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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 we cover: The regular podcast will return every Tuesday with your hosts Mike Sacco, Matt Rossi, and Mat McCurley.

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Filed under: Podcasts, WoW Insider Show

The Queue: Elf-on-bear action

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.

I guess I lied about the action part, but this image is DEFINITELY of an elf on a bear. So what if I stole it from Phat Loot Phriday? Do you know hard it is to come up with Queue headers?

Rezai asked:

Why does everyone think that the next WoW expansion is going to be announced at Blizz Con?

I only ask since if I remember correctly (not saying I am) on of the things that everyone said was weird was that very little of ICC (the next raid to be released) was actually talked about (since everyone was so excited about cata). Since we are no where near the last raid of the expansion, should we expect the next expansion announced a lot sooner? Am I misremebering things? Is misremember a word?

Basically, we're expecting an announcement of the next expansion at BlizzCon because by then it'll have been two years since the last expansion announcement. Blizzard announced BC at BlizzCon '05, Wrath at BlizzCon '07, and Cataclysm at BlizzCon '09, so it only makes sense that the upcoming expansion would be announced at this year's.

BlizzCon is pretty much the only major gaming event Blizzard participates in nowadays anyway; if we didn't hear about an expansion at this BlizzCon, then we probably wouldn't hear about it until next BlizzCon, which is an awfully long way away.

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Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: Curiosity killed the cat

Don't just stand there, gnome! Save the little kitten! Aryyn of Order of the White Stag on Stormrage (US-A) saw this disaster waiting to happen, but was powerless to stop it. Fortunately, the toy train just passed through the kitten, almost as if both of them were immaterial and unable to collide with each other. A lucky break ... or a ghost cat?

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. 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: How do you keep WoW fresh?

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

WoW is over 6 years old. Newer, flasher games come out, are deemed "WoW clones," but still manage to keep a portion of their playerbase just because some folks are tired of WoW itself. How many times do people reroll, regrind, re-earn achievements on alts, etc, before burning out? While community certainly helps with retention, I'm sure a lot of us have some special activity that keeps us going.

On Dragonmaw, we have something called Friday Night Fights. A multi-guild, cross-faction group hosts usually one open server event per month, but the rest of the time, it's limited to only certain guilds, to keep the sides fair (at least at the start, till others see what we're doing and join in, hehe). Each week has us fighting in a different zone, usually over an interesting feature in the zone. We've fought on the Deepholme airship, on the Thandol Span that links Wetlands to Arathi Highlands, even got folks doing Halaa again.

Recently, we tried something totally different: nub races based on guild names. For example, members of The Earthbound ended their names with "bound," so "Leeroy" came to the event as "Leeroybound". First nub to die on the designated faction leader as their guild-nub got bragging rights for their guild, and the other participating guilds had to lavish praise on the winners. Cries of "Tigers!" and "Not the murlocs!" were heard all night, and guildies who didn't have time for the whole race popped in just to watch/kill the nubs during their epic adventure.

I burn through patches quickly, especially dungeons, but I always look forward to Friday Night Fights. Do you have some sort of special playstyle or event that you use to keep WoW feeling fresh?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The Daily Quest: Ponies, PVP, PUGs and postcards

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

When I was a little girl, I collected My Little Ponies like crazy. They were fairly inexpensive, so birthdays, holidays, and even days where my parents were just feeling like we'd been good granted my sister and me more four-legged friends. The franchise sort of died out for awhile, but it's back -- and apparently way, way, way more popular than it was when I was a kid. So popular, in fact, that it has spawned a whole host of trailer parodies. Needless to say, I wasn't terribly surprised to see it hit the Warcraft crowd.

Today we've got a post regarding My Little Ponies, Warcraft-style, as well as a handful of posts that also involve the letter "P." They may or may not be composed of dark matter.
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

Raid Rx: Preparing for Firelands

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.

Now that we sort of have a release date for patch 4.2, the time has come to review everything healers should be aware of in anticipation. The gear "floor" is going to reset. This means you'll now purchase tier 11 items with justice points, so you'll have a chance to step into the new raids without having such a large gear deficiency. The valor vendor now has some new swag available for purchase. Your existing valor emblems will convert to justice points, so you may want to consider planning your item purchases around it (at least, if you still need to).

Still worried about the gear gap? Don't worry, as the Avengers of Hyjal have some new faction items you can buy to help in your efforts against Ragnaros and his minions. Certain items that are picked up from the vendor or from raid trash can be upgraded to heroic item levels.

At the end of the post, I'm going to list my thoughts on healing in tier 11, and I'd like to hear what you've thought of it.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Patch 4.2 PTR patch notes updated for June 10

Blizzard has once again updated the patch notes for patch 4.2, which will introduce the Firelands raid and the Molten Front and the Regrowth questing areas. The most recent versions of the patch have been marked "release," and PVP Season 9 is ending soon, which means we should see patch 4.2 drop in the next couple of weeks. Get your shoes on, kids -- we're almost at Grandpa Ragnaros' house.

The most interesting change in these notes is the effective nerfing of raiding for valor points. The maximum number of valor points one can achieve weekly has been lowered to 980, down from 1,250. The number of valor points you could earn through heroic dungeons and the new Zandalari heroics were 490 and 980 respectively, and raiders could earn an extra 270 points on top of that. Now, it is possible to get the maximum amount of valor points from just doing Zandalari heroics.

We do not yet know why this change was made. Raiders will understandably be perplexed, as one of the raid game's main draws was faster valor point gear. In addition, the prices for valor point gear have not changed, so certain pieces of gear that used to require two weeks will now require more collecting. Hit the jump for all the new changes.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Rediscovering the discovery factor

One of the aspects of the game that has to some degree been lost is the willingness to spend weeks upon weeks learning a boss fight, especially a boss who ends a dungeon. One of the memories I have of vanilla WoW is the pop in TeamSpeak when we killed Nefarian after nearly a month of working on him. People who didn't even make it into the raid got up and screamed.

One of the reasons it took us so long to do it was because there wasn't really any other way to discover what bosses did besides going in there and dying to him repeatedly. Boss kill vids were in their infancy, and there weren't many places to go to get ideas on how other guilds got past X or Y. Our big stumbling block was the stream of adds before Nefarian landed; we kept trying to tank them, before someone got the bright idea of using warlocks and mages to AOE them in place.

Over the years, the playerbase has built up an impressive array of options for boss fight information. Soon, the Encounter Journal will go one step beyond and incorporate loot drop and boss ability information into the game. It won't tell you how to fight a boss, but it will tell you what the boss can do to you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

Phat Loot Phriday: Amani Battle Bear

Lolegolas looked over the ruins of Zul'Aman. Sunlight reflected in prisms from the poisoned water like a rainbow sheen covering an oil slick. He felt sick to his stomach.

"This was necessary, wasn't it?" Lolegolas asked quietly. He briefly tried to count the number of bodies pierced by his own arrows but quickly stopped. He didn't want to know. "They were your own people."

"No longer, mon," Vol'jin said. "And you needed something special if you'll enter the Grimtotem camps. Something more than a pretty bird. You need a steed who will fight as hard as you, if you will save your man's life."

"Is he still alive, then?" Lolegolas wondered. "It's not too late."

"You've not much time, but this will aid you," the big troll responded. He held the reins to a massive bear, covered in troll armor. It snarled viciously, but the bear abated its growl when Vol'jin scratched its ear. "It is an Amani Battle Bear, maybe de only t'ing to come out of this place that's worthwhile."

"Well, then," Lolegolas said, bounding on to the bear's back. He took the reins from the troll leader and swiftly turned the bear around. "We will ride like the win. Throgg will know I'm coming, and I'm not going to let him down."

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Filed under: Phat Loot Phriday

Shifting Perspectives: Building a better balance druid rotation -- gaming Eclipse

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 tyler@wowinsider.com.

Out of all of the emails that I get, out of all of the posts that I see on the official forums and other sites, the single most common problem that people have as a balance druid is damage -- which for as a damage-dealing spec only makes sense, right? I mean, it would be a little bit weird if the largest problem we saw from balance druids was that they weren't tanking well enough or something.

The thing is, most of these people aren't "bads." More often than not, these aren't people who haven't a clue how to spec, gear, or enchant. They probably do follow the rotation that's listed on the official forums sticky or in one of my guides. All in all, these aren't bad players -- they just can't seem to get something right. Something isn't clicking. Well, let's talk about what that something is.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives