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Arcane Brilliance: Mages are fine! Now fix us. - Sat, 30 May 2009 18:00:00 EST



Each week Arcane Brilliance saves the world, one Mage column at a time. Once, we did it by throwing the One Ring into a volcano. Oh, and this one time, we did it by slaying the evil Voldemort. And every once in awhile, we do it by traveling back in time and saving John Connor from the robotic clutches of Skynet. The Edward Furlong John Connor, not the Christian Bale one. Also, Arcane Brilliance doesn't go back as Michael Biehn or Ahnuld. Arcane Brilliance is totally Summer Glau. Yowza.

So...with news flying around about upcoming patches, and changes on the horizon for other classes, I can't help but notice a strange, almost eerie silence over here on the Mage front. If this were a movie, somebody would say "It's quiet," and then somebody else would pipe up with "yeah...a little too quiet," and that'd be the moment when somebody gets grabbed by something big and scary, or something explodes, or Samuel L Jackson gets eaten by a shark or something. Seriously, I'm starting to get a little freaked out here.

Now, don't misunderstand: I'm not complaining. I appreciate the recent Mirror Image change. I like that my copies aren't morons now. I really do. It's just that you have to go back to patch 3.1 to find anything even resembling a major change affecting the way Mages play the game, while other classes still appear to be in constant flux.

This tells me one thing: Mages are good. We're set. Really, you guys have fun over there with your new class mechanics and what-not, we're fine over here with our...whatever. Yeah? You got yourself some new Druid bear-form art? That's cool, because we...um...we can turn stuff into rabbits now. That's right, suck on it.

So apparently Blizzard thinks Mages are fine for now. I'm not arguing the issue; if you ignore that fantastic five minutes right at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King when we were awesome, I'm hard pressed to think of a point in the history of this game when Mages have been in a more comparatively satisfactory position than we are right now. Our damage is competitive, and we don't suck in PvP. We can get raid spots. We can kill Warlocks. I'm not unhappy right now, really I'm not.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Mages are fine! Now fix us.

Arcane Brilliance: Mages are fine! Now fix us. originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail - Sat, 30 May 2009 16:00:00 EST


And we're back to looking at Ulduar's gear drops for shamans. This week, I figured it was long past time to look at the various non-set mail drops from the instance, since we've covered rings, shields, weapons and emblem of conquest purchases already. I'm sure we'll need to take at least a couple of weeks to fit all the mail in the place, so we should get started right away.

Again I remind horde shaman enthusiasts that I'm not raiding Ulduar on my orc, and if you want to see screenshots of an horde shaman up here, my email is matthew.rossi@wow.com - I'd be happy to use one or even many of them.I'm just simply not going to be able to raid Ulduar more than I already am.

Onward to gear. As always, the usual disclaimers (not all gear has been found yet, things get changed, moved, etc etc) apply. We'll talk about Ulduar - 10 gear first and then Ulduar - 25 either after or in the next post.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail

Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Failoc-alypse bursts onto the scene! - Sat, 30 May 2009 15:15:00 EST


During today's BlizzCon ticket sales (which are now sold out, by the way), you were able to play the game Failoc-alypse. You take the form of a Terran Marine with a gun, a Draenei Death Knight, or a Witchdoctor. Your goal is to kill as many fail-locs as possible.

"Oops flag? You're one dead Murloc!"

I recommend everyone takes a bit to play the game. It's good fun. As you progress in levels more people come out to watch you play. Around level 40 Arthas himself comes out to cheer you on. It's unknown what happens at later levels, if there really is a cow level, and what the gold cap is.

You can also click through for a bunch of basic instructions at the loading screen, and there's some funny ones hidden amongst them.

Let's look at some Failoc-alypse hints.

Continue reading Failoc-alypse bursts onto the scene!

Failoc-alypse bursts onto the scene! originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 15:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlizzCon Ticket Status - Sat, 30 May 2009 12:45:00 EST



This page will be updated with the latest BlizzCon ticket status. Please post your experiences, and be sure to let us know if you run into any problems. Older updates will be listed after the break.

Big Update: Play the failocalyps game from Blizzard!

1:25 p.m. EDT: Sold out.

1:22 p.m. EDT: 11% of the tickets are now left.

Continue reading BlizzCon Ticket Status

BlizzCon Ticket Status originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ashbringer TPB out now - Sat, 30 May 2009 12:00:00 EST
I haven't been a big fan of the whole Alliance-centric direction of the Wildstorm World of Warcraft comics, and I picked up the whole Varian Wrynn saga mostly out of a completist impulse rather than actual concern for the story or its characters. I also thought Ludo Lullabi had better samples of art on his personal site than what he showed in the comic, so when I found out the next story arc was going to be pencilled by Jon Buran, I wasn't too concerned. Buran is doing tremendous work so far. Of course, we all soon learned why Lullabi left the book -- he was tasked with illustrating the Ashbringer story.

