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Below is a list of Article headlines from WOW Insider. This are used on our main page and updated daily. Each article contains links back to WOWinsider, which allow you to view the whole article

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WoW Rookie: Where a noob can be a noob - Wed, 27 May 2009 19:00:00 EST


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Today's WoW Rookie will not help you improve your game or your character's performance. The advice here won't help you become a "better" player; in fact, we'd encourage you to guard against the urge. As a new player in an older game (and make no mistake, with an established game world that's turned away from leveling and original content, the World of Warcraft definitely qualifies), you are quite assuredly behind the curve. You're a noob -- and that's ok. Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise.

As a new player in the World of Warcraft, you deserve your time in the sun. It's called WORLD of Warcraft for a reason. A massive game world awaits, ripe for exploration, screenshots, wonder. Slowly peeling back the layers of lore and story reveals tales of glory, honor, humor and tragedy. This is your chance to soak it in, to bask and stretch and revel in the delightfully silly little surprises that Blizzard has scattered throughout the game.

And you'll miss all of that if your game is a tunnel-vision race to max level, purple armor and a belt notched with raiding achievements.

Continue reading WoW Rookie: Where a noob can be a noob

WoW Rookie: Where a noob can be a noob originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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An Authenticator in your Visa - Wed, 27 May 2009 18:00:00 EST
This is only slightly WoW-related, but it's worth a mention, I think, considering that when it happens, you'll be able to tell all your friends just what these things are. Our good friend Relmstein reports that Visa is planning to put an authenticator, of all things, in their credit cards. We of course all know how the Blizzard Authenticator works: you punch a button on the Authenticator, it gives you a code, and then that code can be used to synch up with the server. The Emue Card that Visa is testing right now works the same way: you punch in a PIN, it'll give you another code to enter on an online shopping site, and thus no one who just gets your card information can actually use your card (much like right now with a Blizzard Authenticator, no one who just gets your password can actually sign in). But it's all built in to the normal credit card.

Very interesting. What Visa's doing with their credit cards might not be completely relevant to WoW, but it is relevant to note that of all of the accounts and passwords in your life that you might like to keep secure, a Blizzard account with an Authenticator attached is probably the most locked-down. Companies have started using Authenticator-like technology to have their employees log in to local networks, and obviously credit card and banking companies are testing things like this. But when it comes down to actual widespread usage, Blizzard is way ahead of the curve. Odds are that your WoW account right now is even more protected than your checking account. We'll likely be using the same authenticator system for other secure connections in the future.

An Authenticator in your Visa originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Night Elf Druid bear forms revealed - Wed, 27 May 2009 17:20:00 EST


Thank heavens for Twitter. Twitterer @kreeoni tweeted a scoop detailing the Night Elf Druid bear forms following the exciting revelation of Tauren Druid bear forms yesterday. And oh boy... do they look spiffy. I particularly like the fellow on the lower right, with the Spike-like white stripe and matching sideburns. Our girl Allison is already jumping up and down from excitement (or is it envy? I can't tell with Tauren females...), probably impatient that we don't have the cat forms yet. But here you go, savor the first look at these new Druid bear forms with nastier growls and face paint. Man, Druids get excited over the tiniest things...

UPDATE: Apparently, Allison was jumping up and down from, uh, being underwhelmed. She's kind of weird that way.

ALLISON UPDATE
: Hey, I am totally whelmed here. Maybe they're less a shock to the senses after the initial change to Tauren bear form!

Night Elf Druid bear forms revealed originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 17:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard creative writing contest winners announced - Wed, 27 May 2009 17:00:00 EST


Remember the Blizzard creative writing contest that happened during March and April? I'm pretty sure many of our readers entered, but for those who missed it the idea was to write a story up to 10,000 words in length and set in the Warcraft, StarCraft or Diablo universes.

Well, Nethaera finally announced the winner (a story entitled In the Shadow of the Sun by Sarah Pine), runners up and a bunch of honorable mentions via the forums. Unfortunately there's no other information about the stories themselves, which universes they are set in or what Blizzard are going to do with the winning entries (personally, I'm betting on some kind of anthology). So head on over to the forums to find out if your entry made it to runners up or got an honorable mention.

Blizzard creative writing contest winners announced originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard EU introduces cross-language battlegroups - Wed, 27 May 2009 16:00:00 EST
Now you can yell at people for not fighting at the flag in all kinds of different languages: Blizzard's EU staff have announced that they're breaking out the first cross-language battlegroups. Actually, that's not quite true -- players who speak different languages will only be playing as opponents (so the Horde you're fighting may speak a different language, but your allies will still understand you). But it is good news for some EU players who've been suffering long queue times. The English language battlegroup Nightfall will be combining with the Spanish language Crueldad (to form Cruelty/Crueldad), and the French battlegroup Némésis will be battling Germans in Hinterhalt to make up Embuscade/Hinterhalt.

