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Bosses in 5 seconds: Siege of Orgrimmar wing three

Wing three is upon us! It opened today on US servers, and will hit Europe tomorrow like a runaway dinosaur fixating on the Siberian tundra. We've already got the first wing done in our inimitable five second style, and the second one's up for your reading delectation as well. Now, though, it's starting to get serious with wing three. Actually, to be honest, this is a pretty easy wing. Wing four's going to be the clincher.

As always, remember, these aren't in-depth guides for your heroic raid. They're arming you with just enough knowledge to get your group through the LFR version of the fight, mostly intact.

Malkorok
  • Healers, in phase 1, your heals won't heal. Instead there will be colored blobs on the raid frames. Keep them green. They're absorb shields, that you're building by healing.
  • He'll do cone-shaped smashes that affect segments of the room. Don't stand in them. Also, after every three smashes, he'll re-explode the three areas he smashed. Don't stand in that.
  • Soak purple swirls
  • When he goes into Blood Rage, stack up. Run out with the debuff if your healers are struggling.
  • Everything hurts more as the fight progresses.

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Filed under: Raiding

The OverAchiever: Guide to Brewfest 2012

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, Azeroth has acquired another race of happy drunks.

An early warning: Brewfest has definitely been updated for Mists of Pandaria. We don't have solid information on all of the changes yet, but in the hours after the holiday goes live, I'll be around to make sure that everything in the guide is updated and corrected for the new expansion.

This year, Brewfest runs from Friday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 14 (check your in-game calendar for your server's exact start and end times: Different time zones mean your Brewfest may end late on Saturday, Oct. 13). Why so late and so long this year? Because Coren Direbrew's been jacked to level 90, and you can't queue for him until level 89 at the earliest. Blizzard's planned around the awkwardness of having Brewfest go live so close to the Mists launch by bumping the holiday back by a week and extending the amount of time you'll have to get everything done if you're starting from scratch.

So don't worry about leveling at a breakneck pace! If you really want to kill Coren this year -- and I'd advise doing it, because he drops ilevel 470 stuff this year -- you've got until mid-October to reach level 89.

The Brewfest meta Brewmaster is required for the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so you'll want to get this done if you're working toward a Violet Proto-Drake.

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Filed under: Events, Mists of Pandaria

MMO Roundup: Diablo III heading to a console near you

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Diablo III heading to a gaming console near you
Though Blizzard has made numerous statements that it was "seriously considering" a console version of the title, CM Bashiok tweeted today that the upcoming Diablo III would be making the jump to consoles, giving us our first official confirmation.
Massively takes on SOPA
Unless you've been living under a rock, chances are you've heard of SOPA and PIPA. The Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act are two radical pieces of copyright legislation currently being pushed through the U.S. legislature. Although the stated intent of the new legislation is to provide companies with additional tools with which to combat piracy, the bill's loose wording has raised some serious alarm bells.
SWTOR's 1.1 patch adds anti-aliasing, level 50 Flashpoint
Star Wars: The Old Republic's next big update is live on the game's public test shard. BioWare says that the 1.1 patch is chock full of bug fixes and is "the first of many content updates" for the sci-fi MMO.
Bethesda and Interplay settle Fallout MMO lawsuits, Interplay's rights revoked
Bethesda and Interplay have been embroiled in a legal battle for quite some time now, arguing over whether or not Interplay had the rights to create a Fallout MMO. Well, that lawsuit has finally been settled and it appears that Bethesda has come out on top.
Dr. Greg Zeschuk talks about the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic
It's been just about a month since Star Wars: The Old Republic began its early access period, throwing open the doors for players all around the world. But the release wasn't just an interesting point for the many players anticipating the game -- after all, it had been BioWare's big project for many years. In a recent interview, Dr. Greg Zeschuk discusses his thoughts on the game at launch and a look back at what could have gone differently.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

Patch 3.3: Blizzard previews new quest tracking UI


Looks like the newly-renamed Dungeon Finder isn't the only new UI feature we have to look forward to in Patch 3.3 -- Blizzard just released an official preview of its new Quest Tracking feature, and it looks great. It seems to have a number of the features that ZorbaTHut's great QuestHelper addon does, which follows Blizzard's pattern of poaching the best third-party UIs for use in the stock UI.

Our UI whiz Gregg Reece covered the feature briefly last week, based on what was active on the PTR. For those who haven't fiddled with it, new additions to the UI include:
  • Enhanced World Map: The large world map is now separated into four active panes. Quests are automatically tracked on the map and listed to its side. The quest log entry for the selected quest is located below the map.
  • Areas of Interest: Shows what area on the map your quest's points of interest can be found, represented with a blue polygon. If mobs populate a large area, the map will indicate it. If you need to find one specific doodad, that'll be on there too. If there are multiple spawn areas for a mob or doodad, the map will automatically locate the one closest to you.
  • Pop-out Map: Players can utilize a smaller zone map outside of the normal full-screen map to track progress and get their bearings.
  • Better Tracking: Tracked quests outside the map will now indicate your progress with a number for items found or mobs killed and will indicate whether you've already completed it.
And more! The main thing I notice is missing (so far) is the arrow that indicates where you should head next on the World Map, like QuestHelper or Carbonite, but who knows if that'll even make it in.

Blizzard says that the new UI will work with nearly every quest in the game, regardless of type. You can check out the official preview here.





Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, News items

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide 31-40

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is your absolute best source for all things mage. Leveling guides? Talent spec guides? Loot guides? PvP guides? Profession guides? Random, vindictive, mean-spirited, and wholly superfluous warlock-bashing? Check, check, check, check, check, and CHECK. Arcane Brilliance has all your mage needs covered.

And the leveling parade continues! Your mage is level 30 and you've grown in your mastery of the magical arts. Your Fireballs are now significantly more likely to set your enemies aflame than they are to go off in your face, you now arrive at your teleport destinations with your extremities more or less intact, and small children no longer cry at the sight of the pastries you conjure.

In celebration of our new-found competence, we'll be changing the content of these leveling columns a bit. We'll no longer be giving each two-level gap its own blurb. Instead, we'll be covering each new spell as it comes, and every major milestone at the appropriate point. If that means that more than two levels go by without a specific shout-out in the text, so be it. Enough preamble. Read on and we'll see how it goes. If it's terrible, we all know I'll just blame warlocks.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, 21-30


Welcome to another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that won't give up, will never back down, won't retreat and won't surrender. Arcane Brilliance has the heart of a champion, the eye of the tiger, the soul of a lion, the reflexes of a mongoose, and the gall bladder of an emu. Now, if you'll excuse Arcane Brilliance, it needs to go indulge in an 80's movie training montage to get ready for this column. And yes, in case you were wondering, Stan Bush and Vince Dicola will feature prominently.

After a rather extended hiatus from the leveling grind, we here at Arcane Brilliance (and when I say "we," I pretty much mean "me," and when I say "pretty much," I mean "absolutely." I fact, I'm not sure why I even said "we" in the first place. Just forget I said anything. Let's move on, shall we?) are finally ready to continue with our series of overly wordy leveling guides this week. Here's what we've covered thus far (and, yes, I'm aware that I continue to use the first-person plural when referring to myself. I'm a very confused individual.):

Part 1: Getting started

Part 2: Levels 1-10

Part 3: Levels 11-20

We begin today's installment at the grand old level of 21. Your mage is freshly bemounted (That word doesn't actually exist, but I think it should) and ready to take on the world. Chances are you're preparing to move into your third major zone. From this point on, you have a great deal of freedom in choosing where you want to quest. I'd recommend an add-on like Cartographer, or a website like mapwow (just check the box that says "Show names for zones") to see a map that tells you the appropriate levels of the zones around you, so you can pick a place to make your home for the next 5-10 levels. Once you've selected a destination, mount up and head that way. Stick to the road if you decide to travel through any higher-level zones in-between, and be sure to pick up any flight paths you pass during the trip.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Race change available

The expected race change feature is now active on the Account Management page, at least on the US realms. One of our writers has gone through with the change, and it appears to be working. The charge is $25, five dollars less than the faction change feature released a while ago, and includes a full customization -- gender, name, and appearance if you choose to do them. The race changes do not include the new class combinations yet -- we'll probably have to wait until Cataclysm at least before those become available. It's not live on the EU realms yet either, as of this writing.

There is also an extended FAQ, which we've posted after the break. This is something that we mostly never expected to happen, right up until Blizzard started saying that it would just a while ago. So at this point, once you roll a character, you're now able to (for an additional charge) change everything about it save for the actual class. It seems unlikely that Blizzard would ever let that happen (given that classes are the fundamental basis of a roleplaying game), but of course we've learned to never say never with them.

Update: We've now received official blue confirmation that it is intended to be active. Enjoy, everyone!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Account Security

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 2

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that believes there's no such thing as a wrong time to turn something into a sheep. Unless it was already a sheep to begin with. Then it would probably have been better to turn it into a pig or a rabbit or something. Or maybe just hit it with a Pyroblast. Mmmm. Lamb chops. What were we talking about again?

If you missed last week, here's a link to click on so you can catch up. If you can't be bothered to read the first part of this column, let me summarize the idea here: we're discussing ways to get your Mage all decked out in epic, raid-worthy gear without ever actually entering a raid instance. Now, more than ever before, we have so many options for obtaining raid-quality gear that actually raiding for it seems almost...old-fashioned.

Last week we talked about 5-mans in both their normal and heroic varieties, focusing on Trial of the Champion, because duh. But maybe you don't want to do 5-mans. Maybe your guildies aren't on, and maybe you hate pugs. Maybe you are a Mage, and because there are eighty-four DPSers looking for group for every one tank or healer, you threw your hands up after an hour of trying to get a group and went off to do dailies.

Well good news, everyone! Doing those dailies can get you epics too! Yes, it is entirely possible--even if you happen to be the guy on your server who ninjas gear in pugs and sucks at everything to the point that nobody invites you to groups anymore--to fill just every slot of your gear with sparkly purples without doing any instances of any kind. Isn't that wonderful? It tends to take a bit longer, overall, but these alternative methods for obtaining gear can be perfect for those of us who simply don't have a lot of time to commit to a group. Simply log in, craft an epic cloak, do a daily quest or two, blast out a couple Arena matches, and then repeat for a few weeks, and eventually you'll have epics too. Anyway, nice talking to you, see you next week! Wait...what's that? You want details? Oh fine. Clicky clicky.

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Filed under: Mage, Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Quests, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Inscription

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 1


Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that asks all the tough questions, and then Ice Blocks before the tough answers one-shot it.

A little while after Wrath hit, Arcane Brilliance posted a column on how to gear your Mage up for Naxx. Several things have changed since then:

  1. Pretty much everything I wrote then is now wrong.
  2. You don't really gear for Naxx anymore. Naxx is now a place you go in order to gear up for other places.
  3. Trial of the Champion.
Knowing these things, I thought an updated gearing column might be in order. So if you're raising a fledgling Mage, and level 80 is about to hit you like a truckload of Death Knights, and you're looking for the quickest way to turn green and blue into purple, look no farther. Well maybe a little farther. The column's not over yet.

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Filed under: Mage, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The Explain-o-matic will explain your macros


This is actually a really cool idea for a site -- Fitzcairn's Macro Explain-o-matic is basically a web script that reads WoW macros, and will go, line by line, through them to put exactly what they do in plain English. Sure, odds are that if you have a macro already, you probably have some idea of what it does, but if you've ever wanted to learn how to write macros, or aren't sure exactly what the macro your friend emailed to you is supposed to do for your character, you can just throw it in a text field, and then Fitzcairn's script will break it apart for you.

The site will even let you save (with a permalink) and email any macros you punch in -- though I couldn't find a way to browse them, maybe Fitzcarin is working on that. There are lots of resources online to find macros, but not so many to explain them well, so the Explain-o-matic is definitely worth a bookmark for the next time you need a little help.

[via Twisted Nether]

Filed under: Patches, How-tos, Add-Ons

Arcane Brilliance: What Cataclysm will mean to Mages, part 2


Welcome to the latest edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column and internet meeting place for IHATEWARLOCKS. If you can't remember what that acronym stands for, you can check last week's column, about two paragraphs from the end. If you can't be bothered, it doesn't matter. The name says it all, really.

When I was growing up, way back at the dawn of time, in the late eighties, I didn't have access to a lot of games. It wasn't like it is now, where I have an unplayed backlog of quality electronic entertainment so deep my house reeks of shrinkwrap and unfulfilled potential. No, back then, I remember saving my pennies for an entire summer with an eye on getting a new game, then going to the game store and having a choice between Lufia and 7th Saga. I chose 7th Saga (mostly because you could be a robot in that one), and even though time hasn't been particularly kind to that game, it still holds a special place in my heart. You know why? Because I played it. I played the crap out of it, and when I finished it, I started over and played it again. And the next time I saved up enough money for another game, or tricked a relative into buying one for me, I snagged Lufia, and repeated the process.

With the really great games--the Chrono Triggers, the Secrets of Mana, the Shining Forces--I played them so many times I came to the point where my fondest wish was that I could discover a way to excise them from my brain...to selectively forget I'd ever played them so I could plug them back in and experience their unique joys afresh. Yes, back in the late eighties and early nineties, we were pretty starved for games. But the ones we had, we loved.

What does this have to do with anything? Nothing really, just thought I'd share. Ok fine. Read on, I promise I'll find a flimsy way to tie it in to the actual subject of this week's column.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm, Archaeology

Arcane Brilliance: Mage changes on the patch 3.2.2 PTR


Welcome to the latest edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that unites Mages everywhere in brotherhood, friendship, and a mutual desire to set Warlocks on fire.


So, I was all set to write a lengthy diatribe this week on the woes of the Arcane tree. I was going to compare their plight to the aliens in the District 9 trailer, which I totally plan on watching this weekend. Both are oppressed groups, both possess powerful weapons nobody can use properly anymore, and both have spaceships that ran out of gas above South Africa. I was going to bemoan such things as Arcane's inadequate DPS, PvP survivability, and overall mana inefficiency. It was going to be overly-dramatic and incredibly whiny. Warlocks were going to drink from the well of my tears, and find them delicious.

Then this happened.

In case links frighten you, or you can't be bothered to read past the notes for other classes, or just get distracted every time you read about the revamped Onyxia raid we're getting (like me), I'll helpfully re-post the Mage notes below.

Mages
  • Arcane Blast: The buff from using this ability now stacks up to 4 times instead of 3, and each application increases mana cost by 130% instead of 200%.
  • Talents

    • Arcane

      • Missile Barrage: The effect from triggering this talent now removes the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. In addition, the chance for Arcane Blast to trigger this talent is now 8/16/24/32/40%. All other listed spells continue to have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance to trigger it.

Take a moment. Digest that. Consider the implications. Then follow me past the break.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: 6 essential Mage add-ons for PvE


Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that celebrates everything Mageworthy and thinks Warlocks smell funny.

I have a buddy who doesn't use addons.

I know, I know. And before you ask: yes, he is a moron. It's a flaw I've learned to overlook during the years we've known each other. His rationale for not using addons seems to be a combination of mistrust for anything that isn't part of the game right out of the box and a misguided belief that addons somehow equate to a form of cheating.

Now, I'll never convince him he's wrong--even though he clearly is--but I chalk that up to the fact that he is a moron. We both know and accept the fact of his moronitude, acknowledge that after 20 years of friendship, he probably isn't going to become any less infuriating, and move on to other topics.

You see, addons are awesome. I frequently assert to anyone who cares to listen (earning me more than a few strange looks, believe you me) that believing addons are cheats simply because Blizzard didn't program them into the default UI is pretty much the same thing as considering indoor plumbing a cheat because God didn't program it into the Earth when he originally created it. Addons are the community's way of grafting functionality into the game that Blizzard should have included from the start, and that's simply how it is. And yes, I am indirectly rebuking deity for not providing mankind with toilets from the beginning. I mean, how does it make sense that we had to go thousands of years without the option of peeing indoors? That's just poor design. I fully expect to be struck down at any moment as an example to smart-asses everywhere.