The good news is that the Ashbringer comics which follow the story of the legendary blade showcase some of Lullabi's best work yet (with assists from Tony Washington). This owes largely to the spectacular coloring, done Painter-style by either Lullabi himself or an uncredited colorist. The painted covers by Chris Robinson add a sense of awe and wonder to the series, and each issue of the four-parter is rich with lore because it was written by Blizzard's own Micky Neilson. Even better news is that DC Comics has collected the mini-series in a hardcover edition available at your friendly neighborhood comic shop for $19.99. So soon after picking up Warcraft Legends, I think I'll need to make a little more space on my shelves...

Ashbringer TPB out now originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bornakk clarifies rage generation formulas - Sat, 30 May 2009 11:00:00 EST
In a response to concerns on the forums about warrior rage generation, Bornakk replies that the formula is working fine - it's just using different numbers than the players who tested it. Two of the more interesting parts of his statement were as follows:

  • n the formulas people are using, there is a constant value which is labeled as 'c'. At some point in the past, someone calculated a formula for determining c based on their level and that formula is not correct past level 70 as this value needs retuning from time to time like when a new expansion comes out. The value listed for c is 320.6 when it is actually 453.3.
  • Some of the testing was done with ungeared characters hitting for very small amounts. There is a component to the calculation we haven't previously mentioned that will make the rage gained from those attacks sometimes not match the formula. Basically, the normal formula is Rage = (7.5d/c+f*s)/2. However, that result can never be larger than (7.5d/c)*2. This essentially means that very low damage attacks have a limit on how much they can be averaged up by the f*s component of the equation.
It seems odd to me that this change to 'c' was left hidden for so long and only came to light following the changes to warriors in 3.1: one possibly explanation would be that rage generation via damage before the nerfs was good enough to obscure the issue. Nevertheless since I posted about the issue this week, I felt obligated to mention Bornakk's explanation of the discrepancy.

Bornakk clarifies rage generation formulas originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Wiping is ugly business - Sat, 30 May 2009 10:00:00 EST


After a wipe in Naxxramas, Meshenko of Proudmoore zoned back in to find some of his raid members suffering from the familiar facial texture bug. He snapped this picture of a deformed human warlock looting Gothik the Harvester's corpse after they downed the boss. Equally interesting to me is the motley crew in the background. From left to right, we have someone zonked out on Pygmy Oils, a female draenei in the most awkward spellcasting position ever, and what appears to be a warrior being devoured by a water elemental. Hey, people have to find some way to pass the time while the officers look over the DKP.

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: Wiping is ugly business originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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J!NX launches WoW summer collection - Sat, 30 May 2009 09:00:00 EST


It looks like those creative folks over at J!NX have come up with another batch of World of Warcraft-themed clothing for their summer 2009 collection, and I've got to say that they look pretty darned good. While the first batch of WoW class shirts were nice, I wasn't entirely sold on them. They were good, but personally not good enough for me to run over to Hot Topic and pick one up on impulse. I mean, I wanted to order, but pennypinching prudence got the better of me. The summer collection has a latecomer Death Knight class shirt in the style of the first batch, completing the set, as well as two new class shirts that trample all over my aforementioned prudence.

My wallet is spared for a little while, thankfully, as the first designs are for Hunters and Warriors. As soon as they release the Paladin and Warlock versions, however, my cursor will be on that checkout button faster than you can say "Arenas suck," as the new designs are graphic design home runs. Speaking of home runs, the summer 2009 collection also has a pair of new baseball team shirts -- the Ironforge Anvils and the Thunder Bluff Warstompers -- to go along with the Darnassus Nightsabers, Gnomeregan Bombardiers, Undercity Gravediggers and Durotar's own Hellscream Warchiefs. Likewise, when Silvermoon City's expansion team shirt becomes available, I'll have a few more clothes to fatten my closet. Check out the collection at J!NX and maybe you'll find something to wear at BlizzCon other than that Sea Cows t-shirt you were hoping would score you some points with the ladies.

J!NX launches WoW summer collection originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: It's WHAT o'clock? edition - Sat, 30 May 2009 08:30:00 EST

Okay, readers. Your attention please. I have to finish this week's collection of responses to our regular question "What are you playing this weekend?" before I keel over and die from sleep deprivation. If this article is published, then I've made it, and I'm probably going to be asleep for several hours. If you're not reading this, I failed my mission and you may never know what our staff is up to over the weekend.

Did I make it? Let's find out!

Michael Gray: I am playing poker tonight, volleyball tomorrow during the day, hitting the Arena in the evening, then spending the day on Sunday at Virginia Renn Faire. I suspect I'll be wearing my utilikilt for the entire time. My only nod to appropriateness will be wearing boxers, no boxers -- pink boxers in honor of our boys at war.

Jennie Lees: it's the one week of the year the sun shines in Scotland, so I am raiding the "outside" instance. LF24M, no hunters.

Chase Christian: More smashing my head against Mimiron's metal frame, and taking my Warrior from 79 to 80 so I can roll on leather again!

More after the jump.

