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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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Ghostcrawler on the Jewelcrafting nerf and design philosophy - Mon, 25 May 2009 19:00:00 EST
The Jewelcrafting nerf has been the subject of a lot of hot debate and flaming on the official forums, as might be expected. As people argue whether the nerf was justified, needed, too much, too little, or the wrong way to go about it, the blues have dipped their toes into the pool more than once, and have delivered some interesting insights into the design process in the process.

If it was so overpowered, complain some, why did it take so long to nerf it? Ghostcrawler answers in this post.

Continue reading Ghostcrawler on the Jewelcrafting nerf and design philosophy

Ghostcrawler on the Jewelcrafting nerf and design philosophy originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: PvP pointers for Death Knights - Mon, 25 May 2009 17:00:00 EST


Welcome to Lichborne, Your weekly peek into the world of the Death Knight.

Death Knights have it pretty good in PvP. Thanks to big whomping two-handers and magic damage strikes and spells, we can do massive burst damage and tear through armor defenses pretty easily. On the control front, we have Strangulate, Mind Freeze, Chains of Ice, and, depending on spec, maybe even a few other ways to silence, slow, or shut down an enemy player. Finally, our plate armor and defense cooldowns assure that should we the unlucky target of the burst train, we can hold out a lot longer than many.

Still, it's not just being a Death Knight alone that gets you PvP fame and godhood. It does help to have the right talents, gear, and strategy. So we're going to talk about that a bit, focusing mostly on the talents. Here's two popular PvP Talent builds.

Continue reading Lichborne: PvP pointers for Death Knights

Lichborne: PvP pointers for Death Knights originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: Who can resist a Murbean? - Mon, 25 May 2009 16:00:00 EST


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players and fans, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction - and yes, (War)crafts. Share your stuff by tipping us off via our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts).

World of WarCrafts has been gathering up tips and news on creative endeavors from players in all sorts of media. For a sun-drenched holiday weekend, though, we couldn't think of anything better than everyone's favorite: a Murbean. These cuties come courtesy of Amythys of Sisters of Elune.

"I've been making these little plush Murlocs for a while now (I call them Murbeans), mostly for my own amusement, but two have gone to friends as well," Amythys wrote. "Since I photographed them recently for my new guild's amusement, I wanted to share them here too."

One more shot of the little guys after the fold.

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: Who can resist a Murbean?

World of WarCrafts: Who can resist a Murbean? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show episode 91: The video show - Mon, 25 May 2009 15:00:00 EST
We had our long-awaited video version of the podcast last weekend, and it was a hoot: Turpster and I dressed up and drank champagne together, Robin Torres showed how to inflate your Frostmourne, Lesley Smith came to us live from England, Duncor showed off his famous gigantic cowboy hat, and Patrick Beja showed that he can out-spiffy us any day. Unfortunately, because of the way we did things, we didn't end up getting a good recording of the whole thing -- you can see a few clips of the beginning over on Ustream, but they only have my camera (and the audio is rough -- I didn't realize it sounded that bad at the time). Dotorion also Frapsed a bit of the beginning, which should give you a little taste of the multi-camera mayhem.

But in the end, it was pretty much a one-time thing you had to be there for live. Lightning in a bottle, if you will. The good news is that even if you didn't see the show, we've still got a treat for you: Turpster premiered a brand new video (put together by our good friend Ninthbatter) that we played at the end of the show, and that you can watch online right now. Turpster has also recently updated his own site, where you can find all the songs he's ever made, including our WoW Insider Song, and "Just Can't Wait," which is a song that he, I, and BigBearButt recorded a while ago before Wrath's release. So even though you don't have a new podcast to listen to today, you can tune in there.

Continue reading WoW Insider Show episode 91: The video show

WoW Insider Show episode 91: The video show originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Addon Spotlight: Power Auras Classic - Mon, 25 May 2009 14:00:00 EST


Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

Power Auras Classic is, as the name might suggest, a powerful mod. It does something that you may not know you had a need for: displaying visuals on your screen based on various conditions. For instance, on my rogue, I have it set to display a big red blood drop in the left-center of the screen whenever I don't have Hunger for Blood up.

It's incredibly flexible, and as is the case with most very flexible mods, it takes some work to get the most out of it. For each aura, you can set the position, size, color, and alpha of the texture you want displayed, what conditions you want it displayed under, how you want it to fade in and out, and probably more options I haven't gotten to playing around with yet.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: Power Auras Classic

Addon Spotlight: Power Auras Classic originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: A scheduling headache - Mon, 25 May 2009 13:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

One of the big annoyances of raiding is finding the right schedule. This time of year is particularly bad for many guilds, as last week's Officers' Quarters column proved. Students of all ages have finals. Working adults are traveling more often or spending more time away from the PC. When you have a small crew, the loss of even one person for a few weeks can mean all your raids are put on hold. This week, one officer wants to know how to figure out a raiding schedule despite some uncooperative individuals.

