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Spiritual Guidance: 3 Priest specs your raid should not leave Shattrath without - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 19:00:00 EST


Every Sunday, Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the overlord of World of Matticus, and this week he takes a look at 3 different raid specs for the new priest to consider.

A priest by nature is a class that serves to heal. Unless you walk the path of shadow, then you play a class devoted to healing your raid. Far be it from me to tell me how you should spec or what you should spec. I believe that everyone is free to invest their points down whatever talent tree they see fit. On the other side of the coin, I have been called upon to counsel my raid leaders. In a raid group where 24 of 25 spots have been filled and the last vacancy is reserved for a healer, raid leaders often make the tough call of deciding who gets benched and who gets on the starting roster.

I'm going to go out on a limb and do something no blogger should ever do.

I'm going to make an assumption.

I'm going to assume that you want to raid and experience end game.

If your guild is a highly competitive one where healers are abundant and plentiful, then you need to make yourself stand out from the rest. When your raid leader is in the hard position of deciding who stays and who goes, there is only one question that they ask themselves.

Continue reading Spiritual Guidance: 3 Priest specs your raid should not leave Shattrath without

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All the World's a Stage: Free your mind - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 17:55:00 EST

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

Some people don't want to worry about staying in character; they just want to come home, play a game and chill out. That's fine, they have the choice to be a regular player and do what they enjoy. But for those of us who seek the path of the roleplayer, we ought not to stop there.

We spend a lot of time in WoW doing all the same things other non-roleplayers are doing, whether it's questing, instances, or PvP. In the process, it can be easy to let one's character slowly drift away from a genuine personality, and into a mere avatar for your own personality as a gamer in a computer game. After all, your character must do a lot of things in order to progress, many of which are game-oriented goals rather than story-oriented goals. You need boss loot, Badges of Justice, Arena points and a bunch of other things that don't always translate well into very interesting character motivations.

It's easy to rely on old standby motivations so much that they become excuses. We might say, for example, "I'm trying to help the Shattered Sun Offensive to prevent Kil'Jaeden from entering Azeroth!" or "I'm hoping to attack Pathaleon the Calculator and take from him his prized sword: The Sun Eater!" And these are fine reasons for characters to do things, but we must remember, there's nothing really new or interesting about them. Every one wants to prevent disaster, or acquire new weapons -- but what about such a desire reveals who your character really is? How can you make normal gaming goals and activities into an opportunity for interesting performance and immersion in a fantasy world?

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: Free your mind

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Reader UI of the Week: Draxyl of Turalyon - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 16:49:00 EST


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

Draxyl from the Turalyon U.S. server submits to us his Warlock UI. It's actually very reminiscent of the UI that I had for quite some time until I upgraded my graphics card and started using a lot of alpha-blending (transparency). He uses Fubar across the top with several key pieces of information and quick to reach options, and then has the bottom of the screen filled with status indicators, chat, and action buttons.

I think it's a common theme amongst most UI enthusiasts to focus the information in one or two places. This has several benefits, from limiting eye movement when trying to pickup information, to allowing more space to see what's going on in the rest of the environment.

Continue reading Reader UI of the Week: Draxyl of Turalyon

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Even the GMs are no strangers to love - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 15:00:00 EST
I've had my fun with rick rolling before. But Rastley and GM Khadarish took it to a new level when Rastley managed to rick roll a GM, all while getting a few gold spammers taken care of. The original screenshot of this was posted on the Customer Service forums, with various CMs and GMs sounding in. Belfaire even comes on to authenticate the conversation.

I really enjoy it when the Blizzard staff interacts with the fan base like this. We've even been lucky enough to get whisked away for some special face time. I think it shows that behind the corporate face they have to put on, they're really just people too - and like a joke now and then. I wouldn't recommend doing this however, since you might catch a GM that doesn't think it's funny - but since it worked in this case, it's golden.

Check out after the break for the full screenshots. Pretty funny stuff.

Continue reading Even the GMs are no strangers to love

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Forum post of the day: Docking DKP - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST


To function properly, all guilds must have rules for participation, gear, and general order. Since the ancient MMORPG days, many guilds have assigned Dragon Kill Points (DKP) to players for their participation in raids and events. The points are turned in for gear rewards from raids. Some guilds dock DKP for members that do not meet their standards. Aerte of Blackrock has questioned the wisdom of his guild's policy on this practice for a member that had regularly violated the rules.

The conundrum begins with the statement. "Recently we had a member quit who during the course of his rather brief stay managed to have about 130 DKP docked for various infractions. Not showing up specced properly, gems unacceptable, enchants unacceptable or non-existent, bad attitude....etc..." The original poster expressed that this may not be the best way to keep players in line.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: Docking DKP

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Five tips to minimize raiding downtime - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 13:00:00 EST
I'm a rather avid raider, putting in a solid 20 hours a week on my Warrior. One of the major things about the time spent raiding is that it can be very precious. There is only so much time that 24 other people, plus appropriate class substitutions, can be available each week. It's critical that the time spent raiding is used well.

Unfortunately, using raiding time well is about as much of a challenge as is downing Illidan. In preparation for this article, I've spent the past three weeks keeping track of the down time in raids. We raid Sunday through Thursday nights, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. We experience a downtime of about 51 minutes for each raid, which is about 20% of the time. Down time is defined as the time that my character is standing still, not attacking, not moving, and not being MDed to.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I'm not really sure.

Tip #1: Chain pulling

Personally, I do my best at the main tank to chain pull and push the trash through as fast as possible. This works out 99% of the time, however the 1% of the time it doesn't work out can grind the raid to a halt. Case and point: The trash to Supremus isn't too bad, and is a lot of packs where the MT, OT, and Pally tank each have some mobs to tank. There are also some ranged dragons that the Warlocks tank. These pulls can go very fast, and are very predictable. Pulling slowly we can do this in about 40 minutes, while chain pulling each group, we can push through in 15.

Tip #2: Fully self buffed, all the time

It doesn't take much to buff yourself. Every class has some buff they can apply to themselves, be it food buffs, spell buffs, or shouts. The key here is that you can find a minute or two to always buff at least yourself, if not others. Although, it might not always be possible to buff others as you're going along - and that's okay with most raid leaders for trash pulls.

Continue reading Five tips to minimize raiding downtime

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WoW Moviewatch: MC-Addicts 3 - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 12:00:00 EST

If you're a fan of model changing movies, you'll enjoy MC-Addicts 3, which features multiple scenes from a variety of artists. Among them is #machinima's (Quakenet IRC) very own, Xayo, who worked on the first scene. Together, they spent a collective six months creating the unique looks!

While there's no plot to speak of, MC3 has some really nice imagery. Done right, sometimes that's all you need. I just have one question for Bullshitmaster. Why did so many innocent cows have to die?

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

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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Addon Spotlight: Buffet - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 11:00:00 EST
Welcome to the Sunday edition of Addon Spotlight. Today I am going to spotlight one of my new favorite addons. Many of you may shake your head in silent ridicule of my constant love for Tekkub's addons, but you need to check out Buffet!

Buffet, in Tekkub's words, is a simple water and food managing addon. It combines two of my favorite addon characteristics; saving actionbar space and making use of the macro system.

So, basically, what you get with this addon are two automatically generated macros that will manage your food and drink items. The addon will create the two macros, which are placed in your General Macros tab, you just place them on your actionbar. Suddenly you will have two great little automated buttons. In combat, they switch to consumables you can use in combat, like Super Healing Potions, Super Mana Potions and Master Healthstones. Out of combat, the macros (to include the icon and tooltip) switches to the best food / drink combination available.

Check in after this for the best description available; Tekkub's.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: Buffet

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Around Azeroth: The exorcism of Emily Gnome - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 10:00:00 EST

It looks like the devil made Peggleleg of <Kentucky Fried Horse> on Khaz'goroth send in this screenshot. Apparently he had been acting strange around his guildmates. But with the help of a priest and a whole lot of Stratholme Holy Water, the evil being was extracted, and he was soon back to his normal self. Unfortunately, his normal self was also pretty evil.

