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BlizzCon 2011: Early monk abilities and the dark side of the force

I was able to sit down at the Pandaria demo stations at BlizzCon 2011 over the weekend and play a Pandaren monk two times in a row. (It was a short line.) I came away with the impression that the monk class may be one of the most interesting and dynamic classes to play in the game. Similar to the death knight, there is more than one resource to manage, and it makes the class enjoyable and engaging.

This is how it works. The basics are very similar to playing a rogue except that there is (currently) no auto-attack. You have a bar of chi that mimics the rogue energy bar. You also have a bar with slots for four light orbs and four dark orbs. The basic level 1 attack, Jab, consumes 40 chi (out of 100) with every shot and grants you both a light orb and a dark orb.

Also at level 1, you get an attack that consumes one light orb that does twice the damage of Jab. If the target is over 50% health, it inflicts three times the damage of Jab. At level 2, you get a kick that inflicts three times the damage of Jab and consumes two dark orbs but returns one if the kick kills the opponent.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Hello and goodbye

Today is my last day as editor-in-chief at WoW Insider, and I can honestly say it's been a hell of a ride. After four-and-a-half year run with the site, it's time for me to move on, but I leave the site in the very capable hands of Alex Ziebart, who will be taking over starting tomorrow.

When I began writing for the site in 2007 after answering an open call for writers, I couldn't have been happier. I was being paid to play WoW! I launched the druid class column (with David Bowers), wrote for just about every daily post we had on the site (including Breakfast Topics, Around Azeroth, Moviewatch), and tackled anything else I could get my hands on.

Later in the year, WoW Insider producer Barb Dybwad and then Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Harper launched our sister site Massively and tapped me to help run WoW Insider. After that, it was a roller coaster ride for the next three years of expansion launches, patch coverage, BlizzCon insanity, reader meetups, beta leaks, domain name changes and April Fools pranks (Hello Kitty Insider!). There was also running contests, hiring new writers and finding a new warlock columnist every two months.

Eventually, Barb moved on to launch a new site, and last September Elizabeth Harper left to join her, passing to me the EiC mantle. Tomorrow I join them at that site, Tecca, as its new editor-in-chief.

I titled this post "Hello and goodbye" because I'm guessing many of you readers won't recognize my name. I stopped writing actively for the site a few years ago and focused on running things behind the scenes. But the biggest reason I stopped was because I couldn''t compete with the level of writing our current staff produces day in and day out.

It took us years to build this team, and they are the best in the business. I couldn't be prouder of them and this site. In my 42 years on this planet, I've come to learn that it's not so much what you do with your time, but who you do it with. It's been an honor to spend the last four and a half years of my time with this group of passionate, talented and dedicated writers.

Alex, the helm is yours. Guide her through the trolls and the haters and patch craziness and beta changes and Fox Van Allen's unstoppable ego. When Mists of Pandaria launches, I know where I'll be looking for the latest news and best analysis of the World of Warcraft on the internet.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

G4's cosplay women of BlizzCon

There are many great costumes to see on the attendees at every BlizzCon. From the intricate to the homemade, the creativity and passion on display is always stunning to behold. In fact, we've already snapped pictures from the first day of the con spotlighting this year's show stoppers.

However this time, G4 didn't wait for the hordes of BlizzCon attendees to descend on Anaheim to get their cosplay gallery together. Instead, they assembled some of most well-known costumed fans in advance of the big convention and shot a gallery showing off their amazing outfits. Women profiled this year include last year's Diablo III monk winner in the costume contest, Christina Sims, Jo-Jo Chen who runs an agency for costumed models and many more.

Check out the full shoot over at G4.
The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2011 goodie bag pictures have surfaced

Though vague on how he came by his goodie bag early, one BlizzCon fan has already posted pics of the bags contents. As expected, the bag contains a mini-Tyrael figure, an authenticator, lots of promotional fliers and a loot card with a redemption code for the Murkablo non-combat pet. That's it. More pictures can be found on the fan's Squidoo site.

[via MMO-Champion]

Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

The Reader Meetup details you've been waiting for

The convention starts this Friday, but the real party begins Thursday night. The BlizzCon 2011 WoW Insider Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and livecast by, starts at 5 p.m. Pacific at the Anabella Hotel patio. Yes, Dan, we know that, you say. You've already told us this. True -- but now I can finally announce the details.

The guests

Felicia Day? But of course! Plus others from the cast of The Guild will be on hand. Members of TankSpot and WoW Interface as well as Wowhead will be in attendance. Other special guests we have confirmed include Amy Brady of the Frag Dolls, actress Michele Morrow, machinimator extraordinaire Oxhorn, and Learn2raid's Kinesthesia. That's just a few of the many WoW celebrities we have lined up for the evening.

Many of these guests will be talking at the microphone with our hosts for the evening, Mat McCurley and Fox Van Allen. You will also get a chance to meet many of our guests at a special meet-and-greet area at the party.

The giveaways

What's a party without a few party favors? Our good friends at Cryptozoic are coming with 1,500 booster packs of the latest WoW TCG. And guild hosting site Enjin has 1,500 vouchers for two months of premium service to give away. Plus, there's more from Steelseries, AstroGaming, The Guild, and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab -- even Dungeons & Dragons loot from Wizards of the Coast.

Wizards has also generously donated three full sets of Magic: The Gathering foil M12 cards in limited edition boxes, each with limited edition sleeves and limited edition deck protectors. Handing out many of these prizes will be the lovely ladies of the Apotheosis Agency who helped us out last year, as well.

Did we mention the drinks? Monster Energy is giving away cans of Monster Energy and Peach Tea during the meetup for free. All you need to do is ask one of the many servers or bartenders at the party. Looking for something a bit stronger? Alliance- and Horde-themed cocktails await your pleasure, if you are 21 or over. Wristbands will be handed out at the door after your valid I.D. is checked. If you don't have a valid I.D., you can still come in -- just no alcohol for you.

