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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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Battle.net conversion to become mandatory soon - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 20:05:00 EST


In an interview over at Slashdot, J. Allen Brack, Lead Producer of WoW, spoke about the Battle.net conversion that's going on and how it will apply to WoW. One of the more important things he said was:
We have optional Battle.net conversion right now, but that will be mandatory at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Many people have done the conversion already, and many speculated and inferred from past Blizzard comments that the conversion would eventually become mandatory. But now it looks like it's going to be, and that date is in the "not-too-distant future."

The conversion process is relatively straight forward, and can be started by visiting your account management page. There have been times when Battle.net enabled accounts were not able to get into the game due to authentication issues, but those seem to be diminishing.

We'll be sure to keep you updated on any additional announcements concerning the upcoming mandatory conversion

Battle.net conversion to become mandatory soon originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 20:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Sandeep Parikh - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 20:00:00 EST


Sandeep Parikh has alternately charmed and creeped out fans of The Guild as Zaboo, the hapless love interest of Felicia Day's Codex. Ever since the very beginning of the series, he's made for some of the web show's most awkward, and not coincidentally, most funny moments.

And while the guy behind the character is definitely funny, he's also clued-in in a way that Zaboo isn't -- coming from an improv background, he knows how to put a scene together, and he's got a good amount of web video experience himself from producing, writing, and directing the popular (and very NSFW) Legend of Neil series.

We sat down at BlizzCon with Sandeep to talk about his work on both web series, including Felicia Day's secret blue streak, what you can do with alcohol and an old Nintendo system, and what's in store for his character in The Guild's upcoming season 3. Read on below.

Continue reading BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Sandeep Parikh

BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Sandeep Parikh originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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In-Game Launch event for Cataclysm confirmed - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 19:17:00 EST


From the "duh, but still cool" news department comes confirmation that there will be an in-game launch event for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, WoW's third expansion.

Kisirani, your friendly neighborhood world designer, replied to a comment in the general forms today where a player said he'd be disappointed if there wasn't a Cataclysm launch event. Kisirani replied:

*rolls up her sleeves and idly kicks the crates from last launch event under her desk*

We're on it.

That's confirmation in Blizzard speak.

Will it be as badass as the Lich King launching his forces into Stormwind, Orgrimmar, and the rest of Azeroth? My guess is that it'll be at least 37 times as badass.

In-Game Launch event for Cataclysm confirmed originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 19:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: Tanking tough with arigurumi meanie - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by contacting our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) - not-for-profit work only, please.

How cute can a malign Death Knight really be? Apparently, if she's a Gnome Death Knight done up arigurumi style - pretty darn cute. Espyr of Sen'jin-US shared this gift she crafted with love for her boyfriend's pocket tank, Pipps. Apparently the character behind this meanie began her illustrious career as a Warrior but has transformed into something ... biggah (in spirit, at least). "Interestingly, he has continued Pipps' story so she has 'become' a Death Knight (on another server, Steamwheedle Cartel), and outside of WoW, he has written short stories about her younger life, being raised by Dwarves," Espyr says. "I love that he can tell her whole story. It's really interesting, I think, because he really thinks it out."

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: Tanking tough with arigurumi meanie

World of WarCrafts: Tanking tough with arigurumi meanie originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Entering a brave new world - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 18:00:00 EST

Chris Metzen, speaking during the World of Warcraft preview panel, revealed that Cataclysm will introduce seven new zones, on top of revamping the old world. This revamp changes both the game mechanics (adding the ability to fly anywhere) and the lore, as old zones are forever changed, both geographically and territorially. These new zones are:
  • Gilneas
  • Twilight Highlands
  • Deepholm
  • The Lost Isles
  • Sunken City of Vashj'ir
  • Mount Hyjal
  • Uldum

Continue reading BlizzCon 2009: Entering a brave new world

BlizzCon 2009: Entering a brave new world originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cataclysm easter egg reveals Deathwing's musical side - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 17:00:00 EST
Blizzard is a cunning bunch and they seem to love easter eggs. No we're not talking lovely chocolatey orbs like the ones you find during Noblegarden, rather that they like hiding artwork in plain sight and waiting for us to click on it. Tucked away in the Cataclysm official site is the kind of artwork which practically demands to end up on a T shirt. Yes, Deathwing is actually the sixth member of The Artists Formally Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain (aka TAFKAL80ETC or that funny Prince-like symbol with the Horde sigil at its center). Oh and he plays the piano. Who knew, eh?

