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Patch 3.3 downloader active again

Looks like the wait for Patch 3.3 is getting even shorter now. We're getting the second chunk of data for the upcoming content patch now via our Blizzard downloader, making sure most of us are ready for patch day without having to spend the day wrangling with the downloader.

The first piece of the patch, wow-partial-1.mpq, was 459 MB, and this newest piece of the patch, wow-partial-2.mpq, is 656 MB, making the total size of the patch so far 1.1 GB. That's a pretty big patch! Fitting for the wrapup of the Wrath cycle and the culmination (and fulmination) of one of the last remaining Warcraft III storylines.

We'll keep you posted as either more parts of the patch drop or as the patch goes live, but in the meantime you can brush up on what you'll have in store when the patch hits by reading our Guide to Patch 3.3 or checking out our Icecrown Citadel coverage.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Wrath of the Lich King

The Queue: Picking favorites


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Like Adam, I am most pleased that this is a new week. Things are so boring around the WoWiverse lately. Pilgrims Bounty was fun (really fun, I thought) but it was only around for a little while. I need excitement! Adventure! There is a void that needs to be filled!

I guess answering your various questions will fulfill that need for now.

Jason asked...


"Since the Battle.net change has occurred, is it now possible for me to log on to WoW in Europe (like at an Internet café) with my American account? Or are they still separate like they were before?"

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

15 Minutes of Fame: Amazon grace, how sweet these guilds

15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Why would players want to play only with others just like themselves? Members of special interest guilds tell us their groups allow them to play away from others who either inadvertently or purposely seek to harass or offend. GLBT guilds, Christian guilds (scroll down to Recruiting) and similar groups offer a haven for players seeking a peaceful place to hang out with like-minded souls. This week, we look at a new group that offers not one, not two, but three special interest guilds. The Goddess guilds of Nesingwary and Winterhoof, along with a brother guild also on Nesingwary, welcomes females - actual, physical females, not female characters - with a friendly, events-focused environment. We visited with long-time gamer and Goddess guilds founder Myredd to find out why so many women appreciate playing in a females-only environment.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

World of Warcraft: The Magazine needs a new Editor-in-chief

A few of our readers (thanks, guys!) spotted this posting popping up on the various job boards recently -- Future US, the company publishing the World of Warcraft magazine that's due out any day now, is apparently seeking a new Editor-in-Chief. Say what? They haven't even released the first issue yet, and they're already seeking a new head honcho? We did a little poking around, and it's true -- Dan Amrich, the man who originally held the position, has moved off already to another gig with Activision (though it seems coincidental that he's going to work for Blizzard's parent company), and Future is stuck seeking a new EIC even before issue one releases.

Does this mean the magazine is in trouble? True, it can't be good for the captain of a ship to move on just as it's heading out to port, but we've heard everything is still on course -- the first issue of the subscription (that quite a few people have already bought) is under Blizzard's scrutiny right now, and the second issue is well underway. Everything we hear still says they're aiming to release it sometime this month, but obviously if we hear anything else, we'll let you know. In the meantime, if you're in San Francisco, have a few years' publishing experience, and know a whole lot about World of Warcraft, we have this job you might want...

Filed under: Virtual selves, Blizzard, Economy, Rumors

Ask a Faction Leader: Lor'themar Theron


WoW.com's prestige in the community has afforded us the opportunity to speak with major Azerothian leadership figures on any subject, and we're letting you, the reader, Ask a Faction Leader!

We recently spoke to Archdruid Fandral Staghelm, night elf leader of the Cenarion Circle, and he shed light on several key issues, including morrowgrain research, moonkin form, troll and worgen druids, his overwhelming popularity, and Silithus stankiness. In this installment of Ask a Faction Leader, we'll be sitting with Regent-Lord Lor'themar Theron, interim ruler of the blood elves.

Our first reader question:

Dear Regent-Lord Lor'themar Theron,

As a loyal defender of both you and Silvermoon, I have seen you fight first hand, and there are questions I need to ask.

What Class are you? I mean you are said to be a ranger, or a hunter. But you look like a paladin, and use quasi-magi abilities so it has become impossible to tell. But honestly, I just want to tell you to cheer up and get some personality. Maybe then people might come back to Silvermoon and defend you, which would help seen as whatever class mash-up you are you fight terribly. Don't blame it on gear, Thrall is in level 30 greens and he at least fights like he cares. The fight to Arthas, the destroyer of Silvermoon, is coming, and you stand there, doing nothing. Will you ever send troops to Northrend? Will you ever get a personality?

Yours,
Bvannas
Blood Elf Mage
Terokkar (EU)


Lor'themar responds:

My class? As in the role I fill in a group? It should be evident from looking at my list of abilities. You see the one labeled "Mass Charm"? Not a difficult thing to infer.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Faction Leader

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Boobs and you
This week's topic is one that's near and dear to my heart. Well, it's near to my heart, at least, and I mean that quite literally. It's also a perfect topic for today's holiday! I mean, who doesn't like to talk about large breasts on Thanksgiving? (Score one for the terrible synonym.)
Disguising the grind
Believe it or not, grind is an essential part of an MMO and we might be pretty lost without it. Repetitive content is the cornerstone of the MMO genre but it's not all just smacking monsters over the head for hours on end or completing yet another "kill ten rats" quest. The repetitive elements in an MMO give us predictable gameplay in a form we can digest.
The trouble with goals in MMOs
One of the major problems of a game in which you can do anything is that... well, there's not necessarily much of a reason to do anything. That's a Terrible Idea recently had an interesting piece on the difficulty of generating goals and objectives in MMOs, especially in contrast with single-player games where your goals are equally pre-generated.
The9 sees enormous drop in profits after split with Blizzard
In a news story that we're sure will surprise precisely nobody at all, The9 -- China's previous operator for World of Warcraft -- has reported a serious decline in profits for this last quarter. Since last year when The9 still had World of Warcraft in its stable of games to now, they have seen a staggering 94% drop in revenue.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, MMO Roundup

WoW Moviewatch: How to Win at Raiding



The new movie by Wowcrendor, titled How to Win at Raiding, isn't quite the same kind of work as How to Win at PvP. Whereas the PvP version was focused on being a faux-guide on how to tear up opponents, How to Win at Raiding feels more like a character play. I think it goes to show how Wowcrendor is still expanding into new territory.

Of course, one of the new territories being explored by Wowcrendor is the scary world of gnomes. How to Win at Raiding features three, exciting little gnomes who are struggling with how to kill a boss. The voice acting fits the theme and genre of the movie pretty well, and I was left satisfied with Wowcrendor's performance. He continues to be a solid producer, and keeps on bringing the funny.


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

WoW.com's Weekly Comic: Byron, the Tauren Rogue!

Welcome to another edition of the WoW.com Weekly Comic -- Byron the Tauren Rogue!

Oh no! It looks like the fantasy has been broken, and the real truth comes out. Just who is Byron, and who are all of these totally awesome rogues he's with?

Check out the full version right here, and tune in next Tuesday morning for a new page!

You can also check out all the previous pages in the gallery below.

Filed under: Comics, WoW Insider's Weekly Comic

Around Azeroth: This will end badly

Oh, heya, Shocktopus! I didn't expect you home so early from the raid. What am I doing in your lab, you ask? Well, I know you banned me from experimenting in here after that incident in the Plague Quarter during Naxx, but I was just making you some ... delicious ... health potions. Yes. Health potions. Containing no rat poison whatsoever. Drink up. You look parched.

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

Addon Spotlight: RankWatch

Author Gronzig emailed us a note about this new addon of his called RankWatch, which serves a simple purpose: it alerts you if anyone is using downranked spells. I'm sure we've all seen the player who forgets to train, put on their bars, or update their macros with new ranks of important spells. Heck, I was using rank two of Binding Heal well into Naxxramas, since I had it bound directly to a key with Dominos.

If anyone in your party or raid uses a rank lower than the maximum for their level, RankWatch will tell then about it in a whisper. The only exception is for Life Tap, which warlocks will often use rank one of to proc effects without taking much of a health hit. Back in the day, healers would commonly downrank heals as a mana-saving measure (if I recall correctly, Heal rank four was a staple in classic raiding), but this strategy is long-gone (since patch 3.0.2), because downranked spells now cost the same amount mana as top-rank spells (or more).

Configuration options include turing off the auto-whisper and ignoring certain players, which are both vital for a potentially-annoying mod like this. Overall RankWatch looks like a useful little tool, if only so I no longer have to worry about checking up on myself.

Download RankWach at Curse

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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