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Breakfast Topic: What brings people back to 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.

My guild, like most, has seen players quit the game for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is another game stealing their gamer hearts, and equally often it can be a real-world time constraint that is given priority. What interests me is how the majority of these players return eventually. Most of the time, this seems to happen when their real-world issues get resolved or when they discover that other MMO just doesn't love them as much as WoW did. Nearly all of our regular guildmates who have "given up WoW," including selling or deleting accounts, have returned.

I had even "quit" WoW for nearly a year and let my subscription go. Just before I came back, I had been playing Fallout 3 and beat it, completing pretty much everything. When it ended, I wanted a game that I could keep playing, a place where my character could keep growing and the world wouldn't end when I beat some random boss. I instantly remembered WoW, bought Wrath of the Lich King, and have been playing strong ever since.

If you or someone you know has ever made the decision to give up the game and move on -- more than just taking a break -- what has brought you or your friend or guildmate back into the world? Is it a realization that WoW just might be the best MMO on the market today? Is it a recreation of spare time for gaming? Or is it something else even more interesting?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What are your Warcraft movie predictions?

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With the Warcraft movie on the horizon (though probably the distant horizon, at best), a lot of us are wondering what it might be like. Sam Raimi, the director of the recent Spiderman movies, is still supposedly attached the direct the film. Outside of the director, though, there aren't really any people set in stone to work on the project. That leaves open a lot of speculation of who might land starring roles.

Of course, that will also all depend on what story they end up using. As far as I know, they will not be basing the plot off any specific plot line we have now. We won't be seeing a movie about the Lich King or Deathwing's attack on Azeroth, though many of the important lore figures are likely to be around. Instead, this movie will focus on an as-of-yet unknown hero. I predict the main character will be human, both from the popularity of the race in game and the ease of casting a human, relatively. (There just aren't that many orcs in Hollywood.) I'd also go as far as to say this human will be functionally close to a warrior or a paladin, since American movies love to see brute force fighters and wrathful avengers. Someone like Chris Hemsworth is someone I could see being a lead actor. There are just so many potential plot lines, character choices, and talent specializations that could be chosen for this movie.

What do you think the movie will be like? Are you expecting a typical adventure plot or something that is highly tuned to Warcraft themes? A star-studded cast or a bunch of talented unknowns?

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What WoW mobile app would you like to see next?

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

For those of us who simply can't get enough WoW time in while we're in front of a computer, Blizzard has already created the Mobile Armory and Mobile Auction House applications. We can look up character stats, achievements, gear, and talents as well as buy, sell, and collect gold from our auction house deals. These are very cool tools to give yourself a little more Warcraft on the go or at work.

I think there are a lot more possibilities, though. There's a new app out there that can solve sudoku puzzles just by taking a picture of them. There's an app that can tell you where you are based on star constellations or tell you what the sky looks like above you based on your GPS and the angle of your phone.

Don't you think WoW could take advantage of some of these amazing advances in phone technology? What about an app for crafting? It could work in conjunction with the auction house application and let you do crafting from your smart phone. I can picture an easy interface that would be similar to our in-game crafting menu, showing the recipes with the sort by categories such as item type, materials on hand, or gem color. Of course, considering how fast our technology is rolling out, it might not be too long before we could see a slimmed-down version of Warcraft in our hands. Can you imagine WoW Lite? It probably wouldn't be suitable for raiding, but questing, gathering, or maybe easy dungeons could be a blast on a long bus ride.

Would you get excited about a crafting app or WoW Lite, or is there another application idea you've been dying to see Blizzard develop?

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Breakfast Topic: What's your proudest WoW moment?

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

World of Wacraft has a lot of major milestones, many of which are punctuated by achievements, cool titles or flashy mounts. When I first started thinking of this subject, I assumed reaching level 80 would be my proudest WoW moment, considering it was the first time I reached max level. I started playing WoW during The Burning Crusade and leveled very slowly, spending way too much time in PvP, which didn't reward experience at the time. I took a couple of breaks and didn't hit max level until the early months of Wrath of the Lich King. But in retrospect, I recalled my thought when I reached 80: "Okay, now the real game begins." My next thought was that the moments that my guild first cleared Naxx-25 or Yogg Saron or the Lich King might be the pinnacle of pride for me in WoW.

Then I realized the truth. The moment when I probably felt the best about my WoW self was when I finally matched (and eventually beat) the gear of my best friend who plays and could beat him in duels. I'd watched this rogue friend, from BC to Wrath, stealth around and slay countless foes in battlegrounds, arena, and world PvP. I'd seen him win 2 of 3 duels against the very best-geared rogue on our server, and I could beat him. That was awesome. Plus, a bit of friend vs. friend gloating didn't hurt the ego.

Has there been a point where you thought to yourself, "I have arrived ... at awesomeness"? What achievement or event is your proudest WoW moment?

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Breakfast Topic: What feature does WoW need most?

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Grandpappy Frostheim would probably say that we, the mass of WoW players, have more options, features, sparkly things, humdingers and thing-a-ma-jigs to help us play than ever before -- and he would be right. But I don't believe that should mean there aren't more features and upgrades to our interface and experience that would improve things even further.

Just in the past year or so, Blizzard has added a ton to our interfaces, including an improved built-in quest helper, built-in power auras, and the remote auction house. These all are great "quality of life" improvements for the majority of players. The remote auction house is one of my favorite new features, as playing the AH is as fun as many other parts of the game for me. I had heard rumors before the remote auction house was released that you'd be able to use your crafting professions remotely as well. This would have enabled me to buy on the AH, craft gear or cut gems, and then sell my finished product, all remotely. I'm sure this would bring me a lot closer to being gold-capped. Oh well, I can dream, can't I?

Most everyone has some idea they feel could be added to improve the gaming experience. Are you one of those still hungering for the dance studio, or is there some other feature you think WoW really needs?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Goblin

Breakfast Topic: Does your guild membership depend on guild perks?

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

A few months ago, there were no such things as guild levels, guild perks, or guild reputation (except for on beta, maybe). We had good old-fashioned guilds, without levels or perks, full of players who stuck together purely out of common goals in raiding, PvP, etc., or just to enjoy each other's company. Hopefully, you were in a guild that matched both of those criteria.

Now, we have guilds that can level and gain some pretty impressive perks. Perks include bonuses to experience, honor, justice points gained, increased mount speed and more. In order to gain some of the benefits of guild membership, you have to gain reputation with the guild. This isn't like the old days, when your guild perks were being able to raid or PvP with the guild or when guild "rep" was making sure the other members and officers liked you.

I've been in the same guild around two years now, which is about 80 percent of my WoW history. I tried a couple before my current guild and found some to be too casual (accomplishing nothing) or too pro (full of jerks). My guild now sees all the content when it's relevant, including 9/12 heroic ICC on six hours per week of raiding and with a two- to three-month break from raiding as a guild. I enjoy the mix of the great atmosphere with what we can accomplish.

The guild perks are for me, well, just perks. Even if it took years to hit guild level 25, I'd stick where I am. On the other hand, I know a good raider who guild hops almost bimonthly to ensure he is in the best position for raiding and other achievements. What about you? Are you loyal to your guild for what it is, who the players are, or do you need the perks?

What is the most important factor keeping you in your current guild?
Its playstyle and activities.1575 (16.7%)
The people in it.6901 (73.1%)
The guild perks and achievements it earns.959 (10.2%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Who will be the ultimate boss encounter of WoW?

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Illidan. Arthas. Deathwing. Gamon?

In WoW, we kill a lot of things. From x number of boars to 10,000-year-old, demon-juiced night elves, we gear up for and defeat just about everything that comes our way, assuming we can stay out of the fire. But at some point, even WoW, as with all good things, must come to an end.

Both for the game and for players in the game, a last boss will almost certainly arrive. For me, the last boss was simple: Arthas, the Lich King. As players, we've been following his rise, fall, and next rise for years. We watched him succumb to the dark side -- queue evil laugh -- and fall from his perch as a hero of Light into a twisted master of undeath. Then he taunted us throughout the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Finally, we vanquished him, fulfilling years of adventure.

Unfortunately for my ideal ending, I still enjoy and want to continue playing the game. Now we have Deathwing flying around, killing folks. Will he be the fated endgame boss? More Old Gods, maybe? Or perhaps even the Titans themselves will come back to purge the world of our meddling.

Who do you think should be the last boss of WoW? Do you think there will be a last boss?

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Breakfast Topic: Who is your favorite Warcraft character?

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From the ever-(un)popular Garrosh Hellscream to everyone's favorite golden girl, Jaina Proudmoore, the World of Warcraft story is packed full of dynamic and interesting characters. As a player of the Warcraft series before it became an entire world (most notably Warcraft 3), I have a pretty strong bias toward Thrall as a favorite character. I'm fairly certain many players share this sentiment. Thrall is smart, kind and stuffed full of courage. He also isn't afraid to rock your universe if you're a threat to the Horde or the world as a whole. I love a character who can be both a warrior (yes, I know he is the shaman class) and an intelligent leader.

King Wrynn, leader of the Alliance, has similar qualities when it comes down to the core, though most of the time only his wrathful nature shows through, and he isn't as able to think rationally to make decisions that could lead toward peace and the betterment of his people. He does have pretty compelling history to form his opinions, though.

Honestly, as I read The Shattering novel and learn more of his lore and story, Garrosh is working his way up my favorite character list. Although he is mostly a brash hothead, preferring to cut through and beat down any problem that arises, he is still somehow able to galvanize his people and lead a very successful campain in Northrend. On top of that, Thrall (the intelligent leader) thought it best to place him as acting Warchief of the Horde. There must be something to this orc.

Do you prefer those like the logical, caring Jaina or the impulsive Wrynn/Hellscreem types? Maybe you still have a soft spot for the boy who eventually became the Lich King. Who is your favorite Warcraft character?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite World of Warcraft fan art or media?

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

With the massive number of players logging in every day to WoW, there's an equally expansive amount of art and media coming from that player base. Very few games have ever brought out such a community of creative minds showing the rest of us their vision of a fantasy world. From machinima to custom WoW dolls (I mean action figures -- right, guys?), to Horde/Alliance-themed cakes, there are a ton of different venues for artists of all varieties to express their passion for the game.

I've just recently begun to start watching WoW-based machinima and have discovered there are quite a few masterpieces out there from people who seem talented enough to write or direct feature films. After the Cataclysm launch, I'm going to start an ongoing fan fiction story about a rogue and what his life is like after Deathwing ravages Azeroth. It should be plum full of adventures and high jinks! Although I'd love to include custom artwork with that story, my drawing skill ends at stick figures, so I'll have to use to screen shots.

Out of all the different art, videos, and other "warcrafts," are there any you'd like to participate in? Or maybe you already check out great fan art, make custom troll outfits for cosplay, or bake cupcakes shaped like murlocs. What are your favorites?

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Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite class ability?

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

With all this focus on new disasters, races, and abilities coming in Cataclysm, it's easy to forget about all the awesome things our characters can do right now. Mages can teleport, fury warriors can dual wield two-handed weapons, shaman can turn into a Ghost Wolf. Ghost Wolf --- that even sounds cool.

My main toon is a holy paladin. Although I did level most of the first 60 levels as holy (yes, it went very, very slowly), I blasted through the last 20 levels and the instances that fill them as retribution. At level 80, I wanted to get into raiding. A friend somehow got me in one of the better raiding guilds on my server and -- guess what? -- shortly after, I got volun -- told to go holy if I wanted a raiding slot. I admit, at first, I wasn't a great healer. I was using a very small portion of my toolbox. I took Holy Light spam to a new level and did almost nothing else. After a time, I discovered Beacon of Light and spent much of the next few weeks declaring it was the best spell in all of WoW. Two tanks taking damage? No problem, 'cause now my Holy Light spamming was twice as effective!

Now I'm leveling a rogue and falling in love with a brand new skillset. Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot are fast becoming some of my new favorite character abilities. Are you more partial to the biggest damage/healing/threat increase button, or does pushing someone off an edge with Typhoon just make your day? What abilities do you enjoy the most?

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