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Around Azeroth: All that remains

Killerbees of <Ambient> on Silvermoon sends in this screenshot of a lost soul in Azshara. The sun may rise, the tide may come in, but he will remain in his lonely crystal prison, stuck in a land of perpetual autumn. Isn't there anyone around who cleans up these things? Sheez.

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, Val'kyr on mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran. Older screenshots can be found here.

Gallery: Around Azeroth

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Galleries

Breakfast Topic: Your Holiday WoW

Since we're now bearing down on the holidays with the fury and majesty of an 18 Wheeler, now comes a time to discuss how those special days affect your WoW play. On the one hand, a lot of people have extended time off this time of year, giving them more time to play, while others find their time taken up with family and friends celebrating and thus have less time to play.

I live roughly 2000 miles away from anyone I'd celebrate with, but my wife and I live close to my mother in law, meaning that we'll spend the holidays close to home and save for the specific days themselves will have the same or more time to play, but much of my raiding guild will be traveling and as a result raiding will most likely be suspended from mid December on. This wasn't as much of an issue for us last year due to Wrath of the Lich King launching in November... the holiday season was taken up by folks leveling... but this year it looks like five mans will be our major WoW excursions until the new year.

So what about you? Will you be raiding as usual, taking some time off, running heroics, or even levling alts? How will the holidays change how you play WoW?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

Phat Loot Phriday: Mystifying Charm

Here's a spooky looking offhand for current endgame casters. If you have an item you'd like to see here next week, shout it out in the comments below, please.

Name: Mystifying Charm (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Offhand
Damage/Speed: N/A
Attributes:
  • +65 Stamina, +65 Intellect, +57 Spirit
  • Improves crit strike rating by 57 and spell power by 100.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Tips, Fan stuff, Raiding

Encrypted Text: Notes from the Patch 3.3 PTR

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about what's shaking for rogues on the patch 3.3 PTR.

If you've logged into WoW at any point in the past few days, chances are you've been a target of the infamous Turkey Shooter. Someone on the Blizzard World Event team decided to put us in the crosshairs during this Pilgrim's Bounty holiday season, via the Turkey Lurkey achievement. Orc and dwarf rogues are especially vulnerable, as your rarity will have people spamming trade chat with shouts of "I found one near the North Dalaran bank!"

Outside of this Thanksgiving-themed festival, there have been a ton of changes for rogues in other aspects of the game. The patch 3.3 PTR has been buzzing with new changes, affecting us from levels 1 to 80. Considering it's likely to be the last major content patch before Arthas goes down, this is Blizzard's last real attempt to finalize any balancing issues before they're pushed to Catacylsm. I believe that with a few tweaks, rogues can be more versatile than we ever have before.

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, Patches, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Shifting Perspectives: Why effective health needs to die, part 2


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the issue of effective health in more depth.

We've discussed in the previous column why effective health is important; here, we're going to discuss why it's not as important as you might think if you had nothing beyond the collective opinion of the Tanking forum to go on. While this has something to do with the mob mentality of the forums themselves, it has more to do with how the concept of effective health isn't usually placed in context. Tank death on hard modes is quickly attributed to EH discrepancies, with rather less discussion on encounter mechanics, inappropriate gear, or that great but frequently unacknowledged bugaboo -- player error. It is for this that I say effective health needs to die.

What is effective health?


I neglected to put some hard numbers on this in the last article, but calculating base effective health is actually pretty simple. It's your health as modified by the damage you'll take after armor contribution (AC), or Health / (1 - AC%).

A 50,000 health tank with 25% armor contribution has 66,666.67 effective health (50,000 / 0.75).

A 50,000 health tank with 50% armor contribution has 100,000 effective health (50,000 / 0.5).

A 50,000 health tank with 75% armor contribution (the maximum functional AC) has 200,000 effective health (50,000 / .25).

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Raid Rx: Maximizing the proc

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.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the idea of using spells based around procs or on-use trinkets. Now I don't know about you, but I sometimes tend to forget that I have these on-use abilities. Other times I never notice procs going off.

But first, what is a proc anyway?

A proc is short for procedure. They are events that happen when conditions are triggered. For example, Val'anyr will trigger a buff for the user when they heal players. This buff then grants the player to place shields on anyone they heal.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

WoW Moviewatch: Bad Romance


Warning: There's some slightly not-safe-for-work imagery at the opening of this video. I've stared pretty intently at the film. And while there's not much that would directly lead it to an "R" rating, it's still a little risque for the cubicle farm. Try to watch this one at home.

Bad Romance by Quixotica came highly recommended to me by Selserene. How could I not leap to check out a video with that kind of recommendation? When I viewed the film, I was in no way disappointed. Quixotica managed to create a breathtaking, beautiful video.

Some of the dialogue is a little funny. "Purr for daddy" has become one of my favorite joke-lines around the house, and you can imagine how much my beloved fiancee loves hearing it. But I think Quixotica created this video with that kind of satire in mind, and I think she really drove home the genre and theme of her video. It's about betrayal and hope, and she relies on a certain level of tongue-in-cheek self-awareness to keep those themes from becoming over-powering. If it had been any more over the top, it would have entered Twilight levels of angsty silliness.

Quixotica should be commended for her artistic vision, and her ability to bring together video imagery with a wonderful soundtrack. I truly hope she picks up a second installment for this video, because I'd like to see where the story goes.


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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Moviewatch

TurpsterVision: Hands on with Chen Stormstout

We can't believe it either – Turpster has been let loose on WoW.com to bring you videos from in and around the World of Warcraft! You've heard him on the WoW Insider Show, and now see him on TurpsterVision right here on WoW.com.

So it's Black Friday for a lot of you guys out there -- Happy Thanksgiving for yesterday and yes, my Turkey was awesome thanks for asking! A day for picking up electrical bargains and stopping The Intersect falling into Fulcrum's hands -- I'll be honest, my knowledge of Black Friday stems pretty much directly from episodes of Chuck. I was lucky enough to have my latest purchase come through today and I am super stoked to be able to show you guys, Chen Stormstout!

This guys is many kinds of huge -- some say he looks like a fat Gene Simmons, I don't see that being a bad thing since The Demon is also pretty awesome (though he's no Starchild). Standing over 8" tall and weighing in at 4.5 lbs, this guy is built to impress. The detailing is beyond anything I've seen on my previous DC Unlimited figures.

Enjoy the video and pick one up if you haven't already -- I wonder how much mine is worth now that it's out of the box...

Check out more of Turpster's work, recent work like sites made for a Bristol Garden Landscaper or classic stuff from his WoW parody songs to TV previously on Massively.com, not forgetting everyone's favorite podcast 'The WoW Insider Show' and of course, TurpsterVision right here on WoW.com!

Filed under: Blizzard, Features, Hardware, TurpsterVision

Around Azeroth: From the sublime to the ridiculous

Malygos was up at five in the morning today to pick up his bargain Christmas present for Alexstrasza; a delicious slice of turkey seared in a turtle shell with natural flavoring. Shopping on Black Friday is a lot easier when you can fly over the crowds and breathe fire at any queue-cutters. (Thanks to Angeliqa of <Shattered Ravens> on Steamwheedle Cartel-EU for this picture.)

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, Val'kyr on mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran. Older screenshots can be found here.

Gallery: Around Azeroth

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Galleries

Breakfast Topic: When will you quit playing WoW?

With all this five year anniversary stuff going on, and the new push by Blizzard for subscribers via the TV commercials and special offers, I've been thinking about what it would take for me to leave WoW. What would my point be where I quit the game, unsubscribe, and not return to playing it?

I think likely it would be a slow death. I'd log in less and less, until I found that I wouldn't log in for months at a time. At that point I'd probably be sensible and cancel my account -- although it took an inordinate amount of time for me to cancel my EQII account where I did more or less the same thing. I'd like to think this is how it'd go at least, I wouldn't want to quit in a huff over some silly bug or class change.

Of course, this is WoW, and I find myself uniquely invested in it. I've got characters with hundreds of days worth of /played on them, and I don't know yet if I could ever stop myself from being able to have immediate access to them. They are a hobby, and investment, just like a detailed model airplane or schooner. Then there's also what I do here, which gives me a little unique reason not to ever unsubscribe.

But alas, it might happen one day. And that's the topic of today's breakfast nook discussion. When will you quit playing WoW? How will you go out? With a bang or a whimper?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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