Arena ladders on all of the realms will be combining as well (but of course even there, opponents will still be from different languages, so you'll never have to worry about crossing translation lines). The change is in effect right now -- have any of you been playing on Cruelty or Embuscade and seen faster queues yet?

Blizzard EU introduces cross-language battlegroups originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Troll'is is - Wed, 27 May 2009 15:30:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com'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.

Dear Alex,

l2preamble.

Yours,

Modern Writing.

Peacebone asked...

"Why can't we wear tabards to get rep gains from raids? Is there any specific reason?"

Continue reading The Queue: Troll'is is

The Queue: Troll'is is originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The9 sues Blizzard - Wed, 27 May 2009 15:00:00 EST
In an interesting twist to the dramatic saga of World of Warcraft in China, The9, the former distributor of the game until they lost the license last April, is suing Blizzard in two cases involving property loss compensation and commercial defamation. A company representative confirmed the news to sources at the same time stating that The9 will no longer comment on the matter. The Shanghai Pudong District People's Court will hear the assets damage case and the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court will hear the commercial defamation case on June 18 and July 8, respectively, according to 178.com.

This news comes after the announcement that The9 was deep in the development of a game conspicuously similar to World of Warcraft called World of Fight. Numerous delays in the release of Wrath of the Lich King in China fueled rumors leading up the non-renewal of The9's contract. The situation became so dire that a large portion of mainland players migrated (re-rolled) en masse to WoW servers in Taiwan, where Wrath was available. In fact, some had made incredible progress in such a short time, such as killing Mimiron in hard mode despite having re-rolled. Blizzard had planned to award the contract to The9 competitor NetEase once their contract with The9 expires in June.

The9 sues Blizzard originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard eSports channel streams Arena invitational - Wed, 27 May 2009 14:30:00 EST


The gates are about to open and mayhem is about to ensue as the second week of the ESL TV Invitational Arena Tournament kicks off today. This special invitational event will feature four top teams from all over Europe -- x6tence from Spain, Rest in Many Pieces from Germany, aAa Nawak from France, and newcomers Sickology from... some mysterious place in Europe, probably. The whole event will be streamed live on the Blizzard eSports channel at 22:00 CEST (4pm EST).

The Spanish team x6tence won the Intel Extreme Master Global Challenge, while aAa Nawak is one of Europe's top RMP teams, placing 3rd at the IEM Global Finals. Also playing RMP is Rest in many Pieces (formerly known as mousesports), and completing the line-up is Sickology, composed of relative newcomers running a WLD (Warrior, Warlock, Druid) comp. The show is estimated to run for two hours, and should be a real treat for Arena enthusiasts. Active World of Warcraft subscribers can find the Blizzard eSports Channel through Account Management or simply head over to the ESL's Blizzard TV channel.

It seems like a good day for sports fans, too, with this show squeezed between the Champion's League Finals match between Barcelona and Manchester United and Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals between the LA Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. For World of Warcraft PvP afficionados who also happen to love football and basketball (could be just me, I dunno), it looks like we'll have to look for a very comfortable chair.

Blizzard eSports channel streams Arena invitational originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Warcraft Legends are a fun ride for all - Wed, 27 May 2009 14:00:00 EST


Although Free Comic Book Day is supposed to be on the first Saturday of May each year, our local book store chain Fully Booked held it last May 23 with a 20% discount off graphic novels and select manga. I thought it was a good opportunity to pick up Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends series, a manga-style take on the Warcraft universe. I'd had my eye on these books for a while, so last weekend was a good opportunity to get them.

Each book contains three self-contained stories and one ongoing tale featuring the Tauren Trag Highmountain from the Sunwell Trilogy manga written by Richard Knaak and drawn by Kim Jae-Hwan. Trag's story in Warcraft Legends picks up where the Sunwell Trilogy left off, and although the story is rather interesting, the best thing about the manga are the short stories which breathe a little more life into the Warcraft world. These stories are what make the books truly shine. My take on the first three books in the series after the jump.

Continue reading Warcraft Legends are a fun ride for all

Warcraft Legends are a fun ride for all originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Why Varian Wrynn is a fool (and why it may not matter) - Wed, 27 May 2009 13:00:00 EST


For a while now I've been mulling over points raised by Daniel in his much-discussed article, "Why Varian Wrynn Is Right," and we've received a number of requests to address the issue from the Horde's point of view. Well...this article isn't going to do that. It started off that way, and then I realized that Varian's personal issues and the Horde's approach to the problem are really two entirely separate matters. At some point in the future, I'd like to examine the Horde's take on the newly-resurgent antagonism between the factions, because it's not something I can adequately address here without turning this into a 10,000-word tract.

