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WoW Insider/Wowhead party snapshots

WoW Insider/Wowhead Meetup
Last night, WoW Insider and Wowhead hosted their annual party at the Annabella Hotel. The party was from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. PST, but the line began before 5. It was at capacity very quickly, leaving many people standing in line to get in. Gamebreaker.tv broadcast the event, conducting interviews and otherwise putting on a good show.

At the same time, many people were lined up at the Anaheim Convention Center to pick up their BlizzCon badges. There were quite a few tweets from attendees complaining about how long the line was, but at least the weather was good and there were things to look at.

Photos of the event and the BlizzCon badge line are in the slideshows below.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: How well do you know your guildmates?

Breakfast Topic How well do you know your guildmates
I used to have guildmates -- but now I just call them "friends." We abandoned the "guildmate" tag somewhere along the line a few years ago, after it became apparent that we all preferred adapting our gaming to our group size rather than our group size to our gaming. That's not to say we're not open to the idea of new people. But the people I play with on an ongoing basis across multiple games don't call each other "guildmates," even though we've never met in real life. We're on Facebook, in IM, and on TeamSpeak even when we're not gaming together. We're just "friends."

I've known some pretty nice guildmates who made great "game friends," though. I learned all the details and odd little things about them that you do when you spend entire evenings with people on a regular basis: the nicknames they call their family members and pets, what they like on their pizza, what they studied in college, what time they get up for work. Even so, we never developed that crossover bond that leads to offline friendship. I removed their cell numbers from my contacts list once there was no longer a need to see if they could fill in on an off night or to let them know to come quick, the world boss was up RIGHT NOW!

Still, I can't even imagine being in a guild where the only thing I knew about my guildmates was their character names. Simply unimaginable.

How well do you know your guildmates? Are they merely nice people you game with, or have you built a toasty little internet friendship? Not a few guilds make a habit of annual or even more frequent real-world meetups (like The Incredibles, above). Have you ever met your guildmates? How well do you know most of the folks you play with?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Meet WoW Insider tonight and get some swag

WoW Insider midnight release parties!
What are you doing tonight? Does it involve standing in a line, waiting patiently to get your gaming mitts on a hot new edition of Mists of Pandaria? If so, we might have a treat for you.

You can find our intrepid team of WoW Insider writers at these outstanding fine gaming retailers. You should come by and say hello, perhaps win fabulous prizes (provided by our good pals Blizzard, to boot)! Or, mostly, come by and say hello.
We hope to see you tonight!

Edit: Frostheim's location has changed!

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Faces of BlizzCon: Guildmates tighten bonds at BlizzCon meetups

Fail Squad
Couldn't make it to California for the convention? WoW Insider takes you behind the scenes at BlizzCon 2011.

Face time -- it's an indispensable part of the human equation of forging bonds and getting on the same page. Friendships that used to rely solely on guild chat and forums deepen under the influence of voice chat, Facebook, and instant messaging. Today, we know our guildmates better than ever, but nothing can replace coming face-to-face, shaking hands, trading bear hugs, hanging out over days' worth of gaming and dinner and drinks ... and of course, endless discussions about WoW.

We talked with three of the many guilds that met up at BlizzCon 2011: Fail Squad, a 10-man raiding guild celebrating its first anniversary; Chatcon, a group of players who came together via chat room with a common goal of handling trolls on the official Blizzard forums; and Crisp, a U.S. top 100 raiding guild bonding in game over hard modes and out of game over BlizzCon drinks.

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Filed under: Interviews

BlizzCon 2011: Reader meetup recap

This year's reader meetup was our best yet. We hit venue capacity of 2,200 attendees within the first hour of the event, blowing away last year's attendance record by a wide margin. A little over two hours into the six hour event, over 3,000 attendees walked through the doors. After that, we lost count. We only brought 3,000 wrist bands to hand out at the door.

Every single one of us at WoW Insider, Wowhead, and Gamebreaker.tv had an absolutely wonderful time meeting and greeting our fans. We gave away countless prizes, drank endless drinks (as you can tell from our attendees' Twitter accounts), and had a generally great time. As we do every year, the moment BlizzCon comes to a close, we're going to buckle down and get to work on next year's event. Your feedback is absolutely welcome.

If you didn't get to attend and our livestream last night simply wasn't enough for you, below is our gallery of the reader meetup.


The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: What are your plans for BlizzCon this year?

BlizzCon sign.
Oh, BlizzCon. Every year you sell out in a ridiculously short period of time, dump players in lines the size of small countries, tease us with small glimpses of future content, titillate us with some daring cosplay, and make us rage about hunters' minimum range and recent paladin nerfs in front of tens of thousands of people. We wouldn't have it any other way.

And where is your place in this cosmic dance, dear readers? Are you on your way to the Blizzard mecca today? Or, like me, are you watching the live stream? None of the above? Remember -- if you're going, we'd love to see you at the Reader Meetup we're co-hosting with Wowhead and Gamebreaker.tv! If you're not going, check back with the site anyway around 5 p.m. Pacific (8 p.m. Eastern), because Gamebreaker.tv will be streaming the party.
What are your plans for BlizzCon 2011?
Tickets in hand and I'm on my way!201 (3.9%)
I'll be watching the live stream. All the coverage, none of the lines!1273 (24.6%)
Eh, I'll get all the information I need from my guildies or the web.2928 (56.5%)
Wait, what? Is something happening?780 (15.1%)


Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and Gamebreaker.tv, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon

The Reader Meetup details you've been waiting for

The convention starts this Friday, but the real party begins Thursday night. The BlizzCon 2011 WoW Insider Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and livecast by Gamebreaker.tv, starts at 5 p.m. Pacific at the Anabella Hotel patio. Yes, Dan, we know that, you say. You've already told us this. True -- but now I can finally announce the details.

The guests

Felicia Day? But of course! Plus others from the cast of The Guild will be on hand. Members of TankSpot and WoW Interface as well as Wowhead will be in attendance. Other special guests we have confirmed include Amy Brady of the Frag Dolls, actress Michele Morrow, machinimator extraordinaire Oxhorn, and Learn2raid's Kinesthesia. That's just a few of the many WoW celebrities we have lined up for the evening.

Many of these guests will be talking at the microphone with our hosts for the evening, Mat McCurley and Fox Van Allen. You will also get a chance to meet many of our guests at a special meet-and-greet area at the party.

The giveaways

What's a party without a few party favors? Our good friends at Cryptozoic are coming with 1,500 booster packs of the latest WoW TCG. And guild hosting site Enjin has 1,500 vouchers for two months of premium service to give away. Plus, there's more from Steelseries, AstroGaming, The Guild, and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab -- even Dungeons & Dragons loot from Wizards of the Coast.

Wizards has also generously donated three full sets of Magic: The Gathering foil M12 cards in limited edition boxes, each with limited edition sleeves and limited edition deck protectors. Handing out many of these prizes will be the lovely ladies of the Apotheosis Agency who helped us out last year, as well.

Did we mention the drinks? Monster Energy is giving away cans of Monster Energy and Peach Tea during the meetup for free. All you need to do is ask one of the many servers or bartenders at the party. Looking for something a bit stronger? Alliance- and Horde-themed cocktails await your pleasure, if you are 21 or over. Wristbands will be handed out at the door after your valid I.D. is checked. If you don't have a valid I.D., you can still come in -- just no alcohol for you.

The livecast

Can't make it? No problem. Gamebreaker.tv will be livecasting the meetup with Gary Gannon, Josh Allen (aka Lore), and Mike B., as well as our own Mike Sacco and Anne Stickney. They will have exclusive interviews with many of the VIP guests and provide commentary on the event as it unfolds. The livestream will be simulcast on WoW Insider, Wowhead, and Gamebreaker's site. If you're on the go, you can follow it on your mobile phone using the Justin.tv app.

What more needs to be said? Let's get this party started!

The details

What: WoW Insider's 4th Annual BlizzCon Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and Gamebreaker.tv
Where: The patio and the poolside of the Tangerine Grill & Patio at the Anabella Hotel
When: Thursday, Oct. 20, starting at 5 p.m. Pacific

Additional info: You can be under 21 and still attend. Shoes and shirt are required. You do not need a BlizzCon pass to attend. You can RSVP on our Facebook Event page. There will be a valet charge if you park at the hotel.



Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and Gamebreaker.tv, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, BlizzCon

Announcing the BlizzCon 2011 WoW Insider Reader Meetup co-hosted by Wowhead

[Update: More details.]