Dear Scott,

I am the co-leader of a casual 10-man raiding guild on Lightning Hoof. Despite only raiding once a week, we've managed to down ten of the bosses in Ulduar and we're proud of that accomplishment. Lately though, it has been almost impossible to get everyone together on the same night to work on progression. Quite a few of our raiders have school or work requirements, and it is very difficult to time every one's lives around raiding. We try our hardest, and for a good while it was working out perfectly. Lately though, I feel that our raiders are beginning to demand the raid schedule be built around them, rather than trying to make time in their own week to come. Since we are such a small guild, it happens quite often that when one person can't/doesn't show, we are not able to raid. This then wastes the entire night, and it becomes almost impossible to re-schedule.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: A scheduling headache

Officers' Quarters: A scheduling headache originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Why can't I raid? - Mon, 25 May 2009 12:00:00 EST


You may remember Taintedlore from her remake of The Womanizer Song. She's hooked up with movie maker Leonnardum to create a new parody video, called Why can't I raid? If you don't recognize the music, it's based of Rihanna's song, Unfaithful.

The video's pretty solid, and does a nice job of complimenting the lyrics. I like how Leonnardum has found little visual queues to match Taintedlore's singing, without overwhelming the music with complex visuals. What really struck me about the final piece, however, was the use of modulation with Taintedlore's singing. She seems to have a great voice, and I like hearing her sing. I don't understand is why her voice is going through the electronic modulation, since it didn't appear in the original song. I'd like to hear her real voice. Though, as always, it's possible some artistic technique flew over my head, and I should get why it's in the synthetic style.

Overall, I continue to be interested in Taintedlore's work, and I would definitely like to see more from Leonnardum going forward.

[Via WarcraftMovies.com]

WoW Moviewatch: Why can't I raid? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: rm -fR "World of Warcraft" && echo "Oops!" - Mon, 25 May 2009 11:00:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, Wow.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Many thanks to Sacco for covering The Queue last Friday. For some odd reason he decided to start drawing this weekend, and you can see one of his drawings above. For the other image you'll have to check out our Twitter page (it wasn't done when today's edition of The Queue was written).

If you're wondering about the title, we're not going to talk about the mistake Adam made over the weekend when he was setting up WoW on his fresh dual-boot linux install. It's just really not worth going over how he managed to delete his WoW directory that has lasted him since pre-BC. Not at all.

Remember that The Queue is here to answer your questions, and you can either leave them in a comment in this article or contact us with them. So without further ado...

Swampsquach asked...

"When you do the repeatable Frenzyheart/Oracle quest in Sholazar Basin, does it have any effect on the current rep you have with either one? For example, if I get revered with the Oracle's and then do that quest but pick Oracle's again, is that just free gold? Or does it set your rep back to honored?"

Continue reading The Queue: rm -fR "World of Warcraft" && echo "Oops!"

The Queue: rm -fR "World of Warcraft" && echo "Oops!" originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Revenge of the warlocks - Mon, 25 May 2009 10:00:00 EST

Hey, remember back in vanilla WoW when warlocks were the most powerful, feared, and complained-about-on-the-forums of all the classes? Synar of <High Solstice> on Stormrage does, and he's ready to bring happy days back again by taking out the warlock's main archrival class and gear competitor. However, his attack on the mage trainers at the Wizard's Sanctum does not appear to have had the desired effect. "Sadly, his show of protest went unnoticed and the Mages went along with their business of staring blankly into their bookshelves," he wrote.

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@gmail.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, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Revenge of the warlocks originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Have a safe and fun Memorial Day from WoW.com - Mon, 25 May 2009 09:00:00 EST
It's Memorial Day in the United States, a time when we celebrate the memories of our fallen soldiers by visiting memorials, breaking out the BBQ grill, and jumping into all of the swimming pools opening for the summer around the country.

There's a lot of interesting things that have happened the past few days here at WoW.com. Our new site is in full swing, and you can read about all the changes we've done.

One of the major additions to the site is the WoW.com profiles, which bring the famed social networking features right into WoW via our custom add-on. Check out what some of our users are already doing: Yamara34 just started up a brand new guild over on Proudmoore, and Mogri got lucky on the fishing daily.

A few major details about patch 3.2 were released on Friday, along with some clarification points by the blues. There is no indication when patch 3.2 will hit the PTR, but we're on the lookout for it. With a new 5-man dungeon, and a new 10/25-man raid, it will be sure to make a splash.

In addition to the new dungeons, patch 3.2 will nerf Jewelcrafting a bit. This is an unwelcome change for many players, and it has all the JCers up in arms.

We hope that everyone has a great time celebrating Memorial Day, and make sure you do it safely. For those of you not in the US, have a great Monday anyway!


Welcome to the new WoW.com! Check out WoW.com's site documentation for information on the new profiles and add-on. Be sure to let us know if you experience any problems during our beta test. And don't forget to check out all the latest World of Warcraft news!

Have a safe and fun Memorial Day from WoW.com originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: The ardent Argent - Mon, 25 May 2009 08:00:00 EST
Just in case you hadn't realized already, the news we got last week about patch 3.2 made it clear that the Argent Tournament is going to play a sizable role in our future Wrath of the Lich King activities, so if you, like me, have been lazy about completing all of the various tasks the tournament offers, now might be the time to change that outlook and get to work over there. By the time 3.2 rolls around, there will be even more rewards to be attained by champions of the various cities, so if having a squire of your own hasn't been temptation enough, maybe the promise of future content has helped.

