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Filed under: Tailoring

Hot Topic introduces new WoW merchandise, cute model

Following on the heels of J!NX's new winter line of WoW merchandise, Hot Topic has released a new line of Blizzard-themed apparel just in time for the holidays.

Included among the many newcomers to the line are "spray-painted" Alliance and Horde logo shirts, faction insignia wallets, Starcraft II and Diablo III shirts, hoodies with a neat piece of art depicting an Alliance/Horde battle (replete with male model rocking a worrisome mustache) and, for the ladies in your life, a cute purple "Fight Like a Girl" t-shirt with a set of the highly feminine night elf hunter and blood elf paladin. That's right -- now you too can have a qtbelf on your chest, or the chest of a female WoWer near and dear to your heart. As long as she's a size small or medium, anyway. The other sizes are sold out.

Speaking of near and dear to my heart, that model! Aye aye aye. For her, if that shirt was available in mens' sizes, I'd buy it even if it said "I play as a female character in World of Warcraft." I mean, I do. Several of them, but. You know. Still.

All the new pieces are available at HotTopic.com or at your local Hot Topic store. Remember, those places are guarded by level 14 elite scenesters. Bring friends.

Filed under: Tailoring, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

AddOn Spotlight: Advanced Trade Skill Window

AddOn Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your AddOns folder, we'll cover it here.

For anyone that has tried leveling up a profession, you know that it can be a bit of a grind. This can be especially true with things like engineering or jewelcrafting that have little parts that you have to make in order to make the actual items. Even leatherworking has the ability to upgrade leather from one grade to a better grade and still make something out of it. All of this can be confusing, especially with the categories that Blizzard has setup in the normal trade window. Advanced Trade Skill Window can help out with that problem.

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Filed under: Mining, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Add-Ons, Jewelcrafting, AddOn Spotlight, Inscription

Breakfast Topic: Crafting pride

For some reason, crafting has always been a big part of massively multiplayer games. Maybe it's their quality as loot-collecting simulators, but from the very early graphical MMOs, players have almost always been able to create and modify and trade and sell items of their own. Though we don't talk about it as a mechanic much (you press a button and get what you crafted, what's the big deal), it's certainly one of the main reasons people play World of Warcraft, and the crafting system has come to not only fuel the economy, but has ended up becoming one of the best ways to show off and present your customized character.

So our question today is: what's your favorite or most important crafting item? I'm in the middle of leveling my paladin, and he's just now reaching the highest reaches of Engineering, which is a skill I've never leveled up before, but have always wanted to. I haven't gotten together the gold for epic flying yet (well on my way at level 73), but I did make normal flying machine as soon as I could. And my big goal with this character, other than getting him raiding ASAP, is to make the Mekgineer's Chopper -- ever since we first saw it in the early days of Wrath, I've planned to get a character up high enough to make it. I know, I know, I can buy it, but for me it's a crafting thing -- I want to go out, find what I need to find, and craft it with my own virtual hands.

Any other crafted items that have you wanting to make something for yourself?

Filed under: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Making money

WoW Rookie: Bag it


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.

With the excitement his week focused on the all-new, 22-slot Onyxia Hide Backpack, it seems anticlimactic to think that many players are struggling simply to maintain enough space in their bags for quest items and a decent amount of loot. It's easy to throw down big money for big bags when you're max level and rolling in gold from dailies – but new players must walk the line between overspending for convenience's sake and having enough bag space to get the job done.

Let's make one thing perfectly clear: bigger bags are a savvy investment. There's definitely a point of diminishing returns, though, which will be obvious to even the most naive of WoW rookies searching through the Containers section in the Auction House. (Really. You'll know when it's time to stop upgrading. We promise.) Getting wise to what's available and where to find it will help you squeeze out those last few precious bag slots without going broke in the process.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Engineering, Tailoring, Enchanting, Tips, Jewelcrafting, Features, WoW Rookie, Inscription

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 2

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that believes there's no such thing as a wrong time to turn something into a sheep. Unless it was already a sheep to begin with. Then it would probably have been better to turn it into a pig or a rabbit or something. Or maybe just hit it with a Pyroblast. Mmmm. Lamb chops. What were we talking about again?

If you missed last week, here's a link to click on so you can catch up. If you can't be bothered to read the first part of this column, let me summarize the idea here: we're discussing ways to get your Mage all decked out in epic, raid-worthy gear without ever actually entering a raid instance. Now, more than ever before, we have so many options for obtaining raid-quality gear that actually raiding for it seems almost...old-fashioned.

Last week we talked about 5-mans in both their normal and heroic varieties, focusing on Trial of the Champion, because duh. But maybe you don't want to do 5-mans. Maybe your guildies aren't on, and maybe you hate pugs. Maybe you are a Mage, and because there are eighty-four DPSers looking for group for every one tank or healer, you threw your hands up after an hour of trying to get a group and went off to do dailies.

Well good news, everyone! Doing those dailies can get you epics too! Yes, it is entirely possible--even if you happen to be the guy on your server who ninjas gear in pugs and sucks at everything to the point that nobody invites you to groups anymore--to fill just every slot of your gear with sparkly purples without doing any instances of any kind. Isn't that wonderful? It tends to take a bit longer, overall, but these alternative methods for obtaining gear can be perfect for those of us who simply don't have a lot of time to commit to a group. Simply log in, craft an epic cloak, do a daily quest or two, blast out a couple Arena matches, and then repeat for a few weeks, and eventually you'll have epics too. Anyway, nice talking to you, see you next week! Wait...what's that? You want details? Oh fine. Clicky clicky.

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Filed under: Mage, Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Quests, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Inscription

Breakfast Topic: Shirt of choice


Out of all of the things we've broken down and discussed on this site, I don't think we've ever really dug into this one: what's your character's shirt of choice? The shirt slot on your character screen is really the last customization-only slot we've got left, ever since the tabards were allotted to earning reputation. So today's discussion topic is: what shirt do you have in there?

Unfortunately, the Shirt of Uber is only a PTR item, so no one is wearing it on the live realms, or else obviously that's what we'd all be wearing. The Epic Purple Shirt is probably a favorite since earlier this year, if you've been lucky enough to get the TCG code. I'd bet the Swashbuckler's Shirts are popular, and the Red Linen Shirt has always been one of my favorites. I'm sure the Tuxedo Shirt has its share of fans as well.

So what are you wearing underneath that armor? It'd be cool if Blizzard actually beefed up our choices there a bit -- maybe they could put stripes on the sleeve to show rank, or have some special color or model for people who have met certain achievements (and come on, a Three Worgen Moon shirt? I'd wear that). Then again, maybe it's better that the shirts stay pretty low key -- every other item on our character screen has gotten a purpose lately, so maybe we're better off wearing whatever shirt we want.

Filed under: Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Behind the scenes of the Dragon Queen costume


It's totally fun to browse through the costume gallery or the pictures of the costume contest we took last weekend and marvel at the different costumes that showed up at BlizzCon, but what you don't see in those shots is all of the hard work that went into making each outfit. Sure, there are probably some store-bought purchases in there, but for the most part, each costume was assembled with lots of hard work and care, most of the time by the person actually wearing it.

Mariecannabis is the woman wearing this Alexstrasza costume that we saw at the costume contest, and she has posted a gallery over on Flickr showing some of the behind-the-scenes work of making the molds and putting the costume together. The end costume looks great, but the process is all shapes and molds and paint and construction -- fascinating to see how it all comes together. And while this costume is terrific, it does make you wonder about the stories behind some of the even more complex costumes up there.

Stay tuned for more -- we'll be seeking out a few of the best costumes we saw at BlizzCon, and we'll show you some more of their stories in the future here on WoW.com. It's fun to see all of those on the show floor, but you sometimes don't realize just how much work and time is actually put into them.



Filed under: Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Contests, BlizzCon

More ideas for player housing

Spicytuna has a nice little writeup about a much-discussed but never implemented feature in World of Warcraft: player housing. Blizzard has borrowed (and subsequently improved upon) many of the most common features in MMOs -- they revamped leveling with ideas like rested XP and recruit-a-friend, they changed the endgame with the ideas of Heroic instances and daily quests, and they've tweaked PvP with battlegrounds, Wintergrasp and Arenas.

But for some reason they've never taken on the idea of player housing: a place in the game for players to make their own. The reason we've always heard is that they never landed on a good implementation of it -- if they couldn't do it right, they wouldn't do it at all.

But Spicytuna proves there's no shortage of ideas. The main thought so far is that such an area would be instanced, as having actual buildings in the game as player houses just leads to emptied out ghettos of buildings left to rot.

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Filed under: Engineering, Tailoring, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard

Arcane Brilliance: Five things every Mage should do before they ding 80


Each week Arcane Brilliance waves its wand and conjures a column about Mages. Then Arcane Brilliance turns the column into a sheep, sets that sheep on fire, and then freezes it into a flaming-sheep-sicle. This flaming-sheep-sicle-that-used-to-be-a-Mage-column is actually tastier than you might think, but also quite deadly. Having created it, Arcane Brilliance then proceeds to find the nearest Warlock and hurl the tasty-flaming-sheep-sicle-that-used-to-be-a-Mage-column-of-death at that Warlock, killing him or her instantly. It's the flamingest, frozen-sheepingest, tasty-deathiest Warlock-killingest column on this website, let me assure you.

Contrary to popular belief, Mages do not simply spring to life at level 80. Just like other, lesser classes, we too must begin at the lowly level of one. Even Mages must put their robes on one leg at a time, place one frail foot in front of the other, and trudge across Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms, Outland, and finally Northrend until our experience bars progress from the left side of the screen to the right side a total of 79 times.

Once upon a time, this process took awhile. An average trip to level 60 used to require the following:
  • Approximately 192 trips from the north end of The Barrens to the south end...on foot, uphill both ways, fending off Mankrik's wife and Chuck Norris with a stick.
  • Actually setting foot in Desolace.
  • Getting dismounted several hundred thousand times in Dustwallow Marsh because you'd strayed across three inches of water.
  • Having to wait several hours to turn in every quest in Hillsbrad Foothills, because the questgivers in Tarren Mill and Southshore are always dead.
  • Getting eaten by a giant and improbably stealthy Devilsaur in Un'Goro Crater at least a million times, and always as far from the nearest graveyard as possible.
This is all fact. Sadly (or totally not, depending on how sado-masochistic you are), leveling is no longer nearly as grueling and refining an experience as it once was. It's entirely possible to skip a whole lot of the early-game content these days, and come patch 3.2, PvP experience will allow us to skip all of it on our way to level 80. Still, there are some things I feel we're missing out on as we cruise through the old-world content these days. Follow me beyond the jump for a list of five things every Mage should do on their way to level 80.

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Filed under: Mage, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Features, Leveling, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Breakfast Topic: Missing Professions?


WoW lets you do a lot of things from cook great feasts for your raid-mates to spend a lazy evening in some peaceful part of Grizzly Hills catching some fish for dinner. You can make bandages, sew cloth into handy bags, skin beasts to make armour or even make your own mount from a rather expensive pile of tubes and springs or a few dozen bolts of highly prized cloth. I just mine and mine and mine. Then I mine some more and maybe do a little fishing in Dalaran fountain.

All in all the game is pretty well serviced in the realm of professions, both primary and secondary. However I can't help thinking there needs to be a bit more variety. People seem to pick the easy professions or the ones which make the most cash very quickly. Should there be tertiary professions, like lockpicking, and should they be made available to all? At the same time, do you think Blizzard were smart when they only provided two profession slots? Do you think people should be able to learn all of them, even if they could only take one or two to Grand Master level? Do you think, aside from first aid, cooking and fishing, there's a missing profession? If you could add one to the game, what would it be?

Filed under: Fishing, Mining, Skinning, Cooking, Engineering, Tailoring, First Aid, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Making money

Epic gems and profession changes in Patch 3.2

With all the things I'm waiting to hear about in patch 3.2, completely unforeseen news takes me by surprise. Bornakk just revealed that epic gems are coming in that patch, as well as some changes to other professions.

Jewelcrafters will be able to buy epic gem cut patterns with their Dalaran Jewelcrafter's Tokens. Raw epic gems will be available from prospecting Titanium Ore and alchemy transmutations, and will also be buyable with both honor and Emblems of Heroism.

Given that the availability of epic gems raises the value of the Blacksmithing perk (extra sockets), other professions are having their perks buffed. Details after the cut.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Patches, News items, Jewelcrafting, Inscription

Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 3

Mining
Miners are given Toughness, an ability that at max rank, awards +50 stamina. This is a lovely bonus for tanks! A tank's talents will take this well beyond +500 hp, and stamina is also multiplied by buffs and talents such as Blessing of Kings (and not all stats are). This is also going to be helpful in PvP, where stamina is especially important.

Herbalism
Herbalists get Lifeblood, a self-heal, that at max rank, awards +2000 HP over 5 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown. This can be used in or out of combat, and the spell effect entails flowers sprouting up from the ground all around the character.

It is difficult to gauge the actual benefit of this ability across classes and in different situations. In the last few seconds of a close fight, where it is you or them, even a small boost in HP could bump you up to victory. Then again, tanks benefit more from stamina due to talents that factor in your total stamina to then award you with extra stamina (Sacred Duty), increased power (Touched by the Light), and other benefits. It is also difficult to say whether an extra boost in damage might also be worth more than this small heal in a tough spot.

Almost all classes find this ability helpful while leveling and soloing. Raiders will often use it to top themselves off or buy some time until their next heal.

