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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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All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Scribe - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-sixth in a series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay various aspects of the lore and gaming elements of WoW.

What is inscription anyways? I mean, we all know that it's the newest profession, added in Wrath of the Lich King, and it lets you make these "glyphs" which allow you to modify or improve your various class abilities in interesting ways. In gaming terms all that makes perfect sense, but when it comes to telling a story with your character, there are a lot of details missing.

Technically, a glyph is a character or symbol, like a heiroglyph or a pictograph, which we can see to a certain extent when we click on the glyph and put it into our in-game glyph interface -- it looks pretty cool with all those circles and lines and stuff. But what does it really mean? Are you pasting these symbols into a book of some sort? Are they getting magically tattooed onto your skin somewhere?

And where did inscription come from to begin with? Has it been around in Azeroth all along somehow, or was it some sort of ancient knowledge only discovered recently, around the time in the Warcraft lore when the Wrath of the Lich King begins? If it was discovered, then who discovered it and how? How exactly does a scribe learn these glyphs? Does he or she pore over ancient tomes that haven't been read in thousands of years, trying to decipher ancient texts? Or is the art and magic of it more in the artistic calligraphy of it rather than any difficulty in discovering or interpreting the symbols themselves?

There are far more questions than answers when it comes to roleplaying a scribe, and to a large extent each roleplayer is free to choose his or her own approach. What follows is the just one suggestion as to how you might work out a plausible solution -- please feel free to read it and improve upon it in whatever way you like.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Scribe

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Scribe originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 PTR Tier 9 reawakens faction pride and... homogeneity? - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


When Blizzard announced that the new Tier 9 sets with Patch 3.2 would be faction-specific, I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought how awesome that would be. It would mark the first time tier sets would be themed to a faction. It was something many players had been asking for. But as the saying goes, "be careful what you wish for..." In this case, players such as myself are actually going to see the return of faction-specific armor except that there's one niggling detail we'd forgotten about the first faction-specific gear sets (Level 60 PvP) -- they were armor class-based.

That's right. As wonderful as many players thought those faction-specific armor sets were, they were actually somewhat homogenous in that classes that shared the same armor type (i.e., cloth, leather, plate) had the same models. Apparently this is Blizzard's philosophy with armor set design: either the class sets are faction-neutral but look distinct from each other or they are faction-specific but look the same across armor class. The only time Blizzard broke from tradition was with the much-maligned Sunwell Plateau gear which was both faction-neutral and shared a look across armor class. It felt lazy.

Continue reading Patch 3.2 PTR Tier 9 reawakens faction pride and... homogeneity?

Patch 3.2 PTR Tier 9 reawakens faction pride and... homogeneity? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video of new Tauren Druid forms in patch 3.2 - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


Hail and well met, Druid colleagues. I ventured into the scary realm of moviemaking in order to capture the new Druid forms on the PTR. Because my Hordeside main copied over first, we'll take care of the Tauren initially. The Night Elf video is in progress, and I've been told that Blizzard fixed the bug where one of the NE bear forms wasn't properly linked to a hair color, so stay tuned.

Anyway, this is my first video and I apologize for the amateurish quality; I'll get better (though not necessarily less dorky) with practice, but I really wanted to get this out for everyone who can't get on the PTR but wants to see what the new forms look like in motion. If you can't run sound at the moment, the only really pertinent commentary is that: a). The forms are beautiful: b). They look great in motion: c). For whatever reason, the bear butt has actually grown, and: d). The Night Elf video is on its way.

If you're having issues with Viddler, you can find the same video (in slightly higher quality) here on YouTube.

Video of new Tauren Druid forms in patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 PTR Season 7 sets are the new hotness - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Hell yeah! MMO Champion has done its usual data-mining magic and managed to unearth most of the latest Arena gear and whoa, does it look amazing. Boubouille notes that many of the sets are incomplete and that some Photoshop work was done for display purposes, but I think we get the general idea. Season 7 items are the latest iteration of evolutionary design, which builds visually upon older sets. This design evolution was hinted at in vanilla World of Warcraft, where the old Warlord / Field Marshal PvP sets were minor visual upgrades from the Champion / Lieutenant Commander sets. The Season 7 item sets should probably called Badass Gladiator because, well, personally I think they're just... badass.

While Blizzard promised the return of faction-specific sets in Patch 3.2, these will apply to PvE Tier 9, and from the looks of it won't be as phenomenal as it sounds considering classes sharing the same armor type will look nearly identical to one another. On the other hand, Season 7 gear, which also seems to introduce new weapon models, keep on improving without having to resort to dragon nipples or orbiting Thralls. It seems that Zarhym's promise of the Arena sets improving as the seasons continue is a solid one.

