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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: This huge patch drops and all I do with it is...

Okay, so I also ran around soloing old raids like a fiend, did some of the new UBRS, and did the Blasted Lands quests on my alt. But in 100% sincerity this was the first thing I thought to do with the patch. It's little things like finding out they let staves and polearms mog over swords, axes and maces that just tickle me - well, that, and seeing people all desperately trying to relearn how to play their characters at the same time, just like I was.

So, what was your first move? (Or will be, for our EU friends just now getting the patch.) Barber shop to fix up your face? Blasted Lands? UBRS? Transmog fun? Something I'm completely forgetting? Let us all know - it's what the comments are for.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Good Morning Patch 6.0.2

This is how Khadgar and I looked when we went asleep and it was still patch 5.4 out. As you can, I woke up with a bit of a crick in my neck and Khadgar... well, patch 6.0.2 has had some significant changes on our boy Khadgar, hasn't it? (I should confess, this is actually a picture from the PTR, as I write this the patch hasn't been deployed yet.)

Did you do anything special as you bid Mists of Pandaria farewell? Did you go PvP at the Dark Portal? (A lot of my friends were doing so as I logged.) Did you head to any particular location? Or was it just business as usual for you and your characters?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: In Chaos and Riots

Sometimes it really blows my mind how much destruction we've seen. Even if we don't consider it our fault, exactly, the ravaging of the Jade Forest and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms were pretty impressive on just the level of woah, that blew up hard. But we've seen whole worlds that were effectively destroyed. Once you've been to Outland and seen the ravaged remains of the red world of Draenor, once you've been to Northrend and seen the Scourge rampage through Zul'Drak, seen almost innumerable hosts of undead in Icecrown Glacier, fought against the armies of Ragnaros and Deathwing and seen the madness of the Destroyer, you have to start wondering just how jaded you would have to be to keep doing what we do. Do we just yawn in the face of yet another threat? Can anything shock us anymore?

Tell me, is there a menace that can possibly get past your air of 'been there, done that, got the epics' in World of Warcraft?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Will you miss Pandaria?

We are days away from the beginning of the end of Pandaria -- the end of the expansion, not the continent, although we managed to do a pretty good job wrecking the place while we were there. Every time an expansion gets to the point where it's drawing to an inevitable close, I start to get a little nostalgic and think about the things I'm going to miss. Of course, one of the bigger things I was going to miss -- good old Dog from my farm -- is actually heading to Draenor with me, or at least will show up in my garrison at some point. Good Dog.

But there are other things I'll miss, too -- the incredibly catchy music in the inns, the rolling hills in the Valley of the Four Winds, the golden trees in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Of course I can go back and play any of this stuff whenever I'd like, on whatever alt I'd like, but it's not exactly the same. On the list of continents and worlds we have been to over the years, Pandaria ranks up there as one of my solid favorites -- the design and detail that went into the environment this expansion was some of the best I've seen.

Yes, I'm excited for Draenor, but I'm going to miss Pandaria anyway. What about you guys? Are you looking forward to starting out someplace brand-new? Are you relieved to be leaving Pandaria behind? How did you like the feel of the place, where does it rate on your list of Azeroth destinations? Putting aside the content and quests and just looking at the map, the scenery, and your character in it, are you going to miss Pandaria at all when we leave?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Which side to play?

I'm having that end-of-expansion quandary, and it's never been quite as keenly felt as it is with Warlords of Draenor. On the one hand, I'd like to level my main character immediately at the outset of the expansion, just because I love playing a rogue and Frostfire Ridge is incredibly fun and suitably, well ... savage. On the other, I absolutely love everything there is to see and do in Shadowmoon Valley to the point where I'm thinking maybe I want to level my draenei character first.

In expansions past, it's always been the rogue, simply for the purposes of getting raid-ready as soon as possible with the rest of my raiding guild. But I'm taking a different route with Draenor, one that I haven't traveled since Burning Crusade -- I've decided to retire from heavier raiding, and instead take my time, work on what I can, and just enjoy the content at a leisurely pace. I may pick up raiding at some point later in the expansion, but I'm not really in a place where I want to dedicate the hours to full-time raiding any more.

So here I am, for the first time well and truly torn between the two factions in a way that I'd never expected. It's not that one zone is better than the other, it's that each starting zone is its own wholly unique and beautiful experience. I know I want to play through them both, because they're both totally worth playing for completely different reasons. On the one hand, this is a good thing, because it means Blizzard has managed to hit the ball out of the park when it comes to leveling zones -- on the other, it means I have to make some kind of choice. What about you guys? Which side are you going to play when Warlords begins? Do you plan on playing through both Alliance and Horde content at some point?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Some Good News

If you like soloing older content for transmog gear, well, patch 6.0.2 is going to be the most fun you have ever had. You will literally stride like a god through the raids of the past - despite the item squish, older content is now something you can destroy with contemptuous ease. I just walked into the Firelands on the PTR, and in less than half an hour everything was dead. Trash mobs disintegrated. Bosses didn't do much better. Ragnaros died so far he didn't even get to drop his hammer enough times. It was a parade of annihilation at my hands.

So let this be the last word for those of us who fret that soloing won't be possible in patc 6.0.2 - it absolutely will be. It will be easy.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: While It Lasts

It's Thursday morning as I write this and I just realized that I have five days before I have to learn the fury spec I'll be using for a month, the level 90 Warlords of Draenor spec. It'll have a row of level 100 talents I won't have access to, it'll shift my talents around and change my abilities. Many of them will be gone. As much as I'm not weeping over the loss of Heroic Strike and Colossus Smash for fury, their loss leaves a hole in the rotation, and one you can't really fill at level 90 - I doubt warriors will be the only ones feeling strange to their players over that month before we all start leveling.

So I took my former main (I guess it's fair to call him that, since I haven't played him very much lately, since I don't have the ability to really raid anymore) out for a spin, blew up some dungeons, did awful things to an LFR tank's confidence. When the gear squish comes in and our characters are wholly different in less than a week, we'll all have to relearn and readjust, so I figured I'd get in a few more chanced to feel ridiculous while I could. Sometimes, I look forward to the changes, and sometimes I dread them. How about you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What 6.0 means

I suspect it's different for everyone. For me, the last month of any expansion is always kind of melancholy. My wife and I were discussing saudade last night, a concept I wasn't familiar with, and while it's not that intense I do always feel that small pang for what's lost when an expansion rolls around. Sure, I'm excited for new content, new levels, new dungeons and raids and zones. But at the same time, Pandaria had been my home for two years now. I've explored it, seen the magnificent vistas, done battle with a host of foes and monsters. And now, it all comes to an end. That last month, we don't really even see the content anymore - in our minds we're long past it already, exploring Draenor.

So for me, patch 6.0 is bitter with the sweet - it's full of an awareness of its own mortality, of the world growing autumnal. Yes, we're still there in Pandaria, still running the same raids and dungeons, doing the same daily quests, exploring the same Timeless Isle - but we're already gone, and the world grows colder and prepares to be abandoned. I feel that longing for when it was all new, that now vanished world we first stepped into years ago. But its time is done. And here we are, in its waning weeks, finally aware of how transient it always was.

So enjoy patch 6.0, by all means, and prepare for Draenor. But give Pandaria its last month, and enjoy it for what it was, and will never be again.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What will you be playing in Warlords?

An expansion launch in World of Warcraft is a good time to re-evaluate your gaming priorities. With expansions come change, and change means that you may find your class, your game role, or the game in general more -- or less -- appealing. It's the perfect time to make a class switch if you've been thinking about it -- or just don't like what the latest class changes have left your current main with -- because with the entire player-base leveling up, you won't be any further behind the curve than anyone else.

So with change well on its way with the upcoming Warlords of Draenor launch, now's the time to weigh your options and consider just what you'll be playing come launch day. Will you stick with your main or are you switching classes? Are you leaving the game or coming back to it? Will you be finding a new guild or revisiting an old one? Tell us, readers: just what are you going to be playing when Warlords launches?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Have you planned out your garrison yet?

I have to admit, I'm having a tough time deciding how I'm going to lay out my first garrison. I was pretty set on having the Inn and Trading Post as my two medium buildings. At first glance, the Barn seemed kind of lackluster to me until I learned that it's the only way to get Savage Blood, which is used to upgrade crafted gear to higher item levels. I want to upgrade my engineering goggles and gun without spending a ton of gold so I decided I'm probably going to use the Barn, at least at the beginning. Now if I'm set on the Barn, what other medium building do I get rid of? I'm a big collector so I really like those daily quests in the Inn (plus the extra followers), but I also like the sound of the Trading Post. Decisions, decisions.

I'm the kind of player who likes to go full tilt at the beginning of an expansion. I'll min-max anything I can to get a head start. In my opinion, garrisons can definitely be min-maxed when it comes to things like making gold or getting epic gear as fast as possible. Then there's buildings which are purely for fun or convenience. Any time I come up with a garrison build, I always seem to want a Stables in there.

If you want to start planning out your garrison and you don't have the beta to play around with, there's also the Wowhead Garrison Calculator. Will you just pick whatever buildings sound fun, or are you researching your options beforehand?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: If you were in charge

Let's face it -- our characters have done more over the course of WoW's 10 year history than any NPC in the game, pretty much. Maybe we didn't defeat all those villains single-handed, but we've stopped their evil plans several times over. We've deftly, unflinchingly addressed situations that were literally going to bring our world to an end, on multiple occasions, and yet we still find time in our busy world-saving schedules to help a farmer with a vermin problem or, you know, pick up some poop because apparently this is also just part of a day's work for a hero of Azeroth. No need to thank us, unless you're handing over gold or armor or some other slightly entertaining item, heck half the time we're just pleased to be getting some experience for it.

Yet when it comes down to it, despite all our heroics, we're the last people anyone would consider for a leadership role. When push comes to shove, the NPCs of Warcraft would rather promote a military leader with a thirst for violence. Or a council of three people who hate each other. Or that tall blue guy with the mohawk and the pointy ears who's just conveniently standing in the room over there. We're always the bridesmaid, never the bride -- although given what we're willing to do to get our hands on some loot, maybe that's for the best.

But what if you were in charge? What if, when push came to shove and everyone's backs were against the wall, everyone turned to you and said "OK, now what?" What would you do if you had absolute power? Would you immediately launch a war, regardless of whether or not other people really wanted to be in one? Would you start peace talks or diplomatic negotiations? Are you the type that would chuck a mana bomb at a city, or arrange a summit to hash out our differences? Who would you lock up? Who would you set free? Would World of Warcraft become World of Chaos under your careful guidance, or would you try to make a happily-ever-after for everyone? If you were in charge, what would you do?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How are you planning to level in Warlords?

Everybody's got a different way to level through content the first time through. Some people take their time, others try to push through as quickly as possible, with the intent of setting a more leisurely pace for alts. Still others chain dungeons to gather XP, bypassing all actual questing in favor of simply running the same thing over and over. The last couple expansions for me have been a blur of fast-paced and frantic leveling in the first 48 hours or so of the expansion's launch, partially because I wanted to be at max level for my raid guild as quickly as possible, partially because I really, really wanted that realm first achievement for leveling. I came in a close second both times I tried.

Disappointing? Maybe a little. But I was kind of relieved to hear that realm first leveling achievements wouldn't be coming into play with Warlords, because that temptation to speed through the leveling experience is gone now. I'm no longer actively raiding, either, so there is absolutely no reason for me to bulldoze my way through leveling. I'm actually far more excited about the prospect of simply taking my own sweet time then I ever was about the marathon get-to-max-level-racing sessions, although my guild was usually on vent and our babble, particularly after the 24 hour mark when we were all just a little too sleep deprived for our own good, was highly entertaining.

But I'm looking forward to leveling for the sake of leveling, and just taking my time soaking in the story and what's going on in the world around me. Everyone's got their own way to level, and this time around, mine is going to be at my own pace while soaking up the story, which suits me just fine. What about you guys? Are you going to rush through Draenor's content, achievement or no? Do you like doing quests out in the open world and seeing what's out there, or do you prefer stacking up your XP in dungeons? How are you planning on leveling in Warlords -- is it going to be a race to the finish line, or a more leisurely stroll through content?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: My LFR phobia

I have many alts. Many of them are warriors, because, well, come on it's me you can't pretend you're surprised at this point it's been seven years. Anyway, I've been playing one of these alts quite a bit lately, gotten his gear up from a 470 to a 528 through playing the AH, using the Timeless Isle and an heirloom 2h axe from Garrosh. The problem is, there's one easy way to get better gear than I currently have - run LFR. Even just running Throne of Thunder on LFR would help because it would get me rep I could use to get a new necklace. There's just one problem - I absolutely can't bring myself to do it. At all. Not even a little bit.

I managed to force myself to run the first wing of SoO this week, got the last two bosses, and after about six wipes apiece (filled with racial epithets, trash talk, constant ragequitting, and other behavior) I just can't bring myself to do it again for the first two. It's a shame, because I miss raiding - a lot - but I can't commit to a regular raid schedule at this point. LFR, with its bite sized, raid when you havethe time approach is tailor made for the kind of schedule I have nowadays. But the behavior is so toxic that I just can't make myself try it again.

So I'm asking, because I have no idea - what could we possibly do to improve LFR as an experience?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: It should have been a raid

Every single time I go through the Well of Eternity dungeon, I keep thinking to myself that they really missed an opportunity. It was such a huge, sprawling dungeon with plenty of space for more than the three boss fights it contained - it could easily have been a five or six boss raid with minimal adjustment. Seeing the familiar night elf architecture but with painted, colored walls and the sweeping glass ramp to Azshara's platform always made me wish we'd gotten more of it.

But there are quite a few dungeons in the game that could have made excellent raids. Wrath of the Lich King had Utgarde Pinnacle, which was originally designed as a raid, and Mists of Pandaria had Mogu'shan Palace, which feels to this day to be unexplored due to the sheer scope of the place. We've had old raids come back as dungeons before - Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman come to mind - but if you ask me, I'd like to see some of these dungeons come back as full fledged raids.

So I'll ask you - what five player dunegon do you think would work as a raid?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Down To The Wire

With the announcement of the upcoming end of Season 15, we're likely looking at the date for Patch 6.0 and thus, the last month of Mists of Pandaria, which means if there's anything you've been procrastinating on, it's time to get a move on. For me, it means running through Blackrock Mountain on several of my alts to make sure I have the Blackhand Doomsaw on anyone who wants it. (It's the same model as Lantresor's Warblade, but it sheaths differently.) For friends of mine, it's the Brawler's Guild, or getting their PvP rating up, or finishing a Legendary Cloak.

So what're you working on? Anything you need to get done before 6.0, or are you already ready?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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