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Below is a list of Article headlines from WOW Insider. This are used on our main page and updated daily. Each article contains links back to WOWinsider, which allow you to view the whole article

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Hearthstone's Earth Elemental card deals a world of pun-ishment - Thu, 30 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

Over on the Hearthstone official site, a new shaman minion card has been revealed: the Earth Elemental, and it's designed to deal crushing blows to its opponents. This minion has a truly mountainous amount of attack power and health compared to its mana cost. Be careful, though, its Overload ability reduces your available mana for the following turn, which could make the going a bit rocky!

To avoid this, you can pair the Earth Elemental with complementary cards such as the Ancestral Spirit, which will bring it back to combat without incurring the penalty and help to crystallize your victory. As a bonus, the preview also details another card that works well with Ancestral Spirit, but you'll have to rock up the page yourself to find out what.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to run away from my computer to hide from the landslide of outrage I fully expect my (word)Play Hearthstone plug to incur!

Hearthstone's Earth Elemental card deals a world of pun-ishment originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: An Inconvenient Expansion - Thu, 30 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Today's machinima from Lagspike Films is one you've probably seen before. Released just a few weeks before the launch of Cataclysm, An Inconvenient Expansion brings the climate change discussion to Azeroth in a humorous way.

I remember when this machinima was first released, I was suspicious that I might be watching something I would hate. I've found discussing real world issues with WoW players often ends in disaster so I was wary when I saw a character, named Al Boar, correlating the rise in global temperature to the rise in vanity pets. To my pleasant surprise though, the whole machinima never really gets too serious and the script is quite funny.

Beyond that, I love the animation in this video. When things really get started I found myself impressed with a lot of little things ... From the way the grounds splits open, to the way Deathwing's silhouette perches atop a mountain. It looks great without a lot of attention being directed toward it.
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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Moviewatch: An Inconvenient Expansion originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A beginner's guide to WoW's gathering professions - Thu, 30 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

As soon as your character hits level 5, it's time to pick up a profession -- or two or three! Each character you have can take two primary professions -- herbalism, mining, skinning, alchemy, blacksmithing, enchanting, engineering, leatherworking, tailoring, jewelcrafting, or inscription -- as well as however many secondary professions -- cooking, fishing, first aid, and archaeology -- they want. Primary professions are typically categorized as "gathering" professions -- herbalism, mining, and skinning -- that allow you to collect materials and "crafting" professions -- alchemy, blacksmithing, enchanting, engineering, leather working, tailoring, jewel crafting, and inscription -- that allow you to create items.

When choosing a primary profession, it's good to pick two that work well together: say, a crafting skill that uses the items you collect with a gathering skill. This means herbalism is typically paired with alchemy or inscription; mining is typically paired with blacksmithing, jewelcrafting, or engineering; skinning is usually paired with leatherworking; and enchanting and tailoring can be paired with anything (though often players will pair them together and use goods created by tailoring to level their enchanting). But if you aren't terribly interested in crafting or just want to give your character a leg up with money-making, you could pick up a pair of gathering professions and take whatever you gather while you're leveling to sell to crafters on the auction house. As to secondary professions, since you're not limited on the number you can take, you can really grab as many as interest you.

Not sure where to start with all these choices? We'll walk you through it.

Continue reading A beginner's guide to WoW's gathering professions

A beginner's guide to WoW's gathering professions originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wowhead launches Hearthstone section - Thu, 30 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Our friends at Wowhead seem to have caught Hearthstone fever -- and, really, who can blame them? In addition to the site's very handy WoW data, they've added a new Hearthstone section that has a database of cards for you to search. Obviously, no one has access to a Hearthstone client, so Wowhead is pulling this info from datamining -- which means it's incomplete and may contain errors. And, of course, with the game not even in beta yet, everything you see now is still subject to change; maybe even a lot of change. However, with a database of just over 500 cards already on the site, it's a pretty impressive collection and a great way to get an early look at the game.

The Hearthstone section lets you search for cards and, when you've found one you're interested in, displays card artwork (and the artist), type, quality, class, set, casting cost, special abilities, and health and attack for cards that have it. And, like the rest of Wowhead, each card has its own comments section -- though we haven't run into any cards with comments so far.

So while we continue to wait for our beta keys (they're in the mail, right, Blizzard?), we'll be sure to be prepared by checking out all of the cards on Wowhead.


Wowhead launches Hearthstone section originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How World of Warcraft has influenced the development of Windows - Thu, 30 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

You might think that World of Warcraft, being a mere video game, couldn't possibly influence the development of the world's most popular operating system. However, there are enough WoW players -- and other gamers -- running Windows that this isn't the case. Microsoft programmer Raymond Chen reports that Microsoft changed the way certain hotkeys work at the request of numerous gamers.

The issue? People gaming in full-screen could, quite easily, accidentally hit the "Windows" hotkey that fired up a program in their Start menu that would pull them out of the game and into something completely different. And in the time it takes for the new program to launch and you to alt-tab back to your game, you're stuck doing a corpse run. Now that's some thoughtful programming!

Thanks to reader Skelnik for the tip!


How World of Warcraft has influenced the development of Windows originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Armored Bloodwing mount now available - Thu, 30 May 2013 13:38:00 EST

Hot off the Blizzard store is a new in-game WoW mount for purchase: the Armored Bloodwing. As the name implies, it's a giant armored bat for your characters to ride around on, and I have to say, it looks pretty cool! I can certainly see my undead priest and warlock hopping onto this thing, but my night elf mage? Not so much! (That's what my sparkle pony is for.)

What do you think of the addition of the Armored Bloodwing? Part of me feels like it's nigh about time for the Blizzard store to gain a creepy-looking sinister sort of mount, because there hasn't really been one before. I'm sure tons of folks are going to be all over this thing. Are you?

New Armored Bloodwing mount now available originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 13:38:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Diminishing returns on valor instead of a cap? - Thu, 30 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Ghostcrawler tossed out a tweet last night that raised my eyebrow:


The design of valor (and the emblems before points) has been an interesting progression. We've gone from many types of emblems to a point system, and then to a system where you could do a week's worth of points in a day, and then to a system where you had weekly caps but to hit them in the most efficient way you had to log in every day, and now (likely and as to be expected) more changes in the future. What exactly theses change will be is up for debate, but diminishing returns is a popular option.

As a simplified example, the way the system would work is as follows:
  • Heroic #1 for the day: 200 valor points
  • Heroic #2 for the day: 100 valor points
  • Heroic #3 for the day: 66 valor points
  • Heroic #4 for the day: 50 valor points
  • Heroic #5 for the day: 40 valor points
The idea is that after each heroic (or after some number of heroics), the amount of valor you'll get continues to decrease to the point of not making it worthwhile at all to run them. This concept could also be applied to raids and other systems that distribute any kind of currency. In the example above the rate of change is linear (200 valor/number of runs), however in practice the rate of change would likely be piecewise (the rate not determined by a function, but by set values the designers choose that are loosely based on a function), and also it'd probably have minimums so running heroics would never return virtually zero valor.

It's an interesting exercise to write numbers down on paper and see what the best way to reward valor for yourself would be. For me a 1/x curve with a lower-bound limit of 33% feels about right (ie: the lowest valor you'd get for running a heroic would be 33% of normal valor).

As with most things Ghostcrawler, please be aware that his insights should often be taken as an academic discussion of WoW's design. Don't try to suss out truths and what the future of WoW will hold. Instead use them as interesting bits into the minds of the designers, realizing that the final product of WoW comes from hundreds of ideas from hundreds of people.

Diminishing returns on valor instead of a cap? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Community Blog Topic: What 3 features do you wish WoW had? - Thu, 30 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

In the results of last week's Blog Community Topic, many people included wish lists for changes to World of Warcraft along with what they felt was wrong with the game. there were quite a few good ideas, but not really related to the topic. So this week, we want to know what is your list of the top three features you would like added to WoW.

Personally, I'm rather happy with the game as it is, but I still have a wishlist of things that would make my experience in Azeroth even better.

Free server transfers

I would like Blizzard to provide one free server transfer a month per account. It seems to me that many people are quitting the game because they can't afford the $25 to move their characters to a higher population server. Also, quite selfishly, I have some characters that I'd like to move to Zangarmarsh, our It came from the Blog guild server. And while I've paid to transfer characters there before, I really can't afford to keep shelling out the dough. I think this change would go a long way toward keeping people happy and still playing the game -- which is good for everyone.

Continue reading Community Blog Topic: What 3 features do you wish WoW had?

Community Blog Topic: What 3 features do you wish WoW had? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: He's just so happy - Thu, 30 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) used to work in a zoo.

You know, I was perfectly aware that elephants could paint, having worked at the San Diego Zoo before. But I didn't realize they were also happy enough to play the harmonica if given the opportunity.

Dobablo asked:

Q. If I upgrade a BoA archeology item (such as the Umbrella of Chi-Ji) will it become soulbound as the UI warns or does it stay account-bound only?

It will remain account-bound. Feel free to upgrade it and send it to your alts! The Spear of Xuen is a particularly good upgrade, for characters that can use polearms.

Continue reading The Queue: He's just so happy

The Queue: He's just so happy originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Good grief! - Thu, 30 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

Ever wonder what's holding up those beautiful kites in the Jade Forest? You thought they were just tied to a tree or a post, didn't you? The truth is much more disturbing than that. The pandaren version of Charlie Brown, chasing his wayward kite, ended up tangled in a tree and perished. Sad, to be sure, but it's probably the closest anyone in Azeroth has ever come to dying of natural causes. (Thanks to submitter Barnee of Nimfász Korporésön on Twisting Nether [EU-H] for the screenshot!)

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Good grief! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hordebloods miniatures customizer has WoW in his blood - Thu, 30 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

When we first spotted the evocative Hordeblood series of custom miniatures by Dave from Wargaming Tradecraft (thanks, Joe!), we were suitably impressed. And then we wandered into the wilderness of Dave's seemingly endless how-to resources for miniatures hobbyists. And then we heard about Headshots from the Heart, his online gaming charity event benefiting Child's Play.

And then I was like, "Heeey, wait a minute. So who is this Dave guy? And how come he does so much cool stuff?"

Continue reading Hordebloods miniatures customizer has WoW in his blood

Hordebloods miniatures customizer has WoW in his blood originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Could you step into your character's shoes? - Thu, 30 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

Every character I've successfully bonded with displays at least some element that relates to the real-world me. Sometimes the tie is tenuous -- a physical resemblance or a quirk of habit that relates to my larger "family" of characters or to me. But when I play a character that's too divergent from the real me, I tend to lose the emotional connection. The character becomes simply "my toon," a tool I use to get certain raid jobs done. (Aaand queue the credits, because that's always the sign that this character's screen time is about to come to a close.)

Still, I'm not so similar to my characters that I think I could handle the work they do in Azeroth. What if I actually possessed the same toolkit of class skills and abilities? I can most assuredly imagine myself as my priest, healing a raid of hardy adventurers. Grace under pressure and rapid triage are strong points for me, and I don't flinch from the unexpected. I wouldn't imagine I'd be traumatized by the horrors of battle. The work of a mage also seems like a solid fit, although I'd prefer to find a useful position off the field of combat. But life as a warrior? Even if I had the physical strength, I'm not sure I could take leaping into melee, day in and day out. Blood and gore at my hand? Not for me.

Could you effectively step into your character's shoes in Azeroth? Like my mage, could you get the work done if you could find a non-combat position? Or do you play any characters whose jobs simply aren't a fit in any sense for the real you?

Breakfast Topic: Could you step into your character's shoes? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Thu, 30 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Community Blog Topic Results: What's wrong with WoW - Wed, 29 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

Last week, we asked "What's wrong with WoW?" After four blog posts and over 300 comments, it is obvious that quite a few people have very strong thoughts on the subject. We specifically asked what people thought were the reasons that World of Warcraft's subscriber numbers were declining, so I'll be highlighting some of the responses that focus on that.

Age

Carmelo at Clever Musings touts WoW's age as being its biggest problem. 8 years is a very long time for a game, even though it does change every two years with expansions. I'm sure that some people are leaving to play shiny new games with prettier graphics.

Continue reading Community Blog Topic Results: What's wrong with WoW

Community Blog Topic Results: What's wrong with WoW originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How long have you played World of Warcraft? - Wed, 29 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

After eight years of World of Warcraft, it's definitely time to shift the goal posts on defining what qualifies a player as being old school. How long does someone have to have played WoW before you consider them a seasoned player? How long before you consider them an old timer? Does having played the game for some period of time give you confidence that a player is probably experienced and knowledgeable about the areas of the game he or she commonly plays?

What about you -- how long have you played World of Warcraft? And would you consider yourself an experienced player?

View Poll


How long have you played World of Warcraft? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Nobody's Quest Episode 1 - Wed, 29 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Do you remember Nobody? How about Nobody's creator, Ninth Batter? Both are back with a story-driven machinima called Nobody's Quest Episode 1. With a definite plot, plenty of exposition, and actual narrative structure, Nobody's Quest already looks refreshing and exciting.

The first episode is only a few minutes long, but Ninth already has six episodes in the can. Keep checking back every week for the new episode. Hopefully, this kind of story video will get fans excited and we'll see many more in the future. My hat's off to Ninth Batter for reinvigorating this method of storytelling.
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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: Nobody's Quest Episode 1 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PvP Vendors available again - Wed, 29 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

WoW Insider posted last week about the deactivation of the PvP vendors, specifically those selling conquest gear for honor, thanks to the issues experienced with the Tyrannical Conquest achievement.

As the title suggests, the vendors are available again. Senior PvP Developer Brian Holinka took to twitter to announce this:
This troublesome achievement, though, is still causing issues for some players. It seems, from what I can gather, that in order to set the achievement off, you need to earn conquest points. Even just earning a single one will make the game re-count your season total, and award you the achievement. This is still the case even if you have earned well over the required 25,000 points in the season. Just win an arena, or a rated battleground, or do the PvP dailies, and you'll be set.

PvP Vendors available again originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Poll: Do you think Blizzard will ever offer class changes? - Wed, 29 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Intrepid reader Grace wrote in posing this question to us, which started us thinking about why class changes aren't on the menu for WoW players. Blizzard lets you do lots of things to your WoW character after you've created it. Besides leveling it up, you can change races, you can change factions, you can change names, you can change servers, you can change your appearance, and you can even change the looks of your gear with transmogrification. But one thing you're stuck with is your class.

However, while most of these changes are superficial, cosmetic things, class is not -- the class of your character is intrinsic to its identity, and you learn how to manage any class by spending time playing it. But when class changes hit our favored characters hard and we see greener pastures in a newer, more interesting class, leveling an alt -- and then gearing it up -- can make for tedious work. And sometimes all we really want to do is shift from one healing class to another, to better hone our skills or work with our group.

So here's the question for you: Will Blizzard ever offer class changes? Should they?

View Poll

Poll: Do you think Blizzard will ever offer class changes? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The WoW Insider Show Episode 296: Testing - Wed, 29 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

Every week, join us as we present you with The WoW Insider Show podcast -- an hour's worth of WoW community discussion covering everything from the week's top stories here on WoW Insider to emails from our readers and what's been going on with our particular characters in Azeroth.

This week's show is called Testing because it's what we did. We tested going back to a live format. It's a bit different than the previous live shows we used to do, as we're a bit more focused on recording the actual show. However, we still managed to work in a few chat channel comments, and took some time afterwards to talk with everyone that hung out with us.

We're not ready quite yet to make this a super official change over. You can keep an eye out on our social media outlets (Twitter and Facebook) for the next time we're going live. I hear it might be Monday June 3around 8pm PDT... but that might change.

Once we have a few more kinks worked out of the system we'll post an announcement and the live stream, just like we used to. And as always, our podcast will be available via iTunes and right here on the site.

Want to have your question answered on the air? Email theshow@wowinsider.com!

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:


The WoW Insider Show Episode 296: Testing originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Round Table: Heroic Scenarios - Wed, 29 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Welcome to the first WoW Insider Round Table. Every week or two we'll give you the inside scoop on the key opinions and facts about a specific area of the World of Warcraft. In today's inaugural video we're talking about what's on everyone's mind: heroic scenarios.

They're beasts right now. People are quite divided on how useful they are, and what the best way to go about finding a group for them are. We've even had Ghostcrawler weigh in on the mechanics of the rewards via Twitter. Olivia, Matt, Dawn, and Sally sit down in a Google Hangout and share their thoughts and opinions. And we want to hear yours! What do you think heroic scenarios are doing for the game? Are they everything you wanted them to be ... or can you not even find a group for them?

Let us know, and thanks for watching!


WoW Insider Round Table: Heroic Scenarios originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Editorial: Am I the only one who doesn't care about a delayed video game? - Wed, 29 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Maybe it's just me, but the news last night that Blizzard delayed Titan a bit has me ... well, not caring. At all. As in I can think of a hundred other things I'd rather do than sit around and listen to a lot of people complain about how it's vaporware or whatever else.

I don't mean to be combative here, but I want to raise the point: why do things like this get so much attention in the gaming press? Even for an unannounced title, for which there has been zero official confirmation on any of its details, people seem to be quite cranky about the delay. I can't really wrap my head around it.

Is it the fact that Blizzard has been working on this for at least five years? I remember doing Saturn Six Insider three years ago as a little spoof on it all (Saturn's 6th moon is Titan). Since then Blizzard has said nothing new about the project -- this delay only means that they're continuing to work on it and are building it up to be something large and grand. It doesn't mean anything else.

Continue reading Editorial: Am I the only one who doesn't care about a delayed video game?

Editorial: Am I the only one who doesn't care about a delayed video game? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Titanic - Wed, 29 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Buckle up, y'all. I get a little ranty today.

@Atanae asked:

How much of a non-issue is the Titan announcement?

Continue reading The Queue: Titanic

The Queue: Titanic originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Titan Development Reset: Blizzard speaks out - Wed, 29 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Following the recent news that Blizzard's hotly anticipated MMO, codenamed Project Titan, has been pushed back to 2016, ZAM's Jarimor has reached out to the developers and obtained an official statement.
We've always had a highly iterative development process, and the unannounced MMO is no exception. We've come to a point where we need to make some large design and technology changes to the game. We're using this opportunity to shift some of our resources to assist with other projects while the core team adapts our technology and tools to accommodate these new changes. Note that we haven't announced any dates for the MMO.
Venturebeat reported that the game's development had been "reset", apparently due to a desire to make technology changes. Purely speculating, of course, but this could be indicative of a change to a new engine, or something along those lines. Rumors have abounded about this secretive project, and a leaked product slate from 2010 indicated that a release would take place in the fourth quarter of 2013. This new information would certainly put paid to that notion, along with other rumors about teaser footage emerging at Blizzcon.

The moral of the story is, essentially, that unless you have information directly from the developers, don't pay too much attention to the rumor mill! As WoW Insider's Matthew Rossi commented yesterday, this is nothing new for Blizzard, with similar actions being taken for Warcraft III. We can only hope that Titan doesn't go the way of Starcraft: Ghost.

Titan Development Reset: Blizzard speaks out originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: The body farm - Wed, 29 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

"I seriously want to know what these pandas are truly up to with their so-called farming," writes submitter Arugadh of The Brotherhood of Iron on Wyrmrest Accord (US-A). "Every day, I have to fight disease-ridden virmen, bloodthirsty hawks, and tentacles of the Old Gods trying to steal my veggies. And today, in a quiet corner of this supposedly peaceful farm, I found a skeleton curled up in the death throes of one who succumbed to whatever horrific curse the Old Gods have laid on my crops. I'm waiting for the big reveal of what the pandas are really farming. I'm waiting ..."

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: The body farm originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Durotarian Candidate - Wed, 29 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

This one's all speculation, guys, and what's more, it's arrant speculation, too. This one takes the Tinfoil Hat and welds it on: not only is nothing in this essay established canon, even I don't think it's remotely likely. But when has that ever stopped us?

With the arrival of patch 5.3, Alliance players have noticed a bit of a disconnect. Why are we in the barrerns, they ask, instead of attacking the Horde elsewhere and reclaiming some lost territory while it's distracted with the rebellion? Others wonder why we're working with Vol'jin at all, instead of just letting the Horde fight amongst each other until there's an exhausted winner at the top and attacking him... or perhaps her, depending on how it all shakes out.

Still others find King Varian's sudden (to them, anyway) gear switch from raging, barely in control ball of rage to this singleminded, purposeful character who is uniting the Alliance behind him strange and unusual. Why is Varian suddenly counseling caution to Tyrande and refusing to make use of an obviously powerful weapon like the Sha? Why is Varian content to let Jaina take the lead against the Thunder King, and why did he acquiesce to the player and SI:7's plan to support Vol'jin's rebellion?

For a completely made up answer to these questions, let's look at Lo'Gosh, the gladiator. But first, let's look at Croc-Bait.

Continue reading Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Durotarian Candidate

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Durotarian Candidate originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Oh right, I forgot about you guys - Wed, 29 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

So confession time: I just now reached exalted with the Netherwing.

To be honest, I completely forgot they existed. I was working on their rep grind back in Burning Crusade, but it was terrible (as all BC rep grinds were) and I just lost interest in it when Wrath came out and there were all sorts of new cool mounts to get. The bar was half-way to exalted, but every time I looked at it (not very often) I imagined grinding that last 10,000 or so rep over the course of a week and I always, always came up with something better to do with my time.

Wrath faded to Cataclysm and the Netherwing were ever further from my mind. Rep grinds in the here and now had my attention, with more and better quests and generally a much less onerous feel to them. The Netherwing was the furthest thing from my mind.

Anyway, with patch 5.3 out I discovered that Netherspite now drops Netherwing eggs. And with that one little change, since I'm in Kara killing him almost weekly anyway, I suddenly found myself motivated to get that final bit of rep to exalted. I still hate the Netherwing quest, but at last, I'm exalted with the Netherwing and riding my new Azure Netherwing Drake (that's not him, it's just too cool a shot to not use). So here's my question for you: anything you forgot to do over the years?

Breakfast Topic: Oh right, I forgot about you guys originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 29 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumor: Project Titan development reset? - Tue, 28 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

According to Venturebeat the as-yet unannounced Project Titan has seen seventy or so developers reassigned to other projects and a slimmed down thirty person team remains on the project. MMO-Champion reported that sources indicated that the changes were made in part due to a desire to make significant technology changes to the project and that the rest of the developers are being moved to World of Warcraft, Blizzard All-Stars, the upcoming Diablo III expansion and Battle.net.

Considering Titan hasn't even been announced yet, we're not sure what we can really make of this news. We've seen similar moves in the past with titles like Starcraft: Ghost which ended in cancellation, and even Warcraft III saw mid-stream technology updates that resulted in a very successful launch. At any rate, until any sort of announcement on what Titan actually is gets made, we'll just be over here playing World of Warcraft.

Rumor: Project Titan development reset? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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I hate scenarios - Tue, 28 May 2013 19:00:00 EST

Behind the scenes at WoW Insider, we've been talking a lot about scenarios recently, for various reasons - some of which we hope to be able to soon share! In those discussions, I relatively quickly had to come out and admit, yeah, I kind of hate scenarios. It's not that I think there's anything actually bad about them. Maybe individual scenarios have certain annoying mechanics, I honestly haven't done enough of them to know. But I kind of dread doing them, and avoid them for the most part, and there is a very simple reason why: when I first go into one, I don't necessarily know what I'm supposed to be doing.

I cannot communicate how much I despise that feeling. It's why I love being a healer. Here is your job as a healer, in any dungeon or raid ever: you stay out of the bad stuff on the ground and you play Rejuvenation (or Holy Light, or Healing Wave, or whatever) whack-a-mole with health bars. It's great. It's structured and straightforward and it's always the same. Sometimes there are additional mechanics you have to be aware of but, here's the thing - boss needs interrupts? Not a healer's job. Mobs need kiting? Not a healer's job. Turtles need kicking? Not a healer's job. Boxes need clicking? Not a healer's job (usually).

Continue reading I hate scenarios

I hate scenarios originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Encrypted Text: Rogues and RPPM - Tue, 28 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

If you have any questions about what gear you should use or about your specific DPS stat weights, you should use Shadowcraft to get the answers. WoW is a game with dozens of different mechanics and complex intersections. There's no way to guess or intuit what's right for your rogue. Every rogue has different access to gear, and you're always limited by what actually drops. You shouldn't focus on trying to theorycraft in a gear vacuum, because the gear you currently have is important in planning the proper upgrade paths.

That said, there's no reason you shouldn't understand some of the underlying mechanics that determine what gear and stats are good for you. The newest mechanic in WoW is the Real Proc-Per-Minute (RPPM) system, which affects several proc-based effects like our weapon enchants, trinkets, and the legendary meta gem. RPPM is a very different system for procs than we've seen in the past.

Continue reading Encrypted Text: Rogues and RPPM

Encrypted Text: Rogues and RPPM originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Is it time to remove all transmog restrictions? - Tue, 28 May 2013 17:00:00 EST

I think an experience along these lines is pretty common for WoW transmog enthusiasts: "Fantastic, I finally got the Talon of the Phoenix! I'm gonna transmog it to... wait. I'm using an axe for raiding." Or maybe this one: "Yes! This is an amazing upgrade! ...Oh I can't transmog a two-handed weapon into a main and off-hand, so I have to redo my outfit." I use weapons as examples because they often have the most limited transmog options, despite the fact that Blizzard did lift a lot of their restrictions in patch 5.2. Polearms and staves can be transmogged into each other. One-handed maces, axes, and swords can be transmogged into each other. Two-handed maces, axes, and swords can be transmogged into each other. But two-handed axes, swords, and maces cannot be transmogged into staves or polearms. Fist weapons cannot be transmogged into one-handed swords, axes, or maces.

In one view, the limitations make sense. As a druid, I can use staves, polearms, and two-handed maces. I cannot use two-handed axes or swords. If there were no restrictions, I could transmog my healing staff into a sword and be a resto druid with a sword. That seems odd to me. Then again, I can be a resto druid with a staff transmogged to a polearm, but I cannot be a resto druid with a staff transmogged into a two-handed mace, even though I can equip both those weapons.

Continue reading Is it time to remove all transmog restrictions?

Is it time to remove all transmog restrictions? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The issue of gender and character creation - Tue, 28 May 2013 16:00:00 EST

Earlier today, reddit user Izunai asked on /r/wow whether or not it's appropriate for someone to play a character with a gender different from their own -- more specifically, whether he, as a man, is allowed to play a woman. His question begins with, "Is this frowned upon or otherwise strange?"

This is a topic that I've personally found very interesting over the many years I've been playing World of Warcraft and MMOs/RPGs in general. I've never considered it strange to play the gender opposite who you are in real life. Most of my characters in games are women. I also play men, I have male alt characters in WoW, but the majority of my characters are women. My death knight is a man. My paladin is a woman. My priest is a woman. My warrior is a woman. My rogue, who is now my main character, is also a woman.

Continue reading The issue of gender and character creation

The issue of gender and character creation originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: Lore According to Illidan - Tue, 28 May 2013 15:00:00 EST

Illidan's life story is full of angst, pain, and some truly tragic decision making. Working with a psychiatrist, Mr. You Are Not Prepared relates the harshest moments in WoW melodrama in Lore According to Illidan. While I feel like the script could use a little bit of editing, this is a solid new format. My hat's off to Slightly Impressive for the idea.

The animation is pretty good, although the framing of Illidan on a couch didn't work super well. The overall approach works great, though, so I'm eager to see our gnome become a universal psychiatrist. I think she could really do Arthas some good.
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 email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


WoW Moviewatch: Lore According to Illidan originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The mystery of the dragon in Ahn'Qiraj - Tue, 28 May 2013 14:00:00 EST

Some things were added to Patch 5.3 that we don't have an explanation for yet, and one of those things is Andrestrasz, a level 5 red dragon sleeping in a cave on the coast behind Ahn'Qiraj, the Fallen Kingdom on the edge of the Kalimdor continent. To reach him, simply fly over AQ to the coast and follow a copse of trees until you find his cave, wherein he sleeps... and does nothing at all as far as I could tell. There's already multiple pages of speculation about him, but as of yet, I've found absolutely nothing out about the guy.

Who is Andrestrasz? Why is he sleeping in a cave behind AQ? Why is he level five in a zone that's completely deserted and surrounded by zones (Silithus, Un'Goro, Tanaris, Uldum) that are all much higher level? I have no idea, but patch 5.3 brought him in, so maybe we'll see more of him in future content.

The mystery of the dragon in Ahn'Qiraj originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Shifting Perspectives: Spending feral VP in 5.3 - Tue, 28 May 2013 13:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we spend our Valor Points at the corner store.

Patch 5.3 is here, the item upgrade vendors have returned, and it's time to talk about everybody's favorite things; gear. What are the pixels I can pick to push my kitty to the top of the heap? Let's take a look.

Weapons and trinkets first

As a feral, getting a good weapon is your highest priority. It's the jelly to your peanut butter, the ketchup to your french fries...okay, I may be hungry, but you get the point, it's a necessary complement to ensuring you can be an effective damage dealer. You have four choices for weapons; three drops from Throne of Thunder (Shan-Dun, Breaker of Hope, Jalak's Maelstrom Staff, or the Darkwood Spiritstaff) and the weapon with a legendary socket from 5.0, Gao-Rei. The differences in the ToT weapons are fairly minor, so just get the best you can, and upgrade it ASAP. If you can't get into ToT yet, the +500 agility from the legendary gem on Gao-Rei makes it a worthwhile fill-in. Oh, and if you've completed Chapter II of the legendary quest and received an Eye of the Black Prince, don't forget to buy another one when you get a weapon upgrade.

Continue reading Shifting Perspectives: Spending feral VP in 5.3

Shifting Perspectives: Spending feral VP in 5.3 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lichborne: Reviewing death knight talents for patch 5.4 - Tue, 28 May 2013 12:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has indicated that Blizzard is pretty happy with the new Mists of Pandaria talent design, and I have to agree with him. While it does suck to wait 15 levels between new talent choices while leveling a new alt, otherwise the new talent system allows real flexibility and interesting, meaningful choices, arguably more than we had under the 51 or 31 point talent systems, where almost every tier had a clear best choice for whatever role you were playing.

That said, there's always room for improvement, and the devs have mentioned they plan to use patch 5.4 as another opportunity to go over talent trees and bolster talents that see less use or otherwise feel underpowered. With that in mind, this week we'll look at the death knight tree and pick out some candidates for a patch 5.4 redesign.

Continue reading Lichborne: Reviewing death knight talents for patch 5.4

Lichborne: Reviewing death knight talents for patch 5.4 originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Original Content - Tue, 28 May 2013 11:00:00 EST

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

You know what I can absolutely say? That this Queue is original content, insofar as question and answer columns are original content.

Now that we've got that out of the way...

Demon Within asked:

What was the reason given as to why we cant cage wild caught pets? Id love to be able to give some of the ones I've gotten away to guildies who are just starting out in pet battling.

Continue reading The Queue: Original Content

The Queue: Original Content originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Bad dog! Get off the carpet! - Tue, 28 May 2013 10:00:00 EST

"After a long day, there's nothing better than curling up for a nice relaxing nap," writes submitter Gurgii of Ascension on Whisperwind (US-A). "But my adopted pup just won't listen to me. I keep telling him the rug is so much more comfortable than the cold tiles. He's got a lot to learn about being a worgen!" I hope housebreaking is going to be part of his training, Gurgii, or you two might be unwelcome in dungeons and other confined spaces for a while.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Around Azeroth: Bad dog! Get off the carpet! originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Last Week in WoW: Back to the grind edition - Tue, 28 May 2013 09:00:00 EST

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone. Patch 5.3 is out, and we have both a written guide and a video guide to the top 5 things you need to know. Beyond that, of course, we have guides to just about aspect of the new patch that'll tell you what to do to get the most out of it. Our usual roundup of those guides and the rest of the week's news can be found below. Maintenance today is 4 hours, starting at 5 a.m. PDT, so you should have some time.

Hot news and features

Continue reading Last Week in WoW: Back to the grind edition

Last Week in WoW: Back to the grind edition originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: What did you get done? - Tue, 28 May 2013 08:00:00 EST

While everyone commemorates Memorial Day in their own way, more than a few of us find ourselves with a few extra hours during long weekends to clock some WoW time. You might prefer the battlegrounds or you might prefer to get a little extra LFR raiding done. If you're especially studious, you might spend some time with our video content, boning up the important parts of patch 5.3.

If you managed to snag some bonus Azeroth time, what did you accomplish? I actually curled up with a few of the books, finally getting around to reading first-hand about Jaina's troubles and travails. I know, I'm a horrible blogger for taking this long, but I really enjoy reading when I take time off. I save the good stuff for then. But what about you? What did you do?

Breakfast Topic: What did you get done? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 28 May 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blood Pact: Combat log kung fu for warlocks - Mon, 27 May 2013 20:00:00 EST

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill is finishing out the World of Logs posts while she hunts for BC-era battle pets.

Have you ever tried to read the combat log? Maybe you're on the PTR testing a spell change or you want to know how often a new trinket procs, so you open the combat log chat window and start reading.

You get twenty-something lines down before you realize something horrifying -- that's only one second of combat. Your jaw slowly falls to the floor and you reach up to pull your hair out as you contemplate reading a combat log for an entire raid fight -- that can sometimes last more than six hundred seconds and includes far more actors than just you and the training dummy.

Luckily for us, when events are printed in a specified format without too much variety, computers can read and process --or parse -- these lines magnitudes faster than we humans can. World of Logs has graphs and charts to help us understand our performance, but it also includes what is basically Google for your combat log. Just like there are tips to speed up and pinpoint your browser searches, there are tricks you can use to query events better in the World of Logs expression editor.

Continue reading Blood Pact: Combat log kung fu for warlocks

Blood Pact: Combat log kung fu for warlocks originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officers' Quarters: Breaking good - Mon, 27 May 2013 18:00:00 EST

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Breaks are good. Everyone needs a break from something that they do on a regular basis: work, school, sports, etc. Raiding is no different. Raiders need breaks. So do roleplayers, arena teams, and achievement junkies. Whether it's one person stepping away from WoW for a little while or a team taking a week or two off from group activities, this kind of short-term sabbatical is a healthy practice.

As an officer, breaks can be dangerous to your guild if you handle them poorly. Take a lesson from the Horde: Thrall needed a break and now Durotar is a war zone. Let's look at the right way to manage it.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Breaking good

Officers' Quarters: Breaking good originally appeared on WoW Insider on Mon, 27 May 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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