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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The many mysteries of loot drops

Looting monsters in World of Warcraft can be an experience filled with mystery. Surely you've had the quest where you're sent off to collect bear paws or the like where you only get one paw per bear -- or even less? Where do all of those paws go? Or perhaps you've killed a bat who dropped a lockbox, leaving you to wonder what was he keeping in it and how he even got into it. What about the creatures of Azeroth who carry around spare pairs of pants or plate armor? If you're a leatherworker, you've probably occasionally picked up some intestines along with the leather you skinned -- and find gold inside. Yuck. And let's not even get started on the raid bosses of Azeroth who apparently lug around whole chests of loot. (And where was Garrosh hiding all of those heirlooms?)

The game is full of loot conundrums, so today why not tell us yours? What's the most oddball loot you've acquired -- or haven't acquired -- in the game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Does Hearthstone still have you in its grasp?

Quite a few of you were playing Hearthstone upon its launch -- many were playing even earlier, in Hearthstone's beta. Some played out of genuine interest, others to get their hands on the Hearthsteed. The game officially released nearly three weeks ago and I'm curious how many of you are still playing.

Personally, I love Hearthstone, but I can't find the time to fit it into my schedule. It's no secret I'm in the Heroes of the Storm technical alpha, then there's World of Warcraft and the newly released Reaper of Souls thrown into the mix. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to play every Blizzard title. Despite my love for Hearthstone, it has a low position on the totem pole. Are you still playing? Did you never play to begin with? Did you only intend to earn your Hearthsteed, but the siren call of card draws lured you in for good? If you stopped playing, why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Hearthstone Insider

Breakfast Topic: Your long-term WoW goals

There are plenty of tasks in WoW that are easily achieved in an hour, a day, or a week -- but other goals take time. For example, getting a legendary cloak will probably take you a few months, plenty of high-end crafting is tied to a daily cooldown, and achievements like Loremaster or Insane in the Membrane don't get done overnight. These are more long-term gaming goals that you can't just grind through in a single gaming session (or even two or three), and they're often the sort of thing that you're more likely to find yourself doing when you don't have any more short-term goals at hand.

With end-game content scarce and major game changes unlikely until we're a lot closer to Warlords of Draenor, that means right now is a great time to take a look at your long-term to-do list. This is why I'm finally working on finishing Loremaster, which is something I always meant to do but never made a real effort to get through in the past. Once I manage that, Insane in the Membrane is next. Sure, it requires some dedication (and a certain lack of sanity), but these are things I've always wanted to achieve in-game and simply never made the time to do. So why not start now?

So today's discussion, readers: what gaming projects have you dusted off to work on right now? Do you have any goals you're trying to hit before Warlords?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Who will miss reforging?

Let me start by getting this off my chest: I hate reforging. I hate it with a fiery, burning passion usually reserved for politicians and the sorts of people who think numbers are an acceptable substitute for letters in words -- which is to say a lot. This isn't to say that I don't appreciate the ability to customize my gear, but reforging has turned the ability to customize into a metagaming nightmare.

In order to play my best, when I get a piece of gear -- even if it's a clear upgrade -- before I equip it I need to consult Ask Mr. Robot (or a similar service) and visit a reforger in-game. Then I'll spend a few hundred gold to shuffle the stats on all of my my gear so that the new piece fits without dropping important stats like hit and expertise. Even using an addon to do the hard work of figuring out what to reforge to what, this adds a layer of metagaming between me and my desire to play that I just don't enjoy.

So you can imagine my delight when I found out that reforging was going away. I'm sure I'm not the only one who won't miss reforging -- but I'm equally sure that there are plenty of players out there who don't want to do without this customization option. So today I'm asking you: will you miss reforging? And if so, why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Who deserves the lore spotlight next?

One of the complaints about Warlords of Draenor is that it's another expansion with a heavy focus on orc lore. A lot of that comes from the fact that to players who picked up the Warcraft setting with World of Warcraft the setting has moved pretty far away from the classic 'orcs vs. humans' and into a story about blood elves, goblins, gnomes, draenei, dwarves, trolls, tauren, night elves... in other words, about their characters, whatever race they happen to be. If you're a Horde player, you're most likely to be a blood elf nowadays, rather than an orc (blood elves are twice as popular among Horde players at 28%, putting them ahead of the otherwise neck and neck forsaken, orcs and tauren by almost a two to one margin over any of them) but it's also fair to say that blood elves have gotten a fair amount of focus in the last few expansion (including a pretty sizable story bump in patch 5.1/5.2 of Mists of Pandaria) so who would we focus on as the most in need of some story development?

Among the Alliance, the draenei are looking ready for their closeup in Warlords and I'm absolutely down with that, but I also agree with people who've made the point that gnomes really need some story focus. So, let me turn this over to you? Who deserves the lore next? Who do you want to see get a nice closeup, story wise?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Would people pay for character faction copy?

