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The Classifieds: Buttering up the Panera Bread WoW Man

The Classifieds brings you weekly updates on guild recruiting, rankings, splits and merges, progression and more. Have guild news or a Random Act of Uberness to share? E-mail TheClassifieds@wow.com.

Remember back during the holidays, when we had a nice cozy Breakfast Topic chat about the fellow who's been spotted schlepping his entire iMac to the local Panera Bread to play WoW? Sharp-eyed reader Paul discovered a followup article at Gizmodo, featuring five questions with the Panera Bread WoW Man. It's no headline news, but it's an interesting peek into how a fellow WoW player gets his fix.

Let's open up The Classifieds ...

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Filed under: Guilds, The Classifieds

The Classifieds: WoW player/MMA fighter on the mend


The Classifieds brings you weekly updates on guild recruiting, rankings, splits and merges, progression and more. Have guild news or a Random Act of Uberness to share? E-mail The Classifieds.

In news from the WoW community, guildmates of MMA grappler Haydn Clasby, aka Croc of <Defiant Hearts>, US Bloodscalp-H, are rallying in support after he suffered a broken neck in what was called a freak accident during a match in New Zealand last month. Friends and fans are publicizing a Recovery Fund to help Croc out with the medical costs of the devastating accident.

Our friend Jens "Little Evil" Pulver, also an MMA fighter and inveterate WoW player (and seen in yesterday's 15 Minutes of Fame), offered these words of support for Croc: "My heart and thoughts go out to you, brother. Make sure you keep your spirits up and tackle this with the same grit and guts you used to get in there in the first place. Take the time to heal and get well soon. Chin down, hands up and always come out fighting; don't let this stop you. I wish you all the best."

Best wishes, Croc, for your continued recovery!

Let's open up The Classifieds ...

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Filed under: The Classifieds

The Classifieds: News briefs on guilds and players

The Classifieds brings you weekly updates on guild recruiting, rankings, splits and merges, progression and more. Have guild news or a Random Act of Uberness to share? E-mail The Classifieds.

Welcome to our first installment of The Classifieds, an evolution of our former Guildwatch feature. As more and more players move into endgame raiding, we thought it fitting that our guild news should evolve, too. The Classifieds gives you more of the news you can use: who's progressing, who's marking milestones, who's recruiting. But it's not only about guilds. Because we're all down there in the trenches of Dungeon Finder groups at every opportunity, The Classifieds lets you send a shout-out to that player who made your last PUG a thing of real beauty (whether through pure technical finesse or a winning attitude). And if you're curious about how WoW intersects with the world at large, we'll be passing along links to academic research studies seeking participants, as well.

Editor's Note: One thing you might notice missing in Guildwatch's new incarnation is the "Drama" section. In the interest of fostering community growth and positive interaction, we're checking the drama and negativity at the door.

Let's open the Classifieds!

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Achievements

Blizzard moves from #47 to #1 in studio rankings

According to a recent list by Develop magazine, Blizzard has dethroned Nintendo to become the most bankable game studio in the world. I'm surprised they weren't there already, but I guess it's just this side of possible that Nintendo is hard to budge. Develop's top 100 is compiled by their editorial team and accounts for total sales, reputation within the industry, and a variety of other criteria. When all was said and done, the editors wrote, Warcraft "continues to do the sort of numbers previously reserved for crime syndicates and smaller members of the United Nations."

Nicely put, but what I find most bizarre about the list is that Blizzard jumped from #47 to #1 within the space of a year (you'll find Blizzard's 2008 listing on page 82 of a highly annoying-to-navigate Issuu archive). While part of that's due to the merge with Activision, Develop claims that Wrath of the Lich King being the fastest-selling PC game in history was the greatest contributing factor. Hang on. WoW was doing just fine even before Wrath hit, so how did Blizzard manage to get itself ranked behind do-little studios with sales of around $1-2 million per game on the 2008 list?

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Ranking your new loot

Our good friend Kestrel reminds you that as you're leveling up and getting all this new gear, there are quite a few good tools out there to let you know what's what in terms of what gear is best for you. Lootrank is the one Kestrel mentions most -- you can put in your own stats and check off which ones are most important to you, and it'll recommend and rate your gear from there. We've got our own list of other sites which will help, too -- Kaliban's great class loot lists (at wow-loot.com) have been all updated for Wrath, and of course ShadowPanther has lots of Rogue updates as well (though DruidWiki doesn't appear to be completely updated yet).

