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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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Token system discovered - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST

They're getting serious about easing inventory headaches in Wrath of the Lich King. Recently we heard all about the new storage system for mounts and vanity pets (you'll learn them as spells; they will not occupy space in your bags). Shortly thereafter it was hinted that tokens (such as Badges of Justice and Battleground marks) would face a similar treatment.

An enterprising and clever beta participant by the name of Xabora has discovered what form this treatment will take, by typing /tokens and hitting return. This is reminiscent of the way Achievements were first discovered to be in WoW, which was by someone in the alpha typing /achievements. Yay slash commands! Anyway, it looks like the new system will track all your tokens, as well as your honor points and arena points, with categories for each phase of the game (Classic, BC, Wrath), PvP, Holidays, Raid, Miscellaneous, and Unused.

I'm not entirely sure why there's a category for "unused" tokens, or why Raid is separate from Classic/BC/Wrath - are they planning on putting tier tokens into this system? Will raids in Wrath award different tokens than heroics? No telling just yet, I guess. But it's nice to know that even more bag spaces will be freed, and we won't have any more issues from having left our tokens in the bank.

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Addon Spotlight: GoGoMount - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 17:00:00 EST
For this week's addon, I thought I would share one that is built around a macro that we've hinted at over at Macro Anatomy. This addon has been abandoned by the author, but there is a patch available that will update it to work with 2.4. (Although I am using the "unpatched" version just fine.)

GoGoMount will pick the most appropriate mount for you based on given conditions. If you can use a flying mount, it will summon your flyer, otherwise it will randomly select from your ground mounts. (This includes summoned mounts for Paladins and Warlocks.) If you have multiple flying mounts, it will randomly select one of these as well.

It supports Druid travel forms and Ghost Wolf for Shamans as well. So, in less words; this addon is your one-stop mounting shop.

Continue reading Addon Spotlight: GoGoMount

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WoW Radio runs The Nexus - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 16:00:00 EST


Here's the second Northrend instance run from the guys at WoW Radio -- last time around, they took us through Utgarde Keep, and this time Totalbiscuit, Duncor, Gnomewise, Mugi, and Nachtsturm run us through The Nexus, a level 72ish instance on the Borean Tundra. This run is a little more spoileriffic than Utgarde -- there's some Blue Dragonflight lore floating around, so watch at your own risk if you don't want to know about that kind of stuff.

But the instance does look terrific -- there are some new looks at Blizzard's updated cavern shader system we heard about a long time ago, and considering that The Nexus is, well, a Nexus of magical energy, it provides for some fascinating vistas and magical effects, even on Totalbiscuit's older machine. And the fact that all that magic is floating around seems like it provides for some fun mana mechanics for casters. These instances are shaping up, even in this early Wrath of the Lich King beta, to look like the best Blizzard has ever created.

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A look at Wrath of the Lich King's Green quest rewards - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 14:00:00 EST


When Blizzard half-seriously apologized for the brutally ugly Season 4 Brutal Gladiator gear by saying that their artists were hard at work on the expansion, they weren't kidding. If any of us were afraid that there'd be massive clown action, we can rest easy because from the look of things, even green items have an epic feel to them. The designers over at Blizzard have done a fantastic job making the green quest rewards in Northrend look impressive and even menacing that players won't feel embarrassed to equip them.

I haven't checked out all of the armor pieces, but a quick perusal of the weapons shows that Northrend won't be a total circus when we finally get there. I mean, just look at the gun above. That looks really badass, specially with the skull and weathered metal. Check out pics of uncommon, or 'green', weapons found all over Northrend in the gallery below.

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Death Knight Frost tree changes in latest Wrath Beta build - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 12:00:00 EST

Between Blood's lack of downtime and Unholy's AE abilities and Ghoul control, Frost is starting to feel a bit like the unwanted orphan of the Death Knight trees. While it's heavy on the tanking talents and has some burst potential, we've been there done that, perhaps, already have Frost Mage alts, and so on and so forth.

