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Bill Westenhofer announced as VFX director for Warcraft movie - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

Nick Carpenter, Vice President of Art and Cinematics at Blizzard, recently tweeted that award-winning visual effects specialist Bill Westenhofer of Rhythm and Hues Studios will be directing the Warcraft live-action film. Westenhofer has received Academy Awards for his work on The Golden Compass and Life of Pi, as well as a nomination for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. His numerous special effects credits also include Elf, Men in Black II, Stuart Little, and Speed 2: Cruise Control, among many others.

If you've been following the development of the long-anticipated Warcraft movie, this is certainly some very good news. Westenhofer is an accomplished and respected visual effects professional, and his involvement can only mean good things for the Warcraft film. Hopefully we'll learn more soon!

Bill Westenhofer announced as VFX director for Warcraft movie originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Tribute - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

Work Warning: A bit of blood. A bit of cursing. A lot of tribute.

And Alex said*, "Play the best machinima in the world, or I'll eat your soul." So I played the first machinima that came into my head. And it just so happened to be the best machinima in the world. Look at this Tribute and it's easy to see, one and one make two, two and one make three.

So, reaching into the wayback machine, I'm sharing this Tribute with you. But the best machinima in the world didn't look anything like this video. This is just a Tribute.

*He didn't.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: Tribute originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to sign up for the Hearthstone beta - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST

So you've heard a lot about Blizzard's latest game, the free, digital CCG Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and you can't wait to get into the beta. But how do you get in on that sweet, beta testing action? Signing up to beta Hearthstone is pretty simple, but involves a few steps that may not be entirely obvious -- we'll walk you through them so you can have a chance to be one of the first to check out Hearthstone for yourself.

Whether you get into the beta or not, you can get a feel for Hearthstone by checking out the two match videos they've released so far -- one showing Jaina battling Thrall and the other showing Garrosh battling Uther. But for now there's nothing to do but sign up and be patient until the beta gets started. Read on for instructions!

Continue reading How to sign up for the Hearthstone beta

How to sign up for the Hearthstone beta originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This full-back Illidan Stormrage tattoo is true WoW dedication - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

Someone clearly was prepared... to get this incredible Illidan tattoo. Found on Reddit, we don't know who the owner of this particular work of art is, but we do know it takes some dedication to the game to adorn yourself with such a serious World of Warcraft tattoo. Of course, this is hardly the only WoW-themed tattoo we've come across -- not even the only Illidan-themed tattoo.

If you know who owns this particular tattoo, why not let us -- or Reddit -- know? Or if you have WoW ink of your own that you'd like to show off, why not drop us a line? We might feature it!

This full-back Illidan Stormrage tattoo is true WoW dedication originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reminder: It came from the Blog's Bar Crawl 2013 is tonight - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST

Tonight is the night we celebrate It came from the Blog's penchant for virtual boozing.
  • When: Tonight, April 26 at 10:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. PDT, 8:30 p.m. server time)
  • Where: Meet at the inn in the Valley of Strength, Orgrimmar on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H)
  • Who: Any character level 10 or above
  • How: Just ask any It came from the Blog member if you are not already in our family of guilds
  • What: Visiting bars throughout Azeroth
The two things we usually have in our events are drinking and death. You'll need some cash for buying digital drinks, but I'll buy you some, should you run short.

Mounts are not required as much of the travel will be by mage portals. You will need to be level 10 to join the raid group, however.

We will not be holding cross-realm events for the foreseeable future, so you need to be on Zangarmarsh and you need to be Horde. But keeping a character in our guild means you can always join in our monthly events.

We look forward to seeing you at Bar Crawl 2013!

Please join us on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H) in It came from the Blog. All guild ranks can invite, so /whisper Tizzi or any online member. You are all welcome as long as you play by our simple rules -- basically, don't be a funsucker! Visit the guild FAQ for more details.

Reminder: It came from the Blog's Bar Crawl 2013 is tonight originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Xan'tish's Flute - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

Throgg danced a merry jig, playing his flute, with a line of snakes following along behind him. Lolegolas leaned against a tree, watching the orc rock out with his flute out. The meadows surrounding them shimmered with yellow grass.

"So, you really got into the rebellion, didn't you?" Lolegolas said to nobody in particular. "Big fan of the trolls and their toys, are we?"

Throgg ignored him as a particularly jiggy cobra slithered by. Thick grime from the recent rainfall, and the inevitable wet earth, clung to his pants.

"Xan'tish's Flute, he says," the blood elf moaned. "Get snakes to follow me, he says. You realized, it's supposed to be rats. You play your pan pipes, or whatever they are, and you get rats."

Throgg kept dancing in the open fields.

The blood elf sighed. "Look, I'm just tired of the merry jigging snakes in this mudder loving plain."

Throgg stopped. "Too soon, man. That's still not funny."

Item Notes: Another gift from our friends in the upcoming patch, wild snakes will follow you for a minute.

Phat Loot Phriday brings you the scoop on some of the most ... interesting ... loot in the World of Warcraft, often viewed through the eyes of the stalwart Throgg and indelible Lolegolas. Suggest items you think we should feature by emailing mikeg@wowinsider.com.

Phat Loot Phriday: Xan'tish's Flute originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Poll: Do you cheat on your faction? - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

We all know how it starts. A stolen glance across the sands of Silithus. That moment where you eyes meet, a shared second in the Deeprun Tram as you chase your foe back down the tunnel with your finger hovering over the Hammer of Wrath, but hesitate to hurl it home. You know your past, your history, your ambitions, you're a draenei, you're a member of the Alliance, it's all so clear. But somewhere, somewhere there's a longing for something more. Something different. Something... green.

And before you know it, you're being catapulted from Kezan into a new world, a world of orcs and blood elves, of trolls and tauren, of bloodlust rather than heroism. It's new, it's exciting, but is it anything more than just a fleeting visit? Can you really stay in this place, with the in-fighting and the slums and the ramshackle, riotous city of Orgrimmar as your home?

Have you ever cheated on your faction? Been deepsing with the enemy? You're far from alone. It's certainly safe to say that some players are like swans: when it comes to factions, they mate for life. But others are like sparrows, flitting from faction to faction. If you're a sparrow rather than a swan, are your dalliances with the dark side flippant flings, or full-blown affairs? Are you truly bi-factional, or will one always take precedence, always be your home and your heart?

View Poll


Poll: Do you cheat on your faction? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW's greatest mistake and greatest triumph - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

I ask this question philosophically: What is WoW's greatest mistake and greatest triumph? It's a philosophical question that deserves deep thought and logical ideas; any other treatment and the response ends up trolling. And this is not meant to be a trolling article, nor question, so let's start off by refraining from that.

Blizzard is known for being super critical of itself, from my vantage point I don't see anyone beat themselves up more over game decisions than those connected with the design and development of Warcraft. Yes, WoW trolls are a ruthless bunch, but so is the responsibility to millions of well-meaning players. In asking this question, which I'm sure others have contemplated before, we can get at the very root of why this game has the particular unique nature of having so many lovers and haters all at once.

For me, the greatest mistake and triumph are closely tied together. The mistake is gear progression, and the triumph is the random dungeon group finder.

Let's examine both and how they lead to much of what we love, and hate, about this game.

Continue reading WoW's greatest mistake and greatest triumph

WoW's greatest mistake and greatest triumph originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: EDDIE_MURPHY_LAUGH.wav - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I just rewatched Beverly Hills Cop, so please enjoy the above sound and use as needed throughout your day.

richie.09 asked:

Is anyone else disappointed that Lorewalker Cho doesn't participate in any battles? Seeing him in the intro cinematic for Pandaria led me to believe that he would help us and have a role in fighting the Mogu. Instead, he just stands there and gives us a history lesson (In Mogu'shan Vaults).

That's not Cho in the intro cinematic; it's Chen Stormstout! Cho is a talker, not a fighter.

Continue reading The Queue: EDDIE_MURPHY_LAUGH.wav

The Queue: EDDIE_MURPHY_LAUGH.wav originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: At the speed of a yellow bullet - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

Submitter Ezekington of Ancient Order of UMs on Doomhammer (US-A) was sick of paying the flight masters to get around in Pandaria. After all, he had a perfectly good Sunstone Panther that cost him a pretty penny already. Why should he have to spend hundreds of gold a week to get from one archaeology dig site to another? Just use the auto-run button, you say? Unfortunately, he has the tendency to tab out of the game while auto-flying, get distracted reading Cracked articles, and end up dead with an unrecoverable body somewhere in the middle of the ocean. (Not that this has ever happened to me, of course.)

There had to be a better way. And Ezekington figured there was a ton of lazy cheapskates just like him out there. So he invented the Mount Cannon! Just pay 10 silver, load up your mount, and you'll be launched to the point of your choosing. The downside? They're constructed by engineers. One out of ten rides will end with you either blowing up in mid-air or being transported to another continent. But isn't that a small price to pay?

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: At the speed of a yellow bullet originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Latest Hearthstone shoutcast pits Uther against Garrosh - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

If you've been waiting for more details on Hearthstone, wait no more! Blizzard has released another shoutcasted match to give us an up close look at gameplay. In this video, game designer Ben Brode provides commentary on a battle between the paladin Uther the Lightbringer and the warrior Garrosh Hellscream (if you recall, the last shoutcast showed us a mage battling a shaman).

We won't give away the ending, but suffice to say it's an epic battle featuring interesting tricks like secret cards as well as old friends like Illidan Stormage, Cairne Bloodhoof, and, everyone's favorite, Leeroy Jenkins. Though Leeroy's artwork is familiar to anyone who played the TCG, Hearthstone's version of the infamous Mr. Jenkins is perhaps even more dangerous, summoning whelps that aid your opponent.

So check out the shoutcast and PlayHearthstone's YouTube channel for more videos.

Latest Hearthstone shoutcast pits Uther against Garrosh originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite solo activity? - Fri, 26 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

Sure, we all love to play WoW with our friends, but sometimes schedules don't match up or we just don't have the time to play with a group. So what's there left to do? Solo! It may be different than group challenges, but WoW is full of quests, achievements, dailies, crafting, playing the auction house, and even lower level content you can solo for the for the fun or the challenge. Plenty of these are perfectly practical, netting you gold, experience, or reputation, we find soloing old dungeons are raids to be some of the most fun. Not because it nets you anything useful (because it usually doesn't), but because it's a challenge and an interesting way to revisit parts of the game that we leveled past ages ago.

And, obviously, because when you first played through Scarlet Monastery you probably couldn't pull the whole cathedral at once. And pulling the whole cathedral at once is just plain fun -- at least when it doesn't kill you.

So what about you, Breakfast Topicers? Do you have a favorite WoW solo activity? A dungeon or raid you like to run on your own for the heck of it?

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite solo activity? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Developer Q&A transcript - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 22:30:00 EST

This evening's Developer Chat has concluded, and while there were no earth-shattering announcements hidden within, the chat certainly had its interesting moments. Among the topics of discussion were:
  • The Alliance's role after the siege of Orgimmar
  • Balancing classes in PvP
  • The continuation of reputation-based questlines
  • The possible return of world events
  • The state of Skyclaw and Pierre
  • Class quests
  • ... and more!
You can check out the transcript below the cut. Participating developers were Dave Kosak (Fargo), Ion Hazzikostas (Watcher), Brian Holinka (Desvin), Cory Stockton (Mumper), and Greg Street (Ghostcrawler).

Continue reading Developer Q&A transcript

Developer Q&A transcript originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 22:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon 2013 contests announced - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

Need another reason to be excited about BlizzCon? For the creative types out there (or those who just enjoy admiring the work of creative types), Blizzard has released a preview of the contest lineup for BlizzCon this November. And, though full details are to follow (including complete rules, guidelines, eligibility information, and submission details), you can start planning work now.


BlizzCon 2013 Contests
BlizzCon 2013 Art Contest
The Art Contest is coming back! We can't wait to see your always impressive original Blizzard-based artwork. Carpe diem-there's no time like now to dream up your next masterpiece in the hope of having it displayed at BlizzCon (and winning some great prizes).

BlizzCon 2013 Original Movie Contest
We're looking forward to screening another brilliant selection of original films based on Blizzard games. Whether it's live action, animated, wholly digital, or a combination, we can't wait to see what you come up with.

BlizzCon 2013 Costume Contest
The Costume Contest makes a triumphant return! Every BlizzCon, you keep upping the ante for amazing costumes, and we're sure this show will be no exception. As you're contemplating what you'd like to create, keep in mind that your safety is of paramount importance-that means that any costume you plan to wear should be something that you can easily see out of and safely maneuver in without assistance. In addition, no real weapons, dangerous materials, or large motorized costumes will be allowed.

And, while the costume contest is definitely something you need to be at the convention for -- remember, there's another round of ticket sales on Saturday and we have some buying tips for hopeful attendees -- the art and movie contests are online contests.

BlizzCon 2013 contests announced originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A case, and ideas for, more guild challenges - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

Not too long ago, Arenanet recently made an update to Guild Wars 2. One of the included features is a set of guild missions that organized guilds can go out and complete. To be fair, World of Warcraft does have its own set of guild challenges:

  • Complete 15 scenarios
  • Complete 1 raid encounter
  • Complete 3 PvP battlegrounds
  • Complete 7 heroics
  • Complete 3 challenge mode dungeons

Throne of Thunder has added raid challenges within the instance itself. Every week, there's a quest that you'll encounter at random assigning you to kill specific trash.

It seems more of a laundry list of guild chores for gold than anything else. It's a cool way to help fund the guild bank and it does encourage players to do various activities together. But can we take it a step further? Let's look at the guild missions recently introduced in Guild Wars 2 and how they might translate into WoW.

There is some scaling technology in the game. The targets could get scaled up based on the size of your current raiding party. Or to make it even more interesting, every player's item level gets scaled down.urrent).

Continue reading A case, and ideas for, more guild challenges

A case, and ideas for, more guild challenges originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Transmog Shop (NSFW) - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

Warning: This video is Not Safe For Work. There's some occasional cursing and Princess Theradas flaunting her Willendorfer assets for several seconds.

I'm always excited to see new work from renowned machinima artist Ian Beckman. Mind you, I'm a bit biased since the two of us are acquainted (we briefly attended the same university -- he made me choke on my drink once while doing his Azerothian Super Villains Akama voice). Today's video is a parody of the song Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Wanz. The parody tells the story of a goblin on his quest to look awesome using vanilla tier gear and transmogrification.

As a machinima parody the piece certainly does its job in recreating the original song and music video, but it's definitely not Beckman's best parody. The lyrics don't really capture the original, lacking both the fun humor of Macklemore's rap lyrics, and the energy and clarity of Wanz's chorus. In regards to the latter point, I think this is part to Beckman doing his best to imitate Wanz's deep vocals but not quite being suited for it. Pulling in another singer to do the part probably would have made it better.

I'm probably being a bit unfair in my critique though, simply because I'm so familiar with Beckman's work. If this was produced by some no name machinima artist I'd probably be perfectly happy with it. You also have to consider what an incredibly difficult song Thrift Shop is to parody, with its many layers of instruments and vocals. Beckman certainly nails the distinct sound of the original and that's no small feat. I really do love the concept of this parody, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that Beckman might keep working on it to fine tune some of the shortcomings.

As an afterthought, I have to say I enjoy how this video clip fits in with the rest of Beckman's work. He's been playing since vanilla and it's always interesting to see how that inspires his present day work, like That's the World of Warcraft That I Used To Play. Transmog Shop gives off a similar vibe to Beckman's Gotye parody, using a new WoW feature to harken back to the old. It offers a nice contrast to other popular machinima and parody artists whose works tend to only reflect the current expansion.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: Transmog Shop (NSFW) originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ghostcrawler on the lessons learned in Mists - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST

Long-term WoW Insider readers will likely remember the post-Cataclysm dissection where the developers discussed the mistakes they had made and how they planned to rectify them for future expansions. Well, a twitter user has asked Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street the same question, for Mists of Pandaria, and Ghostcrawler had the following to say in reply:

Firstly, one of the great things about Ghostcrawler is how readily he owns up to the team's mistakes here. There's no shame in getting things wrong, but maintaining that you're infallible is both irritating and generally untrue.

Continue reading Ghostcrawler on the lessons learned in Mists

Ghostcrawler on the lessons learned in Mists originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The OverAchiever: Guide to Children's Week 2013 - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, the children are our future, and oh, how we hate them.

In the aggregate, Children's Week is one of the most entertaining annual holidays. Dragging a small child with you around Azeroth's grand vistas and dangerous places is surprisingly fun ("I want to go to the Dark Portal." "Sure, why not?"), and it's a fairly immersive reminder that the planet's constant wars have almost certainly left a large population of orphans for each faction to rear. Also, getting a pet or the aptly-named Curmudgeon's Payoff is pretty cool too.

But.

(You knew the "but" was coming.)

Unfortunately for all of you poor sods who still don't have School of Hard Knocks, that achievement still exists. I hated it so much that it was the sole remaining achievement between me and What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been for a year. With account-wide achievements, you no longer have to do it on multiple characters (and the whole system was worth it if for no other reason than that), but you'll still need it on one. Sorry, folks.

Anyway, Children's Week 2013 runs from April 29 to May 6, and, as always, the achievements and the meta For The Children are part of the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been.

Continue reading The OverAchiever: Guide to Children's Week 2013

The OverAchiever: Guide to Children's Week 2013 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Who's afraid of a little ol' bear? - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST

It appears that WoW Insider's illustrious editor-in-chief Alex Ziebart is afraid of bears. While acknowleding their real-world badassery, he still seems confounded by their power.


Bears? Really? But players chimed in: Bears are notoriously tough, from Azeroth to Earth and other worlds online. I'd agree that bears are tough cookies and I give them wide berth, but they don't inspire the same fear in me that skeletons do. There's no getting around the unnatural aggro radius of even a garden variety skeleton. Oozes are like that, too; my head tells me I'm not afraid of them, but they aggro and gank me in some pitiful, overbalanced way every single time.

Confess: Is there some type of monster you're irrationally afraid of and avoid on principle, no matter what level it might be? Is it unique to Azeroth, or do you find that that particular beastie remains your nemesis in every game you play?

Who's afraid of a little ol' bear? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Archivist: Emo Garrosh and the Hero of the Mag'har - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Mists of Pandaria has many great story lines: the emergence of the Sha, the Mantid war, the history of the Mogu, the Thunder King and the Zandarlari, etc. The overarching story of this expansion has been the ongoing aggression between the Alliance and the Horde, and the central figure of that conflict is Garrosh.

Patch 5.3 will bring us the beginning of the Horde's revolt against its current warchief, and presumably we will depose him with extreme prejudice in 5.4.

Garrosh's story did not begin in Mists, however, or even in Wrath of the Lich King when he led the Horde's assault on Northrend. Way back in The Burning Crusade, an outstanding quest line called Hero of the Mag'har introduced us to a very different Garrosh: a troubled young orc, helpless, hopeless, wishing for death.

If you've only ever played as Alliance, you never got to experience this chain of quests and its many great moments. For Horde players, it's well worth revisiting.

Continue reading WoW Archivist: Emo Garrosh and the Hero of the Mag'har

WoW Archivist: Emo Garrosh and the Hero of the Mag'har originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Everything you need to know about WoW's talents and specializations - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

We're going back to basics today to talk about talents and specializations in World of Warcraft. If you're pretty new to the game, you might not know what these are at all, but anyone over level 10 has at least seen the terms thrown around. We're going to explain just what talents and specializatons mean for your character and well as how to get the most out of your talent choices.

What are specializations?
At level 10, every character (save death knights, who start at level 55) is prompted to choose a talent specialization. While many spells and abilities are core to the class -- meaning you'll get them no matter which specialization you choose -- there are also abilities that you only get if you've chosen a particular specialization. Each specialization focuses on a slightly different playstyle, so you should pick the one that most appeals to you.

Continue reading Everything you need to know about WoW's talents and specializations

Everything you need to know about WoW's talents and specializations originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Beast master catalogs the biological diversity of Azeroth - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

A fantasy game like World of Warcraft doesn't have to stick too closely (or even at all) to the laws of science -- but oh, when the two worlds collide, players who love both can discover a true thing of beauty. That's how it came to pass that a zookeeper from Florida has created a taxinomical website outlining the biology of the wildlife of Azeroth. WoW Biology 101 offers curious players a scientifically grounded look at the creatures of WoW, both fantastical and based on reality.

"I think when we see these connections, it brings these worlds a little closer together and, for me at least, increases my enjoyment of both," notes Banya, a beast master hunter (because you knew that's what she'd play, right?) on Drenden (US). "My site is truly just flavor and a potentially different way to look at the game. When you're running around and see one of the awesome animals in game, my site would let you know how closely it is based off of a real-life animal. "

Continue reading Beast master catalogs the biological diversity of Azeroth

Beast master catalogs the biological diversity of Azeroth originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Repost - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

I'm reposting this awesome KISS image from Around Azeroth yesterday. It deserves a repost because of its amazingness.

Jordan asked:

Do y'all think we'll ever get the option to choose multiple races per faction? For example, one could roll a Broken instead of a Draenei, but simply start on the Isle with the same quests and gameplay as if starting a Draenei. This would take zero new coding effort, other than maybe implementing a few new animations for the Broken. Similarly, Forsaken could play one of those undead elf banshee women things.

Continue reading The Queue: Repost

The Queue: Repost originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Down on Old Man Lovecraft's farm - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

"They said it couldn't be done, but after numerous failed attempts I finally solved the Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron," writes submitter Zlomort of Avoiding Reality on Hydraxis (US-H). "I sat on my farm diligently working away at it until things just seemed to fall into place. The sides slid in ways they never had before, my fingers tracing every line of its delicately etched surface. It almost seemed like the box was using me to solve itself. It didn't open, though. There wasn't something locked inside of it; there was something locked outside of it! I think it likes its new home, warm and safe under my farm. People come to visit it all the time, but I never see them leave. Maybe you'd like to visit us sometime?"

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Down on Old Man Lovecraft's farm originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mists' talent system revamp: Hit or miss? - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

We've had the new talent system now for eight months, and it's had time to settle in, so it seems that it's an appropriate time to see whether it has been a success in its objectives, to assess the pros and cons of the new system.

In case you forgot, Wrath of the Lich King featured 71 talent points, which were distributed over three trees, resulting in some entertaining builds, and no requirement to place the last talent in the tree. The Burning Crusade was similar, but with 10 fewer points, and slightly smaller trees as a result. By the time Cataclysm rolled around, adding an additional five levels, there was concern about this system being bloated, daunting, and unnecessarily complex. So, with Cataclysm came a simplification: 31-point talent trees. At the time, Zarhym explained the change as follows:

Zarhym
We'd rather have a simpler design with a lot of depth, than a complicated but shallow design. The goal for Cataclysm remains to remove a lot of the passive (or lame) talents, but we don't think that's possible with the current tree size. To resolve this, we're reducing each tree to 31-point talents.

Cata also added a requirement that you get to the end talent of your main tree before moving onto the next, effectively removing the hybrid builds that had occasionally surfaced. But that change clearly wasn't enough, as most readers of WoW Insider will recall, there was a further revamp at the start of Mists, moving to the current system. It was a far more drastic change, too, with the disappearance of the talent trees we'd grown used to seeing. But was it a change for the better?

Continue reading Mists' talent system revamp: Hit or miss?

Mists' talent system revamp: Hit or miss? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What made you choose your class? - Thu, 25 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

A little while back, someone asked me why I ended up playing a shaman. I'll give you a brief run-down of the events that led me to a little red-headed dwarf... and the other shaman!

My first character was a paladin. I'd been told to play one by the people who talked me into playing WoW in the first place, and I kind of liked it. As much as anything, it was a sentimental attachment. My friend Chris had made the character for me, and named it, and my friend Mark had taught me roughly how to play it. I was still kind of a noob, when I was leveling my way through a zone and saw what I now know was a shaman. I'd been trying to kill some mobs, and having a hard time, partly because I was new to the game, and partly because I was specced into holy.

This shaman planted their totems and unleashed a torrent of lightning bolts into one of these tricky mobs, and it died before it even got to them. I was impressed! I didn't even know, at the time, what that class was, but a brief description to my guild-mates soon clarified it. I decided at that point that my next class would be one of those, and rolled one the same day. And somewhere along the way I lost the bug for massive DPS and started healing.

That's me, but what about you? What made you choose your class? Was it seeing another? A feeling of personal identity? A preference from previous games?

Breakfast Topic: What made you choose your class? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First round of BlizzCon tickets sold out - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 22:24:00 EST

As has been the case in years prior, if you didn't get into tonight's ticket queue within the first half of the first second of availability, you were out of luck. BlizzCon tickets have already sold out. If you didn't get lucky today, don't panic quite yet -- there's another round of ticket sales on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT.

First round of BlizzCon tickets sold out originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 22:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Icy Veins class guides given stamp of approval by top guilds, theorycrafters - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST

The WoW community is so old and so large that there's often a dispute about where to go to get the best information about your class. In the past, Elitist Jerks was often recommended as the one-stop, hot spot, but nowadays the best class resources seem to be speckled around the web at sites like HowToPriest.com or Totem Spot. So what do you do if you want to find it all in one place? The WoW resource site Icy Veins (probably best known for their dungeon guides) is looking for an answer to that question.

Earlier today Icy Veins announced that their class guides have been reviewed and approved by players from top guilds and other notable members of the community. Looking for an up-to-date elemental shaman guide? How about one that's been approved by Leeds from the guild Method? Or maybe you'd like a mistweaver monk guide checked off by DREAM Paragon monk, Unpl?

Continue reading Icy Veins class guides given stamp of approval by top guilds, theorycrafters

Icy Veins class guides given stamp of approval by top guilds, theorycrafters originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The case of the next Warchief, revisited - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

My first post on this topic garnered a lot of really interesting comments, and a lot of puzzled folks scratching their heads over why certain other candidates weren't considered. My intention with the last post was to examine the other Horde racial leaders (and Thrall, who was formerly the racial leader of the orcs), but I recognize that I didn't clearly state that. Furthermore, I love character analysis, so I'm always looking for an excuse to do more of it. This follow-up is in the spirit of continuing speculation.

I do want to say right off the bat that I personally don't think any of the folks discussed in this post really have a chance, but more unexpected things have happened in the course of WoW's plot development!

Continue reading The case of the next Warchief, revisited

The case of the next Warchief, revisited originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: WoW Lore Lesson: Rexxar - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

I've not featured many of these WoW Lore Lessons from Dorons Movies, but I'm shamefully behind on my Rexxar-chops, so I figured now would be a good time. WoW Lore Lesson: Rexxar is a handy catch-up on some key lore moments. The whole series is like this, although Dorons has a few technical challenge with the videos.

I'd try and use some in-game graphics to spice up the videos. I know it can be a pain to avoid copyright violations, but the video really needs that little touch to keep the action more intriguing. While he puts a lot of effort into narration, a 10 minute speech without narration can be a little... rough... to get through. Still, it's a good effort, and I appreciate your work.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: WoW Lore Lesson: Rexxar originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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It came from the Blog: Join us for Bar Crawl 2013 - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST

It's time for this month's It came from the Blog event and we're going to be virtually drinking. Again. This time the excuse is so that we can hit some famous and not-so-famous bars around Azeroth.

We'll begin our journey with Barkeep Morag in Orgrimmar. Here are the details:
  • When: Friday, April 26 at 10:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. PDT, 8:30 p.m. server time)
  • Where: Meet at the inn in the Valley of Strength, Orgrimmar on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H)
  • Who: Any character level 10 or above
  • How: Just ask any It came from the Blog member if you are not already in our family of guilds.
  • What: Virtual booze, travel, more virtual booze, probably no death -- this time
You should be at least level 10, so that you can join a raid group. You also should have some money for drinking, but I can provide libations for those who are short on cash.

So join us for Bar Crawl 2013! And if you normally play Alliance please create a Horde character and join us anyway. You'll be able to see some places that are new to you and have some fun as well.

Please join us on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H) in It came from the Blog. All guild ranks can invite, so /whisper Tizzi or any online member. You are all welcome as long as you play by our simple rules -- basically, don't be a funsucker! Visit the guild FAQ for more details.

It came from the Blog: Join us for Bar Crawl 2013 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The wait continues for Pierre and the Skyclaw - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST

The mystery of Pierre and the Sky Claw continues. These creations burst onto the scene in the patch 5.2 PTR patch notes back in January, when we were enthralled by Pierre's cooking capabilities, and the Sky Claw's two-person mount potential. Engineers were thrilled at their appearance, but alas, it was not to be.

When we last heard from our potent pair, they had been recently removed from patch 5.2, for undisclosed reasons. This last update came our way in early March, and we have had no word since. Until now. Blizzard Lead Content Designer Cory "Mumper" Stockton tweeted the following:

What has happened to Pierre and the Skyclaw? Have we sent out a search party? Are they in Vashj'ir, solving underwater crimes? Is it simply that Lil' Ragnaros is jealous and has banished Pierre to the Elemental Plane, and the Skyclaw is trying to build up the stones to fly down and snatch him out? Or is it possible that something more sinister is afoot...

WoW Insider recently made mention of a new contender for engineers' hearts and pockets, the Bad Robot, due to grace our screens in 'a future patch'. Could it be that the bad robot has lived up to his name and put paid to Pierre and the Skyclaw? Could this be the darkest hour for our dynamic duo? Who will help them now?

The wait continues for Pierre and the Skyclaw originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The WoW Insider Show Episode 291 - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST

Every week, join us as we present you with The WoW Insider Show podcast -- an hour's worth of WoW community discussion covering everything from the week's top stories here on WoW Insider to emails from our readers and what's been going on with our particular characters in Azeroth.

Want to have your question answered on the air? Email theshow@wowinsider.com!

Get the podcast:

[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:


The WoW Insider Show Episode 291 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Developer Q&A on Thursday, April 25 - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST

Yesterday evening the WoW official blog announced there there will be a CoverItLive Q&A session at 5:30 pm PDT with Blizzard developers Dave Kosak, Ion Hazzikostas, Brian Holinka, Cory Stockton, and Greg Street on the subject of Mists of Pandaria's gameplay and design. Familiar community managers Bashiok, Crithto, Daxxarri, Rygarius, and Zarhym will be your friendly neighborhood moderators for the event. The session is scheduled to last around 45 minutes, though I'm certain many more minutes worth of questions will be asked!

I'm excited to see this event come around, Blizzard has hosted a few CoverItLive chats in the past and they're always very interesting to see. The real-time interaction is fun and gratifying, and we always learn new things about the game and Blizzard's approach to development. For those of you who may not have seen one of these before, you can check out WoW Insider's transcripts of previous live developer Q&A's to get a sense of what to expect:
Get your questions ready for Thursday, and we hope to see you there!

Developer Q&A on Thursday, April 25 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore: Where is the rest of the Alliance? - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

This, for me, is the real disappointment of the past few Mists of Pandaria patches. We've seen what Lor'themar, Baine and Vol'jin are up to in regards to Garrosh's plans for the Horde. While Sylvanas has taken a more circumspect path in this expansion, we're getting a sense of what the Horde's other leaders think about what the Horde is becoming.

What we haven't seen, aside from Jaina Proudmoore's returning the Kirin Tor to the Alliance fold, is any sense of what leaders who aren't Varian are up to. Now, 5.3 shows us what's going on with the Council of Three Hammers in Ironforge, and we've seen Tyrande's brief appearance in the A Little Patience scenario (where she gets to be her old, impetuous self in order that Varian can look statesmanlike) but where's Velen? You'd think that the Sha menace would interest him. Where's Genn Greymane, who has literally done nothing since he installed himself in Stormwind two years ago? I know it's probably expecting too much that Gelbin Mekkatorque might spare time away from doing nothing outside of Gnomeregan, but still, there's been a surprising lack of involvement for these Alliance figures over the years, and it's getting worrisome.

I've mentioned before that I don't want the Alliance turning into The Adventures of Varian Wrynn and his Amazing Friends, not even with Jaina playing both Iceman and Firestar lately. I want an Alliance that's more like a Justice League, where there's room for every faction to take part.

Continue reading Know Your Lore: Where is the rest of the Alliance?

Know Your Lore: Where is the rest of the Alliance? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: O Warchief! My Warchief! - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Why is the Queue late!? The sky is falling! What will I do at work!? I'm bored!

Sorry about that. Turns out time flies when you're making BlizzCon plans.

kurtsmith1983 asked:

Weird question if we do end up killing garrosh in next raid instead of just leaving him hurt and in prison. Will we get the achievment for slaying the warchief and have it count towards For the Alliance achievment cause i want my bear mount

Continue reading The Queue: O Warchief! My Warchief!

The Queue: O Warchief! My Warchief! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reminder: Blizzcon tickets on sale today - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST

It's that time again, time for furious clicking, frantic drop-down menu selections, and long, long queue times. DPS in the dungeon finder during peak hour queue times. BlizzCon tickets will be on sale today starting at 7 pm PDT. If previous years are any indication they will be gone fast, so be prepared. If you can't get them today for whatever reason, they will be on sale again on Saturday, April 27 at 10 am PDT. If you miss out then, there is a third chance to get a ticket as part of the Orange County Children's Hospital pre-BlizzCon benefit dinner, and those tickets will on sale Wednesday, May 1st at 7 pm PDT.

As in 2011, BlizzCon tickets will cost US$175 each. In previous years there has been a limit to the number of tickets an individual is allowed to buy, so I assume that will once more be the case. If you're trying for tickets good luck and happy clicking!

Reminder: Blizzcon tickets on sale today originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: KISS of Pandaria - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST

Oh, wow. Oh wow. I cannot help but feel honored that Quasimojo of The Shinigami on Sargeras (US-A) has chosen my column to receive this, the greatest piece of art featuring pandas dressed as the members of KISS in the history of the universe. He even got Gene Simmons' tongue in there. Peter Griffin would be proud. If you want to make this picture your wallpaper -- and you should -- a 1920x1200 version can be found here.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: KISS of Pandaria originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Four transmog sets for today's retro-bution paladin - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Before we jump into our completely serious, no-nonsense discussion this week, I suppose we better touch on the one piece of retribution-related news coming from the 5.3 PTR:

Sword of Light now increases damage with two-handed melee weapons by 30%, up from 15%.

Naturally I, like many of you, got a warm fuzzy feeling reading that particular sentence. Higher overall damage from weapon-based attacks? Sign me up!

While I don't mean to bite the hand that feeds, I am concerned that this is merely a bandage meant to keep ret from lagging too far behind until 6.0 and, as such, ultimately fails to address the cause of the problem.

I'm just spitballing here, but there was talk at the tail end of Cataclysm and the very beginning of Mists that in our calculated stat weights for T14H BiS, strength was already somewhat devalued in comparison to secondary stats, especially haste, and that this could lead to ret scaling much less efficiently than other melee using similar gear.

Regardless, the buff is appreciated, but I'm more looking forward to what the next expansion has in store for our spec.

Continue reading Four transmog sets for today's retro-bution paladin

Four transmog sets for today's retro-bution paladin originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Making time for roleplay - Wed, 24 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST

I sometimes like to deny it, but I'm really a roleplayer at heart. I can't have a character on screen for longer than a few minutes without inventing some labyrinthine back story. That throwaway gnome Warlock, which just happened to like Engineering? Spontaneously he's pioneering the art of Imp-powered steam engines. That blood elf Death Knight? Sure, he used to be a Warrior but he embraced the dark side as a way to get magic back.

I can't help myself. But it's hard to find time for roleplay. Between work, a daughter, and a dog, my time's pretty precious. So I squeeze in a few minutes of random conversation while waiting for the queue to pop, and otherwise just amuse myself with stories in my head.

How do you find time for roleplay? Modern life moves fast, and it's easy to let it just blink by. Where do squeeze in little bits of roleplay to keep the passion alive?

Breakfast Topic: Making time for roleplay originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 24 Apr 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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