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Filed under: How-tos

Blood Pact: leveling a warlock, 10 to 40

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "Haha! You're doing very well for yourself, young warlock. Given time, infernals and dreadlords will bow before you! But until that time comes, you must still rely on weapons forged by the hands of the mortal races." ~ Kaal Soulreaper

So, you want to level a warlock, huh? Well, I'm not going to tell you how to do it. No sir! If you've come here thinking that Blood Pact is going to give you a step-by-step plan of what you should do to get your warlock from level 10 to 40 -- some kind of list of quests, zones, instances and mobs -- then you're deluded mister; we don't do that here. What you need is a generic leveling guide of the sort you can find all over the internet. Seriously, don't pay for one though; you can get plenty of decent guides for free. Personally I use Tour Guide and Carbonite. They work really well together and make the whole process much faster. There are other tools, but I know these are good.

What Blood Pact is going to do is talk about what warlocks going through these levels are all about. It's not going to be hugely detailed at any one level because, frankly, you won't be at any level for long. We'll look at the new spells you will gain and how you can apply them, we'll have a gander at these talent things you can now play with, and we'll talk about the gear you will be wearing and wielding on the way. So send the imp off to make a fresh brew and settle in for some lock leveling.

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

World of WarCrafts: Cranberry Chutney

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself; contact our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

Zarhym may not care for cranberries
, but we do -- and since Pilgrim's Bounty is over and you can't get the ingredients for a good Cranberry Chutney anymore in game, we'll just have to make it at home instead.

Although the word "chutney" sounds like it would be on the slimy and disgusting side for both cooking and eating, it's actually a tasty little condiment. We turned to Wisegeek.com (style points for that reference, please!) for a non-biased description of this dish: "Chutney is similar in consistency to jelly, salsa or relish, and is used as a sweet and sour condiment. Usually made fresh, chutney contains fruit and sugar to give it a sweet taste, and almost all chutney contains vinegar and perhaps onions to give it a corresponding sour flavor. The ingredients are mixed together and then simmered slowly. While chutney is primarily sweet and sour, there can also be many variations of spices, often giving it a hot and spicy flavor."

Sound tempting? We've got a version for cooks and non-cooks alike.

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Filed under: Cooking, How-tos, Features, World of WarCrafts, Well Fed Buff

Blood Sport: Improve your play


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: Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek. Imogen Heap is quickly making a name for herself as one of the most profoundly talented artists today. I've been surprised how often I've heard her music recently, as I had always presumed she would remain as an unrealized genius; an underground phenomenon. Her independent work is both euphoric and mentally stimulating. I am elated she has gained some notoriety, even if only within the past few years. Hide and Seek is one of those rare, almost one-of-a-kind tracks that has an incredibly strong gravity in its simplicity. The power of the minimalistic approach creates a forceful (but delicate) melody. Although I love some remixes (Tiesto's is particularly intelligent, as the paradox of stripping away the essence of the song by adding unnecessary elements isn't present, unlike in oh so many other remixes), the original is something akin to a Greek sculpture -- beautiful in the nude.

Last Week: We discussed our hatred for Scrubby McDouche. Even if you've never stepped foot into an arena, you've probably played with someone who has the god complex thing going on. He always has an excuse for his shortcomings. He is never to blame for the raid wipe, game loss, or his sub-optimal play in any aspect whatsoever.

This week, we're going to be examining the opposite kind of arena combatant. Playing with this individual is not just a good experience -- it's the reason many of us continue to play MMOs. She does everything in-game well, and has fun doing it. She is probably the best player you know, and certainly the most enjoyable to arena, raid, and level with. Today we're going to discuss how to own it up in arena, both theoretically and realistically.

Check out what makes a good arena player tick after the break.

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

Cory Stockton breaks down the process of making an instance

Blizzard has done a lot of press regarding the fifth anniversary of the game (and there's probably more to come), but Curse has done one of the more interesting pieces so far. Instead of just chatting with Cory Stockton about his experiences, they had him sit down and explain just how Blizzard puts an instance together. They specifically talked about Ulduar, but the process Stockton reveals works for all of the instances Blizzard has created for the game.

A few interesting things -- they "block out" the instances first, create lower-res versions of them to play around in and create the mechanics for the fights. They also do some boss testing outside of the environments -- Razorscale, specifically, says Stockton, was actually tested down in the Stranglethorn Arena. Finally, once the encounter team works out the basics of the encounters, the art and item teams move in, and create art and loot, sometimes with the two of them collaborating (the art team will make a cool item for a boss, and then the item team, with the help of Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, will give the item stats and balance). Interesting just how collaborative the whole process is -- even the Ironbound Proto-drake mount came from the team seeing Razorscale and wanting to put him in mount form. It's nice and all hearing Blizzard remember the Fry's launch, but it's nicer getting an inside look at their process.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 3 - the succubus and crowd control, page 1

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "A succubus is a devourer of souls, destroyer of hearts, tempter of men. A creature of profound evil and of singular mind. It cannot be brought into our world without a stimulus." ~ Gan'rul Bloodeye

Previously in 'Meet the minions' we have looked at the imp and the voidwalker as well as how to manage your minions and your threat. In this installment our demon of choice is the succubus and the game mechanic is crowd control; fear, seduce, howl, banish and a svelte demon with wings. But before I delve in I need to clarify something to Blood Pact readers.

For a while now I've had a demon trying to whisper words of doubt into my ear. He's been telling me that Blood Pact readers want PvP info in the column, that they cry out for it, they yearn for it, they need it; and that I can't deliver any. It's true that my knowledge and experience of PvP pretty much extends as far as being able to smell it early enough to avoid it. Don't get me wrong, I love researching for Blood Pact but in this case I'm not going to try, and for two reasons. First, nobody who cares about warlock PvP wants to have me school them on it, and second we have some first rate PvP experts at WoW.com who can do it better.

So I've sent the demon packing (literally; don't be surprised if you find more than the normal number of broken biscuits in future packets) and have started a campaign to convince our arena and battleground columnists to get with some lock love. So enough with the preamble, lets get on with the show.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Leveling, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact

How many wipes does it take to end a raid?

This is probably a good question to revisit since we're heading into a patch where lots and lots of us will be running pickup raids and groups. Souldreamer on WoW Ladies LJ asks: "just when do you give up on a raid?" It's a good question, and unfortunately, the answer probably depends on the raid itself. If, going in, you're not sure just how much DPS the raid can do, and your healer says he's actually specced prot, and you were planning on going to bed anyway, one wipe is probably enough to call it. On the other hand, if you've dropped a few bosses and have an issue with the tank losing aggro for a second on a boss, you'll probably go back for another few wipes just to see.

Do any of you have an actual policy? I tend to not get involved in PuGs at all if I think there's a chance they won't make it -- there are too many fish in the sea, and too many other things for me to work on rather than beating my head up against a boss. But maybe it would be good to set up a rule that most of us can agree on, something like, "three wipes and you're out." That might save a lot of time and frustration in the new Dungeon system.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding

The sudden popularity of GDKP

We've been seeing this GDKP thing sneak up on the forums and elsewhere a lot lately, and while Scott has mentioned it (in a somewhat disparaging way, in fact), we haven't really taken a good look at it yet. So let's do so. GDKP stands for Gold DKP, which is kind of a mishmash of acronyms. DKP, or Dragon Kill Points, are a very popular way of determining loot division in a raid -- the concept dates back to earlier MMOs, and involves players earning points per boss kill that they can then spend on gear. We've talked about other DKP systems before. But rather than awarding loot based on arbitrary points, Gold DKP, as you may have guessed, instead gives loot to the player willing to pay the most gold... to the other players in the raid.

The way it works is this: You go into an instance, say Naxx, and everyone knows ahead of time that it is a "GDKP run," or a "gold run," or a "cash run." You down the first boss, and Webbed Death drops. The master looter then takes bids of gold on the item (this can be done via public chat or via an addon), and whoever bids the most gold gets the item. The person who wins then pays that amount of gold (some raids have minimum bids of, say, 100g) to "the pot," and the raid moves on. Another boss drops, another item drops -- usually all items, including recipes and mats, are auctioned off -- and another high bid goes into "the pot." Then, at the end of the raid, the pot is evenly split among all members. Everybody who joined in on the raid gets an even share of the bidded gold, including people who got no items, or the Mr. Moneybags who won them all.

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Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Guilds, News items, Economy, Instances, Raiding

Pilgrim's Bounty FAQ

Around the feast areas, at least on my own server, I've seen the same questions keep popping up about the new holiday, Pilgrim's Bounty. I thought it might be helpful to try answering them here. By necessity, these are a little general; if you want a closer look at getting the holiday achievements, please read our updated guide to Pilgrim's Bounty achievements.

Help! Where do I go to get started?

Go to any of your faction's major cities and find the feasting area. For Alliance, head to Stormwind, Ironforge, or Darnassus: for Horde, head to Orgrimmar, Undercity, or Thunder Bluff. While you can start the holiday in either the Exodar or Silvermoon, it's a little faster to start in any of the "classic" cities because you don't pick up any quests in their BC counterparts.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Events, Guides, Achievements

WoW Rookie: Training up

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Training up your spells and abilities used to be fairly complex -- not the process itself, mind you, but figuring out where to go. Trainers were tucked into obscure nooks and crannies all over the world, a real incentive to go exploring. Several infamous profession trainers were even located inside instances; you had to fight your way in, bags stuffed with all the mats for the next batch of recipes you hoped to train, and skill up like mad so you could buy the next available recipe while your group kept the area clear.

