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WoW, Casually: A casual guide to the Lunar Festival - Sun, 25 Jan 2009 19:00:00 EST


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

When I did my recap for last year, I listed events as the 4th top casual improvement for 2008. Some commenters didn't understand why events are good for casual players. I think that most of the in-game holidays are, in fact, great opportunities for casuals to enhance their characters and see the world. The Lunar Festival is a very useful event, particularly if you are an altaholic, like me. Following are some tips for getting the most out of the Lunar Festival.

Continue reading WoW, Casually: A casual guide to the Lunar Festival

WoW, Casually: A casual guide to the Lunar Festival originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 25 Jan 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: Death Knight DPS gear for Naxxramas - Sun, 25 Jan 2009 18:00:00 EST


Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly class column for Warcraft's newest class, the Death Knight.

Ok, I know I've been focusing on tank quite a lot lately, but I'm here to say that I swear I haven't forgotten about the DPS. To prove it to you, this week's edition of Lichborne is all about gearing up to hit 10-man Naxxramas as a DPS.

For the most part, your gearing choices as a DPSer are going to be more or less the same no matter what your spec. For the most part, I'm going to be following the statistical information I outlined in the Death Knight statistics primer, which means the gear I pick out will follow this basic rule for stat choice: Hit rating to the 8% cap > strength/attack power > critical strike rating > expertise > everything else.

Continue reading Lichborne: Death Knight DPS gear for Naxxramas

Lichborne: Death Knight DPS gear for Naxxramas originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 25 Jan 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: Back in black, with Lightss of Korgath - Sun, 25 Jan 2009 17:00:00 EST

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

The Arena is live and filled with Gladiators brutally tearing one another apart. Obviously, then, it's the time for the return of the Colosseum, where we interview the players in your battlegroups to get an idea of what they're doing, what they're thinking, and what might be coming up next.

Lightss of Korgath currently sits as a Holy Paladin on the Vengeance battlegroup's 9th ranked 3v3 team Lore Fanclub. He's only been Holy since patch 3.0.8 however, since before that ... Lightss fought in the Arena as a Protection Paladin! Part of the buzz about Season 5 has been that healers are suffering in the current season. Additionally,. I don't think anyone would claim tankadins are perfectly tuned for PvP. This makes Lightss interesting not just as a healer, but also as a unique gladiator. Let's see what he has to say behind the cut.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Back in black, with Lightss of Korgath

The Colosseum: Back in black, with Lightss of Korgath originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 25 Jan 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Acme Anvil of the Righteous - Sun, 25 Jan 2009 16:00:00 EST

Quite awhile ago now, I wrote about how playing a Protection Warrior made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Or I guess, cold and hard inside? I'm not really sure, but the gist of it was that the graphical appearance of Prot Warrior abilities combined with their sound effects made for a very visceral play experience. It was believable that I was up in a mob's face, keeping its attention focused on me, and taking everything it could dish out while remaining standing. Bashing things in the face with my shield was awesome, and it gave the illusion of being a very ferocious strike, which added a lot to gameplay. Without the sounds and images associated with it, it wouldn't have been nearly as fun.

I return with additional thoughts on that: My Protection Paladin, while it still has a very special place in my heart, isn't nearly as fun as my Warrior directly because of a lack of graphical and aural appeal. The visuals and sounds associated with Protection Paladin spells? Lacking, to say the very least. Where a Warrior's Shield Slam looks and sounds like you have busted a skull open with your heavy shield and powerful blow, a Paladin's Shield of Righteousness somewhat sparkles at an opponent threateningly, with an utter lack of aural flair.

Continue reading Acme Anvil of the Righteous

Acme Anvil of the Righteous originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 25 Jan 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Addon Spotlight: AutoBar - Sun, 25 Jan 2009 14:00:00 EST


Last time on Addon Spotlight, we looked at Dominos, my current favorite bar mod for all my spells and abilities. Of course, like any good raider, I also have bar spots for my various consumables: bandages, potions, elixirs, buff food, and so forth. But it's a pain to manually reconfigure all that every time I get a new item. Fortunately, I don't have to: AutoBar does it for me, and means I never have to hunt in my bags for a scroll or a quest item.

In short, AutoBar adds one or more bars to your screen, each full of buttons for various categories. For instance, the default "main" bar has slots for:

  • Hearthstone (and related abilities, like Death Gate or Scroll of Recall)
  • Health potions
  • Mana potions
  • Buff foods
  • Mage foods
  • Elixirs (battle and guardian)
  • Mounts
  • Tradeskills
  • Quest items
  • Trinkets

And probably some more things that I'm not remembering right now. AB shows the most recent item you've clicked for each category (in some cases) or the best item (in others), and other options in the category appear on mouse-over.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: AutoBar

Addon Spotlight: AutoBar originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 25 Jan 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! - Sun, 25 Jan 2009 12:00:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.
Ah, another Sunday afternoon! Well, technically this was posted precisely at noon, which isn't the afternoon. But you're probably not reading it at the exact second It was posted, so you are reading it in the afternoon. Right? Right. Now, with that settled...

Vinicius O. E. asked...

What happened to the dance studios?

Continue reading The Queue: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

The Queue: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 25 Jan 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Two wild and crazy demons - Sun, 25 Jan 2009 10:00:00 EST


Oh hey, Illidan. Our pal Trejín of <Scions of Ro> on The Scryers wanted to talk to you, so we drove him over and came on up with him so he wouldn't get lost. He just ate a skull or whatever and turned into a hideous monster himself, so he thought he'd come to you for advice on how to handle the heartbreak of demoniasis. See, he's all blue and wingy. The big red arrow over your head? That's just to make you ... uh ... easier to hug. He wanted to ... forget it, guys, he's not buying it. Ready check? Cool. It's go time.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. 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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Two wild and crazy demons originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 25 Jan 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are you going for Elder? - Sun, 25 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST
So with the Lunar Festival finally upon us, many people are probably turning their eyes toward the "To Honor One's Elders" achievement. Even if they don't plan to wear the shiny new title, they'll probably want it if only for a shot at the Violet Proto-Drake. I myself am certainly no exception, and am currently running through Azeroth, paying my respects to the elders and getting those coins.

One thing I did notice is that this holiday does have a few high level intensive requirements in the form of the Elders of the Dungeons. Not only do you have to be level 80, but you're going to have to delve into multiple high level dungeons to get all the credit you need for that title.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Are you going for Elder?

Breakfast Topic: Are you going for Elder? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 25 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SteelSeries WoW mouse dangerous in no uncertain Terms (of Use) - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 20:00:00 EST

We had an article here not too long ago about the SteelSeries WoW mouse, purportedly das ubermaus, replete with glowing fissures and lookin' all like a Templar helmet. We actually had kind of a hard time finding out just how the mouse performed -- it was advertised months before it came out, and it doesn't appear that many gamers actually got to use the mouse prior to pre-ordering it and did so based on Blizzard's official licensing of the WoW name on the product.

The few that did use it, those that played around with it at BlizzCon, actually reported to us that it felt cheap, flimsy, and about to break. That was a bit disconcerting to read, of course, and it wasn't actually an isolated incident--all of the emails we've received about it thus far have been negative reviews. Folks complained of broken buttons or strange key reassignments with the accompanying software.

Now, our sister site Engadget just released their own impressions on the device and they appear to like it, offering a large size, good weight, and robust software among their list of pros.

The inconsistency in reviews of the product thus far isn't what really bothers me, though. It's the fact that the mouse is a WoW-licensed product that performs functions that are against Blizzard's policies.

Continue reading SteelSeries WoW mouse dangerous in no uncertain Terms (of Use)

SteelSeries WoW mouse dangerous in no uncertain Terms (of Use) originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Sapphiron) - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 19:00:00 EST
Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we're heading to Sapphiron and Kel'Thuzad to visit a few old friends, complete Naxxramas, and wonder to ourselves why everyone on the server has a Journey's End but us.

Welcome back! With the Spider Quarter, Construct Quarter, Plague Quarter, and Death Knight Quarter out of your way, the teleport to Sapphiron's room (and from there, Kel'Thuzad) will become available. There's no trash to worry about, just two big, ugly bosses between you and the completion of Naxxramas. Tonight we'll deal with Sapphiron; tomorrow we'll head in to finish off the big lich himself.

Continue reading Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Sapphiron)

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Sapphiron) originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft, as seen on television - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 18:00:00 EST

Our favorite game made not one but two big appearances on TV this past week. First up, looks like the writer of TNT's Leverage (that Dan already interviewed a while back) is wasting no time getting his characters to fly the Horde flag, as you can see in the clip above (thanks to Massively for digging that up for us). The writer, John Rogers, told Dan that Blizzard actually vetted the dialogue above, which makes us wonder why they were ok with saying Burning Crusade, but didn't want to mention the second expansion by name. Maybe the episode was filmed so long ago that the name hadn't quite been confirmed yet.

And in other television news, we're told World of Warcraft made an appearance as a category on Jeopardy this week. We don't have video of that one (yet), but you can see a quick teaser over on Jeopardy's webpage that mentions the game as a category. World of Warcraft has of course appeared in the game show before as an answer, but this time around, there was a whole column of questions about it. If you see video anywhere online, let us know, and we'll add it here to the post.

World of Warcraft, as seen on television originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: Arcanapalooza - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 17:00:00 EST



Each week Arcane Brilliance drops at a 100% rate from your computer screen. It can be equipped in any slot, and doesn't bind to your character in any way, shape or form. It can be disenchanted into whatever you want, and sells to merchants for a million gold. It is of legendary quality. When equipped, it raises all of your stats exponentially, to the power of awesome. It also has an on-use ability with no cooldown: Arcane Brilliance instantly turns any targetted Warlock into a ridable mount.

I have to begin by admitting my deep bias here. Since midway through The Burning Crusade I've been a deep Arcane Mage. I loved the Arcane tree when it was bad, and I love it now that it's good. It's entirely possible that this fact disqualifies me from even speaking rationally about this topic, but I've never let a crippling lack of impartiality stop me before.

Even those who now hate this spec and cry loudly (and as frequently as the refresh button on their internet browsers will allow) for massive and immediate nerfs will agree that there has never been a better time to be an Arcane Mage. Already quite powerful in PvP and fairly solid in PvE, patch 3.0.8 has only increased the effectiveness of this formidable spec. Playing an Arcane Mage is easy to pick up and challenging to master, and more out-and-out fun than it has any right to be. Follow me after the break and we'll discuss some of the ins and outs of this very potent school of magic.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Arcanapalooza

Arcane Brilliance: Arcanapalooza originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Critter-related achievements in 3.0.8 - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 16:00:00 EST
Critter killing is a favorite past time of many a WoW player. Some would even say it comes close to bordering on obsession. You may know someone like this, or even be that someone. You have a rank 1 Moonfire or Arcane Shot hot key just for taking out critters. Your critter killing has been known to fake out the tank, making him think you're pulling early. You let neither wind, nor rain, nor snow, nor DPS meters keep from killing a critter. Some people call you unbalanced, but you know you're just dedicated.

If you've been thinking of jumping into the wide world of obliterating small fuzzy creatures in WoW, now is a good time to start, because since 3.0.8 went live, it's official: killing critters is cool. Pest Control is a new achievement introduced with the patch that gives you credit for killing the creepiest and crawliest of critters on Azeroth, the insects, arachnids, snakes, and other such vermin. You've probably accidentally killed these fellows with a stray Fan of Knives or Pestilence or what have you anyway, but next time that happens, you'll get credit.

If you're a critter lover and need to assuage your guilty conscience, have no fear. You can always do To All The Squirrels Who Shared My Life while you're killing the pests. That way there's some sort of balance. You can be a lover, a killer, or both. Rather zen of Blizzard, don't you think?

New Critter-related achievements in 3.0.8 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ezra Wheathoof is Thunder Bluff's newest Elder - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 14:15:00 EST



If you've already started in on your Elder visits, you may have noticed this, but it's worth pointing out for everyone. In a very touching tribute by Blizzard, the Tauren capital of Thunder Bluff has a new elder this year in the form of Ezra Wheathoof. The Wheathoof clan, as you may remember, is the creation of Ezra Chatterton, a young brain cancer sufferer who became a game designer for a day via Make A Wish.

The young fan, who captured the hearts of many a WoW player, and obviously the dev team itself, passed away late last year. In another nice touch, Elder Wheathoof also has a phoenix pet, a tribute to Ezra's character name, Ephoenix.

Putting in his character as a lasting part of Azeroth's history in the form of an Azerothian elder is certainly a fitting and sweet tribute for a boy who used WoW to connect and touch the lives of others even as his own life was fading away. It's also a nice reminder of the human side of playing World of Warcraft, and the connections we make that will never fade, no matter what.

[Thanks for the tip, Suite!]

Ezra Wheathoof is Thunder Bluff's newest Elder originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BigRedKitty: Trap-Dancing - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 12:00:00 EST


Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

Patch 3.0.8. has introduced a new term to many hunters: Trap Dancing. A mainstay of the en-vogue 2/18/51 Survivalist hunter, the concept is to keep your enemy engulfed in an Immolation Trap to provide 100% chance that Lock and Load will proc, after which the SV hunter will reap mondo-benefits. The trick is: how to stay in melee-range to trap while continuing to fire from range. This movie will give you the basics of how this is accomplished.

Continue reading BigRedKitty: Trap-Dancing

BigRedKitty: Trap-Dancing originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Camera shy - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 10:30:00 EST


Hey! No pictures, buddy. This is a private military installation. We wouldn't want these photos finding their way to those filthy Scarlets now, would we? Wait, have you been using this camera all day? That's it. Hand over the camera and sit down. You've just earned yourself a date with the Truthinator 3000, which is Rivendare with a couple of hot pokers and Chain Lightning spells. (Thanks to Dôra of Venture Company-EU for the screenshot!)

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. 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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Camera shy originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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YouPlayorWePay under "reconstruction" - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 09:00:00 EST


This could be the end of the strange story of YouPlayorWePay.com -- or a new beginning. We posted about the site when it first appeared, and even interviewed the founders, but apparently they've decided to make some major adjustments to the site, as it's now down for "reconstruction." A forum post by George Tung says that they are not only redesigning the site, but "re-doing our whole concept." One of our tipsters suggests that Blizzard legal may have gotten involved, but that seems unlikely -- Tung also posts that "when we are done, there will not be any more concerns about our service not being worth or if what we are doing is legal."

So there you have it. We'll have to see what they've got in store for us (though, of course, there's a chance the site may not return at all). Lots of people have had questions and concerns about the concept behind this site from the beginning, and we remain curious to see how this "reconstruction" will answer them.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

YouPlayorWePay under "reconstruction" originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topics: 37! In a row? - Sat, 24 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST
Yesterday I was out tromping around Nagrand with my Shaman leveling her up, killing mob after mob. There was a point that when I killed about 10 mobs in a row, and I thought to myself "Killing Spree!" Harking back to the days of yore and Quake 3.

This got me thinking. There is one critical achievement that is missing in the game.

A killing spree achievement, ideally reached when you kill 37 mobs in a row without stopping. In fact, there's a great title for it featured as the name of this article. Go ahead Blizzard, take this one idea for free. To you, from me; your friend Adam.

But oh wait, there's more. I was twittering last night about this, and there were some good suggestions that came across the feed. More after the break!

Continue reading Breakfast Topics: 37! In a row?

Breakfast Topics: 37! In a row? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Forum post of the day: The tank surplus - Fri, 23 Jan 2009 21:00:00 EST
"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels."
- Faith Whittlesey

Kazug of EU-Defias Brotherhood is afraid that he will never be able to take on the role of main taink against Heroic Malygos. He pointed out that although tanks are relatively scarce in five man instances, there is fierce competetion for tanking slots in 25 mans. One out of five players must be a tank in five mans, whereas only one in twenty-five can be main tank in a raid. He feels that only the best of the best, the ones with the most time as he defines it, are able to take on the role of main tank.

Other tanks are left taking out the trash on single-tank fights. Several posters echoed Kazug's sentiment. Despite a dedication to tanking, they're relegated to the roll of picking up adds in most fights. Others indicated that their guilds rotate MTs or even have tanks roll off for main tanking responsibilities. For some guilds the MT is the MT and that's all there is to it.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: The tank surplus

Forum post of the day: The tank surplus originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 23 Jan 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local] The week in chaos - Fri, 23 Jan 2009 20:00:00 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.

Our world is in chaos! We open this week's [1.Local] with a smattering of the reaction here at WI to various stages of the Great Patch 3.0.8 Meltdown. Players had a lot to gripe about this week - and gripe, they did.

"It's only a game"
"'It's ONLY a game man... I mean you ONLY pay real money for it...'" Basic incredulously quotes a previous poster. "That phrase completely trivializes the time and care people put into this game (both development and by playing). If you really don't think there is any value to this game and nothing lost when something goes this badly you should just uninstall and get back to the important things in your life."

Continue reading [1.Local] The week in chaos

[1.Local] The week in chaos originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 23 Jan 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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