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The Feast of Winter Veil begins tomorrow, December 16th

Every year, Greatfather Winter brings treats to all the good boys and girls of Azeroth, and this year is no exception. From December 16th until January 2nd, the Feast of Winter Veil teaches us all the true meaning of Winter Veil with a cavalcade of gifts and other fun things like toys. A variety of seasonal pets, achievements, and hats are yours for the taking, including the brand new Rotten Little Helper.

For the complete skinny on what you can get and what you can do, Wowhead has this helpful guide. If you're looking for one of those toys for your toybox, a rare pet, or a hat from one of the bosses (with several new Draenor bosses as well) then you have until January 2nd to get started. May Greatfather Winter watch over you.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Warlords of Draenor

Encrypted Text: The subtlety experiment

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions, or hate mail if you play subtlety.

Over the past few years, I've been accused of playing favorites with the rogue specs. During Wrath, I was characterized more than once as the ArP-mongering combat rogue who neglected Mutilate builds. In Cataclysm, I'm supposedly the devoted assassin who never gives combat or subtlety a fair shake. The truth is that I don't care what spec I'm playing, and I'll play whatever gives me the best results.

I played Mut/Prep, HARP, and even pure subtlety in the arena during The Burning Crusade. I've raided extensively as both combat and assassination, and I've leveled my rogues (plural) with each of the three specs, as well. I frequently swap specs. I love combat for solo PVE play, while subtlety holds a special place in my heart for ganking and world PVP. I currently raid as assassination simply because it's how I get the best results. I'm not alone in this philosophy, as most rogues will do whatever it takes, including a respec, to get the most out of their characters.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

WoW Moviewatch: Dalaran's Costume Contest

Oxhorn's seasonal shorts always seem to bring a little something extra to the holidays. He's hit Halloween just in time by releasing Dalaran's Costume Contest. If you can't see the YouTube for some reason, you can also pick it up over at Oxhorn's official web site.

As the story goes, Oxhorn's usual cast of characters are competing in the Hallow's End costume contest. They spend a little time discussing the event, when Hat (the singing turtle) comes up and reveals his own clever disguise. I can't go deeper into the story here, or I'll ruin the punchline. And while it may make me a pop-culture junkie, I admit that I laughed out loud at the joke.

An odd bit about this video, though, is that Oxhorn included almost a minute and a half of outtakes. I actually kind of love that stuff, since it gives a lot of personality and "humanity" to the actors in his machinima. I think it lets the audience get to know them a little better, which is almost always a good thing.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Moviewatch

Sinister Calling buffed in 3.1

A bug where Glyph of Backstab interacted with Dirty Deeds to cause the glyph to benefit attacks other than Backstab was, apparently, recently fixed. However, there was concern that this bug fix would hurt Subtlety DPS too hard, so the Sub talent Sinister Calling is being buffed to compensate - full Sinister Calling will now award a 10% damage bonus to Backstab and Hemorrhage, instead of 5%. This buff will go live with patch 3.1.

Rogues are in a place in PvE that I don't recall them ever being in before Wrath: all three trees have viable raid specs. Most rogues seem to be Mut right now, but Combat is still holding its own, and I'm told that HaT specs are quite strong depending on the particular group and fight. It seems like the glyph bug wouldn't really have been affecting PvE much, given that raid mobs aren't often stunned or incapacitated, so this change acts as a straight buff for raiding HaTters. In PvP, on the other hand, this should keep Sub from getting stomped on too hard. Buffs are always so nice to write about - I like bringing good news to you guys.

Filed under: Rogue, Patches

Encrypted Text: Dual specs will make Rogues twice as deadly

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we look at the upcoming dual spec feature and what it means for Rogues.

If you've been keeping tabs on what everyone's favorite crab has been disseminating to the community, you're familiar with the upcoming Dual Spec feature in patch 3.1. In an interview between Nethaera and Ghostcrawler, he goes into all the details of how it is planned to work and what to expect in terms of functionality. There are still a few unknowns, but for the most part it seems like they're ready for us to start testing it on the upcoming PTRs.

