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Saturday, December 27, 2008

WoW Warriors: Raiding Gear

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

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

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

The Obsidian Sanctum

Also called Sarth or Sartharion for the boss within, this raid is similar to Gruul or Magtheridon (or Onyxia, if you've been raiding that long) in that it is a short raid with a single boss encounter. (Technically, Gruul's had two, High King Maulgar and his council and then Gruul himself, but it was still a short raid along these lines.) Unlike those pervious raids, however, the Obsidian Sanctum has a built-in 'hard mode' of sorts, as the three sub-boss drakes Shadron, Tenebron and Vesperon can be killed before engaging Sartharion himself or left alive and dealt with while engaging him for better loot and a chance at a mount. This also leads to one of the hardest boss fights in the current game being 10 man Sartharion with three drakes up. (I've only killed him on normal difficulty with one drake up and that wasn't easy, so when we get around to leaving all three up I expect to get thrashed fairly often.)

10 manned, Sartharion has a chance to drop the Gloves of the Lost Protector which any warrior (and other classes, too) will be interested in. He also drops the Signet of the Accord, a nice tanking ring with expertise on it (always in demand for tanking) and Titan's Outlook. While I'd rather that armor pen was a meta socket or some expertise, it's still a very solid DPS hat.

On heroic, Sartharion drops the Gauntlets of the Lost Protector (for the 25 man version of T7) the Dragon Brood Legguards for a solid tanking piece with high hit, the Dragonstorm Breastplate for yet more tanking goodness (and two sockets, although neither is blue, sad clown face) and Fury of the Five Flights, a very interesting DPS trinket. So far in my searches for what drops on Sarth when drakes are left alive, I've found the Obsidian Greathelm and the Belabored Legplates. Both appear to be from two drakes up. Both are astonishing DPS plate. As I find more drops from 10 and 25 man Sarth with drakes up I'll mention them.

I don't know why, but I spell Naxxramas "Naxxaramas" in my head. It's very distracting. Naxx is one of the best sources of gear (including weapons, which can be in short supply for warriors in the other raids, now that our DPS goals have generally shifted to two hand weapons) - some of the best possible options for weapons for a warrior come from Naxx. As always, use common sense: trying to take a bow over a hunter for who it would be a much bigger upgrade, for instance, is not cool.

Weapon drops from 10 man Naxx to pay attention to include the Accursed Bow of the Elite and the Nerubian Conquerer for ranged slot stats. (Remember what I said about the hunters, but in my raids these often get sharded now so if that's the case and you don't have better pick one up.) If you're looking for a tanking sword, the Slayer of the Lifeless will serve you well. It's also one of the most popular tanking weapons with every other tanking class that can use a sword, so good luck fighting over it.

For 2h DPS weapons, Naxx 10 offers the Claymore of Ancient Power, Demise, amd Death's Bite for arms and fury warriors, and arms warriors can make use of the Wraith Spear although it's not the most optimal choice for them (I'd pass it to a hunter myself). Then again, the Wraith Spear has a larger damage range and thus more top end damage than either the Claymore or Demise. You guys have fun arguing over it, I guess, consider it my belated Christmas present to you.

Naxx doesn't disappoint in heroic, either. Tanks will debate over Broken Promise (is it too slow? Look at those stats! Speed really only matters if you're worried about miss/dodge/parry streaks, so this weapon depends on how good your hit and expertise are) and Last Laugh (here, most of the arguing will probably be over who gets it - good luck, Orc Warriors, it doesn't get better for you until Ulduar comes out). Our ranged weapon slots will cry out for Arrowsong, Envoy of Mortality, Final Voyage and Spinning Fate at least for DPS warriors. (Tanks are going to get Armor Plated Combat Shotguns, I expect, and nothing in Naxx makes me think they'd abandon them.) I personally prefer throwing weapons, but that Arrowsong is pretty hot... try and be nice to your hunters first, though, imagine how you'd feel if they took Betrayer of Humanity over you.

Speaking of 2h weapons for our arms and fury warriors, there's the Betrayer off of Kel'Thuzad, and then Armageddon, Inevitable Defeat, the Jawbone and Cryptfiend's Bite, which would really only interest arms warriors.

