1. WoW hoodie from Jinx
Price: From $64.99
If you're trying to find a gift for a WoW player who lives in a colder climate, an officially licensed WoW hoodie might be the perfect gift. Clothing retailer Jinx is loaded to the brim with terrific, officially licensed World of Warcraft gifts in different designs and sizes.
One of the coolest things about Jinx gear is that the logos are present but unobtrusive. They say "World of Warcraft" without literally saying World of Warcraft. If you pass by someone who's a WoW player, they'll immediately recognize the Horde or Alliance logos. But if you're just buying some groceries, the check-out girl won't think you're a big fat nerd because of it. (Though that's not saying she won't be able to use other clues, like your insistence on talking about Doctor Who with every disinterested stranger you pass.)
If you know whether the recipient plays Horde or Alliance, then a faction-specific hoodie will probably fit the bill. If you're worried that you might not get the answer to the Horde vs. Alliance question right, don't worry -- Jinx has some pretty cool stuff for sale that's faction neutral. My favorite: the Epic Purple Shirt.
2. A custom 3D WoW character model
Price: From $69.99
Let's face it, your typical WoW player is pretty devoted to their main character. If you're familiar with their character's information -- specifically, their name and server -- a custom-made 3D FigurePrint model of their character will rock the hell out under any tree.
FigurePrints come in two different sizes, a bust that sells for $69.99 and a complete character with weapons and armor for $129.99. Each FigurePrint is made from a plaster-like powder using a pretty revolutionary process. The end product is between five and eight inches tall, depending on the character chosen.
FigurePrints can take up to a month to make, and in some cases, even longer. Obviously, that means you can't get a custom character made up in time for this holiday season. But don't rule a FigurePrint out -- the company offers the option to buy a gift certificate. It may not be as impressive a gift to open, but you at least get the guarantee of not messing up.
3. WoW Legendary Edition gaming mouse from SteelSeries
To steal a brutally overused internet meme, WoW is serious business. Hardcore players need hardcore equipment, and one of the most hardcore pieces of equipment we've come across this year is the officially licensed Legendary Edition mouse from SteelSeries.
WoW Insider's Mat McCurley recently reviewed the Legendary Edition SteelSeries mouse, and he loved it. Some of his favorite features included the customizable side buttons for your thumb, the included software that lets you set up in game, and the aesthetic design and glow.
At $79.99, it's definitely at the high end of the mouse market. But make no mistake, this isn't an ordinary mouse -- it's a precision piece of gaming equipment capable of taking someone's WoW game to the next level.
4. Razer Anansi MMO Keyboard
In terms of interacting with your computer, your keyboard is probably the most important piece of equipment you have. The faster your keyboard reacts, the faster your character reacts. And ask any Rank 1 Gladiator -- PvP matches can be won and lost in a fraction of a second.
If your favorite WoW player is still using the keyboard that came boxed with the computer, he's in desperate need of an upgrade. WoW Insider suggests that the Razer Anansi MMO Keyboard may just be that upgrade he needs. It's expensive, sure, but not unusually expensive so far as gaming keyboards are concerned.
Mat gushed over keyboard in his Anansi review, praising the set of seven modifier keys that change the functionality of other buttons -- a godsend for a player that needs to react quickly to an in-game situation. It allows players to quickly create and execute macros and shortcuts on the fly. Ultimately, it's a durable keyboard that feels as comfortable to use surfing the internet as it does during a heroic raid encounter.
5. Vial of the Sands
Price: 42,800 gold
If you're short on real-world currency but rich when it comes to in-game money, don't worry -- you have some gift options too. At the top of my own personal in-game gift list is the still-cool, bind-on-use Vial of the Sands. It's an item that turns your character into a rideable mount.
If you want to make it yourself, you've got a long road ahead. You need to first score the alchemy recipe for it, which requires you do a lot of archaeology grinding. Once you're capable of making it, you still need to buy the materials. That's no small task; the vendor-sourced mats alone cost over 23,000 gold.
Of course, you don't need to be an alchemist. You can just buy one off the Auction House. The global average price, according to AHspy.com, is about 42,800 gold. No one needs the Vial of the Sands, but that's part of why it makes such a cool gift -- it's an in-game luxury.
Remember, if you're going to give someone an in-game gift, you should wrap it first! Red Ribboned Wrapping Paper is available from many Orgrimmar and Stormwind vendors. Not every item is wrapable, but thankfully, the Vial of the Sands is.
And a few more ideas ...
Of course, these five ideas merely scratch the surface. There are plenty of other great resources out there for giving the perfect WoW gift, especially if you're on a tight budget, including:
The official Blizzard Store allows you to buy a number of great gifts from Blizzard itself. It has a pretty wide selection, from in-game mounts like the Celestial Steed (now reduced to $10 for the holidays) to faux lambswool blankets.
If the person you're shopping for likes trading card games like Magic, he'll probably love the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. Cryptozoic offers a number of different options, from fully playable sets to $3.99 booster packs to the new Throne of Tides set. And the best part: Packages may contain loot cards, which are redeemable in game for cool stuff! WoW TCG cards are sold pretty much everywhere, including Walmart and Target.
There are a number of WoW novels out there, including the recent Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects. You can find this and other books on Amazon or in your local book store.
If these ideas aren't enough for you, below is our visual guide from 2009. Many (but not all) of the gift ideas in it still hold up today.