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World first of "Alone in the Darkness" a possible exploit - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST
We reported last week that a guild named Exodus on the US realm of Ysondre had come out of nowhere to topple the world first of the Heroic: Alone in the Darkness achievement, which requires that you bring down the biggest bad currently in the game, Yogg-Saron, with no help from any of the Keepers in Ulduar. But not so fast, says Serennia over at WoWRiot -- over on their forums Ensidia is claiming that Exodus used an exploit, and that their kill doesn't count at all. Apparently, having Thorim help on the fight keeps the "Immortal Guardians" in the last phase of the fight from being a problem, and without Thorim, you have to not only do the fight without his extra 10% damage bonus (each Keeper ups your DPS that much), but you have to deal with the Guardians messing up your melee classes, and oh yeah: they both heal and get healed by Yogg. Not that it's impossible to do it, but it's definitely not easy, and Ensidia claims that Exodus found a known exploit that allows you to evade the Guardians out completely, thus turning the last phase into a straight tank-and-spank, obviously much easier.

After that, it gets into some guild back and forth (Ensidia apparently did something that might have been an exploit on Hodir, and when people call them out on that, they say that the exploits were different -- Ensidia's tactic was just an interesting use of game mechanics, while the exploit Exodus is suspected of using is more of a cheat), but the fact remains that Exodus is clearly not a guild that anyone expected to clear what might be the toughest raiding achievement in the game before anyone else, and yet that's exactly what they did. Ensidia says they won't be killing Yogg for the achievement using the exploit, and that they've reported the Exodus kill to the devs, so we'll have to see if the devs decide that Exodus did cheat, or if they let Exodus keep their achievements and mounts. We're not sure how much it all matters, with world first kills not being all that important any more (and that's exactly what the devs might say as well), but Ensidia is claiming that an exploit took place -- we'll have to see if that turns out to be true.

Thanks, Nimrod!

World first of "Alone in the Darkness" a possible exploit originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2: Tier 9 set bonuses changed in new PTR build - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:21:00 EST


The Patch 3.2 PTR has been updated to a new build, and the set bonuses for many Tier 9 sets have been changed or updated. In the update, they made the priest set bonuses not terrible! And the updated Elemental shaman ones aren't terrible now either!

I guess the feedback from the threads Ghostcrawler posted has been going to good use. But don't forget -- if you're still unsatisfied, say so on the proper forums and make your voice heard.

Otherwise, check 'em out below! Thanks to WOTLKWiki.info for mining these so quickly.

Continue reading Patch 3.2: Tier 9 set bonuses changed in new PTR build

Patch 3.2: Tier 9 set bonuses changed in new PTR build originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Goodnight, sweet prince - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:05:00 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.

This weekend marked the end of an era, my friends. A champion (cheater) of the people (Gnomes) has fallen from grace (the thumbnails at the top of our site). The people (you guys) have shouted to the rooftops (our comments), "Down with oppression (martial arts techniques)! Down with corruption (GM lewts)!"

So it is done.

JustSaying asked...


"Can someone please change those 4 pictures near the top of WoW.com's page? I'm tired of seeing that stupid gnome head every time I come to this site."

Since you asked so nicely, Karatechop has been replaced.

Spidey asked...

"I've been leveling an alt (Troll Hunter) recently and decided to go mining/engineering, mostly for the bow/gun enchants and the like. I just leveled engineering to 200 and decided to go grab my Goblin Engineering membership. While doing the quest for membership I realized that the Alliance have Gnomes as a playable class, but how come the Horde doesn't have Goblins? In fact, Alliance has two "small people" races (Gnomes and Dwarves). Any chance the Horde will ever get Goblins or anything smaller than the Forsaken? I think Goblins would be cool, or dare I say, Murlocs as playable races."

Continue reading The Queue: Goodnight, sweet prince

The Queue: Goodnight, sweet prince originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Faction changes coming to the World of Warcraft - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:06:00 EST


As if the Engineering changes today weren't enough for you, Nethaera has just announced a major bombshell:

Blizzard is implementing a faction switching service.