And speaking of help, in case you need some, we've got you covered as always, from guides to the various dailies to a review of the rewards available. The question today is: have you been convinced yet? A good number of you have probably been rolling in the AT since 3.1 dropped, and probably have a whole stack of Seals already (if not the Hippogryph mount itself). But for those of you who've been lagging behind, has the promise of new AT-related content in 3.2 lit a fire under your Stabled Quel'dorei Steed? Or are you meh on on the idea of grinding out daily quests just to get more PvE content to grind out?

Breakfast Topic: The ardent Argent originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Leatherworker - Sun, 24 May 2009 23:55:00 EST
This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-fourth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

At the outset of this series on how to roleplay one's professions, Leatherworking struck me as the most difficult profession to write about, even more than skinning, herbalism, or mining. This was in spite of (and in fact maybe because of) the fact that it was the first profession I ever chose in WoW. My very first character, who was a druid, wanted to choose leatherworking in order in order to make her own armor as well as prevent the dead bodies of all those animals she had to kill during her quests from going to waste.

At that time I didn't know a whole lot about roleplaying, or how to play the game, and I knew even less about the background lore behind everything I was seeing. I originally roleplayed with my friends that my night elf had been born in Darnassus, only later to find out that would have made her about 3 years old -- a fact none of us had known, because WoW was our first exposure to the lore of Azeroth. This was actually my inspiration for writing these articles, so that our readers wouldn't have to go read pages and pages of books and websites or play old and (to me anyway) less enjoyable games.

As I played the game more and more, the leatherworking armor seemed less and less useful and seemed more and more difficult to make. I also started imagining what skinning all those animals and then stitching together parts of their dead bodies would actually feel like, and suddenly I felt more like a kind of Dr. Frankenstein than a peaceful druid. It turns out, however, that I knew as little about leatherworking back then as I did about the game itself.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Leatherworker

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Leatherworker originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 24 May 2009 23:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ghostcrawler hints at another patch before patch 3.2 - Sun, 24 May 2009 20:00:00 EST


With many of the major features of patch 3.2 having been announced, and a lot of people already somewhat bored with patch 3.1 content, and with the new dungeon/raid instance being a relatively simple "arena" format, many have been hoping that we'll see a 3.2 PTR soon. However, it looks like we'll have to wait a bit longer than hoped. In a recent post regarding adjustments to Druid set bonuses, Ghostcrawler let slip that a change would be coming "long before 3.2."

While it's possible this could just be slipped in with other hotfixes, it does seem to imply that we can expect another bug fix and minor balance tweaking patch before 3.2 hits the servers. Of course, this is probably good news for those hoping for adjustments and fixes for their class or spec, but for those who just want more new stuff to do: Well, sorry, you may have to make those ulduar trips or Argent Tournament dailies last just a bit longer.

Ghostcrawler hints at another patch before patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 24 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: Caylie the Priest - Sun, 24 May 2009 18:00:00 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.

Caylie is the Priest in a Priest/Warlock or Priest/Rogue team, "Esport Ballers." Currently sitting at 12th place for their battlegroup, the team has traditionally done well in previous seasons.

The player prefers to go by Cayley, due to his character names back in previous seasons. Despite having other options, he says he prefers the Warlock/Priest team for the sake of a challenge.

Check out what else Caylie had to say behind the cut.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Caylie the Priest

The Colosseum: Caylie the Priest originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 24 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spiritual Guidance: Shield questions answered - Sun, 24 May 2009 16:00:00 EST


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI and addons blog for WoW. Today, Matticus looks at a few question on shields. More specifically, why Holy Priests should not shield tanks if Disc Priests are present.

One of the core spells in any Priestly arsenal is the use of Power Word: Shield. The primary purpose of it? To save lives and prevent players in your party or your raid from taking damage. I've seen a few questions and grumblings crop up regarding the use of it on a few blogs and I wanted to weigh in.

Continue reading Spiritual Guidance: Shield questions answered

Spiritual Guidance: Shield questions answered originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 24 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Hard modes and progression - Sun, 24 May 2009 14:00:00 EST



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Archavon or Algalon, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look at the hard modes in Ulduar.


It is a truth universally acknowledged that a raiding guild, in possession of a good enough fortune to cover repair costs, must be in want of a challenge. Rather than make bosses difficult by default, the design of Ulduar is liberally sprinkled with the sort of challenge we only saw hints of before -- hard modes.

The idea behind hard modes is to cater for every type of raider. Whether you just want to see content, have difficulty killing it as-is, or fancy spending several evenings wiping to artificial constraints, you can do so. (Note that when I say 'normal mode' from now on I mean non-hard-mode, not 10-man.)

Continue reading Ready Check: Hard modes and progression

Ready Check: Hard modes and progression originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 24 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: Making ourselves at home - Sun, 24 May 2009 12:00:00 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.