Rogues are one of the 4 classes that are considered to be "pure" DPS, as we have no other role to play besides damage dealer. While Mages and Warlocks have very different PvE and PvP specs, for most Rogues it's just choosing between daggers and everything else. So how can we take advantage of this feature to its fullest? Read on for a few ideas I have for the new dual spec system come 3.1.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Patiently awaiting patch 3.0.8

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we'll discuss the upcoming Rogue changes in patch 3.0.8.

According to the SK-Gaming Top 100, Rogues are doing pretty well. Our fraternity of assassins has a solid hold on the coveted #3 slot, behind the insanely dominant Death Knight / Holy Paladin combination. With Druids and Warriors being as powerful as they were in Seasons 3 and 4, seeing them bring up the bottom of the Top 100 representation is the truest indicator of significant balance changes that Wrath brought with it.

Luckily, I feel that Rogues are far stronger than our 10% representation shows. We are poised to absorb the market share that Paladin and Death Knights will be hemorrhaging when the long-awaited patch 3.0.8 comes to right all the wrongs that this team has committed. Four of the top six classes in the SK-100 are being nerfed significantly, with Rogues being the least affected by these changes. After the cut, I'll cover important changes for Rogues in 3.0.8, as well as a few changes that will alter our top opponents as well.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Bugs, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

Encrypted Text: Why rogues now love hunters and other HaT ironies

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we'll discuss how Blizzard is shifting the Rogue paradigm.

Hunters. Does any other class provoke such a strong response of malice from a Rogue? They're not necessarily our counter-class, Warriors fill that role quite nicely (curse you Overpower!). I always think of Hunters as a parallel to us; Rogues at a distance. Regardless of how you classify them, one thing stays the same: Rogues hate Hunters.

The next question would be: but Chase, why do you keep inviting all these Hunters to your Naxxramas raids? At first I wanted to remain nonchalant and pass my decision off as charity. We need someone to soak up all the mail gear that drops. But after constant prodding from my healers as to why I am wasting their infinite talent on mere pets, I had to finally give up the goose. I needed the Hunters to feed my CP addiction. I am just another HaT Rogue stacking the raid to power my Eviscerate engine. We're having an intervention tomorrow. I'm so ashamed.

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Filed under: Rogue, Tricks, Raiding, Talents, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

Account security mythbusting

So, you might have noticed the increased number of warnings and advice from Blizzard regarding account security lately. They've even popped up in the game itself, as a server message when you first log in. Needless to say, this has caused no dearth of consternation in the WoW community (read: people be trippin').

So, why the sudden notices? Has something changed? Has Blizzard lost their footing in the war against hackers and gold farmers? Is Blizzard in cahoots with them? What's this itchy pentagram-shaped rash I've developed?

Now, there's a lot I can't talk about regarding this stuff, and certainly not for any sinister reason. It's a selfish reason, though, that being that I really like not getting sued. I can, however, use my experience and knowledge to bust or confirm some common account security myths. Ready?

I'm a trained professional. Don't try this at home!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Account Security

Encrypted Text: Words from the wise

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, an interview with acclaimed Rogue theorycrafter Vulajin.

If you have ever been to the Rogue section of the Elitist Jerks forums, chances are good that you've read one of the amazing posts by Vulajin of Mal'Ganis. His Roguecraft spreadsheet and Rogue PvE DPS discussion thread are amongst my most treasured resources. Still very active in the community, he's been involved in some of the recent work concerning boss crit depression and a possible change in a Rogue's chance to miss.

I had an opportunity this week to sit down with the very intelligent and self-effacing Vulajin and talk about a few different topics, and I wanted to share some of that discourse with you today. We talked a great deal about the current Rogue hotness that is Honor Among Thieves and also concerning the impact that we as players can make upon the design of WoW in the future.

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Filed under: Rogue, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Interviews, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Moviewatch: Oxhorn's Christmas Special

When three friends decide to check out a party, they have no idea what they're in for. Oxhorn has released a Christmas Special like no other. It contains all of the elements of a quality tale, including an epic adventure, l33t-speak, a heroic battle against a reindeer, and pie! There's even a hilarious commercial break that mocks those cheesy late night CD commercials on TV.

My only complaint is that my future husband, Hat, is not only absent, but insulted in this machinima. However, Oxhorn does take light jabs at whiners like me at the end, so point taken. You can read the full script on his blog, or check out the high quality version of this Special on Stage6.


Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: Machinima, Humor, WoW Moviewatch

Winter Veil mysteries

The Feast of Winter Veil will be upon us in less than a week and we already know that there will be new elements added to WoW's biggest holiday. Item database and news sites have been publishing information about this year's festivities for quite awhile now, but nonetheless there are still two mysteries that are pestering me.

First of all, as you are probably aware, there is a Winter Veil quest to kill the Abominable Greench and retrieve the stolen Smokywood Pastures' treats in the Alterac Mountains. Upon completion of the quest, you're rewarded with a box that can contain a special profession recipe. Alchemy, Engineering, Enchanting, Leatherworking, Blacksmithing and Tailoring have all been represented in the possible rewards. This brings us down to my burning question: Will jewelcrafters have a new design added to the gift box this year? If so, what could it possibly be?

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Jewelcrafting

WoW Moviewatch: Hat vs. Barnaby

This afternoon we bring you the latest from Oxhorn (and if you can't get enough Oxhorn, check his website)! Two months out from Inventing Swear Words 3, this latest machinima catches up with the lives of some of Oxhorn's more minor characters: Barnaby the crab and Hat the singing turtle. In the epic battle of turtle vs. crab, who do you place your bet on?

Previously on Moviewatch

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Phat Loot Phriday: Gnomish Mind Control Cap

So for this PLP, I tried to come up with what I thought was the funniest looking hat in Azeroth. There are some funny looking hats out there (and I almost wrote up the Druid's Tier 4 hat because it makes me laugh every time I see it), but I eventually ended up choosing this Engineering toy with a fun proc.

Name: Gnomish Mind Control Cap
Type: Cloth Head
Armor: 50
  • +14 Spirit
  • And here's the fun part: on Use (see restriction below), "engage in mental combat with a humanoid target to try and control their mind." If you succeed, you get a little hunter bar (not like the Priest's MC) to play around with your new pet.
  • Unfortunately, it's not as fun as it used to be. The MCC only works out of combat now, so while it's still possible to use it on players with hilarious consequences, you have to plan out your attack. And over level 60, this thing gets a much reduced chance to work, in accordance with Blizzard's wishes of making CC less effective overall in BGs.
  • But in some of the early twink battlegrounds, you can have a lot of fun with it. Plus, look at it! It's a funny hat!
How to Get It: You've got to be an Engineer of any spec, level 215 (BoE) to wear this one, although if you just want the hat without the MC ability, you can always go get the Ghaz'ridian Detector, which is not nearly as fun, but looks just as funny.

Anyway, you have to be a Gnomish Engineer, at least 235, to make it-- the recipe can be obtained from Oglethorpe Obnoticus in Booty Bay (he's the guy you talk to for the quest to become a Gnomish tinkerer, after it starts in Rachet or Ironforge, depending on your faction). It ain't cheap: 10 Mithril bars, 4 Truesilver bars, a Gold Power Core, 2 Star Rubies, and 4 Mageweave cloth are necessary to roll this one together, but when you do, you'll be able to MC to your heart's content. Well, once every 30 mins. And then only out of combat, and only sometimes. In fact, at this point, the mats probably don't make this worth it, unless you really like that proc enough to wait for it. But it does look funny, right?

Getting Rid of It:
Now hold on now, this is something you keep forever. But just in case you do want to throw it away, a vendor will give you 55s 2c for it, or you can DE into a Dream Dust, Large Radiant Shard, or Greater Nether Essence. But before you do, take a look at this spinning wheel right here, please. Are you feeling sleepy? No? Me neither...

Filed under: Gnomes, Engineering, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Phat Loot Phriday

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