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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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BlizzCon makes the must-see list - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 19:00:00 EST
Videogame Price Charts (who?) has compiled a list of seven videogame conventions to attend before you die. Unfortunately, the list seems unattainable by design, as they want you to attend E3 before 2007, but besides last week's Leipzig Games Convention and this weekend's upcoming PAX, Blizzard's own BlizzCon is right there on the list.

We're not sure why you'd want to go to BlizzCon if you didn't happen to be a fan of Blizzard's games, but then again, who isn't a fan? They list the legendary costume contest and the chance to try out PC games as reasons to go (along with meeting your guild -- I did all three at BlizzCon last year), though they forget all of the great Blizzard panels and the entertainment offered at each 'Con (where else can you see Level 70 ETC, besides, you know, in-game).

Especially since it's going to be bigger than ever this year, there's no question that BlizzCon is going to be awesome. And even if you weren't able to grab a ticket (we're hearing just now that lottery winners are being notified), we'll have everything you need to know and see from Anaheim this October right here on WoW Insider.

[via WorldofWar]

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Ask WoW Insider: How to PuG Heroics - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 18:00:00 EST
I've just rejoined an endgame guild (my Hunter just recently hit 70), and while I used to run Heroics pretty often on my Shaman with my old guild, my new guild is much smaller -- while I like them a lot, they aren't as much into running instances as I am, so endgame instance runs are few and far between with them.

So I'm left to PuG Heroics on my own, and I'm having the same problem deviate_delight is: getting into PuG Heroic groups isn't proving to be easy. I'm a good player, and my gear is pretty good (OK, to be truthful, it's probably a little low, and I just need to keep running non-Heroic stuff a little more until I get luckier with loot drops), but for some reason, I'm having a tough time making my way into Heroic groups.

So let's put the question out to you readers: any advice for players like me and d_d on how to start Heroic dungeons without guildies to run with? Anyone have a strategy for getting a good, regular Heroic group together, or how to make it so that Heroic runners seek you out when they need a DPS (or tank or healer or whatever you are)? Heroics are great places, full of good loot and badges and all kinds of things that can help immensely with the endgame, but with the wrong people, they can really ruin your day. How can we get a group that works?

Previously on Ask WoW Insider...

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Blood Sport: Cleave carnage - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 17:00:00 EST


So. Arenas. How have your Arena campaigns been coming along? Lately, we've been encountering a lot of melee teams in our bracket. Melee has been enjoying a rise in popularity since Season 3, when Armor Penetration made its debut in Arena gear. Of course, with Armor Penetration stats maintaining status quo across the board in Season 4 while Armor values went up, this has become less of a factor. Nonetheless, the melee pain train continues to chug along, with more double melee teams having a strong showing in 3v3 and of course the popular triple melee Cleave setup in 5v5. For the most part, any team comp with two or more physical DPS classes is technically a Cleave team.

Melee in 5v5 was popularized by Serennia in his Warrior / Rogue / Enh. Shaman and 2-healer set-up which he tried to dub 'Trifecta'. Trifecta never stuck, of course, so Cleave became a more popular term coming both from the Warrior ability and the fact that a target descended upon by multiple melee will feel like she's being cleaved in half. More than a few clothies have cried foul, and some have accused such comps as being brainless, skill-less, and -- pardon me quoting the term -- "gay".

Continue reading Blood Sport: Cleave carnage

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Fuel for the PetEmote addon - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 16:30:00 EST
David B covered the PetEmote addon way back in the beginning of this year, and now the Great Green Hunter has posted some really great ideas for custom pet emotes, for a few different families of Hunter pets. PetEmote lets your pet automatically show up in your emote text randomly, and is really good for giving your pets a little more personality of their own -- instead of just doing what you say all the time (and eating all of the food you've got to buy), PetEmote can make it seem like your pets are doing their own thing: chasing a stray bug that passes by, flicking their tails, or "giving you a sly look."

GGH's descriptions are really great, but of course whatever goes in the "Localization LUA file" in the PetEmote addon folder is what shows up in the game, so you can customize it as necessary. If you want to say your cat "waggles his butt, ready to pounce," you can do it.

Of course, if you think of your pet as just a DoT you have to feed, you might not be so interested. But having a pet and keeping track of where it is is such a huge part of the Hunter class (though PetEmote works for Warlocks as well) that giving your pets a little more personality goes a long way in game.

[via Mania]

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Blizzard doesn't hate consoles, it's just a square peg and a round hole - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 16:00:00 EST
We love diversity when it comes to controlling our WoW time. There's a seemingly infinite sea of AddOns and custom UI options. You can even hook up a treadmill, and simulate your character running in live action. However, except for a few custom hacks, like rigging your Wii up to control your character's direction, WoW is not playable on your console gaming device.

