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Breakfast Topic: Would you pay for extras in a F2P 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.

Lord of the Rings Online went free-to-play. "Free" is a questionable term, since they charge you for a fee for features you can technically live without but are still fairly important; things such as the gold cap, the ability to gain rested XP, and certain instances and PvP options require a fee. You get an enhanced version slightly above a trial, but you are still limited in what you can do in the free-to-play version of the game.

While playing a game, I want to play the whole game, have the entire experience, and not feel as if I have been shortchanged by being on a limited version. Personally having purchased some of the Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age DLC, I would still have to pay for the added functionality. Not being able to fully advance my character and see large amounts of content would irritate me more than the cost would. Not being allowed to make use of content would make me feel like I was missing out.

I want the choice of whether or not I do this instance, raid, or battleground. Could you imagine attempting to zone into Icecrown Citadel and seeing a message that says, "Requires a V.I.P. membership"? WoW has sold us a few items for extra money that are not required, but not having a Lil' XT or a sparkle pony doesn't affect your game functionality.

LOTRO offers things like more bag spaces and removing the gold cap and even priority login for those with V.I.P. accounts. So if World of Warcraft decided to follow the LOTRO model and go semi-free-to-play, would you just play the free portion? Would you pay for the V.I.P. portion? Would you buy the other nickel and dime upgrades they have on top of that? Or would you quit WoW altogether, feeling as if Blizzard had shortchanged players by making us pay for things like bag space, PvP and raid availability?

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Breakfast Topic: Which Cataclysm zone are you most excited about?

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All of us are anxiously awaiting Cataclysm's going live. Wrath is winding down and people are anxiously anticipating the new content. Some want new raids, some want new dungeons, some want new quests, some want to make goblins or worgen. Some of us are just really excited to see the changes to the old zones, and some just want to get right into the level 80 to 85 content.

I myself am in the beta. I have played it as it has evolved since the friends and family alpha, and I have watched some of the zones go from buggy and near unplayable, with quests not yet implemented, to being far more fleshed-out and nearly ready to go live. I love Hyjal. It has an epic feel; you are right in there battling to reclaim the zone from the Twilight Cultists and the elementals. Deepholm is equally amazing. In the revamped zones, I thoroughly enjoyed the CSI-inspired murder quest chain in Westfall. I have made both a goblin and a worgen and must say, the goblin starting area and Azshara should not be missed. Everyone should make a Horde character and complete the Azuregos and Kalecgos quests in Azshara. On the other hand, I feel Gilneas is a little overscripted and Darkshore is still a little odd.

There is a lot of the world I want to see when Cataclysm launches, but there are places I want to see more than others. Where are you most interested in exploring when Cataclysm comes out? What do you absolutely have to see, and what quests do you want to do? What particular zone excites you the most? Or are you just in it for new dungeons, raids and new shiny epics?

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Breakfast Topic: Share your ragequit moments

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Online gaming allows people the anonymity to be jerks if they want to and not face many actual consequences, whether it is trolling, ninjaing a piece of loot, rage-quitting a group because of a single wipe, or getting into a shouting match over Vent. Sometimes we carry real-life events in game with us. We have a bad day at work or break up with a girlfriend or worse, and we are unable to suffer noobs lightly. Sometimes we're rude, telling the guy doing terrible DPS he is bad and removing him from the group, as opposed to trying to help him; sometimes it is far worse.

Back in The Burning Crusade, I was in a raiding guild I particularly liked. Good progression, mostly decent people, raid times that fit my schedule well at the time -- I thought all was good. However, there was on officer who I just did not get along with. So one Saturday, she was forming a ZG raid and asked me if I wanted to go. I said no, I was dealing with something in real life and was about to log. I didn't go into details, but we had a death in the family, and I just wasn't able to really concentrate on tanking at the time. I logged off.

So a couple of hours later, I logged back on an alt and noticed they were still in ZG, so I asked what's up and how many chests they got. The officer went on a rant, just berating me endlessly, taking out their bad raid on me. I gquit on the spot -- all of my characters. Other officers talked to me later and asked me what happened, and I told them ... but I just could not go back after that.

While I am currently in a guild that suits me better, I still wish I had left the previous guild on better terms. So have you done anything in a fit of rage you truly regret, something you actually felt guilty about afterwards?

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Breakfast Topic: What's your most memorable moment of amazement?

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Many of us get jaded playing WoW. We get burned out running the same raid for months on end as we wait for new content. We feel there is no reason to do instances anymore because there is nothing more to be gained -- or with the new expansion on the horizon, we think, "Why bother? I'll replace the gear with quest blues and greens leveling to 85." We spend a lot of time QQing about how there is nothing we need to do or want to do, or how we are bored with the current aspect of the game.

However, we have all had our Oh wow, that was awesome! moments -- those moments that bring us back to why we play this game and why we pay 15 bucks a month to keep doing so. I have had my fair share, usually a couple in each of the iterations of the evolving world that is WoW. The first one had to be Ragnaros. At level 60, getting to Ragnaros and watching him just erupt out of the lava pool all gigantic and epic-looking ... He is still one of the most impressive-looking bosses with one of the best deaths in the game; it is kind of a shame you can kill him with just one or two people now.

The Burning Crusade's high point to me was Mount Hyjal. I loved the Caverns of Time. I felt it was a great gaming invention to allow you to experience content from the old RTS Warcraft games in a WoW manner; being a part of it was a great idea. Also, Archimonde was a seriously great fight. Wrath has had a couple of memorable moments for me. Ulduar was a huge high point. Yogg+1 or +0 was such a truly difficult and exciting fight. And finally getting to fight Arthas -- that was a very well-designed fight, even in normal mode without the buff when it was actually difficult.

What moments in World of Warcraft have left you amazed? All the bugs, server downtimes and trolls be damned -- this made up for all of it. What instant made WoW all worth it for you?

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Breakfast Topic: Do you use WoW to keep in touch?

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Most of us have friends and family we don't get to see very often due to time constraints or distance. Keeping in contact can be hard with life getting in the way at times. My family though happens to be a WoW family. My mother, father and sister and her husband, aunt and two of my cousins all have WoW accounts. We each have characters on the same realm and get in touch with each other through the game.

Many people look at WoW as a nerdy diversion or just a game, but for me, it has allowed me to stay in contact with friends and family I would not otherwise get in touch with nearly as often. My aunt lives on the other side of the state, about two and a half hours away; my cousin is in the Air Force stationed in Europe. We use email, phone calls and occasional visits, but WoW is how we primarily contact each other. I hop on my tank, my cousin has his rogue, and my aunt plays her mage, and we run instances or quest together or occasionally level alts all while catching up. We have actually ran randoms with five different family members talking and joking over Vent, catching up on current events in each others' lives.

Do you have family who plays also? Do you use it as a way to keep in touch with them? If so, is it just joking, or do you pass real important news back and forth over the game?

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Breakfast Topic: Do you own any WoW peripherals?

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One of my friends struck it rich at a really young age. He grew up fairly poor and suddenly came into a large amount of money, and he now spends it on infinite amounts of frivolous items. He actually owns a Slap Chop, George Foreman Grill and some ShamWoWs. He also buys many of the WoW peripherals. Not only did he buy the sparkle pony and about every pet that WoW has put out, he also buys the actual gaming items. He has the Tap Chat, the wireless WoW headset, even the Wrath keyboard and Blizzard MMO gaming mouse.

Personally, the only peripheral I've bought from Blizzard is an authenticator, which netted me the cute little core hound pet. However, the sense of security that my seven 80s won't be cleaned out while my account is used to spam trade for some gold selling site is the real reason I picked it up. I have a Logitech mouse and headset -- nothing super fancy, but they work just fine for me, and I paid less than one piece's worth of the Blizzard direct WoW paraphernalia. My girlfriend was going to buy me the WoW headset for my birthday, but I told her to save her money and get me a game card, as opposed to dropping over $100 on a headset. I told her if I were going to spend that kind of money on something for my computer, it would be to update pieces of the hardware, like a better graphics card or a new processor.

In the end, the decision whether or not to buy something comes down to the consumer, so I leave it to you, the WoW gaming public: Do you own any of the gaming peripherals for WoW? If so, do they actually help make you a better player? If you feel they actually aid your gaming experience, can you provide some examples or testimonials as to why?

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Breakfast Topic: Are you catching up on out-of-game activities?

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Before the maddening world changes of Cataclysm hit and we follow the shark with freakin' laser beams down to level our toons to 85, we are left with the question of what to do for the next few months. As with both previous expansions, it becomes sort of a waiting game for new content. The apathy of "why bother?" hits, and logging on becomes less and less frequent -- logging on just to check the AH, or for a guild raid, or to do dailies, and quickly off again, waiting with anticipation for when you can fly in the old world.

Some of us are hardcore gamers, but like many WoW players who get engrossed in our game of choice, we may have missed some of the other stellar video games that came out this year. Are you catching up on these titles while you wait for the next nugget of WoW content to come out? Or are you a TV and movie viewer, catching up on shows? Or are you catching up on real-life stuff you missed while in game, like spending time with friends and family and getting caught up with work, so you can take those couple of days off when Cataclysm actually launches?

Personally, I found that I fit into multiple categories here, spending time with my girlfriend, gaining relationship points for the inevitable amount I am going to tick her off when Cataclysm launches. I have also been playing some games I missed in the meantime, such as Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age Awakenings -- well, not so much missed, but saw their shortcuts glaring at me, waiting on me to play them, while I logged in to WoW instead.

So where do you fit? Where are your spare hours going, since you aren't in Azeroth as much? Or are you in game just as much as you always were?

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Breakfast Topic: Are you a closet nerd or a flag-waving nerd?

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We all know about the idea of the overweight, basement-dwelling virgin, the idea that gamers and comic book nerds all look like the comic book guy from The Simpsons. Many of us know that is not the case. You even see people in trade chat calling each other "nerds" and "virgins," although the inevitable response of calling someone else a nerd in WoW is laughable. In my guild alone, we have a lawyer, an author and a chef, along with many happily married people with children. Some are openly proud of their nerdiness; some try to argue they aren't nerds over Vent.

My girlfriend hides her geek from a lot of her friends. She watches anime, is a gamer and even dresses up for our local comic book convention, but many of her friends and work associates have no idea about this side of her. Me, on the other hand -- I let the geek flag fly. I wear my gamer T-shirts. I talk openly about WoW and other games with my friends. I still complain about the fact Firefly never got a second season.

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