There is no immediate indication if this will be a free service or a pay service, however based on their past name change, character appearance, and server transfer services it likely will carry with it a small fee.

People have been talking about the ability for characters to switch races and factions for a long time. It appears to finally be here. Neth mentions that "the basic idea is that players will be able to use the service to transform an existing character into a roughly equivalent character of the opposing faction on the same realm."

She goes on to say that this will be carefully orchestrated to limit the impact in gameplay, and that they don't have all the details worked out yet. There are a lot of things to work out in this - mounts, quests, tabards, pets, achievements, etc... You don't really want to see a Blood Elf Paladin riding around on a Human Charger.

Stay tuned for more information on this very cool change as it's released.

The full announcement after the break.

Continue reading Faction changes coming to the World of Warcraft

Faction changes coming to the World of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Spirit Beast pet found - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST


Hunters, patch 3.2 also means a new spirit beast for you to obsessively tame. Once again Mania's Arcania proves itself to be the go-to site for information about new pets. Since I know I'm going to be spending a lot of time wandering around looking for this new pet model, here's the skinny: there will be a new spirit beast in patch 3.2, it's name is Skoll and unlike the current spirit beasts Loque'nahak and Gondria, this one uses a saberworg model (the new Northrend worg model introduced in Wrath of the Lich King). It's still a spirit beast with prowl and spirit strike.

All we know so far is that it is apparently a non-hostile tameable mob when you first encounter it and that you'll need to comb the Storm Peaks Snowdrift Plains for a chance to tame it. All I can say is good luck, you obsessive pet collectors, and even better luck to those of us who know one. I predict a lot of time spent taming things in the snow.

New Spirit Beast pet found originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 upcoming Engineering changes - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:03:00 EST


Zarhym has just released some major Engineering changes for the upcoming Patch 3.2. These changes are a long time coming for those of the Engineering profession, and many folks will be quite pleased by them. There are 19 total changes that Zarhym announced - that's quite a lot for any patch.

Some of the ones that stand out include:
  • Mind Amplification Dish - Head enchant, allows engineers to control other humans. Does not work in Arenas, sometimes reverses targets.
  • Portable Wormhole Generator for Northrend - Allows the engineer to travel about Northrend Deep Space 9 style.
  • Repair Bot Jeeves - A repair bot for the entire raid, who also allows bank access for 350+ engineers. Jeeves is not destroyed on use, and can be summoned once per hour. Schematic is apparently randomly hidden within another summonable bot.
  • A Steam-Powered Auctioneer has been added to the Dalaran Like Clockwork engineering shop, allowing access to one's faction Auction House. The Steam-Powered Auctioneer was programmed with a superiority chip, and will only interact with Grand Master engineers.
Take a look after the break for the complete list.

Continue reading Patch 3.2 upcoming Engineering changes

Patch 3.2 upcoming Engineering changes originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fields of Honor on sale tomorrow - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


Ahh the smell of fresh loot in the air, it must be summer. Well, fans of loot cards and the official Trading Card Game, I bet you have your calendar marked. Tomorrow sees the release of the latest - and possibly greatest - TCG expansion Fields of Honor. Yes, you too could have your very own El Pollo Grande, the greatest mount in the entire history of Azeroth. We've mentioned this thing was rarer than a spectral tiger's tooth, right? Indeed our very own Turpster has been raving about his (insert slightly rude giant chicken joke here) all week.

The best part that is the cards were activated in an earlier patch so you can use them as soon as you find one. No more waiting for 3.1.x or even 3.2. Just to recap, the Fields of Honor loot consists of El Pollo Grande, the Ogre Pinata and the groovy Path of Cenarius. You can also take a peek at Upper Deck's loot card preview page for some really cool screenshots.

But here's the best part. After the success of our last EU giveaway, Upper Deck International here in the UK have very kindly given us a set of shiny European loot cards. Isn't that nice of them? We certainly think so! We're going to give them away during this week's maintenance so check back then.

Fields of Honor on sale tomorrow originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show Episode 96: Tips aplenty - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST
We went live with the WoW Insider Show yet again last Saturday, and this one was a good one: not only did Turpster and Lesley Smith join us, but we were also graced with the presence of Michelle Madison, of the podcasts Warcraft Outsiders and Video Game Outsiders. She was kind enough to make it past all of our inside jokes (she agreed it was prounounced "Fah-jord," which is as it should be) and mixed it up with some great discussion, including about the Midsummer Fire Festival, the new Tier 9 gear coming to the game (and the lore figures they named it after), and whether including quest objectives on the official map dumbs things down too much (spoiler: we basically said no).

It was an excellent show, and you can tune in to hear it by following any of the links below, or subscribing to our feed right over on iTunes itself (that guarantees you get the new shows every single Monday). We'll be back next week as always, so be sure to tune back in then.

Oh, and while we have you, keep an eye out soon for more information about what we're doing at BlizzCon. We've already scheduled our meetup on Thursday night around 8pm, but we haven't announced a location yet, so look for that soon. And if you aren't going to be in Anaheim, worry not -- we'll be streaming a special episode live from the meetup (with video, if everything works out as planned), so you'll be able to join us virtually. Will be really fun, so stay tuned.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

WoW Insider Show Episode 96: Tips aplenty originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fishing for profit - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


I'm an admitted and proud fishing junkie, but had long ago resigned myself to the fact that my favorite ingame pasttime was never going to be a source of revenue. But Alterac Volley has a great post on the degree to which fishing has actually (gasp, shock, horror) become a moneymaking endeavor in Wrath. While I'll grant that on most servers it's probably nothing compared to, say, Mining or Herbalism, there's gold to be made in them there streams -- and this is all the more true if your server hosts a large raiding population.

AV observes that there are four types of fish most likely to be lucrative, and it's no accident that three of them (the Musselback Sculpin, the Glacial Salmon, and the Nettlefish) are the main ingredients of the Fish Feast, a valuable (although generalized) raid buff. I spend roughly an hour a week fishing up the materials for these to cover our raids and had never even looked to see what they retailed for. After reading over AV's comments, I took a peek at my server's AH and had a /headdesk moment discovering that my main could have been a much wealthier character if I'd just spent a little time yanking up a few extra fish here and there.

So if your character is at or close to the Northrend fishing cap (and especially if you're still on the lookout for the Sea Turtle, which requires you to fish in Northrend pools anyway), give your AH a look and see how the fish are selling. You might be pleasantly surprised. And, as always, I highly recommend El's Extreme Anglin' as a great resource for the beginning and advanced fishermen out there.

Fishing for profit originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Hot-headed healers - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST
Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

A little healthy competition among your raiders can be a good thing. It encourages people to push to play their best, to show up completely prepared, and to gem and enchant their gear with the most effective possible options. A bit of banter can enliven your raids and ease the tension when your run is struggling. But what if your players take it too far? What if their drive for personal accomplishment becomes detrimental to your raid? This week's e-mail asks how to handle two healers -- and officers -- who are turning their personal competition into public drama.

Scott --

I'm the raid leader in a growing progression guild with some pretty hot-headed healers. While our raid healing shaman is competent and professional, I've started to suspect that the other healers (the paladins in particular) are engaging in behavior that hurts the raid and creates drama. As an example, one paladin healer in particular will overwrite the other paladin's Judgement of Light at every chance to inflate his numbers on the meters. Both of them vie for having "the biggest", whether it's mana pool, meter numbers, or SP; it's something new every week. This has also encouraged similar behavior in some of our other healers.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Hot-headed healers

Officers' Quarters: Hot-headed healers originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Raid Together, Die Alone 3 - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST

We featured the previous installment of Baron Soosdon's PvE movie series back in December 2008. Now, seven months later, the good Baron has released Raid Together, Die Alone 3. The video is a series of clips, raid fights, and other moments blended together against the backdrop of Soosdon's usual good taste in music. The good Baron warns that an absolute ton of murlocs were harmed in the process of making the video, though I'll be darned if I could find them.

Ultimately, this new Raid Together, Die Alone is another fun memoir video. It brings back memories of slamming our faces into Illidan Stormrage and the epic awesome that is the Eye of Eternity's unique setting. As WoW progresses forward with new content and new bosses, it's easy to forget to look back and fondly remember some of the things we've already done together. I think Raid Together, Die Alone is a fun scrapbook of WoW-to-date, and I'm thankful for the reminder.

You can check it out on WeGame or YouTube.


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: Raid Together, Die Alone 3 originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of WarCrafts: From Naxx to Pinky Street - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by contacting our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) -- not-for-profit work only, please.

Is there somewhere in game that feels like home to your character? Reader Asphydel's characters hail from Pinky Street - literally. Pinky Street is a line of four-inch anime figurines that come with interchangeable parts, allowing you to create trendy, custom figures with your own look. The line encourages customizations, from swapping out parts and accessories to adding entirely new paint jobs.

Asphydel of Ghostlands-US took the look a step farther, bringing her figurine into the World of Warcraft with Pinkycized versions of her Priest and her boyfriend's Mage. "I actually have a background in art and had taken a class in 3D," she explains. "We had a small section on making molds, so it was pretty darn easy for me to follow various suggestions and ideas I had found online. I can imagine that it can be a little overwhelming for anyone who has never looking into it ... O_o I knew it was for me in my first classes."

Continue reading World of WarCrafts: From Naxx to Pinky Street

World of WarCrafts: From Naxx to Pinky Street originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Get along, little doggie - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


Hey! Watch it, dog. If you're thinking of doing to me what I saw you do to those other bushes near the wall, you better think twice. I'm dual-specced, baby. All I need is to cast Insect Swarm, Typhoon, and Wrath, and I've just given you the three things you fear most -- fleas, a bath, and an anesthesia-free neutering. (Thanks to Grza of <Karma Delivery Service> on Zangarmarsh for this pic from Naxx!)

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 along, little doggie originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Blizzard Orc Statue and compass points of wisdom - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


Hey there WoW.com readers! You're probably wondering who the hell this guy is. And by this guy, I mean me. I'm a writer over at Joystiq, where we sometimes jealously watch all the fun stuff our sword and spell-wielding counterparts over here get to do. Luckily, and only by means of geographical location and the fact that they were showing off Starcraft 2, I got a chance to tour the Blzzard campus and take a lot of snaps if you know that I mean. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

These will be featured in a story over on Joystiq at some point today, but in the meantime here's a sneak preview just for WoW.com readers. You may already know about Blizzard's massive courtyard Orc statue that's in the process of being installed in the front of the main building, but you might not know about the tenets engraved on each of the eight compass points that tout Blizzard's mottos. There's a peek at all of 'em in the gallery below, and they're also listed just beyond the break.

Read on for more, check out the statue and points gallery below, and stay tuned today for the drool-worth tour photos.

Continue reading The Blizzard Orc Statue and compass points of wisdom

The Blizzard Orc Statue and compass points of wisdom originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What's your item set design preference? - Mon, 29 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


It looks like we've got a sneak peek at what may be the new tier sets when MMO Champion uncovered some gear intended for Paladins, Death Knights, and Warriors. Just in case you didn't notice, that's all plate gear and, well, they all look alike. With Patch 3.2 seeing the return of faction-specific armor, a lot of people were thrilled except that most players (including myself) sort of forgot that faction-specific gear such as the old Level 60 PvP sets had shared models across armor types.

The reason most of us didn't notice was because this wasn't so apparent back then... the Alliance only had one mail-wearing class and the Horde only had one plate-wearing class. With Shamans and Paladins no longer restricted to one faction and with the introduction of Death Knights in Wrath of the Lich King, more classes appear to share the same item models -- there are three plate and two mail classes on both factions now. This has the downside of homogenizing appearance across classes but the upside of having the near-certainty of putting together a visually cohesive set as well as looking different from the enemy faction's counterparts.

So today's question is simple: what design philosophy do you think works best for World of Warcraft? Every path has its obvious benefits, of course. What appears to be the most appealing is something we still haven't seen... faction- and class-specific gear where each class has a completely unique model according to faction. It sounds great on paper but it's more work for the art team and an itemization nightmare -- imagine having to organize those drops in a dungeon! It might be easier to go the Sunwell Plateau route and be done with it! Or heck, do everything Emperor's New Clothes-style, where everyone goes commando! Good idea? No? So, uh, that was just me? Drat.

Breakfast Topic: What's your item set design preference? originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: Two Fighters, One Column - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST


Sometimes, during the summer, it can be especially difficult to find time to enjoy the game. Arena fighters are no different, which is why the following two interviews are a little shorter. We were only able to grab a little bit of their time, but we wanted to get their unique perspective on some aspects of the Arena.

Soballinlol is a Warrior on the Mug'thol server, who is 3rd rated in the Vengeance battlegroup on his 2v2 team. Even more spectacularly, Soballinlol's 5v5 team has achieved the number one place on the battlegroup. Nailpolish is also on the Mug'thol server, but is in the 7th ranked 2v2 team on her battlegroup, and the 8th ranked 3v3 team.

Both come from wildly different perspectives. Nailpolish operates in a 3v3 RMP team, who uses precise Crowd Control to dominate their opponents. By comparison, Soballinlol is a Warrior, a class that's reknowned for its juggernaut-like ability to smash through defenses, use unparalleled survivability, and still offer incredibly effective offense.

Check out what each had to say behind the cut.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Two Fighters, One Column

The Colosseum: Two Fighters, One Column originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Patch 3.2 PTR: Tauren Druid conversation may reveal lore and expansion secrets - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST
Reader Chad forwarded us this screen shot of a conversation that takes place over on Elder rise in Thunder Bluff between two Tauren on the patch 3.2 PTR. Apparently it actually begins with a new quest by the Dalaran Portals, as pointed out in this thread at Scrolls of Lore, and while the quest leads nowhere, you do get to hear the linked dialogue.

In it, Aponi Brightmane, a wounded warrior who wishes to return the front lines in Northrend, and Tahu Sagewind, a Druid, speak together about the history of Druidism, the moon, and the sun. They speak of Elune, whom they know as Mu'sha, one of the eyes of the the Earth Mother. They mention that it seems strange that if Tauren were the first Druids as their legends claim, that all Hamuul Runetotem teaches is the moon power of the Night Elves. Tahu wonders if Druids themselves, because of this, are out of balance. The idea segues back into the idea of the world out of balance due to the influence of the Scourge, wondering if sitting idle in Thunder Bluff is really a good idea when the Northern front is so bleak, wondering if balance must needs to be returned by action.

Continue reading Patch 3.2 PTR: Tauren Druid conversation may reveal lore and expansion secrets

Patch 3.2 PTR: Tauren Druid conversation may reveal lore and expansion secrets originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Summertime, and the livin' is... - Sun, 28 Jun 2009 20:00:00 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.


Ah, summer. Pimm's in the sunshine, the thwack of tennis balls against grass, iced Frappucinos and hayfever. Delights like these, and others, all conspire to turn perfectly normal raiders into monsters of poor attendance. Yet guilds soldier on despite a mixture of player attrition and general unreliability -- this column looks at some of the ways they manage.

The problem at hand is that many raiding guilds, at all levels of raiding, rely on a fairly tight-knit group of players. The smaller the raiding core, the more reliant you become on everyone showing up, but the better the guild is (in theory) since your players are well accustomed to working together. Additionally, loot is better used since it generally goes to those who raid rather than those who sit out.

Continue reading Ready Check: Summertime, and the livin' is...

Ready Check: Summertime, and the livin' is... originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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