There's always been quite a few folks who'd like to be able to play WoW on their Xbox or Playstation. But, according to J. Allen Brack in an interview with VideoGamer.com, that's not going to happen any time soon. "World of Warcraft is designed as a PC game," Brack said. "It's designed to have a keyboard and a mouse. So the controls and the control scheme that you have are very PC centric. If you think about mapping those controls and all those different type of buttons that you have to a console without a keyboard for chatting, it's a very challenging proposition."

I think that makes a lot of sense. When you talk about keybinds, control combinations using the Shift and Alt keys, mouse buttons, Addons, customization -- it just seems like an awful lot to try and cram onto a Xbox controller. To even make it feasible, it seems like you'd have to add some kind of keyboard to the device. And even then, AddOn customization wouldn't be the same.

Tom Chilton summed it up by saying "It's just more like a square peg round hole thing for our game. "

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3.0 won't break everything - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 15:30:00 EST
A lot of people (including some folks here at WoW Insider) are super concerned that when Blizzard does release a 3.0 patch early, it'll basically break everything we're doing now. Potion sickness on the live realms? Shield Block cooldown extended? With those changes, it seems bosses like Illidan would be basically unbeatable.

But Blizzard says, as they always do: don't worry. The latest word is that 3.0.2 is heading to the PTRs, and it's pretty clear that if 3.0 is going to break everything in the game, that's where Blizzard will find out. Don't forget that we've got months until the expansion comes out (and likely even a few months until the actual patch hits the live realms), which means there's tons of time to tweak and twist and get all of the new changes working with the old content.

This doesn't mean that things won't be broken -- we're curious to see, especially in even older instances like AQ and Molten Core, what things are like with all of the 3.0 updates. But it does mean that they'll likely be broken on the PTR -- in a few months from now, when this patch finally goes live, Blizzard should have most of the wrinkles evened out.

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Last week on Massively: WoW-related stories - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 15:00:00 EST

This week's round up of WoW-related posts on our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe dominated by World of Warcraft. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed.

Blizzard interview focuses on Wrath and the changing player experience
As the Wrath of the Lich King expansion gets closer to release, World of Warcraft players have a number of questions about how the game experience is going to change for them as the title moves forward.
World in a World of Warcraft
With Wrath of the Lich King coming out very soon, and four years of the game's history behind us, it's nice to just sit back and read something about the basic fundamentals of World of Warcraft.
Urban exploration in MMOs
Urban exploration and free running are activities normally associated with the real world. In recent years, however, MMOs such as Everquest 2, Age of Conan and World of Warcraft have become a digital stage for the arts.
Player Consequences: Why We Subscribe
There are many different choices when it comes to picking out a MMO nowadays. The genre is no longer limited to only a handful of games based on old Dungeons and Dragons manuals.

Continue reading Last week on Massively: WoW-related stories

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Target suggests Paws and Claws if you can't play Warcraft - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 14:30:00 EST


Can't get your World of Warcraft Battlechest fix because Recruit-a-friend has sold out all the copies at Target? Worry not, because Target has got just as great a substitute for you: Paws and Claws Pet Vet 2: Healing Hands. Because when you can't conquer the tower of Medivh or slay beasts in Nagrand, the next best thing is playing a mediocre attempt to grab the money of kids who want to grow up to be vets.

Yeah, it's pretty sad, but then again, Target employees aren't necessarily videogame players. And even more sadly, what exactly does it say about PC gaming when the next best seller to WoW is a vet simulator?

[via Kotaku]

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Encrypted Text: Rogue Glyphs - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 14:00:00 EST
Every Wednesday, Encrypted Text explores issues affecting Rogues and those who group with them. This week Jason Harper, the Rogue feature blogger, discusses a new feature in Wrath, Glyphs and the opportunities for Rogues.

Inscriptions, a new profession in Wrath of the Lich King, allows for the creation of tradable Glyphs that can enhance your spells and abilities. Recently a number of these glyphs were released into a beta build and Inscription was announced to be apart of the new pre-Wrath patch.

As you'll see in the list below, Rogues get a wide variety of both lesser and greater glyph options, and in a lot of cases can greatly effect your talent choices in a way that gemming or enchanting never did.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Rogue Glyphs

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Baby Polar Bear is the cutest tank ever - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 13:30:00 EST


BRK can have his gigantic Rhinos (OK, fine, I'm getting one of those, too), but I'll take this beast -- a slavering, rampaging, murdering... baby polar bear as a Hunter pet. Seriously? How does this thing even attack? The graphics, cute as they are, don't really look like they're done -- kind of just seems like a bear with a baby mask on. But sure enough, the pet is called an Arctic Grizzly Cub, and can be found as early as 69 in Dragonblight. This may not stay tameable on the live realms, of course, but if it does, it could be the cutest thing ever to tear apart the Alliance in Eye of the Storm.