You can find it by clicking here and looking for the small keyboard at the bottom of the page (it's in the middle underneath the artwork, just below the page indicator). Alternatively, if you want all the gratification and none of the work, click here to download the awesome high res version. We fully expect to see everyone wearing them come next year's BlizzCon rather than those three wolves howling at the moon.

Cataclysm easter egg reveals Deathwing's musical side originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Felicia Day - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 16:00:00 EST
At this point, Felicia Day probably doesn't even need an introduction -- she's likely the biggest celebrity to come out of the WoW community since Leroy Jenkins. Her webseries The Guild, about a group of MMO gamers very similar to the ones we play with every day, has been seen and loved all over the world, and Felicia herself is spotted all over television lately (yes, tipsters to this site, that is her in the Sears commercial, and we also heard during The Guild panel at BlizzCon last weekend that she'll be back on Dollhouse again soon).

We've followed her and her show since almost day one -- back before she was demoing Twitter on Xbox at E3 and winning Streamy awards, we've talked with her about what it's like to be a gamer and make a TV show that people said you couldn't make. She was kind enough to sit down with us at BlizzCon 2009 and chat with us again: you can read the exclusive interview after the break.

The Guild's third season actually starts tomorrow, on MSN and Xbox Live. There's a trailer due out on MSN today -- as soon as it releases, we'll embed it into this post. Thanks once again to Felicia for chatting with us, and we can't wait to see what's next.

Continue reading BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Felicia Day

BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Felicia Day originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 104: BlizzCon blitz - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST
We've got a special treat for you on this week's podcast: it's actually two episodes in one. Since we were all at BlizzCon this past weekend, we went ahead and recorded a podcast both nights of the con -- after the show, tired as we were, we trudged back to the hotel and recorded some audio reflecting on what we'd seen earlier in the day. Obviously, this is our very first of the first impressions -- some of the things we talked about Friday night were clarified on Saturday, and since we didn't have much time here, we obviously hit on only the biggest highlights. But we did get in some good discussion about Cataclysm and what we've been told so far, Icecrown and what the devs mentioned, and of course the convention itself and what we all saw on the floor.

It was actually a lot of fun to sit down and do the show with us all in the same room -- of course it's not usually possible, given that we're all in different places around the country (and world), but it was definitely an interesting thing to try while we were all at the con. And while we're talking about the con, a huge thank you to everyone who came up to us and said how much they loved the podcast -- we really, really appreciate hearing stuff like that. Of course, as you can probably hear, the podcast is a ton of fun to do anyway, but it's great to hear you guys are having as much fun as we are.

Next week, we should be back to normal -- we'll be live on the air at 3:30pm Saturday with Turpster, our usual rotating panel of WoW.com folks, and maybe even some special guests. Thanks for listening, see you then.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

WoW Insider Show Episode 104: BlizzCon blitz originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dual specs and loot priority - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 14:00:00 EST
Like lots of other players, I found myself running the regular version of Trial of the Champion endlessly in pursuit of trinket drops when patch 3.2 hit, and it wasn't uncommon for groups to spend some time beforehand figuring out who was going to roll on what. With so many players now dual-specced into different roles and volunteering to come to 5-mans on an offspec just to get things moving, determining who had more priority on an item drop usable by multiple classes got a bit tetchy at times. I saw some ugly fights break out, and never more so than when a DPS player who respecced to heal for the sake of the group was told not to bid on the Abyssal Rune or Banner of Victory. Losing a roll on something you need to an off- or secondary-spec sucks, but being unable to roll on gear that benefits your main spec just because you respecced to get the group going is equally agonizing.

Continue reading Dual specs and loot priority

Dual specs and loot priority originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm will reshape guilds - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 13:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

If you're a regular reader of this column, you know that my biggest pet peeve with WoW is how little support guilds have received from Blizzard over the years. As I've said before, guilds are the backbone of any MMO. They facilitate all the group content that developers spend millions to produce -- the content that keeps people interested in the game and separates an MMO from your average single-player experience.

Without officers who sacrifice time and energy to organize and lead their guilds, no MMO can succeed. I am, of course, biased, but I believe that officers deserve more support than they typically get from MMO developers, especially in WoW. Finally, Blizzard has unveiled plans to deliver not just an improved guild interface, but an entire leveling and achievement system for guilds, complete with talents.

In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth is not the only thing that will be reshaped. Guilds will be completely different entities compared to what they are now, with much greater depth and interactivity. To fully understand how monumental these changes are for officers everywhere, let's first look at the history of WoW's guild improvements.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm will reshape guilds

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm will reshape guilds originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Don't Make Me Get My Main - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST


Cranius
is the legendary WoW musician behind Big Blue Dress and Darrowshire. If you've been following Moviewatch, then you already know he worked with equally amazing machinimator Legs to create a music video for Wrought. For BlizzCon 2009, the pair again created an astounding piece of art, titled Don't Make Me Get My Main.