Continue reading Patch 3.2 PTR Season 7 sets are the new hotness

Patch 3.2 PTR Season 7 sets are the new hotness originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Zombies are bad for the environment - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


Helghan of <Fear and Loathing> on Greymane must have a sunny disposition, because all the plants are growing in his direction. Then again, all of these plants are dead. Maybe he should consider a prescription strength deodorant. I'm sure that Old Spice doesn't entirely cover that rotting flesh smell, and that can't be good for the local flora. Helghan tries to get himself off the hook by claiming that his level 80 tauren druid brother, Baracknroll, clawed all these plants to death while running him through a dungeon. Sure, blame it on the cat.

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: Zombies are bad for the environment originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: A frightening button - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST
It's officially summer, or Midsummer, if you like. This week's list is pretty hefty and even has a few seasonal entries. Enjoy!

Sunday Morning Funnies: A frightening button originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Where will you be honor grinding in Patch 3.2? - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST
So patch 3.2 will be bringing some pretty significant changes to PvP Battlegrounds to say the least. Not only will Wintergrasp be morphing into a weird quasi-battleground with queue, but Warsong Gulch is getting a time limit, Eye of the Storm and Arathi's resource goal is being slashed, and we're getting a whole new battleground in the Isle of Conquest. In short, we're going to have some soul searching to do while we decide where to get our non-arena organized PvP fix on.

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Where will you be honor grinding in Patch 3.2?

Breakfast Topic: Where will you be honor grinding in Patch 3.2? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: More questions than answers - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST


Each week Arcane Brilliance endeavors to bring you all the latest news and notes from the land of Mages. This week, the subject is questions and the answers they conjure forth. The way it works is this: you wiggle your fingers for a while, ask some questions, and then poof! Blizzard gives you a cinnamon roll and a glass of water and sends you on your way.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, really, when Blizzard proposed this whole "class Q&A" series over on the official forums. When the initial post showed up, asking us to pose questions of the development team, Mages everywhere seized the opportunity to air grievances, request clarification, and make suggestions. The thread quickly swelled to epic proportions, and I waited, intensely curious, for Ghostcrawler's response. How many of our questions would be answered, and in how much detail? How much concrete information would we get? Which of the issues raised in the thread would be addressed, instead of just glossed over?

We got our answer post last week, and it turns out the answer to almost all of those questions appears to be: "Not a whole lot."

Join me after the break where we'll break it down Hammer-style.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: More questions than answers

Arcane Brilliance: More questions than answers originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 27 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: Dumber than a box of nails - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST
Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

When Entertainment Weekly chatted with Ryan Reynolds about his "Must List", the X-Men: Wolverine actor had nothing but scorn at the possibility of his having a favorite video game. "I don't really play videogames," he told EW. "Is there a way to waste more f-ing time?"

"He's probably just grumpy because the cover made him look dumber than a box of nails," commented WoW.com reader Gessilea. "Come on, that expression totally screams 'Which end do I put this in again?'"

We suspect Reynolds may have just finished reading the comments at WoW.com - whewww, what a fractious lot this week! Join us in picking a few nuggets out of the rubble and wrap up with a couple of latecomers to last week's epic rap battle comments war.

Continue reading [1.Local]: Dumber than a box of nails

[1.Local]: Dumber than a box of nails originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 27 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Purple gems are delicious - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 17:00:00 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: Purple gems are delicious originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 27 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 Q&A - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST
Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Patch 3.2 has been shaping up to be a welcome event for professions in World of Warcraft. Soon, we will all have access to the next "tier" of gems and profession-unique buffs.

This week, I will be devoting the column space to answering some reader questions. Pre-patch notes and Public Test Realm data can often create confusion, especially when we know that anything could change before we ever see it live.

At the very end, I have included a bit of a spoiler, although I attempted to keep the details to a minimum and the wild speculation to a maximum.

Are the new flasks for Alchemists only? - Joemama
The new flask is called Flask of the North and can only be used by Alchemists with a skill of at least 400. This flask is clearly inferior to the Wrath raiding flasks because it is meant to be used in arenas. While it should give you a bit of a boost, Blizzard does not want everyone suddenly becoming Alchemists in order to compete.

Of course, if you play the game primarily for arena, then you might consider switching if you haven't already.

The most exciting changes for Alchemists will likely be the new epic gem transmutes and the fact that potions will stack to 20.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 Q&A

Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 Q&A originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 27 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show live with Michelle of Warcraft Outsiders today - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST
Our podcast returns once again to the virtual airwaves this afternoon. Lesley Smith will join us from here on WoW.com, and Turpster and I will also welcome Michelle Madison of the Videogame Outsiders and Warcraft Outsiders podcasts. You may remember that way back last year, they were kind enough to invite me on their show, so we're finally returning the favor, in the first of a small series of guests -- you can listen in this afternoon to hear more about that.

