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Ready Check: Cooldown Management



Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we're going to look at a specific tactic for speeding your success through each encounter -- cooldown management.


The proper use of a raid's cooldowns is pretty key to maximizing your damage output. (Cooldown is one word. Yes. it. is.)

One moment, you are a meager Retribution Paladin. You struggle to maintain your place on the DPS chart. Your weak blows are the stuff of ridicule and angsty blog posts. The Death Knight next to you merely smirks at your DPS, his condescending unibrow peering at you from within his dark, dark helmet of angst. Try as you might, you can barely generate a cooling wind as you struggle to perform for your raid leader.

And then you blow wings. Suddenly, your damage is the stuff of legend! With those golden heralds of power and magnificence unfurling from your broad, manly shoulders, there is no enemy who can stand before you! You speak in all exclamation points! Women and men in Leia-costumes hurl themselves at your feet, while you swat away weaksauce Rogues and OP Warlocks with the barest of effort! Ghostcrawler is forced to resign, offering you the ultimate power in World of Warcraft design! You are fantastic!

And then it's over, so very, very much too soon. You are left to wait until your next cooldown is up to once again recapture that former glory, and remember what it was like to be the quarterback.

Okay, I exaggerate. But the idea that cooldown use increase your performance should be obvious. They don't put a spell in your Spellbook because they don't want you to use it. (Well, they rarely do so, anyway.) But cooldown management is a challenge for every raider. While a lot of folks have their cooldown management well under hand, there's still plenty of folks out there who could use some handy tips.

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Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding)

Breanni of WarcraftPets.com closes store, posts apology to Blizzard

The amazing Breanni of WarcraftPets.com, once loved so much by Blizzard that he got immortalized in the game, has apparently gotten another of Blizzard's C&Ds. First, we saw iPhone apps pulled off of the App Store with what seemed like legal action, and then we heard that webcomic Shakes and Fidget was contacted by Blizzard legal, and now Breanni has pulled down his merchandise store, as well as posted a "formal apology" to Blizzard. Breanni doesn't say exactly what happened, but he says that he "became aware" that what he was selling was violating Blizzard's trademark policy, and calls the store a "lapse in judgment," and says that he hopes to "continue to recieve Blizzard's blessing." It's almost like hearing one side of the conversation -- we don't know what Blizzard said to him (if anything), but he definitely sounds spooked.

This is a slightly different issue from the other C&Ds we've seen -- Breanni was making money from selling what we presume were actual images of Blizzard's copyrights and trademarks, so a store like that is pretty plainly in violation of copyright law (Mania's Pets calendar, for example, uses fan art rather than actual screenshots). But what's interesting here is, if they did contact him, why Blizzard has decided to do this now, and why they've only moved against Breanni. There are certainly lots of other places to find Blizzard art printed on products for sale. We're not suggesting that Blizzard should just let it all go, obviously, but why now?

We've had requests for comment out to Blizzard ever since the first few iPhone apps were pulled off of the App Store about all of this recent C&D action, and we've added this one to the stack. If we hear anything back from them, we'll let you know.

[Thanks, John E!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Fan art

WoW Insider Show live this evening on Ustream at a special time


Our weekly podcast is broadcasting a special midweek edition this evening -- tonight at 6pm Eastern (so you've got time to listen in before the big Lost finale), we'll be over on the Ustream page doing what we always do: talking about the most popular post of the week. Our good friends and colleagues Amanda Dean and Lesley Smith will be on the show, and Turpster will probably make an appearance as well (given that we can convince him to stay up late enough). We'll be chatting about the latest PTR patch notes, the big changes coming to Wintergrasp, and what Blizzard legal has been up to lately (with both iPhone apps and webcomics). Plus, we'll answer your emails -- you can send us questions, comments, or insights at theshow@wow.com.

Should be fun. Head on over to our Ustream page at May 13, 2009 6:00 PM EDT to listen in live, or just step behind the break on this post to find an embedded feed. And if you can't make it tonight, don't worry, we'll be back at our normal time on Saturday, May 23rd at 3:30pm Eastern in the afternoon for our long-awaited video show. Now that will be a great time.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Raiding, WoW Insider Show

Two more WoW-related iPhone apps off the App Store

Blizzard has laid the legal smackdown on two more WoW-related iPhone apps. As Double Bubble reports, both Warcraft Chest and WoW Realm Status have bit the dust, most likely after Blizzard's legal department sent them a cease-and-desist (that's what recently happened to the popular Warcraft Characters app). We don't know for sure that Blizzard went after them, but considering that Warcraft Chest was completely free, there can't be that many other reasons why it's not on the App Store any more.

It's still not clear yet either why Blizzard is doing this -- originally, since they started off going after only paid applications, it was plausible that they just didn't want other people profiting off of their game (similar to the new addon policy). But they've taken down both free and paid apps here so far, and Double Bubble also has a list of both free and paid addons still up. At this point, we have to wonder what Blizzard's real intentions are here -- they're squashing valuable resources that fans have made and are giving away for free. If they were planning an Armory or realm status app of their own, that's one thing, but the only reason we can see so far is that their legal department has decided to act against the company's own loyal fans for their own interests. Not a great strategy for encouraging customer loyalty.

And what about sites like Wowhead or the Firefox realm status addon? Why is Blizzard only targeting helpful applications on the iPhone? We can only guess that Blizzard will eventually go after the rest of the apps on the App Store, so if you're working on one or planning to release one soon, guess you might want to think again about how that time might be better spent.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Add-Ons

WotLK will only be available on DVD

We discovered a little while back that Wrath was going to ship on DVD in both the collector's edition and the regular edition. This is great news for anyone with a DVD drive in their computer, because swapping discs is annoying. However, I'm sure there are still a few people playing WoW that don't have DVD drives; its system requirements are, after all, very forgiving. We haven't had any solid information thus far on whether the expansion will ship or be available on CD as well, like the BC collector's edition.

It turns out the answer to that is no; Vaneras states quite clearly that WotLK will "only be available on DVDs, not CDs," for both the regular and the collector's edition. This implies that those of you who don't have DVD drives may well be out of luck on launch day. I say "on launch day" because I'm assuming the expansion will be available for digital download eventually, as both classic WoW and BC are. However, it may not happen right away; the digital download for BC didn't become available until about two weeks after launch.

Now I'm curious: how many of you are going to be affected by this?

Can the computer you play WoW on read DVDs?
Yes11706 (90.2%)
No1274 (9.8%)

Filed under: Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Hardware

Blizzard C&Ds Datecraft, they redesign


I can't quite see the purpose of World of Warcraft (or gaming in general) flavored dating sites -- if you were looking for a potential partner, why limit yourself to only people that play this game? But nevertheless, there are quite a few of them around, so someone must be using them. Datecraft is a site that was specifically targeted World of Warcraft bachelors and bachelorettes -- at least until this past week, when Blizzard hit them up with a C&D.

Well, not actually -- they only got threatened with one. We heard from the site's founders, and they tell us that they got a call from Rod Rigole, a VP of Legal Affairs over at Blizzard, who told them to cut out using Blizzard's artwork and terminology on their website was a no-no, and that they would be recieving legal papers soon. Rather than pick a fight, they instead redesigned to the standard gamer dating site you see today.

But here's the kicker: they used an official fansite kit to actually make the site. Even with the stuff they give out, Blizzard seems extremely protective of their artistic IP -- they used this same technique to attack the WotLK wiki and the Glider folks as well. They'll let fans slide, it seems, but if you're making money off of their materials, beware.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Forums

WoW CD Cover Contest

For all you wanna-be Storm Thorgeson's out there (a free no-prize to whoever out there gets my obscure reference first), Blizzard & Emusic are holding a WoW CD Cover Contest. Participants are to create a WoW-themed cover for a music CD; the winners of the contest will recieve a SanDisk MP3 player & 120 Emusic downloads. The full details of the contest can be read here.

I really hope we get some creative, WoW-ified takeoffs on some famous album covers. A band of Undead crossing Abbey Road? A bunch of Orcs in KISS makeup? I've already got my entry in; it's an exact replica of the cover to Spinal Tap's Smell the Glove....

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

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