We'll, we're about half-way done. Next time, we'll finish Naxxramas looking towards armor (including trinkets, rings and amulets) and then we'll cover Malygos. If there's time/room, we'll also cover emblem of valor gear that can help fill some holes in itemization for warriors. Next week, however, will most likely be a 2008 year in review post, so please bear with us.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Five WoW movies to help get your Festivus on

Merry Christmas World of Warcraft players! No matter what you celebrate, whether it's Festivus for the Rest of Us or full blown Christmas cheer, you can appreciate some quality holiday movies this season.

Let's take a look at five festive holiday machinima productions over the past few years.

Of course it needs to be stipulated that there are no Gnomes or Paladins in these movies, since they're godless heathens. (Insert /sarcasm here). But for the rest of us these movies will delight and titillate our holiday spirits.

Take a look after the break for our five holiday machinimas you won't want to miss! And don't forget to check out of coverage of the Feast of Winter's Veil if you're looking for something to do between all the holiday fun times.

The 12 Days of Winter's Veil

I really wish that on the first day of Christmas my true love would have given to me a Gnome head on a Christmas tree. Unfortunately I don't think Katie would enjoy the bloody mess. And you know, we don't even have a Christmas tree really.

But Oxhorn got one. And that's cool. And so is this machinima.

This is only part one of Oxhorn's contributions to the five WoW Christmas movies. Part two comes later. Read on.

The Guild: A Christmas Raid Carol

We all love The Guild and Felica Day, right? Last year they produced the Christmas carol above. Grats to Codex on the ring! They've also made a nice jingle this year.

I had to laugh at the end when Vorik is singing about questing alone on Christmas. I'll find some time today I'm sure to log on and do a daily or two... by myself... but I won't have any turkey. At least I hope not.

Christmas Time in Dun Morogh

Are you one of those people who keeps their Christmas decorations up until July?

I hate you.

No really. I do. "DIAF," as the kids like to say.

While I don't have any up at my home, my father will be taking his down tomorrow around noon. Not in Dun Morogh however, where it's always Christmas time.

The 2008 holiday gift guide for Hunters

All I want for Christmas... is you.

I'm not saying this week's column isn't for Hunters. That would be silly, what with this being a Hunter column and all. But this column goes out primarily to the Hunters' friends, guildmates, family members, spouses, significant others, and the like, who may be thinking, man, here it is, Christmas day, and I still don't have the proper gift. This column aims to help them find that gift. But hey, if you're a Hunter who wants to get something special for yourself too, you should still read on. You might just find an idea here.

Yeah, I suppose if you wanted to get your Christmas shopping done for your special Hunter EARLY, this guide is a little bit late. But hey, there's 12 days of Christmas, and where I come from, The first day is the 25th of December. Besides, this is a Holiday Guide, and the Holidays, all told, extend to at least mid-January, right? So yeah, we're totally good. Anyway, if you have a Hunter on your gift list this season, here's some in-game gift ideas from various professions, dungeon drops, and elsewhere that just might woo your special Hunter, or appease them until next year, or whatever it is you may need to do.

Swiftarrow Armor: If your special Hunter is getting up to the high 70s in level just about now, why not buy them a nice suit of armor to help them get over the top? Swiftarrow armor, made with Leatherworking, comes with Belt, Boots, Bracers, Gauntlets, Hauberk, Helm, Leggings, and Shoulderguards, and takes various amounts of Borean Leather and an Eternal Air each to craft. It has plenty of all the basic stats a growing Hunter needs, plus some extra resilience if your Hunter likes to PvP. Check your Hunter's Armory, check your bank account, and buy as many or as few of these pieces as you want. They're sure to be appreciated.

The Nesingwary 4000: If your Hunter is a gun lover, here's something that's sure to make their season bright. The Nesingwary 4000 is a crafted gun that takes a lot of expensive components to craft, including a Frozen Orb and 3 Sun Scopes. It's better than pretty much any other gun outside Heroic Naxxramas, though, augmenting high pure DPS with some nice attack power and critical strike rating. It also comes with a yellow gem slot, so if you're feeling really generous, you could even stick a Glinting or Rigid gem in there.

This one is going to be a little more difficult to pull off. Your Hunter will need to be there and she'll need to have Beast Mastery, the 51 point talent in the tree of the same name. Also, he's the only tamable beast of his kind, he's incredibly rare, and you'll have to run yourself ragged all over Sholazar Basin to find him before someone else tames him or kills him for the Northern Exposure or Frostbitten achievements. But if Your Hunter was the type who camped Humar the Pridelord for hundreds of hours and currently laments the lack of rare and unique pets in WoW today, she'll want Loque'nahak. Just hope you're the only person who goes for this gift.

Arrows or Bullets: Until a new patch brings us new faction rewards or items, the best bullets and arrows in game for a Hunter right now are engineering crafted. That's certainly a pain for your Hunter is they're not an engineer, but it's the perfect opportunity for you to get your gift shopping done. Just buy a handful of Ultra-Safe Bullet Machines or Saronite Arrow Makers from your local engineer, and your Hunter will love you for it. And then go through horrible withdrawals when the ammo runs out in a few days, but hey, nothing's perfect.

A Non-Combat Pet: Does your Hunter have a favorite pet? Why not get them a non-combat companion that matches it in appearance or theme? If they use a Dire Raven, get them a Hawk Owl. If they use a Dragonhawk, get them a Dragonhawk Hatchling. If they use a Silithid, get them a Cockroach. If they use Bun'kar the mighty, get them a Snowshoe Hare. The list goes on and on.

Rusted-Linked Spiked Gauntlets
This is where things get really expensive. These drop off Gluth or Faerlina in 10-man Naxxramas, but they are bind on equip. They're really the perfect Hunter gloves, even adding a bit of hit rating on top of the other amazing stats. It'll even beat out their 10-man gauntlets, most likely. This, though, is definitely the equivalent of the $1,500 bottle of Cognac or the limited edition 24 karat gold and diamond encrusted Macbook.

The Mirror of Truth:
This one's also going to take some Hunter participation, but it's nice in that you can make it a long term promise: "Hey, I'll be your instance buddy until you have enough Emblems of Heroism to grab this." The mirror's a really awesome trinket that most Hunters are probably going to want to add to their arsenal sooner or later, so it's a safe bet they'll like the idea. Even more if you're a Healer or Tank so as to make it easier to find those other 3 group members.

What I did at the holiday party

Merry Christmas
For many people around the world, today is a sacred, holy day. For others, it's the day that we begin composing letters of apology for our behavior at the office Christmas party. The guild on Thorium Brotherhood seems to tend towards the latter: if Lythic's screenshot is any indication, they may still be passed out at the Stormwind pub.

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 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. Merry Christmas, everybody!

All I want for Winter Veil

Merry Christmas Happy Winter Veil, everyone! In this season of giving, it's probably appropriate to ask everyone what their wish is for the season and, heck, the next year. To keep things in line, we'll ask for what everyone is wishing for in the game so there probably won't be any wishes for World Peace (although Dalaran and Shattrath pretty much killed all that inter-faction hate). I know my brother-in-law is wishing to get the Merrymaker Achievement as his first step towards the Violet Proto-drake. As much as I love it, I'd like to see Wintergrasp get some improvements soon, with more incentive to actually play it aside from being insanely fun.

What about you guys? Anything you're wishing for or wished for that you already got? Phat loot? Achievements? Acceptance into that high-end raiding guild you've been working on for months? What's the sweetest in-game thing you want for Winter Veil? We can't guarantee you'll get it, but here at WoW Insider, we're certainly wishing you the best!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

WoW In China: Sapphiron has gone?

Someone says game is just a game. That makes a sense. But should we must hold the spirit and the faith of the role we are playing in the game? Let's look at this story first, thank Hyuk. Not long ago on the server Lothar in World of Warcraft China while facing the overwhelming attack of the Horde corps, a human paladin named Plapla set herself an good example, telling all her enemies attendant the very final answer: YES.

Magni Bronzebeard, the King of Ironforge was the target in the attack, Horde didn't meet any effectual defense of the Alliance because of the imbalance in Realms, just within a few minutes, Ironforge became a complete ghost town, then the last NPC guard was down very soon.

Plapla didn't simply "quit" as "it is just a game", obviously a "She can't win" game, instead she chose to stay beside Magni Bronzebeard just in the name of her profession, Paladin. A bit far from the point, but you know, seriously this situation reminds me of a classical dialogue in Black Hawk Down: "We are all afraid, but what you do now can make a difference"

Then Plapla shouted out: YOU SHALL NOT BE PASSED, which remind me of Lord of thr Rings, when Gandalf faced the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. Actually there was an obvious nonstandard grammatical construction, but hey it completely matters nothing! When reading here I was touched so much that I almost felt I was weeping, She was role-playing her character and she knew the meaning of the King to her Kingdom, her realm. It was no longer the matter of alive or dead, it was just the call of duty, it was about honor and faith.

In the end, Horde failed to kill The king, a thread in a fansite forum in China reported the whole raid including Plapla's story, almost everyone was touched by her, even some players in the opposite realm. She is named "King's Defender" now because of the weapon she held to fight against the raid is just exact the level 115 epic one-handed sword "King's Defender" comes from Karazhan.

On Plapla there is something pure and something valueable which has been lost in game for such a long time, so when we discover it someday, it is just so fantastic and makes us feel a way of which we have to recall to become original, because that's who we are, that's why we call it RPG, and that's why we are gaming for.

Let's change the topic. Sapphiron has gone?

If you click this original paladin screenshot you may be amazed at the overground tombs. In the original screenshot, Muradin Bronzebeard's room were clustered with tombs instead of skeletons. It might sound ridiculous, but yes, around the world only Chinese WoWers will not get any skeletons but a tomb after their characters died. Comical for a bit.. sure..but which make them more sadder is -- their Sapphiron has gone.

The Chinese wowers knew all along that their new expansion will be changed befor coming into China. When they are guessing that what kind Sapphiron would be like in WoTLK, The 9 (the WoW operator in China) tell them that your Sapphiron has gone by the 'Echoes of Doom' patch. The complaining Chinese WoWers made some pics to express their discontent.

Do you still complain bitterly that Blizzard have not give your enough DPS, or you should have more control skills? Maybe you envy those guys who can raid in Naxxramas day to night with full of epic equipments, and what you can do, is poorly doing the endless daily quests. Seriously in fact, you don't have to think this way, because there is still one huge WoW community on the other side of the earth now is looking at you with endless jealousy in their eyes for just one fair reason: They don't have WoTLK.

And like it or not, they are Chinese WoWers. Pity for them that they still have to get stuck in The Buring Crusade, raiding those nerfed bosses or killing time in Arenas. Yes, China is the only country who has bought the ticket to Northrend but is too unlucky to get on the boat. You ask me why? This is because of their game review mechanism. Just like some of our scholars believe that WoW is too much violent, their Culture Department think it necessary to change some content of the game that adapt it to their culture and thought. The changed content include bone Undead, bowels-gush-out abominations, the overground skeleton after death....uh... Sapphiron, the innocent bone dragon, of course. Now, Chinese WoWers are still waitting for review result. Before, they had waited TBC for half a year after Blizzard announced it. This time how long will they have to wait? Who knows. In fact, many roily chinese players had been transferred to the TaiWan server to enjoy the scenery of Northrend. Now let's have a look at the WOW with Chinese characteristics.


China Version Abomination, underwent surgical stitching...

Undead? Zombie?

Bone or flesh, that is a question.


Which is your tombstone?


World of Warcraft : Lich King Sells 4 Million Copies

Blizzard has announced that World of Warcaft has reached 11.5 million subscribers and that Wrath of the Lich King has sold 4 million copies in its first month, breaking sales records that were previously set by The Burning Crusade.

IRVINE, Calif. - December 23, 2008 - Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today
announced that World of Warcraft®, its award-winning subscription-based
massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is now played by more than 11.5
million subscribers worldwide. This new high was reached following the November
13 release of the game’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King™.

Within its first 24 hours of availability, Wrath of the Lich King sold
more than 2.8 million copies, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time.
In addition to winning a number of editor’s choice awards from major gaming
publications, the expansion has now gone on to sell more than 4 million copies
in its first month, setting a new record for monthly PC-game sales. Both sales
records were previously held by World of Warcraft's first expansion, The Burning

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WoW Funny Pic:Dodge!

So funny! lol

WoW Funny Pic

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

World of Warcraft: A Look at Factions

While getting your character(s) to eighty is obviously a focus with the new expansion, another grind to keep in mind is the faction grind. There have been some major changes to the faction grind in Wrath of the Lich King.

Let's get the important news in first. Quoted from

Northrend Special Reputation Tabards:

If you're friendly with certain Northrend dungeon factions (Wyrmrest Accord, Knights of the Ebon Blade, Kirin Tor and Argent Crusade only), you can wear that faction's tabard to any level 80 dungeon and funnel all the rep to that faction. Make sure you pick up your tabard as soon as you can!

Raising faction is much more enjoyable than in the past. Now you can run any level 80 or heroic dungeon and accrue the reputation of your long as your choice is one of the four factions that have tabards. Tabards can be purchased once your reputation with that faction reaches Friendly. Additionally, running the regular dungeon daily results in the award of a token good for faction rep with one of the four tabard factions. Just choose the faction you wish to focus on and faction gains should fly compared with past reputation grinds. I still suffer the occasional Naga nightmare after grinding my way to Exalted with the Sporeggar.

Shoulder Enhancements

The rewards are great, so everyone will want to work up their reputation with the various factions of Northrend, but which to focus on? Everyone will want Sons of Hodir faction. This is where the WotLK shoulder enhancements are obtained. Lesser Inscriptions can be obtained at Honored. These are roughly equivalent to the Aldor/Scryer shoulder enhancements. Greater Inscriptions are available at the Exalted level. There is no tabard associated with this faction, but there are a number of daily quests, which will yield both Hodir faction and gold. One begins as Hated with the Sons of Hodir. To get to Friendly and have access to the daily quests, there is a long quest chain that must be completed. This chain begins with the quest "They Took our Men!," which is given by Gretchen Fizzlespark in the town of K3 in the Storm Peaks. There are 3 daily quests that can be done at Friendly and the number of available dailies increases as one gains reputation. At Friendly the quests are "Polishing the Helm," "Hot and Cold" and "Blowing Hodir's Horn." At Honored the daily quests "Spy Hunter" and "Thrusting Hodir's Spear" become available. At Revered "Feeding Amgrim" is added.

There is a repeatable quest that yields 350 Hodir rep, "Everfrost." Look for an Everfrost chip, a small icy stalagmite found in the areas in and around Dun Niffelem, the Valley of Ancient Winters, Frostfield Lake, Thunderfall, Fjorn's Forge and the Storm Peaks areas immediately bordering these zones. Your first Everfrost chip starts a quest. Once you turn in that first chip, it is a repeatable quest. You can turn in many Everfrost chips each day, assuming you can find them. Competition to find these chips is keen and the respawn rate is slow.

Head Enhancements

After the Sons of Hodir, the decision on faction focus on depends on you class. In addition to shoulder enhancements, players will want to secure head enhancements, which are available at Revered. Tanks will find their Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector is available from the Argent Crusade. Melee DPS will want to work their reputation with the Knights of the Ebon Blade to obtain the Arcanum of Torment. Casters have two choices. The Arcanum of Burning Mysteries (Kirin Tor) adds 30 to Spell Power and 20 to Critical Strike. The Arcanum of Blissful Mending (Wyrmrest Accord) adds the same 30 Spell Power but gives 8 mana every 5 seconds while casting, rather than crit.

There are daily reputation quests available for Argent Crusade reputation. "Slaves to Saronite, "Pa'Troll" and "Congratulations." "Pa'Troll" is really 4 mini quests. "Congratulations" is for finishing all four sections of "l" in within 20 minutes.

There are six daily quests available from the Ebon Blade. These are "From their Corpses Rise!," "Intelligence Gathering," "Leave our Mark," :No Fly Zone," "Vile like Fire!" and "Shoot 'em Up." Three of the quests are found at Death's Rise and the other three at the Shadow Vault.