The story of the video is something with which most of us can empathize. At least, you can empathize with it if you've ever tried leveling an alt up through Stranglethorn. A beleaguered low level character is just trying to get his quests done, but a vile Blood Elf repeatedly gray-ganks the poor chap. The protagonist implores the ganker to leave him alone, before he's forced to go get his accomplished, powerful main character.

I'll avoid spoilers for the ending, but trust me when I say it's probably yet another experience most of us have probably suffered through before. Congratulations to Cranius and Legs on winning a first place prize with this video.


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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Don't Make Me Get My Main originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: The short version - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 11:00:00 EST


For all those of you out there who don't have the time to slog through the 100+ articles we published on BlizzCon 2009, we've condensed the events of the past few days into the most important things you need to know:
If you'd like a more thorough look at how BlizzCon 2009 went, visit our round-ups on Day One and Day Two of the con for a more complete guide to our articles, galleries, and videos.

BlizzCon 2009: The short version originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Original buttery flavor - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST


With rumors of an oncoming cataclysm spreading through the cities of Azeroth, many residents have begun making plans for whatever may come. Valhalla of Spirestone has used his powers of light to create a waterproof, earthquake-proof, magic-proof crystal bomb shelter. He'll be able to survive any catastrophe, as long as he remembers to create some air holes. And the inside is made of delicious buttered popcorn-flavor rock candy! Actually ... not delicious. Ew.

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads with dead gnomes any race at all, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Original buttery flavor originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Nuts and bolts - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST
Oh boy. Most of us are the walking dead after BlizzCon, but let's get back to something resembling normalcy with a Queue. We're going to start off today with an important matter concerning authenticators and account security, then move on to a bit of WoW.com business and Onyxia. I'd also like to direct attention to two really good comments from the last column re: technical issues, Shadow's and Logarth's.

Zerounit asks...

I recently got an Authenticator in the mail and I noticed something while I was inspecting it: there appears to be no way to open it short of cracking it open with large objects. Is there a battery life on these? If it stops giving me my magic codes, will I have to get a new one?

I got an authenticator for my own use recently and have to admit I hadn't thought to look into the battery life, which is a very good question indeed. A dead authenticator means you have no way of getting into the game (or even into your online account) without official help from Blizzard.

Turns out the little security doodads are manufactured by a company named Vasco, and after poking around their website, I'm reasonably certain that Blizzard authenticators are a variant of Vasco's DIGIPASS GO 6 model. What makes me so sure? The GO 6 model page is the only one accompanied by an article on fraud and hacking in online gaming. They don't come right out and say that Blizzard is a customer, but unless Hello Kitty Online is a bigger hive of scum and villainy than even we gave it credit for, you don't have to be a genius to figure out that World of Warcraft figures prominently in MMORPG account theft.

Continue reading The Queue: Nuts and bolts

The Queue: Nuts and bolts originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What do you think of new race and class combos? - Mon, 24 Aug 2009 08:00:00 EST
One of the big things announced at BlizzCon were the new class and race combinations. These were originally datamined from patch 3.2.2 and include everything from Gnome Priests and Goblin Rogues to Worgen Druids. I'm especially excited about the last one.

For years, the race you played has been indelibly linked with the class and defined how you play the game. Say, for example, you like playing Night Elves, you're limited class-wise to rolling Druid, Priests, Hunters, Rogues and Warriors. On the other hand, if it's a specific class then you are sometimes limited to a particular race. So Draenei are the only Alliance race which can current become Shamans while the same is true, Horde-side, for Blood Elves becoming Paladins.

From a lore perspective, there is little preventing any of these combos. This is especially true as Azeroth expands and the game evolves. But readers, this is new territory for us, as WoW becomes more open. What do you think of the possibility of lore-centric or even playable class and race combinations?

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of new race and class combos? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Gilneas - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 21:00:00 EST

Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week WoW.com brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? Leave a comment below!

The nation of Gilneas is one of the oldest human kingdoms that still exists. Founded after the breaking of the human empire of Arathor, Gilneas was considered one of the great Seven Kingdoms, along with Kul Tiras, Alterac, Dalaran, Lordaeron, Stromgarde, and Stormwind.

