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Throne of Thunder raid release schedule announced

Throne of Thunder raid release schedule announced
Today marks the launch of patch 5.2, and along with it comes a new raid to conquer. We have confirmation of the Throne of Thunder raid schedule, and staggered release of raid difficulties. As it stands right now, Normal Throne of Thunder launches today, with Heroic ToT and the first wing of LFR next week, with a new LFR wing released each week after until mid-April.

Throne of Thunder Raid Schedule
With the release of Patch 5.2: The Thunder King, the vast Throne of Thunder raid will become available. As in previous raid tiers, Raid Finder wings and availability difficulties will be staggered.

To access the new Raid Finder wings you will need a minimum average item level (ilevel) of 480.

This is our current schedule based on a planned patch release date of March 5. If the patch is delayed, or if we determine any change is needed, we'll update this article.

March 5 – Normal Throne of Thunder

March 12 – Heroic Throne of Thunder and LFR Wing 1 "Last Stand of the Zandalari"

March 19 – LFR Wing 2 "Forgotten Depths"

April 2 – LFR Wing 3 "Halls of Flesh-Shaping"

April 16 – LFR Wing 4 "Pinnacle of Storms"

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Battleground Call to Arms not just for weekends anymore

Temple of Kotmogu
Patch 5.0.4 introduced a new battleground schedule in which there is always a Call to Arms battleground instead of weekends only. The Call to Arms changes every Tuesday and Friday, so that players can earn bonus honor every day of the week.

You may ask, "But, Robin, why aren't all the dates covered in that calendar over there? [points to the right sidebar]" Well, I'll tell you. The new Mists of Pandaria battlegrounds have already been scheduled on the in-game calendar, even though they won't be introduced until September 25.

We are currently showing only the BGs that can be played right now, but we are also showing when the Temple of Kotmogu and the Silvershard Mines will be the Call to Arms BGs after launch.

You can always verify the current schedule by viewing the in-game calendar. Just make sure the Battleground Call to Arms filter is selected from the filters dropdown menu at the top right of the calendar.

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: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Raid testing schedule for July 3 and 5

Mists of Pandaria Beta Raid testing schedule for July 3rd and 5th
Are you and nine friends in the Mists of Pandaria beta, at level 90, and ready to test some raids?

We've got your raid testing schedule right here.

Watcher
On Tuesday, July 3, we'll be testing two encounters; on Thursday, July 5, we'll test two more.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Beta Test Realms, regardless of suggested geographical region.

Tuesday, July 3

Elegon (Mogu'shan Vaults) - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Blade Lord Ta'yak (Heart of Fear) - 10 Player Normal
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

Thursday, July 5

Protectors of the Endless (Terrace of Endless Spring) - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Tsulong (Terrace of Endless Spring) - 10 Player Normal
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session or cancel it entirely, due to bugs, builds, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.


Note: The ilevel of your gear will scale automatically. Initially, Blizzard said that MoP gear was required for the scaling, but some readers report that Cataclysm-level gear works as well. Your mileage may vary.

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: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: When do you play WoW?

Despite the stereotype, most of us don't sit around all day playing video games, no matter how much we might like to. Some 99.99 percent of us are not planning our next killing spree, either -- well, out of the virtual world, at least. We have responsibilities, friends and family, other forms of leisure, etc.

We Azerothians have a choice: We can either play when we can, in between our other activities, or we schedule our WoW (or other gaming) sessions. Of course, hardcore raiders must set aside specific blocks of time, but those of us who don't have a raid schedule to keep to may also plan when we play. I am fortunate to play whenever I want or need to -- very fortunate -- though I have other responsibilities that keep me from participating in group activities during the day. (There is nothing like a successful bedtime for a gaming parent. Well, any parent.)

Are you able to play whenever you want, or do you have to squeeze World of Warcraft in as you can? Do you keep to a strict schedule, or do you just grab time after work, after dinner, whenever? When do you play WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Heroic Madness on 7 hours a week -- the shape of guilds to come?

Raiding on two nights a week is certainly nothing novel in this day and age. Casual raiders can often devote no more than two nights to WoW. Fans of the Raid Finder find twice a week a reasonable fit. Heck, more than a few of the most dedicated raiding groups have lightened their weekly loads to two nights in light of end-of-expansion doldrums. Even so, three nights per week is probably still the norm among groups that consider themselves dedicated raiding guilds.

But two-night raiding may be building a steamhead as the playerbase matures along with the game. "A couple years ago, you did a feature on a two-night guild when they killed heroic Lich King," wrote reader Oatz of Full Spectrum on Alleria (US). "Well, when Cataclysm started, that inspired me to create my own two-night guild (seven hours per week). I am now proud to say that our two-night guild has just killed heroic Madness, making us not just the #1 two-night guild but also #24 on 10-man and #62 overall in the United States."

Impressive, yes -- but what caught my eye about this email was Oatz's almost off-handed conclusion about the stability of his guild's roster. "It's interesting how raid groups are evolving over the years as the playerbase gets older," he mused. "Our guild is full of professionals in their 20s and 30s, many with spouses and kids, and none of us can raid more than two nights. I'm a practicing lawyer myself, but I started WoW back when I was a lowly college student."

"I remember back in vanilla, even, when there were no server transfers," he continued. "Raiding guilds were always competing for recruits based on progression. It seems now that as the raider playerbase has increased and gotten older, for the majority, it's more based on schedules and other niches."

WoW on demand vs. WoW as a time-gobbling behemoth -- is this where the serious WoW hobbyist stands in 2012?

Read more →

Filed under: Raiding, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: How do you make time for WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

There is such a wide variety of WoW players. Everyone from college students to 70-year-old gaming grandmothers play. Some people play for an hour or two every few days. Other people play for hours every night.

No matter what your play schedule is, you more often than not have to find time to play, and that can be hard. School, work, family, friends, other commitments ... All those things and more make a huge impact in finding time to play WoW without interruption. Making time to play can feel like planning a rocket launch sometimes. If you're a full-time college student, you spend a good portion of your day in class, you have to study almost daily, and when exams roll around, you live in your books. Someone with a full-time job and a family might as well feel like planning a rocket launch. There are so many things to do in one night that you can't even begin to list them all.

I knew a nurse who was working full time in the trauma room of the ER, going to school full time and had three kids. She was not only in one of the best raiding guilds on the server but also managed to do arena and go just over a 1,900 rating. I asked her how she made time for everything. Her answer? She took her laptop to work when she knew there would be a slow night and could do arenas. She would rotate on her nights off with the kids. Her husband was also a raider, so they would take turns getting the kids to bed for the night. Luckily, they were both gamers, so it was easier to find time to play.

How do you make time to play WoW? Are you limited to a few hours every night, or do you plan for a weekend of WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

BlizzChat: Community Live! schedule for BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010 is this week! Along with the regular panels and contests on the convention floor, BlizzCon will be presenting the first ever BlizzChat: Community Live!, an arranged venue for gamers to discuss focused topics relating to the Blizzard games they like to play. These will be taking place on both Friday and Saturday and should give players a fun place to hang out and chat about their favorite topics.

Zarhym
Our primary motivator when hosting each BlizzCon is to provide an epic atmosphere for members of the community to meet up and share their common passion for Blizzard games. In keeping with that tradition, at this year's BlizzCon we'll be facilitating the first-ever BlizzChat: Community Live! Attendees will be given a venue to discuss a number of focused topics pertaining to the Diablo, StarCraft, and Warcraft universes and gameplay. If you're coming to BlizzCon at the Anaheim Convention Center this October 22 and 23, be sure to check out the schedule below. Don't miss the opportunity to share your thoughts on a wide array of subjects with fellow gaming enthusiasts.


BlizzChat: Community Live!

Meet up with fellow Blizzard gamers face-to-face to discuss various topics of interest! BlizzChat will take place in meeting rooms 201A and 201B, located on the second floor of the Convention Center near the top of the escalators.


Check after the break for a full schedule of events.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Choose My Adventure: Psychopathic Hatchet

Choose the adventures of the WoW Insider staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

Spoiler warning: The video above and Robinemia's recap after the break are full of Cataclysm spoilers.

Above is what happens when Choose My Adventure is live (the picture links to the video). See the board with the nail? It was not the most appropriate quest reward for me. Yet the voters chose it because Psychopathic Hatchet was the best name and it wasn't a placeholder graphic. No, it's not a hatchet. It's a board with a nail. But the axe was a staff, so yeah. Anyway, Roblinator the goblin shaman is winning the polls. If you don't like it, go vote. Another Prupher gallery and Robinemia's recap are after the break.

Schedule
  • Anne Stickney as Annephora, the level 42 troll warrior, will play on Tuesday at 1 a.m. EDT (which is Monday at 11 p.m. Zangarmarsh time).
  • Robin Torres will play the character that wins the polls: Wednesday, 1 p.m. EDT. This will be streamed.
Adventurers who play when they can
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 26 blood elf paladin
  • Lisa Poisso as Prupher, the level 14 tauren druid
  • Michael Sacco as Shockbroker, the goblin shaman
  • Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 16 blood elf warlock
  • Robin Torres, as Robinemia, the level 29 Forsaken mage
  • Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage
  • Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 17 troll shaman

Read more →

Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Prupher, Peenk and Robinemia

Choose the adventures of the WoW Insider staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

Spoiler warning: Peenk's story and video on the next page contains Cataclysm spoilers.

Robinemia the Forsaken huntress is currently winning the polls for this Wednesday's stream. If you don't like that, vote now! The recaps on the next page include Prupher's bearness and the death of two alts, among other things. But first, the schedule.

Schedule
  • Adam Holisky as Adammentat, the level 67 tauren druid, will play on Monday at 10 p.m. EDT.
  • Anne Stickney as Annephora, the level 42 troll warrior, will play on Tuesday at 1 a.m. EDT (which is Monday at 11 p.m. Zangarmarsh time).
  • Robin Torres will play whomever wins the polls: Wednesday, 1 p.m. EDT. This will be streamed.
Adventurers who play when they can
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 26 blood elf paladin
  • Lisa Poisso as Prupher, the level 12 tauren druid
  • Michael Sacco as Shockbroker, the goblin shaman
  • Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 16 blood elf warlock
  • Robin Torres, as Robinemia, the level 29 Forsaken mage
  • Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage
  • Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 17 troll shaman

Read more →

Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

BlizzCon 2010 schedule of events unveiled

BlizzCon 2010 is just over two weeks away, and if you're anything like us here at WoW Insider, you're eagerly anticipating what's to come. Class panel discussions, discussions of lore, sneak peaks into the future, news about Cataclysm and even a dance contest -- there's something World of Warcraft-related happening just about every second of every day.

If you're as obsessive about planning as we are, there's good news: Blizzard just unveiled its schedule of events for Oct. 22 and 23. Whether you're heading to BlizzCon in person or catching the event on pay-per-view, you're bound to have something worth watching.

And if you're not headed to beautiful Southern California and don't feel like dropping your hard-earned money on a live video feed, don't fret -- you can always catch the latest BlizzCon news as it happens right here on WoW Insider.

Read more →

Filed under: BlizzCon

Choose My Adventure: Prupher pictorial and Gilneas excursion

Choose the adventures of the WoW Insider staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

Spoiler warning: Robinemia's story and video after the break are full of Cataclysm spoilers. You have been warned.

Peenk the gnome priestess is winning the polls as of this writing, but some boring human to see the new starting quests is close behind, if you want to tip the votes toward that instead. Of course, if worgen females are actually playable by Wednesday's stream, I'll drop everything to play a worgen druidess instead. Recaps from last week are after the break, but first, here's the schedule.

Schedule
  • Adam Holisky as Adammentat, the level 65 tauren druid, will play on Monday at 10 p.m. EDT.
  • Anne Stickney as Annephora, the level 42 troll warrior, will play on Tuesday at 1 a.m. EDT (which is Monday at 11 p.m. Zangarmarsh time).
  • Robin Torres will play whomever wins the polls: Wednesday, 1 p.m. EDT. Note: This will be streamed.
Adventurers who play when they can
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 26 blood elf paladin
  • Lisa Poisso as Prupher, the level 12 tauren druid
  • Michael Sacco as Shockbroker, the goblin shaman
  • Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 16 blood elf warlock
  • Robin Torres, as Robinemia, the level 29 Forsaken mage
  • Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage
  • Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 17 troll shaman

Read more →

Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Polls for pets and next week's stream

Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

Prupher, the level 11 tauren druid, would like you to choose a vanity pet to accompany her on your adventures. Please suggest level-appropriate ones in the comments below and we'll have a poll for the favorites next week. The poll for next week's stream is after the break.

Schedule
  • Robin Torres as Robinemia, the Forsaken huntress: Wednesday, 11 p.m. EDT. Note: This will be streamed.
  • Anne Stickney as Annephora, the level 42 troll warrior, will play on Saturday at 1 a.m. EDT (which is Friday at 11 p.m. Zangarmarsh time).
Adventurers who play when they can
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 25 blood elf paladin
  • Lisa Poisso as Prupher, the level 11 tauren druid
  • Michael Sacco as Shockbroker, the goblin shaman
  • Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 16 blood elf warlock
  • Robin Torres, as Robinemia, the level 29 Forsaken mage
  • Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage
  • Michael Gray as Grayfields, the level 17 tauren hunter
  • Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 17 troll shaman

Read more →

Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Patent and Foxlight

Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

I'm so sorry I never had the stream last week as promised. I got sick, then The Spawn got sick and we had to go visit Great Grandpa who was sick. Boo! (The Spawn and I are fully recovered and Great Grandpa is well cared for.) You may have also noticed we didn't have our usual polls on Friday. That's because we are going to have them on Wednesdays from now on. Our adventures will be recapped on Mondays, which begins today with the return of Foxlight and Patent after the break. Ch-ch-ch-changes! But first, the schedule:

Schedule
  • Adam Holisky as Adammentat, the level 62 tauren druid, will play on Monday at 10 p.m. EDT.
  • Robin Torres as Robinemia, the Forsaken huntress: Wednesday, 11 p.m. EDT. Note: This will be streamed.
  • Amy Schley as Patent, the level 29 troll rogue: Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT
  • Anne Stickney as Annephora, the level 42 troll warrior, will play on Saturday at 1 a.m. EDT (which is Friday at 11 p.m. Zangarmarsh time).
Adventurers who play when they can
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 25 blood elf paladin
  • Lisa Poisso as Prupher, the level 11 tauren druid
  • Michael Sacco as Shockbroker, the goblin shaman
  • Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 16 blood elf warlock
  • Robin Torres, as Robinemia, the level 29 Forsaken mage
  • Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage
  • Michael Gray as Grayfields, the level 17 tauren hunter
  • Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 16 troll shaman

Read more →

Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Death, dust, dwarves and distractions


Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

Note: The video above and the stories on the next page contain Cataclysm spoilers. You have been warned.

Above is the video of last Wednesday's stream, in case you missed it. Turn the page for recaps from Prupher, Robinka and Peenk, as well as the latest about the level 60 raids.

Schedule
  • [Update: Due to a headache, I am rescheduling tonight's stream for Friday night. Sorry for the inconvenience.]Robin Torres as Robinemia, the Forsaken huntress: Wednesday Friday, 11 p.m. EDT Note: This will be streamed.
  • Amy Schley as Patent, the level 28 troll rogue: Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT
Adventurers who play when they can
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 25 blood elf paladin
  • Lisa Poisso as Prupher, the level 11 tauren druid
  • Michael Sacco as Shockbroker, the goblin shaman
  • Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 16 blood elf warlock
  • Robin Torres, as Robinemia, the level 29 Forsaken mage
  • Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage
  • Michael Gray as Grayfields, the level 17 tauren hunter
  • Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 16 troll shaman

Read more →

Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Robinemia, Robinemia

Choose the adventures of the WoW.com staff as we level our characters in <It came from the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

Poll results
  • It was a close race between Robinemia, Peenk and the unnamed human, but Robinemia won. So I will be playing both Robinemias this week.
  • Once I'm able to make a female worgen, you've chosen druid. Please suggest names in the comments.
Schedule
  • Adam Holisky as Adammentat, the level 61 tauren druid, will play on Monday at 10 p.m. EDT.
  • Anne Stickney as Annephora, the level 42 troll warrior, will play on Tuesday at 1 a.m. EDT (which is Monday at 11 p.m. Zangarmarsh time).
  • Robin Torres as Robinemia, the Forsaken huntress: Wednesday, 11 p.m. EDT Note: This will be streamed.
  • Amy Schley as Patent, the level 25 troll rogue: Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT
Adventurers who play when they can
  • Fox Van Allen as Foxlight, the level 22 blood elf paladin
  • Lisa Poisso as Prupher, the level 11 tauren druid
  • Michael Sacco as Shockbroker, the goblin shaman
  • Christian Belt, as Selfloathius, the level 16 blood elf warlock
  • Robin Torres, as Robinemia, the level 29 Forsaken mage
  • Matthew Rossi as Andrenorton, the level 17 troll mage
  • Michael Gray as Grayfields, the level 17 tauren hunter
  • Gregg Reece as Sandwichdoc, the level 16 troll shaman

Please join us on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H) in <It came from the Blog>. Guild ranks of "Blog Lurker" or above can invite, so /whisper Robiness or any online member. You are all welcome as long as you play by our simple rules -- basically, don't be a funsucker! Visit the guild FAQ for more details.

Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

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