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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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What are heroics for? - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 18:30:00 EST

Recently a couple of my guild mates ran Heroic Underbog with a few pug members. Life was good, they made it up to the first boss, Hungarfen, and got him. The odd part happens with the loot. A rogue could have used the Boggspine Knuckles that the boss dropped. However a friendly lock decided that this was a badges run, and not a gearing one. He decided that instead of passing on the item, he was going to need all blue items and shard them. Lo and behold, the lock did just that. Anger ensued, and instead of moving on happy, everyone left quite mad.

Now of course, this sounds like just another pug horror story. What makes it different from that is this lock actually went on to defend his actions, and really stood by his convictions. My first reaction is to balk at this, and say this is never acceptable. However thinking a little beyond that, I've got to wondering if this is a practice that perhaps happens elsewhere. Perhaps this guy is from a different server with a different culture, where heroics are just meant for badges and gear gets auto-sent to the DE factory.

So my question to you, WoW Insider readers, does this kind of thing happen legitimately anywhere else, or is this just another case of another bad pug story?

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Me, myself, and Quel'Serrar - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 17:30:00 EST

Playing a warrior since WoW was released has gotten me a lot of gear over the years. One of my greatest accomplishments in the game was getting my hands on a Quel'Serrar about two years ago. When I got this beautiful piece of equipment I had been 60 for about three months, and had done nothing but grind for gold. After saving up just over 2,000 gold, I bought the Foror's Compendium of Dragon Slaying. By todays standard 2,000 gold might not seem like a lot, but back then it was more gold then most people would ever see.

Using my Quel I raided happily until Burning Crusade came out. Being such a stickler, I used it for tanking all the way to 70, and only replaced it with Grom'tor's Charge. To this day its still sitting in my bank. I've recently taken it out and gave it some use in the early trash in The Eye. I found that its actually not that bad of a weapon still. Granted it doesn't proc as often as it used to, and its stats are not that great compared to Mallet of the Tides. Happily however, it still kept the threat up against all those over zealous DPS'ers.

Having all that fun with my Quel again got me thinking... is there any chance for an upgrade? There have been rumors that there will be an upgrade quest, but nothing substantive yet from the mouth of Blizzard. Until someone in Blue posts on the official forums and makes all of us warriors happy, for the time being we'll have to just get along with dreaming for an upgrade quest. And maybe, just maybe, someone from Blizzard will see this and decide that Wrath of the Lich King needs another feature.

Do you have other cherished items that you dream about Blizzard updating?

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WoW Insider Weekly - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 15:01:00 EST
Happy Saturday afternoon! Time once again for a weekly wrapup of our all weekly content. Here's what WoW Insider's columnists have put together for you this week, all linked up in one big post.

Two Bosses Enter: Lady Vashj vs. Princess Huhuran
Cat fight!

Sunday Morning Funnies: Dark forces
Something mean is threatening this week's webcomics.

All the World's a Stage: A little help from my friends
Playing a cooperative role ingame.

Officers' Quarters: Drawing the line
What do you do as a GM when asked to fix some real-life problems, too?

WoW Rookie: I rolled the wrong class
How to make a good thing out of a bad decision.

The Art of War(craft): A resilient argument, part I
Sure, Superman has a ton of defense, but you should see Batman's intelligence.

Shifting Perspectives: A look at leveling balance
Choosing talents and leveling druids-- two of BBB's favorite pasttimes.

Raid Rx: Unkicking butt (a Grid story)
How to use a great addon to be a great raid healer.

15 Minutes of Fame: Hammer time
An interview with the creator of the great Hammer of Grammar.

WoW Insider Show Episode 21: War on Staghelm
Our weekly podcast wants the Arch Druid of Darnassus dead.

About the Bloggers: David Bowers
David sits down to answer our questions and tell you a little bit about himself.

Build Shop: Paladin 0/46/15
Finally, a build shop for the plate-wearing healers.

Guildwatch: Unannounced visitors? Preparations must be made
Another report from the front lines of guild drama and disaster.

Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn: The chase
Run little Night Elf, runnnnn!

The Light and How to Swing It: Levels 21-40
The road to mounthood with your paladin pals.

World of WarCrafts: Elixir of Greater Intellect punch
Another tasty drink inspired by the game.

Blood Pact: How to be evil, Warlock edition
Evil laughter is the key. Throw a "mu" in before that "hahaha" and you're golden.

The Chirurgeon's Craft: Healing with engineering, over patient objections
Our engineer extraordinaire talks about how to do a little rocket surgery.

Totem Talk: The three trees
Talkin' talents with the totem troopers.

Gamers on the Street: The XP experience
What you players think about the XP curve as it stands today.

Blood Sport: Essential Arena addons
What to load when facing off in the Ring of Blood.

Ready Check: Is transferring the solution?
When (and when not to) move a guild across servers.

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: When tanks aren't tanking
Because if warriors aren't getting hit, they should be hitting as hard as they can.

Insider Trader: Chic choices
Looking good while leveling.

Back in the Day: The week after TBC's launch
Our brand new column takes a look at one of the biggest moments in WoW's history.

Phat Loot Phriday: Anetheron's Noose
An epic caster cloth belt for your enjoyment.

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WoW Web Stats reveals the ins and outs of your raid - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 14:00:00 EST
WoW Web Stats(or WWS), if you're not aware, is a popular raid assessment tool written by Lossendil. It has recently received some sweet loving from the author in the form of an overall revamp, and now bears a shiny new orangey-brown coat to accompany that same great taste we know and love.

Using an uploaded combat log(/combatlog in-game) pulled from your WoW folder, WWS parses it into a neat and clean report for your perusal. Right at your fingertips is your basic overall damage meter and healing meter, and if you dig a bit further, there's so much more. With the ability to see each boss encounter and attempt individually, each players' spell usage, the buffs and debuffs on a character in any given encounter as well as a variety of other things, this is a tool that shouldn't be overlooked if you're in the raid game.

Continue reading WoW Web Stats reveals the ins and outs of your raid

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WoW Moviewatch: Rock Rockin' Tha Spot - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 12:00:00 EST


(As the pic above states, that was one of the safest pics I could link. The management has asked me to make clear that this music video is very Not Safe For Work (NSFW). It contains language, pixel nudity, and Olibith, who warrants a NSFW tag on his own ...)

Baron Soosdon has been teasing his blog readers for over a week with pictures of his latest music video, Rock Rockin' Tha Spot. RRTS is a visually stunning masterpiece that will have you dancing in your chair, but it leans more towards the MTV crowd with it's content. However, it's totally worth watching, if for no reason other than the copious amounts of cows!

[Via BaronSoosdon]

Previously on WoW Moviewatch...

View this heavily NSFW video after the jump ...

Continue reading WoW Moviewatch: Rock Rockin' Tha Spot

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Around Azeroth: Autumn in Azshara - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 10:00:00 EST


Reader Spirittamer, at level 63, has been attempting to do all of the old-world Azeroth quests -- an ambitious goal! (After all, quests get lonely too, don't they?) He was sent to Azshara in order to aid a fallen hero of the Horde and discovered this lovely sunny picnic spot. Spirittamer tells us, "Of course, you have to convince the previous occupants to let you use the gazebo..."

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see your idea of the best looking instance 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!

Gallery: Around Azeroth

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WoTLK Bestiary unveiled - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 09:30:00 EST
Tipster Medros emails in pointing out that Blizzard has finally put the Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary online. In his email, he mentions that the TBC bestiary started showing us the long leggedy beasties of the first expansion roughly nine months before it launched, arguing for a summer release for WoTLK.

What with all the recent talk of what else might be in the expansion, I am starting to think it may launch sooner than that. It depends, in my opinion, on when Sunwell Plateau launches and if we can expect them to have learned from the original launch of Naxxramas so close to Burning Crusade. In my opinion, I'd hope there would be enough time between the Sunwell launch and the expansion for more guilds to get to see the place in full, especially with the way we're told content will unlock there as people complete quests. So I wouldn't be surprised to see it in late spring/early summer, nor would i be surprised if it didn't launch before Christmas of this year.

Meanwhile, take a look at the two new monsters being unveiled for us today and get your speculation on.

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One Boss Leaves: Vashj vs. Huhuran wrap-up - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 09:00:00 EST


Another week is upon us, which means another edition of Two Bosses Enter, our weekly deathmatch series, has come to a close. This week, Princess Huhuran overwhelmed Lady Vashj with 56% of the total vote. (Hmm... Vashj must have forgotten her nature resist set.) Though you might not think an oversized wasp could defeat a powerful Naga like Vashj, you've clearly never tangled with this particular insect: don't discount this bug's prowess (and nasty nature damage). Full details below:

For more bosses fighting amongst themselves (hey, it's better than when they fight you, isn't it?), check back tonight for the next round of Two Bosses Enter, when Gruul will match up against C'Thun!

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Breakfast Topic: One-shots - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 08:00:00 EST

You know how it is: you're just running a long, minding your own business in a battleground, when suddenly some enemy mage hiding in a bush casts Pyroblast on you, and crits you for more damage than you can count. "Whaa?!" is you can say as you drop dead before you even knew what was going on.

They're called "one-shots." I'm not talking about Massively's snazzy screenshot feature -- I'm talking about any player being able to kill another player in effectively one hit, from maximum health all the way down to zero. In a forum post by "Deathanddecay," there's apparently a big argument among himself and some friends as to what exactly counts as a "one-shot." Does it have to be like a Pyroblast critical strike? Or can a three-in-one windfury proc count?

For my part, the distinction seems unimportant. Either way, you're dead before you have any chance to react and defend yourself. This sort of thing used to occur all the time before The Burning Crusade came out, but since then players' stamina has increased faster than their damage, so one-shots tend to happen a lot less. Now that the expansion's been out a year, however, if one player is in the best gear while another just hit 70, it could definitely happen quite a bit. What's your experience with one-shots? Do you prance around gleefully decimating your helpless opposition without effort? Do you dread going to battlegrounds for fear that you'll just die without being able to contribute anything? Or do you find that everyone is more or less balanced and one shots don't happen much anymore?

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Getting your loot priorities straight - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 20:00:00 EST


Every successful guild that I've ever seen has some sort of loot distribution system. Whether it's a major DKP system with a dozen small caveats, or a slow moving loot council, some way, some how, all guilds get the job done handing out every day loot in a fair manner. But there comes a time, a dark and evil time, a time when brothers and sisters fight against each other, cats and dogs live together, and all things foul spill forth from the bowels of the Earth. There comes a time when special loot priorities come into effect.

Many, many guilds have broken up over this. I've nearly been in a few myself. Back in the days of pre-bc, the first major loot drama came in Molten Core over the Hunter's ability Tranquil Shot. While now a days there are not really any single items that makes people fight tooth and nail over, there are a few bosses that drop some important equipment that might only be killed a few times.

Continue reading Getting your loot priorities straight

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Phat Loot Phriday: Anetheron's Noose - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 18:30:00 EST


As far as I can remember, we've never done a cloth belt (although, believe it or not, we have done a plate belt). So here you go.

Name: Anetheron's Noose (Wowhead, Thottbot, Curse)
Type: Epic Cloth Belt
Armor: 133 Armor
Abilities:
  • Yellow and blue gem sockets (Socket bonus: +4 spell damage)
  • Improves spell critical strike rating by 24, increases damage and healing done by spells and magical effects up to 55
  • So the biggest thing about this belt isn't necessarily what it does have (it does have the highest +spell damage you can find on a cloth belt), but what it doesn't have-- spell hit rating. Unlike other high level epic caster belts, this belt trades off spell hit rating for a little extra spell damage. And so if you've already capped off spell hit rating, then this belt is your best bet.
  • Shadow priests are lucky in this regard-- they get a talent that makes their spells much easier to hit, so they don't need as much spell hit rating. For an endgame shadow priest, your other gear will likely already cap your hit rating, so this is definitely the best belt for you.
How to Get It: It is called Anaetheron's Noose, so it drops from Kael'thas. No, I'm only kidding-- it drops from Anetheron in Mount Hyjal. I thought maybe that Anetheron was hanged before he was somehow turned into a dreadlord (you think you can match the might of one?), but I couldn't find anything like that in the lore, and I don't even think dreadlords are made-- they're probably fashioned from pure evil or something sinister like that.

So odds are the people doing the hangings here are you players. Sure, kill the dreadlord, string up his body, and take the noose from his broken neck to wear around your waist. That's real classy.

Getting Rid of It: As requested, I will not say something like "are you crazy?" or "why would you want to do that?" Instead, I will assume that you are reading this a few years from now, Wrath is out and we are all level 80, and you found this in your bank and Googled it to find out why you still had it. In that case, a vendor will give you 2g 71s and 88c for it, or it will disenchant into a Void Crystal.

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The WoW Insider Show is live tomorrow afternoon - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 18:00:00 EST


Tomorrow at 3:30p ET you can listen to the WoW Insider Show live on WC Radio. I'll be hosting along with our Warrior/Shaman columnist Matthew Rossi and hopefully the ever-innappropriate Turpster. We'll be covering the hot topics of the week including the fake patch notes, phat Sunwell lootz and WoW hitting the 10 million subscriber mark. Plus the controversy of the lack of new 25 man content, the lack of new info on the upcoming expansion and whatever strange tangent Turpster will drag us out on.

And if you want to join in on the conversation you can either log on to the #wowradio channel at irc.wowirc.com or e-mail you comments and questions to theshow@wowinsider.com. Archives of previous shows can be found at the WoW Insider Show page at WC Radio.

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Back in the Day: The week after the TBC launch - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 17:00:00 EST


What was going on in World of Warcraft this time last year? Back in the Day looks into the past of WoW Insider and brings back posts notable, controversial and sometimes humorous reflecting the state of the game one year ago this week.

For the week of January 20 - 26, 2007:

The Burning Crusade had gone live just the week before and the race to have the first level 60 Draenei and Blood Elf was on. In less than four days posts were flying across message boards to claim the title of being the first. This feat is either impressive or pathetic depending on your point of view. Either way, the thrill is gone since the pre-60 increased leveling rate introduced in Patch 2.3 made it easier than ever to level up a new toon in no time at all.

Debates raged over two new issues brought on by the expansion: should the Draenei heal-over-time racial ability be usable by Draenei Priests in Shadowform and should Blizzard increase the spawn rate of quest mobs in Hellfire Peninsula to deal with the influx of half the player base after the same target?

For the first, Draenei Priests felt it was unfair to be cut off from Gift of the Naaru due to their spec choice while priests of other races didn't think it was right for blueberries to get a heal in Shadowform when no one else did. Blizzard didn't back down on this and kept the ability disabled for Draenei Priests shifting into the dark side.

Continue reading Back in the Day: The week after the TBC launch

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Sunwell Plateau: Not quite here yet - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 16:15:00 EST
Nethaera has posted this morning that... no, we aren't getting new patch 2.4 information yet. Not today, and probably not Monday. Disappointing, but as with all posts from Nethaera, there's usually at least a few hints hidden within. Thanks to the bit of relief she brings, the lack of real news isn't all bad.

There's been some doom and gloom hanging over the WoW community about the upcoming arena balancing, but Nethaera assures us there will be no "sweeping class changes." Whether this is a good or a bad thing is really up to you, but being the magical PvE carebear that I am, I'm certainly pleased with that. I'm sure the PvP community thinks otherwise, and would also like to eat me for breakfast.

Nethaera goes on to crush our hopes and dreams by stating that fake patch notes are, indeed, fake. Sorry, warriors, Rend is still not for tanking!

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Insider Trader: Chic choices - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 15:00:00 EST


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

It looks like the grumbling was on target - many players really were raiding simply to get epic gear (and not for the sheer joy of raiding). Now that they can get epic gear easily through PvP, the herd is turning away from PvE raiding and signing up for Arena teams in droves. What drives players toward the purple clothes? Is it symptomatic of PvE ennui? Is it indicative of the relative ease of the Arena reward system? Insider Trader has another theory, drawn from the observations of those unassailable sages, ZZ Top: Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man.

Pure and simple - packaging sells. And when you want your character to look his or her best, what you need is a tailor. This week, Insider Trader reviews the wardrobe a well-dressed citizen will want to have banked for all sorts of events, from the festive wedding celebration to the everyday restocking trip to town. Ever wondered who uses all those weird dyes on the General Trade merchants? That would be you, once you discover the pure panache of the perfect shirt. L2Bchic, after the break.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Chic choices

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: When tanks aren't tanking - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 14:03:00 EST
The Care and Feeding of Warriors comes to you again on the horns of a dilemma. Matthew Rossi has found himself playing his human warrior more often when he plays, and being sucked back into raiding again. This has led to him strapping on his DPS gear and dual wielding while still prot spec, and other anomalies he wants to talk to you about.

It's one of the ironies of my time playing warriors in World of Warcraft that I often find myself doing exactly the opposite thing I expected. Recently, due to time constraints and personal issues I haven't been able to play as much at night, and have found myself online at a whole different time of day. As a result I've tended to play Alliance again because there's more people online on my Ally server, and my poorly geared human protection spec warrior has found himself somehow raiding again. It began with a few heroics that impressed some people, a guild tryout I didn't really think much about that consisted of tanking Black Morass over and over again, and now I find myself in Kara, ZA and even Gruul's or Mags as a pure prot spec warrior.

I'm starting to remember it all again, how it feels to hold aggro against well geared DPS, the thrill of using your abilities to keep a mob stuck to you while properly keeping those crushing blows off of the table so that your healer whispers you after the fight and tells you he barely had to break a sweat keeping you up despite your horribly awful blues. Seriously, I'm still wearing a green ring here.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: When tanks aren't tanking

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Can you smell what The Rokk is cookin? - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 13:30:00 EST

With the release of patch 2.3 every cooker level 275 and up found a new way to make an easy 7g a day with the daily food quest. While it might not seem like a lot, an extra 49g a week is a night's repair bill if you're a tank. The only downside to keeping up with the daily quest is the rather annoying farming you need to do. Some of the mats for the food items are spread out in rarely visited places in Outland.

While we've covered the wonders of this daily quest before, there is a great little trick to cut down on the time necessary to farm the food... and that is to create you own cupboard of food! While your cupboard might seem bare and filled with mostly Ramen Noodles at first, within a couple weeks of quests you'll find yourself well stocked with all the gourmet items you could ever want.

Besides the items you need to have the quest in your log to get, you can store a TON of premade food that'll cut down on your quest time dramatically. The items you want to save up are:

Warp Burgers (from Warped Flesh)
Roasted Clefthoof (from Clefthoof Meat)
Mok'Nathal Shortribs (from Raptor Ribs)
Crunchy Serpent (from Serpent Flesh)

Now the key to getting these items, instead of having to go and farm them day after day, is to select the reward of a "Crate of Meat" when turning in the daily quest. The crate will drop the raw form of the above food often enough, and within two weeks time, you'll have more Mok'Nathal short ribs then you know what to do with! In fact, after a month of doing this quest, your cupboard will be so large that you can sell a large portion of it on the AH and make quite a nice bit of gold.

Happy eating!

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Ready Check: Is Transfering the solution? - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 13:00:00 EST


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Kara or BT, everyone can get in on the action and down them some bosses. Hong is still recovering from a vicious rabid koala attack, so you'll have to put up with me this week. We both feel sorry for you.

When you're in a raiding guild there is a natural attrition that happens at a slow but constant pace. A mage here will have to start classes, a priest there gets transferred to night shift. Your best rogue suddenly isn't feeling the game anymore and wants to take a break. A couple of friends decide that a more casual guild is better for them... I could spend all day listing the reasons why people take off and leave you hanging.

If you're on a high population server with a good chunk of your faction representin' in raid instances, then the normal course of action is to hit up your realm forums with a post containing who you're looking for and what your guild is like. You bump it every couple of days and wait for people to contact you. You can also spread the word over the guild recruitment channel or even have your guildmates ask around.

But what if you're not on that kind of server? What if you're on a medium population server where the closest guild progressing in your faction is a whole tier behind you?

Continue reading Ready Check: Is Transfering the solution?

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WoW Moviewatch: The Real World of Warcraft - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 12:00:00 EST


Okay. I know the beginning of this movie looks like it's just screenshots set to music. But keep watching! I promise there's a nifty piece of machinima on the other side. Really, I think the first snippet after the credits makes the entire thing worthwhile -- but it could just be because it features my favorite Warcraft 3 quote. So watch on for a variety of pop culture presented in World of Warcraft format.

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Blog Azeroth - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 11:00:00 EST

While reading my favorite WoW blogs yesterday, I saw a common theme. Everyone was talking about Blog Azeroth. No, it's not another blog about our favorite gaming universe. Rather it's a place where WoW bloggers of every class and race can get together to share tips, ideas, and just generally talk shop.

So I did the free sign-up, posted my introduction, and cruised around, looking at the content. I found some really great articles about how to track down who links to your site, some advice on how to get more readers, and even how to make a cool FavIcon. As soon as I can figure out what I can squeeze into a 16px by 16px space, I'm all over that. I also found out that there were other people from my server writing about all kinds of things. It's been a great experience so far.

You don't need to be a blogger to visit, either. Anyone can access their Introductions forum and not only get a long list of blogs ripe for the reading, you can also find out a bit more about some of your favorite WoW players. And if you're thinking about starting to write up your game experiences, they have good info for all the common blogging systems.

May your blog be long and fruitful!

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