Luckily, Blizzard recently made some changes to the tree on Beta which look like they may be nudging the tree in the right direction toward equality with the other two trees. Here's a concise list of the changes via MMO-Champion:

  • Improved Icy Touch now increase the damage of your Icy Touch by 10/20/30/40/50% and its damage against Frozen Targets by 20/40/60/80/100% (Old version : Reduces the cooldown of your Icy Touch spell by 1/2/3/4/5 sec and increases its critical strike damage bonus by 10/20/30/40/50%)
  • Nerves of Cold Steel has been moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2.
  • Annihilation has been moved from Tier 6 to Tier 3.
  • Aneurysm has been moved from Tier 8 to Tier 7.
  • Merciless Combat has been moved from Tier 8 to Tier 6.
  • New Talent - Blood of the North - Tier 8 (5 Points) - Whenever you use a Blood Strike there is a 20/40/60/80/100% chance that the Blood Rune will become a Death Rune when it activates
  • Frost Aura increases your Frost Resistance by 32/65 instead of 22/45.
  • Frost Strike prerequisites have been removed. (Merciless Combat was required before)

Continue reading Death Knight Frost tree changes in latest Wrath Beta build

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Around Azeroth: Beta testin' - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 10:00:00 EST


Despite what you may have heard, the life of a Wrath of the Lich King beta tester isn't always filled with action and excitement. Sometimes it's filled with, gulp, bugs! I can tell you from personal experience that life in the beta involves plenty of "World Server Down" and "Restart in 15:00" messages and some things plain don't look or work the way they ought to. What can I say? It's a beta and it still has some rough edges to be polished out -- that's the whole point of having a beta test! Nowhere is the game's beta state more obvious than in this shot by Ferin of Hakkar, who logged into Stormwind City to find... well, this. I'm pretty sure that this is a graphical glitch and doesn't mean Stormwind City, like Dalaran, has been relocated in Wrath, though I've been wrong before...

This image came to us straight from the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, sharing it 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 -- use alt-Z to remove it. And, please, no more sunsets! (Well, okay, maybe if they are some really cool Northrend sunsets, we can consider.)

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WoW Crossword 07/27/08 - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 09:00:00 EST


Do you like puzzles, of course you do! You can find the clues for this crossword after the break. Answers to this week's puzzle will appear next Sunday.

Continue reading WoW Crossword 07/27/08

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Breakfast Topic: When's Wrath? - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 08:00:00 EST


If I had a nickle for every e-mail the WoW Insider team received that told us when Wrath of the Lich King was going to be released because Amazon or GameStop was selling pre-orders, I'd probably be lounging on a beach enjoying drinks decorated with tiny paper umbrellas instead of enjoying the glamerous lifestyle of a rock star blogger. Trust us, folks, game sellers usually don't know anything more than you or I -- but they're eager to get your pre-orders in and they can't do that without a release date. (Certainly not when we're talking about Blizzard "We'll Release It When It's Done" Entertainment.) These are their best guesses and, who knows, they may turn out to be right, but they're not based on any secret insider info. And, hey, why should retail outlets get all the fun when, really, anyone can play the "Guess the Wrath of the Lich King Release Date" game? So tell us, dear readers, when do you think Blizzard will really release Wrath of the Lich King upon the world?

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How to fly through the cold winds of Northrend - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 02:10:00 EST


Blizzard has stated that they'll be disallowing the use of flying mounts in Northrend for the first few levels in order for players to appreciate the geography and not miss anything in the latest expansion. Given the amount of work they've put in so far, and looking through the fantastic scenery, it seems like a fair charge. It's recently come to light that the 'attunement' process, which was under much speculation, will not be an attunement at all or cost any money.

In fact, the ability or key to fly in Northrend, called Cold Weather Flying, is a reward from a quest chain obtained in Sholazar Basin at Level 77. The so-called attunement process for flying will actually even reward money, rather than cost anything. MMO Champion has screenshots of, and Wowhead has information on the ability and quest chain. It seems like the mad rush won't necessarily be to Level 80, but a first stop at the all-important Level 77.

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Rolling restarts - Sun, 27 Jul 2008 01:58:00 EST
Between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. PDT today (Sunday July 27th) all U.S. realms will be undergoing a rolling restart. Each realm should be down for about 15 minutes, though these things have a tendency to last longer than scheduled.

The login announcement tells us that the servers are getting a hotfix applied to them, however there is no indication what the hotfix is for.

If anything does happen to extend this restart, you'll see it here on WoW Insider.

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Death Knight Gameplay Video: Unholy PvP - Sat, 26 Jul 2008 20:00:00 EST

Jadefury continues to deliver with the Death Knight videos. This time, he runs around in one of the Northrend starting zones and preys upon unsuspecting Alliance. It's a bit of a gank video, so fair warning if you're not into that. He uses this level 73 Unholy/Blood build.

Jadefury himself admits, of course, that the first thing he had going for him was the element of surprise -- not only ganking, but people panicking as they had to face down an unfamiliar class. We wouldn't be surprised if PvPing with a Death Knight for the first few months of Wrath is easy if only because of that deer in the headlights phenomenon.

Still, he also showcases some very nice uses of Death Knight PvP skills. My favorite is his use of Death Grip, which looks like it's fast becoming the signature Death Knight move -- not only does it take care of people trying to run away, but he uses it as a spell interrupt in a pinch. There's also some freezing action going on as well with what looks to be Chains of Ice. Of course, having Magic Suppression probably helps a lot as well.

Of course, it's worth noting that he leapt upon people in combat (with some rather sweet looking Nerubians at that, we can't believe we'll be able to solo those, Wrath is going to be so epic), and this is only at level 73, so level 80 organized PvP may look somewhat different. Still, it's yet another good look at Death Knight gameplay to prepare all of us rerollers.

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Blizzard updates armor sets page with Season 4 - Sat, 26 Jul 2008 18:00:00 EST


The World of Warcraft official armor sets page has been updated to feature the Season 4 or Brutal Gladiator pieces. Just as with past sets, you'll be able to review the armor pieces on each class and their respective races as well as view the stats for each item. Season 4 started on June 24, after a long 30 week wait since Season 3 began, finally opening the floodgates for Sunwell Plateau-level PvP gear. Check out WoW Insider's extensive Brutal Gladiator gear guide and comprehensive gallery for more detailed information on Season 4 gear.

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Arcane Brilliance: The future of Fire - Sat, 26 Jul 2008 16:00:00 EST



Each week Arcane Brilliance brings you a healthy dose of Mage opinion and analysis. Most of the opinion is extremely biased and borderline libelous, and the analysis tends toward hyperbole and slander, especially when the topic of Warlocks comes up. In fact, here at Arcane Brilliance, we feel that you can never have too much Warlock slander. Especially against Gnome Warlocks.


Leave it to Blizzard to change the Arcane tree substantially the week after Arcane Brilliance's detailed look at that very same tree. I'm sure they did it to spite me, because yes, I do firmly believe everything is totally about me. Anyway, here are the notable changes, before we get to the giant unequivocal "meh" that defines our analysis of the Fire tree in Wrath.

Arcane Impact has been changed into Spell Impact, and now increases the critical strike chance of not just Arcane Explosion and Arcane Blast but also Blast Wave, Fire Blast, Ice Lance, and Cone of Cold. This makes it a much more versatile and beneficial talent, affecting spells from every school of magic.

Student of the Mind has been moved to tier 3 and now increases your total spirit by up to 12% over 3 ranks, while Potent Spirit (which gave increased chance to crit based on your total spirit) has been removed altogether. It looked for awhile there as if Blizzard intended to really increase spirit's usefulness to Mages, but I guess we should have called "no take-backs" on that one, huh?

More Arcane changes after the break, as well as a few long sighs and downcast looks as we discuss the future of the Fire tree.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: The future of Fire

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The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing up your Retadin for Karazhan part III - Sat, 26 Jul 2008 14:00:00 EST


Alright. So you got your weapon. I can't stress enough that this is the single most important piece of equipment in a Retribution Paladin's possession. Then there's your armor. Your armor pieces are only slightly more important than the stuff we'll be covering if only because 1) they confer larger stat bonuses, and 2) having a matching set makes you look cool. And Retadins must always look cool. It's bad enough that the pre-Wrath population laughs you out of raids and 5-mans. When the expansion hits, of course, you'll smash all their faces with the Divine Storm just to put them in their place. Until then, you gear up.

Today we're looking at the last few pieces of the puzzle. Amulets, cloaks, librams, rings, and trinkets. Unlike the weapons or armor pieces, where the real meat is Strength, you can have a little creativity with these slots because many items confer non-stat bonuses. Strength is obviously a premium, but it all comes down to taste. Once you've filled about half your gear slots, you should be ready enough for Karazhan and not gimp the raid.

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing up your Retadin for Karazhan part III

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New pets from the Wrath beta - Sat, 26 Jul 2008 12:00:00 EST
Our favorite Hunter (although BRK comes close), Mania, has had some help from the Wrath beta, and has now updated the great Petopia with all the new pets seen in Northrend so far. No penguins yet, but there are some great new bears in there, and some awesome wolves (is it just me, or are wolves underrated as pets?). Unfortunately, there are no new families up yet, but Mania says updates are coming, and of course Wrath is still in beta anyway.

She's also got a Beta pet FAQ up, with everything you'd ever want to know about being a Hunter in the beta, from pet talents to "exotic pets" (the real ones, not the ones BRK dreamed up for us).

It's going to be an exciting time to be a Hunter in Northrend. Pet versatility makes Hunters one of the most interesting classes in the game, and it looks like Blizzard is set to open it up wide in the expansion.

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Around Azeroth: We're not worried - Sat, 26 Jul 2008 10:00:00 EST


No, we're not worried about the impending flood of Death Knights at all. We're sure everything will be fine (though we still advise everyone lock their doors at night and beware undead bearing gifts). However, if we walked up to the Menethil docks and found this crew waiting... well, we might suddenly remember that we left the oven on or perhaps that our cat was on fire.

Reader Dan sent us this image straight from the Wrath of the Lich King beta -- and we'd love to have your beta screenshots, too! If you have anything our readers might like, sharing it 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 -- use alt-Z to remove it. And, please, no more sunsets!

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Breakfast Topic: Guilds and WotLK preparation - Sat, 26 Jul 2008 08:00:00 EST


While sifting through my over-stuffed RSS feeds this morning, I came upon a post from Mark of the Wild, a druid blog, that addressed the changes players are making to prepare for the expansion, and the effect this is having on guilds.

With all of the juicy information trickling down daily about the Beta, it does seem that everyone has Wrath on the brain. At the very least, it must make it difficult to focus on other goals. For example, do you really want to start farming to make that epic crafting set, when Northrend is around the corner?

Players have already been noticing a decrease in raiding activity because of summer vacation, but how is the preparation for the expansion affecting your guild?

Are you losing players to other raiding guilds, or beginning to realize that many people are spending more time soloing to gear up or level their alts? Is your guild working together to reach specific pre-expansion goals?

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WoW Insider at the Comic-Con WoW panel - Fri, 25 Jul 2008 20:00:00 EST


Blizzard, as well as reps from companies that make Blizzard products (TokyoPop, Upper Deck, Wildstorm) were on hand at Comic-Con in San Diego today to talk about their plans for the rest of the year. Comics, books, sculptures, miniatures, and the trading card game were all discussed and WoW Insider was there to bring you back this report.

Wildstorm Comics, makers of the WoW comics
Wildstorm kicked off the session by polling the audience on who would like to see a comic title that focus solely on Horde, then solely on Alliance and then pitting the two against each other. As you can imagine, the audience was very happy to hear this. No details were given, but clearly something along these lines is already in the works.

Continue reading WoW Insider at the Comic-Con WoW panel

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Reset/Packrat - Fri, 25 Jul 2008 19:15:00 EST


When expansions come to World of Warcraft (well, at least when the last expansion did) people either get Beta invites or they don't, people start fretting about gear resets, new abilities get discussed, alternating doom and gloom and wild, frenzied excitement over new talents rages... but while all that is going on, the game is still being played. My own guild has marched firmly into BT and Hyjal, and we're one boss away from clearing the later, ol' Archie himself. In the process of clearing the other four bosses, gear has started trickling in and with it comes the realization that sometimes, higher tier gear is optimized for the places it drops.

I've been using Shield Block Value as my primary threat stat on my armor. As time has gone on, without really realizing it, I've been moving to a more hit/expertise system which relies less on big shield slams and more on consistent white damage and specials that don't miss and are not dodged or parried. While this has been occurring, armor with higher dodge rating has been steadily dropping, meaning that my avoidance goes up and my rage generation is more and more dependent on not missing or being dodged or parried. T5 content, with the reliance on SBV, allowed me to stack stamina and block value in a way that T6 content does not. I've dropped my block value from around 800 to a little more than 600 lately, while looking to increase my hit and dodge for bosses like Azgalor, who doesn't crush. (He's a nice little preview of the future in that regard.)

My point is two fold: one, especially for a warrior (be he a tank or DPS, I'm just using tanking as my example because it's what I primarily do) gear obsolescence is constant. You're always changing and upgrading your gear as you go through content. (This is true for just about every class, mind you, but I'm talking to warriors.) Furthermore, however, you also become a bit of a packrat, holding on to outdated gear because it has a stat that may be desirable for a specific fight. I still use The Sun Eater if I feel dodge is absolutely essential for a fight, despite having overall better weapons now.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Reset/Packrat

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Beta class changes on the way - Fri, 25 Jul 2008 18:30:00 EST
MMO-Champion has posted a list of changes that are seemingly going to go live in the WotLK Beta with the next patch. The official talent calculators have also been updated to reflect the changes.

Here is an overview of some of the major changes on the way:

Death Knights

  • Blood: Will of the Necropolis and Frost Aura buffed, and Blood Gorged will affect on melee damage.
  • Unholy: Corpse Explosion and Unholy Aura buffed. Improved Corpse Explosion will have a longer effect time until full damage is done.
Druid
  • Moonkin Form and Force of Nature will have a reduced cooldown. Those spells, in addition to Tree of Life Form, will have set mana costs instead of a percentage of base.
  • Balance: Typhoon and Starfall will have increased range, but will also cost significantly more mana.
  • Restoration: Flourish will cost less mana (585 to 450), but it will also heal for less (1610 to 672).
  • Feral: Primal Tenacity will be changed back to a chance to resist stun and fear effects by 5/10/15%. The range of Faerie Fire is being increased by six yards.
Hunter (Survival)
  • Hunting Party will be nerfed. It will now have at most, a 60% chance to proc on a critical strike, instead of 100%.
Mage
  • Arcane: Arcane Impact will be called Spell Impact, and will affect Blast Wave, Fire Blast, Ice Lance, and Cone of Cold, in addition to the current effects on Arcane Explosion and Arcane Blast.
  • There will be a new tier 3 talent called Student of the Mind, which will increase spirit by 4/8/12%. Potent Spirit has been removed.
  • Arcane Potency will require one point in Presence of Mind instead of five in Arcane Concentration.
  • New tier 8 talent called Arcane Flows. It requires one point in Arcane Power, and reduces the cooldown on your Presence of Mind, Arcane Power and Invisibility spells by 30 seconds.
  • Netherwind Presence, rather than causing several of your spells to have a chance to grant you an instant spell, will increase spell haste by 2/4/6%.

Continue reading Beta class changes on the way

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