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Wrath tops the PC sales charts for November - Sun, 28 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST
Surprised? You probably shouldn't be -- NPD has released the top sales list for November, and our favorite game is sitting right on top. In fact, the most interesting thing about the list is what's not on it: games. Wrath is at number one, followed up by such great titles like Office 2007 and Trend Micro Anti-virus. The collector's edition of Wrath comes in at number four, and after that it's all utilities except Call of Duty: World at War at number six and Spore at number 10.

That's a sad month for PC gaming, especially during a time when sales are supposed to be at their highest. Blizzard's leading the charge (and they're not leaving PC anytime soon), but they seem to be pretty much the only PC studio able to bring it home this year.

Videogame sales in general are doing just great: even in a bad economy, console companies -- both developers and retailers -- are seeing nice growth. But those saying PC gaming is dead will only have to point to November's sales for proof. Maybe in 2009 we can get a couple more titles quality enough to give World of Warcraft a run for its money.

Wrath tops the PC sales charts for November originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 28 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Shameless - Sun, 28 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

In today's episode of The Queue, I give our Facebook page another shameless plug. Have you seen it? Yes? Good! Let's move on, then.

Jonny Dale
asked...

I seem to remember a post on where to find all the +hit rating gear for casters, but I can't find this anywhere on WoWInsider search or Google. Anyone care to help?

Continue reading The Queue: Shameless

The Queue: Shameless originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 28 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard employee offering a lifetime pass to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Sun, 28 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST
Here's a cool way to donate some money to charity and have a chance at probably the best prize a WoW player could want. Katherine Allen is a Blizzard employee (our own Michael Sacco, formerly known as "Belfaire," says she's a friend) who's raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and she's offering a contest with each donation: by giving at least $25 and putting an Alliance or Horde comment on the donation page, she'll enter everyone who does so in a drawing to win one of three one-year timecards for the game. And because donations have already topped $5500 (as of this writing, they're at $7,420), she's picking one more name out of the hat, to win a lifetime subscription. That's right -- donate, win, and you'll never have to pay for WoW again.

Very nice -- not only is that an amazing prize, but it's awesome that because of the generosity of WoW fans, they've already met their fundraising goal for the society, and then some. Donations are being accepted until January 5th, so there's still time to get your name in the pot if you'd like. Even if you don't pick up a prize, you'll be helping to try and save the lives of 145 people a day, and while trouncing the Lich King is definitely a thrill, helping people in real life is even better.

Blizzard employee offering a lifetime pass to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 28 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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An avowed non-PvPer can't get enough of Lake Wintergrasp - Sun, 28 Dec 2008 12:10:00 EST


I've never been a fan of PvP. I have neither the twitch skills nor the patience to put up with being repeatedly ganked. I tried Battlegrounds and Arena, even some Burning Crusade world PvP, but the result is always the same: after getting a free ticket back to the graveyard courtesy of some Rogue that comes out of nowhere or a Warlock with their mez/fear/dot triple whammy I was done. Then came Lake Wintergrasp.

I admit that what first drew me there was greed. I heard that it was the richest source of mining nodes for the faction that controls it (as well as Eternal drops.) I was only level 73 when I first zoned in and knew I was going to get pwned by all the level 80s running amok, but to my surprise there turns out to be a feature that levels the playing field: siege vehicles.

Hoping into a catapult or manning a tower cannon eliminates the level difference between you and your opponent. In no time, I was laying waste to the enemy and racking up the Honor Points. I was suddenly having so much fun that I forgot to look for mining nodes (which is good, since the roaming mobs in the zone are level 80.)

Now, when I log on, the first thing I do is check how long until the next Wintergrasp battle starts (two and a half hours after the last one ends). For those who haven't tried any kind of WoW PvP I recommend trying your hand at piloting a Demolisher in Wintergrasp at least once. You may find yourself enjoying the game in a whole new way.
Whether or not you're a fan of PvP, we think you'll enjoy Wintergrasp. Blizzard's latest and greatest attempt at World PvP is one of the most fun aspects of Wrath of the Lich King, and the more people play it, the crazier it gets! Learn all about Wintergrasp in WoW Insider's complete guide.

An avowed non-PvPer can't get enough of Lake Wintergrasp originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 28 Dec 2008 12:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: That's a wipe - Sun, 28 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST


In my previous life as a raider, I was a participant in some pretty spectacular wipes: unfortunate healer blow-ups on Baron Geddon, surpise unstealths in the Suppression Room, and the always popular "let me target Golemagg from the bridge" accidental auto-shot pull. I was even the cause of one once, when a warrior paid me some much-needed gold to stealth around the Rajaxx event in AQ20 to get a coffer chest. It worked until ... it didn't, which resulted in a chain of eighty or so mobs chasing us to the gates. There were no survivors.

