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Breakfast Topic: What won't you do for your group?

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

As the immortal Meat Loaf once said: "And I would do anything for love, but I won't do that!" Many of us have aspects of the game that just aren't that appealing to us. For me, that is healing. I love raiding. I really love it. I'll worm my way into a group in a variety of roles. Need a tank to get the run going? I've got all four. Need someone to kite the adds on Magmaw? I'm pro with Chilblains. You want a ranged DPS to go up against Alysrazor? I'll prove to you that despite all appearances, the boomkin is not a flightless bird.

Oh, you need a healer. Good luck with that.

For some reason, healing has never clicked with me. I've given it a few tries here and there, but it just hasn't appealed to me. My hate affair began on my very first toon. I'd been leveling my paladin as protection for a while, late in The Burning Crusade. I had just reached level 20 and was invited to come tank a Blackfathom Deeps group. The group leader was a level 31 shaman who was trying to finish up a quest that had been apparently been moldering in his quest log for a while. We made it past the first couple of bosses, when the shaman declared that he was going to tank the rest of the instance and I should heal him. Still being new to the game, I had no idea what was going on and struggled to cast healing spells with no mana, with my spellbook taking up half my UI. Since then, I've tried a few different healers, but none of them made it halfway to the level cap before becoming a DPS toon.

I love my healers. I just couldn't imagine being them. What about you?

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Breakfast Topic: What was your most memorable noob moment?

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

Everyone began this game with very little idea of what they wanted to do. We all had even less of an idea of how we were going to do things. One byproduct of this fact is that it engenders a cheerful nostalgia, an aura of innocence that plays across our memories in the finest rose tints. Things seemed simpler back then; the community seemed nicer and the game more original. While I don't actually believe that WoW was significantly better back in its earlier encounters, I do look back fondly on killing murlocs in Elwynn Forest, while I find current chores (despite their similarity) to be somewhat odious in their tediousness.

The other byproduct of our naïveté in our early days in Azeroth is the noob moment. These are the events we look back on and say, "I can't believe I was that bad!" Those of us with more fragile egos repress those moments entirely.

For me, the noob moment that remains burned in my memory was a Gnomeregan run. I've been tanking since level 10 on my first character, and it was on that first character that I found myself tanking for a group that was chock-full of clothies. The run went fairly well, and despite a couple wipes here and there, we managed to down Thermaplugg. He dropped the Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator, which had significantly more armor than the Hallowed Helm I had equipped at the moment. So I rolled need and won the item over the priest, mage, and warlock. My attempts to explain about the armor were shouted down, and I slinked away wondering what I did wrong.

It wasn't until I was around level 50 that I realized why that group was so angry at me. Looking back, it's one of my secret shames.

Have you ever suffered a noob moment?

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Breakfast Topic: What keeps you playing?

Fail Squad
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 known people who played this game for many reasons. Some were in it just to kill time, some wanted to get the best gear, and many wanted to beat the game in the manner of their choice. Ultimately, for those of us who have stuck around for more than a content cycle, there's something that keeps us here rather than moving on to the next flavor of the month game.

The reason I play this game isn't really for the raiding or the prestige, and it sure isn't for the gear. In the end, I'm playing this game because I've got a good group of friends who play with me. There are about 22 of us, and while there are only 15 or so playing at any given time, it's made raiding a ton of fun and recruiting this expansion a breeze. When someone needs some time away from the game, another friend is coming back and looking to raid. While it took me about a year to cultivate all these friendships, it's paid off well in Cataclysm. I don't think I'd still be playing if it weren't for them. Thank you, guys and gals.

So what keeps you logging on? What drives you in this game?

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Breakfast Topic: What was your turning point in 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.

Everyone took a path to get where they are in the today, both in life and in Azeroth. Whether you're a heroic raider, an Auction House kingpin, a rabid collector, or even an ex-WoW player, at some point you stood at the crossroads and chose the path that got you where you are. Likewise, there is often a moment that crystallizes your desires and sends you decisively down the road. That moment is the turning point.

I spent a good amount of my time in WoW raiding. I eventually wound up as the GM of a raiding guild during patch 3.1. We were previously a fairly casual guild, but a few of us wanted to try our hands at hard modes. I found the prospect intriguing, so we went into Ulduar and began knocking down four-tower Flame Leviathan, Heartbreaker, and I Choose You Steelbreaker and pushed into the Keepers of Ulduar. This was fairly late in the Ulduar cycle, so we had the best gear we could get from normal mode content. We tore through the content at a rapid pace, with none of the encounters taking more than a raid night to knock down.

Then came Firefighter; for those who never had the privilege of attempting this encounter at level, Mimiron hard mode takes what was already the most difficult of the keepers and cranks it up beyond 11. It had massive tank damage, obscene raid damage, hunter tanking, and DPS coordination. Oh, and the floor is covered in fire that chases you the whole time. It was our first real challenge in progression raiding. We wiped to it for a month, and over 220 attempts later, we got our last sigil to unlock Algalon. We rose to the occasion, and from that point on, we were heroic progression raiders.

What was your turning point?

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Breakfast Topic: Design your own vanity gear

Banker alt
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Blizzard has introduced a ton of items designed for no other purpose than to look cool. Almost every holiday introduces a new set of themed clothes that make you look formal, Oriental, or on fire. There are top hats, pimp hats, and chain mail bikinis. (Alarmingly, some of those bikinis give more protection than full suits of mail). Tailors can make a variety of dresses equippable by characters of all races, factions, and genders.

Most of the white or gray gear that looks good winds up on people's bank alts so they can look good while conducting business in Stormwind. But sometimes I don't want to look like I'm on my way to a wedding. Sometimes I want to look like the fearsome businessman my bank alt is named after. I want a Mad Men-style business suit, navy blue with infantry blue pinstripes and a red tie. I want my bank alt to dominate the Auction House and look like he's doing it in style. Maybe a crisp fedora to go with it, because nothing cuts a better silhouette than a man in a suit and fedora.

What sort of vanity equipment would you make for your characters if you had the opportunity?

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Breakfast Topic: What do you want from 5-man content?

Dungeon Finder
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A good amount of the WoW population spends the majority of its endgame time in 5-man dungeons. Blizzard is acutely aware of this, and it's striven to make new and engaging 5-mans. The 5-mans were more or less left alone in The Burning Crusade, with only one new dungeon during the entire tier, and the only major innovation was the wave system used in Opening the Dark Portal, which was later mimicked in Violet Hold and The Culling of Stratholme. In Wrath, Blizzard released four new dungeons over the course of the expansion and added in vehicle-based encounters in Trial of the Champion and the Oculus (which thankfully haven't been reproduced anywhere else yet). During Cataclysm, Blizzard has already released two new instances and announced plans for three more in the upcoming 4.3 patch. It's added interactive environments, randomized bosses, and some of the most complex 5-man encounters to date.

So what is Blizzard going to add next? Since Wrath, new raid tiers are accompanied by new raid meta-achievement mounts. While raid encounters are unquestionably more difficult, it'd be a nice nod to the players who can't raid for some reason or another to have a new mount to aspire to in 5-man content. A new Glory of the Hero mount for each tier of 5-mans that come out would be a good touch and a way to make 5-man content feel a little bit more connected to the storyline. Blizzard already implemented nine achievements tied to Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub, so tying them into a meta wouldn't be much of an issue.

What would you like to see in the future of 5 man content?

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Breakfast Topic: What's your calling?

bear druid
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Some people who play this game find themselves attracted to a specific calling. I find it interesting to see who's devoted to a specific spec, class, or role.

Me, I tank. I've been tanking since level 10 on my first character. I've got all four tanking classes at level 85. I love the idea of being the tip of the spear in any given group. While I wish I could say that these tanks were born from the desire to trade blows with the enemy rather than simply nip at their ankles, this isn't specifically true. While my paladin is always a tank, my DK was started as a character I could explore DPS potential on. Eventually, alt runs in my guild needed a tank, so my DK became a full-time tank. To compensate for that, I rolled a fury warrior. It was good for a while, but to paraphrase Sartre, "hell is other tanks." It was quite painful to stand in the back in raids only to watch the tank make mistakes with encounters that I'd done in my sleep on two different tanks.

This came to a head in an ICC PUG when a tank bailed on us, and rather than wait for the raid leader to dig up another tank from trade chat, I started rummaging through my bags and manifested a tanking set from the assorted detritus I had acquired in previous runs. Boots from Mimiron hard mode, trinket from Yogg, shield from Gunship, and so on and so forth until I had a complete tanking set on. With it, we cleared seven bosses in ICC.

Cataclysm comes, and I finally get around to rolling a druid. I embrace the inevitable, and he's been a bear since the beginning.

What do you find yourself attracted to with your toons?

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Breakfast Topic: How many rolls did it take to get your character right?

Character selection screen
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A lot of players took a few swings to get their characters right. You might find that that first mage you rolled doesn't really synch with your desire to stab an Ogre with that sword. That Human might have been a bit bland for a game where you could be a goat with face tentacles from space, or a walking slab of USDA-approved beef. I know several people who started playing at the bequest of their friends, made a character, leveled it for a while, only to get the message: "I'm sorry, but your friends are on another server!" It can be a bit jarring, especially if you've leveled into the 40s or 50s when a sizable time investment has been made, but perhaps not enough to justify paying for a server or faction transfer. Mistaken class choices can only be rerolled.

I lucked out. My friend who got me into WoW told me exactly which server and faction to start on before I downloaded the trial account. I picked a Human paladin because I loved paladins in Diablo 2 and started on my voyage. The ability to tank fed into my natural tendency to melee things, and sword and shield has always been my favorite aesthetic weapon choice. Others in my guild were less fortunate. Our mage, who played a paladin in beta, rolled a paladin on live servers, only to find that it was completely different than the class he fell in love with in the beta test. He traipsed through a rogue, priest, and hunter before he got around to maining his mage. Our Draenei enhance shaman started out as a Blood Elf paladin who didn't make it past level 40.

How about you? Is your main your first toon?

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Breakfast Topic: What's the closest you've cut a boss kill?

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

We've all heard the horror stories of 1% wipes on tough raid encounters. It's one of the most painful occurrences in the game, to have come so close yet to fall by the slimmest of margins. I find that the most exhilarating moments in this game for me lie in the moments where the wheels are beginning to fall off, and everyone in the raid pulls out all the stops to try to bring the beast down before it can finish us off. Just as the 1% wipe is such a painful experience, the opposite -- snatching victory from the gaping maw of defeat -- is the most rewarding.

In my guild, we've made a habit of living on that razor's edge for many of our progression kills this tier, but none were as close as our first Nefarian kill. We handled the fight cleanly until 20%. The second-to-last Electrocute killed the healer assigned to me, the add tank. As I blew my last cooldowns to survive, the 10% Electrocute came up. I put my raid wall up to protect the raid, and the Electrocute took me down.

As the adds began to run rampant, the raid performed brilliantly and sold themselves dearly. Our mage landed a perfect Ring of Frost to buy time; our healers burned every tool at their disposal to keep the adds at bay: and our Nefarian tank timed his cooldowns flawlessly. With only two DPSers left alive, our hunter launched himself across the room on his rocket boots in a desperate attempt to give our enhance shaman another precious second to finish off the dragon. Nefarian died with two DPSers alive, both of whom were at less than 25% health. Nerdscreams ensued.

What's closest you've cut things on a boss to get that first kill? Which boss pushed you to your limit?

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Breakfast Topic: What do you collect in game?

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 a lot of people who collect things in game. Pets and mounts are often favorites, although there are often other items that people covet. People still charge into Black Temple hoping that they'll get the elusive Warglaive that will complete their set. Some have been farming Molten Core since release looking for a binding to drop. Recipes are also sought-after. Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops remains the only epic cooking recipe in the game, and now limited edition copies have been seen selling on the AH for upwards of 20k; something tells me it's not for the 25 stamina well fed buff.

I collect shields. My main is a protection paladin, and I have a bag in my bank devoted to the shields that got me through my raiding career in style and safety. While my collection is not as extensive as Blockade's, who got a shield named after him during this tier, I do have 15 shields ranging from the Aegis of the Scarlet Commander, to Akmin-Kurai, Dominion's Shield. I only add a shield to my collection if I actually used it for an extended duration, so each shield has memories of dragons and liches held at bay in instances, from taking the Royal Crest of Lordaeron into Naxxramas, facing down Algalon with The Boreal Guard, striking down the Lich King with Neverending Winter, to stepping to Cataclysm raiding with the Elementium Earthguard. When a shield has done well for me, I don't cast it aside to some vendor when a superior shield is coughed up by a boss; I set it in a place of honor. I collect shields -- and more so than that, I collect memories.

What do you collect? Or do you hold only onto those things you need at this moment?

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