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Posts with tag joystiqfeatures

WoW Rookie: Of hearth and home

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Looky, Mom, we're all original: we didn't call this post "Home is where the hearth is" (but only because that title was already taken). And speaking of being trite, hearthstones may seem like a rather mundane matter -- not exactly high-value gaming strategy, eh? -- yet seasoned players manage to accumulate a little hearthing savvy that makes life in Azeroth (and the Outland and Northrend) a little more convenient.

Hearthstones link you to an inn in a location of your choosing, allowing you to transport ("hearth") back there once every 30 minutes. Prior to Patch 3.1, when you could only use your hearthstone once per hour, choosing where to bind and how to most efficiently order your errands and quests called for more than an insignificant amount of thought. The lower cooldown time today makes planning simpler, but there are still a few points worth knowing to help tune up your efficiency and dial down your travel time.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie

World of WarCrafts: Sugarrat's WoW Bleach Shirt

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players and fans, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction – and yes, (War)crafts. Share your stuff by tipping us off via our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts).

This T-shirt from Sugarrat of Earthen Ring-US is crafting at its absolute best: a cool end product based on instructions simple enough that you could pull it off with your paws in bear form. We asked Sugarrat to send us the complete instructions and photos so we could host them here, to keep her guild's server from being splurched -- that's how popular we know this shirt will be.

"I am a girly girl," Sugarrat explains. "I like my pearls and my bright colours and really wish there was more wearable Warcraft art. I saw a few sexy things on Etsy -- but I am also kinda cheap, so thought I would try and make my own."

Click on the gallery below for step-by-step instructions on making Sugarrat's WoW Bleach Shirt. As Sugarrat puts it: "For the Horde! And swanky gear!"

Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Features, World of WarCrafts

[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end


Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Yeah, we know you've already got Algalon on farm -- WoW.com readers are just uber that way. But for the rare handful of you still playing at a somewhat less stratospheric progression point ... How about those patches? Is the flow of new content keeping pace with your playstyle and interest?

"The pace of new content is fine – ooh, shiny :)," wrote Julie. "What worries me is the rate at which old content becomes obsolete (which is way too fast). For example, I'm glad Ulduar and Emalon are out. I hate the fact you can't do Archavon without doing Emalon. I also hate the fact that there's no reason to go into Naxx (Pro-Drake, badges, etc.) or heroic five-mans, for that matter. Basically I'm ok with the new content coming out; not ok with being forced to move to the new content the moment it does, however. There should be some balanced incentives to keep doing older content."

Is your guild working patiently through the existing content at its own rate, or has the addition of new content shoved you out into the deep end before you were ready?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

Two Bosses Enter: Anomalus vs. Tribunal of Ages


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

This week's Two Bosses Enter is less boss-versus-boss than it is boss-versus-event: The Nexus' Anomalus versus the Tribunal of Ages encounter in the Halls of Stone. The Tribunal of Ages event tasks adventurers with protecting Dwarven explorer Brann Bronzebeard from waves of mobs as part of the Halls of Stone quest -- a boss-level encounter in terms of difficulty and loot, if not in actual boss-versus-boss combat. It'll be Anomalus' Chaotic Rifts and Crazed Mana-Wraiths against the Tribunal of Ages' Kaddrak, Abedneum and Marnak plus the cadre of Dark Rune Protectors, Dark Rune Stormcallers and the Iron Golem Custodian.

The ground rules:
  • For the sake of this deathmatch, we'll have to get a little (ok, a lot) creative with Anomalus' presence here in the Tribunal. In this scenario, we'll retain the basic mechanic of the Tribunal of Ages encounter. Brann Bronzebeard's survival still determines the success or failure of the mission. Anomalus is therefore challenged with holding the Tribunal at bay long enough for Bronzebeard to complete his task.
  • This match takes place inside the Tribunal of Ages in the Halls of Stone.
  • If you assume that Anomalus is "too dumb to move," we'll have a very boring match indeed. Be open to other possibilities.
  • Assume that foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output.
  • Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Style and scale are your main considerations.

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Filed under: Features, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

One Boss Leaves: Krik'thir wraps up a close victory

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

This was a close one: Krik'thir the Gatewatcher of Azjol-Nerub wrapped up a victory over Ingvar the Plunderer and Annhylde the Caller (Utgarde Keep) by fewer than 50 reader votes. Two Bosses Enter reader Rexton narrated the winner's path to victory. "It's close, but I give this one to Krik'thir," he wrote. "I'm doubting Krik'thir would just wait in the back and let his minions do all the work. Yeah, he'd be the prime target. Total, that's 10 enemies that Ingvar has to go through, and on top of that is the unmentioned ability Bugs. I'm not saying Ingvar will go down easily; I mean, he has Smash on his side, for one thing. As long as he keeps that and Cleave up, I can see his taking a at least four down before he dies.

