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Blood Pact: Leveling is much better in Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact Leveling is much better in Mists of Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill delayed downloading the new beta build in favor of getting her witch doctor to 60. Priorities!

With the overhaul to the warlock class coming in Mists of Pandaria, guildmates and friends have been wondering whether to revive old warlocks or not. Those without warlocks on their character screens have been asking the age-old question: Should I level one now or wait until the expansion hits?

Unless you're particularly masochistic about your leveling, my advice is to wait. Here's why.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Some day my ding will come

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Your fingers ache from the constant play while sweat beads down your neck. Your eyes become unfocused, the colors and background blending together until they resemble something akin to a Monet painting. Clicking at a furious speed, you slay mob after mob, all the while watching the XP progress bar as it inches towards your final goal: the level cap. Time flies. You ask yourself, "Has it really been 13 hours? No, surely it couldn't have."

You open the drapes, staring at the stars and moon with a challenging look. Their day, too, will come. No matter. Neither man, murloc, nor the perpetual spinning of the earth about the sun will stop you this day ... er, night. Pixilated blood shoots from your prey. Their cries warm your soul, adding another notch to your symbolic belt.

Then, whether expected or not, it happens. Your character is engulfed a soothing light, and the game changes forever. You've done it. After days, weeks or months of work, you've hit the level cap. You can stare proudly at your once-lowly character and proclaim your might to all of Azeroth. You're the new tough guy on the block, and nothing can stand in your way.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Cataclysm: Skill ranks explained

In response to post about issues with the difficulty of leveling a rogue, we also got information about the some of Cataclysm's overall leveling improvements from Ghostcralwer (World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer).

Ghostcrawler
1. The gain is every level. You don't have to reach certain milestones for your Shadow Bolt damage to increase. One of the scaling problems we have currently is that any spell without a level 80 rank starts to fall behind. Imagine Shadow Bolt just has 85 (free and automatic) ranks.

2. We changed the level at which you get abilities, in some cases dramatically. Currently, you get showered with abilities at low level, many of which aren't even useful when soloing. By sliding these around we have every class to where you get an ability about every odd level. There are still some dry spells for some classes, but then you have talents and other things that fill in some blanks.

3. Related, the spell book tells you at what level you will get future abilities so you can plan accordingly. In addition, when you ding, the UI tells you not only about newly available spells, but also systems and mechanics not tied to your class trainer, such as the ability to train riding, dual spec or use Dungeon Finder. It's pretty sweet. Our UI team is kicking some major booty for Cataclysm.


This should be a little bit more informative and much more immediate than the mails that you occasionally receive from NPCs about new features. Hitting a new level while in the middle of questing and being able to at a quick glance find out what skills you'll be receiving if you head over to the class trainers will let you decide if you want to keep going or wait until later in the event of a skill you don't use that often.

While some will argue that this is yet another change for casuals, it's honestly a change for modern game design and keeping up with the curve. When your game is over 5 years old, there are often some basic things that need updating and the leveling process really is one of them.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Why leveling will always be important to WoW

Times they are a changin', and as Patch 3.2 hits the PTR with a new wealth of mechanics aimed at making the journey to 80 that much easier, why not take a moment to look back at how Azeroth has changed?

Leveling used to take a long time, and one of the first things a friend told me was that "the game started at 60." While the level cap might have changed, it's something I heartily agree with.Those of you who joined the game around the time of the latest expansion or even before might hear others speaking with misty-eyes of the olden days of Classic WoW when it took an age to get from Darnassus to Stormwind.

While WoW might have a much lower learning curve than, say, EVE Online, it does still have one. But WoW is known as a bit of a grind fest and the ever growing level cap, which currently stands at 80 but will no doubt go higher with the next expansion, can be pretty daunting.

Especially for a new player.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Bosses, Leveling, Buffs, Mounts, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

Sunday Morning Funnies: Panda Attack!

NoObz is still on holiday, but Ding! has been updated. In other news, Disgraph has a new new site, because the new one liked to take a lot of naps. While everyone loves naps, they are not for websites. I have to say, I am loving the new design, although the text is a bit more difficult to read.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Sunday Morning Funnies: Jammy Jam

Kissybear is back! The amazing Ding! will return and we will no longer have to cringe on Sunday mornings. Who's excited?

We also have some great comics today, including a newbie to the list that was tipped in last week's comments:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Handmade tile necklaces feature WoW sayings


Reader Randy N. sent a link to these tile necklaces along to us, and they look awesome. They're made by a husband/wife team in New Mexico, and they're made from Scrabble tiles (the back apparently still has the letter on it) coated in a glassy glaze, with an assortment of colors and sayings. Very nice -- could be just the thing for someone who's a fan of Warcraft and handmade jewelry in your life.

They're $9.99 apiece with free shipping, which is not too bad. And if that's too much and you want to try making them yourself, they've even got a tutorial on how it's done right there on the site. We do have one issue, though -- these pretty pendants and cute crafts are fine for the ladies and all, but what about us dudes? Maybe we can get some "pwned" or "woot" cufflinks?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan art

Sunday Morning Funnies: Alts-heimer's

icanhascheezburger.comThis isn't any ordinary Sunday. This is the last day to mend some hearts and kill some guys for some flowers, so you'd better take advantage of it! In the meantime, don't forget indulge in your weekly dose of comic goodness:
  • Everyone likes web comics about cats (and WoW)! Thanks for the tip about Ebenezer and Snooch, Berry and Keyra!
  • Scrolling back a few, this one reminds me of my cats. Although, I'd like to think that they think nicer things about me in general. This last one, while perhaps not technically game-related, certainly reminds me of random encounters with friends at the Bank after they'd been hacking up trolls.
  • Now that I've covered what's new to the list, it's time to see what's up with Cru! He's met up with Chromie, which is awesome because she's one of my favorites. The wee little shapeshifted thing seems to crop up everywhere.
  • Check out Crush from Dark Legacy Comics.
  • Barrens chat isn't just for Chuck Norris jokes in Flintlocke vs. the Horde.
  • Shakes and Fidget need a better Plan B, like their hunter buddy.
  • Check out the latest from LFG.
  • The latest from Massive Pwnage is simple and to the point.
  • NoObz talks about a Title. I especially enjoyed the crack at the bottom about family photos.
  • There is no Ding! this week, for better or for worse. You can always count on Teh Gladiators to have updated though!
  • According to The Adventures of Disgraph T. Dwarf, Peddlefeet Never Blinks. Of course, I wouldn't know, because I still don't have one. /QQ
  • World of Warcraft, eh? has some filler! I love filler, I really do. The label means that people can assume that you didn't really try, and drew up something in a hurry, just for them, and a lot of personality tends to show through.
P.S. No, I'm not making fun of Alzheimer's, and I doubt that the cat was either. Still, I'd like to let you all know that I'm here for you, even if you want to claim that I was. I'm good like that.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Sunday Morning Funnies: Mind your Elders

A male Orc in a pink festival dressAs I'm sure you all have heard by now, one of our favorite comics, Flintlocke vs the Horde, is slated to be set aside. Its creator, Dave "Fargo" Kosak, landed a shiny new job at Blizzard helping to give the game we all love some extra oomph. Fortunately, the storyline won't just be dropped, and you can expect it to wind up sometime in April.

In response to reader Keyra's thoughts on last week's Ding! comic, I would like to offer my own. I would have to bet that almost every single person who has played WoW for any length of time at all does ponder why none of their farmers seem to have skulls, or why you can't get enough blood out of a giant monster to fill even one vial.

We've all joked about it too. I mean gee, if only I could learn to rip off Troll ears without dismembering them into tiny chunks, I'd be in business. The lame jokes crop up on almost every quest with a poor drop rate, and I don't personally feel that the comic took it any further than I ever have, or any of my uninspired friends (no offense guys). It isn't that there isn't a humorous element to it, but that it's been done better in-game while roaming around by ourselves.

I'm thrilled that you liked it, I just wanted to explain why so many of us are bucking it, other than that we miss the old stuff.

