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Elizabeth Harper

Austin, TX - http://www.vampiresdontdance.com/

Writer, gamer, herder of puppies.

Wowcraft Episode 7 visits Warsong Gulch

I know Wowcraft is supposed to be a World of Warcraft parody, but this episode's trip to Warsong Gulch seems pretty true to my in-game experiences... except, of course, Wowcraft is way more adorable. In every battleground, though, you always seem to run into at least one player trying to organize for everyone else, one player jumping mindlessly around the entrance, one player autorunning against the starting gate, and one player (or more) standing still as a statue. But somehow CarBot makes these player stereotypes seem pretty charming.

CarBot's animated adventures always amuse with its spot-on representation of in-game life. If you've missed any, you can catch the rest of their work -- including StarCraft and Diablo videos -- on their YouTube channel.

Filed under: Humor

WoW Moviewatch: 5 ways to prepare for Warlords of Draenor

If you aren't in the Warlords beta, you're stuck killing time until the expansion comes out later this year... which at this point is a bit yawntastic. However, there are some things you can do to get ready for Warlords of Draenor, and Doronsmovies has some tips. Sure, it's killing time, but what else is a WoW-player to do right now?

If you'd rather check out beta footage, Doronsmovies has also done a Frostfire Ridge montage to give you a tour of the new horde zone. Though while the video embedded above has no expansion spoilers, the Frostfire Ridge video does show off new game content, so don't watch it if you're avoiding expansion info.
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.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Curse of Naxxramas coming to Hearthstone in July

Though we've known Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas expansion was coming out some time this summer, we haven't yet had a date to pin our card-playing hopes on. But now CM Aratil has announced on the Hearthstone forums that the expansion is headed our way this July. We still don't have a pricetag for the expansion, but Aratil says they'll be posting further details on July 1st, which is just around the corner.

Curse of Naxxramas will take gamers to -- surprise! -- Kel'Thuzad's citadel Naxxramas, where they'll fight new bosses and have the chance to earn 30 new cards. If you want to see just what's in store, the Hearthstone team has released a number of card previews, all of which are collected here.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

What have you spent the longest time working on in WoW?

Whatever your most time-consuming WoW task, it's probably not as time-consuming as Doubleagent's recent grind up to level 90 without choosing a faction. But now that it's proven you can reach end-game levels without picking a faction -- and thus being able to leave the Wandering Isle -- will others be jumping on the bandwagon to be a max-level neutral? With 174 days /played to get there, I'm guessing no.

However, there are plenty of players who are willing to dump lots of time into getting achievements like The Insane -- and without much to do until Warlords -- maybe I'm wrong. So whether you're planning to level a neutral of your own or not, why not get talking about long-term WoW goals -- what's the task you've spent the longest on in WoW?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: What do you hope to see in Shadowmoon Valley?

Blizzard's alpha testing of Warlords of Draenor alliance zone Shadowmoon Valley came to an abrupt halt on Friday when the alpha realms were brought offline to address an issue. With only a brief glimpse of Shadowmoon and a short zone preview to whet our appetites, today let's talk about what we want to see happening in the alliance zone.

I'm eager to finally get some hands-on time with alliance garrisons -- though we've seen a preview, I'm eager to see how they play out in-game -- and finally meet up with the Draenei of not-yet-Outland. These early glimpses of new content are always exciting and filled with possibility -- so tell us, readers, what do you most want to see in Shadowmoon Valley?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Get WoW on the cheap during Blizzard's Summer Sale

We're well into the cheerfully vacation-filled days of summer, which means it's the perfect time to stay indoors and play World of Warcraft... right? Well, if the Steam Summer Sale hasn't already attacked your wallet, Blizzard is getting in on the game with reduced-price copies of World of Warcraft and Mists of Pandaria. European gamers can pick up WoW for €7.50 of Mists for €10.00, while North American and Australian gamers can pick up WoW for $10.00 and Mists for $10.00.

This isn't the best pricing we've seen -- Blizzard's sale over the past holiday season brought WoW down to a very budget-friendly price of €5/$4.99 -- but the €7.50/$10 pricetag still isn't a bad way to pick up a Recruit a Friend mount. And if you don't have any friends who don't already play, you can always just recruit yourself for the same bonuses. Whee, new mounts!