There is only one generally available daily quest for the Kirin Tor. That is the daily cooking quest for 150 points of reputation. There is also a daily quest for jewelcrafters that yields 75 reputation points.

The Wyrmrest Accord has 3 daily quests for faction rep. "Defending Wyrmrest Temple" is found at the temple in Dragonblight. "Drake Hunt and "Ace's High" are found in Coldarra.


Jewelcrafters will find patterns scattered among all eight Northrend factions. There are thirteen Jewelcrafting patterns available from the eight different factions. To get all the jewelcrafting patterns will take some time. Honored will be needed with The Kalu'ak. Revered is needed with Argent Crusade, Frenzyheart and The Oracles. Exalted is required to obtain all jewelcrafting patterns from the Argent Crusade, the Kirin Tor, the Knights of the Ebon Blade, the Sons of Hodir and the Wyrmrest Accord. There's lots of grinding for the JC who wants the full compliment of recipes.


Three factions give Leatherworking patterns. The Kalu'ak have the pattern for the Dragonscale Ammo Pouch (28 slot ammo) available at Honored and the Trapper's Traveling Pack (28 slot leatherworking) available at Revered. The Sons of Hodir have the pattern for the Mammoth Mining bag (32 slot mining), which can be obtained at Honored. The Knights of the Ebon Blade have the pattern for the Nerubian Reinforced Quiver (28 slot quiver) for sale at Honored.


There are two spellthread patterns available through faction reputation. The Brilliant Spellthread (+50 Spell Power, +20 Spirit) can be purchased at Exalted with the Argent Crusade. The Sapphire Spellthread (+50 Spell Power, +30 Stamina) is available from the Kirin Tor at Exalted. Spellthreads are enhancements for pants.

There are three patterns for bags. The pattern for the Abysmal Bag (32 slot soul shard) is available from the Knights of the Ebon Blade at Revered. The Mysterious Bag (32 slot Enchanting) pattern is from the Wyrmrest Accord at Revered. The highly desirable 22 slot Glacial Bag pattern can be purchased from the Sons of Hodir at Exalted.

Alliance Vanguard/Horde Expedition

Reputation gains with these groups come from completing quests for the combined Alliance and Horde factions. Rewards of note are a PvP helm enhancement and the engineering schematic for the Mekgineer's Chopper/Mechano-hog vehicles. These items can be purchased at Exalted.

Armor, Weapons, etc.

There are a large number of other items available for purchase through faction reputation. In addition to the traditional armor and weapon pieces, there are non-combat pets, costumes, mounts and even a special fishing pole. Wowwiki does an excellent job of covering the various rewards available through faction reputation, as well as the daily quests available to enhance reputation gains.

You'll need to map out the reputations strategy that works for you. As for me, I am working on the Sons of Hodir for the shoulder enhancement. As a bonus, I'll get the pattern for the 22 slot Glacial bag, as my main is a tailor. I'm presently at Honored, so I make a point of doing the 5 daily quests for the Sons of Hodir and always have my eyes peeled for an Everfrost chip to spawn when I am in Storm Peaks.

I am simultaneously focusing on Kirin Tor rep, so I can get the Arcanum of Burning Mysteries head enhancement and the Sapphire thread pattern. I do the daily cooking quest and wear my Kirin Tor tabard when running dungeons.

If I have time, I will run additional dailies, but for the time being, those two are my main focus. Check out the various factions and pick the ones that will work best for your character build and professions. There are so many factions, so many nice rewards and so little time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

FCC Comissioner: World of Warcraft causes college dropouts

Dec 11th, 2008Oh boy. Deborah Tate is an FCC Commissioner (and will be for another three years at least -- she was appointed for another five year term in 2007), and claimed in a speech about telecom policy and regulation last week that "one of the top reasons for college drop-outs in the U.S. is online gaming addiction -- such as World of Warcraft -- which is played by 11 million individuals worldwide."

Never mind that World of Warcraft, is a game, not an addiction, and never mind that most of those 11 million people play it and are completely healthy socially and financially, and never mind even that any evidence you'd find that World of Warcraft causes dropouts is anecdotal at best. Can you really blame a game for someone making the choice to leave college? We, as you might have guessed, think not.

And there's more: Tate's Wikipedia page says that not only has she spoken out strongly in favor of DRM, and not only has she taken talking points directly from Clear Channel in trying to work on the Sirus/XM merger (a government official speaking the words of a corporation, that's just what we need), but she has also blamed television for childhood obesity. Nice one. One more reason why we are thrilled to see that we may finally get some folks in the FCC who actually know what they're talking about when it comes to online gaming.

WoW Funny: Who's the Tank?!

Need a laugh? It's Abott and Costello World of Warcraft Style! Let us know if you can figure out Who's the Tank.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hunter pet oozes with charm

Hunter pet

Hunters have had a little secret for a while now, and my friend made a mad rush to 80 when he found out about it. You see, there's currently a bug with some quest mobs in Sholazar Basin that's tagging them, perhaps incorrectly, as beasts. The Oracles' daily quest A Cleansing Song sends you off to kill some evil spirits -- the Spirit of Ha-Khalan, a ghostly crocolisk; the Spirit of Atha, a spectral Hydra; and the Spirit of Koosu, your run-of-the-mill ooze.

The Spirit of Ha-Khalan was tameable, so some Hunters got really cool, transluscent crocolisk pets. I mean, who needs Spirit Beasts? Entertainingly enough, the other two quest mobs were also classified as beasts and were likewise tameable. Eventually some Hunters were running around with a spooky hydra or, like my friend, a disgusting little pile of snot.

Aside from waiting for the right daily quest, these pets aren't nearly as hard to tame as the ghost wolves of yore. Will Blizzard let Hunters keep their slimy little companions just as some lucky few were able to keep their spirit guides? We'll see. Hopefully. What's so wrong about a slime that thinks it's a crocolisk, anyway? The pets are considered Crocolisks and share Crocolisk family traits, with the Bad Attitude special ability and Tenacity talent tree.

Warcraft restaurant opens in Beijing

World of Warcraft restaurant
World of Warcraft continues to find ways to trickle beyond our virtual lives and into our day to day real lives. In Beijing, a new restaurant has opened up with a Warcraft theme, from the decor to the food. The entrance, which you can see above, is designed to look like the Dark Portal (The Burning Crusade's intro screen) and the interior walls are lined with artwork from the game and shots of characters in epic gear. TV screens throughout the restaurant play footage of the game, too.

The food itself is even based on the game, and while reports that the menu is named after denizens of WoW, I wonder if they borrowed anything from the in-game recipes. The food shown in CCTV's video definitely looks Chinese in style, so I doubt you'll find anything there you would see in our very American Well Fed Buff, but that's probably a good thing. Personally, I'd love to see a menu. I'm also curious if this restaurant was given the go ahead from Blizzard or the9, or if they even need it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

WoW Guide: 17 trinkets for healing raiders

Trinkets are interesting items. They have different abilities and uses best suited for the situation at hand. Here is the majority of trinkets that I believe us healers would be interested in the most and my initial thoughts on them. I've even recommended a few of them for us Priests!

Soul Preserver: Kill Mal'Ganis in CoT: Stratholme, and you might get this decent trinket. This one of the first trinkets I acquired at 80 and it served me well. I had a lot of mana problems early on and this helped ease the pain. Resto Druids may wish to look at this trinket as well. I don't know if it procs off of HoT ticks or just spell casts. Comments on WoW Head reveal that it has no internal cooldown either. It can also proc off of every jump from Chain Heal for the Resto Shamans.

Cannoneer's Morale: This comes from the sweet Icecrown quest where you defend the Argent encampment by commandeering the base defenses. You don't even need this trinket as a reason to do it. Go do it! It's loads of fun! It offers a solid 22 mana per 5 and it can boost your spell power by 281 whenever you need it. It's easy to obtain.

Wingted Talisman: Bigger brother to the Cannoneer's Morale. Obtainable from Halls of Lightning on heroic.

Mercurial Alchemist Stone: Limited to Alchemists, it's a good introductory and profession trinket. I honestly don't know how well it will do compared to higher end trinkets. The 1 potion per fight rule does make the bonus lackluster. Nonetheless, it's a great introductory level trinket.

