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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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Shaman changes in Wrath beta build 8982 - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 19:00:00 EST


Shamans see some changes in today's Beta build. Nothing world-shaking, a few small buffs and a small nerf and a change that I honestly can't tell which category to place it in.

  • Stoneclaw Totem also protects your other totems, causing them to absorb damage.
Well, this certainly isn't a bad change. It does mean that wand macros will be changed to target the Stoneclaw totem first, I suppose, giving your other totems a few seconds more of life. (Since Stoneclaw has a decent amount of health, it will actually take a couple of hits to die.) Not a magnificent buff, but not bad either.
  • Riptide sees its base healing increased on each rank.
Each rank of this spell will now heal for more, giving it more oomph as an HoT spell. Again, nothing bad to say about that, right?

Continue reading Shaman changes in Wrath beta build 8982

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Priest changes in Wrath beta patch 8982 - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 18:00:00 EST

Today's Wrath beta patch has a few Shadow Priest changes, but nothing particularly substantial. It seems like a nerf across the board, but this is something we should be used to by now. The devs say that, in level 80 epics, our damage is competitive to other classes, but we'll have to wait and see when we're in those epics, I suppose.
This isn't too big of an issue if the coefficient is still high. If this is/was coupled with a lower coefficient again, it would be utterly ridiculous. As it is, maybe not such a big deal. Lowering the base damage may actually allow the spell to scale better without becoming terribly broken. It may level off nicely once you're out of greens.

Continue reading Priest changes in Wrath beta patch 8982

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Lume the Mad reviews WotLK and its changes - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 17:00:00 EST
MMO Blogger Lume the Mad has a nice in-depth review of all the changes coming to World of Warcraft in the form of the game's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. If you're a regular reader of WoW Insider, there's nothing really new here -- odds are you already know about all the changes (and have a strong opinion of some of them). But as a nice wide general overview of what's going on with the game, Lume's little writeup is very thorough.

It is pretty amazing to think that before Burning Crusade released, there were no such things as Blood Elves or Draenei, the only Arena in the game was Gurubashi, and only the Horde ever had Shamans in their raids. But nowadays all of those things are commonplace, and odds are that the game will change just as much with Wrath -- siege vehicles will be a huge part of the game, Death Knights will be everywhere, achievements will be just as big a goal as any other part of the game, and phasing will be the norm (you'll never be sure that the player next to you is seeing exactly what you're seeing in the game world).

Lume doesn't go so far as to call it a new game (though Blizzard may want to), but there's no question that even though the most basic game mechanics stay in place (you still use abilities on action bars to kill creatures and gain experience), the quests, graphics, and storylines will look very different. BC changed our game once, and Wrath is set to change it yet again.

[via Massively]

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Spoilers: Angrathar the Wrath Gate cinematic - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 16:30:00 EST

In today's Wrath beta patch, a cinematic was added to accompany a questline in Northrend that involves Angrathar the Wrath Gate. That's all I'll tell you here, so you know what you're getting yourself into by going on. Before you read the rest of this post, I want to warn you guys that behind the cut below, there are massive spoilers. Like huge, epic spoilers. If you like being surprised, I would seriously advise against reading this post or watching the video.

Continue reading Spoilers: Angrathar the Wrath Gate cinematic

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Skill Mastery: Guardian Spirit - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 16:00:00 EST



I wanted to write about this intriguing new Priest ability earlier, but I felt to do so without testing it and using it in a raiding environment would have been pointless.

Important update: According to this blue post, Guardian Spirit has had its 10% heal boosted to 50%.

That doesn't make much sense until I explain what the spell does.

Guardian Spirit, Rank 1
6% of base mana, 40 yard range,
Instant cast, 3 minute cooldown

Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 10% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.

Continue reading Skill Mastery: Guardian Spirit

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Group buffs should last through death - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 15:00:00 EST
Wrath of the Lich King is fixing a lot of minor annoyances that have been present in the game since launch. Things like Entangling Roots being changed to work indoors, or clams stacking. They're also introducing a system to selectively modify spells: glyphs. Most spells seem to have a glyph that makes them better in some way, including the group buffs Prayer of Fortitude, Gift of the Wild, and Arcane Brilliance (there is no glyph for Prayer of Spirit right now, and Prayer of Shadow Protection has never been taken seriously).