Gilneas is located on a rocky peninsula that juts out over the Great Sea on Lordaeron's west coast, southwest of Silverpine Forest. High seaside cliffs keep the kingdom safe from attack by water and the foreboding Greymane Wall keeps it locked safely away from the struggles of modern Lordaeron and, by extension, Azeroth. No one has been allowed in or out of the kingdom for nearly ten years, and no one has seen or heard from the burly, gruff, self-sufficient Gilneans in just as long.

The source of this isolation is none other than Genn Greymane, hereditary ruler of the kingdom under the Greymane Dynasty for decades.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Gilneas

Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Gilneas originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Deathwing - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 20:00:00 EST

Today's Know Your Lore subject hasn't yet been seen in World of Warcraft, but he's the Big Bad in the upcoming Cataclysm expansion, making his first appearance in the series since Warcraft II. An ancient and incredibly powerful being with a past swathed in betrayal and destruction, Deathwing is poised to bring about the second-largest cataclysm that Azeroth has ever seen.

Who: Neltharion the Earth-Warder, aka Deathwing the Destroyer.

What: Colossal, nearly-molten black dragon. Officially a Dragon Aspect, one of five sent to guard ancient Kalimdor by the Titans. He's also the head of the Black Dragonflight.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Deathwing

Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Deathwing originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: More possibilities for goblins and worgen in Cataclysm - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST
All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

So the Cataclysm expansion has officially been announced at BlizzCon 2009 and while there are many things we knew before (such as the addition of Goblins and Worgen), there are many things we just learned (such as the beginnings of their proper lore), and many things we still don't know as well -- some things even Blizzard still seems undecided about.

But there are some indications of things to come which will surely affect roleplayers. The most obvious change involves the changes the whole world will be going through. Each of our existing characters' will have their own reaction to the cataclysm, of course, as well as the opportunity to go through the game from 1 to 60 with a new character, and maybe not be quite as bored as you were the last 6 times you did it. Your new tauren paladin's leveling experience will be very different from your tauren shaman's, and each one will have different things to talk about once they reach the level cap.

Another obvious addition is that you can start another character with whichever new race you like most. Many players have been wanting to play goblins and worgen for a long time, and appreciate the new parity that the two races bring to the two factions -- the Horde now has a diminutive race that is likely the closest the Horde could ever come to "cute," and the Alliance finally gets a race that is actually monstrous. This opens the doors for people to try out the opposite faction even more than before. We've already talked about these two races in a previous article, but now that the expansion's new races are confirmed with additional lore and information, there's quite a bit more to say.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: More possibilities for goblins and worgen in Cataclysm

All the World's a Stage: More possibilities for goblins and worgen in Cataclysm originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Worgen - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 18:00:00 EST



Welcome to Know your Lore, where we bring the story behind the people, places, and cultures of Azeroth.

The Worgen are coming. We now know for sure that, come Deathwing's Cataclysm, The Worgen of Gilneas will be answering the call of the Alliance. The Worgen, while they have quickly become a classic, iconic race in Warcraft lore, actually only came onto the scene in WoW itself, providing an enemy to Horde and Alliance alike in Silverpine Forest, Duskwood, and Ashenvale. But who are they, and what bought them to this place where they will become one of the next playable races of the World of Warcraft before other choices?

In the Beginning

To know how this all begins, the first place to look is The Book of Ur. This Book, written by Ur, a Mage of Dalaran, eventually found its way into the personal library of the Archmage Arugal. It describes the origin of the Worgen.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Worgen

Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Worgen originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: Cataclysmic shock and awe - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 17:00:00 EST


Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

And so it begins. Cataclysmic shock and awe is sweeping through WoW.com's [1.Local] channel (that's the post comments, for those of you so shell-shocked by the expansion announcements that you automatically assumed we meant that we, too, have a new feature you haven't discovered yet) as readers began gulping down the deluge of information coming out of BlizzCon this weekend. It all started with Blizzard's official announcement of the next WoW expansion: Cataclysm.

joggoms: And just like that, I'm all excited about playing WoW again!

cowy: I've never had such a mixed bag of feeling's over a game before! I love Azeroth; it's my home away from home and the place my little cow grew up, lived and played in for many years. While I am so psyched about the expansion and the changes (this is going to be fantastic), there's a odd sadness I can't seem to dismiss completely. Goodbye old Azeroth; it was good times.

Derbeste: Unifying the high levels with the leveling and twink communities back in the old world in a NEW way is a GOOD thing. I'll gladly pay for it.

More reader reaction to the flood of Cataclysm news (and of course, links to much of the news itself), after the break.