Today, we're going to deal almost exclusively with Varian and his share of responsibility for the current mess. I'm a little ambivalent over Blizzard's decision to include most of the backstory and explanations for Varian's behavior in a comic series, because I think it's one of the factors that's resulted the character's being poorly received by most players. Choosing to include so much of his characterization out of the game in a product most players will never read necessarily impacts how Varian's motives are going to be evaluated. If all you've got to go on is what you see of the king from ingame events...he doesn't look so great. This isn't a defense of Varian so much as a commentary on the somewhat inconsistent approach to his character that's resulted. I haven't read each of the comics, but I'm familiar with the storyline, and this article doesn't assume that you need to have read the out-of-game books or comics in order to follow the argument.

Continue reading Why Varian Wrynn is a fool (and why it may not matter)

Why Varian Wrynn is a fool (and why it may not matter) originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Trev and Eroth Episode I Trailer - Wed, 27 May 2009 12:00:00 EST


Tipster "Snark" sent me a note about the Trev and Eroth Episode I Trailer by Fudgewartz. The full movie is due out very soon, so we'll know pretty quick whether this trailer will turn into the promised series, or just fizzle out.

I couldn't quite make out the premise of the story, but it clearly involves at least one or two gnomes. Therefore, I hope it turns out to be awesome. The voice acting sounded fun, but the dialogue was definitely a little muddled. The author said that some of pre-production work wasn't quite finished, so hopefully that's one of the things that improves before the final release.

The series is expected to have six main installments, with a few scattered "shorts" after its conclusion. Here's hoping it turns out well! I can't guess what's up with the Terminator head, though.

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

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Trev and Eroth Episode I Trailer originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 2 - Wed, 27 May 2009 11:00:00 EST
Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we continue our discussion of tips and tricks for Ulduar.

Last week, we covered the first few tiers of Ulduar bosses, and what Rogues can do to maximize their performance on these fights. I was happy to see some great tips in the comments as well, such as using Cloak of Shadows when you are afflicted by XT-002's Light Bomb. If you have any advice to add to the conversation, please use the comments to give us your thoughts.

This week, we'll be talking about the Keepers, the real meat and potatoes of Ulduar. These bosses drop our coveted Tier 8 (complete with its fantastic 4-piece bonus!) and other loot that you'll want to get your hands on. These fights are also more technically complex, and so you'll want to be prepared before attempting to down these bosses for the first time.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 2

Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Celebrate good times, come on - Wed, 27 May 2009 10:00:00 EST


Our submitter James isn't sure what caused this cross-faction druid party in the Dalaran fountain, but I suspect it might have something to do with yesterday's news about the new druid cat and bear forms. "There were mages for lighting and a priest casting mass dispel around the druid in the middle of the fountain," he writes. "It was a glorious sight, throwing old racial prejudice out the window and dancing!" Silly priest. Don't you know you can't Mass Dispel pure happiness?

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@gmail.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, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Celebrate good times, come on originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW and Battle.net merge now available in Europe - Wed, 27 May 2009 09:30:00 EST


Here in Europe, we've been waiting patiently, watching as the Americans frolic with their shiny new Battle.net merged WoW accounts. Blizzard has just updated the news section of the European site with a welcome announcement. European players will now be able to finally merge their Battle.net and World of Warcraft accounts into one shiny new entity.

The process takes about a minute and, after a cool sound effect, you'll see Wrath of the Lich King appear in your games section. The only thing you need to remember is you will need to put in the email address associated with your Battle.net account in the WoW login screen rather than your user name. So, without further ado, go forth and merge!

WoW and Battle.net merge now available in Europe originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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From our readers: Guild Retention - Wed, 27 May 2009 09:00:00 EST
We get lots of email from our readers trying to find their way though WoW. I'd like to take a moment to answer a question about membership retention. This also builds on a previous response regarding the trials and tribulations of starting a guild.

Hi I been reading your posts and listening to the podcast and you recently made a new guild. I have a guild with around 140 members and we do some raiding weekly but every time I log off, it seems that people start arguing, and drama just starts building up. I went away for a couple days and when I come back from my vacation, Alot of people have left the guild. Maybe 10-15 people. Now they are stealing my members and have made a new guild. Do you have tips on member retaining and stuff like that, would be cool if you can do a post on that kind of stuff and how you work that out, thanks

Hello reader,

Thank you for the email. One of the hardest things I've noticed about a guild is dealing with a certain amount of churn. Acceptance is the first step. People leave for all kinds of reasons. There will be those that come and go. The stronger you make your core, the stronger you make your guild.

Continue reading From our readers: Guild Retention

From our readers: Guild Retention originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Heirloom excitement - Wed, 27 May 2009 08:00:00 EST


Account-bound, or heirloom items have a curious place in the game. They're gear intended to get players through the leveling process as quickly as possible, so we don't have to worry about gearing up. They remind me of my mother-in-law, actually, who has the uncanny ability to preserve items from her children's childhood. I mean, it's eerie how almost all of my daughter's clothes today used to belong to my wife when she was a baby. Considering how she's the spitting image of her mother, you can imagine the amusement we get from perusing old albums.

