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More Cowbell's brilliant guide to Ask Mr. Robot

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Robots. They're an awful lot better at many things than we puny humans. Of course, you would rightly argue that we humans have taught these robots everything they know, and you would be absolutely correct. Indeed, Lisa Poisso met the humans behind the robot last October for an interview! But those humans aren't me. I am not great at math -- I can't do the sums required to exactly calculate reforging or best-in-slot gear or how many hit gems I need to get to the cap.

And that's where Ask Mr. Robot comes in. What does he do? Well, he retrieves your character from the armory and inputs all the details into his remarkable computer system, then recommends reforging, regemming, enchanting and gear upgrades for your character! Mr. Robot recently had a substantial facelift and is hugely improved from his old version, now able to advise on far more elements of gear and offer more specific input according to spec. He even has PvP information!

Like many very clever people (and androids), Mr. Robot can appear a little intimidating to the new user. I know when I started availing myself of his services, it took me a fair while to wrap my head around it -- and that's where Hoofit over at More Cowbell comes in. His guide breaks down the Ask Mr. Robot experience into manageable steps, explaining all the sections of the interface to allow would-be users to get the most out of the site.

As More Cowbell says, if you haven't heard of Mr. Robot, you could be missing out on powerful improvements and upgrades for your character. The More Cowbell guide is a great place to start to see what that robot can do for you and how.

Filed under: News items

WoW bloggers take off and unite with Sixth meme

What's that image above? Why, that's a screenshot of Azshara before the goblins took over, taken for our massive series of Before the Shattering galleries we put together just before Cataclysm launched. It also happens to be the sixth image from the sixth subfolder in my images folder, which leads us to a meme started by Gnomeaggedon from the blog Armageddon's Coming -- a meme that has taken off with alarming speed.

The premise is simple: Head into your images folder, select the sixth subfolder, grab the sixth image in the folder, post the image, and select six bloggers to tag for the next part of the meme. Those people post their own sixth images, tag six more bloggers, and so on. Those of you who are skilled at math can already see where this is going.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

About the Bloggers: Lisa Poisso

About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more of our staffers in earlier About the Bloggers profiles.

What do you do for WoW Insider?

These days, I'm rather akin to my rogue (above, slipping along with her stealth pack after spotting some Alliance players out leveling) or recently departed editor-in-chief Dan O'Halloran in that most of what I do happens behind the scenes. I'm the Mama Smurf of WoW Insider, painting the blue dot that means "copyediting complete" on each and every post that runs through the WI queue. This process is entirely separate from the content review done by our lead editors, and it's where I spend most of my WI time these days -- because this gang has a lot to say, trust me ...

Somewhere in there is writing. I've managed to acquire one of the highest word counts of anyone at WoW Insider by dint of long tenure and the rather mind-boggling list of features I've worked on during that time. Currently, I only write two features: 15 Minutes of Fame and Drama Mamas (although Drama Mama Robin gets the official byline on this feature). The list of what I've worked on in the past, however ... That's another story. I created Insider Trader (now Gold Capped) and the now-defunct features Gamers on the Street and [1.Local]. I also wrote Well Fed Buff, which was absorbed into World of WarCrafts, which I also wrote for a good stretch. I've also sat a spell in The Classifieds and WoW Rookie. Oh yeah, and Two Bosses Enter.

Is it soup yet?

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Filed under: About the Bloggers

About the Bloggers: Josh Myers

About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more of our staffers in earlier About the Bloggers profiles.

What do you do for WoW Insider?

I am a writer. I write! My general responsibility is to cover DPS shaman, once referred to as the Defense Against the Dark Arts position of class columns. I'm also one of the Choose My Adventure crew, currently leveling a goblin priest named Clergelam. Finally, I occasionally write news or the rare Occu'thar raid guide.

What's your main?