Welcome home to WoW.com. Moving into a new place can be hectic, but we think our new digs at WoW.com are pretty darn comfy. In addition to a fresh face and identity for WoW Insider, we've introduced the beta launch of WoW.com Profiles. Show off your characters with a profile on WoW.com. By downloading the WoW.com addon, you can also keep all of your friends up to date on what you're doing in game, and make blog posts and upload screenshots directly from your game client.

Not a big fan of the social media scene? You don't have to change a thing - WoW.com offers all the old content you know (and hopefully love) so well. "If I'm being honest, when I first saw that the site had changed, I didn't really 'feel it,'" commented reader Retropally. "After days of it sinking in, I'm loving it. The new theme is awesome -- and really, nothing has changed in the way of the posts that are written ..."

Join the [1.Local] gang and add your thoughts about our new look and social features -- and hop on across the fold to see what else readers were chatting about during the past week.

Continue reading [1.Local]: Making ourselves at home

[1.Local]: Making ourselves at home originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 24 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: I got a tiki god - Sun, 24 May 2009 10:00:00 EST


So, it turns out that a Sen'jin Fetish is not only a perverse attraction to large troll tusks, but also a non-combat pet obtainable through the Argent Tournament. Our submitter Keltai of <Overclocked> on Stormrage happens to have recently bought the latter. With a little help from an acquaintance, a Pet Biscuit and some Pygmy Oils, he's managed to turn his Fetish into an ill-fitting mask. His newly acquired Twisted Visage with Blood Draining enchant also adds to the voodoo effect. The dress still looks a little too druidic, though. Sorry, Keltai, not everyone can be as cool as a troll.

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@gmail.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, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: I got a tiki god originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 24 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Sheep are like bricks - Sun, 24 May 2009 09:00:00 EST
We're nearing the end of May, and I'm trusting that all of you US players have been having a wonderful long weekend! For those of you who didn't get to go on vacation, or who snuck a laptop into your bags, here are the latest WoW-related comics.

Sunday Morning Funnies: Sheep are like bricks originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 24 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are you using Blizzard's addon replacers? - Sun, 24 May 2009 08:00:00 EST
One thing Blizzard likes to slip in every few patches is a new UI function that "replaces" a popular add-on or set off addons. They've done it with Scrolling Combat Text, Threat Meters, and most recently, with Equipment Managers.

The New Equipment Manager is nice, but it's also pretty basic. You choose to save a set, choose a name and icon for the set, and there you go. You can drag the new icon onto your toolbar for quick changes, at least, but there's not much else. You can't synchronize it with a talent change. You can't set events to automatically change sets. Because of this, or even because of straight up familiarity and the issue of remaking all your sets in the new system, I'm sure a lot of people will stick to addons like ClosetGnome and Itemrack (if it ever updates).

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Are you using Blizzard's addon replacers?

Breakfast Topic: Are you using Blizzard's addon replacers? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 24 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: PvPing as a Frost Mage after 3.1 - Sat, 23 May 2009 20:00:00 EST


Each week Arcane Brilliance brings you a column about Mages. This column used to be housed on Wowinsider, but now it's featured on some newfangled site called WoW.com. The url is a full seven letters shorter. It's crazy. where did those seven letters go? I don't know, but I blame Warlocks.

There's an old saying: you can please some Mages some of the time, but you can't please all Mages all of the time. Or something like that. Last week, several of you complained that I was spending too much time writing about PvP, while ignoring PvE completely. This will be the fifth PvP-related Arcane Brilliance in a row. Previous to that, you have to go back to October 25th of last year to find our last PvP-centric column. A short list of things that have happened since then:

  • Wrath of the Lich King was released.
  • Barack Obama became the president of these United States.
  • 5 dollar foot-longs.
  • Arcane Brilliance brought you 24 PvE columns in a row.
Seriously, guys. Make up your minds. I don't know what you want from me anymore. Anyway, on to Frost Mage PvP.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: PvPing as a Frost Mage after 3.1

Arcane Brilliance: PvPing as a Frost Mage after 3.1 originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 23 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Art of War(craft): Arena Season 6, rise of the Casual Gladiator - Sat, 23 May 2009 19:00:00 EST


I know, I know, most of you hate Arenas. I've been writing for WoW Insider -- ahem, I mean WoW.com -- long enough to know that you guys probably aren't the most avid of PvP players. But the fun thing about it is that at least I'm not preaching to the choir, right? Anyway, I have to admit that I've gotten pretty tired of Arenas myself. Aside from two to three weeks worth of games in Season 5, I skipped the season altogether, unhappy with the balance then and the constantly changing rating and matchmaking system.

That wasn't even the heart of it, really. In the past seasons where I'd had the most success, I played with particular classes and specs that were viable in that season's environment. More importantly, I teamed up with players who were focused on PvP and were expectedly competent at it. The downside was that our success as a team was proportional to my loathing of the players on my team, particularly our team leader who was prone to excessive nerd rage and finger pointing. It sometimes happens that the best PvP players aren't necessarily your friends, and working together towards high ratings is sometimes a marriage of convenience. At a certain point when the stakes were extremely high, where wins would net us measly gains and losses would tank us badly enough for us to lose titles, Arenas became more stressful than fun.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): Arena Season 6, rise of the Casual Gladiator

The Art of War(craft): Arena Season 6, rise of the Casual Gladiator originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 23 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Forum post of the day: The end of big guilds - Sat, 23 May 2009 18:00:00 EST
Oldmaveric of Azgalor posed the question on the General Discussion Forum: are Big guilds on their way out due to easy WoW? He suggested that easier content on 10 man raids and regular content nerfs has led to the breakdown of some of the top guilds and caused players to quit the game.

Savvage of Spinebreaker quickly responded that big guilds have their place, but "People can now play in closer more tightly-knit groups..." For many players, raiding offers sufficient challenge while being more enjoyable than it once was. The raiding experience is not only more accessible, but also more fun. Smaller guilds can afford to be more selective of the online personalities of their membership, while still being able to to make progress.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: The end of big guilds

Forum post of the day: The end of big guilds originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 23 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ghostcrawler: Death Knight dual wielding to get a makeover soon - Sat, 23 May 2009 16:00:00 EST
Good news to all you Dual Wield Death Knight Diehards: Ghostcrawler recently popped up on the forums with a simple answer to your woes: "Next Major Patch."

Apparently, the next major patch (I'm guess it will be patch 3.2) will be seeing more tweaks to Death Knights, at the least to get dual wielding viable again. There's no word on what form this tweaking will take, which is to be expected. Balancing Dual Wielding and Two handed weapons has always been a tricky to near-impossible for other classes, so the skeptical part of me still wonders if it's possible.

Of course, it could also be the two-handed weapon partisan in me speaking as well. Any basic solution such as creating a two-weapon strike seems like it could leave two-handed Death Knights out in the cold, at least for DPS. Still, we have that earlier mention of possible dual-wield dedicated tree, so who knows how extensively they'll revamp whichever one they choose to allow dual wield optimization. We do already have some 3.2 feature announcements, though, so who knows, maybe class change information is up next. We'll keep you posted.

Ghostcrawler: Death Knight dual wielding to get a makeover soon originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 23 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bolfang and the future of the Horde and the Alliance - Sat, 23 May 2009 14:00:00 EST

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Wrathgate in-game event.


So Callouse of Vashj posted a theory on the General Forums that is so elegant that I'm sort of ashamed I didn't think of it myself. At the Wrathgate, we know that Arthas absorbed the soul of Saurfang the Younger into his sword. Evidence also points to the idea that he stole Bolvar Fordragon's body. This has lead to rampant speculation that we will eventually fight one or both as thralls of the Lich King.

But Callouse posits that we may end up seeing one and both at once. That is, we'll see Saurfang the Younger's soul in Bolvar's body.

Continue reading Bolfang and the future of the Horde and the Alliance

Bolfang and the future of the Horde and the Alliance originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 23 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WURP: Ziebart hunting - Sat, 23 May 2009 12:00:00 EST


There's a chance we may all be in the gravest peril -- and that's the excuse I'm going to give for nearly no one on the team playing World of Warcraft this weekend. So what's the peril today? Mr. Rossi explains it better than I:
  • Matthew Rossi: I'm hunting down an ancient Egyptian Vizier named Hamenthotep. Seems he's trying to find some sort of ancient scrolls called the "Ziebart Codex" that will allow him to harness the power of some sort of ancient primal diety named "Izzu Tahuti" or some such. I don't actually read Demotic. Anyway, in order to find the codex he apparently made use of an old Lemurian ritual site in the Andes and sent forth Peruvian Mummies to possess all the descendants of the original writer of the Codex, Ziebart Dulkarnizen (The Two Horned Ziebart) an ancient and terrible black wizard. So far I haven't had any luck finding any of the descendants. They're masters of subtlety and stealth, it seems, all connected to an order of Cathars who disappeared during Innocent III's attempt to suppress the Albigensian Heresy. I'm not sure if they're Ophists or not, but until I find one of the last living Ziebarts, all of earth is in grave danger from Hamenthotep and his strange, black garbed ally with the hunting horn. I may also run Ulduar.
  • Mike Schramm: Wait -- isn't Alex named Ziebart? He could be the key to the Codex! Oh no wait I think he's Zibert. Never mind.
  • Alex Ziebart: Send help. Peruvian husk not very dexterous. Hard to play.
For more from the rest of the team, read on!

Continue reading WURP: Ziebart hunting

WURP: Ziebart hunting originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 23 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Today in sandworm news - Sat, 23 May 2009 10:00:00 EST


She's gone from suck to blow! Morgwatt of <Two Silvers for Charon> on Bronzebeard recently experienced one of the natural hazards of the Eastern Plaguelands -- a giant maggot attack. "While meditating upon a recent adventure in EPL, I was reminded as to why it is a good idea to do these things in the safety of an inn," he wrote. I'll also noted that Morgwatt's 2v2 team name is "The Lee Atwaters", which is one of the most awesome names I've seen in a long while.