What's BlizzCon without the WoW Insider Reader Meetup? Last year, we rocked with Anabella with over 2,000 attendees. The drinks flowed, the swag flew and someone ended up in the pool. Oops.

How do we top last year's event? By holding an even bigger one than ever before! And we're doing that with the help of our friends at Wowhead. The Wowhead team will be cohosting the event with us including Members of ZAM Network, TankSpot and WoW Interface. We're very excited to have them with us to make this the go-to party of BlizzCon 2011.

And for those of you who can't make it to Anaheim this year, we have a special treat for you, too. Last year we brought you a 3-hour+ livestream of the event as it happened via webcam. This year, we're doing the same -- but thanks to our friends at Gamebreaker.tv, we'll have better lights, cameras, mics and streaming capabilities than ever before. Mike Sacco and Anne Stickney return to hosting duties throughout the night joined by Gamebreaker's Gary Gannon, Josh Allen AKA Lore, and Mike B.

Mat McCurley will be returning as MC for the evening at the main stage with his trademark humor and, of course, a box full of swag to give away. He will be assisted by our very own Fox Van Allen, who needs no introduction (as he will talk endlessly about himself if you just ask).

We have a long list of VIP guests, special giveaways, and more we can't wait to tell you about. Those details will follow in the next few weeks. Come join us and kick off BlizzCon with your friends at WoW Insider and Wowhead!

What: WoW Insider's 4th Annual BlizzCon Reader Meetup cohosted by Wowhead
Where: The patio and the poolside of the Tangerine Grill & Patio at the Anabella hotel
When: Thursday, Oct. 20, starting at 5 p.m.

Additional info:
You can be under 21 and still attend. Shoes and shirt required. You do not need a BlizzCon pass to attend. You can RSVP on our Facebook Event page.


Filed under: WoW Insider Business, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010: Guilds meet up around BlizzCon fun

Players didn't only trickle into BlizzCon's realm meetup area in singles and pairs. Many guilds have used the con as an opportunity to stage annual guild meetups, flying in for an epic guild-centered weekend that includes BlizzCon not as the centerpiece but the icing on the cake. <GNERDS> of Frostwolf (US-A), together since vanilla WoW's beta, used the weekend as a hub for one of its regular real-world meetups.

Some 25 guildmates gathered from as far as Washington and Texas for the meetup, including Alex Mueller (aka Sparco the holy paladin), GM of <GNERDS>. Despite the fact that none of the guild's members knew each other before playing WoW together, they're all fast friends now. "We don't call each other by our character names anymore," Alex reports. (In fact, Alex proposed to his wife, also a member of the guild, during BlizzCon two years ago.)

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Filed under: Guilds, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

The Classifieds: Back for more

The Classifieds brings you weekly news from around the WoW community, including your shout-outs to perpetrators of Random Acts of Uberness.

They came, they went ... And now <There and Back Again> is -- well, back again. This Thorium Brotherhood (US-A) guild, formed specifically to quest its way through a farewell tour of vanilla WoW Alliance content from start to finish, has hit the level cap, marked its territory and is preparing to launch a similar effort Horde-side.

"After starting with over 100 members who joined us (in most part due to your article!), we ended up with around 35 who stuck through to the very end," reports GM Mistigris. "Lots of adventures along the way! Foot races through Stranglethorn, marches through Dalaran, cooking contests, random dungeon madness, tons of visits to the NPC that turns off XP ... We did ZG and Karazhan at very close to level cap, and there is a robust kernel of folks who are gearing up for 80th heroics and raiding."

Time now for the flip side of the coin. "We're going to nest within <Imminent Rueage> on Thorium Brotherhood (US-H)," Mistigris continues. "Our starting date is Saturday the 24th of July -- starting zones and guild invites galore! Level cap for the day is 12th; we'll be gathering the following week at Crossroads for our first 'official' event."

If you've been looking for just the right way to wrap up the pre-Cataclysm era, look up <Imminent Ruage> and give all things Horde-side one more for the road. We've got plenty of other news from around the WoW community this week, as well ... So let's crack open The Classifieds.

