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Wowhead launches Warlords of Draenor database

Dark Portal
With the Warlords of Draenor alpha now underway, the datamining efforts are in full swing. Our friends over at Wowhead have compiled their information into a specific Warlords of Draenor database, ready to fulfill all your spoiler-iffic, data-licious desires. You can find tabs for spells, talents, glyphs, factions, zones, items, and even a few item sets, for the transmogrification-conscious. Some of the details, such as icons, are still missing, but this is only the first round of datamining, and only the alpha after all! The database will certainly be updated as needed and as more information becomes available.

As if to further emphasize the ephemerality of some of this information, there are some entertaining little alpha tidbits in there--items such as the "Test Chest" (it rhymes!), "Chris' New CR Test Gloves," and the fantastic "Novel Mind-Blowing Chest Guard." For some unfathomable reason I have a sneaking suspicion that these aren't the items' final names. It's just a hunch, though!

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard improves the WoW community site (again)

Blizzard debuted the new World of Warcraft community site a while back, and it's definitely a huge improvement over the old one, which was really outdated and rarely helpful. The new site has a built-in Armory, better forums, a fairly robust Game Guide, and even regular dev blogs to give some insight on the development process.

Apparently the improvements don't stop there, though, as Blizzard recently announced a laundry list of updates for the site, including:
  • Rotatable 3-D models for gear in the item database
  • Boss info pages, loot tables, and ability information
  • Improved, easier-to-read search results
  • And more!
Check out the full list of changes and updates after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Getting guildies to the website

This is certainly an issue (if not a full-blown problem) in my guild, so I wouldn't be surprised if most guilds have a rough time getting guild members to use some of the outside resources they've put together. Nowadays, there are so many ways to make a guild website and so many different things you can do with one that most every guild has at least one place online to call its own. And those places are usually frequented by one or two people in the guild (usually the person running the site and/or maybe the GM and an officer or two), but in my experience, it's kind of tough to get people to use those resources, just because of lack of interest or know-how or habit. What's the point of having a database of members, a message board, and a blog and picture gallery when no one uses it?

Enter Ankie of WoW Ladies, with an intriguing idea to support the guild's website.

Read more →

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

Win some real-life loot from screenshot contests


We've got not one but two different screeshot contests that have shown up on the tip line lately. First off, our friend Mep, who runs WoW Screenshots, has gotten his contest all up and running, and you can go over and upload a screenshot or vote for the winners over there right now. His contest runs through September 20th, and the prize is a mousepad with your winning screenshot printed right on it. Pretty groovy custom prize -- we can't wait to see what kinds of screenshots rise to the top.

And Chris also emailed us about a new site he's started up called Epic Screens. It's another screenshot database (a little competition is a good thing, right?), and he's hosting his own best screenshot contest, with two copies of vanilla WoW on the line (perfect, he says, for Recruit-a-friend). He doesn't have a final date (or any other official rules posted), so we're guessing you just head on over there and submit some shots, and if you win, he'll let you know. Sounds like fun -- let the screenshot competitions begin!

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Contests, Screenshots, Fan art

Get addon updates via Twitter or RSS

I am pretty notorious for not updating my addons often enough (I think some of the versions I have must be years old by now), but maybe with this, I'll be better: Reader Fin runs a website that tracks RSS updates of addons from most of the database sites, so all you need to do is hook that feed up to your reader of choice, and then whenever a new addon drops (either one that you're waiting for, or all of them, if you just want to watch them go by), you'll see it pop up in your reader, ready for inspection or a download or whatever you like.

He's also hooked it right up to a Twitter feed, so you can also tune in on Twitter and watch the new addons go past. I thought there might be too many going out, and that all those addons might spam up your Twitter feed, but actually if you've got a full slate of follows already (I've got about 200 talkative folks), it's not bad at all -- enough to keep you interested, but not so many that you feel flooded.

Of course, this probably still won't help me get my addons updated -- only putting an extra hour or two of free time in the day will help me accomplish that one. But it'll nice, at least, to know they're out there.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Hardware

WoW.com's RSS feed issues should be fixed now

A lot of you have noticed some issues with our RSS feed this afternoon (and a little bit last night) and trust me, we know that you know. Our inbox has been absolutely flooded! So to try and help the confusion (and slow the flood of e-mails), here's what happened: Our network (us, Joystiq, Massively, Engadget, etc) was hit with a few database problems over the last 24 hours.

It's nothing to worry about, everything is fixed now and should be just fine. In the process of making things fine, our RSS feed was pinged with all sorts of 'new' information, causing the duplicates that a lot of you saw. Seven postings of the latest Around Azeroth? WTF? Yeah, sorry about that. We definitely keep an eye on our own RSS feed to make sure everything is going smoothly, so if it isn't, we'll know about it pretty quickly.

Again, we're sorry about the spam to you guys using our RSS feed. To those of you that aren't using our RSS feed... why aren't you using it!? Google Reader is probably one of the most convenient things ever. You can find out about our various feed offerings over here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Queue: Battle.net


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

So we said that we would have a special edition of The Queue this past Saturday. It never happened. Why? Well, the intent was for it to be entertainment while we all sat in the queue for BlizzCon tickets. Yammer about BlizzCon, get excited, all of that sort of thing. Adam and I put ourselves in the ticket queue, were getting ready to push the post out, and then... ticket sales were over. It was kind of a pointless post at that point! So it never happened. We apologize for that.

The ticket sales went surprisingly smoothly. We're always going to find something to gripe about (holy crap why don't they have more tickets) but the whole thing didn't come tumbling down this year, and that's such a massive improvement over last year. It was a good thing.

Dusseldorf asked...

"Is there any benefit to converting my account to a Battle.net account? I see problems with Battle.net users logging in all the time, and was just wondering the point of converting."

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Urgent authentication database maintenance underway

The opening announcement on the login screen has just let us know that there is urgent maintenance being performed on the authentication servers. The maintenance will continue until 1:00 p.m. PDT / 4:00 p.m. EDT.

During this time you may or may not be able to log into the game. Pretty much the luck of the draw and beyond your control.

Account management and posting on the forums will be offline during this time as well, so the troll's trolling will have to terrifically terminate 'till temporally soon.

We'll update this post when things are back to normal, or if there are additional issues.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

The WoW Headhunter helps with guild recruiting

Last week we were kindly invited on the PixelatedGeek podcast (thanks, Erin and Nelson, for having me!) and while there, we heard from Darren of WoW Headhunter, a brand new site that wants to get you or your guild hooked up with some new guildies. The site is pretty barebones: you can look through available guilds or enter your own. But they do add a little something new: whenever you enter a guild into the site, you can create application questions and even run through a survey that charts your guild along four lines: between Reckless and Deliberate, Social and Competitive, Fun and Serious, and Learner and Veteran. So you can choose between the Reckless Competitive Veterans and the Deliberate Social Learners.

Kind of a fun idea. Unfortunately, the site isn't too populated yet (I couldn't find recruiting guilds on either of the servers I frequent), but it did just go live today, so it may take some time for recruiting guilds to find their way over there. And unfortunately, while there is an option to put an Armory link in your profile, the site itself doesn't tie in to the Armory directly, so you still have to go searching for metrics when players apply (would be nice to see a list of what achievements have been done by the player, as well as some common stats to compare).

But it will be nice to have a list of guilds to browse, along with a little more info about them, all in one place. If you've been looking for a guild for a while with no luck, there's one more option.

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

Petopia down, working on getting back up


You may have noticed in the past day or so, as a few of our tipsters did, that Mania's great Hunter pet site, Petopia, has been down for the count lately. Loading up the main page gives the message above, and going straight to the redirect gives a "this site has been suspended" notice.

But don't worry -- Mania says over on her forums that she's aware of the issue and working on it. It's an issue with the site host, and not any sudden plan on her part to dismantle the site (good thing, too, because losing two great WoW community sites this week would be too much for us).

So hopefully, the problem will be solved soon and the database will be back up and running. We'll keep you posted if there are any more problems, but don't panic, Petopia is not gone forever.

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

Legal action between ZAM and Curse results in dismissal


So remember when Curse introduced their database last year called WoWDB, and we pointed out that it bore a strong resemblance to that other popular WoW database, Wowhead? Turns out ZAM, the owners of Wowhead after the acquisition a little while ago, agreed: completely under the radar last May, they filed a lawsuit for copyright infringment to the tune of no less than $1.5 million. ZAM says in the suit, copies of which we've obtained, that they've "expended substantial resources to maintain, update, and promote use of the WOWHEAD website so that it would become... one of the most recognized, and utilized websites designed to attract individuals" who play World of Warcraft. They claimed that WoWDB stole their look and layout purposely to create confusion among customers. This story wasn't reported in the WoW community at the time -- we hadn't heard about it at all until now.