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

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, oh god the gnome is chewing off my fingers help me

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Sunday Morning Funnies: WoW is not a religion - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 09:30:00 EST
This week we have a nice long list of comics for you to sink your teeth or tusks into. As always, don't forget to leave your tips to other WoW-themed comics so that they can be featured here! We're also saying a special goodbye to Manic Graffiti. Great work and we'll miss you! Here's hoping this isn't forever!

  1. Connedromat from Awkward Zombie kicks off your Sunday morning with a little bit of logic.
  2. Ana Hala Balablah from Dark Legacy Comics seems intent on being contrary to logic.
  3. Shakes and Fidget have to decide whether their new acquaintance is Friend or Foe?
  4. If you liked our recent coverage of Blizzard handling director Uwe Boll, you'll get a laugh out of GU Comics' Especially Not You.
  5. Manic Graffiti sends us a parting statement, mixed with a little hope, in Good-bye is Not Forever.
  6. Monkey Punchers explores the Unplayable.
  7. NoObz #8 suggests that maybe, just maybe, justice will find that little beggar you can't stand.
  8. Ding! explores some of the effects of WoW on the body and mind.
  9. Teh Gladiators enter their first arena match with their new, unlikely teammates.
  10. From The Adventures of Disgraph T. Dwarf comes WoW is Not a Religion.
  11. The Scout Report is a bit confused over Mr. Snuggles.
Head through the break to vote on your favorite.

Continue reading Sunday Morning Funnies: WoW is not a religion

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Did you really earn your title? - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 09:00:00 EST

While the need to attune to dungeons is long gone, you will still find quite a few people doing the quests anyway, if only for one reason: Those spiffy titles. This is also helped along by the fact that many of the requirements for these quests are not half as tough as they once were, perhaps the most pertinent example of this being Magtheridon. The poor pit lord, already nerfed more than once, received yet another rather major nerf in 2.4, and was made more enticing with the addition of a 20-slot bag, Badges of Justice, and a sack of epic gems to his loot table.

However, there's been some backlash I've noticed, with some people claiming that you can't really call yourself a proper "Champion of the Naaru" if you've only killed the nerfed version of Magtheridon. After all, they claim, he's so easy that the only way he could be easier is if you walked into his instance, clicked on a cube, and badges popped out -- and that's probably coming in 2.5.

Continue reading Did you really earn your title?

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Breakfast Topic: Real Azrothean Heroes - Sun, 27 Apr 2008 08:00:00 EST

Alex Ziebart and Elizabeth Wachowski do an excellent job of filling us in on the stories behind our World of Warcraft adventures in the regular Know Your Lore columns. I had very little experience with the real time strategy games that led to our beloved MMORPG. I find that learning the lore gives a bit more meaning to my level grinding.

As I've leveled up I've come across some really interesting NPCs, some more famous than others. I'd like to take some time to look at some of the lesser known heroes of Azeroth. Caregiver Inaara has to be the hardest working character in the game. Stationed as the Innkeper of Sun's Reach Harbor on the Isle of Quel'Danas. Reportedly an excellent companion, Inaara serves up cold brews to thousands of thirsty characters, tired from endless daily quests. Even as a newcomer to Azeroth, we know little about this blue beauty, except that she is a surviver and serves her patrons with an unflinching smile.

Sure there are famous folks like Jaina Proudmoore and Rexxar, but let's take some time to salute the little people. Who's you're hero?

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What are you looking forward to the most in WotLK? - Sat, 26 Apr 2008 20:00:00 EST
There have been lots of little bits of news and information coming out about Wrath of the Lich King lately. With the World Wide Invitational 2008 just around the corner where WotLK will be playable again for us all, and the news that Wrath is in alpha, we can expect to see more and more come out about the game.