My main is the awfully named Elamqt, of Proudmoore. He's a man-cow shaman, generally of the enhancement variety. When I started playing WoW, I went through a large variety of alts that I got to around level 20 and stopped playing. I fell in love with Elam when I discovered that he got Ghost Wolf at 20 and wouldn't have to wait until 40 to get a mount. He became my main then and has largely been my main ever since. I took a short break in Wrath of The Lich King to play a hunter -- and am currently focusing a little more on my mage -- but Elam is always first in my heart.

Horde or Alliance?

I'm a Tauren, but I don't think much of the Horde's politics. In particular, I hate Garrosh Hellscream. I hate him hard. But even without Hellscream, I don't care for the Horde. I play Horde because I love Tauren, but if they were an Alliance race, I'd be there. I don't really like the Alliance that much either, though. Pretty much, I'm just for the Herd.

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Filed under: About the Bloggers

About the Bloggers: Mathew McCurley

About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more of our staffers in earlier About the Bloggers profiles.

What do you do at WoW Insider?

Originally, I came on staff to take over the Addon Spotlight column and to help revive and reinvigorate the Reader UI of the Week feature that people have loved in the past but had dropped off as a feature. I applied to work for the site with only the addon columns in mind. Over time, after a few guest stints on The Lawbringer and generally always being around to help with the main site, I've graduated to blogging most days and taking over The Lawbringer full time. It's my labor of love -- I get to teach and discuss my opinions about lots of different esoteric gaming topics.

I was into podcasting for a while with my own little network and wanted to be a guest on the WoW Insider Show for a long time, well before applying to work on the site. I bugged Sacco to let me be a guest and, before you know it, I was sleeping on the show's proverbial couch and they couldn't get rid of me. Now my name is on the banner. It's how I roll.

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Filed under: About the Bloggers

A new blogger survey, this time for DPS

Last weekend we spotlighted the big healer survey that went around the blogosphere a little while back -- it was chock full of information straight from healers about their classes and abilities and what they thought of them. Now, Death Goddess is aiming to do the same thing for DPS classes. She's only got a few blogs who've answered so far, but they run a good range, from hunter to warlock to mage, and maybe getting the word out like this will encourage a few more DPS-style bloggers to put their answers in the pot.

As long as we're going to keep encouraging this meme (or non-meme, as they may be saying), I'd love to see some of this stuff quantified a little bit more. It'd be interesting to put into numbers which kinds of classes like their roles best, or which situations each role likes to play more (do healers prefer raiding over 5-mans, or do DPS prefer to play solo rather than PvP?). The healer survey was a treasure trove of raw anecdotal information, but it'd be good to see this put into a spreadsheet or graph, and maybe give us a more quantified look at what people think of their class. We'll keep an eye on the DPS data and maybe try hashing it out once the list of those surveyed becomes pretty substantial.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes

WoW Insider Show live today at 3:30pm

Our podcast brings the usual tricks and treats this afternoon -- before you head out in a costume to go get some real candy, be sure to stop by our Ustream page around 3:30pm Eastern and get some ear candy first. Turpster and I will welcome Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington and another WoW.com writer to chat about the most popular posts on the site this week. On the docket, we'll have the new patch 3.3 notes, hints at things to come, why pallies are up in arms (and why they don't have too much to worry about), and the new looting system and what disenchanters think of it.

And as usual we'll be reading your emails and chatting live with folks in the chat channel, as well as the usual preshow and aftershow (I've heard a lot of feedback about those lately -- people seem to like them). You can join us live on the Ustream page, in the embedded feed below the break, or even in the Ustream iPhone app, if you don't happen to be at home near a full computer. It all begins at 3:30pm Eastern this Halloween afternoon -- see you then!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, News items, Instances, Humor, WoW Insider Show

Twisted Nether and friends unveil Azeroth United


The Twisted Nether folks have been a huge part of the WoW community for a while now -- I finally got to meet both Fimlys and Nibuca in person at the last BlizzCon, and of course we've mentioned them and their work here on the site before. They've recently announced another big project, in coordination with Stompalina over at Rawrcast and our own Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington, author of the Scattered Shots column and curator of The Hunting Lodge, and it sounds exciting. Azeroth United is an "Internet media community" centered around World of Warcraft, so it'll be a hub for sharing news and support around not just bloggers, but all WoW-related fansites and online resources.

It sounds like their first project will be a large-scale charity drive, much like the Children's Week auction that Brigwyn put together earlier this year. More news on that, we're told, is coming soon, and we'll keep our ears open to see what they're up to. We've seen the power of the Warcraft community before, both in making a difference with donations and and uniting under a common flag, so a project like this is sure to be fun to watch. Stay tuned for more when we hear it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

BlizzCon 2009: The Guild Panel Live Blog


The Guild was at our meetup last night (bloggers and Internet stars -- guess who's who above), and now they're about to take the floor at BlizzCon. We're standing by to hear what Felicia and the cast have to say about the new season, the upcoming comic book, and the geeky tour de force that is The Guild.

Liveblogging starts right after the break -- newest at the top. Should be fun!

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Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: What we're bringing


We're spending our day traveling to BlizzCon, so we figured while we were still in the air, we'd let you in on a little trade industry secret: what we're bringing to the show. The gallery below offers you a look at just what it takes to turn out the kind of BlizzCon coverage we'll be bringing you this weekend -- the tech, the gear, and the, er, beverages.

We're just hoping security lets us through with all of this stuff. Especially Alex -- oh sure, the hammer's fine, but that JCVD-endorsed caffeinated gum is the kind of thing that will get you pulled out of line. If he's not there in time for the meetup tonight, you'll know why.



BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Humor, BlizzCon, Account Security

WoW Insider Show Episode 103: Lots in common

Great time on the show again last week -- Lesley Smith and Patrick Beja (of, err, all the stuff he does) joined Turpster and I last Thursday afternoon to chat about the biggest news in Warcraft recently, including what we've heard about the new expansion, Ghostcrawler's attempt at comedy, and the re-emergence of Onxyia. How exciting! And of course we chatted live with folks in the Ustream chat and answered all of your emails (which you can send along to us at theshow@wow.com).

Next week, our show will be a little bit different. Instead of the usual Saturday at 3:30pm show, because of BlizzCon, we'll instead be doing a live broadcast straight from our meetup on Thursday evening at 7:30pm Pacific. It won't be a formal show -- rather, it'll be your chance to sit in on the meetup, and meet and greet some of our bloggers live in video person. Both Turpster and I will be there (along with a bunch of other folks from the WoW.com staff), so if you can't make it to BlizzCon, you can still tune in and see what it's like and chat with us (we'll try to save some giveaways for you, too).

We're also planning two different live podcasts next weekend, one each night of BlizzCon, so stay tuned on the site for more information about those. We'll probably combine those into one for iTunes next week (so even if you can't be around live, you can still listen in). More on that later -- meanwhile, enjoy the show, and hopefully we'll see you via Ustream at the meetup on Thursday night.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Humor, BlizzCon, WoW Insider Show

Blogatelle signs off

One more major WoW-related blog has closed its doors. Too Many Annas, among others, notes that Blogatelle has called it quits, saying that Sean and Jess over there both feel they've come to the point where they've run out of things to say. While the blog itself is definitely a nice achievement -- it was an excellent blog centered on roleplaying (we've mentioned it before here on the site as an excellent resource for RPers) -- they will unfortunately leave a number of series behind, including the Katafray project, which followed a roleplaying Paladin up through the levels in Azeroth. As Anna says, they definitely deserve a hat tip, both for giving the RP community a solid and steady blogging voice, and for being accessible enough to bring in new RPers.

