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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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New tier gear video - Sun, 25 May 2008 20:00:00 EST

Fresh from the alpha leaks that have been coming our way is a new video posted on Vimeo that shows new Wrath of the Lich King gear for Hunters, Mages, Priests, Rogues, and Warlocks. We don't know what tier level (ie: 7.5, 8, 9) this gear is for, but we do know that it fits the overall model of previous tier gear.

When you watch the video you'll notice that not everything is done yet. Obviously, this is because the game is still in alpha. And remember that these models could be completely thrown out and replaced with something different. My personal favorite is the rogue gear.

Give it a watch and get yourself some of these juicy alpha leaks!

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All the World's a Stage: Character Diamonds - Sun, 25 May 2008 17:55:00 EST
All the World's a Stage is your source of roleplaying ideas n' stuff. The usual columnist is grateful to Alex and Matt for covering for him the last couple weeks while he got ready to defend his MA thesis.

Getting into character isn't all that easy. First of all, as Matt demonstrated last week, one must have the desire and the gumption to just do it. You can't sit back and say, "But I don't know how to do it right!"or "But what if people don't like my roleplaying?" or any other excuse like that. You have to put your fingers to the keyboard and just start playing your role. Whether people like it more or less depends upon a bunch of things, including your skills and knowledge about how to do it well, but first and foremost it depends on your willingness to go out and try things out -- then look back and learn from your experience. You won't stop having problems and making mistakes, but you will get better over time.

Today I'll share with you one idea I found that helped me a lot with a problem I was having: when I found myself having a bit of trouble "logging in" to a particular character's personality, I found the concept of the "Character Diamond" to be extremely valuable in pinning down exactly who this character is, how she would respond, and what it feels like to be inside her head. This concept was originally thought up by a screenwriting teacher named David S. Freeman, but it has gone through a bit of modification to suit the MMORPG world. So, with permission from the folks at Dramatis Personae who first taught me about it, I would like to sum it up for you here as a starter's guide and reference for making character diamonds of your own.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: Character Diamonds

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YTMND: Endgame WoW Raiding Summed Up - Sun, 25 May 2008 16:00:00 EST


My internet browsings brought me upon this YTMND page, and I thought it was funny enough to share with you all.

Endgame raiding, for those of you who don't know, can get a little predictable at times. Each class has their pre-defined roles, and each has their own unique style to them. Each raider usually carries with him or her (possibly ill) conceived notions of what players of each class are like.

For instance in my guild we usually poke fun at our Mages as being "emo mages," since they like to die a lot. Another one has lately been that I AFK tank, since when I get above 50k threat on the top DPS, there's very little chance they'll catch up to me (and on that note, they joke is on them, because as the main tank I often times do go AFK during phase two of Illidan.)

Take a look at this moderately funny YTMND take on WoW Endgame raiding. And have your volume up a little, because as my girlfriend explained, "That's Little Spanish Flea! You know, Homer sings that all the time."

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Reader UI of the Week: Pondera - Sun, 25 May 2008 15:00:00 EST


World of Warcraft allows all of us an unprecedented ability to modify our user interface to meet our needs. Each week WoW Insider will bring you a fresh and detailed look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send it, along with your character name and server, to readerui@gmail.com.

Pondera of the Blackhand-US server sent in his UI, along with a short description of the major addons he's using. One of the major decisions in shaping this UI was to make it viable for each of his alts, something I strive towards with my own UI. Pondera is a 26 year-old Web Developer from Brazil, which shows in his UI. (Note the aesthetics and organization.)

As you can tell, his setup is similar to many UI's you'll find out there, with much of the game function happening at the bottom, and a compliment of information "gauges' at the top, courtesy of Fubar. I'm not sure what skin he's using for his "Fu-stuff", but I'm digging it myself. Note where Control Freak, his consumables and Decursive are. I like that he's found a home for those in the nooks and crannies of his UI, although I would imagine that Decursive could be problematic in that location when running Alterac Valley.

Check back after the break for his addons and description.

Continue reading Reader UI of the Week: Pondera

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Ask a Lore Nerd: Nagapalooza - Sun, 25 May 2008 14:00:00 EST


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, WoW Insider's newest weekly feature column. Have a question about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe? Click the Comments link below, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!

Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of Ask a Lore Nerd's first installment, we are now a weekly feature! I hope you enjoy it, because it's here to stay. This week we're fielding a large number of questions from a few contributors. A number of you have taken full advantage of this opportunity and posted an avalanche of questions. Good! That's what I like to see! Let's jump right into it, shall we?

Matt said: Not a lore question, but lore speculation. Blizzard hinted at a major event would cause the uneasy-peace of Horde and Alliance become not on uneasy. What could cause tensions to rise? Also in the real world alliances crumble, and are reformed. What races of the Horde and Alliance do you see possibly switching sides?

Answer: From what I understand, Garrosh Hellscream will be following in his father's footsteps and the good ol' Orcish bloodlust will color his actions in Northrend. Additionally, I'd be willing to bet the Alliance is mighty nervous about the Forsaken's new plagues, considering they had been thoroughly tested on Alliance citizens in the past. The Lich King may also play a substantial role in the rising tensions, playing the two factions off of one another.

Continue reading Ask a Lore Nerd: Nagapalooza

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Sunday Morning Funnies: You inspire me - Sun, 25 May 2008 11:00:00 EST
For the long weekend, we have several nifty comics that are all geared up to entertain you. From commentary and the creative process, to booby-traps and those poor dwarves, you won't want to miss this week's line-up.

  1. World of Warcraft is the inspiration for many games. Apparently, not all are that great.
  2. Everyone is suffering over at Dark Legacy Comics, but there is still time to play games. Too bad there is no time for pants.
  3. Where would the long weekend be without Activision/Vivendi commentary? Nowhere. It would exist nowhere.
  4. The warlock's predicament continues, first as he attempts to escape his unforeseen captivity and then, well, let's just say he's in trouble.
  5. Everyone needs a little gardening humor.
  6. Ding! shows us how to show the vendors some love. Okay, maybe not terribly ineffectual vendors.
  7. Teh Gladiators give their little pet a chance to rampage. He is still not an ostrich.
  8. This week, Disgraph brings us Indiana Dwarf and the Temple of the Frozen Beta.
Ready to vote? Pass through the break and choose your favorite from this week.

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: You inspire me

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Around Azeroth: Hail to the king, baby - Sun, 25 May 2008 10:00:00 EST

What's the best part of finishing an instance? The pride of killing a final boss? Admiring your new gear? Not having to listen to the tank call the healers lol gay noobs anymore? Or posing in the boss's chamber and proclaiming yourself Lord of the Instance? Having cleared (as best I can tell) Blackrock Depths -- an accomplishment in and or itself -- Eriolanna of <Steel Legion> on Darkspear has decided to take the throne. However, judging by the size of her "subject's" sword, I suspect that a coup may be in the future.

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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. And please, no sunsets, shiny shiny shiny as they are.

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Blood Pact: The Warlock's way ahead, Part 1 - Sun, 25 May 2008 09:00:00 EST

Most of you would have already sneaked a peek at the leaked details of the Wrath of the Lich King alpha. It's really premature now to decide on your new leveling build or comment on the level 80 endgame, but the new info is a good indication of the direction of the Warlock class in terms of class design and role.

Is the new stuff PvP or PvE? Which tree is going to be the DPS king? Let's take a two-part look at some of our new, not-so-secret abilities, and whether some of our dark wishes are fulfilled.

Continue reading Blood Pact: The Warlock's way ahead, Part 1

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Breakfast Topic: Battle of the battlegrounds - Sun, 25 May 2008 08:00:00 EST
In The Burning Crusade, Blizzard implemented the Eye of the Storm, brinding the number of battlegrounds up to four. They each manage to create an interesting dichotomy in the playerbase. You either love a battleground, or you hate it. Personally, I adore Alterac Valley and Eye of the Storm. I hate, hate, hate Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin. Most of my friends hate AV and love WSG. And of course, there's always the people that hate them all. My first question to all of you is, where do the battlegrounds lie in your mind? Which do you adore, which do you loathe?

Second, Wrath of the Lich King will be bringing us another battleground. We don't know anything about it, but what would you like to see? What do you think we'll get? Personally, I would like to see some sort of urban warfare. Maybe Warsong Gulch style Capture the Flag, but placed in a village rather than a wide open field. Instead of the flag carrier and their pursuers running through an open field, they need to weave between buildings and through alleys. It would probably make hiding way too easy, but I still think it's a fun concept.

Again, here's your questions for today: Which battlegrounds do you love, which do you hate, and what new battleground do you think is coming our way in Wrath?

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SK-Gaming downs Kil'jaeden for world first - Sat, 24 May 2008 20:20:00 EST


They've done it again. The first guild to kill M'uru, SK Gaming (of Vek'nilash EU), is now the first guild in the world to kill Kil'jaeden himself, the last boss of the Sunwell Plateau and of The Burning Crusade. The gate to the encounter has been open for three days in Europe. As Nihilum notes, SK's kill does end Nihilum's tradition of taking down every end boss in WoW since C'Thun. This is almost certainly the last world first we'll see until Wrath of the Lich King. The US first on Kil'jaeden is, of course, still up in the air.

Their loot was:The winning raid has one feral druid, three hunters, one mage, two paladins, four priests, three rogues, five shamans, four warlocks, and two warriors (Thanks to Nihilum for this info, and thanks to Eiel for corrections). SK promise that a video is in the works; as always, we'll keep you posted. Grats to SK!

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Reminder: The Wrath Alpha is not open to the public - Sat, 24 May 2008 20:00:00 EST
We've mentioned this already, but let's reiterate something: Though the Wrath Alpha client is floating around out there, be very very careful about what you download or try to access. The Alpha servers are not for you, and attempting to download the client isn't wise. My recommendation is simply to not do it.

We all know how many accounts have been stolen due to keyloggers hidden in links, ads, and other things. Keep that in mind before you click on a download link. A dirty .exe with a filename disguised to look like a Blizzard downloader for the Alpha client is out there. There are probably more than one. Nobody wants to lose their account, and we don't want you to lose yours, either.

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Ready Check: On wipes and wiping - Sat, 24 May 2008 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. It's not easy, though...

Wiping. That wonderful process whereby your raid becomes nothing but a pile of corpses, and you have to pick yourselves off the floor and start again. It's an essential part of raiding, whether you're dying to well-known content or progression bosses, and some people are even rumoured to enjoy it. However, repeatedly wiping on something for various reasons can really lower your raid's morale, and presents an interesting problem for any raid leader.

Let's take a look at the problems and challenges arising from wipe nights, or even a failed try or two at something on farm.

Continue reading Ready Check: On wipes and wiping

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Arcane Brilliance: Building your Mage, part 2: PvP - Sat, 24 May 2008 17:00:00 EST



Each week, Arcane Brilliance attempts to give Mages something to read. Immediately thereafter, Warlocks also get something to read, only their reading material is instant cast, applies a DoT, and can turn into an invincible demon from the nether-regions of Hell. Mages complain, and Blizzard responds by giving Arcane Brilliance a 2 second stun. The catch? It only works if the reading material crits, and only if the target is a frozen sheep.


Alright, it's Saturday, and by now you've hopefully had time to make the trip to Theramore or Stonard to pick up your new Portal and Teleport spells. If early, unconfirmed info is your thing, you've no doubt taken a look at the leaked WotLK Alpha talents and formulated your own opinions on what the future may or may not hold for Mages. If not, well, there's no time like the present. Go ahead, I'm not going anywhere.

All set? Good, because we have lots to talk about. Last week we discussed some basic, flexible talent builds you can use to get your Mage ready for raiding. This week, we're exploring the PvP side of things. After the jump, We'll go over a few templates you can use to begin building your PvP Mage, including my own Mage's spec, so be sure to click the blue text below this sentence. I mean, how can you pass up the opportunity to mock my spec and tell me what a noob I am? Get going...clicky, clicky!

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Building your Mage, part 2: PvP

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Evade me no longer - Sat, 24 May 2008 15:00:00 EST
For some reason, the first evade bug moment I remember happened in Zul'Farrak. We were clearing the basilisk pulls before attempting Antu'sul (why is it that the optional bosses always have a couple of sweet warrior drops?) and the mage in the group wanted to skip the whole thing. Impatient, he decided to start nuking away from atop one of the hills surrounding the area and managed to pull aggro, but the basilisk couldn't path up to him (and to be honest I'm not sure how he got up there) and promptly went evade. He wouldn't come down because he rightly knew the mob would hit him, and so it took us a solid ten minutes of arguing before he finally came into the monster's reach so that I could taunt it.

I'm thinking about this because of the Isle of Quel'Danas dailies, specifically the quest Crush the Dawnblade. For some reason whenever I do this quest I run into Dawnblade Summoners who are evading. This puzzles me because I can't understand why a ranged mob is evading: it doesn't have to path to anything to hit it, just get into range. Is there some way a hunter or some other ranged class can shoot them but stay out of their range?

Continue reading Evade me no longer

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Blizzard artists join Laguna art school faculty - Sat, 24 May 2008 14:00:00 EST
A few days ago, Gadgetress at ocregister.com wrote about the perks of attending the Laguna College of Art & Design, or more specifically, being on board their new video game program. Thanks to a well connected chair of the Game Art major, artists from Blizzard Entertainment, Dreamworks Animation, and Double Helix Games are on staff. Gadgetress also talks about a few students in particular, as well as Blizzard's new University Relations program.

Personally, I can't think of many companies better than Blizzard or Dreamworks to have a hand in educating upcoming artists on the industry. Both of them are quite good at developing distinct, marketable styles, and obviously the individuals on staff have extensive experience in the industry. Considering this college is located near the Blizzard Campus, it's likely many of the individuals in this program have dreams of working for that particular company. Being taught by the very people you'd like to one day work with must be way cool.

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Worldwide Invitiational, now with dancing - Sat, 24 May 2008 13:00:00 EST
Hot on the heels of announcing more ticket availability for their Worldwide Invitational contest, and a costume contest before that, Blizzard announced today that there will be a dance contest as well. This brings the total number of contests to seven. Here's what you can do to win yourself fabulous prizes:

In addition to these contests, there will be hands-on demos of Starcraft II and Wrath of the Lich King. The prizes for the dance contest, in case you're thinking of competing, are: a hi-fi system, a Blizzard-themed iPod Touch, a G15 keyboard (ironic), a mouse, a free WoW subscription for a year, and some action figures. That's for first place; the lesser places get subsets of that. What, no beta keys?

Probably not worth going to Paris for, but if you're going to WWI anyway, and you have a desire to bust a move, you might give it a try. Note that the dances have to be inspired by in-game dances. WWI will take place in Paris, on June 28th and 29th.

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Macro Anatomy: Addon counting - Sat, 24 May 2008 12:30:00 EST

For today's short, but sweet, installment of Macro Anatomy, I wanted to share one I found on the forums. Macro superstar Belleboom of the Earthen Ring server has quite a listing of macros, many of which will find their way here in the future.

I wanted to profile this one just for the sheer joy of it. What it does is quite simple, it counts how many addons you're using and prints it in the chat frame. Nothing too complicated, and it works fine if you'd like to copy and paste it to your macro interface.

Here it is:
  • /run local count = GetNumAddOns(); DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("You have " .. count .. " addons running, you nutjob!");
I really can't make this any easier, it just tells you how many addons you're using. Some of you may find it interesting to know how many addons you're using. As the screenshot will attest, I am currently using 64 addons on my 20 Night Elf Druid, so I think I'm sort of middle-of-the-road. There have been times when I was pushing over 100 addons, at which point I start feeling like my UI needs some spring cleaning.

That's what you get today, as I've yet to get my head fully out of my posterior this month. (Feel free to send in suggestions on how I could go about doing this.) Vacation ruins my ability to live a normal life. In closing, I want to field this question: How many addons does a player need to be using in order to considered an "Addon Junkie"?

Every week Macro Anatomy takes you on a magic carpet ride through the world of macros. Sometimes you will encounter existing macros that you can use off the shelf. We'll break them down and figure out how they work. Other times we'll just talk about the different parts of a macro and how you can use them to create your own. You can always stop by the shop if you want to catch up or get started with macros.

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WoW Moviewatch: World of Wifecraft - Sat, 24 May 2008 12:00:00 EST

(This video contains heavy bleeping and some adult innuendo. View with caution.)

Some guys just can't get a break. They spend all that time leveling up in WoW, and then their wives expect their spouses to level up for privileges with them too! Will they be able to win over their level 70 80 wives while avoiding death? You'll just have to watch World of Wifecraft!

Fark.tv did a great job with this sketch comedy. Pay particular attention to the last skit in the video. They reference a certain famous WoW player, carrying out the joke with flawless execution.

[Thanks, Drewbie!]

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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Hybrid Theory: Druids and the Wrath Alpha - Sat, 24 May 2008 11:00:00 EST


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Last week we discussed Death Knights a little bit, and my personal stance is that their impending introduction to the game won't harm existing tank classes too much. Most likely, they'll have their own niche (magic tanking) but with some work be capable of tanking other things. Warriors, Druids and Paladins will still retain their own niches, even with the addition of a new tanking class.

I discussed that primarily because a lot of tanks, Druids especially, have voiced concern to me about losing their viability. How appropriate that Druids are the first pure hybrid class to have their new spells and talents implemented into the Wrath alpha. Before I start my analysis and slather my thoughts all over you, you can take a look at them on this Wrath wiki. To avoid spoiling those that want all of the expansion to be fresh come release, I've tucked all analysis behind the cut.

Continue reading Hybrid Theory: Druids and the Wrath Alpha

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Around Azeroth: There's no place like an ogre home - Sat, 24 May 2008 10:00:00 EST


Ogres are homeowners, too. They work hard to keep those stone huts full of moss and trash (and the occasional campfire or maybe treasure!) And they don't like it when adventurers go trespassing on their grass, trampling their daises and probably grinding exp by killing the neighbors. When one player stopped to peek at one ogre hut, he caught this shot. And all I can think is he's yelling that old refrain: get off my lawn!

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. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it.

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