Continue reading WRUP: It's WHAT o'clock? edition

WRUP: It's WHAT o'clock? edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Are patches too fast, too furious? - Sat, 30 May 2009 08:00:00 EST


Content patches have been coming rather quickly as of late. With the exception of the long-awaited Patch 3.1, which only felt long because Naxxramas was ridiculously easy, Blizzard has been throwing a salvo of patches our way in a fast and furious fashion. In fact, Blizzard has been relatively quick to issue hotfixes and minor patches these days when they notice this or that class rising above others. Death Knights were an exception but that can be explained away by the newness of the class.

But compared the the old pace, it seems as though Blizzard is delivering content faster than ever. Zarhym has even uncharacteristically told a poster "your presumed time lines are way too inflated," when the poster speculated that 3.2 won't be out until the end of the year and Icecrown released around May of 2010. I'm actually quite confident that Blizzard will announce the next expansion during BlizzCon, if not a release date. So while a lot of top guilds have cleared Ulduar and are working on hard modes and completing them, there's strong evidence that a majority of the player base is just getting started with the whole thing. What's your take on Blizzard's patch production policy?

Breakfast Topic: Are patches too fast, too furious? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 30 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Insider Trader: Farming recipes in Northrend - Fri, 29 May 2009 20:00:00 EST

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

This week, Insider Trader will be listing the locations and mobs that will drop recipes to help you complete your collection and expand your knowledge to boost sales.

Because this list is meant to be a reference for planning out your next farming expedition, I will not be including "world drops" that can drop from nearly any mob in a given zone or from a specific level of mobs across zones.

Ulduar
There are several epic crafting recipes that will drop in Ulduar. They have a chance to drop from each of the bosses on Heroic mode (25-man), although 10-man groups can also acquire them by downing the bosses on Hard mode.

Currently, there are two Enchanting formulas, six Blacksmithing plans, eight Leatherworking patterns and four Tailoring patterns that fall under this category.

Given Ulduar's close associations with Engineering, many people have been quite vocal about the lack of schematics in the dungeon, although many of the mobs can be harvested for parts and vendor junk.

Continue reading Insider Trader: Farming recipes in Northrend

Insider Trader: Farming recipes in Northrend originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: A podcast, eh? - Fri, 29 May 2009 19:00:00 EST


We here at WoW Insider are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.Those of you using our WoW.com profile system... we want your blogs! Have you written something that you think is worth being featured on The Daily Quest? Have you discovered another good blog here on WoW.com? Send them in using the link below! No, this doesn't mean we're going to stop linking to other sites, so don't worry! We have enough love to go around.

The Daily Quest: A podcast, eh? originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Nurturing Touch - Fri, 29 May 2009 18:00:00 EST


This is a crazy-looking wand from Ulduar that spits out Holy damage like nobody's business.

Name: Nurturing Touch (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Wand
Damage/Speed: 378-702 / 1.80 (300 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +29 Stamina, +26 Intellect, and +24 Spirit
  • Improves crit strike rating by 20, and spell power by 39
  • Pretty straightforward wand -- nothing too special about it. But it is a nice one, and it's likely an upgrade from anything you've gotten in Naxx or the earlier raid instances.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Nurturing Touch

Phat Loot Phriday: Nurturing Touch originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ulduar proto-drakes gone in patch 3.2 - Fri, 29 May 2009 17:00:00 EST


When patch 3.1 came out, the Plagued and Black Proto-Drakes, which were rewarded for the normal and heroic tier 7 raid meta-achievements, respectively, were removed from the game. You can still do the achievement, but it doesn't give you a drake any more. The thinking behind this was that people would be able to come back with Ulduar gear and complete the achievements (relatively) easily, and Blizz wanted the accomplishments of those who had done the achievement pre-Ulduar to stand out.

It looks like the Rusted and Ironbound Proto-Drakes are going to receive the same treatment in patch 3.2: they will no longer be attainable. These are the drakes that are rewarded for the Ulduar raid meta-achievements, on normal and heroic. This is interesting because it implies that we'll get a new tier of gear in patch 3.2. Information about what the expansion of the Argent Tourney is going to bring PvE-wise is still pretty scarce; we know there will be some 5-, 10-, and 25-man content, but we're not really sure what it'll be like yet. All we've heard so far is "Think Ring of Blood or Amphitheater of Anguish, but more epic." Here's hoping for PvE arenas.

Edit: To clarify, players who have the mounts already will of course keep them. You just won't be able to get them after 3.2 if you don't have them already.

Ulduar proto-drakes gone in patch 3.2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizz wants your class questions - Fri, 29 May 2009 16:00:00 EST

Blizzard gets more and more communicative every week recently. I love it. They recently announced that they're seeking questions for a community question and answer series, with a separate thread for each class. They'll be going through the class threads in order, answering questions and generally being awesome (one hopes). Afterwards everything will be gathered into one big blue pile of answers and presented to the community.

Nethaera is going to be the organizer of this little event, it seems. She warns us that it is "probably going to be a couple of weeks" before we start getting answers, because they want to give sufficient time for WoW players around the world to get their questions in. She also says she's going to try to get "the most prominent questions" answered, as well as questions that have been around for a long time without being addressed.

This is a great time to get your class questions and concerns addressed, so if you have anything you've always wanted to ask a dev, go find the Q&A thread for your class (in your class forum) and post away.