Talisman of Troll Divinity: This comes from heroic Drak'Tharaon Keep. Try to gun for this one if you can. It has a lot of Spirit and the use effect is nice for AoE related encounters. Pop it and spam your AoE healing spells. Everyone affected by your heals will also get the bonus. Remember that other healing classes will benefit indirectly as your targets gain the increased healing done to them. Matticus recommended

Figurine – Sapphire Owl: Sadly, I believe this is available to Jewelcrafters only. It has a godly amount of mana return on it and it also has 2 blue sockets available for you to gem it with!

Forge Ember: Drops from heroic Halls of Stone. I would pass on this but if there's no one else, it's still something. The proc's an eye opener for sure.

The Egg of Mortal Essence: Same thing as the Embrace of the Spider. Good starter trinket for Priests if they need happen to need one. Pick this up from your local Heroism emblem vendor.

Spirit-World Glass: Oh, Earring of Soul Meditation I missed you. It seems to drop from Gothik in normal Naxx. It's not limited to just Priests anymore. I suspect Resto Druids may wish to exercise option on this. Pop it and watch the mana flow. Matticus recommended

Majestic Dragon Figurine: The mechanic is similar to the Illustration of the Dragon Soul (below). During prolonged encounters, you'll gain a constant 180 Spirit as long as you keep casting spells (like Levitate). Comes from the normal version of Obsidian Sanctum.

Embrace of the Spider: Increases your spell power by 98. If it procs, expect to see some really fast heals. Pair this with The Egg of Mortal Essence. It seems both the Embrace and the Egg can activate at the same time for ~1000 haste. I can see the Paladins salivate now. Obtainable from Maexxna in normal mode Naxxramas.

Darkmoon Card: Greatness: What the heck do Priests want with Agility? Did Matt lose his marbles? This is but one version of the trinket I could find. The other versions of the trinket offer 90 Strength, Intellect or Spirit. For the Priests, I'd say snag the 90 Spirit version of this. The proc chosen is calculated by your highest stat. This one is assembled from the Nobles deck.

Darkmoon Card: Illusion: Decent entry level trinket for Priests. I'm not sure if I would go out of my way for it. Some raid encounters have a 5 minute enrage timer. This means you'll get one use out of it per fight. If you're lucky, you might be able to use it twice. Assemble this from the Prisms deck.

Soul of the Dead: Snag this trinket from Sapphiron. I'm going to say this trinket may be better off for a Disc Priest than a Holy Priest. WoW Head commenters peg it with a 45 second internal cooldown. I would probably prioritize this for Holy Paladins and Resto Shamans. I'm sure there may be a few DPS casters interested in this trinket.

Illustration of the Dragon Soul: Drops off of Sartharion. The deal with these types of trinkets is that it takes a while before it reaches its full potential. Once you get going in a fight, you're looking at an overall increase of 260 spell power. Every cast seems to refresh the duration of the buff no matter how many stacks you have on. It literally kicks in off of every spell. It's good for not just healers but for casters as well. Even if there's a part in the encounter where you're not supposed to do any healing or DPSing, pop a few free spells to refresh it (like Levitate)!

Forethought Talisman: Hell yes. If you get the opportunity to snag one of these bad boys, go for it. Especially for the Holy Priests, this trinket will rock. Shamans and even Holy Paladins may wish to give this trinket a glance. It seems that Earth Shield can proc the affect. And why Paladins of all classes? A Glyphed Holy Light counts as a direct heal on all players affected by it. It does not appear to proc on multiple targets simultaneously (Example: It seems to proc on one target off of Circle of Healing). Nonetheless, it is a very good trinket. Matticus recommended

Living Ice Crystals: This trinket is obtainable after taking down Malygos in Heroic mode. I think this trinket may be better off in the hands of a Resto Shaman or a Holy Paladin. The on use effect is nice for the rare encounters where the entire raid gets silenced for a few minutes. It reminds me of Vial of the Sunwell 2.0 (without the need to build up charges). I don't think it's affected by spell power so you're stuck with the ~2710 healing burst every minute.

Have fun and happy healing! There's nothing wrong with picking up an extra trinket or two (assuming no one else needs it) so that you can swap to them if necessary!