The group buffs are all simply more convenient versions of single-target buffs the classes possess. The single-target buffs hit one target and last for half an hour, while the group buffs hit the whole raid (up from one group in BC), last an hour, and require a reagent. The glyphs for the group buffs that have them all reduce their mana cost by 50%, which is a reasonable benefit for a minor glyph.

However (and now I'm finally getting to my point), I think it would be better if the glyph let the buffs last through death, instead of or in addition to its mana reduction. It's annoying to have to rebuff everybody after a wipe, and while the buffs hitting the whole raid will help that a lot, it's still a bit irritating. I don't think it would be imbalanced to only have to rebuff once every hour, and it would make me a lot less irritated on those progression raids or bad pugs. Think of it like flask buffs. And isn't the point of group buffs convenience?

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Tigole lists informal patch notes for the next stage of the beta - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 14:30:00 EST
Tigole has been joking around on the forums with a vengeance today (did you know that Northrend was originally going to be called "Blizzneyland"?), but he did provide us with a quick preview of all the patch changes for the next beta build coming up. Heroics, he says, have been retuned, and Blizzard is especially looking for feedback on endgame raid instances like Icecrown. Dalaran has gotten a little more "polish" (that's the shiny kind, not that there are more people there from Poland), and there will hopefully be a glyph vendor in soon to let players try out new glyphs of all kinds. Finally, he says performance updates have started, and that's a good sign that Blizzard is working on getting towards the final stages of the expansion development -- sounds like most of the early zones and items are as done as they're going to get.

He also, of course, says that there are class changes in the patch, with one of the most insightful notes we've seen yet: "You won't like the ones made to your own class but you'll think the changes made to the 9 other classes are all overpowered." It's true. If only all of the other patch notes could be so incredibly clear to players.

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Encrypted Text: Rogue Glyphs, part 2 - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 14:00:00 EST

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we finish a discussion on upcoming Rogue glyphs in WOTLK.

Wrath of the Lich King (and also the upcoming patch 3.0) includes a new tradeskill: Inscription. Inscriptionists will be able to create scrolls, off-hand items, and parchments to help enchanters sell their wares. However, their key crafted item comes in the form of spell/skill enhancing Glyphs.

Every non-inscriptionist character has six Glyph slots they can use to enhance themselves. There are three major and three minor slots; of which you can mix and match appropriate Glyphs. An image of the Glyph interface is shown above (the center slot is thought to be for Inscriptionists themselves as a tradeskill perk).

Some of the various Glyphs enhance existing abilities, while others add utility to skills that change its function completely. The current Rogue Glyphs come in 3 major flavors: cooldown/energy cost reduction, range increase, and damage/effect increase. After the cut, let's explore these groups individually.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Rogue Glyphs, part 2

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New items for old Honor - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 13:45:00 EST
Vaneras on the EU forums has posted those "special" items we heard about yesterday -- the bad news of the Honor wipe before the expansion is tempered by the fact that Blizzard is giving us some more ways to spend that honor before it all goes away.

I've put all the items after the jump in case you can't reach the forums here during the day, but these items are about what you'd expect -- cloaks and trinkets, at or maybe slightly better than the gear you'll be picking up early on into Wrath of the Lich King. If you haven't ground out PvP gear yet (or grabbed some epics from the high-end raids), you may get a level or two out of these, but you'll definitely have replaced them by the time we all hit 80. There are no prices or timelines on when these items will be released, either -- we'd imagine that they'll come out with patch 3.0.2 (Vaneras says "the next content patch") and that the actual wipe will come with the Wrath release patch.

Additionally, gems obtained through Honor will go BoE (or at least not BoP) and will no longer be "Unique-equipped" after the patch, so you can nab some gems as well before the wipe shows up for your alts or other guildies. Nice of Blizzard to give us a few more ways to get rid of the honor (and personally, I think there are good reasons for the wipe anyway), but those who are really steaming about losing the honor they built up probably won't be completely satisfied by these items.

Continue reading New items for old Honor

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WotLK will only be available on DVD - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 13:00:00 EST

We discovered a little while back that Wrath was going to ship on DVD in both the collector's edition and the regular edition. This is great news for anyone with a DVD drive in their computer, because swapping discs is annoying. However, I'm sure there are still a few people playing WoW that don't have DVD drives; its system requirements are, after all, very forgiving. We haven't had any solid information thus far on whether the expansion will ship or be available on CD as well, like the BC collector's edition.

It turns out the answer to that is no; Vaneras states quite clearly that WotLK will "only be available on DVDs, not CDs," for both the regular and the collector's edition. This implies that those of you who don't have DVD drives may well be out of luck on launch day. I say "on launch day" because I'm assuming the expansion will be available for digital download eventually, as both classic WoW and BC are. However, it may not happen right away; the digital download for BC didn't become available until about two weeks after launch.

Now I'm curious: how many of you are going to be affected by this?

View Poll

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WoW Moviewatch: Lingering Memory - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 12:00:00 EST


Hey there, I'm the new WoW Moviewatch blogger since Moo unfortunately had to leave our hallowed halls. My first pick is a new film by Count Vrenna called Lingering Memory. The story follows a young Paladin's conflict with The Scourge at Caer Darrow. It's told without dialog or voiceover, with just a few titles by way of setup and some emotional music to carry the mood.

Count Vrenna asserts that this is his first time filming large battle scenes, but I wouldn't have guessed if he hadn't told me. The last scene showing rows of Death Knights -- including one of the Naaru, just like we find in Ebon Hold -- is chilling in its inevitability. Another scene I liked is where the hero confronts her fate and memories of her life flash before her eyes. It reminds me somewhat of Here Without You but without the love story. I've never quite gotten the hang of role playing but all these RP guilds making such cool recruitment videos sure make the idea tempting to try.

[Via WarcraftMovies.]

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Ask a Beta Tester: Raids, rare mobs, and more raids - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 11:00:00 EST

We've had a lot of class-specific questions lately (especially Hunters) here on Ask a Beta Tester, but since I don't play every class, I can't answer all of those. However, I've forwarded some of them on to our motley crew of bloggers, so we'll hopefully be able to answer you soon. Until then, let's get started on some other things, shall we?

Robert M asked a pair of questions...

Is there going to a difference in the number of badges the same boss drops in the 10 man and the 25 man?


There isn't a difference in the number, no. However, there is a difference in the type of badge. The 10 and 25 man loot is tiered, and the 10 and 25 man badge loot is tiered in a similar way. The badge loot you can get from grinding 10-mans is not the same as grinding 25-mans.

Will you be saved to a raid in the 10 man and not be able to do the 25 man that week? it seems like a 25 man geared toon could help the guild in the 10 if its a slow week or some of the raid members have a RL issue.


The 10 and 25 man raids have separate raid IDs, so doing them both in one week won't be an issue.

Read on for more answers to your questions!

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: Raids, rare mobs, and more raids

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Around Azeroth: The huggable abomination - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 10:00:00 EST


No, Patchwerk, it's ... it's cool. I really do want to play. I'd love to play with you, but you need to put your ... intestines back first. Then we can play catch, or tag, or whatever the heck we can think up to do with fifty Death Knights stuck in a floating citadel. Maybe Red Rover. Just back up about five paces and drop the cleaver so I can clear my sinuses first. (Thanks to Rio for this screenie from Acherus in the Wrath beta!)

This image came to us straight from the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, beta or not, sharing it is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. No more battleground scoreboards, please.

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Key items and tabards out of the bags soon, says Tigole - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 09:00:00 EST
Tigole has gotten over his little weekend rampage on the forums and gotten back to business: he's got two tidbits about a popular subject among most players: making more bag space available.

First up is tabards -- he says that there are no plans to move tabards from the bags to the UI (as with the pet and mount changes), but that players shouldn't worry too much, because Blizzard is making it easier for players to get lost and destroyed tabards back if necessary. Since the Championing mechanic means we won't have to wait till Exalted to get tabards, there'll be a tabard vendor in Dalaran that'll have most of the tabards you need at a relatively cheap price.

And "keys" that aren't keys are also mentioned -- by this, we mean things like the Scepter of Celebras or the Mallet of Zul'Farrak; attunement items, in other words. Tigole says there's a plan for these also (another "keychain" tab, maybe?), but that we won't see it in time for the expansion.

Good news on both ends for people short on bag space, even if we have to wait a while. Personally my bag space is freeing itself up lately -- it's an "everything must go" sale on the AH for me as I try to convert all my soon-to-be obsolete crafting items into gold.

