

Let's talk alts, people. How many 90s are you altaholics running these days?

I guess it's pretty interesting to poke around for big, flashy totals -- and yeah, it would be cool to recognize the player with the highest number of 90s -- but I'm really more interested in how and why you pushed all those characters to the cap in the first place. Are you chasing the whole concept of one level-capped character of each race or class? Perhaps you've been building an empire of craftspeople. Or maybe you just really, really, really like the leveling game. What drives you to level 90 again and again?

View Poll



Are there any of you out there who've actually leveled an entire character select screen full of characters to level 90? If you have more than a handful of 90s, what's your motivation for level-capping so many characters?

Who here has the most level 90s -- and why? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Five World of Warcraft machinimas you need to know about - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST

It's true that nearly every day we feature a machinima on WoW Moviewatch, but we here at WoW Insider occasionally feel compelled to pick favorites, or at least memorable ones. Today, I want to focus on some older gems that haven't had any time in the spotlight for a while and deserve some love. If you're new to the game these videos might provide you a glimpse into an inaccessible time now gone, and if you're new to machinima it might spark a desire to seek out more. Regardless, I've chosen a variety of films that hopefully showcase the enormous potential in using WoW's game engine to produce cinematic content, as well as the boundless creativity and talent within the WoW community. Read and watch on below the cut.

Continue reading Five World of Warcraft machinimas you need to know about

Five World of Warcraft machinimas you need to know about originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Throne of Thunder: Forgotten Depths Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 15:00:00 EST

The second wing of Throne of Thunder Raid Finder was just unlocked this week, so get ready to queue. After our last 5-second guide to the first wing, we couldn't just leave you hanging without a second! After being thrown down to the Forgotten Depths, you'll be introduced to a few beastly bosses -- be prepared. Here's a quick rundown perfect for sharing with your Raid Finder comrades (thanks for the help Thugmuffins!).

Tortos

One tank on Tortos, the other on Vampiric Cave Bat duty. Don't stand in Rockfall. Healers be ready to top the raid after Quake Stomp. Kill priority is bats, Whirl Turtles, then boss. Be sure to kick one of the turtles into Tortos to interrupt his Furious Stone Breath. Although you can mostly survive the breath on Raid Finder difficulty, make your healer's life easier by interrupting.

Megaera

Note: You will have to kill the three Eternal Guardians around the cave and ring their bells to spawn the boss.

Tank the two active heads facing away from the center, and don't tank the same head twice in a row to avoid debuffs stacking too high. The raid should stack in the center during Rampage for AoE heals. Kite the beam out of the raid if you're targeted with Torrent of Ice. Run out of the raid for a Cinders dispel. Run away from the Acid Rain. Kill order of the heads in this difficulty isn't too important, just rotate -- green, red, blue will work fine.

See Ji-Kun's quick strategy after the break!

Continue reading Throne of Thunder: Forgotten Depths Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds

Throne of Thunder: Forgotten Depths Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The quest of a lifetime - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST

Here at WoW Insider we're suckers for a sweet story. And this is definitely a sweet story, with a very Warcraft theme. The MK over at Khalanil wanted to make a warcraft-themed proposal, and so got to work, heading over to an unofficial WoW blog by the name of World of Warcraft Papercrafts. Amongst other things, Khalanil found an origami treasure chest, as pictured in the header image above.

He also managed to lay his hands on some quest background images, the Morpheus font, and some other WoW assets, that enabled him to put together what must be the sweetest questline we've ever seen. He created three quests, one to find an afternoon tea spot for Lor'themar Theron, the completion of which opened up a quest to eliminate dwarves at a local tea-room, and finally, Clara was sent out to scout a high-price eatery for Trade Prince Gallywix.

Completing the final quest granted Clara a Legendary item, which was concealed in the box we saw at the start. WoW Insider particularly enjoyed the stats on this item: +100 Love, +100 Happiness, and, just for good measure, +10 Melee Damage! You never know when you might need it. Do head over to Khalanil to read the full post!

[Thanks for the tip, Alex!]

The quest of a lifetime originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Players rave to underground goblin techno at Wyrmrest Accord's Club Trix - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 13:00:00 EST

Hey baby, what are you doing this Friday night? Let's party at Club Trix in Gadgetzan (Wyrmrest Accord-RP-US). They've got a real DJ, a goblin named Trixxiz, and his crew spinning goblin-engineered techno on Radio Trix. There's a featured drink menu (Hordeside, at least), regular special events, and a chill crowd enjoying the goblin groove. Originally from Bilgewater in Azshara, Club Trix has moved through Dalaran and now runs out of Gadgetzan, where the underground vibe is hot and there's plenty of room outside for enterprising goblins to get their profit on.

WoW Insider interviewed DJ Trixxiz to find out more about the hottest new club on Azeroth's scene.

WoW Insider: Trixxiz, you're a DJ out in the real world, aren't you?

DJ Trixxiz: I am and have been a DJ since around 2004, I think. I had a few gigs over the years but not many, because within the already limited audience of electronic dance music, I was playing one of the lesser-popular genres of trance in an area dominated by house and techno. (I live halfway between Chicago and Detroit, the birthplaces of each, respectively.) However, the past couple years, trance has been exploding in popularity and I'm looking to break back into the scene this summer. Otherwise, I've mostly been an online presence throughout the years with shows on online radio stations, generally pulling in around 300 listeners, and several labels send me tracks to promote before they're released to the public.

Even though I've got these other radio shows that pull in way more listeners, Club Trix is by far my favorite. With most internet radio shows -- even local radio antenna FM shows which I've also done in the past -- the amount of community feedback and interaction is very minimal. It airs, you hope that someone enjoyed it, and that's that.

With Club Trix, there's this whole level of interaction with the listeners happening in real time through the IRC chat and the game, and they make it all come alive -- which makes it probably the most rewarding radio show on the internet save for a few run by the giants in the industry who can make that happen without the aid of roleplay environment.

Continue reading Players rave to underground goblin techno at Wyrmrest Accord's Club Trix

Players rave to underground goblin techno at Wyrmrest Accord's Club Trix originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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In patch 5.2, automatic flight path discovery is a thing of the past - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST

If you've been on the leveling treadmill -- or if you frequent the WoW forums -- chances are you've noticed that after patch 5.2, you stopped automatically discovering new flight paths. For those of you (myself included) who loved this feature, it's unfortunately an intentional change. According to everyone's favorite floating skull, Zarhym, the auto-discovery of flight paths -- introduced way back in patch 4.2 in June 2011 -- was never intentional.


So why's it waited so long? Again, according to Zarhym, it was a complicated problem to crack -- and low on the priority list.


While I mourn the loss of what was one of my favorite Cataclysm-era features -- the run through the Wetlands to pick up the flight path at Menethil Harbor used to be a killer, literally -- I can't complain too much. After all, with mounts starting at level 20, hearthstones on a 15 minute cooldown (with the right guild perks), and flight paths scattered conveniently around the world, getting around is easier than it's ever been, even without automatically discovering new flight paths.

In patch 5.2, automatic flight path discovery is a thing of the past originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Damn, Zarhym smells good - Thu, 21 Mar 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. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

What's that smell?

That smell is Paris Hilton.

Charlie asked:

The solo dungeon quest to open more of the island was a blast, do you think Blizz might give us more solo dungeon action. Maybe for a few valor or trans. gear items or something?

Continue reading The Queue: Damn, Zarhym smells good

The Queue: Damn, Zarhym smells good originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Beyond the veil - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST

After submitter Daenerys of Khaz Modan (US-H) lost her beloved husband-to-be in a tragic blimp accident over Loch Modan, she thought she would never see him again. But when Lorewalker Cho pulled up the images of the blood elf people during a quest in the Jade Forest, she was able to say a proper goodbye. At least until she looked slightly to her right and realized that he had spent the afterlife hooking up with her identical ghost-twin. One full-on Maury style slapfest, coming right up!

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: Beyond the veil originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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