Filed under: News items

What Blizzard needs to keep casuals playing in Warlords

Being called a casual in World of Warcraft is sometimes -- okay, often -- tossed out as an insult, but let's face it: a lot of the gamers fall under the casual banner. They have jobs, they have families, they have kids, and they can't necessarily afford to spend countless hours a week focused on a single game. It's not that casuals want free epics or need to learn to play, it's that MMOs can demand a lot more time than the average adult has available for gaming. No matter how much we love Warcraft, spending time with family and working enough to pay the bills has to come first. (After all, if we can't pay the bills, we can't play in the first place.)

This is especially true in World of Warcraft which is approaching its 10-year anniversary. Players who started playing in their early teens are now college graduates working for a living, while players who started playing during college may be starting (or growing) their own families. Demands like that just don't leave a lot of time to game -- and they definitely don't leave time for a game that forces you to sink a lot of hours in before you can start having fun. Even those of us who enjoyed doing 40-man raids back in the vanilla days -- complete with the grinding for repair money, resist gear, potions, flasks, and everything else you were expected to do to be part of a raiding guild -- might have trouble making the time these days.

World of Warcraft is more casual-friendly than it used to be, and by necessity: many of the playerbase are more casual than they used to be. But while it's more friendly to casual players, there are still plenty of things the game could do to keep the casuals around from level 90 and beyond -- so let's talk about what Warlords of Draenor needs to keep new and casual players in the game.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: Pointless Top 10: Coolest Frostfire Ridge Mobs


Wowcrendor's Pointless Top 10 lists are usually really, really pointless... but since it's right there in the name, you know what you're getting into when you click. But that said, we always wind up laughing at even the most pointless of pointlessness, so we keep watching them.

Today's Pointless Top 10 is actually less pointless than usual, since it takes you to the Warlords of Draenor alpha to find the coolest mobs on Frostfire Ridge. We hate to break it to you, Wowcrendor, but #10 is on fire and therefore it can hardly be considered cool... but other than that we take no objection to these coolness rankings. So why not take a tour of Frostfire's most interesting and/or pointless inhabitants?
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.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

To gauge your fellow gamers' ages, watch for jumping

When trying to figure out just who we're playing with in virtual spaces like World of Warcraft, we often watch how they talk for clues. Common knowledge suggests that gamers who are more mature -- and therefore older -- will be more grammatically correct, typing in complete sentences with proper punctuation rather than leaning on acronyms and slang. However, a recent study on gaming chat by a Colorado State University researcher suggests our common knowledge might just be wrong -- because while phrasing can certainly give us hints at a typist's age, Millennials are better at grammar than we think.

In a study of players in Second Life and World of Warcraft, research concludes that the more definite indicator of age is how players move. Younger players jump about twice as often as older players, as well as moving more in general (15% more) and moving backwards more often (30% more). So before calling out your fellow players for immature kids, you might keep an eye on how often they jump -- if they don't, they may just be straight-up immature.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Your abandoned alts (and mains)

For many of us, the class we started playing in World of Warcraft isn't the class we still play today. No only have the classes themselves changed over time, but so have we -- deciding we want to do different things as we delved further into Azeroth. But revisiting your early alts and abandoned mains can be enough to give you nostalgia whiplash. For example, some months ago I hopped on a hunter alt that I probably hadn't logged on to since before Cataclysm -- the character still had melee weapons equipped and a bag full of arrows. And logging on to long-abandoned warlock, which I haven't played seriously since vanilla, is like opening a time capsule: she wears a full set of tier 2 and her bags are stuffed with fire and nature resist gear, different enchanting rods, mounts, and pets.

But even though my warlock is clearly an inventory disaster, logging on as this long-abandoned alt comes with a heavy hit of nostalgia. Maybe I should transfer her to my regular server and play her again? Maybe I could have the same kind of fun I used to have raiding Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. Or maybe the past is best left in the past.

Today, let's talk about your abandoned alts: which characters have you left behind, and what's to be found lurking in your time capsule of alts?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics