Of course, that doesn't mean she didn't do any good at all. Your personal views may differ from hers depending on the topic, but she's generally pretty well regarded for her efforts when it comes to issues regarding children and their protection. Personally, I don't agree with the extreme 'think of the children!' mentality (or Tate's approach to it) that's become increasingly common, but again, my opinion doesn't represent a nation. A few out of line comments don't negate her efforts entirely.
One of our readers wrote in this morning with a followup, and it seems that everyone who had issues is being granted a 15-day playtime credit on their account to make up for it. Half a month across the board is a pretty substantial credit, especially considering many of the people we've heard from were only locked out of their characters for a couple of days. I'm sure we'd all prefer there was never a problem to begin with, but this is a pretty generous compensation if true. I was impressed when they gave everyone a three day credit awhile back.
Emkephalin from Terenas sent us this picture of a wonderful Christmas present created for him by his mother. As the story goes, Emkephalin introduced his mother WoW a few years ago, like so many other players who play with their family. She waited until she'd officially retired before starting the game, which probably was a wise move. In a few short days, she reached the limits of what you can do on a trial account, and immediately went out and picked up her full retail copy.
Flash forward to this Christmas season. Among WoW-playing and scuba diving, it turns out Emk's mother also creates tile mosaics. You can imagine his surprise when Emkephalin removed the wrapping paper from the top of this table to see the wonderful Horde pattern created on the right. Emk was obviously pleased enough to drop us a tip, as well as a picture link to see it for ourselves.
This is a continuation of how WoW has inspired people for the season. I can't wait to see what next year brings, and am probably going to invest my time between now and then to learn how to make something myself. It certainly would be awesome to enjoy coffee over such a distinctive table.
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe plays WoW - Tue, 30 Dec 2008 16:00:00 EST Most Minnesota Vikings fans are saying that their punter, Chris Kluwe, is probably the best dropkicker to play for the team, and this profile in the Star Tribune reveals something else about the young (he's 27) football player: he also plays World of Warcraft. Not only is he breaking team records left and right, but he's an avid videogame player, and talks about his time in Azeroth so much that a local morning show has dubbed him "Chris Warcraft." His Wikipedia entry also says he once sent a signed Wrath mousepad to a fan in Canada, too. So while he might not be 80 yet (the Vikings have been busy winning my sorry Bears' division this year, and now they're headed to the playoffs), he has been around and playing lately.
Unfortunately, while there are quite a few notes about his game-playing around the 'net (he's also a big Guitar Hero fan, so Activision-Blizzard will probably appreciate that), we haven't seen his characters mentioned anywhere, so we have no idea what class or race he plays. For some reason, Mage jumps to mind as a complete guess, and so does Horde, but we'll probably have to ask Kluwe himself to find out.
Update: Internet detectives in the comments below say he's a Troll Rogue on Kil'jaeden. And that he's already hit 80 (isn't he supposed to be practicing for the playoffs?).
Update2: Kluwe got in touch with us and confirmed that yes, he's an 80 Rogue (so I'm 50/50 on the random guessing). He also says that he hasn't had too much time to play lately, since he and his wife just had a baby girl. And he says that if you really want to be amused at how he spends his time, check his achievements. Yes, he's a Merrymaker.
This week, Zaboo continues trying to become a man, with the usual creepy results, and Tink shows a new side of herself -- Felicia promised us a while ago that we'd see new relationships sprouting up between the characters, and that's exactly what we're getting. Plus, the stuntman, who seemed like he might fit right in with the gang, might not actually be on exactly the same page.
And this episode also shows off the show's bigger budget in a pretty exciting way (not to mention that the cinematography is looking really good lately). We almost can't keep up with all of The Guild coming out this year. Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
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.
Merry No Maintenance Day, everyone! Let's not waste it and jump right into things. Chilblain asked...
When my guild does 25-mans, it's not uncommon to have 2-3 Priests, 2 Warlocks and 2-3 Mages. Nearly one third of the entire raid is all rolling on Cloth armor, yet we go entire evenings where not a single piece drops.
If Blizzard insists on the ridiculous notion that cloth should be all things to all people, have they addressed the poor drop rate in comparison to other items? Our Resto Druids and Shaman are all decked out in 213 and while our Priests are still healing in Heroic blues.
Our good friends over at Massively have teamed up with the GamerDNA site to come up with some stats of MMO playtime this year, and the results are very interesting. Unfortunately, those results are buried under some pretty confusing charts (and these are all approximations of what's happening from GamerDNA information, not actual subscription numbers), but we'll see if we can pull out the salient points for you.
In (very) short, WoW rules. Two games that most pundits thought might affect WoW playtime, Warhammer Online and Age of Conan, in fact, didn't affect WoW logons in the least, according to this data. And while guest contributor (and GamerDNA writer/analyst) Sanya Weathers says she may have spotted a short decline in WoW playtime right around the release of WAR, that was quickly overshot by the release of Wrath, as WoW's numbers jumped right back up.