This closing follows the shuttering of a few other WoW blogs lately, most famously those of BRK and Resto4Life. You might say three is a trend, sure, but on the other hand, we've seen a lot of blogs and podcasts grow as well lately. Four years in, there are going to be all kinds of people in the community, in all kinds of places regarding their interest to the game. Anyone who sees a few bloggers step away to do other things and cites it as a sign that the game is on its last legs needs to keep looking. We're sorry to lose some popular bloggers, but it sure looks from here like the community is stronger than ever.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard

Children's Week Child's Play auction is live

Children's Week is here, and with it this year comes our friend Brigwyn's Child's Play auction. You can look through all of the available items in his on-site catalogue, or head on over to eBay and start bidding on whatever you like. All of the proceeds from the auction will go to help Penny Arcade's very worthy Child's Play charity, which goes to help put videogames in hospitals where sick children can play with them. Brigwyn himself has experience with their work (which he's written about over on his site), so he knows just what kind of good they can do.

And of course, we'll point out our own contribution to the auction page -- we've donated a free guest spot on our podcast, the WoW Insider Show. If you've ever wanted to tell me in virtual person how wrong I am, or encourage Turpster's already oversize ego, or weigh in with us during the Meat of the Show, now's your chance. With your bid there, not only are you helping children who are going through some terrible experiences, but you might also get the chance to speak your mind about World of Warcraft right alongside us on the show. Oh, and we'll poke around our WoW Insider prize closet for some other fun stuff for you, too -- maybe loot cards, a Turpster drawing, or whatever else we've got sitting around.

So please bid -- on our item or any of the others. There's also some loot cards, some items from BRK and other well-known bloggers from around the community, and lots of extremely fun one-of-a-kind WoW items (Sure, this original signed art by Cadistra of WoW, Eh? is nice, but a Hooter's t-shirt? That's Epic if we ever saw it). The bids are coming in already, so please get yours in there ASAP!

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Fan art

WoW Insider Show live today (and next Wednesday)

Should be a fun episode of the WoW Insider Show this weekend -- and hopefully, Turpster's new song will be ready to play on the air for you all. Though it's not for certain, unfortunately -- I know he was planning a Wham! reunion just for the song, but you know how tough it is to get all the contracts involved on something like that. Anyway, even if the song isn't ready yet, we'll still have a show, and we'll chat about all the most popular posts of the past week, including our new Time is Money column (and how to make the most money ingame), everything we've heard and seen from Ulduar in the past week, and what else is new on the 3.1 PTR. Be sure to tune in live if you can -- it starts up at 3:30pm Eastern over on our Ustream page, or in the embedded feed on the end of this post.

And we've got a special treat for those of you who can't make it to our usual Saturday broadcasts -- next Wednesday, March 11th, we're going to record the podcast at a special time of the week. We'll be starting up on Ustream around 9pm Eastern, which is probably a little late for all of you Europeans, but will hopefully let some people who've never heard the show before tune in (and hopefully we'll catch some WI bloggers who haven't been on the show before as well). This is only a one-time thing for now, so in the future, we'll be on Saturday as usual, but next week we're trying a new time just to see if we can mix things up a little bit.

If you can't make it on Wednesday, don't worry: the recorded show will still be here on the site and on the feeds as usual, and in two weeks we'll be back to the normal time. This is just a chance to let people who haven't been able to tune in on Saturday afternoons come and check us out. Hopefully we'll see you there, either later today or next Wednesday evening.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Talents, Making money, WoW Insider Show

Resto4Life is closing its doors

Sad news on the druid blogger front. Phaelia of Resto4Life fame will be closing her doors on March 19th.

Resto4Life is, in many people's opinions, is one of the best Druid healing blogs out there. Phaelia is one helluva intelligent resto druid, and a funny blogger to boot.

Phaelia posts that she's ending her bloging for a number of reasons, chiefly among them is that there is a new baby tree that her and Mr. Phae are expecting. So despite our sadness at seeing her go, there couldn't be a better reason!

The community over at Resto4Life is really quite a good one, and as such Phaelia is going to make a final post in March comprised of all the reader submitted screenshots and artwork she gets. And to add to the coolness of it, she's randomly awarding a Belkin Nostromo Speedpad N52TE to someone who submits some artwork, purchased with the money she's made from the site.

Class act all around, and a great site that will be missed.

Filed under: Druid, Fan stuff, News items

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