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Some Character Creation Reopened

Blizzard is reopening character creation on 36 realms after determining that they were stable enough that the influx of population wouldn't significantly change the player experience. They aren't reopening all servers, but this is a big step towards that. I checked earlier this morning and they weren't open yet, but hopefully by now they are avaliable to create characters.

You can find the forum post here.

Full list of realms after the jump.

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Daddy Wants a Conqueror's Crown

Blizzard has put the quest rewards for the Brood of Nozdormu up on the main site. I for one am very excited, because there is some excellent defense gear in there for Warriors, to help us reach that elusive 420 defense. Also, the armor from that set looks halfway cool, a quality which has been somewhat lacking for Warriors lately. This isn't that important on regular servers, but for those of us on RPPVP servers it helps us to get into character. There isn't much in the way of resistances, but there are other armor sets for that.

Filed under: Items, Blizzard

Location of all 50 Lunar Coins

Mosh on the WoW Europe boards has provided the locations of all 50 coins that need to be gathered at the Lunar Festival. I still need the Stratholme coin and the Thunder Bluff coin, and those will be tough since I'm trying to solo them all. I'll hopefully be picking those up later today, and receive the unending adulation that is my due.

Filed under: How-tos, Events

World of WarCrack Addiction.

How much time do you have to spend on a game to classify is as an addiction? I suspect that the number is different for each person, but there comes a point for every player where the game starts to intrude on real-life responsibilities. There are some whose iron will allows them to limit themselves to playing only a few hours a week, and more power to them. There are also we lucky few whose responsibilities include playing WoW, but for most people there are very few concrete benefits, aside from those ingame friendships which spring up. When WoW starts to take over real life, every player faces a decision. Matthew Rorie over at GameSpot was faced with that tough decision, and he decided to go cold turkey. He's out. Gave all his gold and items away and deleted his characters.

Let's be real. WoW is really, really fun. It is the most fun I've ever had with a video game. I love it so much that it is difficult for me to admit to myself that it is pretty much a waste of time, as are most "leisure" activities. This isn't a problem, since there are no rules that require people to be constantly productive. However, some people find that "waste" of time abhorrent and quit. This is not to disparage WoW and it's devoted playerbase, of which I am proud to call myself a member, but it is important to call attention to the people who start to feel like their lives are slowly being consumed by the game.

Are you addicted to WoW, and if so, is that a bad thing?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Get Out Your Snow Shovels! Jeff Kaplan Talks About Patch 1.10

1UP.com has an exclusive interview with Jeff Kaplan where they talk about the 3 main changes in the new upcoming patch.

The biggest change is the Priest talent reworking and reset, similar to the Paladin reset in the last patch. Also, a few of the exciting new armor sets are previewed. Hopefully Warriors will get an alternative to the current armor sets, if not in sheer power, at least in looks. Also, here's a quick preview on the quests involved in getting those sets.

The final big change is the addition of weather effects. Now, I'm not sure why these are being added at all. Thankfully for those of you on lower-end computers you will be able to turn them off. Latency is sometimes crippling on my mid-level box, especially in cities, and I can't help but be concerned about how this addition will affect that. Personally, I have never seen weather effects as something necessary, but apparently there is a vocal group of players who feel that it would enhance their experience.

Are you in favor of weather effects? What are your thoughts on the other upcoming changes?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Killing Death

One of the hardest things to get right in an MMO is the death system. Developers need to balance it so it includes the recreational players and the hardcore players without making one group feel slighted. I feel as though WoW has done a good job with that balance, while leaning slightly to the recreational side. Death is an annoyance at most until you start grinding high-end instances, where the repair bills really start to add up. Before WoW, I played Dark Age of Camelot, which I feel really nailed the death system. Death was more of an event in DAoC, because there was experience loss involved, too. You could always run back to your gravestone to /pray, at which point you regained some of that lost experience, but sometimes that wasn't feasible. The loss was considerable, and it made you far more cautious while playing, as a general rule. Still, I never felt as though a death was a huge, game-ending setback, I just felt that I had made a stupid mistake that I needed to learn from.

The loss of item durability and sometimes resurrection sickness is a little soft, in my opinion. I understand that if the penalties were made more severe that WoW might lose some of it's fans, but I hope it wouldn't. I would hope that, with the sting of death being a little enhanced, it would encourage players to be a little more cautious.

All that being said, I really am fine with the current death system. It is only slightly annoying, and it opens up the game to a wide range of people, which is the main draw of the game in the first place. I have seen forum posts calling for "hardcore" realms, with perma-death and full looting of player corpses, and that doesn't seem fun either. I play this game as much for the variety of people that I meet as for the next BWL run with my guild, and I'm glad that the current system is generally attractive to everyone.

If you could tweak the death system, how would you change it, or is it perfect the way it is?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

The Scarab Gate Opens!

The Scarab Gate has opened on the Medivh server. Kalahad, a Horde player from Fury Guild finally rang the gong and won the race!

Seriously, I have an alt on Medivh, and I was sorely tempted to jump over there and watch it open, but I felt like that would be betraying everything that I hold dear, so I funnelled all my energy into farming Thorium instead. Which wasn't nearly as cool, to be honest.

Screenshots here, forum coverage here.

Filed under: Realm News, Events, News items

NoGold.org

The sentiments against gold-farming have always been high, but I have never seen such an organized, well thought-out, and serious response to it as I have found on nogold.org. It is fascinating that almost all WoW sites are covered with gold-selling and power-leveling ads, though the majority of players revile those who sell gold and those who buy gold. I will be interested to see if this No Gold movement picks up steam.

Do you think that it is possible to put the gold farmers out of business, and if so, what will the impact be on the WoW community at large, and fan sites in particular?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Economy

New Karazhan Screens!

Our buddies over at OGaming have posted new Karazhan screenshots. Karazhan is an instance to be introduced in the Burning Crusade expansion that is inside Medivh's tower in Deadwind Pass.

I have always been a little disappointed that the particularly interesting Medivh storyline wasn't fleshed out as much as it could have been in WoW, so I'm happy to see that those level 60 characters who choose to can delve a little deeper into the history of Karazhan and the lore of Azeroth.

WoWWiki has a good article on the lore related to this dungeon, in case everyone isn't as big of an Azerothian history freak as myself.

Filed under: Fan stuff, News items

Lunar Festival Sneak Peek on IGN

IGN has an exclusive sneak peek of the upcoming Lunar Festival in WoW. Blizzard seems to be putting a new emphasis on the WoW lore, with this festival celebrating the first defeat of the Burning Legion thousands of years ago. there seem to be plenty of new quests avaliable, judging from the screenshots provided, and most exciting, a crazed demigod to defeat! 

Filed under: News items

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