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Breakfast Topic: Who'll be in charge in the next regime?

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

Changes in leadership at the top of the various races in WoW is a common occurrence these days. The dwarves, tauren, orcs, and arguably the night elves (depending on who you considered the real bosses in Darnassus) all took on new leadership as of Cataclysm. The humans and the Forsaken as well have experienced temporary shifts at the top of their power structures at one point or another.

Today's question is simple: Who's next?

Most of the obvious candidates for replacement are on the Horde side. Sylvanas is clearly running rogue and making even her allies uncomfortable. Absentee trade prince Gallywix has been living on borrowed time from the start. Garrosh and Vol'jin have a little philosophical disagreement going that seems likely to be resolved with fewer than two of them alive. And even Lor'Themar seems to be just waiting around for a blood elf with enough ambition to unseat him.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What haven't you gotten around to doing yet?

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

One thing Cataclysm has certainly not been is lacking for new content to explore. Whether it's a partial to complete revamping of most of the original "old world" zones, the new dungeon and raid content, the new races, or the new archaeology profession and tweaking of the existing professions, there's been a lot out there to do.

If you're like me, you probably had some kind of list, whether written or just in your head, of things you were going to do once Cataclysm launched. So now that a fair amount of time has passed since the world shattered, how's that list coming along? Are you pretty much where you expected to be right now, or are there still things on your list that have you saying, "I can't believe I haven't done that yet!"

I'm not talking so much here about content that you simply have yet to progress to, perhaps because your guild hasn't yet gotten back into the raiding routine or you haven't run enough heroics to gear up yet. I'm talking more about things you could do in WoW right now, today -- but somehow, just haven't.

For me, that's still a distressingly full list. My worgen alt languishes at level 14, almost none of the new Alliance low-level content experienced beyond Gilneas. On my mains, I've yet to experience either the Twin Peaks or Battle for Gilneas battlegrounds. I've completed four of the five 80-85 zones but have yet to go back and do Hyjal.

So help me, I haven't even yet punched that dragon in the face.

What about you? What's out there in Cataclysm for you to do, if only you would just get around to doing it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: To "grats" or not to "grats"

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

"Yahtzee" Croshaw's recent review of Cataclysm (hilarious, but very NSFW) pointed out two things about WoW that were of interest to me. The first was that, as a mage, I would die a lot less often in PvE if I remembered to use Mirror Image when I get into a tight spot. But second and of more general interest, he pointed out how pervasive the phenomenon of mutual congratulation for achievements has become in WoW, to the point where one could easily be forgiven for thinking that typing some variation of "grats" was a Pavlovian response to any achievement announcement.

I happen to think it is more of a case of social pressure, personally. You want to be congratulated when you achieve something worthwhile, so you do likewise to your fellow guildies. But then the question becomes: just how far do you take it? Do you "grats" at every opportunity, or do you pick and choose which ones are worthy of your typewritten esteem? Does seeing other "grats"-es make you want to join in, or are you perhaps the other way, "grats"-ing just to show that somebody appreciates the achievement just announced, even if it is just Shave and a Haircut?

How you decide when the time is right to type those five little letters into guild chat?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Elementals vs. Zombies -- which event was better?

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

In the days leading up to Wrath of the Lich King, plagued crates started showing up in major cities, triggering a widespread zombie infestation that, for a few days, brought World of Warcraft as we knew it essentially to a halt. In the days leading up to Cataclysm, cultists started showing up in the major cities, heralding an elemental invasion that would also impact World of Warcraft, just before the game would change once and for all.

With both events now in the history books, which event leaves you with the better memories?

For better or worse, the zombie infestation will almost surely go down as the more memorable event. It involved unique player mechanics not seen before or since and even created a de facto third faction which members of both Alliance and Horde could temporarily join (not always voluntarily). The elemental invasion? Quests were there, you did them, stuff showed up, you killed it. The settings may have been unique, but in the end it was still "just WoW."

Which brings us to the downsides. During the zombie infestation, WoW stopped being WoW. Which meant: Want to raid? Want to quest? Want to farm? Too bad. All that was pretty much shut down, and we weren't being told when it would be back. It turned out to be just four days, but nobody knew that at the time. With the elemental invasion, when players got tired of it, for the most part they could ignore it. Dalaran and Icecrown Citadel were unaffected, and pretty much everything was out of the way except for the city events -- and for those, you always knew that things would be back to normal in an hour at most.