Continue reading [1.Local]: Cataclysmic shock and awe

[1.Local]: Cataclysmic shock and awe originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009 Insider Trader: Cataclysmic professions - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 16:00:00 EST


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Over the course of several BlizzCon panels, we've been treated to a preview of how professions will be changing in Cataclysm, the next expansion pack.

Pass through the break to learn all about:
  • The new title and level cap.
  • Revamped skill gains.
  • Archaeology, the new profession!
  • Reforging, a new dimension to crafting professions.
  • Hints about the future of Engineering, Fishing, and Gathering.
  • Information about things we wanted to see, but won't.

Continue reading BlizzCon 2009 Insider Trader: Cataclysmic professions

BlizzCon 2009 Insider Trader: Cataclysmic professions originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Revamped stats in Cataclysm and Dwarven/Goblin Shamans - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST


Totem Talk is Wow.com's weekly column about all things Shamanistic. This week, we go "aaah aaah BlizzCon! Goblin and Dwarven Shamans! All sorts of stats changing! Aaaah!" with Matthew Rossi. Be warned that Cataclysm spoilers may be thick on the ground in this post.

The past few days have been a crazy basket of news for us Shaman players. The Alliance will have a second Shamanistic race with the inclusion of Dwarves (which makes sense, really, since Dwarves are effectively descended from beings of pure earth) and the Horde will get a fourth race of Shamans in the Goblins.

Frankly, an expansion based around the upheaval as Deathwing himself smashes the elemental plans pell-mell into Azeroth is pure bliss for a Shaman. This is what we're for! The elements in disarray, Ragnaros bucking wild on Mount Hyjal, the planes leaking through into Azeroth... time to get out there and do what we do best.

But that's not all. With stat simplification gear is changing, Mastery will change the way our talent trees function, and then there will be the Path of the Titans to help customize us even more than Glyphs did. Shamans are going to gear differently, have five more talent points (but the talents themselves will be changed and streamlined, we're told) and play differently in Cataclysm. Let's start talking about how.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Revamped stats in Cataclysm and Dwarven/Goblin Shamans

Totem Talk: Revamped stats in Cataclysm and Dwarven/Goblin Shamans originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm targeted for a 2010 release date - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 13:03:00 EST


One small bit of rumor has been floating around the BlizzCon floor the last couple days: that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be released in 2010. We hear these kind of rumors all the time, and don't give them very much credence. Whatever date is up on Game Stop (November 1st, 2010) or Amazon or wherever are just placeholder dates until they start to change or we hear from trusted sources that the dates are correct.

But this time, things are a little bit different.

WoW.com has been able to confirm that during a DirecTV interview, Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard, revealed that Cataclysm is targeted for a 2010 release date.

Now a targeted release date should be clearly understood for what it is. It is a date that Blizzard wants to ship their game, nothing more, nothing less. It means that they have a plan and schedule to get the game ready by then. But as everyone knows, long term schedules can and do change. Please limit the QQ if we don't see Cataclysm next year.

Interesting news nonetheless!

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm targeted for a 2010 release date originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 13:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Razer is giving away a sweet Asus rig - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST

In case BlizzCon today isn't enough excitement for you, Razer, maker of fine gaming hardware of many kinds, is teaming up with Asus to give away a killer gaming computer. It's custom-painted with a ghost from Starcraft (anyone excited about SC2?), and it features some serious hardware. Intel i7 at 2.66 GHz, 9 GB of RAM, a GeForce GTX260 with 896 MB RAM, a 1 TB hard drive - it should run pretty much everything you want to throw at it. And it's so pretty! Of course, it comes with some Razer peripherals too.

All you need to do to win is leave a comment on their Facebook thread saying what your favorite Blizzard game is, and why. This means you will need a Facebook account, and you also need to become a "fan" of Razer first from their profile page. The winner will be randomly chosen on Monday, so you have until then to get in there.

Razer is giving away a sweet Asus rig originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: How far along is the development of Cataclysm? - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:00:00 EST

We knew Cataclysm was coming, but it's nice to be able to play it. Today. At BlizzCon. Yes, rather than firing up the PTRs to let visitors kick Onyxia's butt (again) or proffering a glimpse of Arthas' defeat, attendees get their first taste of the new expansion set. How awesome is that? To be able to play the game this weekend, though, suggests that it's at a good stage in development. After all, Wrath was announced at BlizzCon 2007 but we didn't actually get to play it (at least the internal Friends and Family Alpha version) until the WWI in July 2008, nearly a year later.

Blizzard's Lead Level Designer on World of Warcraft, Cory Stockton, has stated that Cataclysm's development began before Wrath shipped (there's a surprise ...) but it's obviously futher along than many might have thought and then Mike Morhaime hesitantly confirmed the game was slated to be released in 2010 along with StarCraft II. So when exactly could we expect to see the third World of Warcraft expansion?

