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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Arthas is tall, y'all

So while running Trial of the Crusader and ICC, I keep noticing how tall Arthas and other supposedly human-sized bosses are. It's one thing for Marrowgar to be enormous, but standing in front of Arthas and having him be easily twelve feet tall has always kind of bugged me. It's bugged me ever since I first ran Tempest Keep and noticed Kael'thas was similarly embiggened by his raid boss status.

Don't get me wrong, I understand they're not literally supposed to be giants - like when I talk to Jaina in Hyjal Summit, I understand she's that big for our convenience so we can find her and click on her more easily. It's just always been a bit of a disconnect for me mentally. So let's look at it this way - are there any disconnects in terms of raiding that break your suspension of disbelief - like supersized bosses, or how Nazgrim has an entire room full of adds but if you pull them outside of the room he just gives up and goes away, or how raid bosses who are fully aware of our presence like Nefarian in BWD will just sort of sit around and wait for you to get to them instead of coming to you while you're fighting one of their minions? Let me know.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: I always smile when

There are certain elements in World of Warcraft that I just love to see. A warrior in Tier 6 or 10. A draenei paladin on the special elekk mount. Rogues with Shadowcraft on. (It's just what they're supposed to wear.) Ragnaros dead, his hammer twirling up into the air. In the words of one of my favorite songs, this feels too good to be wrong - I go kill Rag literally every reset just to see that hammer flip in the air.

Years in, and I'll still always smile when I hear the dwarf gryphon master say Watch your back, because it was always an in-joke for my first guild that he was saying wash your back and I remember all the jokes. I find it charming when I'm doing ICC and I hear that little gnome voice say This oughta help! I'm very fond of Nefarian telling me that he is the master there just as I kill him. There are more, but these suffice to make the point - these little moments in World of Warcraft, from the layout of the shrines in the Vale being reversed to the Brewfest Kodo, they make me smile.

What are yours?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The warm glow of another person's accomplishments

So last night my wife and I ran ICC10 heroic to get her the last couple of achievements she needed for her Bloodbathed Frostbrook Vanquisher. They were fairly annoying achievements. Full House and Portal Jockey, to be exact. But thanks to her keeping track of the adds and a solid plan for Dreamwalker, we finally got them done and she got her mount.

For some reason I only like achievements when other people get them. I don't always like the work of doing them - I hate Portal Jockey and I'm not looking forward to trying Been Waiting a Long Time For This on 25 next week to get her the other mount, but I'm still glad to help - I like that we can do this stuff together, and I really like the feeling I get when I help someone else achieve a long held goal of theirs. It's satisfying.

So I'm asking you for your stories of achievements you aided others in getting. Doesn't have to actually be an achiement - did you help a guildie get Shadowmourne or Val'anyr, did you run them through the Timeless Isle for chests, did you grind for bones on the Isle of Giants with them? Just any story of helping out a friend or other player will do.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do we have too many kinds of raiding?

Raiding is something we just do, something we've always done, it's woven into the bones and blood of World of Warcraft and I've been involved with it this whole time. It's what made playing the game hard for me during my recent health issues. So it seems strange of me to ask this, even to myself, but I have to wonder - do we have too much raiding now? We now have LFR (looking for raid), normal, heroic, and mythic raiding. That's four exclusive raid sizes, and it just makes me wonder. I doubt that people doing mythic raids are going to run LFR every week, and likewise LFR players are not likely to be in the mythic group, so perhaps it's fine - perhaps all these raid types finally give players the choice we've always said we wanted for the raid game.

But I do find myself simply unable to get excited about seeing the same fight multiple times in a week. I didn't like it when I was clearing Trial of the Crusader on 10n, 10h, 25n and 25h and I'm not looking forward to running Blackrock Foundry on LFR, Normal and Heroic. (I doubt I'll do any mythic raiding in Warlords, and that suits me just fine.) So here's your chance to speak up - am I just being my usual pessimistic self?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Is RNG good?

I spent several years trying to get the Brewfest Kodo, and I never did until this year. One of my friends has been running Siege of Orgrimmar nonstop since it debuted over a year ago and he still doesn't have his Dark Shaman transmog set. I'm sure we all similar stories of RNG, whether it be Warglaives, parts of the Bindings of the Windseeker, or a mount off of a specific boss. It comes down to whether or not you can get it to drop, and sometimes, you just plain can't. Similarly, there's BiS pieces that you may actually need to perform adequately, or tier pieces, or that one weapon to get you out of the last raid's gear. We've all been at the mercy of RNG? But is it a necessary evil, or perhaps even outright good for the game to put us through these moments?

I've heard the argument about how the feeling of relief when it finally does drop helps keep us playing. I don't know how valid I think it is, but it's worth keeping in mind. Do you think it's right? Do we need that crushing stick of not getting that thing we want to keep us reaching after the carrot of finally getting it? I know one thing - now that I have the Brewfest Kodo, I never want to see Coren Direbrew again.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Punching the Time-Lost Proto-Drake


In nearly 10 years of playing WoW, this was probably the most bizarre thing I've ever come across. I was on the beta leveling realm and I had just used my wormhole generator to get to Northrend so I could check out something in Dalaran (for a WoW Insider post actually). As I was flying there, I spotted something in the corner of my eye I had never seen before. The Time-Lost Proto-Drake. Alive. Its health was going down really slowly. I flew down to investigate and came upon this extraordinary scene.

