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Shifting Perspectives: Spring cleaning

Shifting Perspectives The sound and the furry
Every week (sort of), WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the bookmarks folder gets the root cellar treatment.

I've been away from the game since the holidays due to what I will politely refer to as technical difficulties. (I have a variety of impolite terms for it too, but this is a family blog.) During that time, I've watched the game from the sidelines and have grown bored enough to do some maintenance on stuff that usually gets ignored until I'm rooting through it in a hurry. Add-ons were updated, dead blog links were sent to their folder, interesting ones were added, and then I turned to my collection of bookmarks in order to prune there as well.

I have a pretty sizable cache of druid or druid-related links that's grown over the years, and a lot of them are still pretty interesting. In the absence of the ability to talk about what's actually happening in the game with any fluency, I thought it might make a decent stopgap Shifting. This is a selection that's kept me absorbed for many an hour on a snowy weekend, and it ranges from comparisons between druid and warrior tanks in the classic game to where you fall on a healer's priority list when you're a jackass.

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

WoW, Casually: Tidbits for the playtime-challenged

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.

This week, dear Reader with Limited WoW Playtime, I am going to let you in on my thought process. This is partially to create a kind of casual WoW.com reading list, partially to tackle topics too small to fill up a whole column and partially to show that normality is not my strong suit. But who wants to be normal? Normal is boring.

So here are a few excerpts from what goes on in my mind when thinking about this column, starring Me, Myself and I (not in order of appearance):

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, WoW, Casually

The Daily Quest: "Looking for Waldo"


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Odds and ends, Instances, The Daily Quest

The Daily Quest: How to fail the Trial

We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Guilds, The Daily Quest

How to get your blog crashed by WoW.com


Every day, our tip line gets a number of requests for link exchanges, publicity, and feedback on whether a post would be good for inclusion in the Daily Quest. We're really happy to be able to direct traffic to bloggers with good information, but sometimes we get requests that leave us baffled, uncomfortable, or both. While it's pretty easy to deal with some of these (gold-selling sites wishing to advertise here are a quick, "No thanks"), some of them come from otherwise well-meaning bloggers who want a link, but who may not get the desired results from one. Naturally this leaves us with a bit of a dilemma, and these are the things I think about while nosing around incoming links and my own list of favorite blogs:

Please don't ask us to link your blog. Ask us to link a post.

Even if we love your site and we read it all the time, we still need a reason to link you that's relevant to a subject we're writing about. Readers dislike getting recommendations like "It's a great blog!" or "You're going to love it!" Uh, why is it a great blog? Why should they love it?

Nothing speaks so loudly or effectively as a great post on a good topic. Moreover, if we're linking a post of yours, your blog's main page should be linked as well. Even if we got dumb and forgot, it should be a simple matter for readers to find your central page (and you've got a design problem on your hands if they can't).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Features, Humor, Factions

TagWoW shrinks your WoW URLs [Updated: NSFW]

There are already quite a few "shrink your URL" sites out there, from the famous TinyURL to my favorite, is.gd. But former Wowhead honcho Tim Sullivan has seen fit to add one more to the mix, and who knows, maybe the tiny bit of functionality it adds will be worth it. TagWoW will shrink your Warcraft-related URLs (well, it'll shrink anything, but it's meant for Warcraft stuff) into whatever tiny URL you want, and then it'll track the most popular pages on the homepage.

Sure, it's just another URL-shrinking site, but there is some usefulness to be found here -- Blizzard forum URLs, many guild websites, and talent builds on Wowhead and elsewhere all have gigantic URLs, and shrinking them down to a memorable phrase could be helpful. Not to mention that Tim tells us that they want to "heavily moderate" the service -- gold farmers, keystroke loggers, and phishing sites are supposed to be kicked right out of the system, so if you see a TagWoW link on the forums, you will hopefully always be able follow it without worrying about compromising your security.

Like I said, there's just enough functionality added here that it could end up being something big. Currently, there's apparently only a few URLs saved in the system (the site only went live last week), but you can probably expect things to pick up with our post here -- and hopefully we won't burn the site down. With the right URL submissions and, as Tim promises, some serious moderation to make everything trustworthy, TagWoW could be a nice service.

EDIT: Be advised that as of this writing one of the links on the front page of TagWoW leads to an adult site though it doesn't say so in the link description. Click the links on TagWoW at your own risk.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, News items, Making money

I Play WoW on Facebook


A little while back, we checked out a Facebook app to show your WoW characters in your profiles, and just this week, reader Orangelick asked for an update to the other app we linked to, called I Play WoW. Previously, I couldn't get it working, but I gave it another try, and as you can see above, it works just fine. In fact, it's pretty customizable, even moreso than what I implemented above -- you can upload a picture for your character, and even give status and description updates for every character on the roster.

If you're looking for some WoW representation on Facebook, it'll do you right. The only real complaint I have is that it doesn't by default show off any armor or stats that you have (the other app, WoW Armory, does, and here's another app that's even flashier if you want to go that way), but then again, how many of your Facebook friends really want to follow your characters that closely? And there's a quick link to the Armory page for those who do. All in all, nice app, and the perfect way to show a little WoW pride on Facebook.

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

WoW Insider Weekly

We post a lot of stuff here at WoW Insider, and chances are that you missed some of our weekly features. But don't fret it -- here are our top weekly features from the last seven days, so if you missed them the first time around, we're here to make sure that doesn't happen again.
Raid Rx: Analyzing your healers, part 3
Marcie Knox continues her series on how to get the most of your healers during a raid.
Officers' Quarters: Cracking the whip
How to keep your guild rolling all the way up through the expansion.
Ask WoW Insider: When to gem and enchant
Our readers sound off on the best time to take advantage of getting your gear min-maxed with gems and enchants.
Spiritual Guidance: Seven tips to prepare your Priest for Wrath
Matt "Matticus" Low gives you a nice checklist for getting your Priest ready to head up to Northrend.

More of our great weekly content after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Guilds, Odds and ends, Features

WoW Insider Weekly

Missed some of our great weekly content over the last seven days? Worry not, good reader! Here it is, recapped in easily clickable link roundup form.
Insider Trader: Wrath alpha edition
Insider Trader examines what just might happen with professions in the expansion.
Blood Pact: The Warlock's way ahead, part 1
Vims examines what's next for the class that parties with demons.
Hybrid Theory: Druids and the Wrath alpha
What kind of loving will Druids get when Blizzard takes us up to Northrend?
Guildwatch: 25man raid LF24M, healers and tanks preferred
This is what happens when guilds stop being nice -- and start getting real.

Even more great weekly content found after the jump.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Lore, Guides

Wowhead power updated

You've probably noticed that we use Wowhead to embed item, spell, talent, and quest tooltips in articles here, and some of you use the same functionality on your own blogs. Wowhead's codeslinger Skosiris has made a change in the way this is handled, and that change necessitates a small update in the code needed to produce those tooltips. All you have to do is change the line "<script src="http://www.wowhead.com/widgets/power.js"></script>" to "<script src="http://www.wowhead.com/widgets/power.js?lol"></script>" wherever you have it in your code; this will force the users to reload the JavaScript so they're not running an out-of-date version.

If your own site is not powered by Wowhead, but would like it to be, it's as easy as adding "<script src="http://www.wowhead.com/widgets/power.js?lol"></script>" anywhere in your page code. If you do that, all relevant links pointing to Wowhead will get tooltips. Nifty, eh?

Filed under: Tips

Yes, it is Tuesday, whatever shall you do?

Well, it is maintenance day again. Tuesday is the Hump Day (i.e. Wednesday) of WoW players everywhere. The realms are down, and the children are home from school on March Break (at least in Canada).

Fortunately, this past week has been a busy one, and there is plenty of material for you to catch up on while you're bemoaning the maintenance, scheduled from 5:00 a.m. PST to 11:00 a.m. PST.

First of all, you won't want to miss any of our coverage from Sunday's stress test of the TTRs. The GMs were out in full force, pulling all sorts of nonsense.
  1. My coverage of the event, signed in as <Vehn>.
  2. Alex's coverage, signed in as <Insideralex>.
  3. The team's private photoshoot with <Englewood>!
  4. Our live blogging coverage, hosted by Adam, signed in as <Insideradam>.
Now that I have dutifully promoted WoW Insider the arena team, I'll point you to other fabulous articles of note. First and foremost, I'll direct you to everyone's favorite controversy of the week.

It all began as part 2 of Alex's latest Hybrid Theory column, and the frenzy that followed resulted in a follow-up post that somehow has not eased the debate.

For other articles of note, make the jump!

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status

The Patch 2.4 info consolidation page has arrived

We've been reporting furiously on the details of the Sunwell Patch 2.4 since it the notes hit Friday and the PTR came up over the weekend. Overwhelmed yet? We were, too. So we've taken all of our coverage to date, over 35 posts so far and counting, and we put their links all in one place, our Patch 2.4 Sunwell info page.

It's broken down by category, so if you're just looking for info on the changes to PvP or Professions or Daily Quests, the stories will be easier for you to find. Check back throughout the week as we will be updating the page daily with new content as we dig deeper into the patch.

Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP, Bosses, Factions, Classes, Battlegrounds

WoW Insider Weekly

Saturday once again, and that means it's time to round up all of the great weekly action here at WoW Insider over the past seven days. Our columnists work hard to bring you great content, and every Saturday afternoon, we wrangle it all up on one post for your weekly reading enjoyment.

All the World's a Stage: Turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones
David smooths out the roleplaying road.

Officers' Quarters: Why we lead
Why do guildleaders put up with all the progression angst and drama? I have no idea-- read Scott's column to find out.

Addon Spotlight: Whodrop
As in, who dropped this?

The Art of War(craft): Warsong Gulch, the broken battleground
Zach covers not only what's wrong with WSG, but what you should be doing while there.

Two Bosses Enter: Sapphiron vs. Bloodlord Mandokir
Our gigantic boss throwdown enters its second round.

Guildwatch: Inspiring action in all the wrong places
If only players put as much effort into making the world a better place as they did fighting about drama.

Build Shop: Hunter 41/20/0
Chris breaks out my favorite Hunter build: Beast Mastery.

Shifting Perspectives: The forgotten feral form
He probably means the little-known Druid anteater form. Oh, that doesn't exist? It's something I just dreamed up? Oh. Excuse me.

WoW Insider Show Episode 14: A podcast of PvP
Zach woke up at 4:30 in the morning just to record this podcast for you. The least you could do is listen, right?

Blood Pact: Let's lock and roll to 60!
Vims covers the penultimate stretch of leveling a 'lock.

The Light and How to Swing It: Heal me! for dummies
Scared of healing? Don't be.

Know Your Lore: Aszhara
KYL covers the queen of mean.

Totem Talk: Gearing up Elemental 60-65
The best Shatner-spec gear in Outland.

WoW, Casually: December 7-13 activities and making cash
Robin's guide to what you can do with just a few hours of playtime this week.

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Making life easier for your healer
They spend their whole lives making sure you stay alive. Should you help them out a bit, too?

Insider Trader: Gatherers behaving badly
Back off that Black Lotus or so help me God I will flag PvP and chain lighting you where you stand!

Phat Loot Phriday: Precisely Calibrated Boomstick
This... is my boomstick!

Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Features, Humor, Lore

WoW Insider: Now with Wowhead tooltips

The more observant among you may have noticed something neat happen to the site over the past few days: all item links that point to Wowhead now have tooltips! In case you hadn't noticed, here are a few examples:
That should save some people a click or two, and more importantly, it looks cool (in my opinion, anyway). And the most exciting part is that this is really easy to get going on your own site. All you have to do is include this one line anywhere in the page:

<script src="http://www.wowhead.com/widgets/power.js"></script>

That's it! Now all Wowhead item links have tooltips.

If you want to jazz the links up a little by making them show up in the appropriate color, you can put "class=q#" in the <a> tag, where # is the number of the quality level of the item: 5 for legendary, 4 for epic, and so on down the scale. As an example, the code for the Arcanite Steam Pistol link above looks like this:

<a class="q4" href="http://www.wowhead.com/?item=29949">Arcanite Steam Pistol</a>

But your tooltips will still work if you don't want to bother with the class attribute; the links will just all be the same color. Now you too can be powered by Wowhead!

Filed under: Items, Tricks

WoWWiki reaches 45,000 articles

Kirkburn from the great WoWWiki (I like their one line description of us, and yes we do link to them all the time) writes to tell us that they have cracked 45,000 articles on their site as of last night. From Arathi Basin to Zul'jin, they now have over 45,000 articles on everything having to do with World of Warcraft. Congrats to them!

I've only ever created one over there (and it was for a joke), but all of us here at WoW Insider have nothing but respect for all the diligent archivists over at the Wiki. They have a terrific resource over there, and it is as clear an authority as they come, especially on a lot of the lore and background information on the game. Great job, all, on 45,000 articles, and keep up the good work.

Kirkburn also tells there are updates due over there as well-- sometime before the end of the year, they're planning an update to MediaWiki 1.11. And they're also going to incorporate more with the Wikia network, which runs all kinds of niche wikis like this one, by creating a single logon across all the sites. Sounds like things are jumping over at WoWWiki, and we're glad to hear it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, News items, Guides, Forums

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