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The Light and How to Swing It: The tankadin valor point pick order

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Is there anything more stressful than sitting there in front of the valor point vendor for the first time in a new patch, your pockets flush with new (ephemeral) currency, and your eyes wide at all the possibilities of what you can buy with them? All those dead trolls and fire elementals were piled up to bring upon this one glorious moment.

Now. What item is the best choice for you at that moment? You don't know! The skin flushes, sweat glimmers on your brow, the throat tightens, your mouth becomes arid. A horrified stasis clouds your face as Jamus'Vaz stares at you with open contempt. "Buy something, would ya?"

Okay, there are things far more stressful than that. And perhaps I'm the only one who can suffer a total mental shutdown in front of a virtual shopkeep. Irregardless, such panicked madness does not need to be your fate. There is a very clear path to victory here when it comes to managing your valor point expenditures here that will result in your getting the best bang for your buck in very short order.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Lawbringer: The odd future of bill S. 978

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

The machinima and streaming communities built around World of Warcraft are filled with some of the most talented and creative people in gaming, from awesome musicians to dedicated streamcasters. The first time I ever got to experience the WoW beta back in 2004, I was watching someone stream footage of their human warlock messing up mobs in (if I remember correctly) Westfall. Streaming is beneficial to gaming, MMOs, and e-sports because of video games' competitive nature and spectator-oriented design.

You've probably heard of Senate bill S.978 already, most likely from many video game blogs and news outlets or YouTube campaigns fighting against the passage of this bill. Bill S.978 aims to institute a "10 strikes" policy, making the unauthorized streaming of content a felony, resulting in potential jail time. The main purpose of the bill is to strengthen the law and punishments available to organizations such as the MPAA and other content conglomerates to stop illegal streaming of millions upon millions of dollars in stolen entertainment. As is the way of things, gamers might be caught in the crossfire.

Some of you fine readers sent me a few messages on Twitter asking me to weigh in on the 10 strikes streaming bill and maybe give a basic analysis of the thing, so I shall oblige. Lawbringer this week is all about the odd future of bill S. 978 and what it could mean for MMOs and WoW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Raid Rx: How to heal the Shannox encounter

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 Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading on the Matticast.

After a disastrous first week when my raid group got completely shut out of Shannox, we were able to storm back in and take him down fast. The main reason for our initial trouble was the fact that we were using the completely wrong approach when it came to tanks and who they were on.

Whoops!

Tank healing an encounter like Shannox is demanding on so many fronts. A standard healing template I use is to place one healer on each tank and the rest on the raid so that they can exercise their judgment. From there, I can scale up the amount of dedicated tank healers if I feel it becomes necessary. Once a dog gets taken down, his damage just goes up. In other words, it is necessary to add more tank healers as the fight progresses.

On top of that, there is a high amount of traps that get dropped. Don't get trapped in one of those red ice block traps (more commonly known as a Crystal Prison trap).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

The Daily Quest: Healing and you

WoW Insider's on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative, and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

And now, it's time for another round of Vanilla Nostalgia, courtesy of yours truly. When healing back in vanilla, "mana regen" was what you called chugging a potion. MP5? We had no idea what that was back then. Healers dragged along as many mana potions as they could stuff in their bags, and you could use as many as you wanted in a fight, although you were still limited by a 2-minute cooldown. However, you could use different kinds of potions while that first one was on its 2-minute cooldown. Enter Felwood, otherwise known as that rotten, misbegotten hole I spent I don't know how many hours in farming stupid plants on off-nights.

The plants in Felwood were useful, particularly Night Dragon's Breath. It also had a 2-minute cooldown but returned a healthy chunk of mana -- just enough, in fact, to get you to that next Major Mana Potion once it was off cooldown. Farming the plants, however, was tricky. You had to get Cenarion Plant Salve, apply it to a Corrupted Night Dragon, and then take the cleansed plant. These plants spawned on a timer in a circuit around Felwood. Night Dragon's Breath runs usually lasted three to four hours at a time, yielding enough plants for a week or so of raiding -- if you were lucky.

Lesson over! Aren't we glad we don't have to muck about with plants anymore? Today, we've got some posts from around the blogosphere with all kinds of information on healing in patch 4.2.
Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment, and you may see it here tomorrow! Be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Phat Loot Phriday: Jaws of Defeat

The druid returned to consciousness slowly. He found he couldn't sit up; he was stretched across a leather cot. The worst of his wounds were bandaged and cleaned. He admitted to himself he was surprised.

"Good," Lolegolas said, again surprising the druid. The two of them were in a small camp consisting of a tiny cooking fire, the druid's cot, and a log for the blood elf to sit on. It lacked even a tent. "I was worried."

"What happened?" the druid said. He finally found the strength to sit up, swinging his legs over the side of the cot. "I was trying to get free and bring ... Throgg! Throgg needs us!"

