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The Daily Quest: There is nothing Nobel about Noblegarden - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 20:00:00 EST


We here at WoW Insider are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Everyone has something to say about this lovely little world event going on, and we've selected some of the best blog entries from around the net for you to enjoy today:

The Daily Quest: There is nothing Nobel about Noblegarden originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hunter solos Utgarde Keep - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST

Tribunalx sent us this great video about something that's fallen out of fashion lately: Hunter soloing. Back in the day, when Mend Pet was still affected by plus healing (back when there was plus healing), Hunters would routinely take down Azuregos by themselves, but they've since had to sit on the sidelines while other classes stepped into the solo arena. But now, with Mend Pet and Bestial Wrath glyphs, a Hunter stacking Stamina in PvP gear, the new version of Deterrence, and pets with their own Tenacity talents, Hunter soloing is possible yet again.

As Tribunalx says in the video, it's not really easy, and there's a lot you have to keep track of (and Hunters definitely aren't the only class that can do this -- there's probably a Paladin soloing UK and/or a Death Knight out there as well). But it is definitely possible, as you can see above. Maybe we're experiencing a renaissance of Hunter solo possibilities -- next up, The Nexus? Good luck with the Ormorok gauntlet.

Hunter solos Utgarde Keep originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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QuickArmory's Stats tool lets you browse and inspect popular talent builds - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 18:00:00 EST
We've been covering quite a few different ways to see what players are up to in terms of talents after dual specs have been released (both 3D Armory and TalentChic have good information if you're looking for it), and here's another: Erorus at QuickArmory sent us some info on how to pull some talent demographics out of his site as well. He's created a Talent stats page that needs a little explanation, but is actually full of great info on what kinds of builds players are choosing. First, choose a class at the top, and then you'll be taken to a screen where you can see, in percentage points, the given percentage of players of that class who took those points on the tree. In other words, if you look at the Mage page, 62% (as of this writing) of Mages surveyed by the application took at least one point in Inceneration (and 61% took all the points), but only 1% of Mages put any points in Blazing Speed (probably because it sucks -- oh snap!). You can also see the percentage points by spec (by clicking the tabs at the top) and even some general distribution statistics on how people chose to spec within the dual spec system. And the main page for each class includes some percentages on glyph choices as well.

But it gets wilder -- you can even compare populations by clicking on the talents, so you can look at, for example, all the Warlocks who specced Felguard (they're using Glyph of Felguard, duh), or all of the Hunters who specced both Explosive Shot and Aimed Shot.

Very impressive. Of course, keep in mind the population here: these are only level 80 characters already in the QuickArmory system (about 12k as of this writing), so it's far from a representative sample of the entire WoW population. But then again, they're also self-selecting -- people who have put themselves into QuickArmory are likely to be more on top of good talent and glyph choices anyway. At any rate, even with the small selection, there are lots of fascinating ways to look at this talent data.

QuickArmory's Stats tool lets you browse and inspect popular talent builds originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Noblegarden free! - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 17:00:00 EST


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

You won't find any Noblegarden questions in here. Nada. None. Bupkis.

Feel free to ask any and all WoW related questions in the comments of this post, we'll try to get to them in future editions of The Queue!

Azzarrea asked...

"With regards to the Argent Tournament, If you start being a valiant of another city, can you still purchase the items (pet, mount, etc...) of the first city, or do you lose the ability to purchase items from them?"

Continue reading The Queue: Noblegarden free!

The Queue: Noblegarden free! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Plush Moonkin by Serthida of Bloodhoof - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 16:00:00 EST


Put another entry into the catalog of cute WoW-related dolls, because this plush Moonkin, made by Serthida of Bloodhoof, definitely fits the bill. Unfortunately, Blizzard has only ever released a Murloc plush, but that didn't stop Serthida from putting this together. It looks amazing. She even wanted to put a voicebox in there that made the moonkin hoot when squeezed, but we're guessing she doesn't want to buy a whole case of them from China. She does, however, have mats (see what we did there?) for a second Alliance version -- she says as soon as she can figure out the antlers, she'll get it started.