Enough rambling, here are the comics:
  • Cru the Dwarf: Deserous had better watch out, because someone intends to exact revenge. I don't blame him either, what Deserous did was mean. /sniffles.
  • Speaking of sad stories, maybe you ungrateful masses should start treating your Elders better. Dark Legacy Comics knows how they feel.
  • Experience Points knows what some of you really pray about (please don't send me hatemail, because I don't know what you pray about. It was all a gimmick to work this comic into a sentence when I haven't had my coffee yet). They also know that not all dogs make good anti-burlar hunter pets.
  • Flintlocke and his overzealous ladyfriend are suddenly in a hurry to flee the scene.
  • GU Comics: Lucky Red Envelopes. Now this orc isn't as respectful of his elders. Think of the poor elders!
  • Shakes and Fidget learn that Two is Better than One (or well, maybe not).
  • Check out the latest from LFG.
  • Manic Graffiti: Noobcow and Monster Anatomy 101.
  • NoObz: Laaag. Coincidentally, if you scroll down to the blurb beneath the comic, there's yet another confirmation that no one listens to their elders.
  • I was afraid to look. This week's Ding! is definitely an improvement of sorts. The story is funnier, although not really in the comic format. Maybe if it had been told by a talented comedic writer, or as entertainment on a Podcast? I'd even take it as a guildie tale over Vent in between pulls. Still, I suppose I like pictures of people with their mouths open to show that they are indeed talking.
  • Teh Gladiators: The Ten Storms. I love the artwork in this one!
  • By saying this, I will totally ruin any of the funny in the note from the author beneath the comic strip, but I totally choked on my water when I read the first part of the second paragraph. In all seriousness though, I'm one of this comic's biggest fans, so you totally have a following. The Adventures of Disgraph T. Dwarf: Lunar LoLs.
  • There is less beaver in the latest artwork from World of Warcraft, eh? than there was the comic before, but it is definitely the sexy we were all promised. Go girl power and however you say that nowadays.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Features, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Sunday Morning Funnies: Your nerf stick


This week, the Funnies are back on a Sunday that is actually a Sunday, and not a fake Sunday. While I do enjoy pretending, I figured I should probably keep it simple. The weeks where "morning" seems to mean "afternoon" are tricky enough!
  • It seems that Cru the Dwarf needs to hurry.
  • I hate being asked for heals. What do people think I'm doing other than staring at their bars, anyway? Still, healers shouldn't really walk away in the middle of a raid without saying they'll brb. Experience Points.
  • Blood Elves sometimes get a little carried away when it comes to power (or hair). This week on Flintlocke vs. the Horde, the main "belf" gets a taste of it. I don't think she listens well either, what with all of that rage. Luckily, in the end, she gets a new hair accessory! Flintlocke vs. the Horde.
  • Caught any coins lately? GU Comics: The Ruse.
  • Check out the latest from LFG.
  • Manic Graffiti will be undergoing some changes.
  • NoObz illustrates how Youth has changed over the years.
  • Unlike last week, when Ding! simply had not updated (perfectly preferable to the previous week), this week, there is indeed a comic. This was (is?) one of my favorites, so I'm hoping that it picks up again. If you really want to look, don't say I didn't warn you, while trying not to be blunt and trollish.
  • Put Down Your Nerf Stick! says Teh Gladiators.
  • Oh noes, Disgraph has not been updated! Nor was Dark Legacy Comics, come to think of it. The Scout Report also seems to be sans update, and its navigation bar is still a bit wonky. World of Warcraft, eh, also did not deliver on the promised sexy filler art. I'm not criticizing, I'm just QQ'ing. There's a difference. Clearly, our fave comic artists should always be around to entertain us for free.
It's a thin list. What's a gal to do? Improvise!

Filed under: Humor, Screenshots, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Sunday Morning Funnies: On a Monday!

www.darklegacycomics.comor, "They possess more flying fish than I expected."

