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Filed under: WoW, Casually

Scattered Shots: Running solo with Tenacity

Good day folks and welcome to Scattered Shots. The column that take a good look at what it takes to be a Hunter in the World of Warcraft. I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from the Hunting Lodge. This week we'll be discussing the best pets to use while playing solo. So grab your traps, check your ammo and let's go Hunting!

For the last couple of weeks I have been going over raiding specs. First, we reviewed the suggested specs for each all the Hunter talent trees. And last week we discussed how to spec Ferocity pets to partner with you as you raid and down bosses.

But we all know that there is much more to World of Warcraft than just running round min/maxing your character with best in slot items and downing bosses. For example, what do you do when you are out there leveling content? How about some way to take on multiple mobs at a time as you grind through for those twelve dozen Murloc eyes or maybe you are farming Arctic Fur for that Death-warmed Belt.

So I thought this week it might be a good idea to look at our options, and pick out some pets that would make really great companions when out farming and playing solo. Let's get started by taking a look at what are Tenacity Pets and how we can use them.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Guides, Classes, Talents, WoW, Casually, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

WoW, Casually: Playing with your preschooler


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

In the comments for Drama Mamas, Orkchop asked about tips for playing WoW with his 3 year old daughter. Since, as he put it, this is more of a Mama question than a drama question and I also have a 3 year old daughter, I thought I'd create a guide for playing WoW with preschoolers. Parents have limited playtime due to their family priorities -- not necessarily because they don't want to play as much as the more hardcore players. So mixing parental duties and leisure time is efficient as well as rewarding.

The question some of you may ask is, "Should children that young play video games?" And the answer is not just "yes", but "Yes!" At the beginning of this year, I spent some time working with getting my daughter comfortable with the computer, concentrating on mouse manipulation and keyboard movement while playing many of the free preschool-age video games out there. Within a week, she was reading words like "Play" and "Skip" and navigating through Nick Jr.'s site to her favorite radio station, which she listens to while playing with her toys. The freely available games on sites like PBS Kids have really improved many of her developmental skill sets and her computer skills are now better than most of her grandparents'. Of course, now I'm having to closely monitor her computing time, lest I be subjected to fart videos from YouTube... again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: Making the most of holidays


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Holidays are for all players, of course, but I think they are particularly appropriate for players with limited playtime. Sure, there are often raiding quests or achievements that we can't complete, but overall, the activities seem to be designed for casual gameplay. For the most part, I think I'm preaching to the choir, here. But every once in a while, I read comments from people who just don't get holidays and avoid them completely. So here is my sales pitch about why every casual player should give each holiday a try.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: What Patch 3.2 means for casuals


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Oh my. All of this Patch 3.2 stuff is a bit overwhelming. We'll go over the changes that affect most casual players here, but there is still a lot of info that I won't cover. Many class changes are on the way, as well as a series of Q&As that Blizzard is releasing periodically. Also, the professions are getting some attention. So keep an eye on our Guide to Patch 3.2 for the latest changes that are specific to your character choices. Here is an analysis of the changes that affect most players with limited playtime:

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: Tips for leveling on a PvP realm


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

I have played on a PvP server for years, so I can tell you with authority that I cannot recommend choosing a PvP realm if you have limited playtime. PvE servers have it so much easier as far as questing solo in contested territories. I can only imagine how much easier it would be to quest in zones like Hillsbrad Foothills and Stranglethorn Vale without the fear of being ganked every few minutes. And as you can see above, my time in Borean Tundra hasn't been exactly gank-free.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, PvP, Leveling, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: What is casual?


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Turtlehead wrote in wanting to know "what the heck casual is." This is a good question, but the answer seems to change according to the context. I learned long ago to explain how I'm defining casual for a particular article, or else face the wrath of my readers. When I write Wow, Casually, I define casual as a player with limited playtime and address my content accordingly. But there are many other kinds of players that could be called casual and we use the word to describe any or all of them. So, is it possible to define the word to please everybody? Probably not, but I'm going to try.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: Rating the classes for casuals


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Hello, my name is Robin and I'm an altaholic. I'm not here to try to stop, however. I find it a lot of fun and playing games is all about fun. But it has prevented me from experiencing the endgame content when everyone is excited about it, rather than just spinning their wheels waiting for the next expansion. So, now I want to choose which alt to take to the end. But which one will be easy for leveling and still be valuable in groups when I reach the endgame?

In my experience, the best class to play as a casual player is one that is easily soloable, with little downtime, but also able to find groups quickly when necessary, particularly at max level. Following is how I rate each class according to those criteria.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Classes, Death Knight, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: Guide to the latest features


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Before Patch 3.1 hit the live servers, I wrote about the changes that would be coming for those of us with limited playtime. Now that we've had the patch and some fixes and more fixes and yet even more fixes, let's talk a bit about what actually happened and how best to take advantage of the features for casual players.

First of all, the Gear Manager did not make it into Patch 3.1 or 3.1.1. Hopefully when it does, it will allow for automatic equipment switching when changing forms/specs. With Outfitter being developed again and with other options available, there is no reason to include this feature until they get it right.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: Leveling gear (Reader Mail)

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Jason writes in about leveling gear for the playtime-challenged:

Hello,

As a casual
WoW player, I find myself completely overwhelmed when it comes to getting gear for my Paladin. I keep hearing about greens, blues, purples...how certain equipment can get you laughed out of guilds. I'm level 55 and have never gone on a raid, and honestly never intend to. How can the average casual gamer know what equipment to pursue, though? Logically, the best stuff would come from the end-game content, but since most casual gamers don't head in that direction, it can be very intimidating to figure out what "good" gear really is.

Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

- Jason


There really is a huge difference between gear required for leveling and gear required for raiding, heroic instances or hardcore PvP. You absolutely do not have to be a gear expert until you want to participate in endgame instances, so don't get too stressed out about it. Following is a guide for collecting the best gear while casually leveling your character -- or as in my case, characters.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: Finding the right casual guild (Reader Mail)

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Marty wrote in earlier this month about a common occurrence among casual players: finding yourself guildless.

This morning I woke up and jumped on WoW to work the Auction house and found a letter from my Guild Master saying he has closed the Guild and moved on because the guild wasn't progressing the way he wanted. This was very surprising for me for many reasons. Primarily because I was a "Co-Leader" of the guild and had no idea this was coming, but also because for the 1.5 years the guild had been around we were really just Casual.... no expectations just basically a "Helping/Social" guild members out doing various activities and running instances together if we had enough people on... or if we didn't have enough we simply filled the holes with LFM on the channels. We never really ran any Sunwell Content in the BC days, and just recently started giving the WoTLK instances a shot on Heroic and I think we were doing alright with them! We wiped from time to time but tackled pretty much all of them..

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: What 3.1 means for casual players


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

As you are no doubt aware, content patch 3.1 is being tested on the PTR. There is the new dungeon of Ulduar, which really isn't going to affect most casual players for a while. And there is a long list of class changes that are ever evolving and that you can check our 3.1 Guide for the latest about your favorite class(es). Professions are getting some balancing, so keep an eye out for what's going on there as well. Players with limited playtime should also be aware of new features and functionality that will affect your daily play sessions, regardless of class or profession. Following is a list of what I think is most interesting for the casual player.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: How to choose your casual addons


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Raiders have a long list of addons that they are required or at least encouraged to have in order to participate in raids. But casual players who are still leveling -- perhaps on multiple alts -- don't need to know threat levels, nor are we likely to encounter a mob that can shift polarity or do anything else we need to be warned about. We also don't tend to have max spec systems that allow us to get frivolous with our UIs. There are a lot of addons out there, however, that can make casual play a lot more convenient. Following is a guide for choosing addons to enhance your WoW sessions.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Guides, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: Tips for keeping your account safe

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Amaxe suggested in the comments of a previous column that I cover addons for casuals, which I think is a great idea. But that will have to wait until next week, because I think that we should first make sure that you all practice safe internet use before sending you off to find addons. There are different security camps that always argue in the comments about what operating systems, browsers and browser addons are best for keeping your computer secure, but I'm going to keep this very simple and assume that you are not willing to run out and buy a new computer with an unfamiliar operating system. Here are some tips for making your account more secure.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guides, WoW, Casually, Account Security

WoW, Casually: A casual guide to the Lunar Festival


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

When I did my recap for last year, I listed events as the 4th top casual improvement for 2008. Some commenters didn't understand why events are good for casual players. I think that most of the in-game holidays are, in fact, great opportunities for casuals to enhance their characters and see the world. The Lunar Festival is a very useful event, particularly if you are an altaholic, like me. Following are some tips for getting the most out of the Lunar Festival.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Guides, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: Returning to WoW as a casual (Reader Mail)

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

John writes in on a topic that I think a lot of people can relate to. Wrath of the Lich King brought you back to the game, but now what?

Hi Robin,
I'm really enjoying your column and wanted to give you an idea for a future article. Right now I'm a casual gamer who's on the fence about coming back to WoW thanks to WotLK. I quit WoW soon after the last expansion because I was tired of the constant raid grind, gear treadmill, and a PVP system that only rewarded people with 40+ hours to play a week (the dreaded honor/rank system). And this was back at a time when I wasn't a dad or was doing my career grind. So long story short, I have no idea where to start as a casual.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW, Casually

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