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Filed under: Guilds, The Classifieds

World of WarCrafts: Behind the incredible Incredicon


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself; email lisa@wow.com with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

Required reading for this week's post: Setting an Incredibles standard for guild meetups

Synopsis <The Incredibles> of Boulderfist (US-A) sets the standard for designing WoW-themed guild meetups, with custom-designed collateral including an Oscars-style golden statuette volunteer award, picnic decorations, over-the-top publicity posters, game-themed menus -- even custom-designed, WoW-themed beer labels.

Evidence See the gallery below.



Want to learn more about that golden bird? Click past the break for more details about the incredible Increddy award.

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Filed under: Guilds, World of WarCrafts, Arts and Crafts

15 Minutes of Fame: Setting an Incredibles standard for guild meetups

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

It's not uncommon anymore for guilds to hold regular, real-life meetups. Even entire house party weekends aren't too far off the radar among groups who really relish the game and one another's company. But the bar set by <The Incredibles> of Boulderfist (US-A) is simply ... Well, it wouldn't be stretching things for the sake of a play on words to say the IncrediCon event has set the bar incredibly high. There's not a detail of these gatherings that's not related to World of Warcraft: picnics, banquets, over-the-top publicity posters, hotel welcome packages, game-themed menus -- even custom-designed, WoW-themed beer labels. (Talk about tossing one back with the guildies ...)

The pièce de resistance of each year's event, however, is clearly The Increddy, a golden statuette (à la Oscars) awarded to a guild volunteer or leader for service to the five-year-old group. We'll be featuring the Increddy and the dizzying array of other items created for Incredicon-related fun in next week's World of Warcrafts (previously planned for yesterday, but bumped so we could serve up some WoW-inspired menus for your Fourth of July celebration). This week, we talked to Increddy crafter and guild officer Theraven, pulling together our conversations into a Q&A-style look at the incredible Incredicon meetups.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The Guild season 3 episode 3 out now


After last week's shocking breakup, it's all up to Codex to put the pieces back together this week, as The Guild not only deals with the loss of one member, but tries to jump into a brand new expansion, even while some new wrinkles invade the guildies' lives. This season is starting to get some darkness to it -- not sure how it's all going to play out, but it's interesting to see our characters facing down some real-life struggles as well.

As always, the episode is available for download over on MSN Video or in HD on Xbox Live. We've also put an embedded version right after the break, so you can click down there to see it as well. Enjoy!

Like The Guild? We do, too! We chatted with all of the folks at BlizzCon, including Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, and Jeff Lewis and Michele Boyd. We also saw their panel, and the guys were nice enough to stop by our meetup as well. Stay tuned here every Tuesday for a brand new episode of season 3!

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Humor, Fan art

The Queue: The Twitcave

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today I did something a little different for our questions and I went to Twitter. My first day really back on the job since BlizzCon, I was in the mood for some quick and easy questions. On a completely related note, yes, I did have Hawaiian Pizza at BlizzCon. How could I not?

LOLNAIDERS asked...

"Do you think Worgen racials are as stupidly overpowered as everyone's complaining about?"


I'm going to argue semantics a little bit. Yes, I think the racials are very cool and exciting, probably more fun than any of the other racials currently in game. I don't think they're overpowered. Well, the various speed boosts might be pretty wild in the arena, but we already have some crazy PvP racials in the game. I'm quite fond of Every Man.

They did mention at BlizzCon that they want racials to be a little more fun, so I think most races will end up with things on par with what the Worgen/Goblins have in the end. That's my hope, anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, The Queue, Cataclysm

Live Ustream of the WoW.com reader meet-up

Live Broadcasting by Ustream

Looks like the gang's getting started at the Tangerine Patio of the Annabella Hotel, and we've got the live Ustream feed here so you can hang out virtually!

If you're in the Anaheim area, swing by to say hello to the gang, and we've got prizes and giveaways from Upper Deck, Steelseries, WoWTCGLoot.com, Swagdog, and Creative Labs in addition to guests, a (we hope functional) kitchen and a cash bar! We may be able to give prizes away to virtual attendees as well, so hang tight. More updates will follow throughout the evening.

UPDATE: Yup, audio's lousy, we're working on it. Turpster apparently has another microphone. Now if only we could find Turpster...

Additional notes and updates beyond the cut.


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

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Filed under: Podcasting, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, WoW Social Conventions, Features, BlizzCon

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