Blizz wants your class questions originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Warcraft on Windows 7 RC - Fri, 29 May 2009 15:00:00 EST


Later this year Microsoft will release its next major desktop operating system, Windows 7. After deciding now was the time to expand my hard drives (because I really need 3TBs of space), I took the opportunity to install the "release candidate." The release candidate of Windows 7 is just that - it's a version of the operating system that while still in development, has all the bells and whistles, and is essentially the exact same thing that'll be sold on the shelves.

The installation and configuration of Windows 7 went very smoothly. My computer has four gigs of RAM and operates off of two dual-core Intel Core2 processors. I have an nVidia GTX 260 graphics card, which is the latest generation. There's a bunch of other bells and whistles that I have as well, but those are the big things relevant to what I do every day here at WoW.com and how I play WoW.

Prior to installing Windows 7, I used Windows Vista updated to the latest patches. I got about 60 FPS on average, with a maximum of around 100 while idling in some far off place with not a lot of traffic, and a minimum of about 50 while in some of the more graphic intensive raids / battlegrounds. After installing Windows 7 I was running at about 75 FPS average, with a maximum still of around 100. However more importantly my FPS during raids / Wintergrasp shot up to 70.

Continue reading World of Warcraft on Windows 7 RC

World of Warcraft on Windows 7 RC originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: You ain't nothin' but a Core Hound - Fri, 29 May 2009 14:00:00 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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

There's a few good questions today of various voluptuous varieties: raiding, legal ToS (TNG > ToS, by the way), and new gaming hardware. Yummy.

Start me off, Delks...

Edit: Please be sure to listen to Fly Me To The Moon by Ol' Blue Eyes during today's Queue, or you can listen to the title's name sake song.

Delks asked...

"What's the point of running old world raids and instances?"

Continue reading The Queue: You ain't nothin' but a Core Hound

The Queue: You ain't nothin' but a Core Hound originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show live tomorrow featuring special guest host Kevin D. - Fri, 29 May 2009 13:00:00 EST
Yes, after a short and tumultuous journey into the world of video last week, our podcast returns to its audio roots, and this week, Turpster and I welcome a special guest host, direct from Brigwyn's Child's Play charity auction. Listener Kevin D. was kind enough to step up and donate a very generous amount of money to Child's Play, and for that (and because he's a cool guy), we'll be welcoming him on the show. He's got a few things he wants to talk about, including how guilds work together, how to balance WoW and life, and why people are or aren't shy as they play the game. And of course we'll answer a few of your emails (you can send those to theshow@wow.com now), and during the meat of the show, we'll talk about the most popular posts from the last week.

Should be a lot of fun, and hey here's this: by the time we go live, we'll all know whether we have BlizzCon tickets or not. Scary, no? Join us over on the our Ustream page at May 30, 2009 3:30 PM EDT , or you can jump after the break to see an embedded feed. And if you don't make it, don't worry -- we had some unfortunate issues with all of the video last week, but I can guarantee that this week, our audio will be back in the feed ready for your ears on Monday.

Should be a lot of fun -- we'll see you on Saturday afternoon.

Continue reading WoW Insider Show live tomorrow featuring special guest host Kevin D.

WoW Insider Show live tomorrow featuring special guest host Kevin D. originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Who's Watching Me in World of Warcraft - Fri, 29 May 2009 12:00:00 EST



Who's Watching Me in World of Warcraft is a short but absolutely wonderful video by Keenamor. It's a parody of a very popular commercial floating around out there, so it probably needs no explanation to get set up. Keenamor was inspired by a similar video based in the Halo universe. He did all the voice acting himself, and claims the video was created spontaneously when the inspiration struck him.

Like I said, it's short. Keenamor probably could have done fancier graphics, but I'm not sure that's necessary. If you know the source material, then you'll instantly recognize the joke. You don't really need anymore explanation or fine-tuned images to get the punchilne.

Ultimately, it was funny, and I would LOL again. Click here to see it for yourself.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Who's Watching Me in World of Warcraft originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MMOUI Minion beta released - Fri, 29 May 2009 11:00:00 EST

We saw a preview of it a little while ago, and now it's here in beta form: MMOUI Minion, the addon updater from the people behind WoWInterface. It's written in Java, and runs on Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows, provided you have an up-to-date Java runtime installed. For Mac OS X users, the web site might warn you about your Java version, but if you've been keeping up with software updates, you should be fine.

As this is a beta, I won't be too hard on it, but I wouldn't recommend using it in its current state. It does show promise, especially with its extensibility (other sites can write plugins to allow Minion to download content from them). I ran into all kinds of problems, from the installer making it difficult to specify a path to the updater maxing out my CPU while idle to it detecting almost all my addons as out-of-date, even ones that aren't, but again, it's beta. The whole reason for a beta phase is to get the software out into the wild for wider debugging, so bugs are to be expected.

Overall, I'd say this could develop into something nice, but isn't quite ready yet. The icon, on the other hand, is totally adorable. If you do want to try it out, you would do well to follow their suggestion of backing up your Interface and WTF folders. I am excited to see what it will look like with more polish.

MMOUI Minion beta released originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: The devil inside - Fri, 29 May 2009 10:00:00 EST


The Argent Crusade ought to consider keeping a close eye on our submitter Carlos. For a holy paladin, he seems to be harboring an awful lot of evil-goat-demon inside his soul. Actually, Carlos writes that his frightening shadow was caused by some clever positioning behind a mountain goat in Howling Fjord. I wonder if Anakin Skywalker can make the same excuse?

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: The devil inside originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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"Because I don't play" isn't an option on Blizzard's quit page - Fri, 29 May 2009 09:00:00 EST
Jason Burns points out, pretty insightfully, on his blog that of all the various options Blizzard lists for quitting the game, simply not having the time to play it isn't one of them. Whenever you decide to cancel your subscription, you get a little survey to fill out, with two lists of options to explain why you're leaving the game. In the past, we've found some pretty silly options in there (and actually, it looks like they've changed quite a bit since we posted about the Will of the Forsaken nerf on the list), but Jason says that as many varied and different reasons as there are for leaving, Blizzard didn't include his: he likes the game, he just doesn't have the time to play it and justify the subscription.

Which is what he eventually typed in. Like so many things with Blizzard, it would be fascinating to see the stats behind the information they're getting here -- do they see a little bump in quitters every time new patch notes come out? Is customer support really the biggest issue people have, or is harassment a major reason for people leaving as well? Just boredom with the game seems like it would be a huge reason to me, but there's not really a clear option for that either.

Unfortunately, we'll probably never know the real stats behind this -- Blizzard isn't going to be revealing why people are leaving their game anytime soon. But it does seem strange that some of the biggest reasons you'd expect aren't on their list of possibles at all.

"Because I don't play" isn't an option on Blizzard's quit page originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Your favorite routes - Fri, 29 May 2009 08:00:00 EST


Vince sent us this tip from Just my Two Copper: a quick Cobalt circuit in case you're a high level miner and want to spend a few minutes making some ingame money. Truth is, everyone has this various routes that they take in game, whether they be your recent run of dailies, a gathering run (I used to know the Swamp of Sorrows by heart when I was leveling up Herbalism, and even now I've got my own places to go in Sholazar to pick up as much leather as possible), or even a run around to see if you can find some of the rare spawns (the Time-Lost Proto Drake or maybe the spirit beast).

What are some of your favorite, most ingrained (in your mind), or most profitable runs in game? They aren't really a trade secret -- AHs tend to change from server to server, and even if a certain ore or item comes into demand, it's usually because no one wants to farm it, not because it's not out there to find. But we do get set in our patterns -- what are some of yours?

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite routes originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 29 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ready Check: Cooldown Management - Thu, 28 May 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're going to look at a specific tactic for speeding your success through each encounter -- cooldown management.


The proper use of a raid's cooldowns is pretty key to maximizing your damage output. (Cooldown is one word. Yes. it. is.)

One moment, you are a meager Retribution Paladin. You struggle to maintain your place on the DPS chart. Your weak blows are the stuff of ridicule and angsty blog posts. The Death Knight next to you merely smirks at your DPS, his condescending unibrow peering at you from within his dark, dark helmet of angst. Try as you might, you can barely generate a cooling wind as you struggle to perform for your raid leader.

And then you blow wings. Suddenly, your damage is the stuff of legend! With those golden heralds of power and magnificence unfurling from your broad, manly shoulders, there is no enemy who can stand before you! You speak in all exclamation points! Women and men in Leia-costumes hurl themselves at your feet, while you swat away weaksauce Rogues and OP Warlocks with the barest of effort! Ghostcrawler is forced to resign, offering you the ultimate power in World of Warcraft design! You are fantastic!

And then it's over, so very, very much too soon. You are left to wait until your next cooldown is up to once again recapture that former glory, and remember what it was like to be the quarterback.

Okay, I exaggerate. But the idea that cooldown use increase your performance should be obvious. They don't put a spell in your Spellbook because they don't want you to use it. (Well, they rarely do so, anyway.) But cooldown management is a challenge for every raider. While a lot of folks have their cooldown management well under hand, there's still plenty of folks out there who could use some handy tips.

Continue reading Ready Check: Cooldown Management

Ready Check: Cooldown Management originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Thursday edition - Thu, 28 May 2009 19:30:00 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: Thursday edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: Ingvar and Annhylde vs. Krik'thir the Gatewatcher - Thu, 28 May 2009 19:00:00 EST


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

Utgarde Keep duo Dalronn the Controller and Skarvald the Constructor went down in flames (or Whirlwinds) in last week's Two Bosses Enter matchup, but we're not convinced that all UK bosses are whining nincompoops. This week's deathmatch pits another Utgarde Keep pair, Ingvar the Plunderer and Annhylde the Caller, against Azjol-Nerub's Krik'thir the Gatewatcher. While this duo seems almost as argumentative as the Dalronn/Skarvald duo, their teamwork seems a little more smooth. Will it be enough to overcome Krik'thir and his minions?

The ground rules:
  • Assume that these foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output.
  • This match takes place in neutral territory.
  • Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Focus on the three S's: style, story and scale.
What do you think would happen during this battle? Leave a comment explaining what you think goes down, then cast your vote for who you think is left up.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Ingvar and Annhylde vs. Krik'thir the Gatewatcher

Two Bosses Enter: Ingvar and Annhylde vs. Krik'thir the Gatewatcher originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Boom boom boom - Thu, 28 May 2009 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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Todays edition of The Queue should be read while playing Boom Boom Pow in the background. It's completely irrelevant to WoW or anything discussed today, but I haven't been able to stop playing the song for about a week now and it's really starting to drive me crazy. If I can't stop listening to it, I'll just make other people listen to it. Schadenfreude is just as good as a cure.

Jfofla asked...


"My question is about the 100 Mounts Achievement. With the introduction of the AT, this is more doable than ever before. Is there a current database of all available mounts to help those seeking 100?"

Continue reading The Queue: Boom boom boom

The Queue: Boom boom boom originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Should Arena rankings be determined by class? - Thu, 28 May 2009 17:00:00 EST


An interesting thread popped up on the forums regarding Arena representation, noting class disparity and how it might be possible to rate performance based on a player's class. Balancing all the classes is an ongoing struggle and has been one of Blizzard's greatest headaches in PvP design. In Season 5, Holy Paladins and Death Knights dominated the Arenas, with Warriors getting the very short end of the stick and having the lowest number of Season 5 Gladiators. The original poster points out Blizzard's continual, active revision of the Arena ratings system and suggests that the system itself might be flawed. Because the rating system is "blind" to class or even classes in team compositions, for that matter, players using an "OP" class have an advantage.

The poster goes on to suggest that rankings be based on the class, rather than overall Arena population. This means that the percentile used to determine end-of-season rewards will be applied on a per class basis, thereby granting all classes conceptually equal representation. Ghostcrawler gives the suggestion some merit, even going so far as to say Blizzard isn't "above iteration on the design" of the Arena system as evidenced by their proactive adjustments to it.

Continue reading Should Arena rankings be determined by class?

Should Arena rankings be determined by class? originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Twitter Time: 10 words or less - Thu, 28 May 2009 16:00:00 EST

I've been manning the WoW.com official Twitter for the past few nights and having a great time of it. The three nights previous to last, I did some reader-participation art and ended up drawing a tauren rogue and two druids (undead and gnome!). Tonight I thought I'd go a little more literary and had the Twitterati, in the spirit of tweets, send me WoW-related stories of ten words or less. Here are some of my favorites, and the rest are after the jump.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter and YOU TOO MIGHT SEND ME BRIEF MESSAGES SOMETIME. I'll see you there!

Frito_KAL @wowinsider No matter what the humans say, gnomes are NOT piñatas.

Iamfivebears
@wowinsider "Thanks for the summoooooooooooooon...." the rogue yelled up the cliff.

kryptongirl @wowinsider The druid turned into a dog tree. He barked.

MsJenni @wowinsider We entered Deadmines nude, voting who came out best dressed.

TheCorruptOne @wowinsider Armor drops from a clear desert sky. Incoming gnomish engineer!

threeparts @wowinsider How many edge of winter's does this damn dryad -have?-

Continue reading Twitter Time: 10 words or less

Twitter Time: 10 words or less originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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One Boss Leaves: Skadi minces Dalronn and Skarvald - Thu, 28 May 2009 15:30:00 EST


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

Aww, come on, you knew this was going to happen ... Yup, Skadi the Ruthless spared nothing for poor Dalronn and Skarvald of Utgarde Keep. It was a landslide victory for the PuG-intimidating boss -- although a few readers did think the matchup could offer a few twists. "I'm going to give it to D/S here," nodded Nizari. "Dalronn would eat it from the adds, being the squishier one, and Skarvald makes it to Skadi. Skar has two stuns to Skadi's one, and remember that even after Dalronn goes down, he still can use all his abilities. So the summoned skellies eat the whirlwind, and more importantly, Debilitate nerfs Skadi's DPS."

"I gotta say the duo," agreed Meethan. "If they could get through the harpoons, then Skadi would be cake for them. It seems like he has almighty attacks -- but again, this is on the theory, not on the actual damage. They would go through the adds badly damaged but not dead. When Skadi came down, Skarvald would begin to engage him, while the necromancer began to summon his minions. In the event Skarvald did die, Dalronn would have enough knowledge to outlast Skadi in a battle perspective, because necromancers aren't complete idiots."

Continue reading One Boss Leaves: Skadi minces Dalronn and Skarvald

One Boss Leaves: Skadi minces Dalronn and Skarvald originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Final BlizzCon tickets on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday - Thu, 28 May 2009 15:00:00 EST
We pretty much knew this to be the case, given that it's exactly what happened two weeks ago, but yes, just in case you haven't been paying attention, the second and final round of BlizzCon tickets is going on sale this Saturday, and Neth confirms it'll start at 10a.m. PST again. You'll have to be ready on the ticket page to jump into the queue at the right time, and then hope they don't sell out before you've gotten a chance to grab yours. The good news is that things probably won't break down, but the bad news is that they'll probably go really, really fast, so you'll have to be lucky to get in line before they close the doors.

And if you don't make it to the convention, there's always us: we're planning on covering the heck out of it yet again here at WoW.com, so even if you're not in Anaheim, we'll make you feel like you are. Or if you want to go the streaming video route, we're sure DirecTV will be happy to take your money as well.

So it's not the end of the world if you don't get your purchase done, but there'll no doubt be a lot of disappointed Blizzard fans no matter what. Good luck to everyone -- we'll see you Saturday at 10 a.m. Pacific.

Final BlizzCon tickets on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The woes of Block - Thu, 28 May 2009 14:00:00 EST
In a discussion of tanking mechanics on the forums, Ghostcrawler made a long and in depth post about various subjects that helped consolidate one of the real problems with block and block value in Wrath of the Lich King. Not only is blocking something that only two of the four tanking classes do, but it's a pretty lackluster stat for boss tanking.

  • Block as a mechanic is somewhere between avoidance and mitigation. Ideally it removes a fair amount of damage (vs. all damage) reasonably often (vs. rarely). If block is up 100% of the time it just becomes armor that you improve through a different stat. We have let block chances creep up frankly because the amount blocked is pretty trivial when bosses are hitting for 40% of your health pool every swing. If this still strikes you as too RNG, imagine abilities like Shield Block and Holy Shield that could guarantee 100% chance to block for a short period of time.
  • We don't think block is cutting it as a mechanic, but the direction we are likely to take it is probably more of a change than you are considering.
The problem with block (which is really two mechanics in one, block rating which determines how often you block, and block value, which determines how much damage you subtract from a hit when you block it) is that for trash, it's inflated due to the block chance creeping upwards that GC mentions above. But for boss fights where a boss can either hit you physically for far, far more than you could ever block or hits you with massive magical damage that block does nothing at all against (well, unless you're a warrior in Tier 8 with the four piece set bonus) block has simply fallen behind the curve.

Continue reading The woes of Block

The woes of Block originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The strange case of rage generation in 3.1 - Thu, 28 May 2009 13:00:00 EST


Since 3.1, DPS warriors (including myself) have been complaining about a lack of rage. To the point where Ghostcrawler himself chimed in recently (in a discussion of the nerf to Titan's Grip and the effect it had on warrior DPS) to inform us that the claim that warrior rage generation was hurt by the changes was a myth created by warriors upset with the nerf.

Now we have the following post by Landsoul. I freely admit this is the kind of math that makes my eyes cross and roll up into my head. But Landsoul's well known as a contributor to the EJ forums and frankly, his math-fu's good enough for me. (I should also mention Hellord, the original poster who saw things were hinky.) What this means is, while it's very possible that yes, the developers took Titan's Grip's decreased damage into account when they were making the changes, there was somehow another change made that cost warriors some rage generation. 25% of it, to be precise.

Bornakk posts later in the thread that they'll take a look "as we didn't make any intended changes recently to rage generation". So the good news is, for warriors, if this change did happen (and again, I'd tend to trust the math from the people behind the best warrior spreadsheets) then it wasn't a deliberate loss of 25% of our rage generation.

Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The strange case of rage generation in 3.1

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The strange case of rage generation in 3.1 originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: How To: Flame Leviathan - Thu, 28 May 2009 12:00:00 EST


How To: Flame Leviathan
showed up in today's WoW Moviewatch via a roundabout method. The video has been posted on The Daily Quest, but it was just also featured over at Swiftmend. With that level of exposure, we wanted to make sure to give the video its due right on Moviewatch. It's a video from those awesome Yogscast guys, and it shows you how to fight Flame Leviathan. (Kind of.)

About a minute and a half into the movie is where you'll find the funny, though. I'd be hard-pressed to tell you why, but your intrepid WoW.com reporters found Xephos and Honeydew's work in this video hilarious. There's just something unmistakeably hilarious a cruising-around rap song being played while dancing on top of Flame Leviathan.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: How To: Flame Leviathan originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wowhead wants to send you to BlizzCon - Thu, 28 May 2009 11:00:00 EST

The second and final round of BlizzCon tickets go on sale this Saturday, May 30, and I'm pretty sure they'll go fast - the first round sold out in half an hour. However, if you miss out on a ticket (or if you think they're just too expensive), you may have a chance to go anyway.

Wowhead, along with APC (makers of UPSes and such), is running a contest over the next few weeks, with a drawing every day until June 18th. June 17th is the last day to enter; all you need to do is fill in your contact details on the contest page, and you're automatically entered for every drawing. Sadly, this contest is only open to US residents age 18 and older ("we know it sucks," Wowhead says).

Oh right, the prizes.

There is one grand prize, consisting of two tickets to BlizzCon, along with air fare and accommodations, an APC UPS, and a dinner with the Wowhead folks. Three lucky first-prize winners will get their choice of a Wii, a PS3, or an Xbox 360, as well as an APC surge protector. And every day that those prizes aren't given out, someone will win a Wowhead t-shirt and an APC surge protector. One of these last winners will be randomly chosen to win a Blizzcon ticket as well, at the end of the contest.

Wowhead wants to send you to BlizzCon originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Ghouls gone wild - Thu, 28 May 2009 10:00:00 EST


Rawrshach of <Shindu Belore> on Deathwing writes, "While trying to rid New Avalon of its Scarlet Crusade taint, Rawrshach finds himself surrounded by an unusually high concentration of ghouls. Not exactly his idea of a party, but when you're an undead cow, you kind of have to take what you can get." Come on now, tauren make the best death knights. Where do you think the concept of tainted beef comes from? *rimshot*

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: Ghouls gone wild originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tips for the Wrecking Ball achievement - Thu, 28 May 2009 09:00:00 EST
This forum thread is full of great advice and tips for the Wrecking Ball achievement, in which you've got to get 20 killing blows without dying in a battleground. The key here seems to be to find a place with lots and lots of folks to kill (a spawn point, like the graveyard in WSG, works great, or you can hide behind the big groups in AV), and then just hanging out there as far out of the way as you can get. Having a pocket healer won't hurt either, and playing fair isn't really part of this one -- you want to duck in when you're sure to win the fight, and run like crazy when things even threaten to go against you.

Some people say that doing it at a lower bracket can help, too, because unless you're uber geared, it'll be better to go after lower levels than have everybody in the BG be 80. It actually sounds like it's easier than it seems -- as long as you set yourself up in the right place and be really careful about getting stuck in a fight you can't win, you should be able to walk away with the points. Good luck!

Tips for the Wrecking Ball achievement originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World of Fighter is Street Fighter rip off - Thu, 28 May 2009 08:30:00 EST


World of Fighter (yes there's been a name change), the newest game from The9, the former publisher of WoW in China, is not going to be a WoW clone, or a Warhammer ripoff. Rather it seems to embody most of the characters from Capcom's flagship title Street Fighter and a few of their other IPs.

The teaser website for the game has been updated with a flash movie showing artwork of Chun-Li, Ryu and other characters moving across the screen and announcing the game's new name. It seems like Simon Belmont from Castlevania is also among the ranks along with some generic Asian-style characters. However what it actually is in terms of game play or genre remains unknown. Could it be a Street Fighter MMO?

We'll keep you updated but given the announcement that The9 are suing Blizzard, it's really no surprise that this new title has taken such a drastic change. How Capcom feel about this, however, remains to be seen.

World of Fighter is Street Fighter rip off originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What sides have you picked? - Thu, 28 May 2009 08:00:00 EST


Some people who play World of Warcraft really closely identify with one of the two factions, the Horde and the Alliance. They care about the ongoing lore of the divide, they argue back and forth about which side is in the wrong and who is doing what, or when which side committed a particular wrong or another. Now, we here at wow.com are no different in that regard, as you saw when you followed those links. We're passionate about the game, and that includes the lore.

However, I've always been less a factional player (I have and love Horde and Alliance toons pretty equally, and I think both sides of the Horde/Alliance enmity have good and bad points) and more of a class partisan. I pretty much love shamans and warriors and don't really like playing other classes. I'll defend my chosen classes, gush about them, rant about what I think needs fixing, and play those classes to the exclusion of others even when I know that objectively those other classes might well be just as much fun. I just can't bring myself to support other classes, play them, or even in my heart embrace them as fully as shamans and warriors. I'm not pretending my behavior is anything more than the strange mental quirk of a particular player, but it got me wondering: what other strange divisions are out there in active play? My lovely wife, for example, won't tame a pet unless it has a unique skin or is harder than normal to get. She just loves the challenge.

Do you find youself making a choice, whether it be Horde vs. Alliance, a specific class, a race, a profession, or a style of play that draws a solid line of demarcation for you in game? Roleplayers vs. non-Roleplayers? Will you only raid 10 man? Are you a partisan for PvP and barely even bother with instances? What do you cleave to in WoW, and what do you reject?

Breakfast Topic: What sides have you picked? originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 28 May 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Possible hidden mechanics behind Lock and Load - Wed, 27 May 2009 20:00:00 EST
The Hunter's Mark's Atkallen takes a good look at one of my new favorite Hunter abilities: Lock and Load. I'm pretty late to the party on this one (BigRedKitty showed us all how awesome it was a while back), but ever since I went dual spec and started raiding Survivalist, most of my time is just spent waiting for a Lock and Load proc. And oh boy, when it hits twice in a row and I can throw off Explosive Shots for free on just a global cooldown, look out.

But Atkallen's post suggests something a little sneakier about the buff, which procs off of any trap snares or damage, or, more commonly, off of Black Arrow, another Survivalist talent. It used to proc off of Serpent Sting, from 3 to 10 percent of the time according to how many points you put into the talent, and when it was changed to the current form and lowered to 2, 4, and 6 percent, most Hunters worried that they wouldn't see it pop up as much. But here's the thing, and I can attest: it still shows up all the time.

Continue reading Possible hidden mechanics behind Lock and Load

Possible hidden mechanics behind Lock and Load originally appeared on WoW.com on Wed, 27 May 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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