I was musing on Twitter (like you do) about the potential of a service that allowed you to copy a character, rather than move him or her, to another faction. I kind of thought at the time it was a ridiculous idea, mostly just wish fulfillment because I have a lot of friends on both factions and I really miss being able to do stuff with them. The response indicates that some people would jump for it, at nearly any price (I named ninety bucks and people didn't bat an eye) because, as several people pointed out, the chance to have an actual geared 90 is a lot more enticing than boosting a character that you don't know how to play.

So I put this question to you, readers - would you, if you could, make a copy of one of your characters on the other faction to play with friends of said faction?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Which Blizzard games have you been playing?

Lately I've been the odd one out amongst my gaming friends: logging on to WoW to work on alts and professions while others are diving into new content with Diablo 3, Hearthstone, or Heroes of the Storm. It makes playing WoW a bit lonely when you're all on your own, but when shiny new content abounds elsewhere while WoW-players simply have another week of the same raid lockouts, it's hard to blame anyone who's jumped on to the recent Diablo bandwagon.

Though I've been having fun doing new things in the same old game, I don't expect everyone is doing the same -- and sometimes you just need a break from the same old grind. So for today's discussion, tell me gamers: have you been keeping to a regular WoW schedule or have you jumped into other games?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What's the one thing you won't do in WoW?

We often times talk about what we will do in WoW, but there's another side to the join: what we won't do.

For instance, I won't do serious PvP. I tried it once for a bit and I just didn't like it. People's attitudes were too crass, there wasn't a sense of having fun, and things just felt wrong. These feelings weren't on my own team, mind you, they were from other people. Of course this might have just soured the overall experience for me, and I should give serious PvP another try -- but in general it's just something that I don't want to do, and because WoW is a game, I won't do.

I know others that will not level alts, at all. They think because they've played through the content once they don't need to play through it again. That makes sense to me from their perspective, but with every alt I level I learn new things, so it's never a situation where leveling an alt is useless for me.

To each their own -- but where do you stand? What's the thing in WoW that you won't do?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Are you a cooking master?

I like to complete things. It's one of those odd little quirks that really works for me in WoW, because there are so many different things to collect and complete. All reputations on my main need to be exalted before the expansion is over or I'm just not happy. All recipes need to be learned, all cool mounts obtained at some point or another, pets gathered -- although I'm rapidly running out of steam on that one just because there are so many pets out there now.

Yet despite the delight I take in checking off boxes and completing things, I still haven't finished maxing out cooking on my main. It's not that I don't like cooking, it's just that the process is oddly convoluted this time around, what with all the different schools, recipes, and mass quantities of ingredients involved in making it happen. As a collector, I don't exactly have a ton of bag space in which to squirrel away ingredients.

And so the profession has sat there, incomplete. I like the idea of getting it done, I just can't seem to bring myself to actually learn all the recipes and do it. For some reason, it's the one thing I just can't seem to be bothered to complete this expansion -- although that feeling may change as we wait for Warlords to be released. What about you guys? Have you maxed out your cooking? Can you make noodle carts like a pro? Have you gotten your cooking apprentice -- and what's that like? Or are you like me, void of available space to work with and slightly burnt out on the idea of farming things and killing things to cook various other things? Do you think the cooking system worked with Mists, or would you rather see something different in Warlords?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How seriously do you play your alts?

I have a few alts in my stable of characters -- at the moment, I have five level 90 characters. But the only one I ever really take seriously is my rogue. It's the one I tend to pour my time into, the one I do any and all serious raiding on, the one who has a transmog collection you wouldn't believe. That said, I do like playing the other alts every now and again -- but none of them are really characters that I take seriously in terms of getting gear or doing anything in the way of high-end current content.

The only minor exception to this is my shaman, who I've decided to get a legendary cloak for. There's no real reason for the shaman to have a legendary cloak. I'm not going to leap into raiding with that character, nor am I making it a new main. I just like the legendary quest chain, and I was actually kind of curious how long it would take to complete that questline just by solely doing LFR and nothing else. So far, the longest stretch has been getting the 3000 valor needed for one stretch of the chain -- something that took a little over three weeks simply due to valor caps.

Regardless, I don't really need the cloak, nor do I intend to do anything serious with any of my alts. I love my main, and I don't think I could ever just swap mains at the drop of a hat. But I'm curious, because so many people out there seem to have a whole host of alts -- how seriously do you play your alts? Do you raid with them, or do some serious PvP? Are they just there for the professions, or are they actually something you're actively working on gearing? Do you play them as much as you play your main?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How many Blizzard games do you play?

I like Blizzard games. I've liked them every since I was very young, when the company was still called Silicon & Synapse and released a title called The Lost Vikings. I remember playing that game on the computer for hours after it came out, along with my sister, my brother, and even my mother, who found the puzzles and graphics pretty charming. That said, Warcraft and its associated titles are easily my favorites to play -- but I've dabbled in plenty of other Blizzard titles too.