A completely naked, level 91 troll warlock punching the Time-Lost Proto-Drake to death. Being Alliance, I couldn't ask this person what the heck they were doing, so I just watched it play out. I felt like it would be wrong to one-shot the drake and stop his strange ritual. This troll really seemed to be enjoying himself. I like to think he was doing it for payback over all the hours he camped it on live servers, but who knows for sure. I just know I'll probably never see anything like it again. After the deed was done (several minutes of punching later), he mounted up on his prize and waved at me. And that was that.

What's the most bizarre thing you've ever happened upon while playing WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Hallow's End

So yeah, the new Hallow's End gives 540 rings and a small chance at a 540 plate helmet and/or 540 sword. I am not ashamed to admit that I really only care about holidays when they have gear upgrades for my alts, and that I have two alts for whom these would indeed be solid upgrades. And so, I actually ran Hallow's End yesterday. Got nothing, of course, but it was still a painless way to drag a couple of alts through some content.

I know people farming for tricky treats to get pets and costumes and achievements, and these are all fine if you're interested in them. I'm not. Sorry, I know I'm a holiday pill. But how about you? Are you enjoying Hallow's End?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Abilities missed and unmissed


Well, you've had almost a week to play around with the new version of your favorite class. Now that it's had a bit of time to settle in, have you come to terms with your less crowded action bars?

As a hunter, the ability I miss most is probably Scatter Shot. It was one of the most iconic hunter abilities and it just feels weird not to have it anymore. I've had several instances lately where I wanted to press it only to be reminded again that it's gone. Second place would be Kill Shot for the survival specialization. I realize all specs had to be trimmed down somewhat, but I personally think they took it one step too far with with survival hunters.

The ability I miss least is probably Serpent Sting. In most cases I would cast it at the beginning of a fight and never bother with it again, which I think made it a prime candidate for pruning. The ability still exists in passive form for survival hunters, but I'm glad it's gone in its old form. Second to that would be Aspect of the Hawk. Remembering to have an arbitrary button toggled on for 20% more damage wasn't exactly compelling gameplay.

What about your class? What do you miss? What don't you miss?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Collection frenzy

There was a really interesting post over on Alternative Chat the other day that got me thinking -- it talked about the Toy Box and a little bit about a curious phenomenon called completion and how it affects players. I have to say I'm one of those players it affects, particularly in the waning days of an expansion cycle when there's little else to do. If you give me a list of things, and I only have part of those things, and there are more of those things to get, I will inevitably go out and try to get them all. Why? I don't know. But if I did, I'd doubtless have the secrets of the universe in my grasp.

The same applies not just to collections, but to things like reputation bars -- if they are not completely filled, I have a curious compulsion to fill them. If I have some kind of progress counter, I need to fill up in the same way. What makes this interesting, as Alternative Chat pointed out, is that it creates a different kind of content, one that maybe isn't for everyone, but it's viable all the same. The Toy Box was created in part as a space saver, to get all those delightful little items out of people's bags and allow Blizzard to freely add more of these kinds of items at their leisure. But hey -- throw a few achievements in the mix, make a pretty UI interface for the thing, and suddenly you have another game of gotta-catch-them-all that will keep people busy for months, maybe even years.

I know I'm not unique in my collecting obsession -- and I know I'm not the only one staring at my Toy Box and mentally checking off items and where to go to get the things to fill the darkened spaces. But I'm curious just how many of us there are out there. Do you like the collecting game? Are you using the Toy Box? Are you finding yourself going out of the way to track down those elusive toys you didn't realize you didn't have? Or are collections, achievement points, reputation bars, and all the rest simply things you don't really pay attention to or care about?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: We meet again, Headless Horseman

Today marks the start of Hallow's End 2014 -- and the start of yet another year of doing the holiday boss in the hopes of finally, at last, getting my hands on those Horseman's Reins. I've been doing this diligently every year since the boss was introduced, although the amount of time I spent farming him went down considerably when they changed it to the satchel system of loot. However, BlizzCon doesn't fall in the middle of the festive proceedings this year, so I'll have an extra day or three to farm. Maybe this will be the year, who knows?

There are very few holidays I actively take part in anymore, but Hallow's End is one of them, just because the quests are fun -- and this year has the added bonus of adding a few toys to the Toybox, holiday items I tossed out in favor of saving bag space. Given everything else that's going on in patch 6.0.2, is Hallow's End something you guys will be doing? Did you get lucky and get the Horseman's mount already, or are you still trying to get it after all these years? Are you going to start your holiday Toybox collecting this year, and squirrel away all the cool holiday items you can get?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Transmog Mania

Patch 6.0.2 has seen me not really focusing so much on the new content as the older content. Even with recent hotfixes to how much damage we do to creatures in older content haven't made me stop, because there's xmog gear locked up in those delicious instances. But now I discover that I can buy pretty much every single piece of Cataclysm tier gear (well, tiers 11 and 12, anyway) from the vendors in Stormwind, and so now I'm broke and running old content in order to get the heroic versions of those items. Le sigh. It's a hard knock life for my poor nelf alt.

So what about you? Spending any time and/or money on transmog this patch? Or is it just me? It's just me, isn't it?
>hr>

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: UBRS, yay or nay?

So far I've had a really frustrating time with the update to UBRS. It's not that it's a bad dungeon in and of itself, but so far nothing has dropped for me, and I spent a lot of time with uneaven groups - one group everyone's in raid gear and blows the place up, next group can barely queue for it and yet insists on pulling like we brought the Avengers in with us, and we all die a lot. The three fights are engaging enough - I really like the callback to the old Rend fight, for example. I wish the Zaela fight had made it to level 90, but I guess you gotta leave something for the future.

So now I ask you, gentle readers - what do you think of UBRS? Is it everything you dreamed, or not quite what you wanted?


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

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