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@gmail.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, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Today in sandworm news originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 23 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What do you think of WoW.com's new features? - Sat, 23 May 2009 08:00:00 EST


It's been a couple of days since our big makeover and things seem to have gone down quite well. We've had loads of comments (indeed Alex Z is currently recovering from being Tech Support Guy after fielding bug reports for a day straight) and the new-look has gone down quite well. Of course, this isn't the first time we've had a new look but this time it's not just a cosmetic revamp. I like to think of WoW.com as WoW Insider meets Facebook with a little of Livejournal thrown in for good measure, we're not just a site, we're a community. Cliched, okay, you got me there.

Anyway now you folks have had a couple of days to get used to the changes, what do you think of our new look and, more importantly, all the cool features? Are there any you'd like implimented in the future? Have we missed something out?

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of WoW.com's new features? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 23 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More information on 3.2 release date, Coliseum, new Battleground - Fri, 22 May 2009 19:42:00 EST

Hot on the heels of the Under Development page for Patch 3.2, we received a few more tidbits of information from Community Manager Zarhym, responding to posts on the official forums. In bold are the players' questions.

The Argent Coliseum: Does this mean a raid and a instance will be in there?

Yes, there will be a 5-player version, then a 10/25-player version. The bosses will be different for the two versions. Think Ring of Blood or Amphitheater of Anguish, but more epic.

The new Battleground (Isle of Conquest): So, it's WG combined with AB?

If anything, Wintergrasp combined with Alterac Valley with a few more twists.

Do you really think Ulduar achievements will last a year? Instances become stale after 6 months even with achievements. Yea 3.2 won't be till later this year and by then Ulduar will have been played to death and people will want something fun and new to do and not some small joke instance since we won't see Icecrown till April/May next year probably.

Would it help if I told you that your presumed timelines are way too inflated? :)

I was expecting most of this information, and I'm glad that my suspicions that the Coliseum would be a Ring of Blood-style event were confirmed. This isn't really an avenue Blizzard has used for a raid before. The hinting that 3.2 will come a lot sooner than we think is also comforting -- since it means that 3.3 and Icecrown are even closer.

I'll have a speculation post about what we can expect in the Coliseum soon. Until then, keep your eyes peeled -- we'll update you as soon as we get any more news!

More information on 3.2 release date, Coliseum, new Battleground originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 19:42:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Hey Sacco, can you do today's The Queue edition - Fri, 22 May 2009 19:30:00 EST

Playing the role of Adam Zibbert tonight will be the Michael Sacco. There will be a brief intermission between acts.

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Zibbert will be your host today.

You know the drill! LET'S GET US SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED.

Bearkub asked...

My main is a lvl 80 paladin (holy/prot), gold is not an issue, and I have everything I could want off the Wintergrasp PVP vendor/npc. My alt is a level 70 hunter (hilarity ensues). Is it worth it to spend 200 stonekeeper's shards to buy the +10% XP bonus shoulders? Or would those shards be better spent on something I can sell for gold (the non-bound pvp meta-gems, for example)? Is there something to spend the shards on that I'm unaware of? I imagine they're worth it on a lvl 58 DK alt, but I'm not sure what the "cost/benefit" cut-off is.

Heirloom items are pretty great, in my experience, especially the shoulders. With 3.1, they also grant 10% extra quest experience on top of mob XP, which is a lot -- especially given that most of your XP earned while going from 70-80 is going to be quest XP. It, essentially, takes a flat 10% off of your leveling time, sometimes more. And, when you're done with it, you can send it to another alt, even if they can't wear that specific armor type, because the item will automatically become the highest possible armor type for that specific character.

I'd say it's worth the purchase, but it's a personal choice. Just remember you can get gold back at any time, but leveling time isn't something you can recoup.

Continue reading The Queue: Hey Sacco, can you do today's The Queue edition

The Queue: Hey Sacco, can you do today's The Queue edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Porcelain Bell - Fri, 22 May 2009 19:00:00 EST


This is a weird one -- we've been doing Ulduar epics lately, but here's something a little different for you to hunt down.

Name: Porcelain Bell (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Poor Salvage Item
Damage/Speed: N/A
Attributes:
  • Embellished with a figure reaching toward a swan. This is a grey piece of vendor trash, probably the worst quality item we've ever featured here.
  • Wait a minute Mike, I can hear you saying, this is supposed to be Phat Loot Phriday. Why are you showing us a piece of vendor junk? Because, my friends, in the eyes of the vendors, this little bell is worth more than the Warglaives of Azzinoth combined (and you could even throw in Thori'dal, too). Yes, this little bell sells to vendors for... wait for it... 100g.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Porcelain Bell

Phat Loot Phriday: Porcelain Bell originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show special video edition live tomorrow - Fri, 22 May 2009 18:00:00 EST
The day has arrived. A little while ago, we challenged you fans to get us over 9000 Twitter followers, and somehow, some way, you delivered. So now we have to keep our promises -- tomorrow, the WoW Insider Show, which has only ever been an audio podcast, will include video with our live feed, and you'll be able to see the faces of all your favorite bloggers (for better or worse). Turpster and I will be dressed in our finest threads, we'll be toasting champagne (so bring your own if you want to toast with us, 21+ please), and we'll host a cavalcade of bloggers and friends of the show on live video. We've got some surprises planned, and hopefully Ustream will hold up under the strain -- whatever happens, it'll surely be wild.