Although it is Monday, this morning I am going to pretend that it is in fact, Sunday. After all, no one really likes Mondays, even if they're manic. Luckily for you, I have quite the list of comics for your enjoyment!
  1. Awkward Zombie has posted another WoW-related comic, Stinking With Portals.
  2. Cru the Dwarf is now on page 72 of his echoing through time.
  3. Dark Legacy Comics points out the No-Fly Zone. I lean towards agreeing with them that the general placement of said zone is inconvenient. It seems to be a conspiracy on the part of the Flightmasters to convince me to pay them to fly me to Coldarra or Sholazar Basin.
  4. Have you ever wondered what life would be like if your reputation gains worked the same way as in-game?
  5. Actually, have you ever considered bravely sending a special someone an in-game gift? Experience Points has.
  6. In Flintlocke vs. the Horde, there seems to be a disagreement about who should be included as an adventuring buddy.
  7. GU Comics is Looking for Clever. Actually, Woody is looking to whore hire himself out! Check out the various ways you can put him to work and get some cool, collectible, and/or custom stuff.
  8. Check out the latest from LFG.
  9. Manic Graffiti always gets me smiling! Check out, Noobcow and Lame Jokes Heard While Waiting for PuGs to Start.
  10. Massive Pwnage has an inkling of what might be better than WoW. You Should See PvP.
  11. I always knew Flapcat was better than Ally-bird! Air Superiority was determined this past week on Monkey Punchers.
  12. NoObz points out that, especially for noobs, World of Warcraft can be a source of Stress.
  13. I know that many of you last week were disappointed with Ding!'s re-return, and unfortunately, there's no new comic this week.
  14. Teh Gladiators: Ping-Pong.
  15. World of Warcraft, eh? warns, You Won't Like Me When I'm Angry.
  16. The Scout Report has posted #63 and I love it. Unfortunately, I found out that when I tried to hit "Previous" to see if I had missed any other comics since last Sunday, it took me back to #52. So I recommend either jumping back five comics, or just reading from #52 if you think you've missed a couple!
  17. From The Adventures of Disgraph T. Dwarf comes Nuts Make Me Giggle. On this musical-fruit-note, I end this week's list!

Filed under: Fan stuff, Features, Humor, Screenshots, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Sunday Morning Funnies: Duel for the birds

'Smiling' OwlThis week, I have a nice sizeable list for you all! It seems that most artists are back and hard at work. I also have added a new comic for the list, so get comfortable and start reading.

Filed under: Humor, Screenshots, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Ding! webcomic is looking for your stories

Webcomic artist Scott Kurtz, the guy behind PvP and (more importantly) Ding! has recently posted that he'll be changing the format of his World of Warcraft themed comic. Currently, Ding! follows the comical exploits of his fictional guild, Panda Attack, but as of now that's all going to be changing.

Instead, Scott is looking to make his comic highlight the community, and be something of a community effort. He's looking for you, the players, to submit true stories about you and your guild. Has something hilarious or awesome (or hilariously awesome) happened to your crew recently? Submit it to Kurtz, and it just might be immortalized in Ding! If your story is featured in the comic, you'll be rewarded with an 11x17 print of the comic itself, which is pretty cool. It's always nice to have little memories of your guild in physical form like that. Typically you'd need to pay a decent amount of money for comissions from an artist as well known on the net as Kurtz, so that's a sweet little bonus beyond just having your story featured.

The full details on how to submit your story can be found on the PvPonline website, and I definitely recommend sending something in! If you or your guild gets featured, you should let us know, too! We'd love to hear about it, and it would probably be shown off on our site as well. That's two times the cool!

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

Sunday Morning Funnies: Orphan kibble

Experience Points by Scott JohnsonIt is another Sunday, and there are only 11 sleeps until Christmas. Or, more accurately, one day until the Feast of Winter Veil and a mere two maintenance days between now and the 25th, when Greatfather Winter leaves presents for all.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Sunday Morning Funnies: Your mom is hardcore

Experience Points by Scott JohnsonThis is the first Sunday in December, and I have a nice long list of comics for your perusal.

Perhaps you could enjoy a seasonal chocolate beverage while you read, although I should caution you that your keyboard can't take many more episodes of you spitting out your drinks in laughter.

  1. Piggyback from Dark Legacy Comics shows us that vehicles have rights.
  2. Experience Points does the Wrath Gate event.
  3. Check out the latest from Flintlocke vs. the Horde.
  4. Wish Shakes and Fidget a hearty Welcome to Northrend.
  5. GU Comics wants to remind you to Honor they Father too.
  6. LFG is witnessing some changes.
  7. Manic Graffiti presents Noobcow and the Days of Jaina's Lives.
  8. Monkey Punchers shows us that not everyone wants Candle. In fact, some people No Want Candle.
  9. NoObz suggests that not all AFK'ers are actually away from the keyboard. Some may even be hard at work, in a way.
  10. Kissybear samples Death Knighthood.
  11. Kissybear starts to feel lonely.
  12. The Outland adventures of your favorite Teh Gladiators characters comes to a conclusion with Epilogue. What could they possibly get up to in Northrend?
  13. On The Scout Report, persuasiveness and persistence start to pay off.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Humor, Death Knight, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

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