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The Colosseum: Jhazy of Blackrock


The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Relentless, Furious, Deadly, Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters on the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Frostwyrms. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player. If you'd like to be interviewed for The Colosseum, please feel free to contact us -- be sure to include your armory as a link!

We're in for a real treat this week. We interviewed Jhazy of Blackrock, one of the few players in arena history to achieve a 3,000 rating in 3v3. More impressive yet, he's done this on the very competitive Bloodlust battlegroup, and is currently holding that #1 spot by a margin of more than one hundred points. Jhazy's team STRAIGHT TO THE TOP is a protection warrior + marksman hunter + holy paladin composition. As a team, they are holding down the world's #1 3v3 spot!

Check out what Jhazy has to say after the break!

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Filed under: Hunter, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, PvP, Guides, Classes, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena, The Colosseum, Achievements

Arcane Brilliance: Mistakes mages make

Welcome to another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to say to warlocks: Look... even when we're alone, we outnumber you.

We belong to the best class in World of Warcraft. I know this because I have a checklist. Do you want to see it? Too bad, you're going to see it anyway:
You see? Mages meet every criteria on the checklist. The fact that I just made the checklist up is unimportant; the important thing to take away from this is that mages are, indisputably, the best class in this game.

But we aren't perfect.

We make mistakes. Five of them, to be precise.

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

Drama Mamas: Spoilsport speed demons

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

What happens when the Dungeon Finder matches up a group of players with the right mix of roles but the wrong mix of goals? Who "wins" when veteran players want to speed-run a lower-level instance, while the new players want to savor every surprise and puzzle over every trick? Lisa and Robin are on different sides of the fence this week. No matter which philosophy rings true for you, it's something worth agreeing on with the rest of the group at the beginning of the run.

Dear Drama Mamas: Having played a mage for the last 18 months, I decided to level my first alt, a priest. I ran into unexpected drama problems running my priest in the entry level instances using the random Dungeon Finder. You've offered excellent commentary on issues arising in endgame instances. I am soliciting your insight on conflict unique to the low-end random instances.

In contrast to endgame instances, where gear issues arise, random entry-level instances are mixing highly experienced players with people who are new to World of Warcraft. The principal conflict that arises is the first group wants to get geared and leveled as quickly as possible. The new players are there to experience what the instance offers. The first wants to run the instance quickly, the second need time. Regards, Anonymous

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Instances, Features, Leveling, Drama Mamas

WoW, Casually: Instance leveling guide

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Before the Dungeon Finder Tool, leveling through instances just wasn't possible for those of us with limited playtime unless we had 4 friends with similar schedules and an appropriate selection of classes. But now, we can take advantage of the speedy XP, better gear and grouping practice.

More importantly, dungeons are fun. In order to research this guide, I dusted off a level 18 paladin I hadn't played for at least 2 years. I picked up skills that were new since the last time she trained, redid her talents and tested the Dungeon Finder waters. It was an absolute blast running through Deadmines with an appropriately leveled group. I've also had a great time leveling a priest in her 30s and a mage in her 60s using the Dungeon Finder. If you too want to try some instance leveling (and I bet most of you already have), here are some tips to make the most of it:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Leveling, Guides, WoW, Casually

Lichborne: A death knight primer for tanking 5-man dungeons

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, your host is in a bit of a tanking mood. Those Emblems of Frost don't earn themselves!
So when the Dungeon Finder came out, it was pretty cool even for DPS. A 10 minute wait for a DPS slot for a 5-man dungeon is pretty insanely awesome. If nothing else, it was certainly faster than the old way of sitting in Dalaran for 2 hours picking your nose and watching the LFG channel.

Now that the dungeon finder has been around for a while though, things are getting a bit stickier for DPS. My server averages around 15-20 minutes for a level 80, and I've heard some battlegroups are up to 30-45 minutes, even at prime time. To make matters worse, tanks and healers can continue to boast instant or near-instant queues almost everywhere, leaving the poor DPS green with envy.

Now technically, this is how it's almost always worked. Tanks and Healers get groups pretty quick, DPS has to wait around. And all told, the dungeon finder system is still pretty cool, and you still get a group faster than the old way. That said, now that we've had a taste of true power, I'm sure we're all loathe to lose it. Luckily, death knights have an out: We can go tank.

Whether you're a DPS DK considering going tank for shorter queue times, or a 5-man DK tank newbie looking to up their game, this column's for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Blood Sport: Protection warriors overpowered?



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: Home Video's "You Will Know What to Do." The video is some sweet NASA footage; try to not be mesmerized by it (difficult, I confess). When I first heard Home Video a few years ago (Citizen EP, We and In a Submarine), I thought the band might be a Thom Yorke solo project. That's high praise from me. These guys do not disappoint.