The show begins our Ustream page at May 23, 2009 3:30 PM EDT , or you can jump after the break to see an embedded feed. The audio archive of the show will appear here on Monday, and we'll have a video version on Ustream, but unfortunately Ustream will only save one video stream -- mine. So if you want to see Turpster and our guests on video, someone in the live audience might have to Fraps it out. And directly after the show, we'll be spending some time on Zangarmarsh (It Came From the Blog is our guild over there on Horde side, and I'll be hanging out and dueling Peggle if you want to stop by).

Whew. It will be memorable, I can guarantee that. We'll also talk a little bit of Warcraft, and of course we'll talk about the new WoW.com and what it means for the podcast as well. We'll see you (and by see you, I mean you'll actually see us) tomorrow afternoon.

Continue reading WoW Insider Show special video edition live tomorrow

WoW Insider Show special video edition live tomorrow originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Is Enhancement too squishy? - Fri, 22 May 2009 17:00:00 EST
Yes, that's Thoralius the Wise from the Howling Fjord starting quests. When I saw him get up and start zoning out to his smoke brazier, the look on his face just meshed too well with today's subject matter, which is the health of shamans in melee. We talked about shaman health in PvP a while back, now it's PvE's turn.

I don't play my shaman in a melee role in raids right now, because I basically don't have the gear for it. My resto set's a lot better so that's what I go as, but that only means I often notice how difficult it is to keep enhancement shamans on their feet. There are several possible culprits for the disparity, although in most cases I believe the killer to be aoe damage, so wearing mail really isn't the issue: rogues aren't nearly as hard to keep up as shamans, for instance, because rogues have cooldowns and abilities that allow them to avoid or escape damage. (If you've ever seen a rogue go sprinting through several mines on a Mimiron kill you'll know what I mean.) No, excepting those giant whirlwinding maniacs in Razorscale and Thorim, what's generally killing shamans in melee is AoE damage, and the problem here is twofold in my experience.

  1. Most enhancement shamans who are not in Tier gear are wearing hunter mail, which is not tuned to higher stamina values. Even shaman tier gear lacks in stamina, however.
  2. In order to take talents that would reduce incoming damage, shamans are asked to not take talents that would allow them to produce meaningful DPS.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Is Enhancement too squishy?

Totem Talk: Is Enhancement too squishy? originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Isle of Conquest and Season 7 - Fri, 22 May 2009 16:30:00 EST


The new, rapid pace of Blizzard development continues as the Under Development page let slip that the new Battleground will be called the Isle of Conquest. We'd known for a while now that the next major content patch, Patch 3.2, would have a new Battleground, there were little details beyond that. For a while, there was some speculation that the abandoned development in Azshara would be revisited, but it looks like this is an entirely new Battleground that implements more siege weapons and vehicles.

Even though vehicle combat has gotten fairly mixed reviews, we know for a fact that it works rather well in PvP implementations such as Lake Wintergrasp and Strand of the Ancients. Wintergrasp, in particular, has been so popular that it has created all sorts of problems for Blizzard, leading to the development team finding ways to actually reduce the number of people playing in it. If Wintergrasp is any indication, the Isle of Conquest should be incredibly fun, as well. The key word here is "large-scale", which hopefully indicates a return to Alterac Valley-level epic battles.

Continue reading The Isle of Conquest and Season 7

The Isle of Conquest and Season 7 originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Insider Trader: Jewelcrafting nerf incoming - Fri, 22 May 2009 16:00:00 EST
Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Bornakk just announced on the forums that Jewelcrafters are about to see a new nerf, and as a result, people are already beginning to weigh the benefits of switching to a different profession for min-maxing, or working out how they are going to re-itemize their gear.

Bornakk:
In the next major content patch we will be removing the prismatic quality of the jewelcrafter-only Dragon's Eye gems. Like other gems, they will have to match the socket color to receive a socket bonus. When this change occurs, players with qualifying jewelcrafting skill will be provided a yet to be determined amount of Dalaran Jewelecrafter Tokens as compensation.

This probably won't be enough to entice players to drop the profession, but it is a bit of a blow. Stratfu points out that because Mage T8 is equipped primarily with yellow and blue sockets, the only way to actually meet socket bonus requirements will be to use sub-par gems.

The JC-only Runed Dragon's Eye offers +32 spell power, and currently fits into any socket, conforming to meet the necessary color requirements. This is compared to the +19 spell power that the rest of us folks get from Runed Scarlet Rubies. While Jewelcrafters will still be able to use these gems, they won't be able to stick them just anywhere.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Jewelcrafting nerf incoming

Insider Trader: Jewelcrafting nerf incoming originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 details released - Fri, 22 May 2009 15:30:00 EST
Tipster Brian pointed us at the under development page, which is now listing details for Patch 3.2. It's looking pretty interesting, all told. More Argent Tournament!

We're going to present a screenshot of the changes from the Under Development page after the jump, but just to make sure your appetites are whetted, so to speak (or type, I'm not actually talking) here's a detail: there will be a new battleground called the Isle of Conquest, a large scale siege between the Horde and the Alliance.

But wait, there's more!

Continue reading Patch 3.2 details released

Patch 3.2 details released originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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An official server for South Africa - Fri, 22 May 2009 15:00:00 EST
Here's an interesting post from what looks like a site in Zaire wondering if Blizzard will ever bring World of Warcraft to South Africa. It's true -- we all take it for granted that here in North America and Europe, the game is available, but in many parts of the world, it's not. And apparently there's a market in a place like South Africa -- Blizzard says they have about five to seven thousand players down there already (we'd assume they're playing on EU or US servers), and that probably doesn't count any of the players on private servers, which could be as many as 20,000.

iGame is a division of an ISP called iBurst down there, and they say they're prepared to run an official server (within 24 hours' notice!) if Blizzard gives the OK, but Blizzard has told them that they need at least 40,000 players in the area to make it worth running an official server.

There's another option called a "peering" server, which apparently does hook up to Blizzard's servers, but uses local connections and networks to make things a little faster. But again, Blizzard needs to assent to that, and it seems like they're hesitant at the moment.

Oceanic realms have had issues for a long time, but at least the players there do have a chunk of servers dedicated to them. Are there any other major places in the world that don't have official WoW support yet? South America? India?

An official server for South Africa originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Getting WoW status updates on Twitter - Fri, 22 May 2009 14:00:00 EST
You readers are awesome -- yesterday, when I posted the link to the online server alert page (which, yes, wasn't all that new, but lots of us hadn't seen it before), I suggested that it get hooked up to Twitter somehow, and sure enough, Scyntinth and blkmasta55555 wasted no time creating @WoWStatusUS and @WoWStatusEU, respectively (Ed also pointed out the EU status page). Tsaavik created an RSS feed for the alert as well, if you'd rather use that. And those aren't the only way to track Blizzard's realm status on Twitter -- looks like @wowalerts has been in action for a little while, and @pikestaff pointed out to me that @wowrealms tweets about realm downtime as well. And, hey, even your friends here at WoW.com are on Twitter keeping you up to date with the latest at @WoWInsider.

So yes, there are tons of ways to track what's happening on your favorite realms via Twitter or any number of updating services.

Getting WoW status updates on Twitter originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Old Azeroth through rose-colored glasses - Fri, 22 May 2009 13:00:00 EST
Sometimes denial works for you, and I think that's why I like this forum thread so much. It's full of nostalgia for a simpler time, when PvP meant going to Southshore and murdering some Alliance, when the encounters in Molten Core were the most epic thing in the game, and speaking of epics, when seeing a player outfitted with all purples meant that they'd be raiding for weeks with 39 other people. This thread willingly looks back and sees things not as they were, but as we remember them: super fun, refreshing, and completely empty of the problems and quibbles we have to deal with today.

Of course, Azeroth's past wasn't really like that. It was hell organizing 40 people to do one boss, much less a whole night of raiding, and if the organization didn't get you, the server lag and disconnects would. Southshore and Crossroads PvP made for great stories, but in actuality, it was really just a zerg fest, and no one actually won, it was really just everyone throwing away their nights because there was nothing better to do. And epics -- well, it was actually pretty cool when epic gear meant something. But boy was it disappointing when you went whole weeks of raiding without getting any loot at all, without even a Badge of Justice for your efforts. Or when you had to disenchant a tier piece because the Paladin set dropped yet again.

Do we want to go back to those days? Probably not -- while there are definitely some good things about them, there were all kinds of issues that have since been solved (and that many of the nostalgists tend to forget about). But every once in a while, it's nice to look back through rose-colored glasses and remember when.

Old Azeroth through rose-colored glasses originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Oxhorn Brand Medley - Fri, 22 May 2009 12:00:00 EST


Reader Ted T. asked for a good place to get started with Oxhorn videos. That's a really tough call, because Oxhorn's created so many different movies. But, I guess my favorite Oxhorn piece is the Oxhorn Brand Medley. (Moo Money actually first covered it about a year ago.)

Not only does it combine everything there is to love about Oxhorn machinima, it also expands his music in some interesting ways. When my fiancee and I first saw it, we spent all weekend singing its chorus over and over and over.

The chorus seems simple, but is actually rather difficult to belt out in tune and in time. "LOLOMGWTGDAIRYQUEEN" flies across the screen to help you know what Oxhorn's singing, but getting it down corectly and reliably can be a challenge. The "Oxhorn Brand Medley" revisits and tips its hat to some of his best songs, but still manages to blend them all together in a convincing way.

While it might help if you're familiar with Oxhorn's many videos, you definitely don't need to have seen them to enjoy the video. Take a few minutes, check it out, and see what you think.

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

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Oxhorn Brand Medley originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 22 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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