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Random Acts of Uberness: Some Crashin' Thrashin' good help

That one holiday achievement you can never seem to check off, no matter how many years you persist? With the help of a random act of uberness, consider it done!

Caught being uber: Aliviani, Kilrogg (US-Alliance) I've been unable to complete the achievement Crashin' and Thrashin' for five years. My guild tends to scatter for the last half of December in order to enjoy the holidays, and I've had the darnedest luck getting people to crash my little toy car into. I had 4 crashes leading into the holiday this year. Well, that all changed!

Thanks to cross realm zones I headed over to Ironforge and asked for help. Aliviani, a druid from the Kilrogg server kindly offered to group up with me and summoned her own racer as many time as necessary until I had gotten the achievement. She already had the achievement, and wanted nothing in return! She has no idea how much I appreciate the kind gesture. Now that one achievement no longer haunts me! -- Celna, Silvermoon (US-Alliance)

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Filed under: News items

Drama Mamas: Voice communication etiquette for MMO players

Photo: Moe_

Headsets and voice communications have become ubiquitous to group play in MMOs today. Guilds freely share their server addresses with pickup players. PvP groups rely on tight communication to sweep to resounding battleground victories. Even players in random groups often meet up on voice comms to simplify strategy and tactical coordination. Headsets have become quite affordable, and USB connections make it easy to simply plug in and play.

Despite all this, speaking up in a channel full of strangers can be one of the more intimidating and awkward experiences in your group play experience. And then there's the other side of the coin: bearing up under the onslaught of That Guy in Vent who's cursing up a blue streak at every turn of the encounter, leaving his mic open so the rest of us can fully experience his barking dog, his blaring television and his half-chewed mouthful of pizza.

The Voice Comms Etiquette talk probably wasn't part of your mama's standard coming-of-age advice repertoire, so consider this the heart-to-heart advisory every player should receive upon reaching grouping age. Go forth with awareness and the facts!

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Well Fed Buff: Out of the frying pan and into the bacon

Vegans and vegetarians, this is not the Well Fed Buff for you. This week, it's time to talk Thick-Cut Bacon.

I loved bacon as a child, but once I had to cook it myself, I swore off. Popping, sizzling grease and I don't play well together, and so (I naively believed) that was that. But then last year, it was out of the frying pan and into the bacon when I discovered the wonderful world of alternative preparation methods -- that, plus a bunch of really good recipes (like Half a Lovely Apple ... With Bacon) that simply beg to be made on a regular basis.

Got a hankering for some bacon? Let's go over the best ways to cook up some bacon with no fuss (and even with very little mess) and then dig in to a couple of delicious recipes from fellow WoW Insider readers.

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Filed under: Arts and Crafts

15 Minutes of Fame: Where are they now? 2013 edition

Five or six years is a long time, even among MMO players. Many of the people we spend every night with raiding, laughing, squabbling, and goofing off inevitably move on, diving into the next passion in their lives with as much gusto as they once held for Azeroth. Of course, many more are still right here after all this time, like the WoW personalities we've interviewed here at 15 Minutes of Fame over the past six years.

What about the people we met during 2013? We touched base with everyone we hadn't caught up with since before BlizzCon to see what's going on in their worlds -- and, of course, in Azeroth.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Random Acts of Uberness: 'Tis the season to be uber

The flood of holiday happiness continues this week with a record number of Random Acts of Uberness reported across Azeroth. This week, we start off with a note that turns the tables on the player who reported the lead story in last week's Random Acts, proving that when players reach out to build community, everybody wins.

Caught being uber: Kazekana, Hyjal (US-Horde) Well, during the Winter Festival, Mistsofjade and myself (Lucidluna) passed out free cookies, milk and ports to everyone who came up to us, then Christmas Eve night we handed out Fortune cards! We got tons of heartfelt sweet messages from people as well as thank yous and even a few gifts from players, but Misty and I both were SHOCKED to find out that we were on WoW insiders! We received a whisper while in LFR about it and tons of congratulations from the servers players.

Misty and I both really wanted to thank Kazehana from Hyjal for submitting us. Misty is actually my mom and we both were having a very less than fantastic Christmas this year, and that really meant allot to us both. It was really great of them to do that for us and they have no idea how much it lifted our spirits and made our Christmas! Thank you Kazehana for making our Christmas 100x better! -- Lucidluna and Mistsofjade, Hyjal (US-Horde)

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Filed under: News items

15 Minutes of Fame: Where are they now? WoW personalities, 2008-2012

It's somewhat ironic that the very earliest group profiled on 15 Minutes of Fame to have responded to this year's for "Where are they now?" updates remains one of the most vibrant guilds making a name for itself in today's game. Spectacular Death from Llane (US-Alliance) just keeps running "the stuff you wish your guild did," tempting players in search of an active, engaged, relaxed and somewhat silly group of gaming friends. (Full disclosure: They tempted me into the fold, too.)

The spectacular attraction of Spectacular Death "As we head into our seventh year of existence, I guess that sort of makes us an 'elder' guild, in terms of longevity," muses GM Gimmlette. "(You kids get off our lawn and leave the flamingos and the garden gnomes alone.) Our core mission is still the same as it was when we started, to see all and do all but in a casual fashion.

"It's not a race, it's a journey, and that journey is generally filled with hilarity and looking at the game from a slight skewed perspective. We're the guild who revels in trying to skewer ourselves on the steeple of the church in Stormwind as well as working through SoO in flex mode. Elephant parades in Ironforge, naked runs of Molten Core, raft races in Krasarang, jumping off of Dalaran -- yeah, we've done all of that, and more.

"We're still going strong and I don't foresee us closing up shop any time soon," she continued. "I asked tonight why people stay in the guild and was told: 'The dental plan means I keep all my teeth in raids,' 'the 401(k),' 'I was promised a pony,' 'Oompaloompas,' 'tasty cookies,' 'beer,' and 'earworm night' ... um, yeah."

What are the other 15 Minutes of Fame's WoW personalities of 2008 through 2012 doing today?

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Random Acts of Uberness: Uber-Claus is coming to town

'Tis the season to be uber, as demonstrated by this bursting-at-the-seams gift bag of Random Acts of Winter Veil Uberness.

Caught being uber: Mistsofjade, Lucidluna, and Taise, Hyjal (US-Horde) These ladies are handing out free cookies and milk to everyone on my server. The mage (Lucidluna) is also handing out free ports. They are dressed for the season as well. They are super nice. I also attached a screenshot of them handing stuff out under the tree in Org. I think they deserve the love and kindness they are giving this holiday season. -- Kazehana, Hyjal (US-Horde)

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Filed under: News items

Drama Mamas: Staying guilded to please someone who's never around

Playing WoW to please someone else is always a losing proposition. So what do you do when you figure that out on your own and you're ready to throw yourself a life preserver?

So basically I've got myself into a bit of a situation where I'm not happy and I'm not sure I can solve that without making someone else unhappy.

Before Mists dropped, I was convinced by a real-world friend and classmate, to transfer to Alleria, because her (absolutely wonderful) horde guild that I am also a part of, had made an Alliance version of the guild and I play primarily Alliance. I paid to transfer my main over (and eventually one of my other favourite characters) and was promptly part of a guild with no one in it. My classmate rarely plays due to real life time constraints, and not a single one of the members of the horde guild actually play the characters they brought into the guild.

I've been trucking along, entirely alone for the majority of Mists. When it became clear that I was the most active player, they handed me the title of GM and vanished. I tried recruiting but no one stuck around for long, and I had a few friends join, but they also rarely have the opportunity to play. I've now single-handedly raised the guild to level 19, filled up the guild bank with mats that will never be used, and gotten several guild achievements on my own. That's super satisfying, knowing how hard I worked to bring it where it is today, but if I'm still all alone, what's the point?

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Voiceover actor Matt Mercer on working in games and comics, plus the "Vezax voice"

Cartoon Voices I- Room 6BCF - 1:00-2:00 at San Diego Comic Con 2012
Halion the Twilight Destroyer. General Vezax. Ka'roz the Locust. You know Matt Mercer already -- he's the voice booming in your head in Ulduar, during the Siege Orgrimmar, in the nooks and crannies of Azeroth. The phenomenally popular video game and anime voiceover actor is known for -- well, let me just slide you a link to his Wikipedia page and let you delight in discovering his stamp on one of your own favorite comics, anime or video games from Sinbad to Resident Evil 6.

Behind that panoply of voices is a WoW player and fan whose GM, actress Michele Morrow, describes as a wonderfully down-to-earth and nice guy. "Every now and then, we'll have his boss [that he voiced in game] come along, and so we yell at him ... to do the voices," she recounted last week here at WoW Insider. "He's fantastic; you'll love him."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Where are the chairs?

Sometimes you receive a letter from a reader that makes you say, "Chairs? Hunh. I mean ... Hunh. Dude's got a point. Chairs."

Here's the letter, in all its (ahem) upstanding passion:

What do we want? CHAIRS!
When do we want them? NOW!
What will we eat if we don't get them? BRAINS!

Take a walk through the classic capital cities of Warcraft, specifically the Horde cities. While you take this tour I have a challenge for you – count the number of chairs that you can find. This number might startle you. The specific cities of Thunderbluff, Orgimmar, and the Undercity are largely if not completely vacant of such fixtures save for two thrones.

This also largely applies to the nearby cities and housing for those races. Visit the Cross Roads, visit Tarren Mill, and other smaller factional holdings and you will notice a trend of a lack of chairs. To its credit, Brill has -1- chair. In fact there is an overall lack of much in the way of viable living space for the classic races of the Horde.

So what gives? More so why is this important and how might it be reflected in the coming content? Among the Horde players there is a growing concern that this lack of basic fixtures will be missing from the Horde's Garrisons if current content is any means to speculate. Since the garrisons will be Orcish in style, will the lack of basic fixtures also be reflected in the Garrison?

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics