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Breakfast Topic: Would you list WoW leadership on your real-life resume?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I've been to a few resumé workshops in my time, and as a professional writing tutor, I've sometimes been the one helping people with their resumés or CVs. Beyond the listings of education and job history, the section that seems most relevant to employers is that of job skills. Most of us have a number of special skills and talents gleaned from experiences outside of our day jobs, whether in church, volunteer work, coaching a local sports team -- or in my case, in Azeroth.

I run a guild in World of Warcraft, and like every leader in every type of community, be it virtual or actual, I've realized that it takes a lot of skill, attention, and balance to do it right. I have to coordinate events, scout and recruit new members, evaluate the performance of current members both individually and as a team, keep the lines of communication open, and treat everyone diplomatically and with respect. These skills, honed in the virtual world, are extremely relevant to many real-world jobs. The question is, how do I list them on my resume? Should I? Would potential employers be scared away by the knowledge that a job candidate plays World of Warcraft?

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Breakfast Topic: Behavior unbecoming a player

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Sometimes we do things that we'd rather forget. Sometimes we do those things in a dungeon. My guild has a few funny stories, such as the paladin tank who forgot to turn on Righteous Fury or DPSers who went through entire runs wearing fishing hats.

In my case, I'm ashamed to say that I let a pushy dungeon group get to me and earned my only dungeon finder kick to date. It was late Wrath, in the early days of the dungeon finder when leaving a random still gave you a long, unavoidable DF cooldown. I queued as a healer and popped into heroic Drak'Tharon Keep. I greeted the group with a cheerful "Hi guys!" but was blindsided when one of the DPS replied, "less talking, more healing." We hadn't even pulled yet.

I shut up, but the comment rankled so much that I immediately decided not to heal the DPSer. As a result, he died a couple times throughout the run and was rezzed by the ret pally. They were all from the same guild, so I knew any attempt I made to vote-kick the rude DPSer would fail. I seethed throughout the dungeon, healing only the tank and two of the DPS, and when we reached the last boss, I was the recipient of an unceremonious vote kick. I was angry at the time, but in retrospect, I deserved it. I should have dropped group the moment the comment was made and let them find a new healer. It's all water under the bridge by now, but that's the one dungeon moment of which I'm ashamed.

Have you ever done something in WoW that you wish you hadn't? Was it with friends or strangers? Is it just a funny story now, or do you still feel sheepish?

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Breakfast Topic: Do you like the changes to classic holiday events?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I distinctly remember the time of year that I started playing WoW because there were Halloween decorations all over the game world. It was October, and Hallow's End was in full swing. Perhaps because of this, I've always looked forward to holiday events in-game, though they've changed over the years. Naturally there was no Headless Horseman boss back then, nor any holiday boss. Noblegarden was a one-day egg hunt in which roleplayers and completionists scrambled to find an Elegant Dress. Stormwind Guards received Valentine's cards during Love is in the Air rather than becoming convenient targets for chemical spray, and the Lunar Festival elders were generous with XP, reputation, and gold when you paid your respects.

Of course, there were no achievements, either.

I think I liked some holidays better the old way. Sure, the RNG problem with many holiday achievements is gone, but it's been replaced by a tedious and time-consuming grind that makes the event feel like more of a chore. I felt the same way about Lunar Festival when finishing it up on my alts. Without the rewards, the only purpose to visiting all the Elders is to tick their names off on the achievement tracker. I happen to like the new Noblegarden format, but I know some people tear their hair out over the egg competition. Brewfest and Pilgrim's Bounty, the new holidays designed with achievements in mind, are more successful in my view.

Do you like the revamped classic holidays? Do achievements make them more or less fun? Did you even do holidays before achievements? How could Blizzard improve its holiday events?

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Breakfast Topic: How consistently do you run your dailies?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Daily quests -- love 'em or hate 'em, they've become a staple of WoW's endgame design since their introduction in The Burning Crusade. Some players do all 25 dailies every day, using them as a reliable source of in-game income. Others blast through as many dailies as they need to gain the reputation or rewards they want, then consider their work done; they rejoice in never having to do those quests again. Still others take it slow, doing dailies casually as filler content when they have nothing better to do.

Despite my exhortation to WoW Insider readers to do their dailies, I must confess that I don't always follow my own advice. At the beginning of Cataclysm, I was excited and determined to get all my reps to exalted as quickly as possible, but over time, I got lazy and started to slack off. I only do the Uldum dailies if I happen to be transmuting Volatile Air or digging up Tol'Vir artifacts, and I tend to put off the Tol Barad Peninsula dailies, rationalizing that "they'll be there all day" and I can always squeeze them in. I still try to do Wildhammer every day, but I'm so sick of those quests that it's hard to stay motivated.

Sometimes, to make sure I get my dailies done, I log off in Tol Barad or Thundermar and force myself to do the quests first thing the next day. I find that if I leave my dailies until the end of the evening, they just don't happen.

How do you approach daily quests? Do you stick with them until there's nothing left to gain? Do you see them as easy gold? If you're a slacker like me, how do you motivate yourself to buckle down and do some daily quests?

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Breakfast Topic: Do you rely on game sounds to help you play WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

There are many reasons why WoW is a great game, but to me, one of the things that sets it apart from other MMOs is the sound design. The music is top quality, the voices are entertaining and memorable, and the sound effects are relevant and informative. As a matter of fact, sound effects are critical to the way I play.

Even if I turn down the game music or environment sounds, I leave my sound effects turned way up. Why? Simple. Without them, I would be a less effective player. I rely on the casting sound to tell me when my heals will land and when I can cast the next one, and I listen for the thud of a tank's block or the clink of a parry to let me know when damage has been mitigated. My druid's inarticulate grunts tell me to back away from adds or to move out of the fire, and even when I'm watching the health bars instead of the characters, the game sounds tell me what spells my party members are casting.

I don't always recognize all these things literally, but the presence of Blizzard's sound effects gives me an idea of how the fight is going by sound alone. In the midst of a tense encounter, I can't always keep track of all the visual cues, but sound effects help me follow what's going on.

Do you use sound effects to keep track of what's going on in combat? Which sounds are the most identifiable to you? Without the sound effects, would you be as effective a player?>

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Breakfast Topic: The most memorable raid interruption

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Way back in the days of yore, before Cataclysm, before Wrath, before even TBC, I was a hunter striving for my Beaststalker pants, and my family had just brought home a new kitten. This was a kitten we'd waited for for over a year, the first purebred Siamese cat we'd owned. She had been welcomed with love into a house full of new toys and kitty beds and expensive cat food, but this kitten had a bad attitude. She yowled. She hissed. She hid under furniture and scratched. Finally, when night fell, we had to shut her up in her special kitten room and hope that the next day proved more encouraging. Dejected, I sat down for an evening of Baron runs to soothe my cat owner's ego.

We had just finished Baroness Anastari when I heard a noise from downstairs, a long, mournful yowl. I immediately feared that the new cat had somehow come to harm. With a quick "brb cat's crying," I rushed down to see what was wrong.

Nothing. The kitten was fine. In fact, she hissed when she saw me. Figures, I thought, and turned away, but when I reached the door, she meowed pitifully again. Experimentally, I opened the door and gathered her up, and she didn't murder me. I carried the kitten upstairs and plopped her on my bed in front of my laptop, where she was immediately entranced by the night elf on the screen. As soon as I announced my return, she pounced on the keys, delighted that she could make the elf move and jump. We finished the dungeon without incident, and I will always remember that run as the night I bonded with that lovely, cantankerous kitten.

What's the most memorable raid or dungeon interruption you've experienced? Do you still talk about it to this day?

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Lunch Topic: What animal should Blizzard add to the WoW bestiary?

This Breakfast Lunch Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

The world of Azeroth is filled with creatures great and small, and a multitude of animal types are represented, both realistic and fantastic. From the beginning, we've had real-world animals such as lions, tigers, bears, ostriches, spiders, bats, hyenas, vultures, and wolves alongside mythological creatures like dragons, centaurs, werewolves, and demons. The Burning Crusade expansion added moths and wasps, dragonhawks and warp stalkers; Wrath brought in rhinoceroses, mammoths, giant worms, and minotaurs; and now, with Cataclysm, we've seen the inclusion of monkeys, mastiffs, eels, fish, sharks, and the much-anticipated fox.

Blizzard is broadening the World of Warcraft bestiary with each new expansion, but there are plenty of animal types left to draw from. How about a tamable sugar glider or a chinchilla vanity pet? Speaking of vanity pets, I'd love to see some of them turned into game mobs. Who wouldn't want to fight (or tame!) a mutant rabbit or Rodent of Unusual Size? With the addition of Vashj'ir, Blizzard has already opened the door for any number of sea creature models. How about a manta ray to join the existing whales and sea turtles?

Is your favorite animal or mythical creature represented in World of Warcraft? What would you like to see added to WoW's bestiary?

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Breakfast Topic: Have rated battlegrounds met your expectations?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

When Blizzard announced the concept of rated battlegrounds, many players, including myself, were ecstatic. Only my old vanilla main has a PvP title, and I'd always wanted to try getting one on my druid. I imagined that we would queue for battlegrounds as usual, but that our ranking on the ending scoreboard would combine with our personal win/loss ratio to create our personal battleground rating. Over time, players would be separated by rating and would wind up in battlegrounds with others of similar skill. The way I imagined it, forming premade groups would be an advantage, but not a necessity for rated play.

Needless to say, that's not how things turned out.

I understand the reason why Blizzard requires full premade groups for rated battlegrounds, and I can see how very good players could wind up with a less than stellar personal rating due to unlucky battleground groups. Still, it's not what I had envisioned, and the fact that my favorite large battlegrounds like Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest are not represented is disappointing. Blizzard recently announced that it's eliminating the 15v15 bracket, making all rated battlegrounds 10v10, which might help groups that are scrambling to find enough players -- but will (at least for the moment) exacerbate the problem of battleground diversity. Blizzard plans to adapt other maps for the 10v10 bracket, but for now, the available rated battleground scenarios are much less numerous than normal, unrated battleground options.

Have you tried rated battlegrounds? Were they everything you'd hoped for? What do you think Blizzard could do to improve the system ... or do you like it just the way it is?

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Breakfast Topic: Is there a class you just can't play?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I have a lot of alts. They aren't all high-level, but over a number of servers, I have at least two of most classes, three warlocks, three priests, and a veritable army of death knights (come on, who didn't go on a massive DK creation spree the minute we were able?), many of which I've actually played for 10 or more levels. I even dragged my rogue -- one of the toughest classes for me to play -- up to level 80 because I was duoing with my girlfriend's paladin. There's one class, however, that I just can't stand playing: the warrior.

I made my first warrior, a human, because I was impressed by warrior tanks and wanted to see what the class was all about. I'm generally better with casters than melee to begin with, but I can handle my druid's feral spec reasonably well, so I figured what the heck. After five levels, I stripped off the warrior's armor, vendored his sword, put him in a tuxedo and made him my bank alt. I know, I know, it was only five levels, but I just couldn't handle it. Warriors and I do not click.

In Cataclysm, the class revamps made me wonder if I should try a warrior again. I deleted my bank alt, remade him as a worgen death knight, and rolled an adorable little goblin warrior in hopes that the starting zone would get me into the class. I have yet to log into that character. I just can't do it.

Is there a class or spec that you just can't handle playing? What is it about the class that gets to you? Have you tried it just once, or many times?

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Breakfast Topic: How has reading WoW Insider changed your game experience?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Long, long ago, there was a time when I didn't read WoW Insider. When I started playing the game in vanilla WoW, I didn't read anything -- I didn't even know there were WoW sites on the Internet. I got all of my information by word of mouth, and when someone finally told me about Thottbot, it was a game-changer for me. It wasn't until late BC, however, that I even heard about this blog, and I don't think I read it regularly until Wrath.

Keeping track of World of Warcraft news and changes has completely changed how I play the game. Rather than wandering through the world until I come across something interesting, I get a heads-up about new reputation factions, daily quests, mount drops, and craftable items that I can then go searching for. I've learned more about my class, become a better player on my alts, and been assured that it's not just me who hates heroic Grim Batol. I even have an auction addon now, and though I don't play the auctioneer game, I am impressed by those who do.

When did you first start reading WoW Insider? Has the game changed for you as a result? What have you learned about here that you never knew before?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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