Continue reading BlizzCon 2009: How far along is the development of Cataclysm?

BlizzCon 2009: How far along is the development of Cataclysm? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Baby I wanna be first in line - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST


Today on Alliance Gloating Theater, Julietmarie of <Molten Core Swim Team> on Velen is determined to be first in line at the Greymane Wall to welcome the Worgen into her faction. "Soon, new allies will come forth through that gate and the glory of the Alliance will grow even further, finally gaining that symbol of power that strikes fear into the heart of those who dare oppose us," she writes. "Kudos, Blizzard, for giving us what are essentially werewolves while the Horde get what are essentially very short trolls. Lorewise, both factions gain valuable allies. But aesthetically, Alliance wins hands down. Soon ... soon."

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads with dead gnomes any race at all, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Baby I wanna be first in line originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: BlizzCon 2009 edition - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST
While BlizzCon 2009 is coming to a close, the analysis and discussion is only beginning. Why not take a break to check out some of your favorite WoW-related webcomics?

BlizzCon 2009 comic entries:

Sunday Morning Funnies: BlizzCon 2009 edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Your favorite BlizzCon announcement - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 08:00:00 EST

Well, BlizzCon is over and done with, and what a crazy two days it's been! The official announcement of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, new races, stat changes, new raids and dungeons, new progression paths, guild leveling, the beautiful Tricia Helfer as Kerrigan in StarCraft II, the Diablo 3 Monk class ... my brain is positively swimming in new stuff. There was something for everyone here, except maybe those hoping for new info about the next-gen MMO.

So, I asked you guys a few days ago what announcement you were waiting for at BlizzCon. Some of you got your wishes, looks like! What was your favorite announcement made at BlizzCon? Anything got your blood pumping? Some special phrase into a microphone that warmed the cockles of your heart? Don't be shy. We all fell a little in love this year. Let the world know, and be at peace.

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite BlizzCon announcement originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Day two of BlizzCon 2009: Round-up - Sun, 23 Aug 2009 07:00:00 EST


Well, readers, BlizzCon 2009 is over and done, and our staff is slowly but surely beginning to make its way home in celebrated zombie-like fashion. In the meantime, we've outsourced article production to our household pets, so be gentle with your criticism of Toonces' efforts today (stupid cat can't even spell QQ correctly). Anyway, here's what happened on Day 2 of BlizzCon:




Day two of BlizzCon 2009: Round-up originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 23 Aug 2009 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Premonition live raid - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 23:30:00 EST

You've probably heard of Premonition, one of the big raiding guilds that everyone follows in "the raiding scene." Among other things, Premonition is the group known for being the first guild in the U.S. to complete Alone in the Darkness. They were also special guest stars this year at BlizzCon 2009.

Similar to other WoW related panels, the stage hall in which Premonition performed was way too small for the sheer number of people who showed up. We stood shoulder to shoulder and necks to backs in order to fit.

Unlike other live raid displays, Premonition's live raid performance was crafted specifically for this convention. Premonition fought a series of four boss teams, with each boss team having at least three members. Some of the bosses featured during the raid included the a team of dragons, Brutallus, Infernus, and other stars from Outland.

Premonition's only real wipe happened when they faced down Thaddius, Anub'Rekhan, and Patchwerk. That three-boss team managed to get Premonition down on their first attempt. After only a bit of recovery, the star raiding guild picked themselves up and easily defeated the trio.

The final bout, however, was with a very special guest star from the old world past. Updated and beefed to represent his full power as a level 80 raid boss, this nightmare memory was met by the audience with howls of joy and nostalgia.

Hogger had appeared.

Despite their skill and coordination, Premonition stood no match against the Gnoll of Gnolls. While noone can dispute Premonition's skill, there are just some basic truths to the world. Hogger is the king boss.


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

BlizzCon 2009: Premonition live raid originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 23:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Dance and soundalike contest videos - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 23:00:00 EST


We brought you the video from the costume contest earlier tonight. Now, as requested, here are Turpster's videos of the dance contest (above), and the soundalike contest (after the cut). I have to say, I watched the soundalike contest live, and it was really weird. Some of those contestants are creepily accurate.

Continue reading BlizzCon 2009: Dance and soundalike contest videos

BlizzCon 2009: Dance and soundalike contest videos originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm dungeons - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 22:30:00 EST


Cory Stockton and Scott Mercer gave an in-depth look into the dungeons and raids available at the launch of WoW: Cataclysm during the Raids and Dungeons panel today at BlizzCon. We'll look at the dungeons first.