Last Week: Part V of our Beginner's Guide to Arena. After featuring some Miles Davis and John Coltrane, we talked a bit about some of the aspects skilled arena damage-dealers excel with.

This Week: We'll be shifting gears a bit this week. Protection warriors are an important (and hot) topic within the arena community. I was thinking about publishing this article as a stand-alone and continuing the arena guide this week, but I've just been a tad bit too busy recently. More after the break!

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Time Is Money: Putting your emblems to work


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.

If you're like me, you have a lot of excess emblems sitting around. Maybe you never got around to spending them before the next tier came out, or maybe the badge gear just never quite compared to your raid drops. Whatever the case, there is no sense letting them go to waste when you could put them to work and earn some gold!

First, here is a quick breakdown of the current badge system, from most recent and difficult to acquire on down:
  1. Emblem of Frost: These can be acquired primarily by raiding Icecrown, completing the Raid Boss Per Week "weekly," or by completing one WotLK heroic dungeon per day using the Random tool.
  2. Emblem of Triumph: Most raids now drop these badges, as well as heroics. You will also be awarded these for doing any number of WotLK heroic dungeons past your first one per day using the Random tool. You will also get some by completing your first normal WotLK dungeon per day using the Random tool, as well as completing the Raid Boss Per Week "weekly." Also of note: If you get Heroic Oculus using the random tool, don't drop group! Not only has it been nerfed like crazy, but when you defeat the end boss, every player will receive a loot bag that will contain these badges and more, plus a chance at getting the super rare Reigns of the Blue Drake, which used to be available only by killing Malygos, who now drops his 25-man version (Azure) in both 10 and 25-man.
  3. Emblem of Conquest: Originally, these were acquired by running 10-man Coliseum, or 25-man Ulduar.
  4. Emblem of Valor: Originally these dropped from Ulduar 10-man and Naxxramas 25-man.
  5. Emblem of Heroism: These were among the first WotLK badges, and dropped from Naxxramas 10-man and heroic dungeons.

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

Spiritual Guidance: Making an Insightful meta choice



Every Sunday, Spiritual Guidance offers Holy and Discipline priests advice on how to wield the holy light and groove to the disco night. Your hostess Dawn Moore will provide the music.

For my introductory article I dreamed of writing a stunning opener that would be attention grabbing and witty. After an hour of contemplating bad diamond clichés such as Earthsiege Diamonds are forever, or Lucifron and the Skyflare Diamonds (which really makes no sense), I decided I'm just going to come out and say it straight: I hate the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond.

Despite my loathing, according to Armory Data Mining, the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond is the most popular meta gem selected by level 80 priests, both holy and discipline. So, I am going to shed some light on this mysterious meta gem by explaining its pluses and minuses, as well as discuss some alternative options should you choose to switch.

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Filed under: Priest, Items, Tips, Jewelcrafting, Raiding, Guides, Talents, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Rookie: The fresh 80's guide to getting started in five-mans

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

Level 80: You're reached the beginning of the end. It's never been easier to take your character to epic levels of gear and adventure. Whether you're five-manning for its own sake or gearing up along the path to raiding, we've got the tips to help you make the most of your level 80 group experience. If you're so new to level 80 (or still working your way there) that you're not sure what to tackle and where to turn first, read Level 80: Now what?. Once you've got a handle on the available options, it's time to tackle the wide world of Wrath's five-man instances.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, WoW Rookie

Lichborne: Emblem of Frost gear for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight column. This week, Daniel Whitcomb is really regretting turning on his boombox in Acherus at the new year's party.

By now, I assume a good portion of you have managed to get on your daily heroics at least a couple times a week, maybe even have an ICC raid or three under your belt. If so, you're starting to amass enough Emblems of Frost to maybe possibly think about buying a piece of gear. Of course, the problem with Emblem of Frost gear is that it's a little bit more expensive than, say, Emblem of Triumph gear. You're not going to get away with gearing up quite as fast, at least not until all of ICC is open and you have a good group for the place. No 25-emblem tier gear here. So that also makes it important, especially for the more casual player, to pick what you buy carefully.

Let's take a look at the various options.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Blood Sport: Beginner's Guide to Arena, Part V



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: Miles Davis and John Coltrane's beautiful "So What." We featured the Smashing Pumpkins last week. This week, we'll be shifting gears to some brilliant jazz. You have to love the diversity Blood Sport offers in pwning music.

Last Week: Part IV of our Arena Guide for Beginners. We talked about the marks of a skilled healer inside an arena battle.

This Week: Not surprisingly, today's article will be structured in a very similar fashion to our last for our bloodthirsty DPS readers. More after the break!

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Walkthroughs, PvP, Features, Guides, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Arcane Brilliance: Gemming for mages


Cinch up your robes and brandish your wands, it's time for another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that sincerely hopes that this picture was taken by a warlock, just before the mage on the other end got an honorable kill.

Around Thanksgiving, Arcane Brilliance received an email from a reader named Todd. I liked it so much that I wrote him back and told him I'd devote a column to his topic at some point soon. Though it has been over a month, I'm finally getting around to writing that column. In my defense, though: I'm extremely lazy. In the interests of space, I won't print the entire email, which was long, polite, and quite well-written. But here are some selections:

"Hi There,

My name is Todd. I LOVE your columns, and read them whenever I get the chance to. I am writing you trying to get help for my mother (who I sucked into playing WoW more than a year ago). She chose to be a gnome mage and embark upon the adventure of being an arcane spell caster. We fight side by side almost every day in heroics and raids (and rip the occasional warlock to shreds whenever the opportunity arises).

Anyway, I was hoping you might give us some assistance in regards to Gemming her gear. With the plethora of options out there it is hard for us to make a choice as to what will give her the best output for the investment...
"

Todd then goes on to list the specifics of his mother's gemming setup, and the philosophy behind it in detail, and closes with what he's tried in the past:

"Now we have noticed that this current setup is a marked improvement over the previous setups we had going. First we tried pure spellpower gems but found it lacking in staying power due to a low mana pool. Next we tried Pure Intellect Gems and found a generous mana pool (30k raid buffed, 28k party buffed) but could quite hold the top of the charts in dps (however, She was almost always in the top 3). Now we are trying this new gem loadout and are looking for some guidance to see if we are on the right path.

If you can help we would appreciate it.
"

First things first: Todd has the best mom ever.

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

WoW Rookie: Thanks for the memories

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

There's nothing quite like your first time through Azeroth. Capture those memories by snapping screenshots (pictures of what's on your screen) in game as you explore, level, discover, plummet, laugh, triumph, fail ... All the moments that make life within the World of Warcraft so utterly bewitching.

Screenshot basics
  • Take a screenshot by hitting the Print Screen button on your PC or Command+Shift+3 on your Mac. You can set a more convenient key binding in game in your Game Menu; hit Key Bindings and scroll down to Miscellaneous Functions.
  • Screenshots get stored in the World of Warcraft folder on your computer. Look for the folder called Screenshots. Screenshots used to be saved as big, unwieldy TGAs, but now you'll find them in convenient .jpg format.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie

Drama Mamas: Mismatched ambitions in the Dungeon Finder

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Last week's discussion on how (and how not) to offer advice to underperforming Dungeon Finder groupmates garnered hundreds of comments and reader e-mails. Whether you choose to kick underperformers or to press on, it's how you handle the situation that makes the group (and you) worth being around. We aren't alone in feeling that softening the barrage of criticism that seems to be going around is the real matter at hand.

"I was so pleased to read your last column about PUG drama with the new Dungeon Finder," wrote in reader Necrodancer of EU Terokkar, "but I was really disappointed to see that most of the commenters were discussing what DPS and gear requirements are required for this or that Heroic, rather than how we behave towards casual or less experienced players in PUGs. DPS and gear requirements may well be up for debate, but what isn't up for debate is that we should be treating each other in a friendly and respectful manner.

"The reason I'm writing is this: please, please stick with this issue for just a little longer. A worrying attitude is spreading through the community that it's perfectly ok to be rude, abusive and cruel to players whose only crime is playing WoW less frequently than the hardcore set. A good hardcore player should recognise that not everyone is going to play the game the same way they do. They can't expect every PUG to be full of power-players decked out in Tier Bazillion gear and pumping out 5K DPS in every fight. To them I say have patience, be nice and above all, remember that it's all for fun."

And so we come to this week's question from a Dungeon Finder fan who's feeling a bit "Abused and Confused."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Features, Drama Mamas

WoW Rookie: Snag the best tricks with tutorial tips

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

No matter whether you're the greenest rookie on the block or well into leveling by now, if you haven't paid attention to the new, improved tutorial system that was launched with Patch 3.3, you're missing out! "This is great," says reader Dysmorphia when news broke about the new system. "I didn't even realize that you could turn your character with a mouse until around level 60 or so. Look at this sad e-mail I wrote to a more experienced druid when PvP got me down: My enemies literally run in circles around me making it very hard for me to attack. If you can offer any advice, I would be much obliged to you. Now it's the first thing I tell new players. But having it actually clearly explained in a tutorial will be very helpful."

Sink your teeth into the whole feast's worth of tips in our tutorial tips gallery, which we've featured here for you after the break. (Note that these are the test versions of the tips; some may have changed slightly or new ones may have been added in game since then.) Then you can turn the system off in game, with the assurance that you've reviewed what it has to offer.

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Filed under: Tips, Features, WoW Rookie

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