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[1. Local]: What do Thrall, iPhones, and a Cowbell have in common?

Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week. Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

What do Thrall, iPhones, and a Cowbell all have in common? They're part of the comments all you readers left this week.


Thrall missing from Orgrimmar
That dirty Orc Thrall went missing from Orgrimmar this week. He ended up coming back, spontaneously respawning across all the servers. But while he was gone there was rampant speculation as to where he went. Reader Roflpanda suggested that "He went to congratulate Obama on his victory of the presidency." Right on. Crazyfool retorts back that Thrall actually "...moved to [the] Undermine to escape the new socialist Azerothian order."

Anderone hinted that there might be something going on between Thrall and Jania Proudmoor again: "Has anyone checked with Jania? He's probably snuck over to Theramore for a few hours..." Scionic chimes in: "Boom chickie lok tar."
More of the best reader comments this week after the break!

Read more →

Filed under: [1.Local]

Ask WoW Insider: Wrath and the pre-60s

This week, Keyra of Farstriders has a question about a group that's been a little left out of the expansion excitement so far: midlevel folks. Here's what she is asking you, our readers:

With all of the focus on Wrath, there seems to be a conspicuous absence toward those who are of lower-to-mid level and it's beginning to become irritating. Not everyone is level 65+! Some of us are still below level 40 and many of us are just starting out. So, here's my question: What can we who are mid-level expect to see from the expansion, if anything? Is it even worth the trouble to purchase since we can't benefit from the higher-level quests, items and what-not? And what would you suggest to speed our leveling so that we may enjoy what Wrath has to offer?

Keyra

The fact is that most of the marquee features in the expansion pack are, yes, aimed at the higher levels. And most of the things that will affect lowbies -- Inscription, the faster leveling, and achievements, are already in the game anyway.

So there are two questions here: if you're pre-60, why should you care about Wrath? Or should you at all? And Keyra also sounds like she wants leveling suggestions. My suggestion? Do quests, and lots of them. Do every quest in your log, in order, and then when you're out, go to the next town over and do all of those. The rewards will be good, it'll go as fast as leveling goes (even faster, now that Blizzard has added more XP to the mix all the way to 70), and you'll always have a clear goal: just do the next quest in your log. You might have to skip over group quests, but just keep doing quests and eventually you'll be 70 before you know it.

What say you to Keyra, readers? And if you have a question you'd like to ask the (frankly, rowdy but loveable) readers of WoW Insider, just send it along ot ask AT wowinsider dot com, and you might see it up here next week.

Previously on Ask WoW Insider...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Quests, Ask WoW Insider, Leveling, Achievements

Reader Halloween costumes 2008


Readers have already started sending in a few costumes for Halloween this year -- if you're dressing up as something from the World of Warcraft, don't forget to take a picture and send it through our tipline. Reader Taytayflann of Frostmane assembled this great Bloodfang costume from a Horde hoodie that he bought -- the shoulders, which took the longest to make, he says, are made out of shin pads, cardboard, wire, red and black cloth, and staples. They turned out really well, and even though it was probably tough putting them together, it was probably still easier and faster than traipsing around Blackwing Lair with 40 people trying to get the virtual set.

There are only a few pictures in the gallery below, but we'll be adding in your entries from the tipline throughout the weekend (both of real-life and ingame costumes), so check back to see more. And don't forget to have a safe and happy Halloween tonight from all of us here at WoW Insider.

Filed under: Tailoring, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Raiding, NPCs

Ask WoW Insider: Loot rolls and seasonal boss summons

Time once again to put a question to you, dear readers, and see what you have to say about a current issue in the World of Warcraft. This time around, Rylia has a question about loot ethics with seasonal bosses -- everyone and their guildie is taking down the Headless Horseman (making the Scarlet Graveyard an actual destination, strangely), and Rylia wants to know what the policy is when an item drops:

What's your group loot policy for seasonal bosses? (a) Use the usual in-game loot roller; everyone roll Need on the rare items (mounts, small pets, etc.) (b) Whoever summons the boss for that particular attempt gets the rare item drop from that attempt. The logic behind (b) is that it prevents people who've used up their daily summons from getting more than one chance per day (and thus making their groupmates get less than one chance per day). If someone who didn't have a summon in your seasonal group wins a rare roll, do you think that's a ninja?

