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Fitness Plus WoW: Companies seek new ways to market to the gaming community

The worlds of fitness and gaming haven't always been thought of as a natural fit. But with gaming now solidly dug into the adult demographic, we can crunch contentedly on our Cheetos without fear of silly stereotypes. We're not shocked to be called in with an alt to fill in for the off tank, who's dialing back for a couple of weeks before running in his next 10K. We're not surprised to learn that a guildmate is a high school soccer player, a 45-year-old yoga teacher, or an active duty soldier who whips out beastly chin-up sets alongside beastly DPS.

Being a fit gamer may no longer be an eyebrow-raising novelty, but gamers haven't exactly become a prime target for fitness company marketing. Yet fitness and gaming have gone hand in hand so long for one WoW player that he's managed to nab a sponsorship from a fitness company anxious to tap into the gaming community. Bodybuilder and WoW player Bajheera of Darkspear (US) is pumped up at the prospect of connecting with his growing YouTube audience about not only gaming but fitness as well. "Merging fitness and gaming on the channel is natural for me," he explained to WoW Insider. "I am definitely encouraging gamers to get active and interested in fitness and am doing my best to encourage fitness-related companies like my sponsor Cellucor ... to reach out to gamers looking to incorporate fitness into their lives. So I am definitely interested in cross-promotion and have been making an effort to bring the fitness and gaming together."

Bajheera reports that the twist is building a surprisingly positive response. "[The company] is excited about what they've seen so far and are planning on marketing campaigns/products intended for gamers," he notes. Will we see this sort of cross-genre marketing more frequently in the future? Bajheera spots us through some insights.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Random Acts of Uberness: A toast to LFR raid leaders who explain fights

Random Acts of Uberness A toast to LFR raid leaders who explain fights
"Thank you for doing your job" is my husband's favorite deadpan witticism when someone at his office puffs up in expectation of praise for something that's actually a basic job duty. It's true that anyone who signs up for a group activity such as an LFR raid should be prepared to meet certain bottom-line expectations for raiding -- but you know, there's a first time for everyone. A good raid leader knows how to make those times successful for the whole raid group.

"Last night in SoO LFR, the tank actually took time to describe the 'need to know' stuff for each of the fights and even answered questions," wrote ErikSetzer in last week's comments. "That's uber for a huge reason: We one-shot our way through those four bosses. But then when I did Pinnacle of Storms LFR, the tanks didn't even ask, and it got especially ugly on Lei Shen, with two or three wipes before someone finally asked, 'Okay, who doesn't know the fights?' One or two people admitted they hadn't been in there before. At least four people had the achievement ding when Lei Shen dropped. So yeah, it would have saved a lot of time and gold to just say what was needed. Sadly, they didn't try that in ToT. But the tank in SoO? Saved us all a lot of trouble. Kudos to that dude."

"My LFR last night went well because we had a leader who gave clear, simple directions instead of complaining that we didn't automatically know everything," agreed Pulcherrimus. "We one-shot everything except Sha of Pride, which we two-shot. That was pretty uber."

"@Pulcherrimus The same thing happened in my lfr last night," added sfreemanoh. "(I wonder if we were in the same one?) Every single boss went down smoothly except for Pride which took 2 shots, people explained the fights, everyone was courteous in instance chat...it was like a whole different game!"

Wonderful LFR raid leaders of Azeroth, the experienced and inexperienced alike salute you. Keep on 'splainin' like you do. Keep reading for more of this week's Random Acts of Uberness.

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Filed under: News items

School's in session at in-game Lore-ytime with Lessons in Lore

School is in session! No, we're not trying to plant the seeds of pre-Halloween nightmares featuring Darkmaster Gandling in your poor, Scholomance-addled brain. We're actually inviting you to come learn about the lore of Azeroth right inside the game itself. With comedy. Yes, it's a thing!

Gather 'round with other lore fans at weekly Lore-ytime sessions by Lessons in Lore, a wry retelling of some of WoW's great stories created by a spunky husband-wife team on Earthen Ring (US-Horde). The team earned their chops with their irreverent and frequently musical presentations at Dragon Con, but you might recognize Chad and Megan more readily as NPCs: Warden Chadrick and Watcher Megana on the Timeless Isle.

Watcher Megana says:


Can you believe this place? There's so much to learn and discover! I'm going to fill up books and books with all my findings here.

But it's just so much information, I don't know how anyone could possibly read through it all. Chadrik thought we could write it up as a song, but that's silly...right?


Players click:

A song?


Watcher Megana replies:


Yes! A song about the lore and all the lessons we can learn from it all. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

But...we're still working on it. Chadrik seems easily distracted lately. Is there something on my tabard?

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Random Acts of Uberness: The voice of reason

Random Acts of Uberness The voice of reason
"Reading this column always makes me want to go out and be randomly awesome for someone," mused JenniferKinnison in the comments of last week's Random Acts of Uberness. "Which, of course, is part of the point. Plus, it's just the right thing to do to help another person out. It's so unexpected these days that it's to be treasured all the more when it happens."

Caught being uber: Avelianah, Draenor (US-Alliance) I and a friend were in one of those LFR groups that give people chills (not the good kind), full of newer folks trying to gear and perhaps not knowing the fights as well as they could have. There were a couple of uber nasty trolls doing their best to rip apart anyone they thought "deserved" it, and trying to kick multiple people. I would like to send out a hug of appreciation to the repeated voice of kindness and sanity that was Avelianah from Draenor. From giving out pointers, explanations, kind words and discouraging the L33T kicks to the 'thanks for the group' at the end of the instance, she was real class. -- Anonymous

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Filed under: News items

Ability Powered gnome builds resource node for disabled gamers

Ability Powered gnome builds resource node for disabled gamers
Sometimes the news tips themselves hit the nail right on the head:

She's known by many on our realm as Short but her character is Azraela. She has been guild leader of Quel'Dorei's Realm first level 25 guild since she founded it in BC.

Why I'd like to nominate her has nothing to do with guild leading though. She's disabled like others you have covered before, and like past stories, it doesn't stop her from raiding, PvP, or any other part of the game.

What impresses me about Short is her concern for other disabled gamers. She recently started a YouTube channel called AbilityPowered where she covers tips on making WoW highly accessible. I asked her about it one day and found out since she started raiding not only is she disabled but she had raid-led colorblind, deaf and hearing-impaired raiders. She said she's had to adjust raiding assignments to make anyone with impairments more successful for years and is hoping it'll help other gamers do the same. I think she's pretty special.


Promising lead? After checking out Ability Powered Gaming, we'd have to agree -– this is one inspiration-powered lady. A resource node for disabled gamers that's matter-of-factly sprung from a welcoming guild intended for one and all ... Meet crusader for disabled gamers, community leader, and Ability-Powered gnome Short/Azraela.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Random Acts of Uberness: The lovely pandaren lady with the fabulous robes

Random Acts of Uberness The lovely pandaren lady with the fabulous robes ANY
It's the times another player lights up your night with precise play, a wicked sense of humor, or unexpected generosity that your login on World of Warcraft becomes something to remember. That's why we're bringing back the feature that lets you send a shout-out or kudos to a fellow player who's made your day in WoW: Random Acts of Uberness.

Caught being uber: Hiyorin of Argent Dawn (EU-Alliance) So there I was! Fighting a rare by the western edge of The Valley of Four Winds on my level 87(?) rogue. And I am losing of course, nearly dead. But suddenly out of the blue comes a friendly pandaren in a set of fabulous robes! Within seconds, she has frozen the rare and started sending of all sorts of shiny magics after him! I keep my distance as the enemy is slowed, frozen and whittled down to nothing! Saving my life and getting me loot, for no reason, other than being kind! (Or so I like to believe.)

Thank you, Hiyorin, Argent Dawn EU, the lovely Pandaren lady with the fabulous robes. -- Anonymous

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Filed under: News items

15 Minutes of Fame Followup: Coming to terms with a self-confessed WoW addiction

It's been just over a year and a half since student filmmaker Anthony Rosner released IRL, a short film documenting the inexorable slide into the throes of a World of Warcraft fixation that nearly derailed his life. His tale of falling head first into Azeroth only to triumphantly fight his way back to a thriving lifestyle and university degree has garnered more than a million views via YouTube, film festivals, TV, and the internet. This month, Rosner has released IRL 2.0: In Moderation, a retelling of his experience that brings viewers back to the place where it all started: Azeroth –- in more moderate doses.

Rosner's creative light shines more brightly than ever here on the far side of his journey through a hobby that for some players can become a suffocating influence. The skills and experience Rosner acquired in film school sparkle in this more polished presentation. Since WoW players will be checking out IRL 2.0 this week as it makes the rounds on the internet, we reopened our conversation with Rosner to find out what's changed since we last touched base and how he and Azeroth have finally managed to come to terms.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Random Acts of Uberness: The Sha of Uberness

Random Acts of Uberness The Sha of Uberness
In the age of LFR, it's the times another player lights up your night with precise play, a wicked sense of humor, or unexpected generosity that your login on World of Warcraft becomes something to remember. That's why we're bringing back the feature that lets you send a shout-out or kudos to a fellow player who's made your day in WoW: Random Acts of Uberness.

This week on Rare Sightings of Azeroth: the Sha of Uberness.

It might not seem like much, but I just dinged 90 for the fourth time, this time a discipline/shadow priest. Being barely geared for heroics (and having a difficult time healing some of those), I sort of shrugged when I saw somebody advertising for people for a Sha of Anger group. I decided "What the heck" and whispered the person. He surprised me by not only telling me he didn't care about my gear but offering to let me heal if I wanted!

Sha of Anger is something I've wanted to kill since the first time our eyes met. This was a shining moment for me, not only to say "I killed Sha!" but to say "I healed Sha!" to my friends, who thought I hated all things having to do with raids.

I just want to say thank you to that random hunter whose name I cannot remember. I hope you read this and know that you made a healer's entire week with that run. Thank you! -- Vilandros, Muradins Resurrection, Muradin (US-Alliance)

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Filed under: News items

Player sweeps all three Stranglethorn Fishing winning spots in one day

Hunter sweeps all three Stranglethorn Fishing winning spots in one day
Relatively few WoW players will ever experience the alignment of timing and luck required to nab a win at the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. Contestants vie for only three prize-winning places that award a handful of coveted items including unique fishing trinkets and baubles and an experience-boosting account-bound ring. The weekly tournament tests anglers' efficiency and resolve with a race to the turn-in in neutral Booty Bay. Particularly on a PvP realm, a win can be less about catching 40 Speckled Tastyfish than surviving the combat on the way to turn them in.

So it was a great surprise to everyone involved when early this summer, Nirad of The Underbog (US-PvP) snagged not only first place in the tourney but also second place and then third as well -- all in a single day. "The contest wasn't a ghost town event," Nirad says. "I was killed once and had to avoid seven or eight Horde. I fished around Yojamba Isle and Grom' gol Base Camp, as well as inland. I set my hearthstone to the inn and teleported in all three times. I stealthed to hand in the quests all three times, as there were 5 or 6 horde immediately around the NPC you hand in the quests to. Later I heard that a number of Horde were also at the entrance to the tunnel heading into the city to keep people from running in."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

All-pandaren guild rolls its chi into action

Allpandaren guild rolls into action
In today's Mists of Pandaria era, you'd think there would be a pandaren-themed guild on every street corner, especially on roleplay realms. Oddly, that's not the case. Is it that the pandaren haven't captured the imagination of players in the same way other races and classes have, or are players simply more pragmatically focused on personal playstyles and achievements?

Keeping the faith in this time of rugged individualism is Faithful of the Ways, an all-pandaren guild on Emerald Dream (US-Alliance). Coming together just recently, the guild has already fully leveled with players drawn by the idea of honoring the pandaren roots and lore. Support from the realms other RP guilds has helped Faithful of the Ways carry pandaren principles throughout the land.

"The Faithful is one of the few one-race roleplaying guilds on Emerald Dream," says Zhiang Liu, the group's GM. "There has been talk of a lack of open roleplay on the server, and the Faithful serve to counteract that 'hole,' if you would. While we are based in Pandaria, we are primarily roleplaying everywhere we go in Azeroth. We've been to the Blue Recluse, Ironforge, Dalaran. We've even roleplayed in the middle of a raid. It doesn't matter what we do or where we go -- we always seek to turn it into an epic adventure."

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Filed under: Interviews

World-ranked brawler shares secrets of Brawler's Guild success

Persistence pays for worldranked WoW brawler
How do you achieve a #2 world ranking in something without having any idea you're busting through every mark of achievement to set a blistering, world-record pace? You enjoy the process too much to even notice –- at least, that's how things went for champion brawler Lubricatèd of Eredar (US-Horde). The undead assassination rogue's rise to the top of the ranks was built not on a drive to set new records but on a burning desire to own a cool mount.

"I had been trying for the mount from Galleon basically since launch with no luck, so I saw reaching rank 10 as a way that I could earn the mount without having to deal with the low drop chance of Galleon's mount," he explains. "I was already rank 8 with all rare bosses down the afternoon that patch 5.3 went live, so I went directly into the arena and started queuing up for the new fights."

When the dust on the arena floor settled, Lubricatèd had nabbed himself not only that cool mount but also the number two slot in the world for the Brawler's Guild. We chatted with Lubricatèd about his winning strategies, what it was like to discover he'd torn up the charts, and his top tips for players new to the Brawler's Guild.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Valor-capping a realm's worth of 90s every single week

Altaholic valorcaps realmful of level 90s every single week
And you thought the guy with 50 level 85+ characters was crazy.

Last week, we met a player who's packed his entire account (five realms and 50 character slots, all told) with level 85+ characters. This week, we visit yet another plane of insanity: a player who's valor-capped every character on a realm (11 level 90 characters) in a single week -– more specifically, every single week, because Bluespartan of Lightbringer (US) has been valor-capping his entire crew like clockwork every week for the last four weeks in a row.

"Didn't really set out to do it, but with the changes to patch 5.3, it became viable despite working full time," he muses. "Under the pre-5.3 options for capping valor on the first toon, I would have run one heroic dungeon and one normal scenario for 80 + 50 valor. But now, a single heroic scenario gives about the same valor as both of those, plus better gear rewards."

Is this the dawning of the Age of the Altaholic? Maybe it's the fact that both of these altaholic players play characters named with forms of the word "blue." Or maybe it's just that Bluespartan is a college math teacher and enjoys figuring out a formula for success. Whatever it is, let's take a look inside the week of the player who just might be WoW's reigning King of Valor.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Player packs entire WoW account with level 85+ characters

Still Ticking Player works through a full account of level 85s
Ever wondered what it must be like to level every last character slot on your character select screen to the level cap? It's not unthinkable for players who enjoy devoting a lot of time and energy to the game, but it's not exactly a project most players have the mental stamina to grind through. Shiver in fear, then, as we bring you the story of a man who's leveled characters to 85+ not only for an entire realm or even two but in every possible slot of his WoW account. That's five realms: two with 11 characters, two with 10 characters, and one with eight, hitting the hard cap of 50 characters on a single account, all told.

And that's just the Cataclysm-era installment of this altaholic's leveling efforts. Bluemain of Darkspear (EU-Alliance) is still ticking along. That's right: This herd of 85s is still leveling. Since we began our interview process, Blue's replaced and scooted a couple of characters here and there, but they're all 85 again as of this week, and he's working on his 19th level 90 character.

Could this guy be the prototype for Insane in the Membrane?

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Collaring a new line of business thanks to World of Warcraft

Collaring a new line of business thanks to WoW
Here's a neat little story that'll get you thinking about how you'll spend your free time this weekend. Haven't you ever wondered what it would be like to do some of the things your character does in daily life in the game? The man behind Solles of Alleria (US-Alliance) did. He found himself wondering what it would be like to craft the utilitarian pieces Solles created while leatherworking. Being a practical sort of a man, he marched right out to investigate leatherworking in the real world –- and lo and behold, today he is the sole proprietor of Spoiled Dog Leather, where he creates custom leather dog collars.

The pride he pours into his WoW-inspired craft is evident: "Between working with pets and promoting the art of leather work, I could not be happier to make these hand crafted collars for you," he writes on his website. "At Spoiled Dog Leather we give you the ability to completely customize your collar so it matches you and your dog's style. Our collars are made to order using the best leather and hardware available to make these last a lifetime."

We visited with Solles to find out how he nudged leatherworking out of Azeroth and into his life as a sideline business to an already busy life in the Army.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

How do celebrity gamers keep the burden of fame off their backs?

How do celebrity gamers keep the burden of fame off their backs
When we interviewed Playboy's Miss October 2012 Pamela Horton last month, more than a few readers were aghast that we would print her character names and realm and her BattleTag, even though she clearly stated during the interview that she's happy to hear from and play with fans. "Do you think it wise to give out this poor girl's toon name?" wondered commenter lifecrits. "It can be used to find every single one of her characters on her account, and if she thought the male community in video games was bad before, wait until people harass her in Azeroth. I foresee an expensive name, faction, or server change for her in the near future."

"I hope that the members of the WoW community respect the trust she has placed in the gamer fan base by NOT hounding her and harassing her," worried commenter Aranyszin. "She took a bit of a risk revealing her 'online' persona; I'm sure she gets approached by fans, but remember people -- be respectful. Don't hide behind your anonymity and be a jerk."

Meanwhile, the feedback from Horton behind the scenes was all good –- which got us to wondering how other well-known people who play WoW and other online games handle in-game fan interaction. We checked in with Horton, Game of Thrones' Kristian "Hodor" Nairn, Olympic gold medalist Aries Merritt, pro football punter Chris Kluwe, America's Top Model winner Adrianne Curry, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Aron "Nog" Eisenberg to find out how they protect and enjoy their video game time when fans are clamoring to connect with them in game.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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