Training is much simpler in today's World of Warcraft, but it's hardly intuitive. We've pulled together a few notes on training for class spells and abilities, professions, riding skill for mounts and weapon skills, to help steer you to the right place at the right time.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Features, Leveling, Classes, Talents, WoW Rookie, Mounts

Blood Pact: Patch 3.3 raid build roundup

Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact. "Oh how I love the feel of it, the way it burns your skin and weaves evil thoughts through the mind..." ~ Impsy

With patch 3.3 looking evermore imminent and the changes to warlock talents and spells seeming to have settled down, it's a good time to take a look at what we can expect from the next expansion. This isn't going to be a review of the fights and encounters in Icecrown -- though I'm sure we'll get to that at some point -- this is a look at how our various raiding builds have changed.

I've already reported on most of them as they hit the PTR in previous articles, so I'm not going to dwell on the changes themselves. You can read up on this detail here, here, here and here. I wouldn't say that lock talents are broken at the moment but it certainly seems as if we're left little option when it comes to raiding. You have destruction for damage and a demonology bi... err... buff spec. The overriding impression I have looking at the patch 3.3 changes is that there will be more choice to play the spec you like. Something we've not had for a very long time.

After the break I'll list the changes from the patch notes for reference and then we'll get down to how that shakes out.

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, How-tos, Raiding, Guides, Talents, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Rawr updated to 2.2.25 [Update: 2.2.27]

Rawr is a great third-party app (it's open source, and doesn't interface with the game at all) that's designed to help you figure out everything you need to know about your character, including how to best buff, enchant, and gem up your gear and set up your stats for whatever you'd like to do. It started out as an app strictly for tanking druids, but recently, it's grown to include pretty much all classes and stats. Our good friends at sister site Download Squad just recently found out about it, and they've got a nice basic writeup posted that serves as a good overview if you've never used the app before.

They also mention that the app just got another update, to version 2.2.25, and all of the release notes are posted over on their site. They're also looking for help -- if you're a C# developer, or know one who can work on their rogue and hunter models, be sure to let them know. Since the program is open source, anybody who knows the code can jump in and add their own features, or fine-tune the class choices, which then helps out everyone who uses the software. Rawr is definitely an excellent resource for anyone looking to get their gear perfected -- it's a free download for Windows on their site right now.

Update: Since this post was written, the app has been updated to 2.2.27. That was fast!

Filed under: Items, Tips, How-tos, Classes, Buffs

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 2 - of voidwalkers and threat

Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact. A journey into the shadowed side of your magical being, taking in all the sights from the dark heart to the withered soul. Where we learn the true price of power.

In the last 'Meet the minions' we looked at how to control your summoned demon and had a good look at the imp. This time we are showcasing the voidwalker and learning what threat is all about. Knowing how to make sure the enemy leaves you alone and hits someone (or something) else is a key ability in the game and the voidwalker is the ideal tool for learning it.

Your voidwalker is a tank. You usher him to the fore and while he keeps your target busy, you destroy them with shadow and flame. I tend to think that the image of a voidwalker is pretty bland, the other demons are much more evocative. Despite this the voidwalker is probably the most evil of minions to use on your enemies. It will reach into their minds and cause such anguish that they will desperately try to beat away this monster. This affords the warlock all the time he needs to safely curse and corrupt their bodies with exquisite slowness and care.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Leveling, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact

WoW Rookie: Add-ons for rookies

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Want to add high-powered functionality and high-octane style to your interface and controls? Add-ons, dear readers. You need add-ons. Also known as mods, add-ons can be such powerful upgrades to your gaming experience that some players consider them mandatory beyond a certain level of play. You can get add-ons that show you how much threat you've built as a tank, add-ons that show how much DPS you're doing relative to other members of the raid, and add-ons that show you who needs Dispel Magic now. There are add-ons that let you reconfigure and move your hotbars anyplace on your screen, add-ons that show you how much gold you have on each of your other characters, and add-ons that point the way to the area where your quest objective awaits ... Sweet stuff, indeed.

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Filed under: How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie

The Daily Quest: It's 8:30 a.m., on a Tuesday, in Stormwind.

We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.
Go Phillies!

Filed under: How-tos, Podcasting, Guides, The Daily Quest

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 1

Each week Dominic Hobbs brings you Blood Pact. "Much like your life as a warlock, it is important to learn from what we find in the world... before twisting it to our will." ~ Summoner Teli'Larien
We're not hunters. We don't wander about shopping for a pet that catches our eye, like some fashion accessory. We reach through into the nether and wrest demons into this world, binding them to our will. We maintain our bond to this demonic denizen of the shadow, summoning them to our side at need. They are not pets, some companion for the terminally lonely and friendless, they are minions. They are our servants and slaves, powerful beings controlled through dominion, not feeble minded animals cooing for snacks.

This week I will start a review of our minions -- what they can do for us and how best we can use them. My aim is for this to be of use to anyone new to the class and these minions as well as more experienced players looking for tips and tricks. After the break we start right off with our pocket-mage.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Leveling, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact

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