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Breakfast Topic: How would you change Cataclysm?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

There is no question in my mind that Cataclysm has made substantial improvements to WoW as a whole. Still, the game is far from perfect. Improvements can always be made. So, I got thinking if I could change any one thing in WoW, what would it be?

At first, I thought that's easy: Make Baby Spice more available. Baby Spice is great at taking care of inconsiderate people (I'm being polite here) who park their mounts on top of mailboxes or quest givers or whatever. But then I realized that's not really a design bug in the game so much as a certain segment of the players being inconsiderate.

Then I thought: Faster instances would be nice. I'm a busy guy right now and can't often afford to spend two straight hours in an instance. I miss the days of 20-minute VH runs. But then I figured, my being busy isn't really something Blizzard should worry about designing around.

Finally, it hit me: Archeology needs to be streamlined. I don't mind flying all over the world to play a game of Hot or Cold once, but I really get a little peeved playing three games of Hot or Cold. My change would be that once you reach a dig site and find the proper dig spot, that would be it. One hit gives you 5 to 12 artifacts, and then you are on to the next site.

If you could change any one thing about Cataclysm, what would it be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Phat Loot Phriday: Helm of the Blind Seer

"I just think it's a contradiction," Throgg said. "That's all."

"If you bring up Starburst, so help me ... " Lolegolas threatened.

Throgg wrinkled his brow. "No. It's just that the Helm of the Blind Seer is odd. It's great for spell druids, I guess, but it's an obvious contradiction."

"You mean a blind seer? But that makes sense. It's a metaphor, an allegory. Like all 'I'm blind but I can see the future.' The kids love that stuff."

"Uh, no," Throgg replied. "It's that it's a helm. Shouldn't it be like a bandage, or maybe spectacles, or goggles, or something? And it's not even much of a helm. It's like some feathers glued together and lit up by a blacklight. Druids are all ravers nowadays."

"It's the mushrooms, man," Lolegolas sighed. "Mushrooms are bad news."

Helm of the Blind Seer
  • Type: Head, Leather
  • Armor: 1,356
  • Stamina: 512
  • Intellect: 281
  • Spirit: 228
  • Equip: Increases your critical strike rating by 168 (0.94% @ L85)
  • 1 Red Socket
How to get it: Get 9 to 24 friends together and defeat the blind dragon, Atramedes.
How to get rid of it: You can vendor this stack of feathers for 12 gold, 91 silver, and 46 copper.

Phat Loot Phriday brings you the scoop on some of the most ... interesting ... loot in the World of Warcraft, often viewed through the eyes of the stalwart Throgg and indelible Lolegolas. Suggest items you think we should feature by emailing

Filed under: Phat Loot Phriday

Blizzard updates Cataclysm and leaders art galleries

Blizzard has updated the Cataclysm and leaders art galleries with a few new shots featuring an awesome picture of Genn Greymane all wolfed out, a moody shot of Gilneas, and a familiar shot of goblins taking on a worgen.

The galleries are always a source of awesome art, and it's nice to see them getting updates more and more these days, even from expansions past. Most recently, Blizzard updated the Wrath of the Lich King art gallery with some cool shots.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Ready Check: Get ready for raiding changes in patch 4.1

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.

Signs are pointing to the release of patch 4.1 soon. While there's a lot going on in the first content patch of Cataclysm, there are no new raids. The reason for that is that general progression hasn't sufficiently conquered contemporary content; it's still a little too soon for a whole new raid tier.

But as with most things in the delicate ecosystem of WoW, you can't make many changes without those changes impacting other arenas of gameplay. There aren't new raids, but there are more than enough changes in patch 4.1 that raiding will be affected.

The biggest impact on raiding probably comes from valor point changes. If you're like me, you probably have trouble logging in every single day to accrue valor points. As of patch 4.1, you'll be able to run your daily random dungeons in batches. You can manage your play time without being forced to do a dungeon every day, as if it were some household chore.

This is a huge benefit to raids, since many raid members will now be able to pick up their full allowance of weekly valor points. More points translates into more gear, which will also translate into more progression. This is a change I've been hoping to see since Wrath, and I'm incredibly thankful to Blizzard for making random dungeon life more manageable.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

The Light and How to Swing It: Streamline your prot paladin tanking with macros

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.