But while Blizzard has weathered the competition this year, things might not be so hunky dory for them in the future: while games like Lord of the Rings Online and EVE Online are showing sharper increases, WoW's population seems to be leveling out. It's still growing, sure, but not at the rate that it has been (and perhaps at the slowest rate in the game's life). And you have to think, as we said on the podcast last week, that whatever other expansions Blizzard can come up with, none will be as interesting to their players as finishing off the story of Arthas Menethil and the Lich King. WoW is still the undisputed king of MMOs, but the stats say we're closer to the end of its reign than the beginning.
Today's Moviewatch is The Lamp, by Innovatif. Here's a tip that will help you from the beginning. The two characters are credited as "Blue Idiot" and "Red Idiot." They're not stand-ins for kids or anything, they're just a pair of idiots. That being said, I'm shocked and aghast that Alliance was used for token idiots!
The Lamp is pretty amusing. I'm not sure I laughed out loud, but I was definitely grinning at watching the clods go through their Christmas morning. It doesn't hurt that their excitement over a found lamp reminds me of my favorite phrase - I love lamp! (Or, for me, I love Tank!) And is often the case when a pair of idiots find a shiny object, the story progresses and hijinks ensue.
"The Lamp" is decent to watch, but I think it struggles a little bit against the recent rash of astounding films. I hope to see more from Innovatif, as I think this shows a lot of promise.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Hey, what has two thumbs and is too scared to face a pre-BC raid boss? This guy! Actually, Blabba from Bladefist is less a coward and more of a victim of circumstance. As he tells it, his guild took ten people through to brute-force Molten Core, only two of whom had ever done the instance before. The experienced leaders decided to have some fun with the group on Ragnaros. They told the casters to stand with their backs to the wall, but informed melee that they were on their own.
As such, Blabba was taken by surprise when Rag's knockback blasted him to the top of the pillar. He jumped down, managed to get in one hit with his weapon, and was hit back to the pillar again. After this experience, he decided that his guild could nine-man Rag and stayed atop the pillar for the rest of the fight. It took his group two minutes to locate him after the boss went down. I can't blame him -- I've spent many a boss fight wishing I were watching it from a safe distance away.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
It's over a month after the release of Wrath of the Lich King and the World of Warcraft's first new class since its release. And though I'm guessing you all know exactly what I'm talking about, for the sake of clarity, I'll spell it out: we're talking about Death Knights. When everyone had an expansion box in their hot little hands, the first thing most of them seemed to do was hop off to roll a shiny new Death Knight. (Note: calling a Death Knight "shiny" to their face may or may not wind up duels to the death, but personally, I wouldn't risk it.) The starting zones were crowded and no one could have wanted for companionship while leveling up towards Northrend (unless they needed a healer, anyway). But after a month and a half? The rush is over and the crowd has died down. Have you rolled your Death Knight? Were you waiting on getting a main (or a main and an alt or two) to 80 first? Is anyone out there still rolling Death Knights?
Have you seen Blind yet? Seriously. It's on the site, I swear. It's so good we posted it twice, even. Well, I guess three times, now. And seriously, guys. The music is fine. Awesome even. This is probably the most dynamic, well plotted, well choreographed WoW Movie to come across the desk here at WoW Insider, so even if you don't watch WoW videos, you are going to want to give this one a watch. Also, I just realized that the title "Blind" refers to the rogue skill, so that's cool too.
If you can't find the time to watch it now, you'll have time in a little bit when the rolling restarts start. They start at 5 AM Pacific for American servers, 10 AM Pacific for the Oceanic servers. And once you're finished watching that and you pop your jaw back into place, try some of these articles:
Of course, that doesn't mean a whole lot for us here at WoW Insider. We'll still be here all morning, giving you guys (and gals) at work or school plenty of distractions to occupy your day. Here's hoping that everything goes smoothly and the servers actually restart, rather than just roll. Like, on the ground. You know, broken. Get it? ...No? Crap.
If you didn't catch the Craft of War: BLIND when we featured it on Friday, now's a good time to check it out above. The release of this machinima has hit several WoW news and comment sites like a storm, even being featured on the front page of MMOChampion. But the real news is that Percula, the creator and animator of the movie, has issued a little more information about who he is, and where he comes from.
According to Percula, the future of BLIND is somewhat uncertain. This is because he did work for a game studio, but was laid off a few months ago. The high praise he's received makes it more likely that he's going to do a sequel, probably called something along the lines of Execute or Counterspell. Percula does say that he's thankful for both the positive feedback and constructive criticism he's seen since the release of BLIND. Although, as you might expect, he's having trouble keeping up with sheer volume of emails.
It's heartening to see a newcomer to the machinima scene make such a big breakthrough. I'd like to thank all the folks who commented on Friday's post, since Percula definitely saw that feedback. Here's hoping that we'll see a new release soon!