Here, have a tasty Coke. Now die!

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3.0.2 PTR imminent - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 13:00:00 EST

We haven't seen much PTR action in a little while (although I guess the beta realms are really a PTR for Wrath). That may change soon, though: the European PTR forums were just wiped, and Tigole recently said "3.0 will be on the PTR's soon." Disregarding his apostrophe abuse, and Blizzard's colorful history with the word "soon," this does conspire with the forum wipe to indicate that the PTRs will probably be up with this pre-Wrath patch within, I'd say, a week or so.

What does this say about the Wrath release date? Well, I'd say nothing, really. In the same post, Tigole mentions that some patches were on the PTR for over two months (which is good because a lot of the new talents are really half-baked right now). Additionally, 3.0.2 could come any amount of time before LK. 2.0.1, the pre-Burning Crusade patch, came a bit over a month before BC was released.

There is one notable advantage to bringing 3.0.2 to the PTR as soon as possible: more testing. While a fair number of people are in the LK beta by now, everyone who wants to (and had an active account the last time the PTR authentication server was updated) can access the PTR. As I mentioned above (and as Tigole agreed in his post) none of the classes is done yet, and the more people we get play-testing them, the better.

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International Space Station has a keylogger - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 12:30:00 EST

NASA has confirmed that the International Space Station has been infected by a keylogger. It was carried onto the station by an astronaut's laptop back in July. The keylogger in question is the W32.Gammima.AG -- which is specifically a gaming keylogger. In other words, the ISS has the exact kind of keylogger that plagues so many of us in WoW.

NASA describes the keylogger as merely a "nuisance," but at least two of the laptops on board had the virus. That probably means it arrived on one laptop, and a removable device like a thumb drive carried it to another. Kelly Humphries, a NASA spokesperson, said "This is not the first time we have had a worm or a virus. It's not a frequent occurrence, but this isn't the first time."

For security reasons, Humphries couldn't say whether mission-critical systems were affected by the keylogger. NASA is working with its Russian partners to figure out how the virus got space-born.

Here's hoping the International Space Station has their Blizzard Authenticators installed properly.

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Ask a Beta Tester: Of penguins and paladins - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 11:00:00 EST


Reader Gary kick-starts today's Q&A with a pressing issue...

Penguins. I love them. You should love them. Where are they?

At WoW Insider, we also love penguins and hope to see them in non-combat-pet form soon. However, they aren't as common in Northrend as you might think. With all the snow and glaciers, one would imagine Northrend to be the penguin capitol of the known world, I've yet to encounter one. My fellow bloggers have informed me that you can occasionally catch them out on glaciers -- especially when traveling the frozen waters of Northrend.

For more of your beta questions -- and our beta answers -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: Of penguins and paladins

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Around Azeroth: Udder humiliation - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 10:00:00 EST


"Look, honey, I'm really happy that you decided to play WoW with me. I wanted us to be able to share the experience of gaming together. And I don't mind that you rolled a blood elf, even though everyone's going to assume that you're a 12-year-old boy. I just ... I'm not going to ride on the zhevra. I don't care how rare it is, I'm not going to be seen on a prettied-up horse. It just isn't tauren of me. It's bad enough that I'm going to be hanging out with a blood elf for fifty-eight levels ..."

"Honey? Oh, don't get mad. Please. See, I'm getting on the zhevra. What? No! Well ... okay. Just one picture. And you have to promise it'll never leave your hands. Are you done now? Good, because I think I broke its pelvis. Can you get on Wowhead and look up veterinarians in Silvermoon City?"

(Thanks to Amradorn of <Foederati> on Aggramar for the pic!)

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

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

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Skill Mastery: Penance - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 09:00:00 EST


Welcome to Skill Mastery! In the weeks to come, the WoW Insider staff will give you the skinny on each and every new skill coming in Wrath of the Lich King or, in some cases, in the 3.0 patch.

Healing priests aren't getting a ton of new tricks in Wrath. In fact, some of our old tricks are getting removed: downranking is no longer viable, so goodbye Greater Heal (Rank 1). However, like every other class, we are getting a few new spells, and one of them is Penance.

Penance is the 51-point Discipline talent, and it currently reads like this (at max rank):

33% of base mana, 30 yard range
Channeled, 10 sec cooldown
Launces a volley of holy light at the target, causing 184 Holy damage to an enemy, or 670 to 756 healing to an ally every 1 sec for 3 sec.

Continue reading Skill Mastery: Penance

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Breakfast topic: Account count - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 08:00:00 EST

I'm not sure how many World of Warcraft subscriptions are currently active. The popularity of the game skyrocketed and then seems to have leveled off. Player numbers have certainly been bolstered by the Recruit-a-Friend promotion. I'm not convinced that it has actually brought any new players into the game. I know several people who begun additional accounts under this new scheme, and a handful of players that have returned to the game. I'm sure there are some new rookies, but they're a fraction of the new accounts.

I'm working on my third account. My friend with recruitment benefits and I have been soaring through the levels. I was planning on starting a third account come Wrath anyway, but now seems like as good of a time as any.

View Poll

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Forum post of the day: Dueling debate - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 04:47:00 EST

Like any other form of PvP, you either love dueling or you hate it. Dueling is a great way to learn how to maximize abilities and test combos and macros. There are very few established guidelines for how to appropriate ly duel. Borkovic of Caelestraz asked in the official forums if it is acceptable to heal in a duel. Fliara of Terenas stated that protocols vary depending on server and faction, and suggested that rules should be established beforehand.

The first response, by Mlcho of Kirin Tor who takes an "all's fair in love and Warcraft" approach, was met with considerable agreement throughout the thread:

Use everything in your power to produce a win. Who cares if you use a pot? Who cares if you bandage?
If they whine, it's because they weren't prepared.

Continue reading Forum post of the day: Dueling debate

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Guildwatch: Unknown withdrew... any chance of joining another guild - Wed, 27 Aug 2008 01:00:00 EST


Consider yourself lucky if you've never seen the sight above before -- it's the sign of a former guildleader yanking everything out of the guild bank (including all the stuff above and a good 12,000g) and transferring off to another server. Good times. This is why I usually keep all of my Hearts of Darkness under my mattress at home -- the banks just aren't safe.

This isn't the only guild leader ninja we heard about this week, and it's definitely not the only messy drama -- there's lots more right after you click the link below. Don't forget to send in your tips about drama, downed and recruiting news from around the realms to wowguildwatch@gmail.com. We really appreciate it, and lovers of drama of all kinds do too.

Continue reading Guildwatch: Unknown withdrew... any chance of joining another guild

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WoW Insider at Dragon*Con 2008! - Tue, 26 Aug 2008 21:30:00 EST


Perhaps you were one of the myriad people who made it out to the WoW panels at Dragon*Con last year. Maybe you just heard of this raucous, geeky event and decided that since you can't make it to the West coast for BlizzCon, you'd check out Dragon*Con. Whatever your reason, we're heading back again this year along with our sister site Massively with a variety of World of Warcraft related panels for you to enjoy!

If you're heading to Hotlanta this weekend to take in all the awesome that is sure to be Dragon*Con 2008, we've prepared a handy guide to some of the MMOG track happenings that may be of interest. Join us after the break for a panel breakdown, or check out the full schedule on Massively for all things MMO going on at D*C 2008!

Continue reading WoW Insider at Dragon*Con 2008!

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BlizzCon ticket drawing winners to be selected soon - Tue, 26 Aug 2008 20:00:00 EST
Zarhym posted on the BlizzCon forum that the opt-in period to get into the drawing for BlizzCon tickets is now over. Blizzard will be randomly selecting winners over the next few days. Account holders who get selected by the drawing will receive an email from Blizzard explaining how to purchase up to two BlizzCon 2008 tickets if they so desire -- so make sure your contact information is updated!

So now the forums are all abuzz as to what are the odds of winning the drawing. Let's do the math, shall we? There are 3,000 tickets available and they'll be offered by pairs to each drawing winner. We can assume there will be no more than 3,000 winning accounts (if every winner buys only one ticket -- unlikely) and no fewer than 1,500 (if every winner buys the max allowed: a pair). According to MMOGChart.com, Blizzard has about 10,000,000 subscribers right now. Okay, now, stay with me... Originally, 12,000 tickets were sold to BlizzCon. Let's assume that all the tickets purchased so far went to subscribers, rather than people who wouldn't show up on the subscription rolls. Let's also assume that each subscriber bought one to two tickets in the first batch. That means 6,000 - 12,000 accounts already have tickets, leaving 994,000 to 988,000 folks left for the opt-in drawing. With my mad Excel skills, it looks like if everyone who didn't get BlizzCon tickets the first time around opted in to the drawing, you've got a 0.015% to 0.030% chance to get one of those sweet emails in the next few days.

Since it's unrealistic to assume that everyone opted in, I'd say you have a better chance than that. However, keep in mind that in order for you to even have a 1% chance of winning the drawing, only about 150,000 accounts would have had to opt-in. No matter how you slice it, good luck!

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