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Filed under: How-tos

Phat Loot Phriday: Zod's Repeating Longbow

Reader Matthias C. wrote in with a special request to see this item here, so here you go.

Name: Zod's Repeating Longbow (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Bow
Damage/Speed: 541-887 / 2.80 (255 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +34 Agility, +51 Stamina
  • On equip: Your ranged attacks have a 4% chance to cause you to instantly attack with this weapon for 50% weapon damage. This one's interesting -- the tooltip actually says the chance to hit. It's not the first time that's happened, but plenty of tooltips will say "a chance of" proccing rather than mentioning the actual percentage.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, How-tos, Odds and ends, Phat Loot Phriday

Totem Talk: Patch 3.3 and shamans, part 2 -- How not to PUG


Totem Talk is the column for shamans. With the new Random Dungeons and Dungeon Finder, healing has never been more in demand, and shamans find themselves faced with the dilemma: do I wait 10 minutes and go as DPS, or get instantly invited by being willing to heal? Matthew Rossi is impatient and terrifyingly willing to heal random strangers.

Ah, the Pick Up Group. Long a staple of our gameplay in WoW, patch 3.3 revolutionized the way we do it with the new dungeon finder, giving us incentives to put up with fury warriors who rush the tank, ret paladins who forget to turn Righteous Fury off, and runs consisting of two DK's, a paladin, a warrior and a shaman where people ask the shaman if he's tanking. (Hint, he wasn't.) Other things the shaman will not be doing in a PUG include making a summoning portal, a mage table (it's got mage in the name what is wrong with you), casting combat res on the tank when he dies, summoning Army of the Dead (seriously, I can understand being frustrated that someone cast that and it dragged the trash around, but shamans do not generally summon forth armies of walking corpses), washing your laundry (that's just gross), making a pinhole camera, performing a complicated medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest showtunes (unless you catch me in a really good mood), or casting Divine Intervention.

Sure, I realize these are all fine things, and it's a shame that the shaman or shamans in your group won't be able to do them. That being said, shamans do bring all sorts of fun things to PUG's. Things like hybrid magical/physical DPS, caster DPS, or healing, a plethora of totem buffs, a cornucopia of ancillary benefits like Unleashed Rage, Totem of Wrath, and of course Sentry Totem. I know that's really why you bring us, it's okay.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Odds and ends, Instances, Bosses, Guides, Classes, Buffs, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show Episode 120: Dungeon Findorama

The WoW Insider Show went on the air last weekend, and despite the fact that we started out down two voices, the discussion was fast and furious, as we all had plenty to say about patch 3.3 and specifically the Dungeon Finder system. Adam Holisky, Turpster, and I started off the show, and then Matthew Rossi muscled his way in (as only someone of his stature can do) to join us in discussion on finding dungeons, Authenticators and the Corehound Pups, and since Rossi made it, we had to talk some shaman and warriors as well.

Bad news, all: we didn't win the podcast award we were up for (congrats to the 4Player Podcast, who won the award and are now our sworn enemies -- we're igniting the rivalry!). But as we say on this show, we'll still be doing the bedtime story for you all anyway, just because you're so great. And yes, above is the check I'm mailing to Turpster for guessing the patch 3.3 release date correctly -- don't let it ever be said that we here at WoW.com aren't men of our word.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Humor, WoW Insider Show

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 4 - the felhunter and mage-hate

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "Ah, of course. Our latest prodigy. The real thing can't live up to the legend, I'm afraid. No matter, you've come here to learn, not to hear me make jokes to myself. ~ Strahad Farsan

When Wrath first came along I wrote a piece about how warlock utility in 25 man raids had all but disappeared. I had many dissenters to that statement, using examples such as Soul Stones and the like. One that came up a few times was the Felhound and how useful he is. I have to agree, he's a regular bag of tricks, but when it comes to 25 man raiding he's been (rightly) left in the kennel for quite some time. This is about to change.

"But Dominic, you seething pot of demonic mage-hating bile..." I hear you cry "...where is all the mage-hate?" Well, yes, I can imagine the title did lead you to expect an article so vitriolic and anti-arcane as to leave nothing more in its wake than quivering lumps of nerdy arcanists, armpit-deep in tears; and maybe a lost looking sheep. I'm not sure I can do that though, as I don't really hate mages -- that point is really going to need clarifying.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guilds, Quests, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Sport: Beginner's guide to arena, part II

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Listening Music: The cutest kid you've ever seen covering Jason Mraz. Blood Sport normally features the musical works of professionals. For this little guy, we have to make an exception. My favorite part is right before the first verse. I love the intense scrunched face and little head nod. I dare you to find anything even half as cute. That video of a tickled kitten has nothing on this.

Last Week: part one of our beginner's arena guide. First, we fielded a possible complaint about catering to casuals. After that, we talked a little bit about some of the best ways to gear up: finding an arena team, doing battlegrounds, and running Vault of Archavon. Check it out if you have the time.

This week, we'll talk about some frequently asked questions players have when considering jumping into the arena. Read on for part two of our arena guide for beginners after the break!

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, PvP, Features, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Time Is Money: Dungeon finder


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply). After all, Time Is Money.

The new Dungeon Finder that was added in Patch 3.3 has been garnering a lot of attention lately - and for good reason! But did you know that you could use it to make money?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Guides, Making money, Time Is Money

The OverAchiever: Guide to Winter Veil

Looking for our 2010 Winterveil Guide? You'll find it here!

Winter Veil is one of the more immersive and fun holidays that World of Warcraft offers over the course of the year; it grants you the chance to ride something a little "different," turn into a snowman with a cute /dance animation, and receive gifts containing noncombat pets if you've been good and Coal if Santa RNG thinks you've been bad.

Before anyone asks, Winter Veil runs from Tuesday, December 15th to Saturday, January 2nd in 2009/2010, and this is article is about what you'll need to do in that period to complete the meta (and earn the title) Merrymaker. Unlike November's holiday, Pilgrim's Bounty, Merrymaker is required for the yearlong meta What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so don't slack on this one if you want that violet protodrake!

On Metzen!

Saving Metzen for the achievement On Metzen! is a short but fun questline that starts with an NPC in front of the Ironforge bank (if you're Alliance) with Metzen the Reindeer, or an NPC in front of the Orgrimmar AH (if you're Horde) with Metzen the Reindeer. The quest ends in either Searing Gorge or Tanaris, whichever is more convenient to you.

Either zone you hit, try to do the Metzen quest first, as you'll need rewards from it for two of the following achievements.

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Filed under: How-tos, Events, Features, Guides, Achievements, The Overachiever

Arcane Brilliance: How to be a good PUG mage

Welcome to another installment of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is incredibly proud of mages. We are, after all, the only class in the game that can conjure our own 5-man group, as evidenced by the picture above. And though our mirror images may not be too bright, I'd still take them over about 3/4ths of the folks I PuGed with last night.

Holy crap. I'm not even kidding. It was like some kind of idiot convention, and I was the keynote speaker. I came in with some prepared remarks, like "Don't stand in the green stuff that looks like poison, because it is poison," "when he begins spinning his giant sword around like a whirlwind, it's because he's doing Whirlwind and you should get out of the way," and "Warlocks drink their own pee," but ended up just sighing and shaking my head a lot.

This whole Dungeon Finder tool is incredible, right? My head has been spinning since the patch dropped, marveling at the ways it has already changed the game, both for good and ill. Suddenly, PuGs are the norm, not the exception. Each instance is a complete unknown, and not just because you don't know which one you're going to get. Is that rogue going to inexplicably decide to eschew his formerly stealthy ways and take up tanking? Who knows? Is the pally healer who just joined specced ret? It's not as unlikely as you think. Did that warlock really just go afk during the boss fight, then return only to need the Frozen Orb and drop group? Yep, he did. Outstanding.

It works the other way, too. There I was, minding my own business, happily spamming Arcane Blast on some kind of giant disgusting undead guy, only to see him turn and begin lumbering over in my direction. OK, I thought, I'll just stop casting, let the tank snatch him back up. Only that doesn't work. I look over at the threat meter to see that I have like three times more threat on that mob than anybody else. In fact, the only two other names on the threat list were the tank and the healer. That's right, I had been pew pewing the wrong giant disgusting undead guy. The fight ends with me reduced to a stain on the floor, and nobody to blame but my own stupid self. Sometimes, when you can't spot the nub in the room, it's because the nub is you.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Phat Loot Phriday: Unspeakable Secret

Mindor asked us to please do a caster staff this week, so here's one you can go find in the new Frozen Halls instances this weekend.

Name: Unspeakable Secret (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Staff
Damage/Speed: 281-519 / 2.80 (143.1 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +81 Stamina, +81 Intellect.

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Filed under: Items, How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Phat Loot Phriday, Guides

Patch 3.3: How to find the Frozen Halls


The information in the video above might seem terribly obvious to you. How hard could it be to find the new 5-man instances? There's banners all over the place, and it's lit up like a landing strip! It must be easy to find!

Yeah, you would think that, but our experience on the PTR disagrees. For every one person that can find the instances, there are thirty who can't. This video here? Consider it a gift to you that actually know how to get there. Instead of needing to explain it to every single guild member of yours begging for directions, just point them toward this video.

You'll mock me now, but you'll thank me later. Trust me. You will.


Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, How-tos, Instances, Guides

Raid Rx: Healing Lord Marrowgar

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related.

Welcome to the first test of Icecrown. Once you've blasted your way past the many patrolling skeletons, you'll run into this giant floating bundle of bones. You can consider this boss a warmup compared to the rest of the instance. Marrowgar shouldn't be too taxing on us healers, eh? How hard could he possibly hit anyway?

Well, that largely depends on the rest of your raid adapts. The amount of healing needing to be done depends on how quickly the rest of the raid responds and how much damage they deal.

Same old story, right?

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Blood Sport: Beginner's guide to arena, part I

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Listening Music: Royksopp's Remind Me. We were emailed last week by Kohl, who politely recommended some listening music for Blood Sport this week. I was planning on featuring another kind of chill electronica, but Kohl just happened to recommend Royksopp among Hybrid and Kosheen -- so enjoy the beats, Kohl. If you'd like to contribute listening music to the column, please make your recommendation in the comments below. If you want to reach me on a personal level, you can hit me up at colby <at> wow.com.

Last Week: We discussed how to improve our play. We talked about humility, the myth of luck, practice, team hopping, and having fun. These are all important aspects of a winning player's attitude and belief system. However, as a commenter or two mentioned -- last week's article is helpful if you're already into arena, but what if you're just starting out and have never really played arenas seriously before? That article will help you out a lot. Err, it will...kind of. Maybe? Okay, probably not. Sorry for jumping the gun. Advice for how to improve can definitely be beneficial for the beginning arena combatant, but it's not going to help in comparison to an arena start-up guide.

This week, we'll nickel and dime arena for fresh blood. We haven't talked about tangibles in the past two weeks. That's gonna change now. Prepare to get your pumps primed.

That sounded dirty. Interested? Check out the arena starter guide after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Walkthroughs, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Advanced screenshotting techniques and tips

This discussion over on WoW Ladies has me thinking that we probably need to do a post on something I don't think we've ever covered before: screenshotting. Sure, they're everywhere -- almost everybody sees tons of screenshots every single day, and occasionally, you can even win some real-life loot for taking one. But I don't know that we've ever actually covered the mechanics of how to take one. So let's do that now.

First and foremost, taking a screenshot is usually bound to your "Print Screen" key -- whenever you're playing the game, just hit that key on your keyboard, and a screenshot (in JPG format -- it used to be saved in TGA, but Blizzard changed that a while ago) will show up in the /Screenshots folder inside the World of Warcraft installation on your hard drive. Of course, on a Mac keyboard, there is no Print Screen button, so I have mine bound to the "Home" button instead -- you can rebind it to whatever you want in the options menu. And that's just the basics -- it gets more complicated from there.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Blizzard, Screenshots, Wrath of the Lich King

Cooking after Pilgrim's Bounty

So you took advantage of Blizzard's little Cooking leg up during Pilgrim's Bounty (don't be ashamed, I did, too), and you want to know: what's next? The holiday let you level up all the way to 350 Cooking with easily purchased vendor items, which was awesome, but cooking tops out at 450, so maybe you're wondering how to get up there. Let us help.

You may not have made it all the way to 350 during the holiday -- if you need to nab a few other points, you'll have to head to Outland and level up there for a little bit. Talbuk Steak is a good one to do if you need that extra boost -- it's vendor purchased, easily farmable (or buyable on the AH), and the Stam boost isn't bad. Once you've hit 350, then you'll need to head to Northrend. You can train at the cooking trainers in the faction inns in Dalaran. You'll probably also want to stop off and pick up the Northern Cooking quest, as Northern Stew will help you get relatively easily to 375. After that, it's time for the booze.

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Filed under: Cooking, Tips, How-tos, Fan stuff, Leveling, Guides

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