"I know," the blood elf said quietly. "The Grimtotem tossed you into a river. I found you on the way to the top of the bluff. They left you for dead. I suspect if it weren't for your particular curse, you would be. Can you walk? They will execute Throgg in the morning if we're not in position soon."

The druid muttered a quick prayer. Green lights circled his body, invigorating him. "Healing is not my strength, but I am capable. We can go. What's your plan?"

Lolegolas proffered a small trinket in his hands. It looked like the jawbone of a tiny shark. "We'll snatch victory from this. The Jaws of Defeat. One of the most powerful magical artifacts used today. I have a plan."

The blood elf cast his gaze to the bluff overlooking Grimtotem Central. "We're out of time. Let's go. Ride like the wind, druid. Ride like the wind."

Next week, the conclusion of this part of the tale (and the return of more jokes) ...

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Filed under: Phat Loot Phriday

Drama Mamas: Confessions of a drama queen

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

People are people -- even former drama queens.
When I started MMO gaming, there really weren't a lot of girls playing. In my first game, I was the only girl in our large guild system for a very long time. I totally milked that, too-I'd get free things and was consistently supported by guys going out of their way for me. I discovered very quickly that I really liked the attention. I'm ashamed to say I was very much "that girl" who would send nude photos to some guys in exchange for favors, and I'm not sure how much worse a person could really get.

This behavior went on through multiple games; I liked being the "darling" of the group. And oh, the catfights that would ensue if another girl encroached on my territory...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Ready Check: WoW Insider's guide to Shannox

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Shannox is the leader of the Flamewalker hunters and generally the first boss that players tangle with in Firelands. He comes complete with his two pets, Riplimb and Rageface, all of which have to be fought at the same time. Shannox is different than most bosses in that he isn't initially in the dungeon; you must first clear a fairly hefty amount of trash in order to force him to spawn.

Also unlike other boss encounters, he does not have a set location where you can fight him. Instead, he pads around the pathway that circles around the entire opening portion of the zone. He will always spawn at Baleroc's gate in the back center of the room and from there circle counterclockwise.

Think your raid is ready to take on the best hunter in the Firelands?

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

WoW Armory now displaying mounts and pets

The World of Warcraft Armory/community site has been updated with a useful new feature showing players the mounts and companion pets they have collected so far. You'll be able to see where each pet or mount comes from or who drops them, a picture of each, and even a listing of not-yet-collected pets and mounts, making it easier to be an achievement hunter or collector.

The armory has changed drastically from its original interpretation and implementation, adding features over time that give players a more cohesive out-of-game experience. What is most interesting are the potential tie-ins later on with the previously announced WoW APIs coming down the pipe in the near future; we are still unsure of the amount of data that developers will be able to access from the WoW armory. I would not be surprised to see collected pet and mount data also being part of that package.

We've got a pretty full-featured armory at this point. What other types of data do you think the armory could or should provide? Perhaps next we'll see a tabard and title tab, showing players' collected tabards and a scroll list of titles earned. The sky is the limit, apparently.

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Filed under: Blizzard

WoW Moviewatch: Craft of War: BLIND

It might seem like crazy talk, but it's been around 10 months since we last featured Craft of War: BLIND. I mostly keep track of things by the number of requests we receive. Once I get enough emails to demand a re-feature, then I capitulate to the wishes of the masses. Also, believe it or not, new people get involved with machinima all the time ... and they may have never seen the video!

Know what else is crazy? BLIND hit the streets in late 2008. That's right; this video is three years old. Time flies when you're a blood elf rogue slicing it up in Stormwind, I guess. Despite its age, BLIND is still one of the most intense, action-packed machinima available. It looks like Percula's work is going to be around for a long time to come.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

The Queue: Effortposting

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Hnnngh! Exertion! Anne did such a good job on yesterday's Queue that now I really need to push the envelope, so I answered a pretty good number of questions today. If I didn't, Anne would probably take my jerb.

TimTheEnchanter asked:

How far in advance are WoW Insider articles written? In what ways do these articles get deviated or pushed back (since all articles seem to be released at the top of every hour)?

Just curious :)


Well, obviously, breaking news is written as soon as we hear about it. Weekly columns like WoW Rookie, Shifting Perspectives or Know Your Lore are all completed ("... or supposed to be completed," he said, glaring at his writing staff) at least one day prior to their publication. We allow our writers to edit their posts past that date, obviously, especially if new information comes up that completely changes an article. This happens to poor Allison Robert all the time.

The Queue is completed ... well, pretty much whenever it's completed. I tend to do them late at night, when it's my turn. Adam is weird and sometimes completes his fairly early in the day, depending on comment volume. Alex is a sentient spore cloud, so I'm not exactly sure what his process is.

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Filed under: The Queue