Neither event was without its flaws, and both were unique in the history of WoW. No doubt the advent of the next expansion will produce another such event. Which event would you like the next one to be more like?

Elementals vs. Zombies: Which expansion launch event was better?
Wrath's zombie invasion was cooler.14560 (82.3%)
Cataclysm's elemental invasion was better.3137 (17.7%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Cataclysm Zone Review: Wetlands


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

Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. Read at your own risk!


Looks like the Wetlands just got a little wetter. (What the -- who took my sunglasses?!) The swamplands of Khaz Modan have gotten some updates -- some for the better, some for the worse, and some for the downright awesome.

Dun Algaz The familiar twisting tunnels leading from Loch Modan to the Wetlands have remained intact, including the halfway-point town of Dun Algaz, still overrun by the Dragonmaw. Like many areas that haven't changed a whole lot, the questing here has been changed up slightly but mostly made shorter. In this case, your objective is retrieving some precious cargo -- and if you didn't guess alcohol was involved, you've forgotten that you're in dwarf country.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Cataclysm Zone Review: Loch Modan

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

Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. Read at your own risk!


Anybody seen my Stonewrought Dam? It was just here a minute ago.

Oddly enough, most citizens of the zone of Loch Modan seem unaffected by much of the mighty dam going away and taking most of the lake with it. But there are still things to do, such as uncover one of the weirdest conspiracies ever and mend the relationship between a father and son.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Cataclysm Zone Review: Dun Morogh

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

Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. Read at your own risk!

The upheaval in the snowy lands of Dun Morogh has been more political than geological, but there's quite a fair amount of new material for those rolling a brand new dwarf or gnome in Cataclysm.

Starting Zones Coldridge Valley and New Tinkertown

The dwarven starting zone hasn't changed much physically, but the troggs are more aggressive now, so there's no time for placid mail delivery quests. But there's always time for beer! Eventually, you kill a troublemaking fire elemental that seems to quell the threat here, but an untimely cave-in forces you to forego the tunnel and take an airlift to Kharanos instead. (Alas, this detour bodes ill for the popularity of the famous Dwarven Demolition Team.)

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What enemy would you turn traitor to join?

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

World of Warcraft puts players on a relatively fixed path in terms of loyalties. Sure, there are some very deliberate exceptions to this -- notably the Aldor/Scryer rivalry of The Burning Crusade and the Oracles/Frenzyheart feud in Wrath -- but in general, wherever a conflict arises in the game, the decision as to what side you're going to take is made for you. The rogue trainer in Northshire might tease you with the idea that joining the Defias is a potential option for you, but in reality, that can never happen.

WoW is certainly not lacking for "evil" factions one could potentially sympathize with. The aforementioned Defias, whose whole issue stems basically from getting screwed over by Onyxia's meddling, stand out as one such faction. Illidan Stormrage has long sparked controversy as to whether he was really on the side of evil, although that might be a result of his almost hopelessly confused lore. I have read suggestions that Malygos has a large (if misguided) sympathetic following. And even now, I see some already looking to figure out how to take the side of Big Bad Yet to Come, Deathwing himself.

Does this bother you? Do you wish sometimes that you could break the rules and side with a faction or villain you're not supposed to? What hostile faction or enemy character, if any, would you side with, given the opportunity to do so?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Take this job and shove it

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

Let's face it, not everyone likes their job. (I can get away with saying that because I don't work for this blog.) And what's true in real life is sometimes true in World of Warcraft, as well.

There are plenty of reasons why someone might want to drop one of his or her two primary WoW professions for another. (There might be a reason for dropping a secondary profession, but I can't think of one.) Maybe you were just new to the game and didn't grasp right away that skinning and leatherworking might not be the ideal profession choices for a warrior. Maybe you've just given up hope that a certain profession ever will live up to its potential (*coughengineeringcough*). Or perhaps you got caught up in the min-max-mania that Blizzard is currently trying to eradicate from professions. (At one point in The Burning Crusade, for example, mages with raiding aspirations were very seriously handicapped if they were not Spellfire tailors).

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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