Hearthstone is quickly becoming a go-to favorite for when I want a quick few rounds of cards. Diablo III is incredibly fun when I want to release a little stress and simply smash some demons for a while. But I still haven't touched StarCraft -- I'm not really good at that kind of game, so I have yet to give it a shot. And my mind is still wavering on whether or not I'd like to try out Heroes of the Storm. The concept sounds really cool, but it's another one of those games that I'm not sure I'd be really good at playing.

However, I find myself slightly more willing to give Heroes a shot when it launches, mostly because it's a Blizzard game -- and I like the way Blizzard games play. I'm curious though -- how many Blizzard titles do you play? Do you tend to stick to one style of game, or are you happy enough to expand your horizons and try something different every now and again? Are you planning on picking up Reaper of Souls, or even Heroes of the Storm when it eventually releases?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: And the slow news week is going to be over...

This has been a slow and very quiet week in the World of Warcraft. It almost seems like the calm before the storm that a whole bunch of warlords on Draenor are going to bring to Azeroth. Many in the community are eagerly anticipating the beta test of the next expansion, yet it seems to be forever in the future.

I've been vocal enough on the issue -- my feeling is that the longer Blizzard waits to drop the detailed look at the game's next expansion, the more harm it is going to do to their core business. It's important for them to recognize that attention will turn elsewhere, and such bleeding can only be stopped by introducing major new content. Now granted the content will not immediately be playable, but with the wide reach of Blizzard's communications and sites like this one, Wowhead, Twitch, and MMO-Champion, the attraction of the game will keep pace at the necessary levels while we then wait for release.

What's concerning me more is that while we know the release of Warlords is slated for Fall 2014, there is plenty of wiggle room to make that as late as possible.

Read more →

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you have any lucky charms?

Or, as the grummles would call them, do you have a luckydo? Is there an item you own in WoW that drips with superstition, something that you're absolutely sure makes you perform better, even if it only sits in your bags?

In years past, we've discussed this once or twice before, and my lucky charm has remained the same despite it being locked away on a character I don't often play anymore. The Shard of the Fallen Star saw me through many boss battles throughout the years. During progression raiding, when we'd get stuck on a rough boss, I'd equip that trinket -- despite the stat loss as a result of wearing it -- and drop a big ol' meteor on the boss's head. Voice chat would erupt in giggles, and despite the distraction, somehow we'd win. There was no power in the world that could withstand the Shard. It reached the point where my raidmates would ask me to equip it when the going got tough. And it worked. Every time.

Do you have such a charm? Any raiding rituals that just seem to work even when they shouldn't?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What you don't (or won't) miss

Players who have been around for a while will sometimes wax nostalgic about the days of vanilla, when everything was just so much better. But for all the old-timers -- myself included -- like to dwell in the past, I suspect most of us wouldn't want to repeat it. Though we like to look back on "the good old days" through rose-colored glasses, organizing 40 players for raids wasn't exactly a cakewalk and that's hardly the only complaint. Hunters needed bags of arrows (or bullets) for every raid, warlocks similarly needed bags of soulshards, mounts and pets took up bag space -- and our bags were smaller, not to mention the fact that void storage didn't exist. The only saving grace of vanilla's inventory management system was that transmog didn't exist, either, and there weren't any achievements to gain by collecting mounts, pets, or tabards.

And you probably shouldn't even get me started on the dramafest that was the opening of the gates of Ahn'Qiraj, an event that so perfectly amped up the stress levels of players in top guilds that you've got suspect it was specifically designed to raise their blood pressure. Or just leave them haunted by dreams of Peacebloom farming. Or both.

Still, we played, we persevered, and we even had fun -- but I'm happy to be playing the game we're playing now and the game we'll be playing in the future, when Warlords is released. So why don't you take off those rose-colored glasses, just for a minute, and talk about the things you just don't miss from the past (or the soon to be past).

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The Real Money Auction House is gone forever, will you miss it?

If you haven't been marking out the hours, it's March 18. That means that today's the day that the Real Money Auction House in Diablo III closes its doors forever. It's been an interesting feature, for sure, and arguably one that did more harm than good. It's been controversial from the out, causing a rating hike in South Korea. Then there were the days of gold devaluing by the second, of duping bugs running rampage, shutdowns and resets.

It seems pretty clear that the RMAH wasn't much of a success. And the community reaction to its then-impending removal, and to loot 2.0 has been overwhelmingly positive. So, will you miss it? I know I won't. In a game like Diablo where there's so much emphasis on loot, being able to fork out real dollars to get your hands on the best bits seemed to cheapen the experience, to use a rather ill-fitting turn of phrase. Now that it's gone, and indeed in the months leading up to its departure, I've felt a sort of freedom with my loot. I'm no longer thinking in terms of trade, instead in terms of fun. And that's a good thing.

What's your take on the RMAH experiment? Will you miss it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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