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Spiritual Guidance: The sweet 40 - 60 - Sun, 28 Sep 2008 18:00:00 EST


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. For the next few weeks (unless it's something game breaking), Matt will do his best to guide you through the Priest leveling process!

By now, you'll have learned most of the spells you'll be using at end game. If you've been crafty, you might have been able to land instance runs to hone your abilities as a healer (or DPS if you're of the Shadow sort). I won't focus as much on spells here on out although I will list anything significant on the way to 60. Instead, I'll explore the various zones and instances that you can (and should) do.

Continue reading Spiritual Guidance: The sweet 40 - 60

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Ask a Beta Tester: More mounts, raid gear, and emotes - Sun, 28 Sep 2008 17:00:00 EST

We have a few more questions about the passenger mounts today, but a lot of Mammoth-related questions are repeats of ones we've answered previously. So if you still have a question about them after today, I recommend checking the last few editions of Ask a Beta Tester to see if it's been answered already. Now, let's get started with Iceman's question...

Are the flying passenger mounts? Ground mounts are lovely and all, but once everyone takes to the skies will they become useless to everyone with cold weather flying?

I haven't seen any flying passenger mounts yet. Whether the passenger ground mounts are 'useless' or not with Cold Weather Flying is really up to the individual. You can still use it in the old world, you can still use the Mammoth's vendors. There are also places like Lake Wintergrasp where flying is turned off permanently so you don't 'cheat' and skip over all of the fighting to get from Point A to Point B. You and a bunch of your friends charging people down in a huge Mammoth is sweet.

If you don't care about any of that stuff though, yeah it could be seen as useless. It's an optional purchase, though. You don't need to spend the money if you don't want to do so.

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: More mounts, raid gear, and emotes

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All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a night elf - Sun, 28 Sep 2008 15:03:00 EST
This installment of All the World's a Stage is the seventh in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

The night elves are probably the most difficult race to roleplay well in all the World of Warcraft, which is particularly ironic considering how very popular they are. Many a roleplayer has been disappointed by seeing player character night elves who are 21 years old, who were born in Darnassus or Teldrassil, or whose mother or father is human -- all of which would be next to impossible according to the actual lore of the game. The only way to make things like this is to change the lore to suit your own preferences, or to rely on cliche devices such as time travel and special magics which really go too far into the realm of the abominably self-centered Mary Sue.

Night elves can also be difficult to understand, and full of contradictions: they can be over 10,000 years old, and yet they often do not possess the vast wisdom that would seem to come with such an age; they are deeply connected to nature, and yet they sometimes act without the blessings of nature; their women are supposed to be very fierce warriors, and yet their animation in the game has them bouncing up and down like teenage girls at their favorite boy-band concert.

And yet much of this is just the sort of thing that draws people to the night elves. There's a youthful passion combined with ancient grace and sadness that many roleplayers just love to get into. Also, for those who love to develop long and complex background stories for their characters, there is a great deal of history about the night elves' ancient past which can serve as good inspiration for many of your own character's life events. We won't go into every detail of ancient history today, however; instead we'll cover the basics that you'll need to know in order to start out with a night elf that fits in the Warcraft story, and direct you to some more resources if you'd like to make one with a really deep and complicated background.

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

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The return of incoming warrior changes - Sun, 28 Sep 2008 12:01:00 EST


Once again Ghostcrawler strikes with the fury of her scuttling avatar, depositing a myriad of changes for warriors.

What, may you ask, are these changes? Well, while I'll replicate the entirety of her post after the jump for those of us who have trouble accessing the forums for whatever reason, here's a big change to tide you over.

Remember Thunder Clap? Sure, we all do. It has no target limit anymore. Wrap your heads around this, the single most requested change to warrior tanking since paladins began consecrate spamming their way through dungeons. Combined with a threat increase and our new Damage Shield talent, warriors will finally be viable AoE tanks.

For the entirely of Ghost's post, we adjourn to after the jump. Leap with me!

Continue reading The return of incoming warrior changes

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Around Azeroth: Stop dragon my heart around - Sun, 28 Sep 2008 10:00:00 EST

Image-related spoiler warning, by popular demand! Around Azeroth continues below.

Continue reading Around Azeroth: Stop dragon my heart around

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Mob evolution - Sun, 28 Sep 2008 09:00:00 EST
Sunday is the day to catch up on your homework, chores, Brewfest hangover, and the week's worth of WoW-related web comics. Because I cannot help you with your homework for ethical reasons, and I'm allergic to your chores, I compiled a comic list for you instead!

