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Phat Loot Phriday: Hand of the Deciever - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 18:30:00 EST


The Warglaives get all the glory for being all Legendary, but when you want a mainhand melee and you're raiding at the top of the game, this is really what you'll want.

Name: Hand of the Deciever (Wowhead, Thottbot, WowDB)Type: Epic Main-hand Fist Weapon
Damage/Speed: 238-357/2.60 (114.4 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +28 Stamina, and you know by now what Stamina gives you. There's no Agility on it, so the Warglaive set is still likely a better option for Rogues if you were lucky enough to get that. But for anyone who needs a fist weapon in the main hand for melee, this is the Cadillac you want to be driving.
  • Two Yellow sockets, and there is where you can get everything you need that's not in the usual stats (some more crit, some extra Strength for Fury Warriors, or even some hit if you still need it). +6 Attack Power socket bonus, which is pretty weak, so socket with what you want on this one, and only go for yellow if it's all you need.
  • Increase Attack Power by 54, and your attacks ignore 196 of your opponent's armor. We need to mention Enhancement Shamans at this point -- while Rogues and Warriors pretty much get their pick of the litter for weapons, this kind of fist weapon is aimed squarely at Shammies, who aren't able to use the Warglaives or any of the other crazy swords at this level. That doesn't mean that this isn't a good weapon for a Warrior or a Rogue -- in certain situations and specs, it does rival the Warglaives for them. But this is an Enhancement Shaman weapon first and foremost -- because they aren't able to wield swords, this one's for them.
  • Ignoring armor is a tough mechanic to wrap your head around (and since you all know that I'm bad at math, I have a harder time with it). If you do have an item that ignores armor, it's best to stack it as much as possible with other items -- taking just a little armor off of a target that has tons of it won't help you too much. But taking a nice chunk of armor off, say, a clothie, helps your DPS out more. Here's a quick chart (that probably isn't necessarily up to date, but can probably work as a good guide). So as little as 500 armor ignored can help your DPS out by a few percentage points, but as you get further into more heavily armored targets, that DPS number goes down.
How to Get It: Drops from one of the last bosses in the game, Kalecgos. Do we have to say anything besides that? If you're already in Sunwell, you know exactly where he is, and if you're not yet, then get to Sunwell first and then you can figure out. Odds are that if you're not raiding Sunwell by now, you probably won't see him before Wrath anyway. Drop him, have about a 15% chance that this item drops, be an Enhancement Shammy and convince all the Warriors and Rogues that this is really an item you deserve, and the Hand is yours.

Getting Rid of It: Fully socketed, you probably won't -- even in Northrend, this is a nice weapon to have in the main hand. Though you probably will be done with it before raiding gets underway at level 80, so then you can sell it back to vendors for 15g 65s 3c, or disenchant it into (probably two) Void Crystals.

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Typhoon bug dominates the Wrath beta - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 18:00:00 EST

Remember a few content patches ago, the PTR had a fun little bug where Warlocks had the spell effect of Seed of Corruption castable rather than the spell itself? So Warlocks had an infinite range, no cooldown, no global cooldown, mana free, instant Seed of Corruption? Remember the chaos that caused? Well, guess what? It happened again!

No, no, it wasn't Seed of Corruption this time. It happened with the new Druid spell Typhoon. Specifically Typhoon Rank 5. It's already been hotfixed, so don't bother trying it now- you missed out. If you want to see exactly what people were doing with this spell, just check out the video above.

I had a chance to experience a little of this firsthand, and it was impressive, to say the least. A Moonkin rolling up to an enemy faction's town and laying waste is just hilarious to see, though not so much after the tenth time. Remember, this thing didn't even trigger the Global Cooldown. Druids were running around with macros that cast this spell ten or twenty times simultaneously. Nothing could even hope to survive, especially when you got a bunch of them together. Five or six Moonkin in Naxx-25 was just absurd.

If you want to see more of the bug, the tipster that supplied the above video has a whole bunch of them. Balance Druids, I hope as many of you got in on this as possible. Everyone gets a turn to be horribly, hideously overpowered. That was yours.

[ Thanks, Bular! ]

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WoW Insider Show back live tomorrow - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 17:00:00 EST


Ok, people, it's time to get back on track. After a short vacation last week (we had to go prerecorded), the show is back live tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, and after a few week's absence, the inimitable Turpster is returning to the virtual airwaves with us. Amanda Dean will also be on, and planned topics of discussion include that whole Honor wipe deal (which some players aren't happy about), the ongoing Brewfest holiday (how are your tickets coming), and anything else new in the beta we'd like to talk about.

Additionally, thanks to listener Spacenerd, we'll have a giveaway -- if you want to pick up some extra special loot, make sure to tune into WoW Radio tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern to listen to how it all will go down. And we'll be in IRC live as well, at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel. Finally, if you'd like to email us questions, concerns, words or praise or just something silly, feel free: the email address is theshow@wowinsider.com.

Should be a great show tomorrow -- it'll be nice to get back into the vibe of things (and finally talk to Turpster again after so long), not to mention have a nice chat with all the IRC folks as well. Even if you've never heard the show live before, tomorrow would be a great day to listen in.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Itemization in Wrath part one - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 16:00:00 EST

When I said I'd talk about itemization for warriors in Wrath, I did so fully knowing that it is at present incomplete. New gear comes in with every beta patch, so even if you take every single item currently present into account it doesn't necessarily provide you with an accurate picture of the way it will all shake out once you actually set foot in Northrend.

So keeping in mind that not only can this all change tomorrow but that we're talking about gearing the most gear dependent class in the entire game, let's start looking at what gear we're going to require at 80. The defense cap at level 80, for instance, is going to be 540 defense requiring 689 defense rating. For a fury TG build, you're looking to overcome 15% hit penalty on specials, meaning that you'll be stacking roughly 500 hit rating at level 80 (based on this forum post which seems like a pretty good test bed to me) not to mention all the crit and AP you'll need to be effective. Frankly, I think the defense gear will be easier to assemble than the hit gear. For arms, of course, you won't need nearly as much hit, making an Arms DPS build substantially easier to gear for. (To be fair, a fury DPS build designed around Impale, Rampage and Incite would also be easier to gear for.)

Of course, the real issue isn't "Does the gear exist" but rather "How easy is it for me to assemble a reasonably effective set for what I want to do?" Does a newly 80 prot warrior have a chance to tank the instances and heroics? What about a DPS warrior, will he be effective? So far, it seems that the gear exists, but can be somewhat difficult to assemble: the introduction of faction vendors in the most recent beta builds actually goes to help in these situations. This week we're going to look at the faction rewards and see what warriors would be interested in. There's also instance drops, crafted items and PvP rewards to consider before all's said and done, but we have to start somewhere.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Itemization in Wrath part one

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Windows Mobile users get in on the mobile Armory fun - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 15:00:00 EST
Hey Windows Mobile folks? Feeling a little left out of the mobile Armory app game? We've got just the thing for you: the WoW Player for Windows Mobile will pull up all the character information you want on a Windows Mobile Pocket PC device.

Unfortunately, unlike the iPhone app we posted, we haven't actually tried this one, and there's a few comments up about it not finding characters correctly (it looks like it requires PocketPC 5-6.1 and .NET Compact Framework 3.5, whatever that all is). But on the other hand, it's a free download, so if you're stuck with a Windows Mobile device and really want to see your characters on a mobile screen, it's worth a try.

Doesn't look as good as the iPhone app (whoops, sorry that's our Mac snobbery showing through), but there's definitely a nice installed base of Windows Mobile users out there, and they could use a little WoW love, too.

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Skill Mastery: Mind Sear - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 14:00:00 EST

Mind Sear, one of the new baseline abilities for Priests in Wrath of the Lich King, is an unusual beast. It's a Shadow-based AOE spell, which is fantastic, but it's a little trickier to use than we might like. It looks super cool, so that makes up for some of its issues. Let's ignore the issues for a moment though. Let's take a look at the tooltip, and then I'll explain how the spell works.

Mind Sear Rank 2 - 30 yard range
Costs 28% of base mana - Channeled
Causes an explosion of shadow magic around the enemy target, causing 212 to 228 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 5 sec to all enemies within 10 yards around the target.

Continue reading Skill Mastery: Mind Sear

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Bobby Kotick talks about what Blizzard can do for Activision - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 13:00:00 EST
The Wall Street Journal sat down to interview Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, and our little World of Warcraft game got a nice bit of face time (one wonders why no one's asking Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime about, say, Guitar Hero, but who are we to question the corporate structure?). Kotick says that Activision closely examined what everyone else was doing with MMOs and online gaming, and saw that the only real winner in the market was Blizzard. Rather than investing in their own franchise, then, they decided to just buy Blizzard from Vivendi (and as you know, that's what happened). Kotick says what's so difficult about running these online games is just the scale -- you've got to handle credit card fraud, keep thousands of servers up and running (and patched), and still provide a good experience for millions of players at a time.

Kotick also talks about the way that WoW is sold in Asia (there, instead of paying a monthly fee, many people in Internet cafes pay per hour in cash), and says that Blizzard's experience with setting up a viable pay model may come in handy with other Activision properties overseas, Guitar Hero being his first choice.

We're still not exactly clear on how all of this relationship works -- while both Blizzard and Activision have said in the past that it's hands off, you have to think that even though things are buddy-buddy now while the money's flowing, but what happens when the two sides start to disagree?

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WoW Moviewatch: Pepitoz - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 12:00:00 EST


Today's feature is a humorous tale of QQ channeled into roleplaying entitled Pepitoz: The World of Warcraft Story. Although Rurikar, the same filmmaker who brought us the hilarious Jimmy: A World of Warcraft Story, seems lately to have moved away from machinima to creating his own animated shorts, Pepitoz is a character that stands the test of time. It is a tragic love story, with a twist. Perhaps a dash of music would've added even more humor, but that's my only critique. Anyone who is wincing at possible changes to their class upcoming in Wrath, you'll be able to relate to the source of the melodrama here.

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

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Ask a Beta Tester: More on mounts and other things - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 11:00:00 EST


Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, where we answer your questions about the Wrath of the Lich King beta! Most of our answers are short and sweet today, and we'll get started with Molly's question...

What's the word on passenger mounts? Will they be a whole new level of riding skill, or will you simply purchase them individually? How much do these things cost?

They use the same riding skill as regular ground mounts, but they tend to be on the more expensive side. The Engineering-made Motorcycles will be up to the market to price, but Traveler's Tundra Mammoth costs 20,000g. So the cost of the mounts themselves is what's going to be harsh, not an added level of training. That last one carries three people, by the way.

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: More on mounts and other things

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Around Azeroth: Dreadlord in a box - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 10:00:00 EST

Recent spoilers aside, few members of the Horde have ever liked Varimathras. (Spoilers ahoy in both those links!) He's rude, condescending and offers few good quests -- just like the even-more-hated Fandral Staghelm. But Lilithsblood of Anub'arak has gained an advantage over the dreaded dreadlord. She found the vicious, ten-foot-tall demon locked inside the infamous blue checkered box. Judging by the baseball bat in her right hand, Varimathras is about to have a Very Bad Day.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards.

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Reminder: Caption This contest ends tonight! - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 09:30:00 EST

Hey, hermanos. You've only got fourteen and a half more hours to participate in this week's Caption This contest. To participate, leave a caption for the above picture on the original post by 11:59 PM EST tonight!

Eligible winners (U.S. or non-Quebec Canadian residents above 13) will receive a 60-day gamecard for first place, and an Eastvale Logging Camp or a Camp Taurajo ringer shirt from J!NX ges to the runner-up. Remember to read the official rules for the contest here. The voting poll for the winner will be available Tuesday morning, so you can vote while enjoying weekly maintenance. Have fun!

Gallery: Caption This!

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Forum post of the day: Honor, glory, and coercion - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 09:00:00 EST

This may come as a big surprise, but not everyone likes to do Arenas. Even some who very much enjoy Battleground play, are not enthralled with the small-scale and highly-competitive arena environment. I'm of the opinion that if you don't enjoy the arena, you probably shouldn't do it. Sasquach of Bahazzar is with me on this one. Like me, he enjoys arenas and is not partial to the PvE game. Sporting a 2300 rating for Season Three, he's looking forward to doing arena matches in wrath.

The original poster vented his frustration that all PvP gear has an arena requirement on the test realm. Though Battlegrounds and Arenas are disparate systems with divergent goals and playstyle, Blizzard is putting rating requirements on all PvP gear. Even playing battleground after battleground, players will have to do arenas in order to don any PvP gear.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: Honor, glory, and coercion

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Breakfast Topic: So you're in the Beta now too - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 08:00:00 EST
If you've hopped onto the Beta realms recently, you may have noticed the heavy lag that's been going on ever since the last wave or two of testers were accepted.

If you are one of those testers who entered so late in the process, then you, like myself, might be finding that despite your best efforts, the lag does tend to color your opinions and feedback about the various quests.

Personally, I try to add into the comments section that I might have rated the quest as more fun had I not died twice, failed to pick up the items faster than the characters with whom I was competing, or spent what felt like forty minutes trying to kill X number of mobs.

Nonetheless, while certain experiences seem so novel and interesting, others can drive players right back to the live realms because they get sick of investing so much time and effort into something that simply does not work with so much lag, or listening to the complaining and counter-insulting that goes on in the chat channels.

Are you stuck wishing you'd been able to enter the Beta when the population was more stable? Are you forging on, or have you mostly forgotten about your key and chosen to wait until release on November 13th? Were you an early tester who is now annoyed with the increase in lag and annoying behavior?

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Foxtel to carry BlizzCon PPV in Australia - Thu, 25 Sep 2008 23:00:00 EST


In Australia, and bummed you can't make it up to the states for BlizzCon? You too can experience it virtually -- while DirecTV has a deal to carry it on pay-per-view in the US, Foxtel has apparently landed the same agreement in Oz. For $14.95 a day (no word of getting it for free by signing up, which is the deal DirecTV is offering), you can experience all the festivities straight through your television. They're even offering that BlizzCon mount if you buy both days. One problem, though: it's all being shown live, apparently, so in order to see it all, you'd have to get up at 4am. But a little lost sleep is a small price to pay for experience all that is BlizzCon, right?

Of course, you could just stick to WoW Insider and we'll show you everything you need to see at the show for free. We don't have a mount to give you (yet), and we won't ask you to wake up at four in the morning, but we will have pretty in-depth coverage from right there on the scene. Or, y'know, you could do both. It's up to you, Aussies.

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"Leading the Cavalry" achievement lowered to 50 mounts - Thu, 25 Sep 2008 22:00:00 EST


Looks like our little survey of mounts available for the Leading the Cavalry achievement found some ground at Blizzard -- they've lowered the number of necessary mounts from 75 to 50 in the latest beta build. Seventy-five mounts is a lot, and even though, yes, we didn't actually count any of the mounts coming in Wrath of the Lich King (surely there are plenty there), Tauren especially would have trouble coming up with that many things to ride around.

And as you can see, the prize for having way more mounts than you'd ever need is... another mount. You can nab an Albino Netherdrake (a few commenters say it's just a drake, but that model looks like a netherdrake to me) for completing the achievement. We can say this: it'll definitely stand out in a crowd. But the green and the white together? The skin may change before launch, but maybe we don't actually need to bother getting those 50 mounts after all...

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Scourge Invasion to return? - Thu, 25 Sep 2008 21:00:00 EST
Here's a promising note for those who enjoyed the Scourge invasion world event a while back. When a player moans on the forums that he thought it was a yearly thing (and that it might never return), world designer Kisirani says not to jump to conclusions: we may be using the Necrotic runes from the event very soon in the future. Rumors have been swirling about a world event for a long time now, and if you've been paying attention to the spoilers (that link is a spoiler, of course), you know that things are going to hit the fan very shortly here.

Though for all of the hints and leaks and files found in the beta, we haven't actually seen an event at work, and it's not completely clear just what will happen. Of course, something has to happen to Naxx for it to move north to Northrend, and we've speculated all along that, without being too spoilery, Arthas would do something to drive the Horde and Alliance to seek him out, and that's exactly what the hints are pointing at. But as for when this event will go down, and what, if any, rewards might come out of it, from Necrotic Runes or otherwise, we don't know for sure. As much as players have learned about how Wrath might kick off, Blizzard is still holding their cards close on this one.

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Christie Golden drops more info about Arthas - Thu, 25 Sep 2008 20:00:00 EST
BlizzPlanet has a nice tidbit from Christie Golden about her upcoming novel about Arthas Menethil (better known as half of the Lich King, that bad guy we're going to be spending a lot of time with in the expansion). The book is due out next year (so odds are that we'll be approaching the end of the story by the time it hits store shelves), but it'll offer a look at the bad guy way before he started being bad -- the book starts with Arthas as a 10-year-old Prince, and covers everything between there to his little meltdown we witnessed in Warcraft III. The romance with Jaina is supposed to get some good coverage as well, so the book should be a good read.

And there are some bonuses for close readers as well -- we'll have seen some scenes before (including one between Arthas and Muradin in Beyond the Dark Portal), but of course, in this book, they'll be from Arthas' perspective. Arthas is undoubtedly the villian of the next ten levels in WoW (they even named the thing after him), but it's really exciting to have a villian with such an interesting and twisted past behind him.

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Will Wrath really be ready by November 13? - Thu, 25 Sep 2008 19:00:00 EST


Soon. This used to be Blizzard's favorite word, a nebulous term that assured us that they were working hard on things. Blizzard always used the phrase "when it's ready" to describe something they were working on. Historically, getting things ready could take a long time. Years, even. This was the Blizzard we all came to know and love. They took their time with things, but at least you knew that they weren't going to release anything half-baked. 'Soon(R)' was actually a very reassuring word to us.

This time around, though, 'soon' is actually November 13, Wrath of the Lich King's shipping date. The announcement came as a surprise to some of us, specially those who were in the Beta and knew a lot of the classes still needed balancing. But a confirmed release date is always exciting and I suppose that overshadowed whatever doubts we might have had about Wrath being ready in time. And then yesterday, Koraa posted something over at the Hunter forums that greatly disturbed me. Talking about Trap Mastery, he said: "this will now be the 41-point Survival talent. Granted, not very sexy for a 41-pointer but we'll do some changes there in a future patch (after WOLK ships)."

Did I read that right? Did Koraa actually admit that they'll be shipping Wrath of the Lich King with a Hunter talent they know isn't ready for primetime? Didn't he essentially say, "we know it doesn't work, but we'll fix it after we release it"? I don't know about you, but that just doesn't sound like the Blizzard we've all come to know and love. Even Ghostcrawler mentioned that the 51-point talent Riptide wasn't going to ship with the intended sounds and animation. Am I supposed to be apprehensive now? Because honestly, I am.

Continue reading Will Wrath really be ready by November 13?

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Skill Mastery: Thunderstorm - Thu, 25 Sep 2008 18:00:00 EST


Upon dipping into the Wrath beta for the first time about a month ago, I quickly realized being a Resto Shammy wasn't going to cut it for leveling from 70-80 (don't worry too much, though, dedicated Restos, as that says more about my lack of patience for the spec than the actual strength of the spec itself). I switched Elemental the first time I got in there, and haven't looked back since. And while I'm finding all kinds of fun little strengths in the Elemental tree (my spell crit is much higher than it ever was, obviously, and Lighting Overload, even though it's not new in Wrath, is a lot of fun), the real standout is the 51-point talent, Thunderstorm.

Here's a spell that does its darndest to focus on two issues caster Shamans have had in the past: running out of mana and getting caught in melee. The name could probably use a tweak (it's more of a Lightningstrike than a Thunderstorm), but the spell effect is great, and while it's gone through a few tuning iterations in the beta so far, odds seem good that it'll come out being one of the best-used tools in the Elemental Shammy's arsenal.

Continue reading Skill Mastery: Thunderstorm

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World of WarCrafts: Alliance QQ Nullifier - Thu, 25 Sep 2008 17:00:00 EST
Every Thursday, Shelbi Roach of The Bronze Kettle guides you in creating WoW-inspired crafts using real world mats with World of WarCrafts.

There seems to be an observed Horde bias here at WoWInsider, especially within the World of WarCrafts column. So today we're going to focus on a craft that should be a perfect fit for the Grand Alliance. I present you with the Alliance QQ Nullifier.

Here is what you will need:

  • Wood Tissue Box
  • Acrylic Paint (metallic gold and blue)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Pencil
  • Card stock
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.

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