While Michelle is on, we'll chat about the most popular stories in the World of Warcraft for the past week, including the very popular Midsummer Fire Festival, the new information about the Tier 9 sets and their names, new achievement information found in patch 3.2, and the appearance of quest objectives on the map (and whether that dumbs the game down or not). And of course we'll talk more about our plans for BlizzCon, and after the show, we'll be over on Zangarmarsh partying it up and lighting and/or desecrating some flames, so be sure to join us for that.

Whew. Full show today. Tune in this afternoon over on the our Ustream page at June 27, 2009 3:30 PM EDT, or you can jump after the break to see an embedded feed. We'll see you then!

Continue reading WoW Insider Show live with Michelle of Warcraft Outsiders today

WoW Insider Show live with Michelle of Warcraft Outsiders today originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 27 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: 3.2 PTR log - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


One of the things I've been doing in preparation for patch 3.2 is running a lot of heroics to fill gear holes in my enhancement set, since I am determined to get that set up to a respectable level before the patch drops. I don't often get to raid enhancement and my restoration set is mostly at the level I need it to be to heal 10 man content, so until fist weapons actually start dropping in raids, that means running CoT Strat a lot and cursing when the Band of Guile drops yet again. Seriously, if you need a Band of Guile, you should run CoT Strat with me in the party, because I can guarantee that it will drop by my very presence.

When you get a good PuG, of course, you keep running until you just can't stand anymore. Today I was in that very circumstance, a PuG that went together so well that we slid from CoT to Utgarde Pinnacle to Utgarde Keep to the Nexus in short order. While the Band of Guile dropped yet again (seriously, I should start charging spellcasters who want rings, as Annhylde's Ring also dropped) there was one moment that struck me as a good reason why I play a shaman. A badly timed disconnect on the part of our healer and one of our DPS led to my switching to heal the tank through three mobs, only to see him and the other DK (who I will charitably say was somewhat inexperienced in his/her class) go down when another proto-drake was added by a corpse exlosion. At this point, low on mana as I was, I managed to pop my Feral Spirit, Shamanistic Rage, Fire Elemental Totem, and Heroism to burn the last add down while restoring my mana in the process.

Continue reading Totem Talk: 3.2 PTR log

Totem Talk: 3.2 PTR log originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 27 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Help computer edition - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST

Hey, kid! Stop all the downloadin'! It's that time of week again, where we ask our team of writers and editors what exactly will be taking up their time this weekend. The question we're really asking is "What are you playing?" but the answers we get are seldom relevant to the question (except mine, which is nearly always "games with your heart"). Thankfully, a few people on the team of people who write about video games are actually playing video games this weekend, and this here is a roundup of just that.

Here's a taste of the team's responses, and Twitter names where applicable, with more after the jump.

Michael Sacco: @mikesacco
Writing more of my game design document, futzing around the PTR with Goon Squad miscreants, and staying inside due to Texas' insane heatwave (100 degrees at midnight? Are you kidding me?).

Adam Holisky: @adamholisky
RAF Dualboxing horde side with some friends.

Lesley Smith: @LesleySmith
This weekend, when not sitting in the sun enjoying a cider and a magnum, I'm going to be helping a friend get to grips with Azeroth, planning a trip to Japan, blogging and trying to figure out if I want/need/can afford a DSLR camera.

Continue reading WRUP: Help computer edition

WRUP: Help computer edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 27 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reminder: IcftB Midsummer Fire event today - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


After you listen to the WoW Insider show today, join us for some Midsummer fun:
  • When: Saturday, June 27th, 5PM Eastern (2PM Pacific, 3PM Server time)
  • Where: The Midsummer Fire Festival site in the Court of the Sun, Silvermoon City on Zangarmarsh, U.S.
  • Who: Any Horde character who is not in the service of the Lich King. (Death Knights are recommended as long as they have finished their initial quests and have been accepted by Thrall.)
  • How: Just send a tell to Robinella or any It Came from the Blog member to get an invite to the raid and the guild.
Expect fun, fire, experience, and lots and lots of running/riding. Our goal is to grab an achievement or two, as well.

We hope to see you there!

Reminder: IcftB Midsummer Fire event today originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 27 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Create-your-own titles - Sat, 27 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST
The other day, I was giving away a loot card code over on our Twitter account (as I tend to do -- are you following us over there yet?), and I asked people to send along suggestions for the titles they wanted to have in game. Mine is "the Noob" (for obvious reasons), but there were some really excellent ones in the mix: The Legend, The Fashionable, The Bounty Hunter, Banker (very practical, I agree), and my favorite suggestion, The Dying, for any character that dies at least 1,000 times.

We've actually asked this question in a Breakfast Topic before, but it was last year, when titles were still pretty hard to come by (nowadays, everyone's got at least one, right?). So let us hear them: if you could have any title you wanted, which would you choose?

And remember, Blizzard's listening: they've already put one fan-suggested title in the game, so who knows. Maybe the one you suggest in this thread will eventually be right above your character's head.

Breakfast Topic: Create-your-own titles originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 27 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A leveling server, just for leveling - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST
Reader Tiago sent us an interesting idea I thought was worth sharing. He suggests that Blizzard create a "leveling server" -- a server that would be marked as specifically for new characters, so when you rolled a new toon on there, you'd be surrounded by a bunch of other people pre-80. And the key here would be that when you hit 80 on this server, then you would get a free server transfer off. In other words, Blizzard would have one server (completely optional, of course) designed for people to level on, with a realm full of people playing in the old world and leveling through the old quests.

Sounds good, right? Like most of our ideas, Blizzard probably won't go for it -- they've already knocked down the idea of vanilla realms, and while this isn't the same thing (you'd be able to level to 80, the idea is just that you'd leave the server when you got there), it does mean creating a different ruleset for a brand new type of server. Plus, to a much lesser extent, it could create an even more lonely existence on the normal servers. Not to mention that Blizzard has been focusing on speeding past the low levels, not emphasizing them.

But I like the idea anyway -- it doesn't seem too tough to do (mark one realm recommended, and provide free server transfers off of it), and it seems like an excellent way to get people who enjoy leveling up all together in the same place. And that's really what MMOs like this are all about, right?

A leveling server, just for leveling originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Touch of Madness - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


Since Rogues will be able to break out the Axes in patch 3.2, here's one for you stabby-stabby types to start aiming for now.

Name: Touch of Madness (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDB)
Type: Epic One-hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 297-552 / 2.60 (163.3 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +24 Agility, +52 Stamina
  • Improves hit rating by 34, crit strike rating by 26, and attack power by 92

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Touch of Madness

Phat Loot Phriday: Touch of Madness originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Preparing for BlizzCon: Money -- you're going to need it - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


BlizzCon approaches! Preparing for BlizzCon is your regular source for tips on how best to prepare for Blizzard's gaming extravaganza.

If you have the resources to pick up some extra cash or the space in your budget to save some more over the next couple months, I recommend that you do. The ticket is paid for, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. You already know you need money for lodging and getting there, but here are a few more things for which you are probably going to want to have extra cash in the bank:
  • Food: It really isn't practical to bring your own and in some cases, not allowed by Blizzard. For example, anything in glass, large containers or cans are a no go for the convention. Many hotels consider a tiny box of cereal or a couple slices of toast a "free breakfast", so don't count on them either. The food in the Anaheim Convention Center is convenient but overpriced, as is normal for conventions. In the evenings, most people will be dining at one of the many delicious Downtown Disney eateries, which are great fun and usually pretty expensive. All in all, your food bills will likely be far greater than your normal food budget.

Continue reading Preparing for BlizzCon: Money -- you're going to need it

Preparing for BlizzCon: Money -- you're going to need it originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Choose my Adventure: I'm on a mount - Fri, 26 Jun 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!

Another week, another level. Ten levels, actually. And I guess it's been a few weeks. It sounded cooler that first way though, didn't it? Anyway... Yes, Turpen has hit level 35. The last couple of weeks have been busy around the office due to patch 3.2, so I didn't get as much done between level 25 and 35 as I had between 15 and 25. I only squeezed one dungeon run in, but I did manage to do something else that was asked of me: Battlegrounds.

Yes, I did quite a bit of PvP this week on our Gnomelock, primarily in Warsong Gulch in the 20-29 bracket. I tried a round of Arathi Basin (which we won 2000-100) but very quickly decided never to do that battleground in that particular bracket ever again. Running around Arathi Basin without a mount is pretty much the worst thing ever. Patch 3.2 will change that I suppose, but it'll be far too late to be of any use to Turpen. My next alt, maybe!

Continue reading Choose my Adventure: I'm on a mount

Choose my Adventure: I'm on a mount originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Razorscale, Ignis, and Deconstructor - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST



Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we step back a little and look at endgame in the context of sports.

Ulduar. Land of legend. Realm of confused Titans. Raid of epics. Ulduar is home to some of the finest fights available in Azeroth, not to mention leagues of incredible lore. Over the next few weeks, your intrepid Ready Check columnists will be taking a look at what you should expect from Ulduar, in both 10 man and 25 man versions.

Last week, we did a quick run down of that tankiest of bosses, the Flame Leviathan. This week, we're going to do a quick run down of the three remaining bosses in the "Siege" section of Ulduar. These three bosses are:

So take a moment, and join your intrepid WoW.com team on a pleasant stroll through Ulduar. Let's begin behind the cut, with Razorscale.

Continue reading Ready Check: Razorscale, Ignis, and Deconstructor

Ready Check: Razorscale, Ignis, and Deconstructor originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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With the game offline in China, others aim to step in - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST
As you may or may not have heard, the World of Warcraft is currently offline in China, thanks to a fight between the game's former licensee, The9, and its current licensee, Netease. Yes, if you think a day or so of downtime is bad here in the US and the EU, that's nothing compared to this: the game has been down since June 7th, and neither Blizzard nor Netease have given an estimate of when the game might be back online. An analyst from China does say that they expect most players to return to the servers once they return, but in the meantime, many players have spread over into Taiwan's WoW server. We don't believe that Blizzard allowed transfers during this time, so they've likely started and leveling brand new characters over there.

And don't think that other games haven't noticed this unique window of opportunity: there are currently millions of MMO players looking for something to do in China, and there are at least three big other games looking to give them something to do. Aion, which is currently in beta here in the US but is apparently up and running in Asia already, is making as much of a play as they can, and there are two local Chinese games, Zhuxian Online and Chibi Online, both developed by a company called Perfect World, that are also aiming to steal some of China's WoW players.

Very interesting situation over there -- imagine how much the MMO world would be thrown off here if WoW just completely disappeared for multiple weeks, if not longer. Blizzard is likely scrambling to get things moving over there as fast as possible.

With the game offline in China, others aim to step in originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Multiboxing.tv lets you watch multiboxing as it happens - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST
Our old friend Tim Sullivan, who worked at Wowhead way back in the day, just sent along a note that he's working on a brand new web video series all about something in World of Warcraft that's been gaining a lot of ground lately: multiboxing. Thanks to recruit-a-friend and all of the bonuses that come along with sponsoring a second account, quite a few people have shown an interest in running more than one character in the game, and Tim's series, called Multiboxing.tv, shows live feeds from his gameplay (all five screens of it, four Hunters and one Priest) while people can chat and learn live about multiboxing and how it all works. He's also leveling the group up -- they're currently around level 40, and he says he's headed to 80 eventually.

You can check out his front page to see when he'll be streaming next (and someone told us he was streaming for something like fourteen hours the other day -- take care of yourself, Tim!), and if you're interested in how you might get started multiboxing, he and his chat channel are probably more than happy to help you figure out how to do it. He did say he'd be streaming every night this weekend, so if you're around then, you should be able to catch him. Personally (as you probably already know), I'm a big fan of the standard one character gameplay -- I have enough trouble figuring out one toon, much less five. But Turpster, as you've probably heard on our podcast, has dived into this kind of stuff headfirst and loves it, so if you're interested in seeing how it works, tune in to Tim's channel and find out.

Update: Apparently while this was presented to us (and appears to be) just a guy streaming his multiboxing, Tim may have some less generous motives -- he's apparently trying to sell multiboxing software, and you can see the comments below for some other shady moves that have been made. Watch at your own risk, and keep in mind that while the stream appeared legit to us, it may be an advertisement for software you certainly don't need to multibox.

Multiboxing.tv lets you watch multiboxing as it happens originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Elitist Jerks and Opera team up for WoW browser - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST

This past Friday, web browser developer Opera announced that they had teamed up with respected theory crafting website Elitist Jerks to create a new browser. The Elitist Jerks browser, as it is titled, is designed to cater to the needs of the World of Warcraft online community, with an array of customized features, pre-selected options, and a sleek skin reminiscent of the site it's named for. The pitch interested me enough that I decided to put away my beloved Firefox for the weekend, and give Opera's Elitist Jerks browser a thorough test.

Obviously it would be somewhat insane to expect that this is an entirely new browser built from the ground up. At its core, the browser is Opera 9. So if you've got a strong aversion to that browser, you're not going to find anything here to redeem it. However, if you're ambivalent towards Opera, or if you've never even tried it, the Elitist Jerks browser is definitely worth checking out. It's got all the features we as consumers have come to expect from a browser over the last few years, along with the polish that Opera is known for.

Continue reading Elitist Jerks and Opera team up for WoW browser

Elitist Jerks and Opera team up for WoW browser originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Innkeeper - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


Innkeeper by Yumfries definitely wins the "made me laugh" award. It's an absolutely fantastic parody music video, based on the rap by PoshJark. The narrative of PoshJark's rap works very well. I found there to be something ironic about using the solemn male Draenei as a stand-in for the narrator, and Yumfries should be commended for a great choice.

Innkeeper really shows off some of Yumfries' skills. Some of the shots are clean and simple, while others make strong use of shadows to highlight all three dimensions. Yumfries has included a wide variety of styles in this video, and I think it makes the story a great deal more complex than it would have been with a more straightforward video concept. There's definitely a lot of growth here, and it truly makes me eager to see Yumfries' next pieces. I continue to enjoy his sense of humor, also, since Innkeeper tells a sort of everyman tale for many of us.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


WoW Moviewatch: Innkeeper originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: The holy cow it's a crab edition - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 11:00:00 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Half of our questions today are actually about WoW.com rather than... you know, WoW itself. Which is odd, but am I going to complain? Not really! It means you guys care, and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Well, I guess that could be food poisoning. My crab rangoons were a little odd last night. Oddly delicious.

Of course, if you don't really give a hoot about the inner workings of WoW.com and strictly want questions about the game, the other half of our questions cover that, so we have things for you, too. Read on!

brasilnut13 asked...


"Do you think Blizz will ever put class related titles in the game?"

Continue reading The Queue: The holy cow it's a crab edition

The Queue: The holy cow it's a crab edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Get off my lawn - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


Rioriel of <Immortalis> on The Sha'tar-EU snapped this screenshot while stealthing around Freya's backyard in Ulduar, taking pictures for his very cool blog, Postcards From Azeroth. Unfortunately, Freya noticed his trespassing ways after he walked a little too close to her. "Occasionally when you stop to admire the scenery, a boss will stomp your way and look directly at you," he writes. "Heart rate instantly trebles and one finger hovers over Vanish." But I suppose there are scarier things to face when you're on someone's property.

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: Get off my lawn originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A video look at the new Shaman toolbar - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


Here's a great video from Arawn of CrusaderAura.com that offers up a first look at the new Shaman totem interface coming in patch 3.2. As expected, you'll soon be able to drop four totems all at the same time, as well as eventually (you'll need to be in the higher levels somewhere) have a few different sets of totems to drop whenever you want. As you can see, you have four slots, one for each type of totem, and then you can switch each of those on each of your Call of Air, Water, and Fire settings. Finally, the last button on the right is Call of Earth, which used to be called Totemic Recall, and will let you call all of the totems back, getting a little mana back for each.

It looks like it works great (save for, of course, the small bug with no cooldown on the elemental totems, but we're sure Shamans won't have a problem with that, right?). The bottom line is that Shamans will only need one button and one cooldown to smack their totems down wherever they want -- you can still light up totems on their own by pressing their buttons, but if you just hit the Call button, then you'll get them all, in the same cooldown with the usual mana cost. It'll be interesting to see what kinds of UI hooks are in this thing as well, and how it might work with addons. But that's for the future -- for now, it looks like Blizzard has done a great thing for Shamans here.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

A video look at the new Shaman toolbar originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What would you like to see in a WoW comic? - Fri, 26 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


I've been getting back into comics lately, thanks largely to the World of Warcraft. My most recent purchases were the trade paperbacks of Wildstorm's World of Warcraft series and Ashbringer, as well as Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends manga. Since I couldn't get my fix of Hong Kong manhua without actually going to Hong Kong (which makes it kind of hard to keep up with weekly titles like Amazing Weapons 4...), it was a bit easier to head over to our local shops and get some Western comics. What better subject than my favorite game, right?

While I enjoyed Ashbringer, I take a great liking to Warcraft Legends because it explores the other aspects or characters of Azeroth. The ongoing series can focus on well-known guys like Varian Wrynn, but Warcraft Legends are cool side-stories of the unknown guys. That opens up a world of potential. We could see stories about those NPCs we always see all over the place. Maybe we can get a comic about Cro Threadstrong and find out why he hates the fruit vendor so much. How about stories about the wandering "named" NPCs in Dalaran? Minigob Manabonk, maybe?

On the flip side, how about when the characters in the comic stories suddenly make their way into the game? We know Broll Bearmantle and Valeera Sanguinar have their roots in toys and comics, and players can now meet them in WoW. This whole idea of comics as an extension of the game's story is really cool, and I hope Wildstorm and Tokyopop keep putting out great comics and characters. Is there anything in particular about the World of Warcraft that you'd like to see in comic form? A favorite character? A particular period or special event? Share your thoughts!

Breakfast Topic: What would you like to see in a WoW comic? originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exodus scores world first Heroic: Alone in the Darkness - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 23:45:00 EST

News is flooding in that Exodus of Ysondre-US has just scored the world first 25-man Yogg-Saron with 0 Keepers, a.k.a. Heroic: Alone in the Darkness. A quick look at their site proves it to be true, complete with screenshots.

This achievement, when Ulduar was first launched, was largely considered to be mathematically impossible. One or two nerfs to Yogg-Saron more or less proved that to be true. The recent nerf to the spawnrate of the Guardians of Yogg-Saron wasn't aimed at the encounter with 4 Keepers up. It was aimed at the encounter with few (or zero) Keepers up. Without the buffs those Keepers provide, the encounter gets more and more difficult. As someone who has only killed Yogg-Saron with all 4 Keepers in the last few weeks, I fear seeing the fight with zero. Major, major props to Exodus.

They were rewarded for their efforts with Bowser's Flying Machine Mimiron's Head. I guess he didn't need it anymore. Congratulations, Exodus!

Exodus scores world first Heroic: Alone in the Darkness originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 23:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exploring Azeroth with quest icons on the map - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST
We've heard this argument before, and every time Blizzard makes a change to help players complete quests more quickly, it comes up again. And with the recent announcement that Blizzard will actually be adding quest targets to the ingame maps (again replicating another function of the popular Questhelper addon), players have again brought up the old argument: is the game too dumbed-down? Originally, when the game began (though I don't know anyone that didn't still use Wowhead to find quest coordinates even back then), you were sent "east" to find a tiny little brown backpack to click on, and in the next patch, not only will you see that brown backpack sparkling with flares as you get close, but you'll have it marked on your map the entire time.

Larisa waxes nostalgic over at the Pink Pigtail Inn, and says that this is just farther down a sliding slope that leads to a ravine where we all just have two spells and need to kill three boars to level to 100. Kinless Chronicles straight out says "Patch 3.2 will play for you" with some funny tongue-in-cheek analysis. But since I do it so much anyway, I'll play the Devil's advocate here: let's face it, we all used the addons and coordinates while leveling up alts, if not even while leveling mains. It's easy to be nostalgic, but I never did like hunting around for that little pixel of brown you had to click on to finish a quest, and if you really do want to stumble around in the dark the old way, just don't look at your map and/or close the minimap down. I've recently played two other console games, Fable 2 and Dead Space, that also offer glowing line navigation straight to your quest targets, and I did feel a sense of exploration in both -- if I wanted to wander off the path, I was welcome to (and usually rewarded for it), while if I just wanted to get to where I was going, I could do that, too.

Continue reading Exploring Azeroth with quest icons on the map

Exploring Azeroth with quest icons on the map originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon live stream order page up - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 21:05:00 EST


Didn't get your tickets for BlizzCon? Planning to pick up the Internet stream instead, because you don't have DirecTV at home? Now's your chance -- the page has appeared to order up the official livestream in HD video straight from the conference. For $39.95, you get over 16 hours of video from the convention floor, as well as all the main stage presentations, tournament coverage, and even the Grunty the Murloc Space Marine pet. There's more answers over on their FAQ page if you have more questions.

The video streaming as a test on the page suggests that both Level 80 Tauren Chieftain will be playing and Jay Mohr will be hosting again, though that video is likely from last year, and not necessarily indicative of this year's show. It looks like the HQ stream will also require you to install the RayV player, while the lower quality stream will likely be available just through Flash. You can also keep in mind that though this is probably an excellent deal (especially if you want that pet -- I know many people will pick up the package for that code alone), there will be no shortage of information from BlizzCon for sure, as we'll have plenty to go around as well. But if you were planning on picking up the Internet stream, order on up.
BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon, you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there are some great looking costumes.

BlizzCon live stream order page up originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 21:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Patch 3.2 Madness - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 21:00:00 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: Patch 3.2 Madness originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 3.2 and the Paladin - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 20:30:00 EST


Ok, we've got quite a bit of information on Patch 3.2 now, and even though this major content patch isn't introducing too many new things to the class, it does shake it up a bit. Nothing too big, but it should keep everyone on their toes. But first we'll talk about one thing that isn't related to class skills or nerfs or anything like that... first I'd like to encourage everyone to get chummy with the Argent dudes. Do their mind-numbing daily quests and all that, get the Crusader title if you want... and along the way collect 100 Champion's Seals.

According to the PTR, the new Paladin-exclusive Argent Charger is available on the Tournament Grounds for a mere one hundred seals. Of course, Blizzard is also giving away Tier 9 gear for free during the testing phase, so that cost could still change. Still, here's that pony that Ghostcrawler promised all of us. It's a fitting item for an entire faction run by Paladins, right? Anyway, enjoy that pony because not everything in Patch 3.2 is as nice a ride.

Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 3.2 and the Paladin

The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 3.2 and the Paladin originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Returning to Azeroth the long way around - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST
Ethic at Kill Ten Rats has a post up about something that a lot of you have probably been through: more and more I'm hearing about people returning to the game. I've been playing ever since I signed up a few years ago, but that's really only because I'm writing about it -- I'm pretty ADD when it comes to games, so left on my own, I probably would have walked away from WoW a long time ago. But Blizzard is really good at bringing players back by tweaking the game in exactly the way they woud like. I feel like if I had left, I would have definitely come back in for a while, if not with Burning Crusade than definitely with Wrath.

Of course, Ethic's issues aren't really with deciding to return or not: he's having more issues actually trying to get his old accounts back. There's a laundry list of rules and limits to contend with, between dealing with having or not having the expansions, the limits on the Scroll of Resurrection program and the trial accounts, and dodging all of Blizzard's various limits on how to start and use new accounts to the game. Man -- if I had left and was planning on coming back, and I read Ethic's post, I might not even bother.

But quite a few people have come back, and I'd guess that even though there are confusing things about trying to find your way back into the game, a good number of you have done it. I'd like to know, so here's a poll: how many of you have left and come back, and how many times?

View Poll

Returning to Azeroth the long way around originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wowhead releases character profiler - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


Wowhead has been promising a profiler system for quite some time (it's been under development for over two years, according to the site), and now it's finally here.

Wowhead's profiler has pretty much every feature you might want from a modern profiling site, and fits right in to the excellent Wowhead interface. Armory import, 3D character view, gear sets, gear scores, upgrade search - it's all there. You can save your characters however you want, link them to your friends, check puggies, and so forth.

It's just gone public, so bugs are to be expected. Report them to Wowhead if you find them; the Wowhead team is very responsive. New features are also in development, such as embeddable 3D widgets of your characters, or automatic comparison between items in the site database and a profile of your choice.

Continue reading Wowhead releases character profiler

Wowhead releases character profiler originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 PTR Isle of Conquest upcoming changes - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 18:30:00 EST


I hope everybody's been having fun on the PTR. I know Matt's been having a grand time in Patch 3.2's new Battleground, the Isle of Conquest. Thanks to all the players who have been airship-dropping, flag-capturing, glaive-thrower-riding, and general-killing, Blizzard has announced that they will be making some changes to the Isle of Conquest in the next iteration of the PTR build. The changes are as follows:
  • Increased all the gates' health from 300,000 to 600,000.
  • Increased the reinforcement count from 200 to 400.
  • Significantly increased the health and damage of the keep generals.
  • Reduced effect range of the siege damage caused by Seaforium. Both the player damage and the siege damage caused should be 10 yards now.
  • The Huge Seaforium piles will now despawn for 20 seconds once looted.
  • Glaive Thrower - Reduced the cooldown of Blade Salvo from 60 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • Glaive Thrower - Reduced movement speed.
  • Demolisher - The Hurl Boulder and Ram effects no longer share a cooldown.
  • Keep Cannons - Fixed a bug that was causing them to do much more damage than intended.
  • Keep Cannons - Can now be repaired once they are destroyed by clicking on them. This repair process takes 8 seconds and can be interrupted, similar to capturing a PvP objective.
  • Siege Engine - Significantly Increased health.
Zarhym thanks all the players for their invaluable input and encourage further testing and continued feedback on the PTR. The Battleground looks like a whole lot of fun, and the changes should lengthen the considerably short matches. See you guys on the battlefield... as soon as I get this blasted client patch to download, that is...
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Patch 3.2 PTR Isle of Conquest upcoming changes originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scattered Shots: A deeper look into the Patch 3.2 Hunter changes - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST
Welcome to Scattered Shots. I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from The Hunting Lodge and I'll be your tour guide each Thursday as we explore what makes our Hunters tick and how we can make them better.

Man, this has been a busy week for us Hunters or what? With each passing day it is becoming more and more evident that Patch 3.2 is on its way. Of course we have to remember that "on its way" to Blizzard could mean anything tomorrow to a few months. With that in mind, it is probably a good idea to take another deeper look at the proposed Patch 3.2 Hunter changes and see how they might impact both the PvE and PvP game.

Continue reading Scattered Shots: A deeper look into the Patch 3.2 Hunter changes

Scattered Shots: A deeper look into the Patch 3.2 Hunter changes originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 PTR: Koralon the Flame Watcher impressions - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:30:00 EST

The Public Test Realm for Patch 3.2 is in full swing, and even though the Argent Coliseum isn't available for testing just yet, there's a brand-new wing in Wintergrasp's Vault of Archavon housing a brand-new giant to beat up. Enter Koralon, the Flame Watcher.

He's a stout fellow, and you probably recognize his model, which he shares with Volkhan from Halls of Lightning and Ignis from Ulduar, replete with crotch-pot. And as you may have also guessed, he uses fire spells and abilities. He doesn't currently drop loot on the PTR, though I assume the distribution will be much the same as it is with Emalon -- two or so pieces of Tier 9 gear along with a lion's share of PVP items.

Impressions and strategy after the jump.

Continue reading Patch 3.2 PTR: Koralon the Flame Watcher impressions

Patch 3.2 PTR: Koralon the Flame Watcher impressions originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: Moorabi vs. Trollgore - Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

Charging ... goring ... exploding ... cannibalizing ... This week's Two Bosses Enter deathmatch is ugly, ugly, ugly. In the ring: Moorabi of Gundrak versus Trollgore of Drak'tharon Keep. It's going to be rough, and it's going to be bloody.

The ground rules:
  • Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
  • This match takes place in neutral territory, although the usual waves of Undead will come from ... someplace ... to accompany Trollgore.
  • Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Focus on the three S's: style, story and scale.
What's your theory on how this fight goes down? Leave your comment, then cast a vote for who you think will be left standing.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Moorabi vs. Trollgore

Two Bosses Enter: Moorabi vs. Trollgore originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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