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The OverAchiever: The Glory of the Hero revolution

Greetings, fellow achievement hounds. This week we return to the Glory of the Hero series and tackle two dungeons at once: Utgarde Keep and Utgarde Pinnacle.

This is the full Glory of the Hero guide, organized by dungeon:

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The Queue: Tank talk

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

There was a good, and amazingly civil, discussion yesterday in the comments to the Queue about which instance a tank should head to first. Most of the debate came about via my suggestion that Utgarde Pinnacle was a good candidate for a tank's first heroic. The nice thing about this game is that there is no right or wrong answer (most of the time).

However one of the only truths about the game is that you can get better at it by discussing it and debating the aspects of it with other people. So I do humbly recommend that no matter what question you ask, you always look for more than one answer and compile all the answers into one that fits you best. And with that said, ask your questions about the game in the comments and we'll see if we can't help you on this path of enlightenment. /zen

Otharello mentioned...

"I'm pretty sure that suggesting Utgarde Pinnacle for a new tank is the height of sadism."

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Filed under: The Queue

Some realms coming back up early

It appears that hell has frozen over and the realms are coming back up early today. Now I have a wooden desk, so I'm just going to go ahead and knock on it very loudly.

/knock /knock /knock

Okay, now that that's out of the way and my cat ran into the other room scared...

There is a small patch you'll need to download. We're working on getting mirrors up for it right now. In addition, we're not really sure of everything that was patched. There were some brief comments by Ghostcrawler last night outlining a few things (Hunter aspects, Ritual of Summoning, and Howling Blast), but that's it.

Update: The cat has returned. All is well.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Shifting Perspectives: The Druid of 2008

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author is completely spaced out on cold medication, and is somewhat concerned that her raid performance has improved under the circumstances.

The time has come (the Allie said)
To talk of many things.
Of Roots and Bash and Travel Form,
And Strength (which scales with Kings).
Why Tauren cat form sucks so hard,
And whether trees have wings!

And, yes, before anyone asks, I'm tripping on too much cough syrup and ibuprofen after receiving a belated viral Christmas gift from a relative. So I'll just put this out there right now; this column's probably on the weird side. I took a long look at all three Druid specs over 2008 and saw a few sad things, a few happy things, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, and now I'm channeling the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and that has to stop because I do not believe Mary Tyler Moore ever played a Druid.

If you're completely uninterested in reading an account of any spec that's not your own -- although that would make me weep into my little cup of generic label cough syrup -- here's a set of quick links to each:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Burning Crusade, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: So. Um, do bears suck?

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we shelve the column we originally intended to run due to a rather pressing matter.

OK, folks. I have a confession to make. This week's Shifting Perspectives was originally meant to be a full guide to gearing your Restoration Druid at 80, and I'm still going to post that, either this week or next. A lot of people have (correctly, I think) observed that this column has historically paid more attention to Feral than to Restoration or Balance, and it's my aim to balance (har!) that out a bit. Part of it is just that the people who play Druids on staff here at WoW Insider are usually feral, and part of it is that -- at least as of the last numbers we had on it -- most people playing Druids are also feral. I confess I would love to see the demographics on Druids post-Wrath, because I get the sense that Balance in particular has become markedly more popular.

But the Resto post is going to have to wait a few days, not least because my eyes are swimming from so much Wowhead. We found out today that Swipe's threat is getting a significant buff, but over the course of reading the pertinent forum thread and some back-channel discussion here, I ran across a few things concerning bear tanking that really made me sit up after the hell of tanking last night's heroic Old Kingdom and go, "Wait. It's not just me?"

Personally whenever I encounter serious problems in a dungeon I tend to chalk it up to the fact that I suck. I find this to be an efficient and typically accurate means of pinpointing the source of an issue. However, my fellow Druids, our problems may actually be more wide-ranging than that.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Realms are up

Good news, everyone! Several realms are up and running, with more coming online shortly I'm sure. This means you can get your World of Warcraft fix for the week starting now. And lets be honest, for any serious WoW player the week starts on Tuesday afternoon when the servers go up, and lasts until Tuesday morning when they go down.

There is no patch 2.4.3 on the live servers yet - expect that in the next couple of weeks. Additionally, if there are any server stability issues to report on throughout the day you'll see a couple posts go up here.

Happy Tuesday!

And for the record, I've been wanting to use Buddy Christ in a post for a while, but haven't been able to find an excuse yet. Him seeming all happy for something (like the realms being up) felt like a good enough reason for me.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Servers are up

It looks like everything went okay with the server hamsters this morning as the servers are back up and running smoothly. In fact, it appears that all the servers are up right now. This is an oddity since usually there are at least one or two battlegroups that are down longer than the rest.

There is no patch 2.4.2 on the live servers right now, and the PTR (Public Test Realm) is still up and running for additional testing. Hopefully within the next week or two patch 2.4.2 will go live for us all.

WoW Insider will carry any updates on sever outages throughout the day. Enjoy your Tuesday!

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

Tuesday morning at WoW Insider

It's Tuesday morning and the hamsters that run the servers are being fed by Blizzard, which means all the realms are down for extended maintenance until at least 11:00 a.m. PDT. There is no patch 2.4.2 to look forward to when the servers go back up this afternoon, but that might not be that bad of a thing. Usually patch days mean add-on trouble and serious server stability issues. Those spell disaster for anyone expecting to enjoy the evening.

While the servers are offline, go ahead and get your WoW fix from us! We've got a few dandy articles to entice you and keep your WoW addiction in full swing.
  • Take a look at the official and unofficial patch notes for patch 2.4.2. Highlights include reduced cooldown timers, changes in the hand specifications of some weapons, and new polymorphing mechanics.
  • A talented rogue was able to tank the seventh boss in the Black Temple, Mother Shahraz, by stacking insane amounts of avoidance and agility. Take a look at the video of the encounter, definitely worth watching if you have a minute.
  • SK-Gaming killed M'uru (the next-to-last boss in the Sunwell Plateau) over the weekend. M'uru dropped some nice loot for them. Check out what they got in their world first kill.
  • Did you know Blizzard launched a new and improved online store? The best part about it is that if you buy something, you can click a little check box that gives you a chance to be selected to participate in a beta. I ordered a tee-shirt over the weekend, and have my fingers crossed that I'll get in a certain beta test pretty soon (I could care less about the tee-shirt, naturally).
  • Sean Forsgren recently profiled one of my favorite add-ons, Dr. Damage. It's a great tool that gives you very useful statistics about all your spells in the form of extended tooltips. Take a minute to look into it now, and get it all downloaded and setup for when the servers come back online later today.
When the severs do come back online, WoW Insider will let you know. Hopefully there won't be any major stability issues tonight, but if there are, we'll be covering that too. Enjoy your downtime!

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status

Tuesday morning maintenance

Sometimes I feel like Blizzard chooses a handful of random servers to Ice Block every few days – not letting players on, and giving a (hopefully) short window when the servers will be offline.

If you're on the unlucky servers of Agamaggan, Azshara, Baelgun, Dark Iron, Detheroc, Emerald Dream, Greymane, Kalecgos, Lightninghoof, Maelstrom, Malfurion, Moonrunner, Nazjatar, Sargeras, Staghelm, Twisting Nether, Ursin, WildHammer, or either of the Tournamenet Servers, you're going to have at least two hours of downtime from 5:00 a.m. PDT until 7:00 a.m. PDT. Blizzard will also be doing rolling restarts across all realms this morning.

For those of you waiting to get your morning fix of WoW, fear not. There are several pieces of news and entertaining reads to catch up on.

New WotLK alpha screenshots – Did you know that WotLK is in alpha, and the first batch of new screenshots has been leaked? We've got them confirmed from an inside source and mirrored here for your enjoyment.

As a tank, I hate to pug. Our Warrior columnist Matthew Rossi agrees with me. Check out his enlightening piece for One reason tanks won't pug. And I hope the subject of his piece, Primula, enjoys his or her new found fame as one lowly ninja-looter.

Do you have a life outside of WoW? Not that I do, but if I did I would be a casual player and appreciate Robin Torres' advice from WoW, Casually: Finding groups fast. Just remember that they don't always have to be random pug groups.

Two pieces of Season 4 gear have been accidently enabled by a GM on the live realms. You can check out the new stats and have look at them. They remind me a bit of the Ori from Stargate, so I have to ask: Hallowed are the Ori, anyone? Hopefully the bosses at Blizzard are a bit more understand than the Ori and will let the GM that made this mistake keep his job.

And finally you can check out my new favorite column of the week, [1. Local] by Lisa Poisso. Lisa takes a look at all the comments posted on WoW Insider and rounds up the best of them for us to marvel over. I know that I've sent her a few lately.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Gallery: WotLK Leaks

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

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