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[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end


Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Yeah, we know you've already got Algalon on farm -- WoW.com readers are just uber that way. But for the rare handful of you still playing at a somewhat less stratospheric progression point ... How about those patches? Is the flow of new content keeping pace with your playstyle and interest?

"The pace of new content is fine – ooh, shiny :)," wrote Julie. "What worries me is the rate at which old content becomes obsolete (which is way too fast). For example, I'm glad Ulduar and Emalon are out. I hate the fact you can't do Archavon without doing Emalon. I also hate the fact that there's no reason to go into Naxx (Pro-Drake, badges, etc.) or heroic five-mans, for that matter. Basically I'm ok with the new content coming out; not ok with being forced to move to the new content the moment it does, however. There should be some balanced incentives to keep doing older content."

Is your guild working patiently through the existing content at its own rate, or has the addition of new content shoved you out into the deep end before you were ready?

I'm more hardcore than you
Reader Brian offered a fresh perspective on the ongoing "battle" between camps of players and playstyles. "I really don't think the friction in raids between 'hardcore' players and 'noobs' comes from some elitism held by the former so much as it comes from the fact that the noobs who bother people have problems beyond just starting out," he wrote. "I hit level 80 and started raiding quite a bit later than many of the people I raid with, and I didn't raid at all prior to 80. I will never forget how terrible I was the first time I stepped into Naxx. They knew the fights; I was a noob.

"But here's the thing: I said up front I had no idea what I was doing, so they told me what to do ... and while I might have screwed up at first, I improved pretty quickly. My fellow raiders didn't respond with elitist attitudes, and I was rapidly and happily accepted into the team.

"The real friction isn't from well meaning but naive players running up against elitist jerks; it's players who either refuse to learn how to contribute or are incapable of doing it. This isn't about demanding absolute perfection. The people who draw the most scorn are the people who wipe the raid and do so repeatedly. Perhaps there are groups out there who enjoy wiping on the first boss of a raid because someone in their group can't learn a task that took most of the raiders one or two tries, but I bet they aren't a very big part of the WoW population. For the rest of us, it's annoying. I and most people I know are willing to wipe a few times teaching a new player the ropes, but when it happens repeatedly for totally avoidable reasons ... people tend to get short-tempered.

"It's the difference between 'I haven't learned yet' and 'I'm never going to learn,' and it makes all the difference in the world. The analogy to group sports in real life is flawed when we're talking about raiding, because there is no equivalent sliding scale for skill levels.

"For all the talk of how easy raiding is now, it still requires some skill, and if you can't or won't obtain those skills yet insist on raiding, people will resent you for it. Contrary to the author's position, I'm not sure there is a place in raiding for the type of player who refuses to stand on the correct side while fighting Thaddeus. The raid will endlessly wipe until that person learns how to play. Is it really unreasonable to ask that they do so?

"The real flaw in the author's argument is that raiding isn't all there is to WoW. If people want to just screw around by themselves or with a few friends, there are a fair number of ways they can do this where they and everyone else will be perfectly happy with their playstyle. Raiding requires a little more, and if people can't or don't want to give that extra effort, that's ok, but then they probably shouldn't be raiding. Calling this 'elitism' is a red herring. If raiding didn't require a little bit of 'elite' skill, then anybody really could do it no matter how they played and we wouldn't be having this discussion at all."

And yet here we are. Discuss.

Mages are fine. Now fix us.
Last week's edition of Arcane Brilliance brought the win at so many levels, starting with what's fast becoming a madly popular post image. Will Scary Mage Baby come to rival Mad Baby in terms of sheer awesomeness?

Bubsa: This column has had serious amounts of awesome on many fronts. First, Scary Baby.

cowfodder: I know exactly jack sh!t about Mage mechanics, but that baby is fu#*ing epic!

FeverRay: ˆˆ This.

PandaMarius: That. baby. is. AWESOME!!! Full of Win!

