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Breakfast Topic: What's the best new quest of the expansion?

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

Bombs! Disguises! Flamethrowers! War! A really big fish! Questing after the shattering is a new experience, and I am loving it. Sure, there are plenty of the same old WoW quests, such as "go kill so many of those guys" or "go collect so many of these things." Those quests are great; however, there are a lot of new quests that seem to have a more console-game feel to them.

For example, in the Southern Barrens, there is a quest from good old Gann Stonespire. The quest is basically the same as it has always been (go kill nasty dwarves), but it's been revamped in an amazing way. Once inside Bael'Dun Fortress, you pick up a quest from a thinly disguised goblin who orders you to blow up the place. Once you activate the charge, you actually have to run out of the fortress, and at the entrance, it cuts to a little video that shows the explosion.

In other words, the quests have actual effects to them now. Back in the day, more often than not when I looted battle plans off an Alliance NPC and turned them in to a Horde commander, I got some sort of response like, "Good job! Now they can't attack us!" Not any more. After turning in some battle plans in Stonetalon, I hopped into a goblin antiaircraft machine and shot gnome pilots out of the sky.

The Stonetalon quest chain is, without a doubt, the best new chain I've encountered so far since the shattering. What do you think is the best new quest? What do you think about the integration of phasing and machines in the old world?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Do you let your own children 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.

I suppose that I was destined to play computer games. My dad played strategy board games with his friends into the wee hours of the morning until my mom demanded use of her kitchen table back. Eventually, he, my brother and I discovered Age of Empires II. We played online on dial-up internet, cursing the people who called our house while we were gaming. Some friends clued me into WoW in high school, and I've been hooked ever since.

My parents were always cautious with my internet exposure. When I played AoE, I understood that I was not to repeat the foul language I saw in chat, and if people were being particularly vulgar, I would voluntarily remove myself from that particular game. Even as an adult in WoW, I often /leave trade, especially late at night, because I have no interest in seeing keyboard sewage on my screen. Moreover, when I'm visiting my parents and let my younger sisters play on their gnomes, the first thing that I do is /leave trade, and I or someone else keep an eye on the screen while they're playing.

I fully expect that one day, my own children will play video games if they so desire. However, I am aware that the internet is an adult world. Some parents blame other players when their child sees something adult while playing WoW. I tend to take the other approach and blame the parent, either for not closely monitoring their child's play or for not teaching their child how to avoid the adult content.

What has been your experience? How do you monitor the game play of your own children, and do you have any tips for keeping the potentially harmful aspects of the WoW atmosphere away from your child?

Do you let your own children play WoW?
Yes.1729 (32.9%)
No.1084 (20.6%)
Yes, with age-appropriate monitoring and restrictions.2439 (46.4%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Is it the world or the gameplay that keeps you hooked?

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 I first started playing WoW, I read every quest. I was a newbie who didn't know where anything was and didn't even know of the existence of addons to help me in my questing. So I often searched the quest text for clues about where to find mobs and items. As my game savvy increased, I read the quests less and less, until finally I didn't read them at all but rather clicked on my map to see where I needed to go and what I needed to kill.

Now, I find myself slowing down again. The lore is interesting to me, and more and more, I realize how expansive the world is and how fun it is to participate in that world. I am not an RPer by any account, but I find myself wanting WoW to be a world and not just a game.

Out of a desire to understand and enjoy the lore, some players have read Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, The Shattering, and other WoW / Warcraft-related books. Other players have absolutely no desire to know the lore and view WoW as a game that they enjoy playing -- not a live-action fantasy novel.

Are you the sort of player who loves the lore? Or do you just play for the game action?

What's the biggest draw of WoW and Azeroth for you?
I love the persistent virtual world -- the lore, the community and social interaction, developing my characters ...7839 (68.4%)
I'm in it for the gameplay.2227 (19.4%)
-delete-1391 (12.1%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: The starting zones you most love or hate

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 Cataclysm looming, I find myself tearfully saying goodbye to the game as I've always known it. I have leveled (well, at least partially leveled) a character of every race on the Horde side (except an orc), and I've leveled a night elf out of the starting zone on the Alliance side. Now, everything has changed. The starting zones that I grew to love or hate are already different, and I'm not sure what to think about that.

I loved the tauren starting experience, and I hope that it only gets better with the new expansion. However, I quickly tired of the orc/troll starting zone. Likewise, I did not have the urge to go through the blood elf starting experience with multiple characters. But once I gave it a chance, I enjoyed the undead experience quite a bit. I think what I enjoyed about the tauren and undead experiences was that I felt like I was involved in the lore. Additionally, I found that the scenery of Mulgore and Tirisfal Glades made the leveling experience more enjoyable.

Which pre-Shattering starting zones do you think were the best, and which ones were the worst? With the world having undergone such a drastic change this week and more still to come, which new leveling experiences are you looking forward to the most?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Your world of Warcraft

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 I first started playing WoW, I was working at a sandwich shop with a couple of Horde players. It did not take long for WoW-speak to enter our vocabulary at work, especially on the rare occasion when a customer walked in wearing some sort of World of Warcraft T-shirt. I remember one of my fellow workers/players telling a customer, "It's a good thing you're not wearing an Alliance shirt, because this is a Horde-friendly restaurant." He then proceeded to talk about the then-new blood elf paladins until the customer got his sandwich and left.

On another occasion, during a slow bit at work, I turned around to see my coworker trying to cast some sort of shadow priest magic my direction. I immediately War Stomped and began to "auto fire" back, pointing out that Arcane Shot did not have a cast time.

Not only did WoW-speak help make the time go faster (especially at the tail end of night shifts), but I also noticed that I began to miss elements of the game while in real life. There is no general or trade chat to watch during the lunch rush, and at the end of the night, we were all disappointed that we had to mount up instead of using our hearthstones.

Who else has had experiences like mine? Has WoW helped you get through the day, or is it only a distraction in real life?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Let's talk about fun ways to die

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

Yes, when we hear the graveyard music, we often indulge in various expressions of nerd rage. However, there is no denying that there are some cool, funny and emblematic ways to die, both throughout the leveling process and in the endgame. Who has not gotten stomped by the Fel Reaver in Hellfire Peninsula? Were you ever pwned by Hogger? And what about all those times when your famous last words were, "I'm a _____. Five levels above me? No big deal ..."

My characters have met their deaths in the elevator of the Undercity, been shot out of the sky near Alliance camps in Outland and steamrolled under various groups of mobs in Stranglethorn Vale. One of my favorite deaths occurred when my husband and I rolled Forsaken toons together. I rolled a warrior, he rolled a rogue, and we had fun roflpwning low-level mobs in our BoA gear. We found our way to Silverpine Forest, and I noticed that one of the nearby worgen had a different skin color than the others. Of course, being the compulsive silver-elite-killer that I am, I immediately targeted the mob, only to discover that it was a gold elite -- a level 20 Son of Arugal. I shouted and we ran, avoiding the mob the first time, only to have it pat up behind us and kill me a few minutes later. Darling hubby got away (stupid rogues -- always run when there's a fight).

One of my more shameful deaths occurred after playing chicken with the ground on my level 80 druid. The most exciting part of this game is wondering if there is enough lag at the moment that you click the flight form button that you'll end up dying anyway. I was flying over Dalaran and told my hubby, "Hey, watch this!" As he stood at the bank, I proceeded to fall through the air
, expecting to be able to transform into flight form at the last second. Oh wait, fail -- I forgot that you cannot mount up on flying mounts in Dalaran. After he stopped laughing, he was nice and rezzed my splattered corpse.

Sure, we all die in raid wipes and in PvP -- but what about the neat ways to die in the game? What has been your favorite or most hilarious death in the World?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts