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Around Azeroth: They're not undead minions, they're unpaid interns

"When my death knight retired, she turned her swords into plowbills," writes submitter Zavannah of Eternal Exiles on Saurfang (EU-A). "Finding farmhands willing to work for a technically dead draenei was hard work, so she raised her farmhands from the remnants of countless brave but foolish adventurers who truly underestimated the power of the virmen. Alan the ghoul was too shy to step forth; that's why he hides behind his master."

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Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Why can't we do that?

Why can't mages use polearms? It's a staff with a pointy end. This really shouldn't be that hard, especially for the supposedly intellectually gifted mages. Now that staves and polearms are considered the same for transmog purposes, I don't get why we don't have warlocks, mages and even priests able to use polearms, especially when druids and monks can use polearms and staves (and so can warriors, for that matter) - just make polearms and staves the same thing and save everyone some time.

Similarly, I don't get why paladins and especially DK's can't use fist weapons. I don't get why rogues can't use one two handed weapon instead of two. Conan the Cimmerian was a thief in Zamora, he even scaled the Tower of the Elephant looking to steal its riches. He used a big old axe. (Of course, he was a barbarian, maybe he didn't know he couldn't. He wore plate armor on a few occasions as well.) If hunters can tame talbuks now, why can't they tame horses? For that matter, why can they tame animal friends to go into battle with them, but can't convince any of those friends to let them ride on their backs?

Is there anything you think you should be able to do that you can't?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: The dawn of the Horde

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

The Horde as a factional entity has without question seen the most push in terms of story development -- but that's not necessarily something that could be considered an advantage when it comes to World of Warcraft. Sure, story is all well and good, and the advancement of plot is something that's always fun to see. But in the case of the Horde, that plot and story has had some of the most tumultuous conflicts we've seen, including full out inter-factional warfare in Mists of Pandaria.

And now we stand at the cusp of new expansion, one that is turning away from the factional conflicts of Azeroth, and instead setting its sights on the distant world of Draenor and the evil schemes of the Iron Horde. Again, the advancement of story is all well and good, here. And given what happened in Mists of Pandaria, perhaps it's for the best that we depart the stormy shores of Durotar and turn our focus elsewhere ... because right now, the Horde is at its weakest. What is the future of the Horde? That's a pretty good question -- one that likely began to plague Warchief Vol'jin the moment we stepped out of Siege.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Moviewatch: Pointless Top 10: Banks in World of Warcraft

You know what I like? All those little pointless things in WoW that most people don't really think about. That's why I really enjoy Wowcrendor's Pointless Top 10 lists, and he absolutely does not disappoint with his latest list, which highlights a variety of different banks. Most of the time, we don't even think about banks as anything other than a place to go to put the stuff we aren't currently using but, for some reason, really want to squirrel away and keep. They aren't really anything we actively take a moment to look at.

Crendor's top 10 list takes the time to point out all those cool little things about the banks we take for granted. There are a few details he mentioned on the list that I hadn't really given much thought to or taken particular notice of, and I've been playing this game for ten years. But the main reason I love this particular top 10 list is because I hands down, without question absolutely agree with his number one choice, and seeing it again made me wistfully recall far too many hours spent at that particular bank.


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 moviewatch@wowinsider.com.


Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

The Queue: The Phantom Queue

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

You guys seemed to appreciate the music in yesterday's Queue, so have an amazingly well done, remastered version. I promise I will not suplex this Queue when I am done answering questions.*

Tschekt asked:

Q4tQ: With the Dark Portal being redirected to Draenor, what happens to all the Alliance and Horde forces left in Outland? Are they forever stranded with no way of returning home? Or is there some way to rewire the Dark Portal to reconnect it with Outland and rescue them?

Both the portal in Stormwind's mage tower and the portal in the Cleft of Shadow originally teleported players to just outside the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands. In beta, they now teleport players directly to Hellfire Peninsula. In Hellfire, there are portals that go directly back to Stormwind and Orgrimmar. So there really isn't a problem there at all -- nobody is stranded in Outland, it's business as usual.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: So cardboardy

Guilded Age
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: A limerick, a task to impart wisdom, a leap of faith, missed experiences, an ending. Plus: Owltupus!

In comic news this week, Erik of Away From Reality will be working on a new project! It is called Father's Shield, and will update every Wednesday. There's more information linked in the list, as well as the first comic, but it will be more serious than Away From Reality and not connected to its characters.

