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Patch 4.3 PTR: Inactive guild leader replacement {WoW}

Sep 30th 2011 6:14PM Not fond of this, at least not in its current implementation. There should at least be a condition that the guild is level 3 or above, so it can't be disbanded by the person taking over.

I have a bank alt guild that I share with some friends and friends-of-friends (I set an extra tab or two aside for them), but I've been out of the game for several months and don't want someone to take over my bank in case I eventually return. Under the new system I'd remove them, of course, but I don't see why I should have to pay a month's subscription to safeguard my gbank if I don't wish to go back to playing the game right away when 4.3 hits. (Yes, they're people I know and I can instruct them through other means to not take over the guild. But what if they get hacked?)

I can see why this feature will be a boon to active guilds that suddenly find themselves paralyzed, but the guild system is used for a wide variety of purposes and many of these could be in jeopardy. To be on the safe side, the status quo seems fine, if admittedly bureaucratic.

Breakfast Topic: Will you quit with a bang or fade away? {WoW}

Aug 7th 2011 2:56PM I faded months ago, though I did cash in on Blizzard's 7-free-day offer for lapsed subscribers to do some low-level questing through Cataclysm content I never saw. Although I tidied my belongings beforehand, clearing my mail and giving my unsold crated goods to a relative, I never thought of leaving the game as quitting. Rather, it was one of many, many breaks between subscription periods, only I began to take pride in extending the break for as long as I could until I didn't really think about the game so far.

I appreciate the higher difficulty of Cataclysm raids, but I decided way back in ICC that if it ever came down to a choice between a) leaving the mid-level guild I'd been with for two years to play with more skilled people and see more content and b) quitting the raiding game and doing better things with my time, I'd do the latter. So when my guild started spinning its wheels and raids became a matter of crossing my fingers that others wouldn't screw up—the point at which a raider would usually start thinking about hopping guilds—I slowly withdrew instead.

It helped, too, that I was never a player who was motivated by loot, and who never felt the obligation to do dailies or fill badge quotas. I've only ever been motivated by the pleasure of the activity itself, and even though I found all sorts of neat creative projects to do with my WoW time, other games were more rewarding. (Namely, StarCraft II. In the end, there's no escaping Blizzard.)

Psychologically I still don't think of quitting as quitting. That's just asking for withdrawal. I take indefinite breaks because I want to, not because I have to force myself.

15 Minutes of Fame: Players bring touchscreen WoW to the iPad {WoW}

Nov 24th 2010 7:44PM A quick clarification: you could always set up your WoW computer as a server, too, and connect to it away from home via your external IP address - but over the open Internet, I'm guessing that network issues would likely get in the way. There would be latency between your iPad and the computer on top of the latency between your computer and Blizzard's rickety servers.

15 Minutes of Fame: Players bring touchscreen WoW to the iPad {WoW}

Nov 24th 2010 7:41PM For those of you wondering how this works: WoW itself isn't actually running on the iPad, which doesn't have nearly enough horsepower for 3D games. WoW runs on your computer (or any computer that you can connect to over a fast Wi-Fi connection), and if I understand it correctly, the point of the everyAir app is to turn your mobile device into a secondary monitor with a few touch-control enhancements to substitute for a mouse. On your computer running WoW, you would also need to set up a touch-friendly UI. (I wonder how text input, like in the chat box, is handled - presumably by popping up the keyboard in iOS?)

Performance is going to depend very heavily on the quality of your wireless network at home, and you definitely won't be able to take your iPad anywhere and play WoW on the go. That's not really the point, of course; the idea is that you can play on the couch by the fireplace instead of sitting at your desk. Network issues aside, it's still a serious accomplishment to smoothly stream video output from a computer to an iPad or iPhone, and I commend these guys for their work.

The Queue: Getting ready for heroics edition {WoW}

Sep 23rd 2010 12:28AM Question: With WotLK Emblems and Stone Keeper's Shards converting to gold and honor, can the old 1-80 heirlooms in WotLK still be purchased in Cataclysm? If so, what currency will they require?

As someone who doesn't have a problem with existing heirlooms ceasing to work at level 80, I may potentially wish to have the 1-80 heirlooms instead of new 1-85 ones if I have to purchase the latter with new currency I'd rather spend on PVE/PVP gear. I'm wondering if I should stock up on them now, or if it's safe to wait.

"Return to Graveyard" button appears in latest Cataclysm beta build {WoW}

Sep 19th 2010 5:41AM I've always thought that your transportation in the spirit world should scale with your mount training, at least.

Hey, maybe groups splitting up after a Maraudon wipe because everybody got lost on the way back will be marginally less intolerable now.

15 Minutes of Fame: Film pros shoot raiding lifestyle documentary {WoW}

Jun 8th 2010 6:53PM I am really glad that the raiding culture is finally being documented in a way that is easily presentable to a non-game-playing public. The problem that I see in WoW-related journalism, which is almost always about a) addiction, b) gold farmers, or c) the epidemiology of plague debuffs and zombie attacks, is that the usual clichés about people escaping into their fantasy avatars completely fail to capture what it is that makes WoW players stay in the game and plan their lives around it.

Most people are familiar with social hobbies that are more or less PVP - community sports, board game tournaments and clubs, and so on - but raiding is unique in being a PVE activity with hard incentives for social cohesion. Until that side of the story is understood, the media and the public will continue to propagate the canard that people pay $15 a month and schedule dozens of hours a week for WoW because "Oh, they'd rather pretend to be elves than live in the real world." It's a lot more complicated than that. I'm preaching to the choir by saying this here, but raiding is a real-world commitment to a team-based problem-solving exercise.

As for us hopeless cases who aren't deep in ICC hard modes, I think we're all looking forward to seeing a slice of how the best raiders roll.

Not all fights require a hard mode {WoW}

May 15th 2010 7:03PM I have to agree that Blizzard's decision to move away from Ulduar-style hard modes was a mistake. For a fight like Flame Leviathan, where surprisingly many people were initially confused about which NPC to talk to or whether hard mode was four towers up or four towers down, I can see why the toggle would come off as unclear.

But for the most part, Blizzard designs so much in the game on the assumption that players are going to read about it on Wowhead or discuss it on their own time that "push the red button" or "don't kill the Elders before Freya" or "kill Steelbreaker last" are perfectly reasonable ways to introduce some variety... especially when the activation instructions are right there in the text of the achievements! Even Algalon had the benefit of quest text in a quest chain for assembling the key (and it's not like anyone with the means or intention to kill Algalon didn't already know all about activating him from Blizzard's own forum posts).

I sorely miss the Ulduar design, where hard modes were based on mechanics that couldn't be trivially outgeared. This is still the case for some of the fights in ICC, of course, but for the other ones, the Glory of the Icecrown Raider achievements already suffice.

Blizzard's zombie survival guide {WoW}

May 12th 2010 7:37PM That's what she said?

Win a copy of "The Guild Leader's Handbook" by Scott Andrews {WoW}

May 11th 2010 6:53PM Sure, why not. Books are fun.