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Breakfast Topic: Have you spotted your own game design ideas in game?

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Back around the time Wrath of the Lich King launched, a fan site ran a "Design a Raid Encounter" contest. Since I had gotten through a good portion of the first tier of raid content by then, I figured that I had all kinds of wonderful ideas and took my pen to paper. I conjured up an encounter with the Titan's personal blacksmith as a one-off raid like Sartharion or Malygos. I scribbled room layouts on scraps of paper I had at my desk and thought up some particularly nasty mechanics that involved managing stacking buffs and debuffs based around molten slag. To top things off, I gave the boss a few construct adds that would be activated at certain health percentages in order to try to prevent straight burns.

A few months later, I was in Ulduar and saw Ignis with his golem adds, and I was hit with a wave of déjà vu. A similar situation arose when I first saw how Karsh Steelbender's fight went down. Did I channel some sort of developer mojo, or was this some sort of crazy coincidence?

I'd like to think that after playing the game as long as I have, as well as an additional 10 or so years of pen-and-paper RPGs, I'm bound to come to some of the same conclusions as the developers. I'm certain that I'm not the only one who's had his flights of fancy materialize in game content and that it will happen again.

What have you seen pulled from your imagination end up in game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Should WoW bring back attunements?

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Early raiding in World of Warcraft required wide variety of attunements, from "Hey! Go touch that rock!" to "Hey! Go do every almost raid and dungeon in the expansion!" Over time, many of these attunements were eased or lifted as the playerbase grew and more people were interested in experiencing the current endgame. In Wrath of the Lich King, we had just one fairly minor attunement, and that raid was in the initial tier of raiding for the expansion. The only real attunement since The Burning Crusade has been to reach the level cap and learn to perform well enough to not get kicked from the group.

As we look to the future of raiding, maybe we should look to the past as well. While attunements could often be time-consuming, many of them were completed by just playing the game normally, with some added direction beyond "kill mobs to collect phat lewts." Several attunements added much of the epicness that long-time players say that the game has lost over the past two years or so. Attunement quest chains also introduced us to a host of interesting characters and often fleshed out the lore behind the raid we were trying to gain access to at the time.

Given the current state of the game, could attunements return to the World of Warcraft? Better yet, should attunements return?

Should WoW bring back attunements?
Yes5293 (38.2%)
No3608 (26.0%)
Yes, but only for raiding content4954 (35.8%)

Breakfast Topic: What constitutes canon in WoW lore?

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Function: noun
[Middle English, from Late Latin, from Latin, standard] a : an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture b : the authentic works of a writer c : a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works

Lore is an incredibly huge part of the Warcraft universe. It tells us where the world has been and can give us clues about where it will be going. Unfortunately, it can become very muddied as more and more people contribute. When I was in high school, I can remember reading many of the Star Wars novels, which took place in the "expanded universe." The names and places were often the same, but there were often glaring inconsistencies from author to author. When you grow up with a universe, as I did with Star Wars, or when it grows up with you, those inconsistencies can drive you nuts.

The difference that you find in the much of the licensed material that comes out about the Warcraft universe is that Blizzard has a much stricter control over what can be created. Blizzard works with the authors and artists and will often give them advance knowledge of where the property is going, story-wise, in order to make the work fit with unreleased game content. The first time I noticed a character from a licensed product in game was when I stumbled upon Dar'Khan Drathir in Deatholme while leveling my first blood elf. The first book of the Sunwell Trilogy was published almost two years before The Burning Crusade went live. As we progressed into and through The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, more characters from the books, manga and comic worked their way into the game.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore, Guest Posts