MaxDPS.com is a very popular site for seeking and tracking gear upgrades as well, and I remain a fan of the simplicity of Gear Wishlist -- it doesn't get any easier than tossing your info into a form and having the site spit a huge list of gear options at you, based on the rankings from mulitple other sites.

But no matter how you do it, there are plenty of ways to figure out which way to head for your next upgrade. There's a whole continent of new gear out there -- go get some.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

MaxDPS.com maps out your DPS gear

On Saturday's Gear Wishlist post, a few people brought up a site that was mentioned in the item weighting choices there: MaxDPS.com. And later that day, Dan Hyde himself, maker of the site, emailed asking us to take a look at it. It's been around for quite a while (and quite a few of our readers already like and use it), but this was the first time I'd really inspected it -- turns out it's a pretty complicated gear guide that's aimed at one thing: maxing out your DPS.

In fact, that's the only thing it does -- there are no options, for instance, for Resto Shammies or Holy Priests (although Dan is working on healing gear rankings -- Holy Paladin is one of the newer options). All the site does is look at the stats on gear (and your own stats, if you punch them in), and then rank all the gear in the game to tell you how much DPS that piece will let you turn out. And if that's your goal, the thing can be pretty helpful -- I saw a few quest pieces on my Hunter that I could pretty easily upgrade to if I just wanted to up my DPS by about 10 or so.

The only problem, of course, is that it's DPS only -- if you want to put together a set that is all about plus healing, or max out Intellect for whatever reason, you're still going to have to parse the gear that shows up in the ranks (which is one reason I liked Gear Wishlist so much -- you can rank for MaxDPS, or switch the rank over to item level or the Wowhead ratings for each piece). But once you've figured out what you want your character's main goal to be with gear at endgame, all of these sites will do their best to provide suggestions for upgrades to you, from all the stuff available in quests and PvP at level 70, up to the highest pieces you can find in endgame raiding.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Ranking, Guides, Buffs

Mages and Rogues jump in Arena stats, while Hunters fall behind


Vhiari, keeper of the Armory stats, has updated once again, this time taking a look at Arena performance across all three rankings and all of the classes contained within. The 2v2 comparison (showing Arena rankings, across the bottom, with the percentage of players in each class at that ranking) tells the overall story: Mages are seeing major gains in the Arena, as are Rogues, which Vhiari speculates may be at the cost of Warlocks (who took a small tumble). And just as last time, Hunters continue to struggle in all three brackets -- 5v5 has the same situation as above, but in less extreme amounts.

Of course, these are stats, and what these stats actually mean is up to you (and more importantly, up to Blizzard -- this is just a sign of who's getting which rankings at which levels, and this could be the result of many different things, so there's no reason to expect buffs or nerfs based on just this information). Still, it's a pretty clear look at just who's winning out there, for whatever reason -- the stats say Mages have done well the past few months, while Hunters continue to struggle inside the Arenas.

[via WoR]

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Odds and ends, PvP, Arena

WoW Insider is taking over the world

Reader Andy wrote in this morning to tell us about what he read while having his morning cup of joe. From the The Guardian's article on The world's 50 most powerful blogs:

"46. WoW Insider"

Ummm... really? Cool!

While I consider us to be a major source of news, information, and QQness about World of Warcraft related things, I never really thought that we'd ever be included on a list like this. It's kind of nice. So who did we beat? And who beat us?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, WoW Insider Business, News items

To shop with honor

Although Patch 2.3 arrived two weeks ago, it isn't until today that Arena Season 3 will make its official debut. Just like in fashion, the styles of the previous Seasons will go on sale for low, low prices. In fact, in true Filene's Basement style, the items from Season 1 will become purchasable with Honor and Marks of Honor. The once-shiny gear from Season 2 are being taken off the racks to make way for the latest Vengeful Gladiator's fashions, complemented by Vindicator's accessories. Some players looking ahead have already saved up on the maximum Honor of 75,000 and maximum Arena Points of 5,000 in preparation for the new Season. I think I have an idea of how my wife feels when Mango goes on sale and a new line comes in. It's kind of like the World of Warcraft equivalent of Black Friday.

How about you? What's on your Honor shopping list? Will you be buying Season 1 gear or spend it on the new Vindicator items? Will you be buying armor or weapons? Are you trooping over to the Hall of Legends or the Champion's Hall before you head over to Area 52 (with branches now open in Nagrand and Blade's Edge!)? Choices, choices.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Is There Too Much Honor in Crossrealm BGs?

Since my Shaman hit the big six-oh, I've found myself checking more and more into the BGs, especially Alterac Valley (where we picked up a hardwon victory late last night, with the help of a gigantic Ice Lord). And from everything I've seen, they're as much of a hit as everyone first said they were-- queues are almost nonexistent, there's always lots of people around to play, and quality of play in there is-- well, it's not entirely terrible. Sometimes. But at least the honor and rep flows quickly.

In fact, that's exactly the problem Luriah has over on Detheroc. He hates the new cross realm battlegrounds, not because he isn't getting more honor-- he is-- but because he isn't getting better ranks for it. This past week, he reports, he picked up three times the honor he had the previous week, but his rank rose by barely half of one. Because of that, he says the honor system is actually worse.

Now, technically the point is moot because the expansion will bring a complete revamp of the honor system, and ranks as we know them are going bye-bye. And I'm not one to stand up and defend the honor system as it is now-- any way you look at it, it's a grind. Players who spend way too much time in the battlegrounds will get the highest ranks, period, and I think Blizzard should be rewarding skill in battle, not necessarily the time investment.

But I don't think Luriah's argument holds much water. The new honor system isn't worse-- it's the same, with more players (namely me-- this last week, I played more than I ever have). More time in the BGs means everyone has more honor. Blizzard didn't ruin anything if you can't get ranks-- they just made the gameplay better, so competition is more fierce. Is that good news if you're trying to reach HWL or GM before the expansion hits? Nope. But it is good news for those of us who were tired of spending more time in the queue than the BG itself.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Blizzard, PvP, Expansions

To Turtle or Not to Turtle...?


We're 45 minutes into an Alterac Valley run and 30 players are sitting in our base playing defense, fighting a pitched battle that doesn't help us win, but slows down the rate at which we're going to loose. We haven't managed to hold a single graveyard throughout the fight, and the Alliance has a line of defense that quickly picks off most players attempting to move north from the Horde spawn point. I manage to sneak up to the next graveyard with a hunter friend while everyone else is busy fighting back in Frostwolf hold - and we manage to tap the flag there. However, before we manage to make the capture, a group of five Alliance comes down hard, and we're sent back to where we started.

My friend whispers to me, "They have no idea what causes people to turtle, do they?" And, while I hadn't thought of it in this way before, I'm forced to agree - this sort of fight is probably no fun for either side. By playing such heavy defense, and not allowing a single capture, they push us back towards Frostwolf hold again and again - and when there's nothing else for players to do, many of them regroup back at one of the worst bottleneck points in the game, and the match ended up lasting an nearly an hour and a half.

So what's your experience with turtling? And is there, perhaps, something to be said for letting the opposing side take a little, just to prevent them from fighting with their backs against the wall? Or is there some better strategy to avoid or break the opposing team's turtling efforts?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, PvP

Additional Honor System Modifications Coming


We already know that the honor system's curve is getting adjusted in patch 1.12, but apparently that's not the only change planned. On Friday, CM Nethaera let us know that there will also be some reduction in honor decay. The exact patch note reads: Honorable Kills now diminish at a rate 10% per kill rather than 25% per kill. The phrasing of the post lead to some confusion, so she later clarified - in patch 1.12 you're going to be able to kill the same player more before you stop receiving honor. If it seems like a minor tweak, well, Nethaera admits that it's only a temporary measure, and that there are bigger changes coming.

Filed under: Patches, PvP

More on PvP in Patch 1.12


We've gone over some of the PvP changes that will show up in patch 1.12 - both cross-realm battlegrounds and the new world PvP objectives. However, this is not the only change coming. When patch 1.12 goes live, the honor curve will be softened, somewhat, allowing a larger number of players into the upper ranks. There are no specific details on the numbers here, of course, and it's unlikely we'll understand the full impact of such a change until after it's been up and running on the live realms for a while.

[Fan art by Guillaume Bonnet]

Filed under: Patches, PvP

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