Gustav and friends have suffered an embarrasing death here in Zul'Farrak. Not only did they die on Gahr'zilla, but their bodies have been scattered around the instance, and Gustav has landed in the sky. Think they called it after this one?

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. 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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: That's a wipe originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 28 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Moo for Hulkor - Sun, 28 Dec 2008 09:00:00 EST
Although the holidays are beginning to simmer down, many people are still traveling, sleeping in, and otherwise busy with family or recreational activities. Check out this week's list of comics. It's short, but sweet!

Sunday Morning Funnies: Moo for Hulkor originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 28 Dec 2008 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Dailies and you - Sun, 28 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST


I know that daily quests are your best way to gain in-game fame (reputation) and fortune (gold), but despite being fully aware of this fact I can never quite make myself go through 25 of them in a day. No matter how alluring the rewards, available time and limited attention span always conspire to only allow me for a couple of dailies in my regular agenda. And while there are people out there who fill their days with dailies, with the number of daily options, everyone has to make choices on which quests to take and which to drop. So for today's topic: what choices do you make with your dailies? I like to do Defending Wyrmrest Temple (riding a dragon into combat with other dragons just never gets old), pick up the daily dungeon (and/or daily heroic) when I have time, and whatever else I happen to run across in my travels. What are your "don't miss" dailies?

Breakfast Topic: Dailies and you originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sun, 28 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AchievementTracker tracks achievements across the realms - Sat, 27 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST
Reader Jeffrey R. was kind enough to send us his achievement tracking site, named (conveniently) AchievementTracker.com. We've seen quite a few sites for tracking achievements on your own character out there already (especially since the Armory opened up the information to the web), but unlike the others, AchievementTracker seems to be focusing on ranking only -- instead of browsing over your own information, all the site really presents is a list of the top players in the world, US, EU, or by the various realms.

There are a few caveats, the first being that they're only tracking characters above level 70, and the second being that they're not tracking everyone -- I had to put my own character into the system (though that won't matter if you're just looking for the top players, since I would never even rank on any lists anyone was watching). And while WoW-Achievements has Beelsebub of EU Darksorrow at number one and Minipuff of EU Stormscale in second place so far, AchievementTracker has them backwards (and their point totals are lower -- maybe Armory lag?).

And of course we don't know for sure if there's someone on the realms that neither of these sites are tracking with more achievement points (it may be worth noting, too, that beyond Armory links, neither site tells us much about the characters -- is there a class or spec that's better for achievement point earning?). It'll probably take a little while until we can get a standard for tracking these, but until then, looks like we'll have a few different lists to watch.

AchievementTracker tracks achievements across the realms originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 27 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: The best and worst of 2008 - Sat, 27 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST



Each year, Arcane Brilliance cooks up 52 columns about Mages, each one roasted at precisely the right temperature for precisely the right amount of time (usually a couple hours on Saturday morning over a soggy bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, to be honest). As we arrive at the 52nd week of 2008, Arcane Brilliance would like to thank each and every one of the Mages who come here every weekend to celebrate our wonderful class by reading a giant, well-cooked wall of text. Arcane Brilliance would also like to say to the Warlocks who come here to mock us and drink our delicious tears, "We hope your felhound eats you."


Wow, so 2008, huh?

A lot of things happened this year, right? Crazy.

We here at Arcane Brilliance thought that since next week's column will be posted in 2009, we should take a moment this week to remember the year that was, and what it meant to all of us who walk the path of magic. There were some pretty high highs, and some exceptionally low lows, so we figured it would be fun to throw the highs into a ring with the lows and let them fight to the death. Join us after the break to see who wins!

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: The best and worst of 2008

Arcane Brilliance: The best and worst of 2008 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 27 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A Merry Christmas with the Lich King - Sat, 27 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST


You might have thought Christmas was over, but not so fast -- there's one more terrible almost undead overlord who wants to wish you a merry one. Yes it's Arthas himself -- reader Adam Beamish sent us these pictures of himself (at least we think it's him -- he made the costume anyway) dressed up as a jolly... well, somewhat jolly old Death Knight, and they are hilarious.

Brilliant. The costume is great (even if the idea of Arthas as St. Nick is a little silly), and the pictures, by Brooks Reynolds, are very well done. One question, though: where's the candy cane Frostmourne?

A Merry Christmas with the Lich King originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 27 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BigRedKitty: Armor penetration stinks - Sat, 27 Dec 2008 14:00:00 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.

"Dude, I've got two almost identical pieces of chest-armor, one has more Crit and one has more Armor Penetration. Which of these should I equip: the Gilded Ringmail Hauberk or the Razorstrike Breastplate?"

"Dude, you need the Armor Pen! Grab the Hauberk, the Armor Pen-chest!"

"Seriously, you think Arm Pen is good?'

"Dude! It's so sweet! It reduces the enemy's armor so it totally ramps-up your DPS!"

"Sweet! I'm totally down with the Hauberk."

/vendor Breastplate

This is what it sounds like, when Hunters cry.

Continue reading BigRedKitty: Armor penetration stinks

BigRedKitty: Armor penetration stinks originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 27 Dec 2008 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW, Casually: Loot - Sat, 27 Dec 2008 12:00:00 EST


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime.

Ah the holidays. It's a time for families and friends getting together, children laughing, peace on Azeroth... and loot. Lots and lots of loot. Buying loot. Giving loot. Getting loot. Whether in the real world or in-game, when this time of year comes around, loot is all around us. So it seems as good a time as any to talk about casual players and loot.

I've actually wanted to tackle this topic ever since a comment in the leveling before Wrath column. Commenter Rob said that for speedy leveling, you should never loot unless you need to -- implying only for collection quests. So I want to spend a little time explaining my position on looting.

Continue reading WoW, Casually: Loot

WoW, Casually: Loot originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 27 Dec 2008 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Year-ending WoW Insider Show live this afternoon - Sat, 27 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST


Our podcast will be live once again this afternoon (3:30 pm eastern), and since it's been a relatively slow week with the holiday and all, we're going to spend today's show looking back at the top 10 posts of the last year. Co-lead Dan O'Halloran will be on board with us, as will Adam Holisky, and unless Turpster is still in too much of a haze from his holiday festivities last week, he should be around as well. Should be a great time.

If you want to join us, feel free -- we'll be live over on Ustream at 3:30pm Eastern (and I've also embedded the feed right after the break on this very post). As always, you can email us as well, at theshow@wowinsider.com (and that's also the place to send your intros, as we said on last week's show -- we've gotten a few amazing ones already, so you'll hear our first one on the show today). And if you do stop by the show, make sure to save some time to stay afterwards, as we've been doing a quick, exclusive aftershow after we stop the usual recordings.

We'll see you this afternoon for the very last WoW Insider Show of 2008, and a look at the most popular posts on the site over the last 12 months.

Continue reading Year-ending WoW Insider Show live this afternoon

Year-ending WoW Insider Show live this afternoon originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 27 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Don't tell Mom the babysitter's undead - Sat, 27 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST


Hey, son. Your mom and I are going out to see a movie, so we've gotten Doug to watch you again tonight. He just got back from spring break in Icecrown, so we thought he could probably use a little cash. What's that? You don't want Doug to babysit? But you really liked him last time. What's different now? He smells bad and his clothes are ripped? I thought I taught you better than to judge people on their appearances. He's in college, for crying out loud, they all dress like that these days. Anyway, I left dinner in the fridge, no TV until after homework, and Doug wants you to roll around in the eleven herbs and spices we left on the counter and hit yourself with the meat tenderizer for half an hour. Have fun!

(Thanks to Zónbi of <Casually Hardcore> on Eitrigg for the screenshot!)

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. 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, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Don't tell Mom the babysitter's undead originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 27 Dec 2008 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Soloing your way to a new ride - Sat, 27 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST
As Elizabeth observed a few days ago, there are certain pleasures to being 80. Even if you haven't gotten a shiny drop from a raid or a heroic yet, or finished grinding your way to exalted with a Wrath faction, you have one thing that absolutely no one can take away from you: an ever-increasing chance to leave classic and Burning Crusade-level mobs swinging fruitlessly at the air, completely unable to hit you.

Just writing that gives me a disturbingly evil smile, because one of the things I've enjoyed most since hitting 80 is soloing heroic Sethekk in pursuit of the Raven Lord mount. Hi there, Syth. Remember the days when you used to mop the floor with my furry ass? I do, and this dish of revenge is being served to you at the proper temperature, courtesy of the frigid Northrend climate. How does it feel to be killed just because you're on the way to something bigger?

Continue reading Breakfast Topic: Soloing your way to a new ride

Breakfast Topic: Soloing your way to a new ride originally appeared on WoW Insider on Sat, 27 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: The Fleshshaper - Fri, 26 Dec 2008 21:00:00 EST


Running Heroics? Want to stab stuff? Keep an eye out for this dagger.

Name: The Fleshshaper (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowdigger)
Type: Epic One-hand Dagger
Damage/Speed: 206-310 / 1.80 (143.3 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +22 Agility, +58 Stamina
  • Improves hit rating by 27, and attack power by 76

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: The Fleshshaper

Phat Loot Phriday: The Fleshshaper originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Dec 2008 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Phoning it in edition - Fri, 26 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST


Hello? Guys? Anyone home? If you were to knock WoW Insider's office door, you probably wouldn't get an answer this weekend, as most of the WoW Insider team seems to be /afk for the holidays. At least we're pretty sure we actually have more writers than are listed here -- and at least two of those only responded to our WRUP call-out by cell phone. Whether you're in game or out this weekend, we hope you're having a happy Winter Veil!

Alex Ziebart: I'm not really playing at all until the new computer parts I ordered gets to my house. The most I can do is fish in the back of Ironforge or my video card overheats. I play vicariously through my guildmates in guild chat when I'm not leveling a random alt's fishing. Someone narrating Wintergrasp to me is totally the same as being there, right?
Amanda Miller: I have been gathering presents for all of my alts, as well as working on the Merrymaker title. I've also been leveling my Death Knight through Northrend, although right now I'm trying to catch up on her Blacksmithing.

For the rest of the team, read on!

Continue reading WRUP: Phoning it in edition

WRUP: Phoning it in edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Dec 2008 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Azeroth Ethicist: Why (or why not) to take a player - Fri, 26 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST
I had a lot of fun reading the comments on two articles we ran concerning a knotty moral issue, and readers wrote a lot of interesting things about how the problem could be considered from both an ingame and nongame perspective.

This article's about a problem that's existed since the game's launch, but seems to have become more common since Wrath's release due to a substantial demographic shift with plate classes (more on this in a bit). Simply put; is it appropriate to turn down a potential member of a group over loot competition? Players generally don't want to face the prospect of losing a roll, especially if they've been endlessly running a dungeon trying to get a particular piece. But while you'll get a lot of sympathy if you've run, say, heroic Nexus 17 times trying to get the War Mace of Unrequited Love, people will generally elect to take a competitor if it's a choice between that and not doing the dungeon at all.

Continue reading The Azeroth Ethicist: Why (or why not) to take a player

The Azeroth Ethicist: Why (or why not) to take a player originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Dec 2008 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Sartharion and the Twilight Dragonflight - Fri, 26 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

We're back after our little holiday vacation, and I hope yours was way more fun than mine! Let's avoid going into detail and becoming a rambling pack of scrooges, and get into the Q&A instead! Let's start with Sl0th's very good question...

Why are we going to the Obsidian Sanctum? Sartharion doesn't seem to be doing anything except watching over eggs. He's not a direct threat to anyone like Onyxia or Nefarian were. He seems like just some random Black Dragon who's minding his own business, hanging out in the Black Dragonflight's area under Wyrmrest. Did I miss our rationale for wrecking up the place every week somewhere along the way?

Continue reading The Queue: Sartharion and the Twilight Dragonflight

The Queue: Sartharion and the Twilight Dragonflight originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Raiding Gear - Fri, 26 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST
This will most likey be a multi-part series. I know next week we'll be talking about the Warrior 2008 year in review, discussing talent changes and so much more, so it may be an interrupted series. With the new raiding system (normal and heroic raids), tier gear, emblem gear and non-affiliated drops, there's a lot of gear to talk about in the raid game.

Lately, in fact, I've noticed that 10 and 25 man raiding seems to flow back and forth into each other. I can be DPS in a 25 man Sarth run, then the run breaks up into two 10 mans and I'm asked to tank in one, then we recombine for a Vault of Archavon 25 man and split up again for two 10 mans. To be fair, we often do 25 man content with less than 25 people, possibly because it's Decemeber and a lot of folks are away for the holidays, which may be encouraging our raid swapping behavior. Or maybe we're just trying to get as much loot for people as we can.

My intention is to cover a raid in normal and heroic before moving on to the next raid, and then to cover Emblem of Herois and Valor rewards at a later date, but I'm open to being convinced otherwise.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Raiding Gear

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Raiding Gear originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 26 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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