"Krik'thir: 75% health, 6 minions
"Ingvar: 100%

"Now Ingvar's back up, stronger than ever. Does more damage and switches some abilities around. Coupling Dreadful Roar with Dark Smash and Shadow Axe, this is where it gets deadly. Ingvar chews through the minions as Krik'thir starts standing back a bit, continually sending out Bugs and using Curse of Fatigue. Once the minions are finished off, Ingvar is at 40% while Krik'thir is at 55%. Ingvar rushes at Krik'thir, starting off with a Dreadful Roar followed by a Shadow Axe, as Krik'thir sends out more bugs. Some of the bugs are destroyed by the Dark Axe ability. Krik'thir's main attack is now Curse of Fatigue.

"Krik'thir: 25%
"Ingvar:15%

"The battle continues with the Dreadful Roar/Dark Smash combo and Bug/Curse of Fatigue spam, but ultimately, Ingvar loses yet again."

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Filed under: Features, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

WoW Rookie: Tanking for beginners


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

You've always wanted to be the eye of the storm: a World of Warcraft tank. You're working your way up toward level 80, quest by quest and zone by zone. Maybe you've consulted a leveling guide and done some research around the internet, and you're sporting a shiny, efficient leveling spec. Or maybe you're taking things more casually, experimenting with different specs and abilities on your own and devoting most of your energy to soaking up the sights and the lore, meeting new friends and settling into your first guild.

Either way, you're beginning to feel the first tendrils of apprehension curling around your ankles. You haven't been able to get many instance groups to knock the shine off that new armor. Heck, maybe you're not even tanking-specced yet at all. What's going to happen when you hit 80? Everyone's going to expect you to know the pointy end of the sword from what's under that fluffy tail you feel inclined to tuck beneath you ... What can you bring to the table with absolutely (gulp) zero experience?

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie, Death Knight

WoW, Casually: Rating the classes for casuals


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Hello, my name is Robin and I'm an altaholic. I'm not here to try to stop, however. I find it a lot of fun and playing games is all about fun. But it has prevented me from experiencing the endgame content when everyone is excited about it, rather than just spinning their wheels waiting for the next expansion. So, now I want to choose which alt to take to the end. But which one will be easy for leveling and still be valuable in groups when I reach the endgame?

In my experience, the best class to play as a casual player is one that is easily soloable, with little downtime, but also able to find groups quickly when necessary, particularly at max level. Following is how I rate each class according to those criteria.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Classes, Death Knight, WoW, Casually

Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 3

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 talk about a few of the general raiding tips every Rogue should know.

As a break in the boss-by-boss breakdown of Ulduar fights, I wanted to go over a few general raiding tips for Rogues. Some of them may be very old ideas that you've been using since level 60, while a few others are new tricks that we've learned in WotLK. Hopefully you'll be able to glean a few good bits of information to take with you the next time you zone into any raid. There's nothing more important than properly preparing for a new fight, but knowing the general tactics for any encounter will make understanding new fights much easier.

First, however, I would like to comment on the new Overkill. Its new form is a significant buff when looking at total energy generated, and also for PvE Mutilate Rogues. However, it is a nerf to our 6-second burst window during a Cheap Shot -> Kidney Shot combo. I feel this will end up being a net buff for Rogues, as relying solely on the first 6 seconds of a fight in PvP has become far to gimmicky for us to rely on.

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Filed under: Rogue, Tips, Raiding, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW 101 -- yes, WoW for college credit

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

WoW.com's Adam Holisky has been itching to take a WoW course for quite a while now -- so Adam, this 15 Minutes of Fame is for you. While some people still don't get that playing WoW doesn't lead to becoming a college dropout, there are plenty of others who recognize the game to be a rich resource not only as entertainment but even as a venue for anthropological research.

And now, this: "Warcraft: Culture, Gender and Identity," a credit-awarding class being offered at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota. At the helm of this innovative course is Landon Pirius, Ph.D., also known as Nodnal the Gnome Warrior of Blackwater Raiders-US. No stranger to the convergence of WoW and academia, Dr. Pirius wrote his doctoral dissertation on "Massively Multiplayer Online Virtual Environments: A Potential Locale for Intercultural Training." We didn't go quite that deep in this interview; we simply visited with him about his wildly successful college course and how it's helping shape modern educational methodologies.

And before you ask -- yes, Dr. Pirius returned the answers to our interview questions in impeccable outline form.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Shifting Perspectives: The day has come

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we contemplate whether the phrase "the agony and the ecstasy" can be properly applied to graphical improvements in MMORPG's.

So once I finished sobbing tears of joy over the new bear art that debuted last week (and looking up pictures of Bull Terriers after seeing the new version of Tauren cat form), I started tabulating reactions online, and held the following conversation with myself:

Me: Is there an unusually high level of stupidity in the forums over this issue?

Myself: Can the level of stupidity in the forums ever be correctly described as "unusually high?"

While forced to admit that my good bifurcated self had a point, it remains that the sheer amount of dumb in the forums threatens to explode from its containment area and slosh down the hallway carrying off screaming bystanders. This is Bad. Some of those bystanders might be the artists working on making sure the new version of Tauren cat form goes live without bugs, and I don't want that. I worked hard to ensure that this site is ranked #1 by Google for the search phrase "I hate Tauren cat form," but I'd like to be able to retire that tag permanently.

Anyway. Let's take some time here and address some frequently asked questions, common misconceptions, and whether Blizzard owes the American Kennel Club a kickback:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Ask a Lore Nerd: It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

I didn't intentionally choose today's Scourge theme. Really. These things just happen. That Dragon-specific one I did all that time ago? I didn't plan that, either. I'm just awesome enough that these things come together all by themselves. Yep. It's my pure, radiant awesome.

What? What do you mean current game content dictates what topics are hot or not? Pssh, that's crazy talk. That can't be it. It's all me, y'all.

Briz9 asked...

"Who built Icecrown Citadel and the accompanying structures? Did Arthas build it after he became the Lich King, or was it already there?"

The massive Saronite structures that make up Icecrown as it is today is all fairly new, from what I understand. Most Scourge architecture is based on Nerubian architecture (as you can see in Ahn'kahet) but the Saronite structures in and around Icecrown seem more styled after the Lich King himself. You certainly didn't see that stuff in Warcraft III either, but I suppose that's not always a good indicator.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

World of WarCrafts: Black Jelly


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players and fans, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction – and yes, (War)crafts. Share your stuff by tipping us off via our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts).

You're not alone: Black Jelly made from Borean Man o' War does sound disgusting. We wouldn't make you eat that goop. Unless of course, you want a lot of mana and health back, and there's no Mage around; then, we think you should probably give it a shot. Go on, open up. Inky ... Jiggling ... See that little shimmy? It's really not that bad – rather as if it had been freshly milked from a Disgusting Oozeling. Gulp.

We hope you didn't really fall for that, because while it's true that we're committed to bringing you real versions of the freshest game food, we've chosen the Black(berry) version instead. (We're just sweet like that.) Read on for the world's simplest Black(berry) Jelly recipe (no fruit pectin, no cheesecloth straining, no sterilizing little canning glass jars with screw-on lids), plus our own Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Black(berry) Jelly.

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Filed under: Cooking, How-tos, Fan stuff, Features, World of WarCrafts

[1.Local]: The Failoc-alypse edition


Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

I titled this week's [1.Local] on Saturday, in a fit of frustration. At the time, it seemed more than appropriate: "BlizzCon ticket status" (sold out) was still at the top of the WoW.com posts, the comments were seething with queue rage, and I was still smarting from an epic fail at click-refresh for the concert tickets I really, really wanted to score for my vacation week this summer. Gah.

But things are looking up. As it turns out, a lot of folks had a fair bit of fun playing Blizzard's Failoc-alypse game while they sat in the ticket queue. (Give it a try; it's kinda fun, actually.) And speaking of queues, just as I sat down to pop [1.Local] into the post queue, I decided to hit Ticketmaster one last time – and voila! Two seats at a great price, lusciously close to the stage. Take that, Failoc!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

Two Bosses Enter: Ingvar and Annhylde vs. Krik'thir the Gatewatcher


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

Utgarde Keep duo Dalronn the Controller and Skarvald the Constructor went down in flames (or Whirlwinds) in last week's Two Bosses Enter matchup, but we're not convinced that all UK bosses are whining nincompoops. This week's deathmatch pits another Utgarde Keep pair, Ingvar the Plunderer and Annhylde the Caller, against Azjol-Nerub's Krik'thir the Gatewatcher. While this duo seems almost as argumentative as the Dalronn/Skarvald duo, their teamwork seems a little more smooth. Will it be enough to overcome Krik'thir and his minions?

The ground rules:
  • Assume that these foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output.
  • This match takes place in neutral territory.
  • Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Focus on the three S's: style, story and scale.
What do you think would happen during this battle? Leave a comment explaining what you think goes down, then cast your vote for who you think is left up.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

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