And then, in January of this year, the case was dismissed completely by a judge. We've also seen a copy of the order for dismissal, and from what it says, both sides wanted out: "Pursuant to the parties' stipulation for dismissal, the court hereby dismisses the above-captioned action without prejudice." We don't have any information, however, why the case was suddenly dismissed, but there may have been an agreement made between the two parties -- either money changed hands or WoWDB offered to change its look (as you can see, there's still many similarities between the two sites). Or, as a third option, ZAM just decided it wasn't worth fighting -- according to the comments and activity on both sites, WoWDB doesn't seem to be a serious threat to Wowhead.

We've contacted both sides for comment, and we'll let you know if we hear anything from either one. On the front of it, this looks like ZAM was merely covering themselves -- they filed suit just in case, but never found cause to follow through. But there may be some other agreement between these two companies that lead to the case's dismissal.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Economy

Wowhead's 12 Killer Days of Khristmas

The Feast of Winter Veil has officially started, and Wowhead is joining in the holiday spirit. The site logo has been made a bit more festive, and the icons for items and users on the forums are now sporting a cheery holly border. They're also running a contest titled (slightly threateningly) "12 Killer Days of Khristmas." Each day between now and December 24, they're giving away fabulous prizes:

  • For phase one of the contest (12/13 to 12/18), winners get a Wowhead Prize Package, containing one of those nifty steins, a (slightly tacky, IMO) K-logo necklace by Killer, an Alienware cap, and a totally rad Wowhead t-shirt.

Read more →

Wowhead adds group-by-slot and more

Although Wowhead has a blog now, and those of you who (like me) are huge fans of the site are probably reading it already and thus have already seen this news, I figure a good many Insider readers would be interested: Wowhead has released another round of new features.

  • Stat weighting presets are updated for Wrath. If you have any suggestions on how the new presets could be improved, please drop by the thread on Wowhead's forums.
  • Combat ratings (hit, crit, and haste) have been combined across melee, ranged, and spell, to reflect changes made in the 3.0 patch.
  • Filters have been reorganized to cut back on clutter and scrolling.
  • When using stat weightings, you can now group gear by slot (example). If the stat weightings are solid enough, this provides a much prettier (IMO) alternative to sites like Lootrank.

I like the "group by slot" especially, for quick access to gear lists. Another set of solid updates by the Wowhead team, making the best database even better. Thanks, folks!

Filed under: Items, News items

Creating an open source WoW database

This is an interesting idea -- Daniel over at Marenkay.com is the creator of phpArmory, which is the closest thing we have to an official API for Blizzard's Armory site, and he's now turning his eye towards unofficial databases. Sites like Wowhead and Thottbot are extremely informative, but the one thing they don't allow is player access directly to their own data -- obviously they have a monetary interest in keeping their information on their site. But an open source site, as Daniel says, would allow players to get at that information whenever and for whatever purpose they wanted.

Very interesting idea, and it sounds like he's got the coding chops to do it -- he's already got a working prototype together, apparently, and he's taking suggestions on where to go next. We'll keep a curious eye on this one. Competition is always good for customers, and while the current database sites might not be interested in an up-and-coming open source version of themselves (actually, the great WoWWiki is pretty open already, though they don't really collect as much numerical information), having widespread open data on drops, kills, and gear would be very beneficial for players. This could turn out to be a very important and helpful project.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Wowhead's WotLK site is open

The gates to Northrend are open – to the lucky few who have gotten invites into the beta. For the rest of us, the best we can do is follow along on sites like, oh, here, as well as WotlkWiki and others. Now there's one more to add to the list: Wowhead has opened their Wrath site, with details on hundreds of items, quests, spells, and more, as well as the talent calculators we've talked about before

One of my particular favorites is the beta patch notes, which are nicely formatted and have links to all relevant spells, abilities, talents, and items mentioned in the notes (super-handy). New data updates are coming in all the time. There are many neat and yet-undiscovered things to be found there, so take a look around, and let us know if you come up with anything interesting.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

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