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Breakfast Topic: Chronic rerolling

My friend Jack (name changed to protect the innocent) is a chronic reroller of the worst variety. New server comes out? He is there! He quickly levels until about 35 or so, then another batch of servers hit, and off he goes. He really enjoys the uninflated AH prices, the lack of high levels making him feel inferior when he strolls through Ironforge and the general chaos of the early days of a server. He even admits to enjoying the lame level 25 guild drama.

I mean, he pays fifteen dollars a month, and he should be able to play any way he wants. But on the other hand, chronic rerollers can leave some servers barren after the initial rush. If you check out any of the various WoW census sites, such as Warcraft Realms, you will see some servers barely chugging along. Do chronic rerollers contribute to that?

So what do you guys think? Does Blizzard encourage chronic rerolling with constant new server releases? Wouldn't it be easier to slap the recommended tag on low population realms and get those servers some new blood? Or does it not matter, and they should cater to guys like Jack just like they try to cater to other player types?

Filed under: Realm News, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Hand of Ragnaros is a druid weapon

I have seen reports of druids winning the Hand of Ragnaros before. I seem to recall one raidleader handing off the Eye of Sulfuras to his druid girlfriend, but I could be wrong. Hey, it isn't like I committed the brilliant forum thread to memory.

Well, now we have another report of a druid snagging the HoR, this time it's Napier, a druid from the Greymane server. As you can imagine, this thread is dominated by folks either calling Napier the most selfish player in the history of MMORPGs or defending his right to spend his DKP as he sees fit. And yes, Napier has a long-winded response to the haters, which contains his rationale for spending his DKP on the mace. All in all, a typical forum thread, but there are aspects to it which raise some interesting questions...

Shouldn't any DKP system have some kind of priority list or mechanism which prevents warriors from bidding on a caster staff or a druid from, I don't know, snagging a legendary mace which serves him no purpose whatsoever? I have never been in a guild that employed a straight DKP system which didn't make allowances for class needs. There is no way, for example, a hunter could bid on leather, simply because he could wear it.

Is a druid with the HoR the absolute worst example of misguided DKP use? Or have you seen worse? Does your guild restrict rolling on certain items to particular classes? Or is it a free-for-all? And at this point, so close to the expansion release, does it matter who gets what? I mean, we will be upgrading everything very, very soon.

Filed under: Druid, Items, Guilds, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: How to fix the official forums

The forums occasionally provide some insight or humor, but for the most part are a cesspool of stupid comments, flaming and ridiculous antics. This is really unfortunate, as while there are a ton of good World of Warcraft community sites out on the net, the forums are the most visible and almost certainly the most visited. The forums could really be a place for good discussion...if only they weren't nearly useless in their current form.

My question for you folks is this: Is there any way possible to make the forums a useful community building tool? Or is it simply a lost cause? There are some other gaming sites that manage to keep some semblance of order and usefulness...Cheap Ass Gamer and NeoGAF come to mind (albeit on a smaller scale), so it can be done. But how can Blizzard to do it on the scale of the forums? Is it an impossible task? Or something that simply requires more community policing and stricter moderation? Any examples of well run WoW forums out there?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features

A couple holiday goodies from Blizzard

Blizzard has given us a couple holiday gifts, and both are pretty darn cool.
  • First, Blizzard brings us some holiday-inspired WoW themed wallpaper to bring the festivities to our desktops. A blood elf kid trying to kill the the gnome baby with her missile boots? I am liking these blood elves more and more each day!
  • Blizzard has a hilarious new holiday skit available for download, in which a classy blood elf and his murloc producer tryout new voice talent for the Burning Crusade. I'd go into more detail, but I don't want to spoil it for you. However, I will admit, the troll towards the beginning had me laughing out loud. You can download The Night Before Wintervale in the mp3 format here.

Filed under: Blizzard, Humor

Breakfast Topic: WoW as a holiday gift

I have one of THOSE friends. You know the type. He loves videogames. Has a 360 and Wii, plays a ton of games on his PC and is the very definition of a hardcore gamer. He really enjoyed Warcraft III and Starcraft. He played Diablo II until his mouse broke. However, there is one issue with this guy...he absolutely refuses to buy World of Warcraft. He won't even download the demo. He tried Everquest once, hated it, and swore he would never play one of those MMORPGs again.

He had the same attitude about Diablo II, thinking it to be too "nerdy" for him. But once he finally broke down and bought it he played for months on end. I am 100% confident that if I bought him World of Warcraft and a two-month gamecard, he would eventually, at the very least, give the game a try. And I just know he'll like it. Then I'd have my friend to adventure with in Azeroth.

Or maybe I should just let him be and not expose him to the WoW addiction. Hah.
So, my question for you guys...should I pick this up for him or not? Is WoW a good holiday gift? Have you ever given WoW as a gift?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features

Breakfast Club: All good things...

We wrap up our look at the best Breakfast Topics of the year with four topics that don't really fit into any particular theme, but were fun anyway!
  • Everyone likes to complain. Don't believe me? Check out the forums sometime! Elizabeth tapped into our natural desire to whine with her question...what's the biggest problem with World of Warcraft today? What was the number one problem according to the comment crew? Other players.
  • Why doesn't every spider have legs? Why is that bear carrying around a shotgun? That makes no sense! In reading through the comments, Threadrick asks the question I have often wondered...where do mounts go when you aren't riding them?
  • With the Burning Crusade right around the corner, I began to wonder what would happen to Blackwing Lair and Naxx. Apparently so did a lot of you folks, as we got a ton of comments regarding the fate of endgame instances come the expansion release. While some players felt they would instantly become ghost towns, others hoped Blizzard would rebalance the encounters and the loot tables to make them viable again. Here's hoping it's the latter.
  • You just know when you start an instance and you have your priest rolling need on leather, it's going to be a long night. Sometimes, you just know your group is doomed. For being a topic full of humor, the best response was a serious one from Hugh "Nomad" Hancock, who claims he knows a group is doomed when he notices the people he is adventuring with are rude jerks. I find this to be true nearly all the time. The more rude the group, the less likely it is we ever finish.
Well, that's it for 2006. We've had some great discussions about PvP, buying gold, classes and guilds. And I imagine in 2007 we'll be talking a good bit about the Burning Crusade, and hopefully start hearing rumblings of a new expansion on the horizon!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Raiding

No maintenance this Tuesday

There will be no regular Tuesday maintenance this week. That would be Tuesday, December 26th for you calendar impaired folks. Is this a late Christmas present from Blizzard? Well...sort of. According to Drysc, the retrofits they have been doing to server hardware over the past year have made it possible to go longer than one week in between maintenance periods. Good news!

For those of you behind a firewall at work, here is Drysc's post in it's entirety:

"Since the game's release, one of our most important service goals has been to reduce the amount of time realms are down for weekly realm maintenance. The various hardware upgrades and retrofits we've done over the past year have put us in a position to begin testing the ability to go longer than a week between maintenance periods.

In the upcoming weeks, we will be testing the effect of a live maintenance, where regular maintenance tasks are run during off-peak with realms live. On Tuesday, December 26 there will be no scheduled downtime for weekly maintenance. We will perform all necessary maintenance tasks while the realms are live. We are anticipating the possibility that we may need to perform rolling restarts off-peak if we find that a realm restart is necessary; however the downtime for each realm would be less than 10 minutes if it was required."

It would be really nice if this holds and we can make the Tuesday downtime a thing of the past.

Filed under: News items

Forum Post of the Day: Twas the Night Before BC

I read a lot of bad attempts at being clever in the forums. I see tons and tons of bad PvP videos. It is a pretty rare event when I am impressed by anything that is posted in the forums. But this poem written by Scrann from the Earthen Ring server is really, really impressive. He takes Twas the Night Before Christmas, puts a World of Warcraft spin on it and it works perfectly.

For those of you behind firewalls at work, I have included the entire text of the poem below and after the jump. Enjoy!

Twas the night before BC, and in World of Warcraft
Not a creature would /stir, /sing, /dance, /silly, or /laugh
The servers were hung, all instancing ceased
In hopes the expansion would soon be released

The children were nustled all snug in their beds
(Only orcs; no young tauren, trolls, or undeads)
And I, in my warlord's gear, from PvP
Had just trekked to the inn for some rested XP

When out by the bank there arose such dissent
I wondered if Blizzard started a world event
I went into cat form, to ensure my good health
If demons were invading, I was gonna be stealthed

Read more →

Filed under: Expansions, Humor, The Burning Crusade

Breakfast Club: The art of ganking

This week we are reviewing some of the more interesting Breakfast Topics of 2006. And what roundup of Breakfast Topics would be complete without discussing everyone's favorite WoW activity: ganking! Last October I posed the question...carebear or ruthless ganker? I learned several things from the comments:
  • First off, just because you frown on ganking and corpse camping doesn't mean you are a carebear. However, if you really enjoy ganking and corpse camping, it is probably safe to say that you are ruthless.
  • Quite a few folks really, really enjoy the ganking aspect of a PvP server. Both on the giving and receiving end. I can see this point completely. I enjoy ganking the occasional Night Elf, and I enjoy leveling in contested areas knowing something very bad could happen at any point.
  • Vlad put it best when he said "hey, it happened to me so I'm going to make sure it happens to everyone." That might be the truest statement ever made in regards to PvP servers. I got relentlessly ganked by 60s during my 30s. So when I hit 60? I killed everything I could. Heck, one of those 34s I am ganking might be the alt of one of the 60s who caused me so much grief in the Hinterlands way back when. I never camped, but every gnome on my server was killed on sight.
  • And lastly, some wise words from Roseroyce04: "Do not EVER gank (cross faction duels don't count) someone unless you're confident you're going to win. Because if you fail, you will suffer." How true is that? If you attempt to gank someone while they are at half health and engaged with a mob, and you fail? Um...prepare to be camped my friend.
And beyond just the good times of ganking, or not ganking, we also discussed what is okay in a duel. Are potions alright? Oh yes...I almost forgot the new PvP system!

Have any new insight or thoughts on any of these topics? If so, please share!

Filed under: PvP, Breakfast Topics, Features

WoW Blog Roundup: Holiday edition

What brings holiday cheer all year round? How about the WoW community? For sure!
  • The Escapist brings us an excellent article by Michael Zenke in which he describes his disappointment upon returning to World of Warcraft for the holidays. His sad tale is complete with a lack of holiday spirit as well as a guild that has been blown to pieces. Merry Christmas!
  • Mommy, what is that tiger doing to that reindeer? Maybe you don't want to know. AgentMichi from WoW_Ladies has some amusing screenshots of some great World of Warcraft graphical bugs.
  • Not Addicted has some shopping tips for those of us looking for a last-second present. No, not from Target or Macy's, rather, from the fine stores inside Azeroth. How about some goggles for dear Aunt Trudy?
  • Finally, Tobold gives us an early gift with his outlook on World of Warcraft in 2007. Not really so much from a gameplay standpoint, but rather from a business and subscriber point of view. As usual, Tobold makes some good points, and contends that 2007 will be WoW's peak year, and while it will still be millions of members strong, 2007 might be the summit of Warcraft's popularity.
If you see an interesting blog post, let us know!

Filed under: Features