With this expectation of the beta and eventual release building, a lot of people are getting excited about different things. So I want to know, what are you most excited about?

For me, I'm most excited about seeing the new end game raid content. I'm with a very dedicated group of raiders right now who do about 20 hours a week of raiding, and it's a lot of fun. Hopefully we'll all still be around in WotLK and get to push into the new content quickly and with a lot of zeal.

Then there is the Death Knight. Who isn't thrilled at the chance to play a new class? We haven't ever seen a new class in WoW, and it's bound to throw a wrench in the way a lot of folks play the game. Seeing the Death Knight get integrated into raiding will be a very interesting thing to watch.

Continue reading What are you looking forward to the most in WotLK?

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Fake Throne of Arthas Video - Sat, 26 Apr 2008 19:00:00 EST


Kupoccino sent us a tip earlier today about a video that's posted over on a German site about WotLK. In the video a level one Warrior walks up the throne of Arthas and purchases a sword from a stone - a sword that appears to be Frostmourne.

The video is a fake, and has graphics elements and game elements, such as the bags, that are indicative of a private server. Additionally Kuoccino points out to me in a later email that the steps are really benches from the Undercity, and that the throne is from the Undercity as well. I'm inclined to agree with him.

Normally I wouldn't post something like this, but it's a good example of how far people are willing to go to try to get a scoop on WotLK. Also, as Mike Schramm pointed out on the podcast this afternoon, now is about the time that we'll start to see more leaked WotLK information. The alpha is going on, and the beta is a few months away - this is prime time for leaks to happen.

Now of course, there is the remotest of remote possibilities that this video is real. If there is even a smidgen of truthiness in here, my hat is off to the person that got this.

If you've got any WotLK screenshots, real or fake, hop on over to our tip line and send away! We're always on the lookout for a good thing! We just reserve the right to laugh and cackle if you send us fakes.

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Macro Anatomy: Faerie Fire and Faerie Fire (Feral) - Sat, 26 Apr 2008 18:00:00 EST
Welcome to this week's Macro Anatomy! Today we'll be taking look at a simple macro I found for my druid alt, whom I am secretly leveling late at night after studying for finals, when I can't seem to bring myself to play my main. On that note, my apologies for the somewhat lackluster installations of this feature, until finals are done, and after my diving trip to Cozumel, things will be back on track.

Now that you are almost aware of my entire life, let us get down to business. This macro serves to make two spells fit into one button, without button modifiers. To be honest, I had to read the spell description for Faerie Fire and Faerie Fire (Feral) a couple of times before I got it. (I really shouldn't be trying to assimilate non-school information right now, but I love WoW.) These two spells come in handy, I've already used it on a pesky undead rogue, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't leaving Cat Form or Bear Form while using it.

Come on in to get this little space-saver.

Continue reading Macro Anatomy: Faerie Fire and Faerie Fire (Feral)

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The epic raid AFK - Sat, 26 Apr 2008 17:00:00 EST
There are few things more frustrating in the game than a person going AFK in the middle of a fight. Sometimes there are good reasons, and sometimes the reasons are...less than adequate. But no matter what, we all have an epic AFK story that makes us laugh and cry all at the same time.

The ultimate AFK (so far) in my WoW career happened while we were on Illidan last week. Uly, a good Mage in our guild, was standing with the ranged group dpsing Illidan during phase 1. He was a little high on threat, so he switched to his wand. Nothing wrong there.

So he's standing there, wanding away as I'm moving Illidan across the terrace to avoid the fire. It looks like he's doing his job. He get the parasites.

"Uly," the raid leader calls out.

A second goes by.

"Uly, move," calls the class lead.

Another moment.

"Oh $!@# he's AFK."

Continue reading The epic raid AFK

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Arcane Brilliance: The world of Mage-crafting, part 1 - Sat, 26 Apr 2008 16:00:00 EST



Each week Arcane Brilliance offers a place for Mages everywhere to take a short break from opening portals to Shattrath and just relax and enjoy a thousand words or two about their class. That's right, my robed brethren, nobody's going to ask you to "sheep square" or demand "table plz" around here. Yep, 'round here, all the Fireballs crit, the tank never breaks your Polymorph, and aggro is just a five letter made-up word that doesn't mean anything. So set aside your threat meters and your spell damage trinkets, sit back, and enjoy this brief respite. You can always get back to pulling aggro off the tank later.


Much like life, playing World of Warcraft is a series of choices. Some of these choices (should I jump that flagged Gnome while he's already in combat, or wait till he's done and engage him honorably?) are smaller than others (should I roll Mage, or some other, crappier class?). You choose a class, a race, a hairstyle, a guild, a spec, and whether or not to accept a party invite from that Hunter who has no pet and has decided melee suits him better than attacking from range (psst...always choose "not" on that last one, trust me). One of the most important choices you will make, and one that will effect your entire WoW experience from start to finish, is your choice of professions.

Your choice of a crafting profession will offer you benefits as you level your Mage to 70 and then determine many of your opportunities at end-game. Thankfully, this choice is one you can always undo, although doing so can be costly and wasteful. Join us after the jump for part one of our look at the seven primary crafting professions and what each one has to offer us as Mages throughout our WoW careers.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: The world of Mage-crafting, part 1

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Slippery stats and spells revealed by Chardev - Sat, 26 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST
Two aspects of my personality come into conflict quite often during my time playing WoW. You see, I love getting the most out of my gear, and pushing every little point of damage I can get out of my equipment. However, I hate doing math in my leisure time. When you really want to get down to min-maxing, you're stuck with that little math part.

Fortunately, there are tools out there to help that out somewhat. The latest tool being Chardev.org, a website that allows you to either build a character from the ground up or import yours from the Armory. Everything from gems to enchants to talents are able to be altered here, and while this isn't the first website to do something like that, it does do something differently. It allows you to see all of your stats, and the breakdown of your spells. Their damage, damage coefficients, casting time after Haste, all of that.

It definitely isn't perfect or a replacement for good math, but it's quality work regardless. The ability to refine your item searches further would help a lot. As it is right now, it just throws you a giant list of what could technically go in that slot, with no way to narrow it down. Still, seeing spell stats and how gear will affect them laid out for you is very cool. Chardev is worth at least a look!

[ via Massively ]

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Interview with Antiarc, author of Omen - Sat, 26 Apr 2008 13:00:00 EST

Even if you don't use Omen, it's likely you've seen it or heard about it here on WoW Insider, in WoW itself, or somewhere else in the WoW community. Patch 2.4 and the redesign of WoW's combat log called for a complete rebuild of many mods, and Omen was far and away the highest in demand.

There were certainly some issues with Omen the day 2.4 launched, but the one man army behind the mod worked endlessly to get the addon in working order, while somehow making time for a chat mod, too. I think it's fair to say we know a thing or two about the mods, but what about the modder behind them?

Luckily for all of you, Antiarc(aka Adrine) is open to bribes(not really) so I've managed to sucker him into answering a few questions for us, many of which are taken from you, the readers! We'll go through a series of three categories. The Man, in which we delve into Antiarc's personal and professional life. The Mods, wherein we ask a few questions about his experiences in mod-writing. The Miscellaneous, where we ask Antiarc random questions that hold no bearing on absolutely anything! Hooray! Read on!

Continue reading Interview with Antiarc, author of Omen

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WoW Moviewatch: Olibith, the Urban Spaceman - Sat, 26 Apr 2008 12:55:00 EST

Before Olibith created award-winning machinimas, such as I'm Only Sleeping and the Never Stay Tuned series, he was a wee Urban Spaceman. This short music video is just another example of an artist overcoming their earlier obstacles and going on to greatness! You can see the Fraps watermark, there are all sorts of cheesy effects, and rumor has it that he didn't even know what machinima was back then! If you haven't seen Olibith's latest work, Never Stay Tuned 3, you'll be shocked at the difference in quality.

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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