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Random Acts of Uberness: The Sha of Uberness

Random Acts of Uberness The Sha of Uberness
In the age of LFR, it's the times another player lights up your night with precise play, a wicked sense of humor, or unexpected generosity that your login on World of Warcraft becomes something to remember. That's why we're bringing back the feature that lets you send a shout-out or kudos to a fellow player who's made your day in WoW: Random Acts of Uberness.

This week on Rare Sightings of Azeroth: the Sha of Uberness.

It might not seem like much, but I just dinged 90 for the fourth time, this time a discipline/shadow priest. Being barely geared for heroics (and having a difficult time healing some of those), I sort of shrugged when I saw somebody advertising for people for a Sha of Anger group. I decided "What the heck" and whispered the person. He surprised me by not only telling me he didn't care about my gear but offering to let me heal if I wanted!

Sha of Anger is something I've wanted to kill since the first time our eyes met. This was a shining moment for me, not only to say "I killed Sha!" but to say "I healed Sha!" to my friends, who thought I hated all things having to do with raids.

I just want to say thank you to that random hunter whose name I cannot remember. I hope you read this and know that you made a healer's entire week with that run. Thank you! -- Vilandros, Muradins Resurrection, Muradin (US-Alliance)

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Filed under: News items

Whoa -- did you just experience a Random Act of Uberness?

Whoa  did you just experience a Random Act of Uberness
In the age of LFR, it's those times another player lights up your night with precise play, a wicked sense of humor, or unexpected generosity that your login on World of Warcraft becomes something to remember. That's why we're relaunching the feature that lets you send a shout-out or kudos to a fellow player who's made your day in WoW: Random Acts of Uberness.

We know you can't always remember player names or realms, and that's OK. Tell us what you do remember: what day of the week it was, what time of day, your own home realm, any details you recall about the other player, where you were and what you were doing in game. If the players involved read WoW Insider, we're betting they'll recognize your story!

Send in your shout-outs and kudos now to lisa@wowinsider.com. Need an example of what we're looking for? It's short and simple. Take a look at this story of appreciation from way back in 2010:

"I'm not to proud to admit it: when we're short on tanks, my husband and I will let our kid tank for us -- our just shy of seven-year-old, who diligently (and with trade chat disabled and parental controls on, his toon parked in our friends-and-fam guild instead of the casual raiding guild our mains are in) ground his teeny gnome warrior up to 80," writes Haelmari of US Eonar-A. "Tonight, we and some guildies needed a random. He wanted to play. Win/win, right?

"We lacked a healer, so we sucked it up and joined LFG ..."


The uber resolution of Haelmari's situation, after the break.

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Filed under: News items

Battered Hilt BMAH woes have a happy ending

Battered Hilt faction woes result in a happy ending
Night Elf death knight Krushin had a sad tale to tell. She had worked hard to scrape together as much gold as possible, and set out on the twisting path to a covert auction house at the top of the Veiled Stair, where a smiling panda named Madam Goya had the key to beginning the adventure that would be Krushin's greatest yet: the Battered Hilt.

Krushin was elated when she discovered that her efforts had not been in vain, and that her life savings were sufficient to meet Madam Goya's demands, so she handed them over. But, alas! On receiving the item she discovered that it was no good to her. This Battered Hilt, for which she had exchanged every coin she had, could only be completed by her enemy: the Horde. She knew the risk of buying on the Black Market, but she had never expected to exchange tens of thousands of gold for something so utterly useless.

Krushin had made a mistake, yes, and WoW Insider thought it a good idea to tell her sad tale to our readers, so they wouldn't fall prey to the same problem. There are two Battered Hilts, one for the Horde, and one for the Alliance. Simply mousing over the Hilt you're planning to bid on could avert tragedy, as the races that can use it are shown on the tooltip.

But Krushin's story doesn't end there. After a fruitless exchange with an in-game GM, she contacted a senior one via email, and met with success! They recognized that it was a simple error on her part, and on her next login, she was able to start the quest.

A happy ending for Krushin, but a tale of note for bidding with caution on the Black Market Auction House.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Bashiok returns to the WoW team

Bashiok, who went by Drysc back in the day, has returned to the WoW community management team. He used to be on on the Diablo III CM team. He also notes that in a later tweet that he's been back on the WoW team since before MoP's launch, but that now it's just official.

It's important not to read into this news at all in terms of the greater context of D3 or WoW, both games appear to be doing fine, and any negativity would not start or be first seen at the community manager level. Additionally, all the community managers deal with all the games, so for those of us that pay attention to who's staffed where, these distinctions mean very little.


Welcome back, Bashi-drysc!

Filed under: News items

Random Acts of Uberness: That wicked-cool guy

Random Acts of Uberness Winter's Veil Edition
Remember Random Acts of Uberness, your opportunity at WoW Insider to offer a shout-out or kudos to a fellow player who'd made your day in WoW? "It's when another player lights up your night with precise play, a wicked sense of humor, or unexpected generosity that your login becomes something to remember."

'Tis the season, folks. Ready to play?

Let's start the snowball rolling with this email from a player on Stormrage (US):

Dear Lisa,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

In searching for some last minute gifts in WoW for my wife (I always think I don't get her enough), I thought about getting her Lumpy the rare winter's veil Battle pet. However I'd waited until Christmas eve, and they were going for 30K in the auction house. YIKES!

So I put in trade chat once that I'd like to get lumpy for my wife for Christmas, hoping that somebody would sell theirs cheaper then 30K which I didn't have. A rogue named Eroldel on the stormrage server offered to GIVE me his Lumpy for free, with only a "Merry Christmas" as payment.

It was such a great moment in game I felt he deserved some recognition.

Sincerely,

Rhokk from Stormrage

I'd say Eroldel deserves a smooch under the mistletoe, wouldn't you? Who's been making your day in game this holiday season (whether you remember their name or just "the orc shaman in Stormstout Brewery late last night in the group with the newbie tank")? Let's give them a shout-out right here in the comments. 'Tis the season to share those random acts of uberness!

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: How do other MMO player cultures differ from WoW's?

Breakfast Topic How do other MMO player cultures differ from WoW's
When Olivia Grace wondered recently how devoted you are to the cult of efficiency, it occurred to me that this odd twist of player culture hasn't necessarily come to pass in other MMOs. I'd have to agree that it seems hard to escape in World of Warcraft. Even though I've given up shooting my WoW main down the barrel of progression raiding, instead spending my time idiosyncratically picking my way through Mists' varied amusements, little bits of the game's mindset of efficiency continue to pluck at my sleeve. As much as I enjoy serendipitous play, if I spend too long aimlessly pecking or erratically hopscotching, I wonder if anyone nearby has begun to suspect that they're questing next to the village idiot.

When I play Guild Wars 2, though, those perceptions never even come to mind. I approach GW2 in a much looser, more easygoing fashion -- and it seems to me that the rest of its player community does, too. Sure, some of my groupmates run theorycrafted builds with honed tactics and are laboriously pounding some mind-blowing gear grinds, but there doesn't seem to be a schism between the players who do and those who don't. It's less "how to get to the goal" and more "how to get to that character's goal." My husband plays at a much higher level, yet he concurs. We both find the cult of efficiency to be largely absent from the player culture as a whole.

If you play other MMOs besides WoW, how different (if at all) do you find their player cultures to be? How would you describe the communities in the other games you play? Do you fully indulge in those differences, or do you find yourself carrying some portion of their outlook from one into another?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blog Azeroth's Furtive Father Winter gift exchange begins

Blog Azeroth's Furtive Father Winter gift exchange begins
Do you blog about World of Warcraft? Are you excited about the Feast of Winter Veil? Do you like giving and receiving virtual gifts? If so, get on down to Blog Azeroth's Furtive Father Winter forum post and sign up for their 4th annual gift exchange. You just need to provide your name (doesn't have to be your real one), your blog URL, and your email address in order to participate.

How it works:
  • Participant information is accepted until Saturday, December 15.
  • On Dec. 16, we find out who our gift recipients are via email.
  • Deliver your gift via email between Dec. 20 and Dec. 31.
  • Publish the gift you receive on your blog, crediting the gift-giver.
The "gift" is a blog post with inspiring content for your recipient, which could include "prose, poetry, music, graphic art, screenshots" or anything else that you think your recipient would like to receive. You'll of course have to read your recipient's blog, twitter feed, etc. in order to get to know him or her enough to create a good gift.

Redcow is organizing the event as usual, and it looks like it will be a festively good time. I'm going to be a Furtive Father Winter on my website. Will you be joining me?


Filed under: Events

Well-known druid blogger Lissanna lowers the boom(kin) on autism research

It's only been a couple of weeks since we reported on the crowdsourcing effort to fund the autism research of well-known Restokin blogger and Blizzard MVP poster Lissanna, aka Dr. Elisabeth Whyte of the Laboratory of Developmental Neuroscience at Penn State. So far, supporters have boosted Dr. Whyte to just over a quarter of her funding goal for the project, which focuses on how children and adolescents with autism understand language and process information from faces (such as recognizing people or understanding emotional expressions). Her goal: designing a video game to help kids with autism improve these skills.

How does an MMO-playing grad student transform from anonymous gamer to well-known WoW blogger, Blizzard forum MVP, and Ph.D.-level researcher bringing gamification to the treatment of autism? If you follow the example of this lady: with ease.

WoW Insider: One-fourth of your funding already under your belt -- congratulations! Our readers already know that WoW can be beneficial to kids with autism, so it's exciting to hear about a gamification project designed to help kids with autism.

Lissanna: Many kids and adults with autism seem to enjoy playing video games. We have some evidence that using fun activities can motivate learning. Our goal is to develop and test the efficacy of an educational game that impacts face processing abilities and social skills. With much of the research focused on important early intervention work, there is a huge gap in the services that individuals with autism can receive when they are older. We think that a sophisticated game can fill the need for social skills services targeting older individuals to help with tasks like preparing them for jobs or developing friendships with their peers.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Blizzard lists external resources for WoW players

If you're just getting back into WoW or are looking at the patch 5.0.4 tsunami heading our way next week and wondering what to do, our friend Zarhym has a list of popular resources, fansites and other websites for you to peruse. None of these are run by Blizzard, but they are all sites that focus on the World of Warcraft in one way or another, be they databases like Wowhead or helpful strategy guide sites like Learn to Raid.

If you're looking for a site, the complete list is below so you can see if it matches your needs. I especially like that WoW Insider site. They're so dreamy.

Zarhym - World of Warcraft Fansites & Other Resources
For those of you seeking to enhance your World of Warcraft experience, connect with your peers; quickly search vast quest, item, and achievement databases; and much more, we've put together a list below of popular external resources operated by your fellow members of the community. These are quality content-driven sites that we feel are very beneficial to you as a player.

Keep in mind that these websites are not owned or operated by Blizzard Entertainment, and we don't control or endorse all information found on them. This list is also not exhaustive. We'll be expanding on this list as necessary over time to provide you with the best, most up-to-date community resources.

/r/WoW - official reddit community
Arena Junkies - PvP gameplay & strategy
BlizzPlanet - news; editorial
Curse - news; UI addon database
GuildOx - guild ranks & stats
How to Priest - priest gameplay & strategy
Learn to Raid - news; strategy
MMO Champion - news; database
TankSpot - news; strategy
Ten Ton Hammer - news; editorial
WarCraft Pets - pets & companions database
Wow Achievements - achievements database & ranks
WoW insider - news; editorial
WoW Interface - UI addon database
Wowhead - news; database
Wowpedia - wiki database




It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria

New Attitude, New Home: The warm, fuzzy tale of the guild realm transfer that stuck

Fun and games -- that was the original focus of this article. I was all set to write up a good old-fashioned romp through the community-wide events being run over on Baelgun (US-Horde). As it turns out, the resounding success of Bless the Martyr's public events -- kicked off with a Gurubashi tourney and chased by current plans for a level 1 draenei footrace -- are merely pointers toward an even happier turn of events.

This is the story of a competitive raiding guild that had already transferred realms once in order to escape the inevitable neck and neck with another world-class raiding guild. It was an all-business move that worked. Their leadership was still solidifying, though, and some members' conduct was less than stellar. They didn't cement the realm as a friendly home.

With a new leader and a new attitude, Bless the Martyr found themselves in agreement that it was time to pick up and scoot their stuff to a new realm yet again. Would they be able to find the sense of community they craved? How long could they expect to spend as the new kids on the block? Would their transfer upset the apple cart, saddling them with a realm full of resentful players shrugging off every chance at interaction? Would established raiding guilds slam the welcome wagon door in their faces?

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Cranius and Sharm team up for duo album

Cranius and Sharm team up for a duo album
Folks who enjoy the World of Warcraft musical scene probably already recognize the names Cranius and Sharm. Individually, these two people have each created huge swaths of music that've inspired WoW players for year. That's why it's so exciting that the two of them are teaming up to release a duo album.

The album will consist of entirely original work -- no parodies, riffs, or mere covers of other people's songs. The pair had tried to make the collaboration work while Sharm was in the U.K., but things weren't working out so well. What to do? Sharm jumped on a plane and flew out to Seattle, where Sharm and Cranius will spend the next few months recording the album.

Here's hoping everything goes smoothly and quickly. We can't wait to hear the results! And while it's exciting that the album is entirely original, we wouldn't hate a fresh cover of Darrowshire with some duet action.

Filed under: News items

A veritable Zarhym of WoW references in Diablo 3

Image
While many of us on this site are avid players of both WoW and Diablo III, we should strive to remember that they're not the same game. They're just made by the same company. Without resorting to cries of "You got your WoW in my Diablo," though, it's pretty easy to spot some similarities -- as well as some pretty darn obvious direct references.

The Murlocket is probably my favorite reference, because rggglrlllrrlrlrlrl. Of course, other community personalities show up in Diablo III. Expect your world-saving adventurer to encounter Zarhym, and you'll take some spoiling vengeance out on those pesky Dataminers. We also find out what happened to the Lich King's helm after all that fuss in Northrend. It's sitting in a cave in Act III. No wonder it was such a mystery.

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Filed under: News items, Diablo 3

WoW geek love brings two players together on a reality show

While I'm loathe to promote the tired idea of WoW gamers being lonely, misanthropic geeks without the ability to connect normally with normal people ... this video is kind of hilarious.

Essentially, two contestants on this speed dating show were failing to achieve chemistry when they discovered a mutual love of WoW! With this common ground firmly in place, the two spontaneously had a successful conversation about characters, raiding, and the game in general.

While I'm not ready to say this video proves how awesome WoW performs as a social dating tool, it's still kind of cute to see two reality show peeps suddenly start chatting about raids. I wasn't entirely shocked to see the chap's a WoW player, though -- that hair is straight out of the sin'dorei catalog.

[Thanks to many, many for the tip!]

Filed under: News items

Blizzard committed to keeping a sense of community

Despite some players' objections that the Dungeon and Raid Finder tools have made dungeon- and raid-running too impersonal, Blizzard has responded that it has a commitment to keeping a sense of community. Nethaera took to the official boards to discuss the tough job of balancing the sense of community against meeting the needs of the community while making sure players feel connected to people around them.

Nethaera echoes a very important point, one that just doesn't get enough play in the MMO genre and its contenders -- people play whatever MMO their friends are playing. People go where the people are. The ingenious part is that while players are deriding the Dungeon and Raid Finder tools for destroying community and tearing people apart, the new Real ID instancing is making grouping and playing with new people I had never imagined I would play with a possibility. New communities are being formed. Just because the community doesn't look or feel like it did seven years ago does not mean that a sense of community is gone. It's just in different places.

Hit the jump for Nethaera's full post. Sound off in the comments about how you think Blizzard should go about fostering its community.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Trade skill crusader brings back customer service and sweat equity to crafting

Vial of the Sands
WoW players today tend to consider the deterioration of the in-game community in terms of relatively recent influences like the Dungeon Finder and then the Raid Finder. We sometimes forget that design tweaks and new systems have been chipping away at the paradigm of Azeroth as a place to forge ongoing personal relationships for years now. Take a gander at the beginning of this analysis I wrote on the death of the Azerothian salesman all the way back in the hyper-modern era of The Burning Crusade circa 2007:

Forget the endless debate over hardcore versus casual -- there's another moniker that we here at Insider Trader hold dear: salesman. What's that? You don't know any salesmen in WoW these days? You're not alone. Times have changed since craftspeople toiled to build reputations as the go-to traders on their servers ... when Ironforge was the hub of civilization, where a few elite enchanters held court over the entire server with coveted formulae from such exotic locales as Stratholme and Scholomance.

It's a brave new world in today's Outland. Most enchanters don't enchant for the general public at all, unless you provide mats and a tip. And in any profession, with so many other players on the servers who have the same patterns (even rare patterns are generally available from more than one player) and so many easy ways to make money (hello, daily quests!), there's little reason to hang around town to build a regular clientele. Components provided or created by other professions are readily available on the Auction House -- there's no need to seek out and nurture relationships with another player from a complementary profession.

Have the conveniences Blizzard has developed for today's crafters meant the death of the salesman?

Most WoW players would agree that convenience and self-service is the way of today's game. But for one stubborn tradesman on Sentinels (US), life as an Azerothian salesman is anything but obsolete. Daen, a dedicated craftsman and proprietor of Daen's Crafting Emporium, single-handedly maintains what may be one of World of Warcraft's last remaining bastions of personal craftsmanship and trade skill service -- with a twist. This proprietor not only aims to provide personal service, but he does it at no charge, with the insistence that customers devote sweat equity to their mutual creations as well.

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Filed under: Economy, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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