Gratz also recently started a new project, called Solace. In addition, Lackinganame surpassed 500 posted comic pages this week (across all books of Gratz and including the new Solace pages). Congratulations, and thanks for all the hard work bringing us entertainment each week!

Russell Brooks of Experience Boost will be attending a convention this week (Dragon Con), and so there may be fewer updates to post next week.

A few of our sporadically updating comics did not update this week, including WoW, eh? and Kibble & Bit, and Teh Gladiators should appear next week. However, Sara & Kleeyo has new content up, and NPC has a new Hearthstone storyline. Contested Territory updated with two pages, which is a nice bonus.

Ready for the comics? There might not be any corgis (like last week), but we do have a half gator!

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite class ability?

When I started playing a shaman, it was partially because I wanted to try my hand at a caster again, and partially because I remembered enjoying the class when I tried it out back in vanilla. Of course back then I was enhancement, and this time I chose elemental for leveling purposes -- but I figured if I didn't really enjoy ranged casting, I could always flip back to melee and play the class that way. What I didn't expect was how much I'd enjoy elemental, and the experience of being a casting class again. Sure, I've played both mages and warlocks, but there's something inherently cool about playing a shaman.

And by "inherently cool," I mean "I really enjoy using chain lightning on giant groups of mobs and watching them get zapped." It's my favorite part about the class ... or it was until I saw the new spell animation for Fulmination on the beta. For those that don't play shaman, here's what you need to know: Fulmination stacks with your Lightning Shield. When you reach 20 stacks of Fulmination, you can hit Earth Shock, and all those charges of Lightning Shield will be packed on to your hit. On the beta, this Earth Shock is also accompanied by a gigantic, gorgeous strike of lightning, as shown in the image above.

Every class has an ability like that, though -- an ability or spell that is so iconic, so ridiculously fun to use, or just plain incredibly cool to look at that you want to use it as often as possible. So I'm wondering -- what's your favorite class spell or ability? What's that one thing that makes the class you play just a little more cool than the rest? What makes that ability so much fun to use? Is it the animation, the amount of damage it puts out, or some other fun factor?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: The Rogue Queue

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

I got so many rogue question yesterday, thank you guys! I'm calling today the rogue Queue, because there are quite a few rogue questions to be answered -- but I've also mixed it up a little for those of you that have no love for the sneaky sneak stabbing class. I had so many questions there was no way to address them all -- if your question wasn't answered today, check back tomorrow. I may answer more from yesterday's Queue at that point, depending on how many questions come in today. Speaking of questions ... let's get right to them.

C.H. asked:

Do you think the WOD train level will be more like the train level in Goldeneye or Shadows of the Empire?

I'm hoping for the Phantom Train sequence from FF6. It was the best. And I'm not just saying this on the off chance that we'll be able to suplex the train.*

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: What expansion feature do you want to see next?

Earlier this week, we learned that work is already underway on the next expansion, which is interesting in and of itself. Naturally that means that things like story and lore are probably already in the process of being fleshed out. But with every expansion there's usually one or more fairly big things -- Heroic Dungeons, the LFG system, LFR, Transmog, Scenarios, Garrisons. You know what I mean, the kinds of features that players use again and again, the stuff that we eventually have for so long that we only vaguely remember what the game was like without it. Remember the original meeting stones? Yeah, I can't exactly say I'm unhappy that they're gone.

It's almost kind of magical how Blizzard is still coming up with all these innovative things ten years after the game originally launched. But even with all the additions, there are still some things I'd really like to see. Garrisons are all well and good, but the housing system in Wildstar is still a magical playground of infinite possibilities, the kind of possibilities I'd very much like to see in World of Warcraft. Level 90 boosts are fine, but I still want to see some sort of championing system that will allow you to scale down and join your friends in lower-level dungeons without overpowering said dungeons, or maybe even just go the other direction and have every dungeon in the game just automatically scale to whatever level you happen to be. Level 100 Gnomeregan? Let's do this.

What about you guys? What kind of expansion features are you hoping for with future content? Is there a cool thing you've seen in other games that you'd like to see implemented in WoW? Is there a feature already in game that you'd like to see updated or overhauled for current content? If expansion content is already underway, and future expansions are already planned, what do you hope will be the next big thing, and how do you think it could work?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Moviewatch: Garrosh takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the internet by storm over the last few weeks, but now it's making headway into virtual life, too, as Garrosh takes on the challenge. In case you've missed out (or been without internet for the past month), the premise is simple: when challenged, you dump a bucket of ice water on your head or donate to the ALS Association to help fight ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease). Sure, you could just donate, but making and sharing Ice Bucket Challenge videos is most of the fun.

However, Garrosh clearly isn't taking this challenge seriously: "We are the Iron Horde and slightly icy water will never stop our might!" What Garrosh doesn't realize is that ice water is cold. Really cold.
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 moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

The Queue: Suicide Mission

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

I have to admit, I think about the suicide mission from Mass Effect 2 a lot when I go through the Dark Portal for Khadgar. I kind of wish there was a way to have an iconic in-game rendered cinematic, like the one for the Wrathgate, when you step through except instead of featuring some NPC (even an awesome pair like Bolvar and Saurfang Jr.) it featured your character giving a rousing Shepard speech, gathering up all of Azeroth's defenders (under your banner, no less) and charging through with that awesome Jack Wall music playing in the background. Sadly, since I don't think that's possible, you'll have to settle for listening to the music above and daydreaming about it.

In my version, I go paragon, just in case that matters.

alkalineheat asks:
Q4tQ: blizzard has expressed they have no plans to make 2hand maces viable agian for enhancement shamans in Wod. Exactly who are they still viable for? It seems like I havent seen many equipped or even droped in ages.

Arms and fury warriors, all DK's, retribution paladins and to a lesser extent feral and guardian druids. I used Gar'tok, Strength of the Faithful for a while even though it wasn't optimal for warriors.

Read more →

Filed under: Warrior, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Around Azeroth: Suspicious minds

Pay no attention to the voidwalkers. We are priests. Do you not see our priestly garb? Be quiet and let us heal you. Just close your eyes. It will only take a moment. That feeling is not your soul leaving you body. It is the healing process. Your bones are supposed to char like that. (Thanks to not-warlocks Taikoen, Kaiapo and Heleuma of Farstriders [US-A] and Bruin of Silver Hand [US-H] for the screenshot!)

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. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: How The New Models Got Me To Play A Nelf Again

This is one of those Breakfast Topics where I really feel like I could point to the headline, then the comment section, and then go eat a delicious whole wheat bagel while y'all had at it. But because that's shockingly selfish and lazy of me, I shall instead relate to you a story.

Back in Wrath, I started tanking for my guild again. Because we were doing heroic Anub, I decided to race change to night elf for the Quickness racial, because it made pushing unhittable to tank the adds just that little bit easier. I did this thing. And man, I hated it. Playing as a night elf meant looking goofy as heck. Luckily, we were soon in Icecrown Citadel and our tier set covered up a multitude of flaws, but I was still unhappy with the night elf dude and did not miss it when I switched to draenei for the hit.

Flash forward to now. The new night elf guy has his work in progress model. Aside from still burying his face in his shoulder like he's sobbing when he uses a 2h weapon, it's leaps and bounds improved. I like it a lot better. And so, now I'm running around the beta on a nelf. And that's my story.

And now, comment time. Have any of the new models got you to try a race you normally never would? Horde side I'm seriously contemplating a troll right about now.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Big Blizzard, Warcraft RTS, and Alts


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

Let's dive into the deep end of the pool today and start tackling some of these questions and views.

Hyde asked:

Before the release of Wrath of the Lich King, a Blizzard developer talked about how they had some extra content planned in case the release of Wrath did not go they way they wanted. Now, we've had a very large dry spell of content without a peep about Blizzard having a back up this time around. Why did the company not have some extras? If Chilton is to be believed, they admitted to being "slowed down." Would it not be prudent to have something to fall back on?

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: The Darkmoon fishing disaster of 2014

"What finer way to relax than trying to fish up a pony or two and some of Azeroth's larger specimens?" asks submitter Ucagru of Saurfang (US-A). "I also had the chance to do some impromptu stat taking; less than one in five people shot out of the cannon landed a bulls-eye. Seven gnomes, three belfs, one troll were harmed in the taking of this photo.* **

* I don't include undead, because they're already dead so I figure they don't count.
** One tauren also acquired a new nose piercing, but seemed to be quite happy with the look."


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. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

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