Skinning
Skinners become Masters of Anatomy, and gain 32 critical strike rating, which is equal to 0.70% crit. This is especially useful to classes who have talents that boost stats based on your crit rating, increase your crit by a %, or where your crit rating actually grants you other stats, such as mana for holy paladins.

The Skinning and Mining bonuses equate to about 2 gems worth of stats, and Lifeblood is all about how you use it.

Conclusion and Comparison
As you can see, for most of the professions, the benefits and stat increases are approximately equal. Let's use spell power to demonstrate this:
  • JC: +39.
  • Enchanting: +38.
  • Inscription: +37.
  • Tailoring: 250 SP for 15 seconds of every 45 seconds+. This averages to +83 SP in ideal conditions (meaning, it procs on your next heal after the cooldown is up). In fact, it will likely always be under, though somewhat near, this ideal. A more realistic average is +75 SP.
  • LW: +37.
  • Blacksmithing: +38.
  • Engineers: +18 and a parachute.
  • Alchemy: +37.
As you can see, the profession bonuses are basically equivalent, and this is true across each stat. There are some exceptions. As I noted earlier, the Engineering enchants are not only meant to increase your stats, but also combine your gadgets, absorbing them into your everyday armor. Without this absorption, the only way to use them would be to take off your super special raiding/PvP gear in favor of a piece of gear or trinket that you carry around for special occasions. Because of this convenience, they seem to eat up itemization points.

Still, there are several that are still worth taking, even over other options available for that slot. The Tailoring enchant noted above is currently being debated as OP, and may be subject to tweaking in the future. It is also worth noting that because this is a passive proc, it is not always going to be utilized. You might proc it near the end of a fight, for example, or when you're topping someone off between pulls, and waste most of the added spell power.
Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. Check out part 1 of this Guide to Profession-Specific Buffs!



Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Guides, Buffs, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Insider Trader: Farming recipes in Northrend


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

This week, Insider Trader will be listing the locations and mobs that will drop recipes to help you complete your collection and expand your knowledge to boost sales.

Because this list is meant to be a reference for planning out your next farming expedition, I will not be including "world drops" that can drop from nearly any mob in a given zone or from a specific level of mobs across zones.

Ulduar
There are several epic crafting recipes that will drop in Ulduar. They have a chance to drop from each of the bosses on Heroic mode (25-man), although 10-man groups can also acquire them by downing the bosses on Hard mode.

Currently, there are two Enchanting formulas, six Blacksmithing plans, eight Leatherworking patterns and four Tailoring patterns that fall under this category.

Given Ulduar's close associations with Engineering, many people have been quite vocal about the lack of schematics in the dungeon, although many of the mobs can be harvested for parts and vendor junk.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Items, Tips, Economy, Instances, Jewelcrafting, Features, Insider Trader (Professions)

Insider Trader: Assessing the gear-crafting trades


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

In the World of Warcraft, there are three types of craftspeople: those that gather, those that enhance, and those that create gear. They are not mutually exclusive. For example, Scribes can create off-hand weaponry in addition to glyphs and Jewelcrafters can prospect gems from raw materials.

Gathering professions are known to be money-makers, and in addition, when asked, many players will also list the enhancement professions as well:
  • Inscription, although it is currently suffering from a lack of demand created by the introduction of dual-specs with patch 3.1.
  • Jewelcrafting is on the list, not because of its ability to create gear such as rings, but mainly because of the Prospecting and gems, cut or raw.
  • Enchanting is often stated, not only because of the enchants that can be created and even auctioned, but also because of the Disenchanting ability.
To balance this out, one would assume that the gear-crafting professions of Leatherworking, Tailoring and Blacksmithing must be incredibly useful, if not lucrative. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. This week, Insider Trader will be discussing the state of these professions. For a similar assessment of Engineering, check out The state of Engineering in 3.1.

I am especially interested in reader input and brainstorming, so don't forget to read through the comments section at the end of the article!

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Filed under: Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Leveling, Making money, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Time is Money: Owning your own guild bank


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).

A character's bank is a special place meant to store gear, consumables, novelty items and a whole mess of other things (and I do mean mess!). Because of this, many players have at least one "bank alt" which is an additional character created primarily to house and auction items.

The value of your banker's ability to store things should not be underestimated. Today, I will walk you through the steps to and costs of purchasing bank space, and show you an example of how it can be utilized to help you make gold.

Banking Costs: Guild vs. Personal
Every bank alt should purchase the first four bag slots within their own personal banks. This will cost you a total of 36g10s, and require that you purchase actual bags to place in those slots. The more slots the bags can hold, the more storage you will have.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Economy, Features, Guides, Making money, Alts, Inscription, Time Is Money

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