OVERVIEW:

At launch, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will ship with eight 5-man dungeons and two heroic versions of old-world dungeons.

Grim Batol: One level 85 5-man.
Skywall: One level 80-82 5-man.
Abyssal Maw: Two 5-mans; level 80-83 and level 82-84.
Deepholm: One level 80-83 5-man.
Uldum: Two 5-mans; level 83-84 and level 85.
Blackrock Caverns: One level 85 5-man.
Shadowfang Keep: One level 85 heroic 5-man.
The Deadmines: One level 85 heroic 5-man.

Descriptions and info after the jump for dungeons that were covered in depth in the panel.



Continue reading BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm dungeons

BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm dungeons originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 22:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: What to expect in Icecrown - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 22:00:00 EST


Oh hey guys -- remember the other World of Warcraft expansion, the one we're currently playing? Turns out this one has some cool stuff too. The most interesting thing (at least to me) that we heard from the Dungeons and Raids panel is that we're going to get some sort of cinematic or lore moment on Arthas' death (if he does in fact die). I remember being somewhat disappointed when Illidan finally croaked for my guild; for such an important lore figure, he really went out with a whimper and not a bang. Anyway, here's what we know so far about the Icecrown Citadel raid confirmed to be coming in patch 3.3:
  • There will be at least 4 floors' worth of content in Icecrown Citadel, which I would guess means it'll be reminiscent of how you worked your way up from the sewers of the Black Temple to the roof with Illidan. They plan to make more use of the warp/teleport mechanic currently used in Ulduar that makes it possible for players to see bigger dungeons without spending a lot of time just running from place to place.
  • Sindragosa (the same dragon you saw Arthas raising in the Wrath of the Lich King cinematic trailer) and the Lich King are two confirmed bosses. Based on the "Shadow Vault" scene glimpsed in Yogg-Saron's brain room, I'd wager you'll be seeing Saurfang the Younger and Bolvar as well.
Read on for more news on Icecrown Citadel!


Continue reading BlizzCon 2009: What to expect in Icecrown

BlizzCon 2009: What to expect in Icecrown originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Rated battlegrounds and the return of PvP titles - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 21:30:00 EST


One of the most widely-cheered announcements during the Game Systems panel was the introduction of rated battlegrounds and the reappearance of old PvP titles from the now-defunct ranking system. It's a question we've seen asked a lot -- plenty of people out there aren't fond of arena but love battlegrounds, and many of them chafed under the inability to get up-to-date PvP gear. It looks like Blizzard will be trying to reward better battleground play without punishing people who have the bad luck to land on an indifferent PuG. Here's what we know so far:
  • Whichever battleground is currently on its holiday weekend will also be a rated battleground for that week.
  • Battleground wins will award both rating and arena points. Battleground losses won't punish you with a ratings loss, but also won't award any points. I would assume that you can continue to accrue honor and a single BG token per loss. Points earned will be capped at a certain number (not yet known) per week to keep rated battlegrounds from feeling too "grindy."
  • Your battleground ratings will, like the current arena system, encompass two ratings: a personal and a match-making rating.
  • Old PvP rankings will make their reappearance as end-of-season titles (e.g., "Scout," "Commander," "Centurion"). No word yet on whether these are permanent or if, like the non-Gladiator arena titles, you have to earn them each season to continue displaying them.
  • "Special epic ground mounts" will be made available to people playing the rated battlegrounds.
  • Rated battleground wins will also contribute to the new guild talent system.

BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

BlizzCon 2009: Rated battlegrounds and the return of PvP titles originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Costume contest video - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 21:00:00 EST

Last night at BlizzCon featured the string of contests (costume, sound-alike, and dance), hosted by Jay Mohr. The costume contest was pretty spectacular at times, and I don't want to spoil it, but I was definitely rooting for the winner as soon as I saw him or her. Watch the contest above, and enjoy! It's times like this that make me realize what a wonderful community WoW has.
BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

BlizzCon 2009: Costume contest video originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Class panel #2, the good parts version - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 20:30:00 EST

The second and final class, item, and profession panel has concluded. Disappointingly, the presentation part of the panel was mainly a re-run of yesterday's, but the Q&A, of course, was all-new. There were even a few new tidbits in the presentation. Here are some parts of the presentation that are not repeats from yesterday:

  • They didn't give any new classes to Draenei because there are too many of the space goats already.
  • There's a chance that Hunter Aspects will go away entirely.
  • New tidbit on Archaeology: putting pieces of artifacts together sends you to "face some sort of challenge" out in the world.
  • They like the way fishing works in Animal Crossing, and might look to that for inspiration on how to rework the process.

