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Officers' Quarters: Mailbox roundup

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available this spring from No Starch Press.

Here at Officers' Quarters I receive a number of e-mails every week that don't get featured in the column. Sometimes they are too personal and the sender requests that they do not appear on the site. Others are topics I've already addressed. Some are questions that don't require a long and detailed response and thus don't have quite enough depth to merit an entire column. This week I am featuring a few of these latter e-mails with the common theme of loot. If you think the topic requires more discussion than I've given it, tell us about it below!

Culling the Strong


Scott,

I am a part of a raiding guild which has been having a lot of growing pains. I have been with this guild for several years and many of the new players that we get are very poor players in general. I can often out dps someone in my same class running with my spec who has better gear. My guild has a loot policy which gears the lower dps players first in an effort to help progression, even if they have better overall gear than me.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Loot Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

New instances and raids are fun and all, but let's not forget what we're all here for: the loot. With the new patch out on servers, there's a whole slew of new items and gear to win and collect. Here's a quick roundup of everything we know about the new loot coming in patch 3.2, from the badges you pull from dead bosses' bodies, to the sweet epics you can turn them in to get.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Bosses, Leveling

Four year anniversary pet and feat of strength achievement


Those of us waking up today and tomorrow will log into Azeroth and find in our mailboxes a little Baby Blizzard Bear non-combat pet. This pet will also give you a feat of strength achievement celebrating World of Warcraft's four years online.

This is a nice little way for Blizzard to thank all of us for spending years in the game. With over 11 million people playing WoW, and Wrath becoming a hit overnight, there's definitely a lot of celebrating to do over at Blizzard HQ.

The little bear that you get looks a like a small version of the BlizzCon Polar Bear Mount those of us lucky enough to attend BlizzCon this year got. It's a perfect traveling companion for you as you adventure around Northrend.

Edit:
The pet is active on US, EU, and Oceanic servers.

Thanks to Mangowire for sending us the pics you see below.

Filed under: Blizzard, Achievements

Realms offline until at least 6:00pm EST [Updated]

Breaking news from the service status forums:

All realms will be offline until at least 6:00pm EST / 3:00pm PST. They are having to keep the realms down for this extended period due to errors in the mail system.

Essentially, every piece of mail that was sent prior to the realms going down at 8:00am EST was lost when the servers came back up. Blizzard has said that they are actively looking for a solution to the problem. We're keeping our mailbox post updated with the latest information on that front.

Hopefully this extended downtime is not foreshadowing things to come when Wrath of the Lich King starts to enter circulation tomorrow evening at midnight*.

Update: Please see this post for more information concerning the downtime.

Stay tuned to WoW Insider for more updates.
Are you ready for the challenges that await you in Northrend? WoW Insider has you covered with our 8-day guide to Preparing for Wrath. Also, check out our feature on AddOns new, old and outdated and Essential AddOns for Wrath written especially with the expansion in mind.

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Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Servers back down: Mailboxes empty [Updated x2]

The realms were briefly up this afternoon. Anyone who logged into them was greeted with everything working smoothly – except for their mailbox.

Many people found that they did not have the mail that was previously stored in their mailbox prior to the reset.

This is, of course, a big deal for bank alts and others who send tens of thousands of gold through the system. Blizzard has shut down the realms again, and is aware of the problem.

Update at 3:35pm: Syndri tells us that they are actively looking for a fix, and that as of yet none has been found. See our realm status post for more information about the extended downtime.

Update at 10:34pm: Mail will be reimbursed. More information.

We here at WoW Insider would like to encourage Blizzard to just fix it!

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Filed under: Bugs, Realm Status

Breakfast Topic: Unexpected Changes in Patch 3.0.2

There's a mailbox missing in Silvermoon! I know, I know. There are a lot of mailboxes in Silvermoon City, but I really liked this one near the bank in The Bazaar area. I must have missed this in the patch notes. And why would they get rid of it anyway? If anything, I think they should add more mailboxes to the old world cities. But I'm lazy. Running on mountless/travelformless alts is a chore.

On a good note, I seemed to have totally missed that Marks of Honor were going to be on the Currency tab in the character screen instead of taking up precious bag space until i actually logged in yesterday. Yay more bag space!

My favorite surprise in Echoes of Doom, however, was discovering that my Herbalist now has a new self-heal over time spell: Lifeblood. It's instant cast and has a 3 minute cooldown. There it was just sitting in my General Skills. A guildie had to point it out to me. I should probably take a closer look at the patch notes.

What changes did you not expect to find in Patch 3.0.2?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Report Card: Phase 4 daily quests

Phase 4 is now well underway, with about 50 servers having it unlocked according to us.gorgonnash.info at the time of this writing. There's still a few more things to unlock, but for the most part, the Sunwell Isle is complete, and what you see is what you get as far as resources and places to fight. So, once again, it is time to ask the question: How do these quests fit into your busy up-to-25-daily-quests-to-do lifestyle?

They fit pretty well, actually!

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Making money

World of Papercraft encore... and it kicks major hiney!


Ok, I know we already covered this yesterday, but what can we do? When we see something that blows us away (and concerns World of Warcraft, of course), we just have to share it with you. Tipster Salaami pointed me to a papercraft site made by Canadian blogger PMF, an architect who seems to enjoy making papercraft models of World of Warcraft. He hasn't made models in a few months, but if you're into papercraft -- or, since it is extended maintenance -- you can try your hand at constructing a few of the plans yourself.

You can download various plans from the awesome Kodos, Orc and Dwarven mailboxes, or start easy with a... wrench. Yes, there are actually plans for a World of Warcraft arclight spanner. There's even that King Bangalash that Mike was looking forward to. It might even be something our self-confessed curmudgeon Matthew can get into instead of waiting on a Figureprints lottery. The best part? The plans on PMF's blog are actually free, so you can simply download the links, print them out, and start papercrafting away. Of course, most of the designs require a Papercrafting skill of 375, but hey, you can always make a bunch of arclight spanners to skill up. Check out yesterday's gallery with additions from PMF's site.

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

Breakfast Topic: Have you made a mailbox blunder?


Your friendly neighborhood mailbox has many uses. More than just sending messages to offline friends, it also doubles as a second bank. Mail a bunch of items to an alt. After 30 days it will bounce back to you if you didn't retrieve it before then. The trick is remembering what you have sent off to remote storage.

Blogger McGoo used an alt to store all sorts of things he knows he'll need. But last week, he needed to farm Netherweave to finish off his Tailoring goals. So he and a buddy went on an ogre killing spree in Nagrand to get what he needed. He happily skilled up and made the robe he had been after.

Then, a few days later, he found his mailbox stuffed to the gills with Netherweave he had sent to an alt a month earlier and forgot about. Doh!

Have you made any mailbox blunders? How do you keep track of what you send to alts?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

When guild banks go wrong

Hortus has answered some important questions about what happens to the guild bank when something happens to the guildleader or the guild, and the answers will be of interest to anyone planning to put deposits in a guild bank after they get released with 2.3.

First of all, guildleaders apparently can't transfer or delete their characters (news to me), so there's no way they can exit the game that way without giving up the bank. A guildleader that transfers leadership of the guild also transfers leadership of the bank (makes sense). If a guildleader gets banned from the game, a GM will have to be contacted to get the bank back (so you GLs out there, don't get banned). But here's the kicker: if the guild gets disbanded, the GL will receive all the banked items in their mailbox.

I guess that's not too surprising-- if a GL had access to the bank in the first place, they can still ninja it anyway. So the lesson here is: don't put anything in the bank that you're not willing to lose to your guildleader on a bad day. It's a little strange that they put the /gdisband power in the same hands that they mail all the items to when the guild shuts down (maybe they should require a guild banker position, just to keep the GL away from the money?), but then again, if you trust your GL with your life during a raid, shouldn't you trust him or her with your hard-earned cash?

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money

Around Azeroth: Return to sender


Reader Nihil sends in this charming Orgrimmar shot, showing us the results with someone clearly dissatisfied with their postal service. Postal carriers of Azeroth, be warned -- this is the sort of thing that can happen to the bearers of bad news!

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! Or perhaps you'd just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

GM says "Mailbox piccolo concerts are right out!"

[We just want to be free to dance until our bits fall off! Of course, this girl hasn't got that much further to go...]A forum thread about a player and a GM talking about the Piccolo of the Flaming Fire popped up yesterday. As usual it was deleted, but the image was saved by Neuroxin on the WoW LJ community -- where I saw this. While GM threads are nothing new, the reason that this player was contacted by a GM is a new one on me. Were you aware that using the Piccolo of the Flaming Fire when you are AFK on top of a mailbox can get you in trouble with the GMs?

While I totally appreciate that the piccolo can be annoying over a long period of time, does it truly interrupt the ability to play? Is it on the same level as ganking someone over and over as someone suggested? I'll admit that I totally hate that item, but not because it makes me dance. I hate it because a small flute should not sound like a harp. (and yes, that's nitpicky of me)

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

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