Rylia


Personally, I think all the summons should get settled before you enter the instance -- if you invite someone in without a summon (for example, because they're a tank, and you just need them rather than waiting for a tank with a summon), they're a part of the group after that and have as much chance as anyone else to win a roll. And yes, if an item drops that someone can use, it should be a Need roll. So if that mount drops, everyone's got a chance to win it. That's just me, though -- I can see the point about someone without a summon taking loot from people who entered with a summon.

Though I have no idea what to do if a mount and pet drops on the same run -- would the person who won one not get a chance on the second? What think you, readers, both of general loot rules on season bosses and of Rylia's summon policy?

Previously on Ask WoW Insider...

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Ask WoW Insider, Bosses, NPCs

BlizzCon 2008: WoW Insider's second annual BlizzCon Reader Meetup


We had our second annual Reader Meetup last night here in Anaheim at The Lost Bar, and it was a blast. Tons of people showed up (maybe 200?), and every single reader we met was completely awesome. We introduced all of our bloggers (Adam Holisky, Daniel Whitcomb, Alex Ziebart, Krystalle Voecks, Elizabeth Harper, Dan O'Halloran, and myself were all there), we drank plenty of libations (the bartender, unfortunately, wasn't moving as fast as we would have liked), and we gave away a bunch of swag, to all kinds of readers, for everything from answering trivia questions to just saying hi.

The Horde, I have to say, seemed to have the higher population, but Alliance made a good showing as well. And a few full guilds came out to see us: shoutouts to Thee Unforgiven on Destromath (the good folks above), Keine Neuen on Malganis, and Dread Pirates on Blackrock, not to mention all of the other awesome readers and guilds that stopped by. They're all in our gallery below -- thanks to everyone who came out for making it such a great time.



Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Contests, BlizzCon

Reminder: Meet WoW Insider tonight at The Lost Bar at 8pm


Don't forget -- if you're in Anaheim for BlizzCon tonight, our meetup starts in just a few hours at 8pm. We'll be over at The Lost Bar -- you can follow the map above, and from the convention center entrance (where you're grabbing your passes today), it's just about a 10 minute walk north and then west of Disneyland. It's a big open air bar -- we'll be sitting, chatting, and drinking, so walk right up and say hi (just look for the folks going through the BlizzCon goodie bags greedily and talking about the latest beta changes).

We'll be there late this evening (and later on, we'll do some trivia and giveaways), so even if it's kind of late and you've just made it into your hotel, feel free to come by and say hello (and if you're stuck at home, stay tuned for a post live from the meetup later on this evening). And don't forget that even if you can't make it to the meetup tonight, we're taping our podcast in front of a live audience (with WoW Radio and The Guild) tomorrow evening, so make sure that's on your schedule as well.

Have a safe trip to BlizzCon if you're coming down, and we'll see you at the Lost Bar this evening!

Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Contests, BlizzCon, WoW Insider Show

Ask WoW Insider: Cashing out Badges

Time once again to put the considerable brainpower that you, dear readers, have to good use (and by good use we mean other than making funny things about the Failoc). It's time once again to Ask WoW Insider. This week we have a question for you from fordarkness over on WoW LJ -- it's about Badges of Justice, and just when and how would be best to cash them in before the expansion.
Obviously, the expansion isn't going to bring in new badge vendors that we can use these for.... Epic level 70 gems will probably still be around and used for your intro raiding gear, but chances are they'll be replaced pretty quick too.

I'm debating liquidating my badges into gems, nethers and vortexes and selling them on the AH. Of course, there's the issue of "how soon is too soon" and "what if the patch puts in some new vendor items", along with "I need to get the items out on the market before it becomes flooded and no one wants them due to the imminent release of the LK expansion"!
So whaddaya think? If you have extra badges, liquidating them into Nethers and Vortexes isn't too bad an idea, since even Badge gear might be overtaken by green gear a few quests into Northrend. But then again, even crafted gear that uses those items might end up being useless within the first few levels, so what's a Badge hoarder to do?

What's your plan for getting rid of the Badges you have left? Are you just going to spend them as you need them and see what solutions present themselves when Wrath arrives? It would be interesting if Blizzard, say, offered an XP reward in exchange for them after level 70. Or have you already liquidated your stock by selling out Primal Nethers on the AH? What happens to your Badges when the way to Northrend opens up?

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Ask WoW Insider, NPCs, Making money

Less QQ More Pew Pew holding Tabard contest

Didn't win the Tabard of Flame in our recent contest? Worry not, Less QQ More Pew Pew has another chance at a great tabard for you -- all you've got to do is answer a few questions about the blog over there, and submit them by tomorrow evening. And then, oh yeah, you need to be the first person to email in all the answers (not likely), or be one of two random people who sent the answers in. That last part is the hard one.

Just to help you out, we'll answer the first question for you: "Khagan." Cheating? Maybe, but we really want you to have that tabard. Good luck to everyone who enters, always nice to see members of the community holding fun contests like this to hand out some special items to the public.

[via Mania]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Contests, WoW TCG

Officers' Quarters: Allow me to rebut

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

There's only so much a blogger can take before he has to set the record straight! Two of my August columns -- and, oddly enough, even some columns I wrote back in January -- all managed to stir up a bit of controversy last month. Some of my readers made very good points, some were flat out wrong, and some grossly misunderstood my intent. I'd like to address them one by one.

First up is Auz from the excellent blog ChickGM.com. She respectfully disagreed -- albeit vehemently! -- about my columns from early in the year about what to look for in a potential officer and what types of people to avoid promoting. Here's what she had to say about my criteria in a nutshell:

Don't create strict rules or boxes for your leadership. Some of the best leadership is done outside of conventional thinking and wisdom. To quote myself; "If you do what everyone else is doing, you'll end up where everyone else is."

Read more →

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Site updates around WoW Insider

There have been a few tweaks and updates the past few days around here at WoW Insider. First of all, you've probably noticed that our comments system has been upgraded a bit, and now in addition to signing in with your standard Weblogs, Inc. name and password (more information about how to do that here), you can choose to sign in with with your AOL or AIM screenname. Unfortunately, there is no way to link your Weblogs, Inc. profile (which you can see by clicking on your name in any of your comments) with your AIM screenname, so you'll have to recreate your profile (or just keep using your old signin). But if you're new to the comments section, you can now use your AOL SN to leave a comment. This is a fairly new system, so there are still a few glitches floating around -- if you have a problem with anything, let us know, and we'll try to fix it and/or get back to you.

Since we're talking about profiles, now might also be a good time to point out that you can change that default picture that goes with your profile. We've got lots of icons to choose from (and even more here), so if you're still using that boring gray question mark face (what are you, a low level questgiver?) spice it up a little bit by clicking on your profile page and putting a picture in there. The more colorful our comments section can get, the better.

And finally, some good news for iPhone and iPod touch users -- while you can always see the full version of our site on those devices by using MobileSafari to go to wow.com, you can now see an iPhone-formatted page at i.wow.com. And if we may say so, our designers did a really great job on it. They continue to work hard to make our site better all the time, so stay tuned for more updates to WoW Insider and the other sites in the Joystiq network.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

Ask WoW Insider: Defining mains and alts

There's a ton of asking going on around this site lately -- between "Ask a Lore Nerd" and "Ask a Beta Tester," you guys are asking more questions than a two-year old who just learned what "why" means. But this column, Ask WoW Insider, is the O.G. of Ask columns here on the site, and unlike all of the other Ask columns, we put the question back to you readers. Chippen of EU Doomhammer sent in this great question this week:
We are having a discussion in our guild whether alts have priority on loot before guild members and we do have different views on this. Some say that an alt is an alt, and need to wait to be geared up, while others can't really see the problem. What is a main and what is an alt?

I suppose a main is the...well...I don't know. The first character I created? Or is it the character I play the most? Or is it the character I want to play the most and also enjoying playing the most? When does an alt become a main, and is it possible to swap between the two?
If you're asking me, I'd say it's definitely possible to switch mains (I've done it a few times) -- your main is currently the character that's getting the majority of your playtime, and the one where loot matters the most to you. Some guilds ask you to declare a main, so that they can make a clear distinction for passing out loot, while other guilds just have players switch alts depending only on what situations require what.

So let's show up those other Ask columns and give this great, open-ended question out to you, our dear readers: what is a main and what is an alt? And what's the difference between the two?

If you've got a question for our readers to be posted right here in the original Ask column, be sure to send it along to ask@wow.com. And there's lots more Ask WoW Insider, including this question on abusing the /roll, and how to make friends and influence raiders on a new server.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Ask WoW Insider, Making money

Ask WoW Insider: An early disappointment?

With all the Wrath news dropping, there's been a ton of hype around the next World of Warcraft expansion. Lots of players are very excited (including yours truly), but Charles S isn't so much. He actually stopped playing the game in March of this past year (before that, he raided as a Warlock), and he is using today's Ask WoW Insider column to ask you, our readers, if anyone else isn't so hot on what they've seen so far:

I've been reading your site and the news about the expansion and my question is, is it too early to be disappointed in what I am seeing for this expansion?


Unfortunately he doesn't expound much more beyond that, and I'd like to know what else he wants to see from the expansion -- we're going to get Death Knights, siege vehicles, and we're going to get to meet the Lich freakin' King, more than once. I don't know what more a Warcraft fan would want. But maybe you do -- think it's too early for Charles to be disappointed, or should he wait and see if Wrath will bring him back to the game?

And if you have a question you want to ask our readers, feel free to send it along to ask@wow.com, and you might see it up here next week for everyone else to answer.

Previously on Ask WoW Insider...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Ask WoW Insider, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds

Manaprincess reopens store, offers sale to WoW Insider readers


Our good friend and talented WoW crafter Manaprincess is back, and she's gone from Etsy to break out into her own World of Warcraft crafts store at manaprincess.com. She's got the usual Hearthstone key charms, as well as the WoW soaps up there, and a new section of "potion pendants" -- Health, Mana, or Rejuv potions to wear around your neck, just in case. And she says that all the items have been redesigned, so even things you've seen before may look a little different.

And as a thank you to you WoW Insider readers for all your support, she's having a sale just for you: from now until August 31st, you can put in the code "wowinsider" without the quotes at the checkout screen to get 25% off your entire order.

Manaprincess is definitely one of the best vendors in the crafting community, and it's great to see her up and running in a brand new store. If you're looking for some fun WoW-related gifts or crafts for yourself, her store is definitely one of the places to look.

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

Breakfast Topic: Addons requests and recommendations

Lileah on Livejournal was looking for some help with an addon the other day, and her request gave me an idea. For this morning's Breakfast Topic, we're going all out with the addon requests. If you've got a need for an addon (like custom timers, an addon for keeping track of food, or any other weird needs you might have), ask in the comments below, and if you're an addon expert, show off your expertise by letting the requester know if there's an addon that will fill their needs.

And if there's isn't an addon that can do what they're asking, maybe this comments section will be the impetus for someone out there to create one of their own. Think we can find a need out there for an addon that doesn't yet exist? Of course, there are some things that addons can't do (choose targets or spells for you is a big one), but otherwise, consider this thread your clearinghouse for addon service requests.

If you can't get an answer here, feel free to tip us, too -- we at WoW Insider always love finding out and writing about new addons. Whether you need help finding an addon that does what you want or you know of a great addon that could use some coverage, let us know and we'll be thrilled to take a look at it.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Breakfast Topics

WoW Insider Weekly

Every week here at WoW Insider, our columnists cover all aspects of the World of Warcraft, from professions to Paladins, and everywhere in between. Here's ten of the most popular weekly columns from the past seven days. If you missed them the first time, don't miss them again.
Officers' Quarters: Jerk message of the day
What do you do when someone you trust betrays your guild?
Guildwatch: "Makes it sound like Teapot Dome up in here"
Just in case you didn't get the reference, go learn about the Teapot Dome scandal, then come back and read about some corrupt guild drama.
Hybrid Theory: Death Knight distress
It's great that we've got another tank and all, but has anyone thought about what this will do to the bears?
Ready Check: Death and raid guilds
This was a week of guild breakups. Find out how to keep yours together.
Answers from a lore nerd, part 1
You got us -- this isn't really a weekly column, but it's so popular (and such a good read) that we might just make it one.
Five more after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guilds, Odds and ends, Guides

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