The livecast

Can't make it? No problem. will be livecasting the meetup with Gary Gannon, Josh Allen (aka Lore), and Mike B., as well as our own Mike Sacco and Anne Stickney. They will have exclusive interviews with many of the VIP guests and provide commentary on the event as it unfolds. The livestream will be simulcast on WoW Insider, Wowhead, and Gamebreaker's site. If you're on the go, you can follow it on your mobile phone using the app.

What more needs to be said? Let's get this party started!

The details

What: WoW Insider's 4th Annual BlizzCon Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and
Where: The patio and the poolside of the Tangerine Grill & Patio at the Anabella Hotel
When: Thursday, Oct. 20, starting at 5 p.m. Pacific

Additional info: You can be under 21 and still attend. Shoes and shirt are required. You do not need a BlizzCon pass to attend. You can RSVP on our Facebook Event page. There will be a valet charge if you park at the hotel.

Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, BlizzCon

Announcing the BlizzCon 2011 WoW Insider Reader Meetup co-hosted by Wowhead

[Update: More details.]

What's BlizzCon without the WoW Insider Reader Meetup? Last year, we rocked with Anabella with over 2,000 attendees. The drinks flowed, the swag flew and someone ended up in the pool. Oops.

How do we top last year's event? By holding an even bigger one than ever before! And we're doing that with the help of our friends at Wowhead. The Wowhead team will be cohosting the event with us including Members of ZAM Network, TankSpot and WoW Interface. We're very excited to have them with us to make this the go-to party of BlizzCon 2011.

And for those of you who can't make it to Anaheim this year, we have a special treat for you, too. Last year we brought you a 3-hour+ livestream of the event as it happened via webcam. This year, we're doing the same -- but thanks to our friends at, we'll have better lights, cameras, mics and streaming capabilities than ever before. Mike Sacco and Anne Stickney return to hosting duties throughout the night joined by Gamebreaker's Gary Gannon, Josh Allen AKA Lore, and Mike B.

Mat McCurley will be returning as MC for the evening at the main stage with his trademark humor and, of course, a box full of swag to give away. He will be assisted by our very own Fox Van Allen, who needs no introduction (as he will talk endlessly about himself if you just ask).

We have a long list of VIP guests, special giveaways, and more we can't wait to tell you about. Those details will follow in the next few weeks. Come join us and kick off BlizzCon with your friends at WoW Insider and Wowhead!

What: WoW Insider's 4th Annual BlizzCon Reader Meetup cohosted by Wowhead
Where: The patio and the poolside of the Tangerine Grill & Patio at the Anabella hotel
When: Thursday, Oct. 20, starting at 5 p.m.

Additional info:
You can be under 21 and still attend. Shoes and shirt required. You do not need a BlizzCon pass to attend. You can RSVP on our Facebook Event page.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, BlizzCon

Welcome (back) our new feral cat and ret pally columnists

Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to have popular feral cat druid blogger Alaron of The Fluid Druid, aka Chase Hasbrouck, sign on to write our feral cat column for us. Unfortunately, we knew we only had access to him for a limited time before his military unit shipped out overseas. The good news is, though he is now stationed on the other side of the world, he is still able to write the column for us. He started up again just last week by analyzing patch 4.2's effects on feral cat DPS.

The competition for the retribution paladin columnist was fierce. But when the dust cleared, one stood out among the rest. Durin Mundahl has been playing a ret pally for years and at one point was ranked #10 in the world for DPS for his class on Chimaeron 10-man. Not only does he bring experience and knowledge to the column, but a clear and easy-to-understand writing style. You'll be seeing him start up quite soon to delve into patch 4.2 on the retribution edition of The Light And How To Swing It column.

Thanks to all who applied!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

WoW Insider at Joystiq E3 reader meetup this Friday

This week's annual gaming industry showcase convention, E3, is not something we usually focus on here at WoW Insider. Blizzard doesn't participate, so there is little for us to report on. However, for our mother site, Joystiq, and our sister site, Massively, E3 is their BlizzCon. Though players cannot attend E3 (it's for industry professionals only), Joystiq is throwing a reader meetup at a La Cita bar in Los Angeles from 5:30-9 p.m. for local fans, and WoW Insider will be there representing.

I'll be there, your humble WI Editor-in-Chief Dan O'Halloran, with my WoW Insider shirt on for easy identification. Come on by and say hello! I'd love to meet you -- and I may have some WoW goodies to give away if you're early enough. Unfortunately, since this event is being hosted in a bar, you must be 21 or older to attend.

Check out the Joystiq announcement for details and directions.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

WoW Insider is looking for columnists

WoW Insider is looking for new writers for our feral cat druid and retribution paladin columns. Every other week, you'll dazzle our readers with your words of wisdom covering everything from leveling guides to raid tactics and DPS rotations, from major patch analyses to recommended addons. Current raid experience is a plus, as is the ability to be both entertaining and informative in your writing.

If this sounds like the chance you've been waiting for, you'll find all the information you need to apply on our applications page. Be sure to submit everything asked for under the columnist section. Being able to follow simple instructions is part of the job. You have until end of day, Friday, May 27, 2011 to send in your application.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

The Daily Quest: The art and science of raid leading

WoW Insider's on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

All hail the raid leader! Those super-organized (wo)men who exemplify the paragon of planning, execution and post-fight analytical skills necessary to lead a group of confused, inexperienced and possibly inebriated players into the jaws of hell and return with purples for all. How do they get it done? How do you train for such a gig? The Daily Quest has you covered.

Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment, and you may see it here tomorrow! Be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

Filed under: The Daily Quest