The best of WoW Insider: January 15 - 22, 2008

Having trouble keeping up with all of the latest from Blizzard's mega-MMO, World of Warcraft? Joystiq's friends at WoW Insider are here to keep you up to date on the latest. This week, we've had bug-fix patch 2.3.3 hit the test realms and, today, the live realms. We also celebrated the birthday of the game's Burning Crusade expansion (happy first birthday, BC!) and have had our weekly dose of forum drama fufilled by Blizzard's removal of the ghost wolf pet. For more of the week's most interesting stories from the world... of Warcraft, read on!

World of WarCrafts: IRL Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops
This week I thought I would tackle the only (as far as I know) Epic cooking recipe that WoW has to offer, Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops. This recipe is only available upon completion of a quest and has a panda on the front. What could be better than that?

The AV map imbalance in patch 2.3
Alterac Valley has never been completely balanced. Before patch 2.3, most people generally agreed that the map favored the Alliance, but now, we can see that it favors the Horde. The difference mainly lies in which parts of the map are most important, and how either side can use the terrain differences to win the game.

Happy Birthday Outland!
One year ago today, we the huddled, shivering masses (well, shivering in many parts of the country, anyway) got our hands on Burning Crusade, the first ever WoW expansion. Blizzard started saying shortly thereafter that they would be attempting to make one expansion per year...

WoW, certain routers causing network problems
...Blizzard asked players to report technical specs if the problem happened. And after researching, they've reported now that the problem supposedly lies with folks who have a "Siemens, 2wire or older model Motorola modem or Netgear router."

Breakfast Topic: Blizzard made me quit
It's not new that players all over the trade channel and forums have been threatening to quit WoW after every change, or lack thereof, that Blizzard makes. After the latest hunter pet hotfix, rendering the Grimtotem Spirit Guides untameable, the fur has been flying.

What Blizzard can learn from the Ghost Wolf debacle
A few months ago, when patch 2.3 was introduced with the new Dustwallow content, players found that by quickening Hunters' spellcast time, they were able to tame an animal that was never meant to be tamed -- the ghost wolf.

Dealing with real-life tragedy in an online world
Recently, the guild All Good Things on Kargath lost one of their longtime players. Feelan, one of their guild's holy priests, passed away from cancer in early December -- shortly after he was finally able to meet his online friends. Now the guildmates are wondering what they can do to remember their friend in-game.

15 Minutes of Fame: Horde of Unshoolers
What would happen if you let your child stay out of school to explore whatever she is most interested in doing, for as long as she wanted to do it? Would she end up playing World of Warcraft all day long? This week, meet a mom who not only lets her kids play WoW whenever they want to – but many days, she's the first one to log in.'s a lifestyle and educational approach that's not as outlandish as it might sound.

Turning keyboard turners around
... given that WoW is a game that attracts casual players (a.k.a. people who aren't experienced videogame players), I wouldn't be surprised if there are more people in Azeroth than in, say, Counter-Strike, who use the keyboard to do most of their navigating.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.