Humor


Humor with a plot-line

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Breakfast Topic: Dialing back your game - Sun, 28 Sep 2008 08:00:00 EST


Ever since the whole 10-man/25-raiding split for Wrath was announced, there's been murmurs of fear from many raiders that the large scale raid will become a thing of the past, as people decide that they can see content just fine in 10-man groups. I noticed the subject come up again today over on Lume the Mad's blog (not to be confused with the awesomer Lum the Mad's blog): A guild on Proudmoore, Renaissance, has decided to scale back to 10 man raiding for Wrath of the Lich King. They have why, but Lume opines a bit on why: easier bosses, less hassle herding 10 people than 25 people, and stuff such as that.

The reminder of the debate actually sort of got me thinking in a less controversial vein. I myself scaled back my game a bit from original WoW to the Burning Crusade expansion. In the original game, I was a relatively dedicated raider. Not the most uber, and probably still more casual than most, but I did regularly participate in 40-mans and tried to bring my consumables and my resist gear and be on time most nights.

However, with Burning Crusade, I decided to retire from the raid game. I felt I was just spending too much time farming stuff to raid, I had more real world obligations to deal with, and I felt that spending 2-3 hours in Ahn'Qiraj or Blackwing Lair 2-3 days a week just wasn't how I wanted to spend my playtime. So, come BC, I decided to stick to 10-mans. Not that there were many, but I figured Karazhan would be about the pinnacle of my game for BC, and that was just fine.

So, anyway, here's my question: Are you or your guild planning to scale back your game for Wrath? Are you dropping 25-mans for 10-mans? Retiring from Arena play? Dropping out of raiding altogether? What reasons have made you decide to try a new slower paced playstyle in Northrend?

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BlizzCon 08 tournament brackets revealed - Sat, 27 Sep 2008 20:00:00 EST
The other day, Blizzard posted the brackets for the upcoming Starcraft, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft Arena tournaments at BlizzCon.

I don't follow every little motion in the WoW Arena community, but there is one team that jumped out at me immediately: Orz. They've won a few tournaments already, and in a way they're the 'face' of the Arena, if that makes any sense. As Zach Yonzon mentioned awhile back in one of his columns, every sport, no matter how big or small, has its stars. Even eSports. Here in the states, Orz is one of those star teams. Rhaegyn, Glick and Hafu are definitely the players to watch in this tournament. It looks like they've picked up a new sponsor since I last saw them in action, so I'd like to extend a belated congratulations to them on that.

Of course, this tournament also includes the Korean team Council of Mages, which won the tournament at WWI08. Pretty much every team on the bracket has done some great work in the Arena already, and the tourney should be really exciting no matter who walks away with the win and the grand prize of $25,000 per player.

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Ask a Beta Tester: Multi-passenger mounts and Enchanting - Sat, 27 Sep 2008 18:00:00 EST

Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, where we answer your questions about the Wrath of the Lich King beta! We had quite a few questions regarding the multi-passenger mounts coming in Wrath, so we'll mostly focus on those. That's not all we have today, but most of it. Our first question is from JPN...

What does the tooltip mean for the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth where it says it carries vendors?


It means just that! It comes with two vendors. One sells reagents (including poisons) and the other sell trade supplies, like thread and parchment. The trade supplies vendor also sells some statless fashion clothing.

If you're not using the vendors and want to let your buddies hop on, there will be an Eject button to throw the vendors off and make room for your friends. And yes, only people in your party or raid can get on your vehicles. No random strangers will be jumping on your mammoth or motorcycle.

Continue reading Ask a Beta Tester: Multi-passenger mounts and Enchanting

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Arcane Brilliance: The state of the Mage - Sat, 27 Sep 2008 17:00:00 EST



This week, Arcane Brilliance would like to address all Mages everywhere, from level 1 to level 80, in a spirit of optimism and brotherhood. We only have a little over six weeks left before the release of Wrath, and we need to come together as one Mage...one freakish, mutant Mage with a million arms and legs and wands sticking out all over the place...one giant, horrific ball of flesh, cloth, and silly hats that could hurl a Pyroblast roughly the size of a planet. Let's do it! I'm pretty sure if we all stand facing each other like so...and then blink at the same time...oh sweet mother of all that is good and pure...that's awful...just...just nevermind. We'll clean that up later.


My fellow Azerothians...

We've been through a lot these past four years and change. There was the great respeccing crisis of Molten Core. A string of Blink mishaps. The table-ninjaing scandal of '07. We've Fireballed our way through the scourge invasion, the rise of the silithid, the opening of the Dark Portal. We've killed Ragnaros, Kel-Thuzad, Nefarian, Onyxia, Illidan, and on like 14 separate occasions, Kael'thas Sunstrider. We've emerged unscathed from the bloody, neverending Southshore/Tarren Mill conflict (though countless questgivers and flight masters were lost), and moved on to more organized, focused wars in the various battlegrounds. These were battles with a clear purpose, an attainable goal, and with the notable exception of Warsong Gulch, a firm timetable for troop removal.

Fortunately, throughout all of these conflicts, the economy has remained strong. Seriously, have you seen the price of Runecloth lately?

So now, my fellow Mages, it is time for us to look closely at the state of our glorious class. We know where we've been, and where we are now. We're fully aware of our past, and we know where we want to be as the future rushes toward us. Let's take a constructive look at our unresolved concerns, and try to foretell our place in the coming expansion. Follow me through the break, won't you?

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: The state of the Mage

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Best Buy Canada not looking forward to Wrath of the Lich King - Sat, 27 Sep 2008 16:00:00 EST


Hawkawkari of Khaz Modan sent us this one -- apparently somebody on the Best Buy Canada site is a little miffed about some expansion news, and it's showing up in their description text for the game. There's some QQ in there about siege vehicles ("1% chance to drop, bind on pickup"), a "hairstyling" profession for Blood Elves and Night Elves, and a special "Unbalance Game" power for Death Knights "on a one-patch time limit cooldown." Pretty funny.

I thought this was just a case of Best Buy cutting and pasting from another more informal site, but Google doesn't find the same text anywhere else, so this might actually be a disgruntled WoW player in their system writing out a fairly biased description. The text still says a release date hasn't been announced (and of course it has) so look for the text to change soon (just in case it does, the full text is after the jump). But wherever you are, disgruntled WoW player, thanks for the laugh.

Continue reading Best Buy Canada not looking forward to Wrath of the Lich King

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Jepetto Joybuzz and the Dalaran toy store - Sat, 27 Sep 2008 15:00:00 EST

Dalaran's local toymaker, Jepetto Joybuzz, has added some new items to his stock in the last few beta patches. Each one just as overpriced as the last! His items have no real use as far as combat and stats and that sort of thing, they're just for fun. They're toys! What did you expect? Let's take a look at what he has to offer.
  • Grindgear Toy Gorilla - This one-use summoned pet will cost you 45 silver. It emulates Egbert from Children's Week, running all over the place like his butt is aflame. He only lasts 20 seconds, then disappears. It almost feels like that's a bug, that the item should disappear because you learned it like other pets, but it doesn't seem like that's the case. The item specifically lists a cooldown, and you can buy multiples. They stack.
  • Trusty Copper Racer - For 30 silver, you can buy this race car that looks like the goblin podracer in the Shimmering Flats. It travels 20 yards, then... disappears. With the item. Hm. This one is kind of lame.

Continue reading Jepetto Joybuzz and the Dalaran toy store

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BigRedKitty: Gorilladin - Sat, 27 Sep 2008 13:30:00 EST


Daniel Howell contributes
BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

So fighting level 62 fel orcs with a level 74 hunter doesn't impress you? OK, we can see that. A Gorilladin -- gorilla + paladin = Gorilladin! -- has to be able to tank stuff his own level, right? Right.

We're going to "spoiler" you then, and show you a Gorilladin at work in Sholazar Basin. If you don't want to see any new content, do not watch the movie.

But if you want to boggle at the best grinding and leveling hunter-pet you've ever seen, and want to know why we recommend every hunter of every spec grab a gorilla and level him to 70 as soon as the next big patch comes out, click the movie, foshizzle.

Gorillas will change the way you play your hunter. We're not kidding.

You are invited to download the YouTube version (30MB) of this movie here, and the full-sized version (177MB) here.

As always, a great big Thank You to the WoW Insider editors for allowing us to publish this movie both here and on our little blog at the same time!
From his video guides to Karazhan For Hunter Dummies, nobody covers raid Hunters like BRK. Looking for more Hunter goodness? Check out our non-raid Hunter column, Scattered Shots or the WoW Insider Directory of Hunter Guides.

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Around Azeroth: Shoulda taken that left at Albuquerque - Sat, 27 Sep 2008 10:00:00 EST

Oi! This... this don' look like Brewfest. Coren? Hurley? Lads? Where'd ye go? By Ragnaros' fiery teets, I'm not in Khaz Modan am I? Bloody hell, it's impossible to steer these contraptions! Ach... well, let's get a good look a' where we are, then we can work on the gettin' back part, aye?

Oh. Crap.

Reader James submitted this image to us, and we're always looking for more! Serious pictures, funny pictures, or downright bizarre pictures, we'll take them all. Just remember to remove your UI first (alt+z), then send them to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com with a short description. If you'd like, include your WoW character's name and server as well so we know who to thank for the screenshots!

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Lichborne: Of Cabbages and Kings - Sat, 27 Sep 2008 09:00:00 EST


Welcome to Lichborne, where each weekend, Daniel Whitcomb helps you keep pace with the ever-changing Death Knight class.

This week, While Death Knight tweaks continue, there's no big piece of news that really stands out. We got a nice bump in damage to our base weapon strikes, Death Coil, and the abilities that mimic them in the talent trees in the latest build. Unfortunately, poor Plague Strike still sits at a sort of dismal 30% weapon damage, meaning it still doesn't feel like it scales as well as it should. But preliminary reports are still that it's a noticeable DPS increase.

At the same time, our PvP utility and survivability was nerfed, but not in completely unexpected ways. Chains of Ice is dispellable again, as the devs felt that between it and Death Grip, it was far too hard to get away from a Death Knight. Again, this nerf is somewhat expected, if not needed, although some argue the nerf is unfair in the face of other classes that have similar abilities to ensnare and entrap opponents. I have to admit that I'm hoping we see, at the least, Chains of Ice getting put on Virulence. If nothing else, that Glyph of Blood Boil is looking a lot nicer.

Still, none of the news really jumps out and grabs me, and with the beta patches coming fast and furious, it's hard to write with any authority on something that may be changed next week. With that in mind, I've decided this week to post on a potpourri of odds and ends from around the World of Warcraft as they relate to Death Knights, both stuff that refers back to previous columns and new observations. Read on:

Continue reading Lichborne: Of Cabbages and Kings

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Skill Mastery: Improved Fire Nova Totem - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 20:00:00 EST


I'm having a lot of fun playing an Elemental Shaman in the Wrath beta. As Mike described in Skill Mastery: Thunderstorm, we have some fun new talents to play with and I hope we get to keep most of them. The new talent I'm highlighting today is Improved Fire Nova Totem.

To the right you can see the stats for the Fire Nova Totem at level 71 without taking the Improvement talent. However, 20 points into the Elemental talent tree, you can spec Improved Fire Nova Totem. If you take both talent points, you'll slash the time it takes for the totem to activate and you'll add some handy bonuses to the spell.

First, the timing. The unimproved Fire Nova Totem takes 3 seconds to fire, but for each talent point you put into Improved Fire Nova Totem, it procs one second faster. So, if you spec both points, it will only take one second for the Fire Nova to explode after you drop it. With only a 15 second cooldown on the spell, that means you can use this bad-boy several times during a PvE fight.

Continue reading Skill Mastery: Improved Fire Nova Totem

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Insider Trader: Armorsmiths vs. weaponsmiths - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 19:30:00 EST
I received a question over the tip line from an armorsmith this morning who is considering switching to weaponsmith because he is dissatisfied with his profession.

Player regrets surrounding a chosen specialization, or even profession, are common and happen to almost everyone at one time or another.

JDT writes that he is "extremely disappointed" with armorsmithing and what he is able to make, and that one of his reasons for possibly switching to weaponsmithing is that he theorizes it would be helpful to be able to pass down weapons to his alts that cannot wear plate.

Unfortunately JDT, anything that you craft as either a weaponsmith or an armorsmith is not only bind on pick-up, but it also requires you to have that specialization in order to wield/wear it.

That being said, there are blacksmithing plans for weapons and armor floating around that are bind on equip and can be passed along, but those can be made by any blacksmith regardless of specialization.

This week I will begin comparing the various armorsmith and weaponsmith pieces to the first non-crafted upgrades in order to illustrate the value of each item and help each class and spec come to an informed decision when it comes time to choose blacksmithing specialties.

Next week I'll finish out the comparison, as there is more than I can fit into this week's edition!

Continue reading Insider Trader: Armorsmiths vs. weaponsmiths

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Phat Loot Phriday: Hand of the Deciever - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 18:30:00 EST


The Warglaives get all the glory for being all Legendary, but when you want a mainhand melee and you're raiding at the top of the game, this is really what you'll want.

