Apr 4th 2012 10:04AM WoW offers me many joys during my gameplay, but let me cite three situations that exemplify some of the best experiences you can have.
Downing Madness for the first time: It's a grueling 15 minute fight that stresses your dps, heals, tanks, and attention span. I am of the opinion that the fight is a little light on mechanics and and long on time - but it definitely wasn't on difficult the first time my guild cleared it. Our first kill we had several die in the last push on the last platform, and getting through by the skin of our teeth for our first kill was a joyous occasion we got to celebrate as a group.
Finding a rare spawn/drop and completing a grind: I group these together because hunting a rare item or mob is its own grind. Hunters know this joy when they find Loque or Skoll. I recently camped Jadefang and got my Tiny Shale Spider. There's nothing quite like the pure RUSH you get when you see THAT ITEM/MOB you've been hunting for.
Being a force in PvP: You will never feel as powerful in this game as you will feel when you are able to charge into a contested PvP objective and turn the tide of a fight. Holding your own in a tense scrap while using your entire arsenal of abilities is exhilarating in a way that nothing else in the game is.
One thing I would remind PvE folks who, like me, were put off by the steep climb up the Resil ladder - You can convert 1000 valor a week into conquest, and unlimited justice to honor (at 375:250). You don't have to start from 0 resil (and, in my opinion, definitely shouldn't) - the 377 crafted PvP gear is a great starting point, and with some Valor/Justice conversions you can easily be around 3000 resil before you ever step into the shark tank.
And I can't encourage you to do it enough. It's tons of fun, hugely challenging, very rewarding, and utterly addicting. And the gear looks awesome.
Apr 2nd 2012 5:27PM The psychology of a "main" neve ceases to be a fascinating topic.
You can't even pin down a definition of it, it's a combination of any number of factors that changes with every player.
My main is a lot of things; he was my first character to 85, is my only character to raid, my highest-geared (pve) character. He has far and away the most playtime. And yet that doesn't quite do it justice. He's my MAIN character.
If my roster of alts were an army, he would command them. He holds the lion's share of the gold. His achievements are the ones that matter. He is the pet and mount collector - I take pride in getting each of the rest my characters a pet and mount that "fits" them, while my main pursues Mountain O' Mounts and Littlest Pet Shop.
Class and Race factor into it too. His identity - a draenei shaman - has become my WoW identity. If I were a roleplayer and RP'ed all my alts, his would be the personality I'd most identify with (unlike my human mage, who is an incorrigible braggart who likes showing off his abs - http://ow.ly/a2hY4 )
Interestingly enough, gameplay is among the least of factors that I think make my main my main. I love playing shaman, and it IS my favorite class - but I like playing just about every class.
Anne seems to be taking the idea of a main from more of the perspective of a "one character" player. This is rather fundamentally different than what I, as an altoholic, think about. The choice of "who is my main" is more of a practical decision for Anne, who does she spend her (potentially limited) playtime on.
If I fall in love with Monk I'll play my fat pandaren as much as I please - but I can't picture ever taking the ambiguous title of "main" from my shaman.
Apr 2nd 2012 11:12AM Ok look. We, the stoic and thoroughly enviable Draenei sided with you Alliance guys for a few simple reasons.
1. We crashed right beside the Night Elves. Didn't seem like a good idea to disagree with them politically while we were asking for their AAA card.
2. You told us we could kill Orcs. We're not big fans of orcs. Something about them wiping out most of our people. And while I can't put my finger on why exactly, looking at Blood Elves' smirking faces makes us want to put a hoof in their chest.
3. You paid us handsomely for our shamanistic services, with a bonus for teaching the drunkards how to do it. Crystal Engine repairs are expensive.
4. You looked like you needed help in arm-wrestling competitions. And impromptu dance-offs http://ow.ly/a1D7h
So plot your plots and play your little games, Alliance and Horde. Because as soon as we get this last freaking crystal spark plug shipped to us, we're flying straight to Pandaria and getting this Third Faction pact rolling. Maybe we'll invite the goblins, they look like they know a good deal when they see it.
Mar 22nd 2012 1:23PM Stats? What they DO? Get to the important stuff! Will they be a subtler, more appealing visual than Landslider and *retch* Power Torrent? Of course, if you give us the ability to mog enchants (or cut their visual off), it will be a moot point.
Windwalk is a good looking effect. Heartsong is a good looking effect. Mending is a good looking effect. Rune of the Fallen Crusader is a good effect. More of these.
Feb 23rd 2012 10:26AM My favorite game of all time is, and always will be, Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber.
I haven't owned a portable gaming device since GameBoy Advanced, and I don't plan on starting again now - but I wholeheartedly encourage everyone who does to play Tactics Ogre.
Feb 15th 2012 11:26AM If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
Feb 14th 2012 3:21PM I would absolutely love to see more class-based lore and identity development. Sure, my main is a citizen of Azeroth. Sure, he's a member of the Alliance. He is also proud to be draenei. But above all, he is a SHAMAN.
What I would love is to see quest lines for every class - not little side quests every 30 levels, but big lore-heavy quest lines. A chance to familiarize players with the icons of their class, a chance to feel connected to other members of that class.
I know there are issues with this - Horde vs. Alliance of the same class (hard to promote shaman pride when half the shaman want to kill the other half), splitting lore into 10 lines, so on and so forth. Definitely something I'm going to put some more thought into.
Feb 14th 2012 3:00PM I write blogs as part of my job too, Joe. I know a "I don't have a good topic this week" post when I see one ;) It's ok - lot of this article theme has been going around the site last few weeks. Gotta write something, amirite?
Anyway, some of the other commenters have touched on this, and I think it would make a great topic (though RaidRx has probably already covered it) - raid buffs.
My core group is buff-rich, so we have to work to not overlap. Most everything I'd normally throw down - stoneskin, flametounge, healing stream glyphed with resistance - we have covered between our 2 pallies, enhance shammy, and mage. My only essential totem raid buff-wise is Wrath of Air (and Mana Stream). This leaves me free to throw down searing/flame ele for an extra little dps bump, earth elemental, and glyphed stoneclaw for an extra personal shield.
I'd love to see an aggregate post of all raid buffs and how they can be provided. I know what the buffs are, but I'm not sure I know all the ways to get them. Actually, this must already exist on the site somewhere. Off to find it.
Feb 10th 2012 10:05AM I do like finding nice little hidden camps - but I also like taking stock of the towns I go through as I quest and thinking where might my current character like to make his home if he settled down.
My draenei shaman main will head to Telaar, where he will enter negotiations to buy the nearby Abandoned Armory from Nitrin the Learned and turn that into a lovely house.
My human mage, meanwhile, plans to had to the Allerian Stronghold in nearby Terokkar Forest, where he will work with Aeman Brightsong to open a decent bar (since he seems to be the only guy in the city with a good alcohol connection). It'll be a total chick magnet, because we'll have Fabian Lanzonelli http://www.wowwiki.com/Fabian_Lanzonelli hanging out in there every night. Plus, there will be pink elephants everywhere.
And, last but not least, my dwarf death knight will head to Voldrune where he will live amongst Torvald Eriksson and the vrykul. There he will sate his bloodlust by regularly wailing on the Venture Co goblins and, of course, getting in bare-knuckle scraps with local wolvar.
Feb 9th 2012 2:02PM "So you gave up the best money-making profession for the worst.... because you wanted a robotic Butler and some occasionally working speed boosts?"
Sure did! Portable mailbox, bank, repair, a safe fall, *usually* working speed boosts ;) and the rest was worth more to me than whatever gold making potential inscription had.