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Arcane Brilliance: How to be legendary

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. The title of this week's column is a bit misleading. As we all know, mages are, by virtue of their magehood, already legendary. I probably should have called it "How to be more legendary," or "How to be legendarier." Too late now, it's already been typed.

Last week, as I neared completion of Arcane Brilliance's mage guide to patch 4.2, I touched upon one of the more exciting aspects of our impending foray into the Firelands: Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest. Dragonwrath will be the new legendary staff available to casters in this patch. It will be difficult, but not by any means impossible, for a good guild to obtain. It will require a long term commitment to the new Firelands raid content. Most guilds will only obtain the staff once, and even the really high-speed guilds will only be able to pick up this staff for a select few of their caster members.

It's an incredible piece of statistical candy. Dragonwrath will be the best-in-slot weapon for every variety of DPS caster the moment it becomes available, by a very large margin, and it will likely remain that way for the rest of this expansion and into a good portion of the next one. If you are able to get your hands on it, you won't be letting go of it any time soon. Absolutely every caster class/spec will want it, including hybrids and classes that use spirit. Take a look at your guild. How many level 85 DPS casters do you raid with? Now look at yourself. How many of you are there? No, your mirror images don't count.

Those are your odds. So how do you lower those odds? How do you stack the deck a bit in your favor. My mission this week, ladies and gentlemen, is to help you be the chosen one in your guild who gets to wield this spectacular weapon. No, not you, warlock. My mission, this week as every week, is to see you die in a fire.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 4.2 lurches towards us

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

All right. With patch 4.2 dropping next week, it's time to discuss it in detail -- at least, what it means for warriors. What changes will it have in store for tanks (almost none) and DPS (less of it) warriors? What will happen to us in PVP (arms and fury warriors will lose burst, prot won't)? Why is our PVP set so ridiculously ugly that it makes me cringe?

We'll start by looking at what Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street said about class balance. And specifically about warriors, because that's the column, you see. I could give a rat's hindquarters about the other, lesser classes. Except shamans. If you can't be a warrior, being a shaman is a good backup plan. Why not be both? Go ahead and roll six warriors and a shaman, I'll wait.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Veteran WoW players given free copies of the game to gift to new players

Many WoW players were shocked and confused to learn that they had a free copy of World of Warcraft Classic (it's the new "official" vanilla) sitting in their inbox starting last week. In a push for more subscribers before the big patch 4.2 push, tons of free copies of the game were distributed out to veterans to give to friends to introduce them to World of Warcraft. Not only is the game free, but these veteran reward accounts come with 30 day subscriptions for your buddies.

Nethaera commented on the veteran emails being sent out -- they are not scams and are being sent to players who selected to receive news and offers from Blizzard. If you haven't gotten an veteran rewards email, check your spam folder or contact Blizzard support. I postulated on a recent Lawbringer what the world would look like with free WoW, and this seems like a good first step to getting more WoW into more hands.

WoW Veteran Reward free copies
The veteran award email and offer are legitimate and are being sent out to veterans who have previously opted in to receiving news and special offers from Blizzard Entertainment. We may run more of these types of promotions in the future, so if this is something you are interested in, we suggest opting in as soon as possible so you don't miss out.

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Recruit-a-friend now grants bonus experience, levels to 80

Big news coming for those of you getting friends into the game -- Recruit-a-friend bonus experience and "granted" levels now goes all the way up to 80. Players have been asking for this feature and have been wondering when Blizzard would raise the Recruit-a-friend cap from level 60. Now, Outlands and Northrend content should be quicker than ever for players to complete with their friends and leveling partners.

The Recruit-a-friend change was noted in the newest version of the patch 4.2 Rage of the Firelands patch notes found on Blizzard's community site.

Patch 4.2 Patch Notes
Recruit-A-Friend now awards bonus experience and free level grants to level 80, up from level 60.

Check out the Recruit-a-friend FAQ for more information on the program and how to level characters together and the benefits received.

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Cataclysm

The Queue: Hatconomics

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.

In case you didn't hear, Team Fortress 2, a fantastic game in its own right, is now also free to play, forever. How is it financed? Mainly by hats. Lots of hats. Go download it and embrace your inner haberdasher (if you feel like it).

S.O. asked:

Will Jay Mohr be at BlizzCon again this year? If so why do people continue to have him host stuff?

We haven't heard anything about it yet, but it's safe to assume he's returning. Jay Mohr is a comedian who does better when he's off-script, so sometimes the obviously-scripted stuff he does at BlizzCon can be a little awkward or unfunny, but once he actually gets to make fun of nerds, he shines. A lot of people are uncomfortable having their idiosyncracies or the idiosyncracies of their particular subculture brought to light, especially in a "comfortable" environment like BlizzCon, but that's comedy.

What Mohr really has on his side, though, is the fact that he legitimately enjoys hosting BlizzCon. You can't say the same for every celebrity paid to host an event for nerds. In fact, you can hardly say that for any of them.

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Filed under: The Queue

It came from the Blog Live: Midsummer Flamefest 2011

We're setting fire to the Eastern Kingdoms! Come join us in game on Zangarmarsh (US-PVE-H) or by watching the stream above and participating in the chat after the break.

Update: The stream is now over. You can watch the video replay by clicking the image above.

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Filed under: Events, It Came from the Blog

Around Azeroth: Death by misadventure

Deathwing must be particularly active lately, as I've been receiving several screenshots per day of his exploits. Arthonos of Judgement on Llane (US-A) has a different explanation for the destruction of Tanaris: "As I was traveling the world honoring the flames of the Alliance, my engineering instinct told me that bigger is always better. Unfortunately, the massive seaforium charge I threw onto the fire may have been a little much, as I am now hated by the citizens of Gadgetzan." If he wants to become friendly again, he could just lay the blame on that little fireling fleeing the scene of the crime in the bottom left part of the screenshot.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Please include "Azeroth" in the subject line so your email doesn't get marked as spam, and include your name, guild and server if you want to be credited.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Let's make up our own WoW holidays

One of the biggest issues that I have with holidays in World of Warcraft is that they mirror our own holidays in the real world and give them the ol' World of Warcraft spin. I am of the opinion that Blizzard should create a truly unique in-game holiday that does not have its roots in our traditional celebrations. Two holidays would need to be created -- one for the Horde and one for the Alliance.

We already quasi-have this to a small degree with World of Warcraft's heroes. Some quests during the Harvest Festival over on the Horde side of things, for instance, have us visit Grom Hellscream's monument and pay tribute to his sacrifice in removing the orcish blood curse. I think we could have two faction-specific holidays that show off the Warcraft history without being spiritual dopplegangers to real life events.

For the Alliance, a holiday could be created to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who charged through the Dark Portal and destroyed the other side, leaving them stranded on Draenor for what appeared to be forever. Nethergarde Keep could be the site of the holiday, as Alliance players go to pay their respects at the site of one of the bravest acts of heroism the Alliance exhibited in the war against the Legion-dominated Horde.

For the Horde, players could partake in some sort of release from bondage day, since at some point all of the races that currently make up the Horde were enslaved either physically; through addiction, like the blood elves; or through conflict, like the tauren. Rather than be a holiday wishing for the destruction of slavers, this time would be of appreciating the relative freedom that the races of the Horde now enjoy.

What do you think some in-game holiday, unique to the game world and lore, be? Would you like to see Blizzard make up actual in-game holidays instead of following by our own cultural moments?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Shifting Perspectives: Faction rewards for balance in 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send your questions, comments, or something you'd like to see to

So, I guess there is going to be this whole patch thing coming out soon. It's great and all if you haven't heard about it: tons of new daily quests, a new faction, a new raid. There's also this awesome legendary staff involved, although I'm really not a staff person. It's not that I dislike them so much as I really prefer my one-handed weapon and off-hand. Maybe it's some residual shaman rubbing off on me or something.

Past the staff gripe, I need to bring another issue forward. This patch brings in two new "grinds" that players will be involved in. Both of these are essentially druid factions in one form of another, and frankly I find it offensive that we have to bother with gaining reputation or gather marks like the other, lesser classes. We're druids, they're druids, isn't there some kind of code that says we should just be given these things? Totally not fair. See if I defend Moonglade next Lunar Festival.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of faction rewards that you can get in the next patch to help with our goal of destroying critters. In the name of nature, of course.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Raid Rx: Answering the raid composition question

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.

I received an email from a player who had a few questions about raid composition.

When and how much does a raid's healing class composition matter? Is there still a distinction between raid and tank healers?

I'm a holy paladin with a secure spot in a ten-man raiding team. I have noticed my raid leader bending over backwards to avoid bringing a second healing paladin along. In fact, they tried hard to avoid bringing two of any healing class. The raid leader would rather search trade for pickup players than bring a second player of the same class from the guild. In your opinion, is this attitude justified or is it a relic of the wrath era? I feel bad boxing out certain players from the main raid team, even on nights when we're one or two healers short.

To provide context, we can take out most of the normal mode bosses on a good week. We'll most likely transition to Firelands instead of present raiding heroics when the time comes.


Alright DG, let's break this down and go over the different pros and cons in enforcing class compositions.

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