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Guildwatch: A little raid ID problem - Wed, 24 Sep 2008 01:00:00 EST


Sure, it's a lot of good items being nabbed from the guild bank there, but how much will those really be worth in the expansion, right? Look on the bright side -- you'll have a bunch of new gear, and that former guildleader will still have a bad reputation.

Downed and recruiting news and the ever-popular drama can be found as usual in this week's Guildwatch. To read, just click the link below, and don't forget to send all your tips to wowguildwatch@gmail.com -- things are a little slow before the expansion, so if you've got news of progression (or a nice juicy drama story), please do share it. We thank you, and a host of drama-hungry readers will thank you as well.

Continue reading Guildwatch: A little raid ID problem

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The Art of War(craft): PvP 3.0 - Tue, 23 Sep 2008 21:30:00 EST


For a few weeks, we'll be in uncharted territory. When Patch 3.0 hits, all players will receive a free respec and a plethora of new talents will be available to us. The difference is that players who opt to go 51 points deep in a tree will only get 10 points to spend elsewhere, so we won't have the full PvP experience until Wrath of the Lich King hits and players receive the full complement of talents upon reaching Level 80 along with some cool new abilities.

In the interim between 3.0 and Wrath, PvP will be awkward as players learn to adapt to the new builds, learn their opponents' new tricks, and even attempt new playing styles. One interesting change to PvP 3.0 is the knockback which some classes will gain and use to great effect. Others will be able to leap through the air -- backwards, forwards -- it'll be fun and sometimes frustrating as we relearn how to PvP.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): PvP 3.0

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AT&T maintenance tonight to cause connection issues - Tue, 23 Sep 2008 20:00:00 EST
A news announcement on the login screen is letting us all know that AT&T, the people who provide data center service to Blizzard, will be performing maintenance tonight from 12:00 a.m. EST until 5:00 a.m. EST.

This will likely cause problems with both being able to login to the game and stay connected. This is an odd maintenance announcement, and one that I don't recall seeing before.

Hopefully this will not develop into anything more serious - such as extended network outages or other such issues.

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First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta - Tue, 23 Sep 2008 19:00:00 EST


I specced resto in the beta the other week to try out the new talents and abilities Druids are getting in Wrath, and decided to brave the horrors of LFG and scribble some notes for your sake, dear readers. By the way, the aspect of beta that I will miss most? The 1 copper respec fee. Can we keep this?

Please note that this is written from the perspective of a 70 Restoration Druid, so unfortunately I can't comment on whether Priests, Shamans, or Paladins might have had an easier or harder time healing the instances. I have a good but not jaw-dropping resto set, and on the live realms clock in around +1998 to +2100 healing unbuffed. If your gear's better or worse, then just adjust the potential difficulty level as needed. And even if you're not a healer, you still might find something useful here:

Continue reading First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta

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Tips for Brewfest keg runs - Tue, 23 Sep 2008 18:00:00 EST


Brewfest is in full swing, and there's on aspect that most participants dread: Keg running. It's not terribly hard once you know how it goes, but figuring it out can be a real pain. Let's see if we can ease the learning process, shall we? Here are some things that worked for me:
  1. Take a walk (or run) up and down the course before you start the race. Find out where all of the apple barrels are on the course. There should be one at the beginning, one at the end, and two spaced out in the middle. You don't need all four of them, but knowing where they are is the important part.
  2. Let's pick which ones you want to use. Let's number them: The barrel at the beginning is #1, and they're in numerical order from there, #4 at the end. Ignore #1 and #3. Pretend they don't exist. They aren't there. There are only two apple buckets, #2 and #4.

Continue reading Tips for Brewfest keg runs

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Honor points and marks reset in WotLK - Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:30:00 EST
We all had an inkling this was coming, right? I mean, it is Blizzard and they do things that are occasionally "evil." So it should be no surprise to anyone that Eyonix announced today that they will be resetting all the honor points when Wrath of the Lich King is released.

In his post he does mention that they will be putting in a few new items that are purchasable with honor points only. At least those that have piles of points saved up can get something. Let's just hope that it's something you can use. They will be appearing on the PTR shortly.

The reasoning behind this is that Blizzard wants there to be an even playing field when everyone hits 80. If people saved up tons of honor points and marks, they could be used to immediately purchase the newest PvP gear. That would create an imbalance.

Continue reading Honor points and marks reset in WotLK

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