Tanking successfully often hinges on control -- control over your surroundings, the enemies around you, your damage intake, the threat ceiling, and so on. The more drops of tanky goodness you can squeeze out of your every one movement, the better. And that means that the more efficient you are with your GCDs, the better your performance will be.

One of the easiest ways to make your actions more efficient is with the judicious use of macros. No, I'm not talking about the heresy that was the oft-paired 9 macro and 6 macro back in Wrath, but rather some neat little tricks that can give new forms to your abilities, prevent disastrous side effects from others, give you better raid utility, or even allow you to dominate the interrupts chart on a certain fight.

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

Raid Rx: Throughput, regeneration and secondary stats

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 No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading on the Matticast.

This ends up being the same question that new players keep asking that has spanned multiple expansions. The war between throughput and regeneration continues to be debated. Really, though, there isn't much to discuss because you can't really compare the two on the same scale.

Throughput refers to the strength and impact your spells make. Intellect, critical strike rating, mastery and haste affect that to some degree, depending on your class. Regeneration is largely about your mana pool and the rate at which you gain mana back. Without mana, no spells can be cast. Intellect and spirit are the main stats here. They both affect different parts of your game, and I hesitate whenever I'm asked to pit the two against each other.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Drama Mamas: Sexist jerk or personality conflict?

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.

Lisa and I had different reactions to this week's letter, which is always more fun than when we agree -- don't you think?
Dear Mamas,

My husband and I hopped servers in November and joined a new raiding guild. We were really unhappy with our old server and have found the new one quite wonderful. We thoroughly enjoy our new guild and have been with them for a number of months. We progress with a light raid schedule, doing heroics and keeping a 25 man raiding guild alive. Unfortunately there is one member who has made things quite inhospitable. I'll refer to him as X. X came in on a server transfer, someone the officers and long standing guild members had known and played with for a while. Coming in I thought he was a great player, did everything his class was supposed to do. Then he spoke. And wrote. And trolled our forums. And the more he spoke the more he got under my skin. Mainly the constant bashing of women in general, but also of the women in our guild.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

The Lawbringer: Avatar rights as expectations

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world 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?

Last week, I introduced the concept that the denizens of a virtual world may have gained, over time, the right to rights within that virtual world. Raph Koster, the lead developer of Ultima Online, explored the idea over 10 years ago when the MMO genre was in its developmental infancy. These rights synced up with a world where there was a distinction between free-to-play MUDs and for-pay subscription worlds in the U.S. and European markets. Today, the MMO has transformed into a new beast from the close-knit communities of MUDs and the relatively forgiving user base of EverQuest and Ultima Online.

The people who made WoW are the contemporaries of Raph Koster and children of the MMO genre that EverQuest cemented as important. How then, in over 10 years, has Koster's declaration of the rights of avatars held up to the incredible growth of the industry and Blizzard's own impressive growth? The short answer: The code of conduct you follow in World of Warcraft is pretty lenient, all things considered. The long answer: Well, there's always a long answer.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The WoW Insider Show's Weekly News Update

Welcome to The WoW Insider Show's Weekly News Update, hosted by Mat McCurley. In this weekly news brief, we recap all the week's top stories and opinions from all around the World of Warcraft. Produced Friday morning and brought to you later the same day, this additional weekly podcast helps keep you informed and up-to-date on everything you need to know.

This week's stories include:
The regular podcast will return every Tuesday with your hosts Mike Sacco, Matt Rossi, and Mat McCurley.

Get the podcast:

[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Podcasts, WoW Insider Show

WoW Moviewatch: Critter Crazed

Maybe it's just the song, but I fell in love with Critter Crazed. You can't really call it machinima, per se, but it's certainly a lovely little piece of in-game footage turned into a fun movie.

I suppose having a hunter's bear pet go on a rampage is one heck of a good way to achieve Critter Kill Squad, but it would take that pet a long, long time to do it on his own. Maybe if he were a rabid, anger-fueled path of destruction, he might pull it off.

Little videos like this are actually pretty important to the community. It's not chock-full of artistic fanciness, but it does open a little window into another player's game. It shows us that we all find occasional little things amusing. So, kick back, enjoy the teddy bear picnic, and just have a little fun with it.

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

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

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