GeneticDevo: Is that your baby, Christian? Gonna be a totally awesome Mage when he grows up, no doubt a fire Mage rocking a gladiator title!

Matazuma: Bwahahhaha that picture made my day!

YuquaiLon: The picture is awesome!

Doonami: That baby . . . I find it horrifying, yet I can't look away. ._.

Mordii: Demon Mage Baby: http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/4386/deathmage.jpg

But wait – there's a punch line to all this admiration.

TecnoBrat: So, the scary baby pic. That's totally my son. Not really sure how you found it ... but I think that's hilarious. For those of you who don't believe me, here's the original: http://wow.tecnobrat.com/images/aaron1.jpg

And O HAI – the actual column the baby Mage appeared on was pretty good, too. "By the way Christian, when are you going on the WoW Insider Show?" asked Sarabande. "They talk quite a lot about Shammies, Warriors, Paladins or discuss tanks, but I don't hear a whole lot about or from Mages. Even when some pretty major changes took place (Molten Armor, Imp. Scorch), not too much was said about it on the show.

"If you speak as entertainingly as you write, I think it'd be fun to hear you on the show. Plus I feel like you speak for a great many of the Mages, not just the fastest-twitchiest-8k-DPSing-expert theorycrafting-Ulduar-hardmoding Mages. :)"

"^^ I'll second this," added Frank. "I would start listening to the podcast if Mages were represented by you."

So how about it, Christian?

OGC the Warlock
Speaking of reader appreciation, Michael Grey's latest installment of The Colosseum garnered plenty of reader praise of its own. "Probably the best Colosseum I've read," applauded Matt. "He actually gave detailed, insightful answers -- something that shows that he clearly puts some thought into his play (which you'd expect from a Gladiator-ranked Warlock these days)."

"Bravo," agreed Cliff. "Fantastic interview and great read to start out the morning. I'm not even that much of an Arena fan, but I found this interesting and enlightening. Keep up the good work, WoW.com!"

Black Jelly
More sheer win: Check out Ianthe's inspired contribution to the most recent World of WarCrafts column.

"Bad Clams
Raid composition
1 dozen fresh South Australian Pacific oysters (opened); these will be the tanks for this encounter
1 lemon; Shadowpriest FTW
3 Tablespoons tomato sauce; any garden variety melee sauce will do
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce; original is still the best ... much like Warlocks, just don't ask what goes in it

Adds
100g shredded bacon
Shredded cheese (hard mode only)
Coarse salt (hard mode only)

The encounter
Phase One
Spread the tanks evenly over the coarse salt; in easy mode, on an oven tray lined with foil.
Pull aggro by sprinkling the bacon over the oysters .
The tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce must do the Heigan dance until evenly mixed.
Once this phase has passed, a small amount should be placed on the tanks, the rest reserved for the final phase.
Phase Two
At this point, the entire raid should be place in the grill for about 10 minutes, until the bacon adds are cooked.
This may be difficult on the healers when the raid moves; be sure to wear fire resist gear.
To activate hard mode, simply sprinkle grilled cheese on after the bacon has been cooked but before moving the raid to phase three.
Phase Three
As the entire raid moves to phase three, lemon wedge adds will join the fight. This is a simple grab-n-squeeze onto the tanks.
The reserved DPS sauce may be used at this phase.

Associated Achievements
Oh so saucy Share this raid with a member of the opposite (or same) sex.
Not Again! Serve this to someone who's never had oysters before and watch the explosion!
Oysterfest! Complete this, the Clammette Surprise (oysters natural), the Clammette Magnifique (oysters with shallots and red wine vinegar), Boiled Clams (poached oyster) and Goblin Deviled Clams (fresh with lime juice and chilis) within one Dinner Lockout Period.

Recipe inspired from http://www.abc.net.au/sa/stories/s495488.htm."

Sounds delish, Ianthe! Send your own World of WarCrafts recipes (dishes that call to mind in-game recipes; WoW lingo optional) to lisa@wow.com.

WoW analogies
Since we're all huddled up with our homies here in [1.Local], we can talk about things in terms we can all understand. Like WoW ... and life.

Doonami: I often think of grocery shopping as questing, with my notepad of what to buy as my log. Planning out the fastest routes around a shopping centre in my head, just like waypoints on Quest Helper.

Robert M: Want to download grocery store Carbonite!

nokturnus: @Robert M, here is your Carbonite; still seems in beta, though :D.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/technologynews/5241034/Elderly-shoppers-to-get-sat-nav-gadget-to-find-their-way-around-supermarkets.html

Well played, nokturnus, well played. Now pick up the mats for those Bad Clams, and we've got a raid.

Rating the classes for casuals
We've guided rookie players through choosing the right class before, but going into things knowing you'll be playing casually puts still another spin on the choice. Several long-time Priests hopped into this WoW, Casually post with advice gleaned from experience. "Leveling a Priest as Shadow before vampiric Touch is a horrible idea," noted 309blank. "Instead, I recommend a Smite build with Spirit Tap, which is more mana-conserving and does more DPS than a Shadow build (which is the more traditional leveling method). For a little information about glyphs, builds, etc., check out this thread on MMO-Champion, where the advantages and techniques for leveling as Smite are laid out in more detail."

"I can attest to the Smite Priest build, as I'm leveling one now," agreed lucasfryer.hms. "In some cases, if you crit Holy Fire as well as Smite, you can just about two-shot mobs at your own level. It's pretty powerful. I've run into a few Priests playing straight Shadow builds at my level (20s), and they do significantly less damage than I do. Do yourself a favor: roll Smite until the 40s. It's awesome!"

And there you have it – the skinny from your esteemed colleagues at [1.Local].

Interview with a scammer
When Robin Torres wrote about scammers selling Spectral Tiger Mounts in game, she never expected to end up interviewing the con artist in question. That's exactly what ended up happening.

Readers reacted in unison to revile the ugly attitudes she uncovered. "The vast majority of these scammers are simply taking advantage of opportunities - there are forums full of them, if you care to look," wrote Kyn. "If you do, you'll find them chock-full of self-important kids who know full well the tricks they're using are pretty basic and so, in turn, believe anybody else who can't figure out as much of them must really be dumb. The tricks and technologies they're using are off the shelf and generally pretty cheap (even by teenagers' standards), often free. The ones you see are little fish, barely less ignorant than their prey, but in this particular environment, they've got the upper hand because they've learned a few tricks.

"People who are either naturally predatory or learn that being a predator makes them successful (by whatever their personal measure of success is, e.g. money, reputation ...). Whatever the case, it's criminal behavior they're learning and learning to value. They're learning that identity theft is a path to success. They're learning deceptive practices and gaining confidence. They're learning how to justify what they do, at least to themselves, and that it's nearly impossible to catch or simply identify them by any means available.

"The danger is far less their principles (debatable, but people have these principles regardless of environment), motives or what they're getting away with now. It's what happens as they mature into real criminals with real educations. They're growing up with others of like mind with similar interests. There are a great many people who have no issue at all with taking advantage of others, particularly in a game environment where even if they get caught, the consequences are barely more than a slight restriction for a short time.

"They're right about people being ignorant, not just in game but with security in general. I helped a wealthy client at home recently. The code for their very impressive premises was, and I kid you not, '1 2 3 4.' They're nice people and quite clever in their own way, as are the professors, doctors, lawyers and many other people I've helped over the years, in the areas they're interested in.

"For the most part, our society lives in blissful ignorance, believing wholeheartedly in our superiority and that because we're educated and civilized that everybody's nice -- or at worst, maybe having a bad day or had a rough up-bringing. Don't kid yourselves: people are animals -- and amongst us, as amongst any other species, are predators."

Gulp.
Until next week!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

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