Disclaimer: I am in no way asserting that not using addons makes you a moron. I'm certain there are a great many of you out there who prefer not to use addons, and I'm sure you're by and large wonderful, fully functioning human beings. All I'm saying is that my buddy isn't one of those people. Also addons are awesome. That's all I'm saying.

Ahem.

The last time we discussed Mage addons, we focused on the PvP side of things. This week: PvE.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Five things every Mage should do before they ding 80


Each week Arcane Brilliance waves its wand and conjures a column about Mages. Then Arcane Brilliance turns the column into a sheep, sets that sheep on fire, and then freezes it into a flaming-sheep-sicle. This flaming-sheep-sicle-that-used-to-be-a-Mage-column is actually tastier than you might think, but also quite deadly. Having created it, Arcane Brilliance then proceeds to find the nearest Warlock and hurl the tasty-flaming-sheep-sicle-that-used-to-be-a-Mage-column-of-death at that Warlock, killing him or her instantly. It's the flamingest, frozen-sheepingest, tasty-deathiest Warlock-killingest column on this website, let me assure you.

Contrary to popular belief, Mages do not simply spring to life at level 80. Just like other, lesser classes, we too must begin at the lowly level of one. Even Mages must put their robes on one leg at a time, place one frail foot in front of the other, and trudge across Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms, Outland, and finally Northrend until our experience bars progress from the left side of the screen to the right side a total of 79 times.

Once upon a time, this process took awhile. An average trip to level 60 used to require the following:
  • Approximately 192 trips from the north end of The Barrens to the south end...on foot, uphill both ways, fending off Mankrik's wife and Chuck Norris with a stick.
  • Actually setting foot in Desolace.
  • Getting dismounted several hundred thousand times in Dustwallow Marsh because you'd strayed across three inches of water.
  • Having to wait several hours to turn in every quest in Hillsbrad Foothills, because the questgivers in Tarren Mill and Southshore are always dead.
  • Getting eaten by a giant and improbably stealthy Devilsaur in Un'Goro Crater at least a million times, and always as far from the nearest graveyard as possible.
This is all fact. Sadly (or totally not, depending on how sado-masochistic you are), leveling is no longer nearly as grueling and refining an experience as it once was. It's entirely possible to skip a whole lot of the early-game content these days, and come patch 3.2, PvP experience will allow us to skip all of it on our way to level 80. Still, there are some things I feel we're missing out on as we cruise through the old-world content these days. Follow me beyond the jump for a list of five things every Mage should do on their way to level 80.

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Filed under: Mage, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Features, Leveling, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: The state of the Mage, volume 3


Every once in awhile, on a semi-regular basis, at randomly determined intervals, Arcane Brilliance (a weekly Mage column that is apparently also self-aware) likes to indulge in a little self analysis. Unsurprisingly, Arcane Brilliance's verdict is usually positive. Arcane Brilliance thinks very highly of itself, an attribute about which you may already have become painfully cognizant, if you have even briefly glanced at any Arcane Brilliances previous to this one.

Yes, we've done this before. But in a persistent game like WoW, where the nature of things are in such constant flux, I like to take a step back every now and again, gain a bit of perspective, and take a long look at the class I love and its place within that ever-fluid world. I choose this week, as we approach the second major content patch of this second expansion of the World of Warcraft, to do so once more.

On my imaginary WoW timeline (and in this case, when I say "imaginary," I mean completely made up), I have patch 3.2 as the literal midpoint of the game, halfway through the game's middle expansion. There will be one more major content patch in this expansion, and then three more expansions will follow. The next will be called "Maelstrom," followed by a fourth expansion called "Return of the Wrath of the Lich King," and finally, the long awaited but ultimately disappointing fifth expansion, titled "This is pretty much it, guys, now go buy WoW 2...um...of the Lich King." It is as logical a place as any to take a look at the state of the Mage class. Join me after the break for as much commentary as you can stand on Mages: where we've come from, where we are at this very moment, and where the class seems to be going as we march on into a future almost guaranteed to be nothing like my imaginary and completely ridiculous made-up timeline.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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