In short, heirloom items rock. They rock so much, in fact, WoW.com user James Peripheral wrote in his blog about the very coolness of heirloom items. He mentions how, even at Level 5 (or Level 1 for that matter), a character can look absolutely dapper or "looking like he owns Eastern Plagulands". That seems to be a bonus of account-bound items -- they allow players to skip the clown phase of leveling. What's your take on heirloom gear? We know you all love them (if you don't, you probably have issues...), so tell us about your experience with them. Head on over to James' blog, too, to share your thoughts. Even better, why not write your heirloom experiences in your WoW.com account blog and tell others about them? We'd love to hear your hand-me-down stories.

Breakfast Topic: Heirloom excitement originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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European extended and weekly maintenance: 27th May 2009 - Wed, 27 May 2009 03:00:00 EST
Good morning Europe. May is almost over and summer seems to be officially here -- at least in the UK. This week we have something different. For most of us, it's the usual bout of maintenance but some lucky souls are getting extended downtime for a very special reason.

Basically the Big Giant Heads at Blizzard have decided to merge a couple of Battlegroups. What's so special about that, I hear you cry? Well, it's special because the groups concerned are all in different languages. Yes, this will be the first time French, German, Spanish and English will come together to make multilingual Battlegroups. Lovely EU Blue Wryxian has created a quick FAQ to explain what the heck is going on, though I confess to still being a little confused.

This means most of us will have normal maintenance between 5:00am and 7:00am CEST while folks in Nightfall, Crueldad, Nemesis and Hinterhalt (realm-wise, that's Aionsus, Anachronos, Bronze Dragonflight, Burning Steppes, Darkmoon Faire, Darkspear, Kor'gall and Lightbringer) will have extended maintenance between 3:00am and 11:00am CEST.

Anyway, my usual motto of 'keep calm and carry on' applies. In the meantime, Daniel Whitcomb has once again provided a feature packed post to keep you entertained. If you finish reading that with time to spare and just happen to be a druid, well you might just want to stare at those lovely updated forms some more. I know I will be.

European extended and weekly maintenance: 27th May 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 03:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Guildwatch: Ninjas are mammals - Wed, 27 May 2009 01:00:00 EST


Lots of great guild news in this week's column -- many guilds, like OpEx above, from Scilla, are making their way through Ulduar and dropping lots of bosses as they go by. And many more guilds are recruiting: way more, unfortunately, than we have space for in this column. Business is booming if you're a raiding guild, apparently, and we have a feeling that's exactly what Blizzard planned.

There's also drama in this week's GW, as there is every week, and don't worry: we included the rap battle. Don't miss that one. If you've got tips for us about drama, downed news, or recruiting (though we are still overflowing on recruiting -- at this point, you're probably better off just on your realm forums), send us an email at wowguildwatch@gmail.com. Click the link below to read on.

Continue reading Guildwatch: Ninjas are mammals

Guildwatch: Ninjas are mammals originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 01:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft Patch 3.1.3 Initial Patch Notes - Tue, 26 May 2009 21:50:00 EST
After the break you'll find the patch notes for Patch 3.1.3. This patch will not be appearing on the PTR, and will instead be making its way directly to the live realms. There is no date set for the live realms release at this time.

These notes are only the initial notes and subject to change. You have been warned.

Some highlights:

  • Druid Tier 8 Balance Set: The 4-piece bonus no longer has its effect consumed by Starfire casts in progress when it triggers. The chance for the effect to be triggered has been reduced down to 8%, as it was originally inflated to compensate.
  • Hunter's Mark: The ranged attack power bonus from this ability has been increased from 300 to 500.
  • Improved Barkskin: This talent now also grants 80/160% additional armor while in Travel Form or not shapeshifted.
  • Overkill: Talent redesigned. Now increases energy regeneration by 30% while stealthed, and for 20 seconds after breaking stealth.
A friendly reminder: the new Druid forms artwork will not be present in this patch. This is not a major content patch.

The full notes after the break!

Continue reading World of Warcraft Patch 3.1.3 Initial Patch Notes

World of Warcraft Patch 3.1.3 Initial Patch Notes originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 21:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Tuesday's a tad buggy - Tue, 26 May 2009 20:00:00 EST


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

The Daily Quest: Tuesday's a tad buggy originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Sometimes you just want to be a superhero - Tue, 26 May 2009 19:00:00 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Preambles are for suckers. Let's get this party started.

Anarax asked...


"Okay well, I have a bunch of friends and apparently they think City of Heroes is 10x better than WoW. How can I get them to change their minds over to WoW? The main reason I want them to play is because I plan to make a reroll Hardcore Raiding Guild, in June, and it's always good to have a small group of players to start with. The problem is though that one of them tried out WoW and is actually influencing the others, telling them that WoW is "too repetitive, too serious, and full of rage." He is the one telling the others to play CoH."

Continue reading The Queue: Sometimes you just want to be a superhero

The Queue: Sometimes you just want to be a superhero originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW.com's RSS feed issues should be fixed now - Tue, 26 May 2009 18:15:00 EST
A lot of you have noticed some issues with our RSS feed this afternoon (and a little bit last night) and trust me, we know that you know. Our inbox has been absolutely flooded! So to try and help the confusion (and slow the flood of e-mails), here's what happened: Our network (us, Joystiq, Massively, Engadget, etc) was hit with a few database problems over the last 24 hours.

It's nothing to worry about, everything is fixed now and should be just fine. In the process of making things fine, our RSS feed was pinged with all sorts of 'new' information, causing the duplicates that a lot of you saw. Seven postings of the latest Around Azeroth? WTF? Yeah, sorry about that. We definitely keep an eye on our own RSS feed to make sure everything is going smoothly, so if it isn't, we'll know about it pretty quickly.

Again, we're sorry about the spam to you guys using our RSS feed. To those of you that aren't using our RSS feed... why aren't you using it!? Google Reader is probably one of the most convenient things ever. You can find out about our various feed offerings over here.

WoW.com's RSS feed issues should be fixed now originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 18:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Minutes of Fame: Ferarro revs up - Tue, 26 May 2009 18:00:00 EST


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

"'Paladin, Schmaladin' ... No way a blog with a dumb name like that could be a decent web resour -- Oh, wait, what was that about MP5? Let me just crunch -- oh never mind, she's already ... Ahh, hang on, lemme just finish this how-to; seems pretty spot-on to me ... But first, I need to click on this blonde over here, because this cannot possibly be a real photo of the person who wrote all this stuff ..."

Before you get your Purifier's Pantaloons in a twist, we checked out frequent WoW.com reader/commenter Ferarro and her blog, Paladin Schmaladin -- and we'd say they both pass the sniff test quite swimmingly. You want the Real Thing? You've got it. Besides her own blog, Ferarro writes at RetPaladin.com and is a full-time WoW game tester. That's right: the lady raids for a living. More to the point, Ferarro serves up the inside line on playing a better Paladin with a quick wit, impeccable theorycrafting and a willingness to lend a good-humored, personal touch to the whole endeavor. We've got the inside scoop on the lady with the inside scoop, after the break.

Continue reading 15 Minutes of Fame: Ferarro revs up

15 Minutes of Fame: Ferarro revs up originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Choose my Adventure: Turpen dings 15, awaits guidance - Tue, 26 May 2009 17:00:00 EST

WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

It hasn't quite been a week since I started this adventure, but Tuesdays (or around there) will be the days you'll be seeing on-the-front-page updates for Turpen the Gnome Warlock from here on out. For everything in between that, keep an eye on my WoW.com profile. Whether you do that by bookmarking my profile or adding it to your feed, that's completely up to you! So with that said, what's gone down since this project began?

What's Old is New Again
Since the character I was told to roll was a Gnome, I naturally started leveling in Dun Morogh. Despite how many Alliance characters I have, this is probably the starting zone I've done the least. I never really liked it, and to be completely honest... I don't normally do the Gnome/Dwarf thing. I don't really like them much. I love the aesthetics of Draenei and Humans, and I think the Human lore in WoW is awesome. I generally stick to those. Dun Morogh was a relatively fresh experience.

Continue reading Choose my Adventure: Turpen dings 15, awaits guidance

Choose my Adventure: Turpen dings 15, awaits guidance originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tip: Show possible slot gear on character screen - Tue, 26 May 2009 16:00:00 EST


I know for sure we've mentioned this on the podcast (in the ever-more-popular Turpster's Tips feature), but I'm not sure we've ever explicitly mentioned it on the site before, and this post from WoW Ladies is a great reminder to do so: next time you're checking out your character screen, try holding Alt as you mouse over the various loots you're wearing. You'll get a little popup with all of the gear in your bags that corresponds to that slot -- a (mostly) undocumented feature that showed up in patch 3.1 along with all of the other UI improvements.

In fact, that's probably why this is just sneaking around now -- there were a lot of nice tweaks back then, and this one slipped through the cracks. Of course, now that the official Equipment Manager is in the game (you have clicked that checkbox in the Interface options to enable it, right?), you might not need to worry about switching your gear manually anyway. But just in case you haven't seen the Alt function on your character screen yet, there you go.

Tip: Show possible slot gear on character screen originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon: Arena Junkies ticket giveaway, Tokyopop booth preview - Tue, 26 May 2009 15:00:00 EST
Along with most of the Blizzard fansites, Arena Junkies is also conducting a BlizzCon ticket giveaway, and they want you to design your own Arena. Basically, you come up with an idea, supplement it with whatever drawings or pictures you'd like, and then submit it in their forum thread by June 5th. After that, they'll have the community choose the top three, and each of those winners will be on their way to Anaheim to visit Blizzard's big event. We bet there'll be some awesome ideas coming out of the contest by the end -- Arena players are nothing if not creative.

And in other BlizzCon news, Tokyopop has announced that they'll have a booth at the convention (not a huge surprise -- we'll expect to see most of Blizzard's licensing partners in attendance), and they've got a lot of fun stuff planned: artist Fernando Heinz Furukawa of Warcraft Legends and Starcraft: Ghost Academy will be there and drawing pictures for attendees, and there'll be various art on display and new books to be sold. Plus, they'll have a Blood Elf standup for pictures, and they even leak a little something about fellow exhibitor BradyGames: this year they'll be hosting a convention-wide "fishing quest." Sounds like fun.

If you don't have tickets yet, you have one more chance: they go on sale this Sunday, May 31st. Seriously, don't show up until then. (Ed: Schramm, stop trying to keep people out of your ticket line! The second round of ticket sales is this Saturday, May 30th. Good luck to everyone except Schramm.)

BlizzCon: Arena Junkies ticket giveaway, Tokyopop booth preview originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New computer shipped with malware that targeted WoW - Tue, 26 May 2009 14:00:00 EST
Here's a big oops -- a company named M&A Technology accidentally shipped out a unit of their Companion Touch PC that contained some malware on it, including a password stealer that targeted World of Warcraft. It was an accident -- apparently someone at the factory decided to upgrade the computer's drivers and software before shipping it out, but they used a USB stick that had been infected with the bad apps, and thus in the process infected the brand new computer. Fortunately, the person who received the computer apparently scanned and caught the bad code before any damage was done -- I guess if you buy a computer from a brand you've never heard of, it's worth giving it an antivirus and malware scan at least once before you use it.

And/or you can just use an authenticator -- even if someone nabs your password, the Blizzard Authenticator makes sure that they can't log in without a current code. So there's not too much to worry about here -- while computers do occasionally get shipped with software that could jeopardize your security, as long as you're vigilant about what's on your hard drive, and take caution before using apps and hardware that you've never used before, you generally won't have any problems.

[via WoW LJ]

New computer shipped with malware that targeted WoW originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Druid form art in patch 3.2 - Tue, 26 May 2009 13:23:00 EST


You hear that sound?

That's the sound of a few million Druid players crapping their pants.

Yes, the day has finally come. Hell has frozen over, cats and dogs are living together, and the world is at peace. Two Druid forms (cat and bear) are getting new looks!

I'll just let that sink in for a minute.

Zarhym has announced
on the forums today that this change will be coming during the next major content patch. The new artwork will only be for cat and bear form for the patch, tress are out of luck. Blizzard has only released the new look for the Tauren Bear Form right now, but the others are sure to follow "Soon." Check out a high res image of the new looks.

Additional clarification on the how the forms are selected after the break.

Editorial interjection from Allison Robert:
YES! YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF &$*&@(@( FIX TAUREN CAT FORM YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!

Continue reading New Druid form art in patch 3.2

New Druid form art in patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 13:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Minions are people too - Tue, 26 May 2009 13:00:00 EST


Warlock writer Nick Whelan has been quoted as saying that the new WoW.com layout is ''trippin.' Stormwind City Guards later found Infinite Dust in the saddle bags of his Dreadsteed. While he was being held for further questioning, he wrote this week's Blood Pact.

On a whim, I pulled out some of my Dungeons and Dragons books a couple weeks back, and convinced a buddy of mine that we should pick up where we left off in one of our old games. Since then my head has been wrapped around Zalekios Gromar, Vasharan Warlock on a mission to kill the gods that spited his people in millennia past. And while the Eldritch Blast of D&D isn't exactly the same as WoW's Shadow Bolt, it certainly got me in the mood for role playing.

There was a time between my adventures near Northshire Abbey, and my discovery that I had a passion for group content while I was fighting a torrential updraft of trolls in Zul'Farrak, when RP was my primary reason for playing the game. And while you don't usually see me walking through Stormwind these days, there was a time when I was Lord Sentai Grehsk, The Corpseseeker. A Warlock driven by the horrors of war to seek world peace at any cost, regardless of how many people he needed to quietly murder to achieve it.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Minions are people too

Blood Pact: Minions are people too originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Holy Priest PvP! - Tue, 26 May 2009 12:00:00 EST



It took me a few minutes to get this joke. But once I did, I laughed. While this is certainly outside the normal operating procedure for Moviewatch, the Holy Priest PvP succeeded in making me literally "laugh out loud." As a result, I thought it was a must-see for many of our loyal audience.

I was, at first, skeptical of the accuracy with which the author portrayed the Holy Priest experience. Borrowing a friend's account, I immediately loaded up Warsong Gulch and proceeded to rock out. I must assure you, gentle Moviewatcher, that X2oph was loyal to the actual play style.

Ultimately, though, I think the movie didn't need to be quite as long as it was. The soundtrack was well chosen, since it help keep the "feel" of the video lighthearted. However, once you "get" the joke, I think the movie has delivered its payload. Brevity can be the heart of wit, as they say.

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

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Holy Priest PvP! originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively - Tue, 26 May 2009 11:00:00 EST


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Choose my Adventure: Massively style
Today, we're proud to introduce a brand new weekly column here at Massively called Choose my Adventure, lovingly stolen from our siblings at WoWInsider (now WoW.com). The concept is simple: we create a brand new character in an MMO and document its adventure in a special image gallery and a weekly journal post -- but with a catch.
Next World of Warcraft patch announced: Call of the Crusade
Blizzard has announced that the next major content patch in the works for World of Warcraft is Patch 3.2: Call of the Crusade. Patch 3.2 will expand upon the features of Wrath of the Lich King, and Blizzard lists a few highlights:
Latest LotRO test realm patch notes released
There's something really exciting about a new set of patch notes, especially when it's for a fantasy MMO like Lord of the Rings Online. Turbine have just released the latest patch notes for the Bullroarer test server for volume 2 of book eight. These notes will hit live servers -- barring the usual changes, updates and revisions -- in June.
A few reasons to cage the nerdrage
There's so much anger in the consumer market these days. It seems like when a new product comes up, there has to be this bandwagon of people who roll in and start nerdraging over the product. Oh, APB isn't up your alley? Better nerdrage about that! You don't like Warhammer Online? Rev that nerdrage engine nice and loud so your neighbors can hear it.

Continue reading MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Vortex messages - Tue, 26 May 2009 10:00:00 EST

There's no consensus about the existence of an afterlife in WoW. From the number of ghostly undead in the game I'd wager there's a good possibility that you just end up hanging around in a non-corporeal form, unless the Lich King gets to you first. Nevertheless, it looks like Beefywife of <Legion of Fire> on Antonidas is getting sucked into some form of post-death experience. Whether she's being beamed up to heaven or sucked down to hell depends on your perspective. She writes that this picture was taken after she was knocked off her mount, fell to her death, and ended up stuck in the mountain beneath the Temple of Storms.

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@gmail.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, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Vortex messages originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Echoes of War standard edition sees re-release, new artwork - Tue, 26 May 2009 09:30:00 EST
Who remembers Echoes of War? A musical extravaganza originally released last year in legendary and standard editions from Eminence. Well both the official site and Worldofwar.net are reporting that the standard edition is being re-released on June 16th with new artwork.

The two-disc version is essentially the less shiny version of the limited Legendary Edition. It features music from all three of Blizzard's franchises: Diablo, Warcraft and, of course, Starcraft, as played by the Eminence Symphony Orchestra and special guests including Kow Otani (best known for his score from PS2 game Shadow of the Colossus).

Even better, if you've not picked up the set yet then there's a special $5 discount for orders made before the relaunch date next month, dropping the price from $24.95 to $19.95. Just head here to order. Copies begin shipping today and will also be made available through stores next month.

Echoes of War standard edition sees re-release, new artwork originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Shifting Perspectives: Restoration and the Tree Druid's future - Tue, 26 May 2009 09:00:00 EST
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, rather than plagiarizing from Stephen Hawking, we plagiarize from ourselves, and for the second time in column history, we shelve our Previously Scheduled Guide in favor of an emergency summit concerning Tree conservation.

A question for Druids from Ghostcrawler himself; is Tree of Life form fun?

I'd like to get the question a bit more exposure both here and on the forums, because it's a thought-provoking issue. No other healer, as he observes, has to sacrifice anything in order to use a key talent in their healing tree/s, and from how Ghostcrawler's worded his post, it seems pretty clear that the PvE and PvP healing output of the Restoration spec is explicitly balanced around the use of Tree of Life. That's fine -- it is our 41-point talent, and a good one at that. It's not unreasonable for Blizzard to expect that we'll use it. However, It does have implications for game balance when 3 of 4 healing classes retain all of their offensive capabilities, crowd-control, and interrupts while healing, and the Druid relinquishes all of the above in order to provide the same level of healing throughput.

I took a look at the thread in question, and if you want my honest opinion, some of the issues being described are the logical evolution of problems from October 2005 when Tree of Life went live. The game has changed, and while the flagship Restoration talent has slowly changed alongside it, the inherent design of the form still reflects realities from the classic game rather than Wrath. Interestingly, many of these same problems affect moonkin as well.

Continue reading Shifting Perspectives: Restoration and the Tree Druid's future

Shifting Perspectives: Restoration and the Tree Druid's future originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Your favorite Alliance male dance? - Tue, 26 May 2009 08:00:00 EST
So blue poster Ancilorn asked a question over on the EU official forums that was just offbeat enough that I thought I'd ask it here: What's your favorite Alliance Male Dance?

I guess I never thought about it too much before, but really, Alliance male dances are just sort of... there. We have a bunch of old standbys. The Saturday Night Fever disco, the vaguely Cossack Dwarven dance, the old Michael Jackson Night Elf dance and that weird... thing Gnomes do.

My favorite though, is the newest one, the Draenei dance. Tunak Tun was an old nerd favorite of mine, and was actually pretty popular on the Tarew Marr server community back when I played Everquest. It's dynamic and joyful without being as unsettling as the Gnome dance or nerdy as the human dance. In fact, when we finally get dance studios, I may switch some of my non-Draenei guys to it, if possible.

What about you? What's your favorite?

View Poll

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite Alliance male dance? originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday Morning Post: Three days' grace - Tue, 26 May 2009 07:30:00 EST
The one little problem with having a nice 3-day weekend is that getting back into gear after it's over can be a bit tough. But here we are, back on the chain gang, nose back on the grindstone, and all that good stuff. Anyway, there are rolling restarts, as well as some minor maintenance on a handful of servers. If you're reading this from work though, it probably doesn't matter as much, since you can't play WoW regardless. Unless you're one of those lucky dogs that has a job that lets you play WoW. In which case you may have trouble doing that this morning.

Okay, anyway, if you're on those servers or can't play for some other reason, you'll want something to pass the time until you can play, which is where we come in. Here's a roundup of some of the best and most interesting stuff from the past 7 days or so:

Continue reading Tuesday Morning Post: Three days' grace

Tuesday Morning Post: Three days' grace originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 07:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maintenance and Restarts for May 26th - Tue, 26 May 2009 02:15:00 EST
We have a maintenance announcement for Tuesday morning, but it's a little weird, so bear with me here. First, starting at 1 AM Pacific, the Authentication server will undergo maintenance. That means if you have a battle.net account, you won't be able to log in. But hey, we can hope this'll take care of all those unable to log in problems later, right?

So anyway, that lasts about 4 hours, until 5 AM Pacific, at which time rolling restarts will begin for all realms, lasting for no more than fifteen minutes per realm, you know the drill. But wait, there's more! A handful of servers will be going down for a 3 hour maintenance window from 5 AM to 8 AM Pacific. They are as follows:

Continue reading Maintenance and Restarts for May 26th

Maintenance and Restarts for May 26th originally appeared on WoW.com on Tue, 26 May 2009 02:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Rise of the Wordy Warrior - Mon, 25 May 2009 21:00:00 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.

The Daily Quest: Rise of the Wordy Warrior originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ghostcrawler on the future of 5-mans - Mon, 25 May 2009 20:00:00 EST
Snowyfox of the US Vek'nilash server recently brought up a point on the forums which is near and dear to my heart: 5-mans really feel like they've lost their heart. In both Vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade, you could usually count on having the motivation and reward for running a 5 man no matter what your level. In Vanilla WoW, you might do a tribute run for potions and buffs or a Stratholme run for Abomination stitchings for an enchant. In BC, you'd run for badges. In Wrath of the Lich King... not so much. Badges don't stretch so far since most of the good stuff requires badges only obtained in raid dungeons, and even the daily quests aren't even close to as lucrative as just heading up to the Argent Tournament or over to the Sons of Hodir and doing some dailies.

Continue reading Ghostcrawler on the future of 5-mans

Ghostcrawler on the future of 5-mans originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ghostcrawler on the Jewelcrafting nerf and design philosophy - Mon, 25 May 2009 19:00:00 EST
The Jewelcrafting nerf has been the subject of a lot of hot debate and flaming on the official forums, as might be expected. As people argue whether the nerf was justified, needed, too much, too little, or the wrong way to go about it, the blues have dipped their toes into the pool more than once, and have delivered some interesting insights into the design process in the process.

If it was so overpowered, complain some, why did it take so long to nerf it? Ghostcrawler answers in this post.

It's not that they don't notice that something is overpowered, he says, but it does take some time to find a proper fix. Sometimes, it just isn't overpowered until a certain gear level. Sometimes, there may be bug fixes or larger problems that need answering first.Sometimes, they may need to debate over the proper way to fix it. Finally, they may have a more ambitious long-term solution in mind, and may have finally decided they can't delay until that's done.

Continue reading Ghostcrawler on the Jewelcrafting nerf and design philosophy

Ghostcrawler on the Jewelcrafting nerf and design philosophy originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 25 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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