And here are the good parts from the Q&A:

Continue reading BlizzCon 2009: Class panel #2, the good parts version

BlizzCon 2009: Class panel #2, the good parts version originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: The Return of Onyxia - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 20:00:00 EST


It's not just Cataclysm that we're hearing about at BlizzCon: in addition to Icecrown Citadel, we're also seeing news about the upcoming revamp to Onyxia's Lair. As we previously reported, Onyxia will be retooled as a 10/25 man raid with an updated loot table consisting of classic Tier 1 and 2 skins with stats in line with Wrath of the Lich King levels. A fitting return since her dad's totally going to come beat us all up in Cataclysm.

We have a gallery below, but be warned: Onyxia's not going to be the same fight as she was at level 60. New spells and abilities are promised to help keep the fight fresh and interesting for new players. All in all, a fitting return for the Brood Mother just before her flight takes center stage in the next expansion. However, with a sweet mount available (and a cute pet for just logging on during the event) as well as all that gear, I'm sure we're all eagerly awaiting our turn to handle many whelps.




BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

BlizzCon 2009: The Return of Onyxia originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Guild Leveling and Talents - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 19:30:00 EST


This BlizzCon we're hearing a lot about the ways guilds will be changing in Cataclysm. Not only will you be able to contribute to your guild by doing the things you already do like daily questing and PvP, your guild will be able to use its new abilities to directly benefit the members in various way. Even more intriguing is the talk of being able to transfer an entire guild to a new server at once.

However, even as things change for guilds, one thing remains the same: you will not be getting a guild hall. You're going to have to keep hanging around on the streets with us Hoi Polloi, I'm afraid. Still, what we are getting is extremely thought provoking on its own.

Continue reading BlizzCon 2009: Guild Leveling and Talents

BlizzCon 2009: Guild Leveling and Talents originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Worgen and Goblin starting areas with the Props team - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST

The Props team at BlizzCon showed a video on what they do, and also displayed a lot of the characterization and mood setting of the new Goblin and Worgen starting areas. The Lost Isles for the Goblins are just beautiful and quirky and funny, abounding in tropical drinks, a breakfast machine, and a "rocket-catapult-turtle-powered-machine" (and did they actually build a railroad out of bamboo?), although I have to say that the Dickensian/Victorian feel of Gilneas is just...words fail me. It's lovely. This is perhaps the loveliest, most haunting, spooky and creepy zone Blizzard's ever done, and...it's going to be an almighty lagfest when Cataclysm hits. Oh well. Truthfully, I had no idea just how much of what we think of as the "landscape" is in fact the Props team at work.

As an FYI for readers who have observed this on previous video, yes, there are gold-sellers' ads popping up on Viddler, and no, we're not happy about it, and we certainly didn't put them there.


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

BlizzCon 2009: Worgen and Goblin starting areas with the Props team originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2009: Mastery system and talent trees - Sat, 22 Aug 2009 18:30:00 EST

Following their comments during yesterday's Class/Items/Professions panel, the Game Systems team explained the mysterious "mastery" system in the Systems panel today.

Looking at talent trees for all classes, the Systems team felt that players were spending too many points on things like flat damage or healing boosts; talents like Cruelty or Fire and Brimstone are uninteresting but necessary for players due to the bonuses they provide. On top of that, talent trees are bloated with all kinds of talents that are trying to do three things at once, which makes for confusion among players who might not be at the top of the min-maxing game.

What the Systems team wanted to do was make it possible for players to only use their points on "fun" talents -- ones like Body and Soul, Lightning Overload, or Juggernaut -- and make the passive bonuses that used to be in talents your reward for investing points into a tree.

Examples were given for Rogues. A Combat Rogue might see his Mastery bonuses include passive increases to melee damage, hit chance, and armor penetration as he moves down the tree, whereas a Subtlety Rogue might see increases to melee damage, melee haste, and energy regen.

But how does the new Mastery stat tie into this? Ghostcrawler says that the Mastery stat on gear will increase the bonuses you receive from the tree into which you've invested the most talent points. It'll also have other passive bonuses depending on your class and spec -- for example, Mastery will lower the cooldowns on Ret paladin abilities.

This seems like a fantastic change for everyone, and it makes me incredibly excited to think about the fun and interesting talents that'll replace my myriad of spell damage boosting talents. Can't wait for the beta!



BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

BlizzCon 2009: Mastery system and talent trees originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 22 Aug 2009 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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