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Filed under: Items

Winter Veil Gift 2009: The Red Rider Air Rifle


Ah! There it is... the holy grail of Christmas gifts! The Red Ryder 200 shot ranged model air rifle... What I want for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB Gun.

In a nod to the holiday classic A Christmas Story, this year's WoW in-game Christmas gift is your very own Red Rider Air Rifle. You get it from the Winter Veil Gift underneath the Winter Veil Tree.

You use it to cast the spell Pelted! which expands one of the 200 charges the Red Rider Air Rifle has. You'll want to fire off the gun to the faction leaders first to get your BB King achievement (Alliance version, Horde version). You can miss with the gun, so do the achievement before blowing the rest of the charges.

For additional information on all the Winter Veil achievements, check out our Over Achiever's Guide to Winter Veil. This gift is active on the EU servers, and as of 8:00 a.m. EST, the gift now appears active on the US/North American servers as well.

A+++++++++++++!

Filed under: Items, Events, Achievements

Anglers get enchanted in patch 3.3

The fine folks from El's Extreme Anglin' were able to fish up this new enchant from the depths of patch 3.3. If you want to have a better chance at winning the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby, you'll want to get your hands (or gloves) on this Formula: Enchant Gloves - Angler. The recipe is a bind-on-pickup item that drops off the Indu'le Fishermen, Mystics, and Warriors who wander around Lake Indu'le in Dragonblight, so enchanters angling to get this might want to put some restless souls to rest. The formula requires 375 Enchanting skill in order to learn.

This new formula finally allows fishermen to overwrite those gloves enchanted with the tested (but tired) Formula: Enchant Gloves - Fishing and pump up their maximum fishing skill just a little bit more. The enchant requires 1 Infinite Dust and 3 Ethereal Oil, an alchemical solution derived from Glassfin Minnows. This puts the enchanting bonus up to par with most passive fishing bonuses. Enchanted gloves previously conferred the lowest bonus compared to those in other slots.


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: Fishing, Enchanting, Patches, Items, Odds and ends

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing up after the glorious patch 3.3


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that loves nothing more than to gaze down upon the whole of Northrend from one of the floating chunks of stone around Dalaran and realize that at some point, a mage has probably killed every living thing down there. At least the targetable ones, anyway. And the ones you can't target? I'm sure more than one mage has certainly tried.

So I'm officially nominating patch 3.3 for "best patch ever" status. Here's a short list of the highlights of this patch:
  • Three highly challenging, fun, lore-filled 5-man instances, full of sweet loot
  • A massive new raid, with four gated sections, 12 bosses, and the promise of eventually being able to shove a Fireball up the Lich King's tailpipe
  • The incredible, game-changing Dungeon Finder Tool, which is responsible for peace in the Middle East, has brought an end to the recession, and has cured cancer
  • A few choice mage buffs, including a PvE viable Frost spec
  • Quest Tracking without the need for an addon
  • Quel'delar and Shadowmourne
  • A swiftly approaching new Arena Season
  • Weekly raid quests
  • The Kalu'ak Fishing Derby
  • Perky the Pug
  • A host of little changes for low level characters
  • Rocket bare
Not shabby, right? And best of all, Blizzard has managed to deploy the majority of this new content without also deploying a host of bugs, glitches, and instability, or otherwise making the game unplayable for awhile as we've come to expect from patches this large. There were some log-in issues and bugginess on day one, but by day two, everything was running relatively smoothly by day two. I'm being relatively conservative when I say that Blizzard, in my personal opinion, has hit this one out of the park.

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

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

Breakfast Topic: Make it all BoA

Gnomeaggedon happened to post something so interesting the other day that I thought it merited a bit more discussion. He actually posted it almost as an afterthought (I guess he's moving in RL -- good luck with that), but it's quite an idea just the same: "Make it all BoA," he says. Blizzard has added in some more Bind-on-Account items, and most recently made it possible for BoA items to go across factions. But Gnomeaggedon says it's time to stop messing around: mounts, emblems, tier and arena gear, currencies, vanity pets, reputation items, anything that would be useful across toons should be able to be traded freely between them. Why, he asks, should there be limits on which character you decide to play with?