Lately I've gotten a lot of e-mail from readers with a similar theme. People ask me, "Should I stick with my guild even though we aren't raiding yet?" They say, "We just lost five members because we haven't cleared Naxx." They tell me, "I hate PUGs, but I can't even run a Heroic with my guild because only two people are 80."
They ask me to weigh their guild against their desire to run group content. And the fact of the matter is this: I can't answer that question for you. And I'll tell you why.
Wrath 101: Getting your dungeon reputation tabards - Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:00:00 EST Reader Paul K. sent us a query today about how to go about getting each of the champion dungeon tabards available at level 80, and since I'm about to hit level 80 (hopefully will be doing it tonight), I figured I'd do the work so the rest of you don't have to. Wearing these tabards will give you faction reputation for whatever tabard you're wearing in the endgame 5mans, so instead of running Steam Vaults over and over and over for Cenarion Expedition rep (oh man am I tired of that grind), you can just put on one of these, and then run whatever instances you want.
There are currently four factions that you can champion in the game, and all of the tabards for each are available at Friendly. So you'll need at least friendly with all of the factions -- Wyrmrest Accord, Knights of the Ebon Blade, Kirin Tor, and the Argent Crusade -- before you go around to pick them all up. Getting there isn't hard at all -- if you've leveled by questing, you should have built up the necessary reputation (the one exception in my case is the Knights of the Ebon Blade -- I'm neutral right now, but I haven't really done any questing in Icecrown yet at all).
After the jump, a list of where you need to go to get each tabard.
Meeting the goal of 100,000 honorable kills - Mon, 29 Dec 2008 17:00:00 EST Tipster Tomek sent us a note about his friend Zbijmnie of EU Vek'nilash, to see if, at level 49, he might be one of the lowest level players to every hit the goal of 100,000 honorable kills for the achievement, but after looking around for a bit, I've found the achievement is pretty commonplace. Because the count actually started way back when HKs were first added to the game (and not when achievements were), lots of people have picked up the seemingly gigantic number already. In fact, here's a level 19 who did it right when he logged into the expansion for the first time (which means he had killed 100,000 people even before patch 3.0.2.
So in retrospect, getting 100,000 HKs isn't too hard -- even if you got one every second, it'd really only take you about a day of playtime, which is probably a lot less than a month of realtime, depending on how long you play for and how good a player you are. Maybe in the next achievement update we'll see a really impossible goal for players to work on: 10 million mobs killed? 10,000 instances run? A million players looted in the battlegrounds? There's got to be something in the game that seems impossible for someone crazy out there to work on.
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.
Good afternoon, WoW Insider! I have nothing useful to say in my preface today, because I need to go put my new power supply and video card in my PC so I can actually play WoW again. Man, have you seen some of the newer video cards these days? If I had enough of these things I could build a fort capable of surviving a nuke out of them. This thing is a beast. Trech asked...
A couple questions regarding DK tanking... How much Defense rating am I going to need at level 80 to hit 540 defense skill. How much base defense skill will I have at 80? I'm levelling Unholy with a DPS build. If I throw on a few pieces of +def gear can I safely go tank Nexus or Utgarde Keep at level 72?
Tattooed for the Horde - Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:00:00 EST I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of tattoos out there, but that is a nice tattoo -- xstitchfla's son Christopher got it on his arm just recently, and clearly he's flying the Horde flag proudly. It took about five hours to put on there, which seems like it would hurt a lot, but then again, Hordies can take it, right?
Christopher is also headed off to Iraq next year, too, so we wish him the best of luck and hope that he stays safe.
And while we're at it, just what is it with the Horde and WoW tattoos? Seems like every picture we see is of the Orc/Tauren/Troll/Blood Elf/Forsaken variety. Aren't there any Humans, Gnomes or Dwarves out there getting inked up?
With World of Warcraft having the combined worldwide population of a small country, and the combined US population of a small state, people have been finding various ways to infuse their politics into the game. This can only be seen as a natural occurrence - people will naturally want to bring their out of game ideals into the game to express themselves.
We've covered various politically and socially minded groups in the past here and there. And with the end of the political season we've seen an increase in the number of political expressions in WoW.
Let's take a look back at the top five politically and socially relevant WoW thing-a-ma-jigs on the net in 2008.
The eagle-eyed among you will have caught a glimpse of this yesterday, on the LLS charity post (and how awesome is it that all that money is raised by WoW players?), but here's the whole thing in all of its glory, thanks to the OC Register's Blizzard Blog: Blizzard's holiday art for the year, drawn by Samwise as usual. Looks like the villians of Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo are celebrating in their own way as well.
Unfortunately this is as big a version as we've found so far -- usually, Blizzard releases the art as a wallpaper in their gallery (here's the art from last year), but there's no sign of this one yet. It's too bad -- I especially like Arthas and Illy D trying to get the time of day from Kerrigan and having no luck at all. Hopefully we'll see it in a much larger version on Blizzard's site soon, but in the meantime, happy holidays from Blizzard!
Update: Hehut found a slightly better (as in, "not a photograph") version over on Samwise's site.