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Tell me about your secret addons

Breakfast Topic Tell me about your secret addons
I put the call out on twitter the other day, asking people to tell me about little known addons that they couldn't be without. When you talk about addons you always want to have loaded, everyone thinks of things like DBM or Grid or other very well-known and popular addons, but they're not the ones I have in mind.

Instead I want to know about the addons you rely on that not everyone has heard of, that aren't common knowledge, the ones that you happened upon or had recommended to you by friends, and now can't be without. The secret addons that you will always use, now, regardless of what others might say.

Me, personally? I love a couple of little addons, one called GoGoMount, which allows you to use Blizzard's keybind menu, the one in the menu that pops up if you hit escape, to bind both a random flying mount and a random ground mount. I like getting random mounts, and it doesn't take up space on my (packed) bars. Another one I love is Steal, Purge and Dispel. It makes a "bong" noise and pops up a little window whenever your target or focus has something that could be removed via Spellsteal, Purge, or Dispel Magic. While there are other ways to do this, it's great to have that little reminder sometimes, particularly on my mage where I have a habit of getting distracted by Pyroblasting everything in the face.

So what are your secret addons?

Filed under: Add-Ons

Revving up the comments with WoW Insider regular Revynn

Revving up WoW Insider comments with Revynn
We love our readers -- and come to think of it, they're probably a big part of the reason you love us, too. At a time when the comment sections of many sites are overwhelmed by trolling and pettiness, WoW Insider maintains an even-natured profile with a crop of commenters known for their level-headed touch.

Making his mark among those commenters is long-time reader Revynn, noted again and again by WI writers themselves for the insightful profile of comments he's built across the site.

"I think I'm going on four years now," Revynn says of his longevity as a WoW Insider reader. "I stumbled across WoW Insider during Wrath when I was trying to get to the official World of Warcraft site and just typed in 'wow.com.' When I finally decided to stop lurking and start actually saying things, it was under a different username that I abandoned when I changed mains at the end of ICC."

"It's easy to look back and be surprised at how much time I've dedicated to a website that I don't own or receive any compensation from, but it's a lot like WoW in that respect," he continues. "I can think 'I've really wasted a lot of time here,' or I can reflect fondly on the good people and good conversations that have come and gone over the years. People like Krotzer, Cutaia, Draknfyre, Pyro, Grovin, Ravyncat, Killik, Jeff and many, many others are what make WI such a fantastic place to come to for information or just to hang out."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: What do you do while you're doing archaeology?

It's no secret that archaeology can be a boring pain in the butt. Archaeology is less of a profession and more like a Profession in which I have spent a long time studying, gotten my degree in, and now dedicate my life's work to. Podcasts are an excellent diversion, but there's something tactile missing.

One night while I was out in the Uldum desert, painfully sulking my way from one failure of a dig site to the next, I got a whisper from a fan and reader who just wanted to say hello. "You caught me at the best time, in fact," I told him. "I'm just bored doing archaeology."

This became a thing. We got on pretty well. Other people began to send me messages during my archaeology sessions. If you know my name (pretty easy to find me if you look hard enough) and I'm on WoW late, you should say hello. You just might get me right in the middle of archaeology.

What do you like to do to pass the time while doing archaeology?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

AddOn Spotlight: Community Choice 1


AddOn Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience -- the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your AddOns folder will never be the same! This week, the community's voice has been heard and three awesome addons await your approval.

Last week, I propositioned you, the fine readers of AddOn Spotlight, to send in your favorite addons that you wanted to see on the Spotlight. You responded with a ton of suggestions, ranging from the absolutely awesome (the three we will be seeing today) and the absolutely AWESOME (stop suggesting IconHell). Without further adieu, I present you with AddOn Spotlight's first Community Choice! Here are three of your suggestions. Enjoy!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Farewell and thank you, WoW.com

I've told this story a few times before: I actually started out on WoW.com as a comment troll. A few years back, Jennie Lees was the lead blogger here, and she posted something silly about a wallpaper or a plush doll, I don't remember. I was also reading the forums at the time, and Blizzard had just dropped new priest patch notes. "Why are you posting this junk," I commented angrily, "when the priest notes just dropped?" She was nice about it -- she actually emailed me and said that the priest updates post was coming soon. And I felt so bad about it, I never activated the comment. But a little while after that, when WoW Insider posted that they were looking for some new writers, I applied, and said that I was sorry for that comment, but that I was working on becoming a writer and could help out with posting on the site when needed.

When I started writing for WoW Insider (now WoW.com, obviously), I was working retail in Chicago, writing part-time in the evenings. The site itself got only a few thousand hits a month, with one or two weekly features and maybe ten comments per post. Now, over three years later, I'm a fulltime freelance writer, I've been to three BlizzCons, I've written over 1.7 million words in over 3,300 posts here about everything in Azeroth, and the site itself rivals some of the best blogs on the Internet, routinely garnering millions of hits a month. I helped build this site with my own two hands, and while I definitely can't claim all the credit (there was and is a huge team of people who keep this thing running), it's with a fair amount of sorrow that I'm here to tell you today will be my last day on WoW.com.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Conclusions from the WoW.com faction transfer survey


Last week I posted a poll to try and figure out some of the numbers behind the newly implemented faction transfers, and now that we've got quite a few votes in there, it's probably a time to look at what we got and see if we can make any sense of it. The most conclusive data there is the answer above: about 18.6% of our reader polled said that yes, they had made a faction transfer already. That sounds high to me -- maybe it's because WoW.com readers know about the faction transfer service that more of them may have taken advantage of it. But if it's true that 19% of players did take advantage of the transfer service, then 570,000 of the around 3 million US players have switched factions, making Blizzard $17.1 million in gross revenue alone, just in the last week since it's opened.

The other questions were a little hairier -- I tried to ask people not to answer if they didn't fit the criteria for each question, and there's no way to tell for sure that's what happened. Also, lots of people wanted to see the answers without voting, and unfortunately, our voting system doesn't allow a clear way to do that (I have since checked with our tech guys, who say that the solution we came up with, voting without choosing an answer, did not affect the poll). But after the break, we can try to suss some conclusions out of the data anyway.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Polls, Realm Status, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: 15 Minutes on the Street


There are all kinds of people at BlizzCon, and the vast majority of them aren't developers or exhibitors -- they're players and Blizzard fans just like you who come out to see what Blizzard's got to show them. We spent a large amount of time this weekend talking to devs and exhibitors and gathering information, but we definitely also wanted to speak with players as well -- see what they thought of the show and how their experience went.

Of course we talked with more players than we could ever fit here -- we ended up having over 1200 people stop by our meetup on Thursday night (and I did my best to shake hands with as many of them as I could), and all weekend long, players came up to us and said hi, telling us their classes and spec and what they liked and didn't like about the show and our site. Here's four small interviews that we had with players at the show, done by Robin Torres and I. It's just one tiny look at a few people walking around the 'Con, but it should give you a little insight into what the mood was like last weekend.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Interviews, BlizzCon, 15 Minutes of Fame, 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

Reminder: WoW.com BlizzCon meetup tonight at 7:30pm

This is it. The day has come. This evening at 7:30pm on the Tangerine Patio at the Anabella Hotel in Anaheim, we'll be hosting our annual BlizzCon meetup, and trust us: it's sure to be amazing. There's the people, for one thing: many of your favorite WoW.com writers will be in attendance, ready to talk some shop with you. Many of our friends and neighbors in the WoW community will be stopping by as well -- we can't name names, but let's just say that if you've ever seen or heard them on WoW.com, they'll probably be there. Then there's the prizes: Upper Deck, Steelseries, WoWTCGLoot.com, Swagdog, and Creative Labs are all bringing some sweet swag by the meetup for you readers to take home for them. And there'll be a cash bar (all attendees should be 18+ or accompanied by a parent) with an open kitchen as well, and we promise the bartender will be faster than the slowpoke last year.

Plus, for the first time ever, those of you at home will get a chance to attend virtually. Starting at 7:30pm Pacific, we're going to be streaming live video and audio from the party over on our Ustream page, and you'll be able to chat with us, our guests, and anybody else there who wants to chat with you. If you're good, we might even give away some prizes to virtual attendees.

It's going to be a blast. And hey, we even hear there's some kind of convention going on in Anaheim this weekend, so that should be fun, too. If you're in Anaheim, we'll see you there tonight, or if you're at home we'll see you on Ustream. Can't wait!


BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there's some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, BlizzCon

More WoW tattoos to admire


The_rabid_child's lovely tattoos posted on LJ today reminded me that it's about time we updated the WoW.com Tattoo gallery. Below you'll find a whole gallery full of tattoos sent to us by players with various Warcraft art or Alliance or Horde logos permanently embedded in their skin. Good times!

Truthfully, most of the tattoos we get from you all tend to be Horde tattoos, but we're not quite sure why that is. Are Horde-type folks more willing to ink up their bodies, or are they better at taking the pain? We do have a few exceptions -- Mike P. sent us this Lordaeron tattoo above (which in fact does look at little painful) that shows a little Alliance pride. If you've got a tattoo you want us to include here, feel free to send it along, and you just might see it here on the site.

Gallery: WoW Tattoos

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Galleries, Fan art

Blogatelle signs off

One more major WoW-related blog has closed its doors. Too Many Annas, among others, notes that Blogatelle has called it quits, saying that Sean and Jess over there both feel they've come to the point where they've run out of things to say. While the blog itself is definitely a nice achievement -- it was an excellent blog centered on roleplaying (we've mentioned it before here on the site as an excellent resource for RPers) -- they will unfortunately leave a number of series behind, including the Katafray project, which followed a roleplaying Paladin up through the levels in Azeroth. As Anna says, they definitely deserve a hat tip, both for giving the RP community a solid and steady blogging voice, and for being accessible enough to bring in new RPers.

This closing follows the shuttering of a few other WoW blogs lately, most famously those of BRK and Resto4Life. You might say three is a trend, sure, but on the other hand, we've seen a lot of blogs and podcasts grow as well lately. Four years in, there are going to be all kinds of people in the community, in all kinds of places regarding their interest to the game. Anyone who sees a few bloggers step away to do other things and cites it as a sign that the game is on its last legs needs to keep looking. We're sorry to lose some popular bloggers, but it sure looks from here like the community is stronger than ever.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard

Getting WoW status updates on Twitter

You readers are awesome -- yesterday, when I posted the link to the online server alert page (which, yes, wasn't all that new, but lots of us hadn't seen it before), I suggested that it get hooked up to Twitter somehow, and sure enough, Scyntinth and blkmasta55555 wasted no time creating @WoWStatusUS and @WoWStatusEU, respectively (Ed also pointed out the EU status page). Tsaavik created an RSS feed for the alert as well, if you'd rather use that. And those aren't the only way to track Blizzard's realm status on Twitter -- looks like @wowalerts has been in action for a little while, and @pikestaff pointed out to me that @wowrealms tweets about realm downtime as well. And, hey, even your friends here at WoW.com are on Twitter keeping you up to date with the latest at @WoWInsider.

So yes, there are tons of ways to track what's happening on your favorite realms via Twitter or any number of updating services.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Realm Status, Blizzard

WoW Insider Show live this afternoon


Gonna be a big show this week on the podcast -- as far as I know (and I could be wrong, but we'll see), the brand new Turpster song is ready to play on the air. It's called "WoW Insider," and from what I've seen so far, it'll be worth the wait. There still could be a few slowdowns, but I have a feeling that this is it. Tune in this afternoon at 3:30pm to hear the song live, and come on back on Monday morning to get it as an mp3 download.

Plus of course we'll have the podcast as usual -- BRK will be on this week along with Turpster and I, and we'll be talking about all the most popular stories of the past week, including the news of the Mobile Authenticator, what's up with the addon changes last night (and why addon makers are so unhappy), and we'll talk about all the latest news with patch 3.1. And of course we'll answer your emails as well -- if you want to send something in right now, feel free to throw it along to theshow@wow.com.

Should be a good time as usual. The show starts today at 3:30pm Eastern over on our Ustream page, or you can just come right back here (there's also a feed in the second half of this post. See you there.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, Humor, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

Ask WoW Insider: Instance running 101

Here's a question for you all from Percinho about my absolute favorite thing to do in game: five man instances. He and his guildies are about to run their very first instance (or they were when he sent this to us at ask@wow.com), and he wants to know your very best tips for instance running:

For the first time we have 5 players with level 60+ characters and so have decided to run some instances. None of the guild have extensive experience of instancing as we tend to mainly be solo-ers, or group up in twos and threes just to quest. We're heading to the Ramparts in Hellfire Peninsula with a Warrior, Priest, DK, Rogue and Mage. What we're after is some tips for successful instancing that we may not have considered, those things that every veteran knows that wouldn't even occur to instance-n00bs like ourselves.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, Instances, Ask WoW Insider, Bosses

Reminder: Come meet WoW Insider at the midnight launch


Today's the day! After years of speculation and months of waiting, Blizzard is finally officially releasing Wrath of the Lich King. More than a few people have grabbed their copies already, but the vast majority of us are heading out to midnight launches all over the country (and indeed, the world) to pick up the game's second expansion.

Blizzard has their own launches planned (there's a rumor going around that the NYC event is canceled, but we've confirmed that's not true -- everything is still on as planned), and so do we here at WoW Insider -- in all the places that we're going out to take pictures and grab our own copies, we're inviting you to come along with us and say hi. We've reprinted all the meetups after the break -- I'll be in Chicago, we'll have people at the Blizzard events in Anaheim and Austin, and in North Carolina, California, Maryland, Minnesota and Florida, and our own Jennie Lees is hosting an event in Scotland. Take a look after the break, and if you happen to be in the area, definitely come out and meet us.

No matter where you are, good luck getting the game, and have a terrific time. We'll be around tonight with coverage of the event as it happens, interviews with devs on the scene, and of course in-depth coverage of our (and your) first steps into Northrend. Today is the day!

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Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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