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Kristin Marshall

Seattle - http://twitter.com/kristin

Kristin enjoys all things WoW, but is especially fond of raiding, collecting pets, and racking up achievements. She can be found healing all the things on her monk and playing on her many alts.

Faction change? Travel back in time to experience the Pandaria starting quests

Faction change Travel back in time to experience the Pandaria starting quests
My main characters have been Horde for quite some time, but this week I decided to change things up on my priest. It's a bit disorienting to faction change after playing one faction for so long. So far I haven't flown into the wrong Shrine, but I know my day is coming.

While my faction change processed, I passed the time thinking about how much of a butthead Garrosh is. And what about the Alliance's arrival in Pandaria? I wanted to experience it. Well, Blizzard had me covered. As soon as I made my way to Stormwind, I received the quest to head out to Pandaria on the Skyfire. After zoning into Pandaria, I immediately fell to my death because the Skyfire disappeared from under me.

I assumed my quest had ended there because I'd already been introduced to Pandaria through the opposite faction. My slight OCD for quest completion pushed me to visit Wowhead, where I discovered that I could complete the Alliance-side starter quests after all. Woo!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Solo the Chess Event with Tikari's Tricks of the Trade

Oh, you want that pet in Kara The Chess Event SUCKS BUTT here's how to solo it
As an obsessive a big fan of battle pets, I was looking forward to everything patch 5.3 had to offer. Tons of battle pet changes, and the slew of new pets for the Raiding With Leashes II: Attunement Edition all had me especially excited. I zipped through The Eye and Serpentshrine Cavern hunting for the new pets, and emerged victorious with one. Huzzah! But on my way to Karazhan, I realized I'd need to solo the Chess Event to get to Prince Malchezaar, who also drops a pet.

I wiped a few times, but things turned around once I read through an excellent Chess Event soloing guide from WoW blogger Tikari of Tikari's Tricks of the Trade.

Keep in mind that even with a great plan, the Chess Event is still plagued with RNG issues. But knowing what to expect will hopefully keep your rage at bay.

Tikari lays out a simple set of moves -- with diagrams -- and priorities to give your king the best chance of surviving, which is the main goal. The event was nerfed to increase the delay between enemy moves, but keep a few tips in mind.
  • Move your king, and queen if you can, out of the fire immediately. Fire isn't a buff!
  • Attack the enemy king with your queen, using the Rain of Fire/Poison Cloud ability. Be sure to target the enemy king with the queen's main attack.
  • The Clerics seem to heal the enemy king more than I remember, but I kept them distracted with other pieces.
  • Medivh doesn't cheat as quickly as he did before, so you'll have time for about four moves before he does so the first time around. Be sure to at least give your king, ideally your queen as well, space to move. I was able to win in the end by moving backward out of fire, drawing the enemy king into it.
Good luck and be sure to check out Tikari's guide for all the details!

Filed under: Achievements, Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

How long are you willing to wait for a group to form?

How long are you willing to wait for a group to form
In the leveling homestretch, I tend to follow a pattern. My main goal is to boost my ilevel as soon as I hit 90 to get in on Raid Finder. Although, once I get there, I end up feeling bitter because waiting in a Raid Finder queue isn't fun. Even if you're not into Raid Finder, WoW presents players with plenty of opportunity to wait around at some point -- battleground and dungeon queues, or even sticking around for a PUG to come together.

As a tank on my main, I groan when thinking of entering Raid Finder, mainly because of the wait. There are only two tank roles, after all. With the new loot specialization coming to 5.3, players looking to win tank gear have hope of a less painful wait in a DPS role, at least. Even if you're used to the long wait, everyone has a limit. I remember waiting as a tank in a Raid Finder queue for an hour and forty minutes. I'm not usually willing to wait that long. I'm relatively comfortable with waiting about thirty to forty minutes before moving on.

When it comes to PUGs, I'm quite patient, usually waiting longer than I probably should. In a PUG, I tend to have a personal connection to at least one of the other players in the group, so I'm not quick to leave.

How long are you willing to wait, whether it be for a dungeon, Raid Finder, battleground, or a PUG? While in queue, how do you pass the time? I usually find myself completing dailies or battling pets. But at what point do you throw up your hands and leave?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Son of Animus will tank all the things

Son of Animus is BEEP BOOP
Patch 5.2 introduced a slew of battle pets, with a few as rare drops from bosses in the new Throne of Thunder raid, including Living Sandling, Ji-Kun Hatchling, and Son of Animus.

Recently, I was lucky enough to obtain Son of Animus, and it's quite a unique addition to my collection. I couldn't wait to level it! This breed 4 (4/14 or P/P) Mechanical pet uses abilities inspired by the boss that drops it, Dark Animus, and are as follows:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Throne of Thunder: Pinnacle of Storms Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds

Throne of Thunder Pinnacle of Storms Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds
Huzzah! Pinnacle of Storms, the final wing of Throne of Thunder Raid Finder, is open this week, and that means you're almost done. If you're just venturing into ToT Raid Finder, we recommend you head over to our 5-second guides for the first, second, and third wings. This wing is mostly downhill in terms of difficulty, especially after the Durumu pre-nerfed maze business, but can still prove to be a challenge to Raid Finder champions clueless on strategy. And just for you, we've put together a quick guide for the final wing. We accept cookies and high fives. (Thanks Zhonya for the help!)

Iron Qon

Tank swap at two stacks of Impale. Stay off of fire, ice, or lightning lines on the ground throughout the fight, reposition the boss as needed. During the lightning phase, move out of and away from tornadoes once sucked in. Move the boss to the back of the room. Stay spread out during lightning phase. During ice phase, move to hit the boss on his unshielded sides. Stack in his final phase for healing.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

Electrified Razortooth is an electric ball of cuteness and death

The Electrified Razortooth is SO AWESOME BLARG!
Several new battle pets accompanied the release of the Isle of Thunder and patch 5.2. While completing dailies or heading out to the Throne of Thunder, these new creatures may catch your eye. Shiny new models, huzzah!

Electrified Razortooth spawns only as a primary pet on the Isle of Thunder, so while roaming around, keep your eyes open. They don't spawn as often as Swamp Croaker and Elder Python; you may have to make a few rounds to find one. The good news is, Electrified Razortooth is only available in one breed, and that means less time spent farming the ideal rare.

Electrified Razortooth's abilities are mostly Elemental type, and are as follows:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Throne of Thunder: Halls of Flesh-Shaping Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds

Throne of Thunder Halls of FleshShaping Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds
The third wing of Throne of Thunder Raid Finder was unlocked this week after a short break from the last one. After our previous 5-second guides to the first and second wings, how could we abandon you now? You've almost made it through. If you thought the beasts in the Forgotten Depths were rough, just wait until you meet your new friends in the Halls of Flesh-Shaping. Here's a quick rundown to quickly share with your Raid Finder buddies (thanks for the help Lucid guildies!).

Durumu the Forgotten

There will be a tank swap, taunt at around 4 stacks of Serious Wound. Step into Life Drain to intercept. During phase two, the raid should split itself between the yellow, red, and blue cones. Move each cone around until the three fog adds are revealed, and kill them. Move out of Force of Will and pools on the ground. During the third phase, be patient and navigate the purple maze while keeping ahead of the death beam. In the maze, stuff on the ground hurts, so stick to the cleared melee or ranged path. Tip: Point your camera downward to better view the cleared maze pathing.

Primordius

Kite the boss to prevent him from picking up too many Living Fluids, and kill them. Tank swap at around seven Malformed Blood stacks and avoid dragging him over the purple Volatile Pools. Only tanks should stand in front of the boss. Collect the red Mutagenic Pools on the ground dropped by Living Fluids to become mutated, DPS the boss. Avoid the red pools when you are mutated.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

Adopt a Spring Rabbit now that Noblegarden is here

Adopt a Spring Rabbit now that Noblegarden is here MON

It's that time of year again! Noblegarden has descended upon Azeroth, granting us bunny ears, chocolates, and even a battle pet. Spring Rabbit is purchased with 100 Noblegarden Chocolate, received when opening a Brightly Colored Egg. You can find the eggs scattered about several starting towns -- think Brill, Goldshire, and Kharanos. There's also a small chance to find the Spring Rabbit's Foot inside an egg, and if you don't want to adventure out into the world at all, there's always the auction house!

Spring Rabbit's abilities are mostly Critter type, and are as follows:
Although the Spring Rabbit is learned as an Uncommon battle pet, it has the potential to be a very strong member of your team. It's worth considering the upgrade with a battle-stone, since the breed and moveset makes it one of the best of the rabbit types around.

Take, for example, the generic Rabbit. The moveset is the same, but the Rabbit is available in six different breeds, which could make capturing the ideal rabbit a pain. Spring Rabbit is always breed 5/15, or S/S, which means that its stats are heavily weighted for speed. Flurry and Dodge become super effective.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Revolutionary new minigame datamined in patch 5.3

Revolutionary new minigame datamined in patch 53
We've asked for other minigames in WoW, but so far there's been no official word of anything on the horizon. The Plants vs. Zombies minigame is loads of fun, and the battle pet system is by far the most expansive minigame that's ever come to the game. Not everyone has the interest or time to invest in pet battling, so it was very exciting to stumble across the newest WoW minigame, just datamined in patch 5.3.

It's a game any player can have fun with. A game many of us have enjoyed ...

Say hello to Rock, Paper, Scissors!

That's right! Forget about the Singing Sunflower. Whether you're bored or want a new and improved way to decide who get's that Thunderforged weapon, this is it. OK, so this may not really be a new minigame -- datamining is a fickle thing -- but the spells are there for one purpose or another. We can dream, right?

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Mumper clarifies seasonal battle pets

Mumper clarifies seasonspecific battle pets
There are a number of achievements available for pet battlers, but one in particular has eluded us all. Not because it's particularly tough to earn, but because we're all waiting for MoP's first Summertime in-game. The Qiraji Guardling is said to only spawn during Summer, but there's been a bit of confusion surrounding when WoW's Summer actually is. See, the Raw Summer Bass begins spawning on the first day of Spring here in the real world. With a name like Summer Bass, you'd think that'd make it Summer in-game, right? As it turns out, no.

The Summer Bass is a Spring/Summer fish, just like the Winter Squid is a Fall/Winter fish. Players sought clarification on fish versus pet spawning seasons from Lead Content Designer Cory "Mumper" Stockton, and received it:




So, the seasonal fish span multiple seasons, and the two seasonal pets span single seasons. Single seasons that loosely mirror our real-world seasons. Be on the lookout for the Guardling around the time Summer hits the Northern hemisphere -- in-game we're guessing it'll be May or June. Are you ready for your Zookeeper title?

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

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