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Breakfast Topic: I met the critter guy

Breakfast Topic I met the critter guy
It was BlizzCon 2010. I was sitting outside the exhibit hall at the Anaheim Convention Center, pecking out a text message on my phone, when I heard someone say, "Oh hey! You work for WoW Insider!"

His voice was so excited that I was a little surprised when I looked up and realized the young man in front of me wasn't just another general attendee of BlizzCon 2010 but an actual employee of Blizzard. "I love you guys!" He exclaimed as I boggled over his official staff shirt and badge. Was this really happening? Wasn't I the one who worked for a fan site? Shouldn't I be excited about him?

He didn't notice my cognitive dissonance and motioned to the empty space on the bench next to me. "Can I sit down?"

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

World of Warcraft Magazine issue 4 preview now available

Do you like World of Warcraft news? Do you like your World of Warcraft news in convenient paper form? Does the number four fill you with such joy that you obsessively compulsively collect all things with that particular number on it? Well, good news on all these fronts: The folks at World of Warcraft Magazine appear to be sending issue four to the printers. Hopefully, this means the magazine will be shipping and arriving in mailboxes soon.

The 148-page behemoth contains a look at the creation of the goblin and worgen races, a selection of artwork from Blizzard artist Samwise Didier, and a behind-the-scenes look at BlizzCon. If you just can't wait, head over the the official website and check out the excerpts for preview that were just posted.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2010 pets for DirecTV subscribers arrive

If you subscribed to the DirecTV feed for BlizzCon 2010, then you should run and check your email. We've had multiple confirmed sources report the redemption code to receive Deathy has been sent to viewers.

Once you redeem the code, the pet will appear in your characters' in-game mailboxes. Go check it out and show off your murloc pride with this half-dragon, half-adorable pet! With Cataclysm right around the corner, now's the time to let Deathy see the world as it is before it gets torn asunder by his inspiration: Deathwing. Don't worry about him acting strangely -- the little guy is already out of rehab.

The email will come from, which is the DirecTV publisher for the event.

BlizzCon 2010 is over! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. You'll find our liveblogs of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Morhaime says moonkin hatchling available this month

Yes, that's right. During the ATVI earnings report conference call today, Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment, announced that the Moonkin Hatchling will be available for purchase later this month, as he had already stated at BlizzCon. In addition, 50 percent of the proceeds from the sale will go to charity. The last time Blizzard did something similar, it raised $1.1 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Can the hatchling possibly dethrone the Pandaren Monk as the most adorable charity money generator?

Gregg's speculation on whether or not we'd see more charity pets seems confirmed. Were you already planning on picking one up, and if not, does this news make it any more likely?

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010: J!nx shows off with murloc hoodies and new arrivals

I'm actually writing the first paragraph last this time around. What follows is a discussion of J!nx clothing and a big thumbs-up to its ever-evolving lines of licensed Blizzard goods, as well as a bit of a manifesto on geeky nerd shirts, clothing and audience. From here on out, J!nx is Jinx, not out of disrespect for the brand, but because that many exclamation points within the article would probably give my editor a heart attack, and I'm usually liberal with the exclamation points.

Jinx has, over the past few years, become ubiquitous in the geek community as purveyors of fun clothing and merchandise, licensed and original. It was only a matter of time, really, until a company founded on geeky wear had to make strides into broader clothing lines. If there's one thing that Jinx showed at BlizzCon this year, it was that it is growing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

Scarlet Blouse Gentleman receives NPC for fact checking efforts

Unless you've been living in a cave since BlizzCon 2010, it's highly likely you've heard of the unnamed gentleman in the scarlet blouse who managed to catch Alex Afrasiabi and Chris Metzen in an error during the Quests and Lore panel at the convention. The man and his question have since gone viral, the video of his question and the answer receiving over 2 million views on YouTube. He's since posted a video in response to the internet's reaction, and the original video even appeared on The Soup as the clip of the week.

According to a post on Reddit, the popularity of his question and answer have not gone unnoticed by Blizzard staff, as Falstad has made his return to his rightful seat on the Council of Three Hammers, accompanied by ... a gentleman in a scarlet blouse. This NPC, named Wildhammer Fact Checker, is an obvious tribute to the man who was clever enough to catch the error and confront Blizzard on it. While the NPC does not appear to be on the beta servers as of yet, blue poster Valnoth confirmed the existence of the NPC on the official forums. Hopefully, Falstad's loyal Fact Checker will continue to keep the record straight as far as who should be where and who definitely isn't deceased, in the future.

[Thanks to reader Otown for the tip!]

BlizzCon 2010 is over! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. You'll find our liveblogs of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Patch 4.0.3: Deathy is going to rehab

Deathy's identity crisis will be over before Cataclysm, according to Nethaera. His days of thinking he's Grunty the Murloc will be over once he goes through "rehabilitation" of some sort. Judging from the words Nethaera uses, Deathy will be fixed in patch 4.0.3.

For those of you who attended or watched BlizzCon 2010 and claimed a Deathy pet, you may have noticed that he's acting strange. In fact, he seems to think he's Grunty the Murloc Marine. This is an unintended consequence of the groupthink from which all murlocs suffer. Deathy will be undergoing an extensive rehabilitation program and should be acting appropriately destructive once his idol, Deathwing, shatters the world in an upcoming patch that will debut prior to the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

BlizzCon 2010 is over! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. You'll find our liveblogs of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Bashiok announces BlizzCon pre-sale shipping delays

Bashiok has just posted on the official forums to let people know that any items purchased through the BlizzCon pre-sale have been delayed up to two weeks.

Bashiok -- Pre-Sale Shipping Delays
Due to an error in our shipping process, BlizzCon items ordered during the pre-sale have been delayed by approximately two weeks. We're expecting all items to now be shipped by November 3.

The intent of the pre-sale is of course to allow you to buy your items ahead of time, and get them as close to BlizzCon as possible, if not before. These issues, while unforeseen, are entirely regrettable and we apologize for any inconvenience they've caused. We're working to get you your goodies as soon as we possibly can.

Thank you for your patience.

I ordered a horde towel at the beginning of the pre-sale, and mine came a few days before BlizzCon. Maybe some items had an issue in the warehouse, or one of the vendors was late. Who knows! But you should be receiving your items sooner than later. Thank you, Bashiok, for the update.

BlizzCon 2010 is over! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. You'll find our liveblogs of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

Encrypted Text: BlizzCon news for patient rogues

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. This week, I'll be sharing my report from BlizzCon 2010 for rogues.

As a member of our shadowy brotherhood, my duty to investigate and report on the rogue class is never over. Even though I was enjoying the festivities at BlizzCon 2010 and testing out the new demon hunter class in Diablo 3, I still made time to take care of business. The class Q&A panel is one of the best places to communicate directly with the WoW development team, and so I staked my place in line before the prior panel had even ended.

When my turn finally came, I had to first pay my respects to the developers. I had asked them at the prior year's BlizzCon if we would ever see a Vanish fix implemented, and Ghostcrawler avoided promising anything. Fast-forward a year and we finally have a Vanish that I'm proud to call my own. I opened my time by giving them their much-deserved thanks. I then took the opportunity to ask about something near and dear to my heart: off-hand weapon speeds. Axes and daggers were simply never meant to be used at the same time. Their art styles don't even match!

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Spiritual Guidance: What few shadow priest highlights BlizzCon 2010 could scrape together

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Even weeks when your shadowy messiah, Fox Van Allen, is nursing one heck of a headache -- along with, presumably, everyone else who's still suffering from the non-stop party atmosphere of BlizzCon 2010.

Let's start by saying that BlizzCon 2010 was an absolute blast. I met most of the WoW Insider crew, got to smell Mike Sacco's hair yet again, got some amazing swag and got to eat at Jack in the Box no less than five times. The best part, though, was probably meeting Orkchop (pictured above with WoW Insider's moonkin blogger Tyler Caraway, who can only aspire to be as amazing as Orkchop). The dude is an internet celebrity. For real.

But enough about how awesome Orkchop is. Let's talk shadow priests, and how awesome they are.

Now, I'm not good at sugar-coating things, so I'll just come out with it: BlizzCon 2010 was pretty disappointing in terms of World of Warcraft-related content. The biggest news out of the convention was the new loading screen for Cataclysm. Really. That was the big news. Seriously. And it's just a palette-shifted version of the Sindragosa loading screen.

Despite the lack of earth-shattering news, I made sure to take note of all the shadow priest action. There wasn't a heck of a lot of it, but what little ground was covered was hugely important to the future of the spec. The good, the bad and the non-answers -- we'll go over it all after the break.

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Filed under: Priest, BlizzCon, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

The Light and How to Swing It: BlizzCon paladin info roundup

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at

So this is pretty much going to be a collection of blurbs from the BlizzCon 2010 class Q&A panel. Some questions that were asked throughout the day were things that have come up in the past, but others had new information that hadn't even hit the beta servers yet. The panel members from left to right consisted of Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street (WoW lead systems designer), Kris Zierhut (WoW senior technical game designer), Owen Landgren (WoW game designer), Ion Hazzikostas (WoW game designer) and Chris Kaleiki (WoW associate game designer).

I went back and tried to do a much more thorough job at transcribing the information than we do in our live blogs (because none of us can type as fast as Ghostcrawler speaks). Also, I've added a "too long didn't read" (TLDR) version of each question at the beginning for those of you who don't read the whole post before commenting. For the rest of you, there is a full transcript as well as links I've found to videos of the panel on YouTube and linked directly to where the question is asked, if you want to actually see what was happening. This isn't official video, so it might get pulled for copyright issues, but until then, it's a great reference.

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

WoW Moviewatch: I am Forsaken

I am Forsaken by RedEye Lobine won second place runner-up in the BlizzCon 2010 machinima contest. It is the story of a Gilnean apothecary whose life became devastated by a series of tragedies. Seeking to find a new start in life, he decided to move to nearby Lordaeron. You can imagine how that turned out.

RedEye obviously put quite a bit of work into the composition of this piece, and I'm glad to see it did well at the contest. It was a very tough competition this year, with many fantastic videos. It can be tough to tell a good Forsaken story, but obviously the judges felt Lobine pulled it off. Congratulations!

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

Reader UI of the Week: Zhee's UI

Finally, I return from BlizzCon 2010 with an ache in my head and a stomach hardened with Anabella hotel chicken fingers and Domino's pizza. Please, put me out of my misery. Actually, the chicken fingers were awesome -- it's hard to do good chicken fingers, and the Anabella came through in spades.

Thank all of you who came out for the reader meetup, by the way. You guys were awesome, very supportive of my MCing the night and asked some great questions while I was off the mic. It was so nice to meet so many of you, talk about all this crazy stuff and lead you guys in what I thought to be a really fun night. Anyway, we've got reader UIs to discuss, and I fully intend to do that now.

This week, Zhee emailed me all the way from the Netherlands to show off her healer user interface. What follows is a clean, crisp user interface that is functional, elegant and barely using up any screen space at all. Also, this article is being drafted on a keyboard that barely has a space bar, so if you hear screaming (or the article itself features splatters of blood), it's probably me prying my fingers off one at a time because this damn keyboard has driven me insane. Reader UI, go!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

BlizzCon 2010: Quests and lore panel highlights

The Quests and Lore panel at BlizzCon 2010 answered some old questions, raised a few new ones and featured some information with heavy implications as to what we may see in future Cataclysm content. The panel, hosted by Alex Afrasiabi and Chris Metzen, was a flat-out Q&A geekfest in which the hosts answered as many questions from the audience as possible in the hour they were given to do so. Check out our liveblog for the full coverage of questions asked and answered, and read on for some of the most surprising moments from the panel.

Please note: The rest of this article contains heavy Cataclysm spoilers. If you wish to avoid any content reveals, veer away now!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010: Steelseries shows off Cataclysm MMO mouse, pro gamer products

Not only is BlizzCon a great place to get the latest news straight from Blizzard's mouth about Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo, but all of the exhibitors and vendors are showing off their official merchandise and some of the new stuff coming out soon. Being the interface guy around here, the powers that be thought it would be nice if I checked out some of the vendors showcasing their interface products -- mice, keyboards and more. There is a lot of exciting stuff to show.

On Day 1 of BlizzCon 2010, I got to run over to the Steelseries booth and meet with Philippe and Kim, both awesome designers who gave me the grand tour and showed off their products -- and, to my great interest, their design philosophies for their hardware.

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Filed under: BlizzCon

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