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15 Minutes of Fame: The AFK Tavern, where everybody knows your name

Customers at the AFK Tavern
From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

So these two WoW players walk into a bar. Only it's not just a bar -- it's also a full restaurant serving hearty but healthy (fresh, locally sourced and frequently organic) fare such as the thick, juicy Iron Dragon Steak ("a full half-pound of flat iron steak grilled in dragon's fire and served with sautéed veggies and a GLaDOS baked potato"). And then they don't go home, because it's more than just a bar and restaurant -- it's also a gaming center hosting everything required to enjoy a night of tabletop, console and online gaming.

Yes, this is heaven. Welcome to the AFK Tavern in Everett, Wash., the brainchild of WoW player Kayla Graves. "It was kinda my life's dream," she explains. "I run the place as general manager and design most the menus and almost all the drinks (a few are made by our bartenders), so I take the title of creative director most the time. I also deal with all our social media ... And advertisements. AFK started as my project, but we're big on community input, so we've shaped it that way and let it become more than us. It's pretty cool owning a company like AFK Tavern with my two best friends in the whole world."

Sound like the place where everybody knows your name? We thought so, too. Come on in.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Addon Spotlight: Customizing PlayerPowerBarAlt

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

With the Raid Finder coming in patch 4.3, many new players will be storming their way through the halls of Blackwing Descent, the Bastion of Twilight, and the fiery plains of Ragnaros' domain. Cataclysm raid encounters have bestowed upon players a new mechanic that will show up during some of the encounters, most notably Atramedes' sound bar, Cho'gall's corruption bar, feathers on Alysrazor, Rhyolith's turning bar, and the concentration bar on the heroic Majordomo Staghelm fight. This new interface element can function in many different ways based on the fight it is being used, but all fall under the same category: PlayerPowerBarAlt.

PlayerPowerBarAlt has been a thorn in many player's sides, especially since the default settings for this raid-centric UI element falls squarely in the wrong place -- usually underneath your action bars, unit frames, or whatever you've put right above the default action bar location. Players have been asking me since Cataclysm's launch how to move and manipulate that bar, so here's a dedicated column to just that topic.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: AutoBar


Last time on Addon Spotlight, we looked at Dominos, my current favorite bar mod for all my spells and abilities. Of course, like any good raider, I also have bar spots for my various consumables: bandages, potions, elixirs, buff food, and so forth. But it's a pain to manually reconfigure all that every time I get a new item. Fortunately, I don't have to: AutoBar does it for me, and means I never have to hunt in my bags for a scroll or a quest item.

In short, AutoBar adds one or more bars to your screen, each full of buttons for various categories. For instance, the default "main" bar has slots for:

  • Hearthstone (and related abilities, like Death Gate or Scroll of Recall)
  • Health potions
  • Mana potions
  • Buff foods
  • Mage foods
  • Elixirs (battle and guardian)
  • Mounts
  • Tradeskills
  • Quest items
  • Trinkets

And probably some more things that I'm not remembering right now. AB shows the most recent item you've clicked for each category (in some cases) or the best item (in others), and other options in the category appear on mouse-over.

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Filed under: Features, AddOn Spotlight

Scattered Shots: Got mana?


Scattered Shots is temporarily subtitled "Scattered Thoughts" this week, as David goes off on a speculative tangent. Perhaps all this expansion leakage is causing a leak in his brain too, but hey, a little bit of intellectual pondering never hurt anyone, right? This column is for hunters, by the way -- but, yeah... you knew that.

After writing last week's article about hunter problems and predictions, I got to thinking about how hunters use mana, and reflecting on the question of whether hunters should be using mana or not. Hunters have many things in common with classes like rogues and warriors, such as doing physical damage, and yet they have much in common with mages and warlocks as well, such as being vulnerable to mana-draining abilities. This issue is vague enough that my observations here can only be considered personal opinions, and they won't be of interest if all you want from this column is a list of the greatest gear and talent builds. But for the speculative among us, there's lots to discuss here.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

How to put WoW Insider on your Windows Vista Sidebar

In an ongoing series of articles we'll show you how to put WoW Insider on your own blog, guild website, personal website, or even on your computer's desktop. For a complete list of the software that's covered, check out our guide's index.

About Windows Vista


Love it or hate it, eventually you'll probably end up using it. One of the neat features of Vista is the Sidebar, which is a place where you can put widgets that do different things, like tell the time, show what your EVE Online character is training, or tell you what the weather is like outside.

How to add WoW Insider to your Windows Vista's Sidebar.



1. Right click on your Sidebar and choose "Add Gadgets..."



2. This will open up the gadgets window. Double click the "Feed Headlines" gadget.
3. Close the gadgets window.



4. You'll now see the new gadget added at the top of your sidebar.



5. Open up Microsoft Internet Explorer and go to http://wow.joystiq.com/rss.xml
6. Click the "Subscribe to this feed" link.



7. A window will open up. The default settings will be fine. Click the "Subscribe" button.
8. Position your mouse over the feed gadget on your side bar and click the little wrench icon. It'll appear towards the upper right hand side of the gadget.



9. A window like the one above will slide out of the gadget, asking you what feed you want to display.
10. Choose to display "WoW Insider", and set the number of headlines to whatever you want.
11. Click the "Ok" button.



12. You're done! Left click on a feed headline to read the WoW Insider article.

Filed under: How-tos, Odds and ends

/silly: Where everybody knows your name


"Welcome, stranger. Pull up a stool and make yourself at home. Say, you look like you're a bit run down this morning. Tuesday gotchya down? I here ya. But I think I've got just the thing to perk you up. Nothing gets your blood pumping like a stiff shot of /silly. This ones on the house. I told ya last time, your money is no good here."

Once again I have pulled from my epic stable of alts to fill a starring role in this week's comic. The legendary Banhammer, level 9 dwarf warrior extraordinaire, is here to get his drink on. Which is what he does best. And most often. Not that I'm insinuating that he has a drinking problem, but he often refuses to enter combat unless he is properly "buffed". And by "buffed", I mean "completely sloshed out of his gourd." It's a time honored dwarven tradition, I hear.

It may be the lack of sleep talking, but I'm actually quite happy with the way this comic turned out. I employed a different technique of coloring that I had found in a digital art magazine a few months back, and the results are a lot more clean and professional then I had expected. Perhaps we will see more of this style in the near future - or perhaps I'll switch to drawing stick figures with sidewalk chalk, just to keep you guys on your toes. Expect the unexpected!

Filed under: Humor, /silly, Comics

New Cooking Recipes!

As mentioned in yesterday's Rogue post, I highly believe in Cooking as a skill that's excellent to have. You save yourself money in regards to buying food, and you have a highly portable and common source of buffs. For those of us who have classes that can't cast buffs, this is a real boon -- although every class can benefit from added buffs! So when I saw the mentioned addition of more new Cooking recipes in the patch, I had to get out there and see what was available.

For those of you who haven't gotten time to check into them, here's the lowdown. There are three new recipes available from the lovely dancing barmaid, Kylene, in the bar in the Lower City. The amusing thing about these three new recipes (at least to me) is that they have you cooking the off-hand fish "weapons" that you can catch. (Of course, this means that gone are the days of Monty Python Fish Slapping Dance renditions. Wait... Maybe that's just my guild. )

Nonetheless, for those with an eye for fresh fish and sampling the finest in Azerothian Cuisine, check out the Good Eats after the jump!

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Odds and ends

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