This one is just her personal project, so it's not for sale at all, and once again, we're guessing it's too much work for her to mass produce anyway. But since the Murloc toy was one of the best-selling items at BlizzCon last year, maybe we'll soon see some more official plush product for sale.

Thanks, Xascha

Plush Moonkin by Serthida of Bloodhoof originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Eggcellent Guidance: 30 Noblegarden eggs in 15 minutes - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 15:00:00 EST
Noblegarden - Love it or hate it, either way it's here to stay for the rest of the week. And if you want that 310% mount then you're going to have to put up with it. But hopefully I've got a tip for you all that'll make things a little easier.

There is a spot, the perfect spot if you will, where you can get upwards of 30 eggs in 15 minutes. More if you're not bothered by others attempting to rain on your egg parade.

The spot exists in Azure Watch outside of Exodar, and I've gotten a few pictures you can see after the break to make it easy for you to sit there and farm away for a bit. While this trick won't necessarily work in the early evening when everyone and their mother's uncle is on farming eggs, it works great during off hours.

Continue reading Eggcellent Guidance: 30 Noblegarden eggs in 15 minutes

Eggcellent Guidance: 30 Noblegarden eggs in 15 minutes originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exporting guild calendars from the Armory - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 14:00:00 EST
Reader Bob sent us a neat little tool a while back that will help you get your guild's calendar off of The Armory and on to another calendar program, like Google Calendar or iCal. This little script he built (which unfortunately will probably get beat up as soon as this post goes live, so give it a break if it's down) will give you a link for your guild's calendar, which you can then take over to Google Calendar (in the Other Calendars box, click Add, and then "Add by URL") or any other calendar service that accepts ICS data by URL, and put all of your guild's raids and events right into the calendar app that you actually use every day.

However, there are a few hitches. Because the information you need lies on the Armory, you'll have to enter a Battle.net password into your calendar app to access that (which as Bob says, should be fine, but if you don't trust it, don't do it). Also, Blizzard is apparently not that happy with people accessing this data on the Armory either -- they've removed links to scripts like this off of the forums before. It's probably not a bannable offense (they probably just don't want tons of calendar queries into the Armory's servers), but if you try to connect this stuff together, you'll do it at your own risk.

Still, it's a shame Blizzard isn't more open with this guild data -- it would be extremely useful to easily export guild information out to an .ICS file or even an RSS feed (for bank and join/quit info). We're not sure what all of their concerns are, but given that the info is already updated on the Armory, there has to be a way to more easily get it out of there and into more places where we can use it.

Exporting guild calendars from the Armory originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Ball and chain - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 13:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

With Ulduar proving to be more difficult than Naxx, raid leaders are focusing more and more on performance issues. Raids are finding out that they can't just carry their weakest players through this ancient Titan stronghold the way they could through Kel'Thuzad's floating magical loot pinata. One raid leader in particular has a performance issue with a bit of a twist: The problem player is the wife of one of his best raiders.

I warn people that this is a long e-mail, but it is well written and the details are important to what follows. TLDR version is after the break!

Hello, Scott

I am an officer in my guild and a raid leader for a semi-casual raid (non-Heroic). I am facing a problem that seems perhaps not too uncommon for this type of environment, but it is one I do not know how to fix.


One of the best raiders in our guild has ended up in my raid. I'm very lucky to have him as he is a great guy and fits well with our group, but unfortunately he came with a problem: his wife. Despite having no raiding experience, I agreed to let her join us in the raid. I was hesitant, but I figured that she would pick up things quickly, especially surrounded by skilled raiders in a relatively casual atmosphere.


However, to say she is a horrible player is to put it nicely. At first, I was not worried because she was new, but as we enter the sixth month of the raid and she's seen absolutely zero improvement, I am now concerned to say the least. She has a perfect failure rate on any sort of raid encounter where you have to avoid or move out of something that will kill you. She has NEVER lived through either Heigan or Grobbulous and regularly dies in Kel'Thuzad and other fights requiring alertness. Most of the times she survives things is due to the strong healers in the raid, not her own actions [. . .]

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Ball and chain

Officers' Quarters: Ball and chain originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: World of Warcraft Instructional Video - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 12:00:00 EST


You might remember Wowcrendor from It's a Hard Gnome Life. That piece was a comedy satire about many of WoW's most interesting little quirks. Well, Wowcrendor's back, with a new piece that will help us cynics have a cold chuckle at our own folly. The World of Warcraft Instructional Video actually had me laughing out loud.

This simple instructional video involves brief cuts from gameplay, but also features two very important voiceovers. The first voice is "Billy," a complete and total newb to the game. Billy's not even sure what the difference between melee and ranged DPS. The instructor, by comparison, shares a deeply voiced "insider's view" of the game. The instructor's helping Billy with everything from how to name his character ("Orcosaurus") to how to avoid grouping with PUGs.

The video is satire, and insightful satire at that. Almost every joke and instructional portion made me chuckle, thinking of some of the more hostile and unhelpful responses I've seen in Barrens chat. Part of the reason I find it so funny isn't that it's unreasonably over the top, but that it really seems, sometimes, like there's someone teaching players to act this way. It's like this video could be real, and that frightens me.

WoW Moviewatch: World of Warcraft Instructional Video originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 87: Extreme Peggle fever - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 11:00:00 EST
Another great week on our podcast last Saturday. We welcomed a brand new voice in our newest writer, Lesley Smith, as well as a familiar old one in the great Alex Ziebart, and of course Turpster and I were on hand as usual. We talked about patch 3.1.1 and a few of the hotfixes that are going out lately, the server downtime and how it compares to past patches, what the new five-man instance might be, and of course the coming of a thing called Peggle.

We answered email as well -- we talked about what to do when your guild didn't have enough room in their raids, and we decided to contribute a prize to our friend Brigwyn's Child's Play auction: when his auction goes live May 1-7, you'll have a chance to bid on a guest appearance on the WoW Insider Show. Given that you have Skype installed and a free Saturday afternoon around 3:30pm (and of course that you're the highest bidder in the charity auction), you'll be able to join Turpster and I for about an hour of Warcraft discussion, along with a few other actual prizes we'll dig out of the prize closet. Stay tuned to both WoW Insider and The Hunting Lodge for more info about that.

Enjoy the show, and we'll be back next week as always.

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:

WoW Insider Show Episode 87: Extreme Peggle fever originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Hippity hoppity - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 10:00:00 EST


We've gotten many pictures of bunnies today, with representatives from both the Sylvilagus floridanus and the Playboy varieties. But Jyrisha of <Hunger> on The Sha'tar-EU, photographed here by Korona, was undoubtedly the most undead. This must be what happens when the Easter Bunny gets too close to an 18-wheeler on I-95. And if those eggs are intended for our consumption, I think I've suddenly become a vegan.

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@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. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Hippity hoppity originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: A Patch 3.1 talent build cookie platter for Death Knights - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 09:00:00 EST


Welcome to Lichborne, your (usually) weekly (I swear) source for Death Knight news and tips.

So now that Patch 3.1 is underway, the basic cookie cutter tank and DPS builds have begun emerging. The Patch 3.1 nerfs really haven't slowed us down in any major way, and with dual specs in, we're doing better than ever on the whole versatility front. In recognition of this, let's give you some straight information, no chaser. Here's a handful of cookie cutter DPS and Tank builds for each tree to get you on the right path to DPS or tanking dominance in Patch 3.1, or both if you've dropped that 1000 gold. All of these builds also included recommended glyphs at the link as well.

Continue reading Lichborne: A Patch 3.1 talent build cookie platter for Death Knights

Lichborne: A Patch 3.1 talent build cookie platter for Death Knights originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: How's Noblegarden going so far? - Mon, 27 Apr 2009 08:00:00 EST
The title seems self-explanatory; are you enjoying Noblegarden? How many people are participating on your server? Do you already have the achievements done, or are they a work-in-progress?

I have to admit I'm writing this expecting a lot of comments to come back noting that it's pretty hard to get this holiday done when spawn points on the eggs are camped 24/7. For my part, I vastly underestimated how much of a nuisance that was going to be on the live realms. That aside, Noblegarden does seem to be one of the more efficient holidays, particularly if you get lucky with item drops, and I think this is also the first time Blizzard's made it possible to get all the achievement items you need as purchases in the event that Lady Luck spends the week being an indifferent mistress. The ability to buy achievement items certainly settles what was by far the biggest complaint concerning Love Is In the Air. For that holiday, your ability to complete the meta-achievement was ultimately determined by the RNG, to the point where Blizzard hotfixed the drop rate on a key achievement item after the forums went kaboom.

This time around, you don't need to worry about that as long as you can get enough Noblegarden Chocolate. Time to knuckle down, plunk a frosty beverage at your side, and tell that jerk who's camping your spawn to go find his own friggin' eggs. Ahhhh, the holiday spirit!

Breakfast Topic: How's Noblegarden going so far? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: Butteslol of Gorefiend - Sun, 26 Apr 2009 21:00:00 EST
The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

A new season is on us, and new breeds of compositions are rising to the top. The first Colosseum interview of Season 6 is with Butteslol, the Discipline Priest in the team "idk im just so furious." Along with Retribution Paladin Carboncopy, Butteslol has blazed a trail to high ratings very early in the season.

Retribution/Discipline has been a technical player's favorite for a little while, thanks to the vast toolbox the composition can bring to bear in several situations. Affected by the recent Replenishment nerf, however, it's going to be interesting to see what happens for Butteslol in the future.

Check out what he had to say behind the cut.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Butteslol of Gorefiend

The Colosseum: Butteslol of Gorefiend originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 26 Apr 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Throw your own egg hunt with Noblegarden Eggs - Sun, 26 Apr 2009 20:00:00 EST

I've been looking at the Noblegarden items for awhile now, since they first showed up on the PTR. For some reason, it never hit me until I saw it on live realms how cool one item in particular actually is. For five chocolates you can buy your own Noblegarden Egg, which allows you to lay a Brightly Colored Egg. Yes, that's five eggs for one egg of your own, which is a pretty horrible exchange rate.

What's so cool about it? They're the exact same eggs you've been picking up that whole time, except that you can set them out. You can loot them right away for an added chance of whatever loot may be in them, but I'm not sure why you'd do that, except for possibly completing Dressed for the Occasion/Sunday's Finest. What makes it better is that other people can loot them.

What makes that so great? If you can get an organized crew (and their alts) together, you can set up your own Noblegarden Hunt for your guild or your friends and family. Laying an egg has a 1 hour cooldown, so each of you will only be able to set out one egg each, but with a sizable group that might not be too terrible. A brief hunt, but you can make it exciting! Feralas, perhaps? Icecrown? The interior of a cleared Ulduar? Just take it far, far away from busy cities or hubs. You don't want to lay an egg out in the Stormwind Trade District. Joe McMullet will loot that thing in a flash, and that's no good.

Continue reading Throw your own egg hunt with Noblegarden Eggs

Throw your own egg hunt with Noblegarden Eggs originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 26 Apr 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Are DPS helper mods cheating? - Sun, 26 Apr 2009 19:30:00 EST


Karthis at Of Teeth and Claws raises an interesting question concerning "helper" mods for DPS rotations -- should they be considered cheating? He observes that, whie they may be a godsend for classes and specs with more difficult rotations, many of them remove the need to think about anything other than following the mod's instructions on what skill to use and when. He writes, "If a chimpanzee was trained to press the key that corresponded to the skill that Face Mauler popped up, then it would put out insane DPS without understanding even the very basics of what it means to be a feral cat."**

The issue leaves me somewhat torn. There's no way around the fact that Karthis is right; mods like these -- and they exist for several classes -- make it possible for players to do great, or at least acceptable, DPS without understanding the class and spec they play. They also have the side effect of encouraging tunnel vision on the mob/s rather than what's happening in the raid (and, as someone who plays a tank, I must admit I hate dealing with an utterly oblivious DPS). Nobody wants to see a lazy player rewarded with excellent DPS for no other reason than their ability to install a mod and then do what the mod tells them to do.

Continue reading Are DPS helper mods cheating?

Are DPS helper mods cheating? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 26 Apr 2009 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: The Art of Roleplaying - Sun, 26 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST


This week, David returns (again) to All the World's a Stage as a newly married man, feeling particularly happy and joyful, and overflowing with enthusiasm for just about everything he loves in life.

The relationship between rolelplaying and real life is a multifaceted one. If you have read this column before, you've probably seen some mention of roleplaying as a creative art form, but for some readers, it might be a bit difficult to imagine roleplaying as an art. After all, some might say, it's just a bunch of people sitting around, pretending their characters are real people, having real problems and real stories, all in spite of a game environment in which one's character can't actually affect the world in any way that matters. Problems of continuity, such as instanced dungeons in which many people can slay the same monster at the same time over and over again, make some people feel as though there's no story value to the game at all, and that anything roleplayers do is a waste of their time.

The trick for roleplayers is to think of roleplaying as something more like freeform play art, in which the main point of the art isn't so much the end product that results from one's efforts (as it would be in painting, novel-writing, or composing music), but rather the thoughts, feelings, and inspiration that come to mind when we actually engage in the process of the art itself. The closest parallel to another art form might be improv acting games, where the whole point is to make things up for you and the other actors to enjoy, rather than to deliver a performance for a separate audience; but if you've enjoyed something so simple as building a sand castle on the beach, then you probably have a good sense of what it feels like to roleplay. Fingerpainting, mandala-making or even just freeform music and dancing can all give a similar feeling like what you get in roleplaying: the sheer joy of creation.

Some roleplayers need no more justification for their art than that they enjoyed themselves. But others look at their own roleplaying careers and see certain things that they've taken away from their roleplaying experience over time. These things are usually not as solid as an actual painting or recorded song, but they still have a kind of solidity in the roleplayer's mind, as they positively impact his or her real life in several ways.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: The Art of Roleplaying

All the World's a Stage: The Art of Roleplaying originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 26 Apr 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spiritual Guidance: Disc Priest gives Arcane Mages 600+ spellpower - Sun, 26 Apr 2009 18:00:00 EST


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI blog for all classes. Today, Matt teams up with Arcane Mages to deliver some serious pain!

It's not very often I write posts about DPS. It becomes even more rare when I write about Mages. My only wish out of Mages is for them to learn another rank of Conjurable food and water.It's at the point now where I need to consume two of them to get a full mana bar back nearly.

Continue reading Spiritual Guidance: Disc Priest gives Arcane Mages 600+ spellpower

Spiritual Guidance: Disc Priest gives Arcane Mages 600+ spellpower originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 26 Apr 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Is Ulduar too easy? - Sun, 26 Apr 2009 17:00:00 EST



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we do some homework.

The long-awaited new instance has been live for almost two weeks now, and a lot of the excitement over first kills is waning. Everything Blizzard has thrown at us so far is dead, and even several of the hard-mode kills, nominally on a level with Sarth-3D, are beaten.

So, this leads us naturally on to the question - is Ulduar hard enough?

Continue reading Ready Check: Is Ulduar too easy?

Ready Check: Is Ulduar too easy? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 26 Apr 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Varian Wrynn is Right - Sun, 26 Apr 2009 16:00:00 EST


Warning: This article contains spoilers of varying intensity for the Wrathgate world event, the new Arthas Novel , and the Warcraft Comic Series. It is also 3 pages long. Be sure to click the links at the bottom to head to the next part!

Among WoW players these days, it seems to be a popular opinion that King Varian Wrynn is a narrow minded short-sighted bigot who will lead the Alliance to ruin. This is an easy opinion to have, since he does show a considerable amount of anger at times when dealing with the Horde, and it's long been the general opinion that "no-one is truly evil" in the Horde and Alliance conflict. This is even the opinion of some of my fellow writers.

Here's my problem with this: The underlying causes of Varian Wrynn's anger are all unconditionally justified. Varian Wrynn is not angry at the Horde because of a series of misunderstandings and misinterpretations. He's been witness to or victim of multiple wrongdoings and atrocities perpetuated by the Horde time and time again, both the new Horde and the Old. Most, if not all of these times, the wrongdoings have been the result of outright maliciousness on the part of the Horde or its members, and in the case the so-called "peaceful" New Horde, there's been no sign whatsoever that Thrall is punishing or disciplining the perpetrators of these acts, and at the least, it is clear that he is not properly dealing with the consequences.

Continue reading Varian Wrynn is Right

Varian Wrynn is Right originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 26 Apr 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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