And actually, while the possibilities there might make some players' heads spin (imagine how many badges you could earn on your geared-out pally for your newly 80 warlock), I think that Blizzard is probably headed that direction. They may not want to open the floodgates completely, but look at where we've come -- we just heard Frank Pearce say the other day that faction changes are a direct result of Blizzard wanting to give players more choice of who to play with, so wouldn't it follow that we'd eventually get more choice about which characters we use? You have to think that we'll see more and more BoA items, so why not just skip to step ten and open it all up? What do you think?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Making money

Shipping costs removed from Authenticators

We'd already noticed last week that the Authenticators in the US store had gone free shipping, but now official updates on Blizzard's site say it's true in the EU as well. American authenticators still cost $6.50, but you no longer have to pay anything extra for shipping, and EU authenticators have had their price dropped to €6.99. That's still over $10, but they're at least cheaper than they used to be. There's a drawback, however: apparently they went with cheaper shipping, because you can no longer track shipments of authenticators, and shipping will take a little longer (up to 15 business days in the US). Which makes sense, given that you want these things as cheap as possible.

Ancilorn answers some other Authenticator questions as well -- there's no discount for buying multiple units at all; what you see is what you get. And while the only authenticator for purchase at the moment is the Corehound branded unit, there may be more art available in the future, and of course you don't need a Corehound-branded Authenticator to get the Corehound Pup pet. Any Authenticator will do that, including any of the authenticators made for mobile phones, as long as it stays attached to your account. Whew -- that should answer all the questions anyone has. As we said the other day, if you don't have one of these yet, it's probably time to look in to getting one. Not only will your account be more secure, but you'll get that free pet as well.

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Making money, Account Security

The ups and downs of the Battered Hilt

Yesterday, Bornakk said clearly that the Battered Hilt drop that starts the Quel'delar questline was dropping at the right rate, which is much less than when the patch first hit. And then of course, in last night's fixes, they went ahead and increased the drop rate anyway. He also claimed there were no plans to make it BoP, but who knows what'll happen in the future? For now, however, you can still buy and sell the quest item for quite a bit of gold. We'll have to see where the price eventually ends up -- on the staff here, we've seen anything from 8,000g to over 23,000g, and Twitter tells us that people are paying an average of around 12k or so, going up to as high as 30k (or even shady real money offers in online classified ads). Our own Matt Low has actually seen the drop three different times, and lost every roll. It drops off of any of the mobs in the Heroic versions of the Frozen Halls 5-mans, and as Bornakk says, any class can use it to come up with a pretty solid weapon, so the competition will probably keep the price high, depending on where the drop rate ends up.

The silver lining, if you really want one, have terrible luck, and don't ever expect to have all that money, is that the price will probably go down eventually. Bornakk says that as people move up into Icecrown and start picking up weapons that are even better than the sister blade, demand is likely to drop off a bit. But he also says that Blizzard does want this to be a special and relatively rare item, so you'll still have to probably either be lucky or ready to grind it out. Good luck -- I'm out there searching for one with you.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Wrath of the Lich King

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

WoW Insider Show live today at 3:30pm Eastern

Our podcast is live on the virtual air today at 3:30pm Eastern (8:30pm GMT) over on Ustream, and it's an all-star show for sure. We'll have Michael "Belfaire" Sacco, Matthew W. Rossi, and Adam Holisky all on the show with us, so I don't expect to have to say anything. Maybe I'll just shout out something like "patch 3.3" and see what evolves from there. But Turpster and I will still be on, and if we can corral these guys, we'll be talking about how big a change the Dungeon Finder really is, Corehound Pups in the mail for Authenticator users, and this patch in general. Should be quite a show.

And we'll be answering your emails -- if you have a question for any of us, feel free to send it along to theshow@wow.com. And of course we'll be doing the usual preshow and aftershow, so if you plan to turn up live after the break (or listen via the Ustream app on the iPhone), make sure to stick around for a little bit afterwards and we'll be chatting with you directly. See you this afternoon!

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, WoW Insider Show

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

The World of Warcraft in numbers

Business Management has a really interesting graphic up (that they say came partly from Eurogamer.net, but I didn't see it over there) that breaks down WoW "by the numbers." It features an interesting series of stats about the game, in what I call an Oatmeal-style format, everything from number of players and items (30,000) to number of locations (1400) and the most commonly looted item every day (Frostweave). I think these stats all came from a few different places -- from a talk given at Austin GDC last year, to the toplist over on the official WoW site (of course, that chart is constantly updated, so Onyxia wasn't always the deadliest mob, and Frostweave wasn't always the most looted.

But it is cool to see all of the numbers stacked up in a row in such a stylish way. And 3.6 million pieces of Saronite Ore turned into 3 million Saronite bars? If that's true, why am I paying so much for it at the AH? 192 quests completed per second is pretty wild, too. That's like three entire Oracles reputation grinds (give or take a few dailies), all completed in this second. And this one. And this one.

Filed under: Items, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Quests, Bosses

Time to get that Authenticator

Well, they started giving away pets for having an authenticator, so I guess it's about time I went ahead and put one on my account. I've had the app on my iPhone for a while, actually, but I never really saw the point in attaching it to my account, especially since it seemed like just more hassle, and who knows what kinds of errors could pop up. And honestly, I haven't worried much about hackers -- I use a secure browser, I don't click on unknown links. But I know, I know, it's safer, and with the cute Corehound Pup out, I might as well go ahead and attach it.

And you might as well, too. Blizzard's Store was flooded with people looking for authenticators yesterday, but things have slowed down a bit, and they've even got a brand new design with the Corehound Pup right on there. The price, as usual, is $6.50 with free shipping. If you've got an iPhone or an iPod touch, you can get the app free from iTunes, and we're told that it's coming to other platforms at some point in the future (guess when: "soon"). Even if you don't want to apply the Authenticator for whatever reason, just think of it as an almost-half-price pet.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Account Security

Encrypted Text: Rogue gear guide for patch 3.3


Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about all of the new gear you can find in patch 3.3.

Patch 3.3 descended upon us rather quickly, bringing all of the new patch notes to fruition. It even brought extended maintenance and instance server outages in its wake. You can read more of WoW.com's coverage of 3.3 in our comprehensive guide. I was lucky enough to survive the instability long enough to run the new 5 man's, and they're a ton of fun.

I've talked about the changes that rogues can expect, with Combat seeing a nice boost via the Deadly Poison change, and Mutilate is sitting pretty with Murder and the DP change putting it in sole possession of first place. Hopefully you've got a pair of daggers lying around. If you don't, have no fear! Blizzard has put in a ton of new rogue loot, and really pulled out all of the stops. Read on for a list of all the gear you'll be able to acquire in these first few weeks of our final confrontation against the Lich King.

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, Items, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Ammo controversy in 3.3 already

Patch 3.3 is only barely out on the live realms, and already, there's a controversy with the new epic ammo recipes. Lassirra says that hunters are concerned that the requirements to make the ammo are just too high. Blizzard had promised to make getting epic ammo easier, and this still has the requirement of having a high level engineer, with the extra charge of requiring a Goblin engie for the bullets, and a Gnomish engie for the arrows. And even after you find a 450 Engineer in the right spec, you still have to get a couple of Crystallized Shadow or Earth together. That doesn't sound "easier" to me, either.

Let's not forget, however, that this is cutting edge (no pun intended) ammo -- this isn't the kind of vendor junk you just fire while leveling. It's a 30 point DPS gain from the previous high level ammo, and that kind of increase probably does justify a little tougher requirement to make. Of course, it'll probably work out so that other classes get that increase normally through their itemization, but that's just the way it works for hunters. If you want the new ammo, you'll have to find an friendly engie of the right spec with the right skill Honored with the new Ashen Verdict faction, and then keep them supplied with as much Crystallized Earth and Shadow as you can find.

Filed under: Hunter, Engineering, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard and how they deal with ninjas

Wojtek sent us this thread in which he posted a long series of emails between him and Blizzard about the ninja of an Onyxia Drake. There's a lot of back and forth, but eventually, the bottom line is that Blizzard was not able to help him, whether that's because he didn't have the information right, they couldn't find what they needed in the chat logs, or they just didn't want to. Later on, the thread is locked, and Wojtek is given the usual feedback address for the GM actions.

So what does all this mean? We've heard in the past that Blizzard will occasionally help with ninjas, and we've even heard unofficially that if you get the main looter in a PuG raid to state the looting conditions ahead of time, Blizzard can go back, look that up, and then reward loot based on who really deserves it. But of course, all of that is unofficial, and there are so many variations and issues in situations like these that there can't really be a hard and fast rule -- sometimes Blizzard can help, sometimes they can't.

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Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Raiding

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