Name: Hand of the Deciever (Wowhead, Thottbot, WowDB)Type: Epic Main-hand Fist Weapon
Damage/Speed: 238-357/2.60 (114.4 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +28 Stamina, and you know by now what Stamina gives you. There's no Agility on it, so the Warglaive set is still likely a better option for Rogues if you were lucky enough to get that. But for anyone who needs a fist weapon in the main hand for melee, this is the Cadillac you want to be driving.
  • Two Yellow sockets, and there is where you can get everything you need that's not in the usual stats (some more crit, some extra Strength for Fury Warriors, or even some hit if you still need it). +6 Attack Power socket bonus, which is pretty weak, so socket with what you want on this one, and only go for yellow if it's all you need.
  • Increase Attack Power by 54, and your attacks ignore 196 of your opponent's armor. We need to mention Enhancement Shamans at this point -- while Rogues and Warriors pretty much get their pick of the litter for weapons, this kind of fist weapon is aimed squarely at Shammies, who aren't able to use the Warglaives or any of the other crazy swords at this level. That doesn't mean that this isn't a good weapon for a Warrior or a Rogue -- in certain situations and specs, it does rival the Warglaives for them. But this is an Enhancement Shaman weapon first and foremost -- because they aren't able to wield swords, this one's for them.
  • Ignoring armor is a tough mechanic to wrap your head around (and since you all know that I'm bad at math, I have a harder time with it). If you do have an item that ignores armor, it's best to stack it as much as possible with other items -- taking just a little armor off of a target that has tons of it won't help you too much. But taking a nice chunk of armor off, say, a clothie, helps your DPS out more. Here's a quick chart (that probably isn't necessarily up to date, but can probably work as a good guide). So as little as 500 armor ignored can help your DPS out by a few percentage points, but as you get further into more heavily armored targets, that DPS number goes down.
How to Get It: Drops from one of the last bosses in the game, Kalecgos Kil'jaeden (sorry, I've never been to either, mixed them up). Do we have to say anything besides that? If you're already in Sunwell, you know exactly where he is, and if you're not yet, then get to Sunwell first and then you can figure out. Odds are that if you're not raiding Sunwell by now, you probably won't see him before Wrath anyway. Drop him, have about a 15% chance that this item drops, be an Enhancement Shammy and convince all the Warriors and Rogues that this is really an item you deserve, and the Hand is yours.

Getting Rid of It: Fully socketed, you probably won't -- even in Northrend, this is a nice weapon to have in the main hand. Though you probably will be done with it before raiding gets underway at level 80, so then you can sell it back to vendors for 15g 65s 3c, or disenchant it into (probably two) Void Crystals.

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Typhoon bug dominates the Wrath beta - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 18:00:00 EST

Remember a few content patches ago, the PTR had a fun little bug where Warlocks had the spell effect of Seed of Corruption castable rather than the spell itself? So Warlocks had an infinite range, no cooldown, no global cooldown, mana free, instant Seed of Corruption? Remember the chaos that caused? Well, guess what? It happened again!

No, no, it wasn't Seed of Corruption this time. It happened with the new Druid spell Typhoon. Specifically Typhoon Rank 5. It's already been hotfixed, so don't bother trying it now- you missed out. If you want to see exactly what people were doing with this spell, just check out the video above.

I had a chance to experience a little of this firsthand, and it was impressive, to say the least. A Moonkin rolling up to an enemy faction's town and laying waste is just hilarious to see, though not so much after the tenth time. Remember, this thing didn't even trigger the Global Cooldown. Druids were running around with macros that cast this spell ten or twenty times simultaneously. Nothing could even hope to survive, especially when you got a bunch of them together. Five or six Moonkin in Naxx-25 was just absurd.

If you want to see more of the bug, the tipster that supplied the above video has a whole bunch of them. Balance Druids, I hope as many of you got in on this as possible. Everyone gets a turn to be horribly, hideously overpowered. That was yours.

[ Thanks, Bular! ]

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WoW Insider Show back live tomorrow - Fri, 26 Sep 2008 17:00:00 EST


Ok, people, it's time to get back on track. After a short vacation last week (we had to go prerecorded), the show is back live tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, and after a few week's absence, the inimitable Turpster is returning to the virtual airwaves with us. Amanda Dean will also be on, and planned topics of discussion include that whole Honor wipe deal (which some players aren't happy about), the ongoing Brewfest holiday (how are your tickets coming), and anything else new in the beta we'd like to talk about.

Additionally, thanks to listener Spacenerd, we'll have a giveaway -- if you want to pick up some extra special loot, make sure to tune into WoW Radio tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern to listen to how it all will go down. And we'll be in IRC live as well, at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel. Finally, if you'd like to email us questions, concerns, words or praise or just something silly, feel free: the email address is theshow@wowinsider.com.

Should be a great show tomorrow -- it'll be nice to get back into the vibe of things (and finally talk to Turpster again after so long), not to mention have a nice chat with all the IRC folks as well. Even if you've never heard the show live before, tomorrow would be a great day to listen in.

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