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Breakfast Topic: Getting to know your neighbors

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World of Warcraft is loaded with characters outside of human control, be they bosses or barmaids, with varying amounts of backstory. While it's easy to give character motivations, wants, and desires to a raid boss, doing so for every vendor or quest giver in the game would be an impossible task. I can't really fault Blizzard for failing to make sure that every NPC with an exclamation mark over their head tells you about their pet cat or what they were planning on having for dinner. Some characters exist to get you to kill 10 spiders and only for that purpose, and I'm okay with that.

All that being said, some NPCs are tantalizingly incomplete in a way that gets under your skin. They don't say much, they might not even offer you quests, but they're there and they're compelling because there's just enough information about them to get your attention, but not enough to round out their stories.

Myra Tyrngaarde, I'm looking at you.

Lucky for us, though, WoW isn't a static medium, and every patch brings the opportunity for us to cross our fingers and hope for a little character development. What background NPC do you wish had a more compelling story attached to them?

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Guest Post: Qualities of an effective raid leader

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If you look in /trade immediately after your faction takes Wintergrasp, it becomes readily apparent that not everybody wants to lead a raid. "DPS LFG VoA-10!" "Healer LF VoA!" "Tank LF VoA-10/25!" If you're me, you're often tempted to step in and remind these LFGers that leading a raid requires nothing more (at least at its absolute, base level) than inviting people to a group and zoning in.

But of course it isn't that simple, and pugging VoA has very little in common with leading nine other people into Icecrown Citadel. VoA groups practically run themselves, are completed in 15 to 20 minutes and rarely fail, whereas it's still possible to wipe on trash in ICC. The hardest part of leading a VoA run is remembering to switch to master looter.

So what makes a great raid leader? What qualities does a raid leader exhibit that makes their group keep coming back week after week?

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Filed under: Raiding, Guest Posts