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Blue Posts: Remember that MoP talents are not 100% done {WoW}

Feb 11th 2012 12:42PM I like travelling around the world. I enjoy getting to see the changing landscape and listening to the music. If Pandaria gives us good reasons to spend more time out in the world, I'll be happy. Note, however, I say *good* reasons.

Good reasons to be out in the world:
- The pleasure of variety
- Getting away from other players for a little while
- Fun, unique quests and dailies
- Discovering new and unexpected places, people, and things

Bad reasons to be out in the world:
- Long flights, boat/zeppelin rides, etc. to get to the place I actually want to go
- Getting services I used to be able to get more conveniently in a city
- Getting two or more things I need which belong together but are in different places

What I definitely do *not* want is to have "getting people out in the world" become an excuse for taking away things we have that make it faster and easier to do the fun things in game.

Blue Posts: MoP account-wide achievements, phasing, authenticator troubles, Battle.net Balance {WoW}

Feb 7th 2012 8:38AM "There is plenty of conflict, but a lot of it begins when you arrive"

I'm slightly afraid of what this could mean...

You arrive on the shores of a peaceful, tranquil island. A lone questgiver stands there, offering you the only available quest on the entire continent:

"Hail, bold adventurer! Here, take this incredibly dangerous artifact and do something astonishingly stupid with it! No, you don't have any choice. If you want to progress in this zone, go start a war already!"

The Light and How to Swing It: What happened to encounters that were interesting to tank? {WoW}

Jan 13th 2012 11:15PM The fun of tanking for me has never been about chasing down adds while trying to make sure I stand just at the edge of the mauve circle while just outside the fuschia circle while keeping the boss positioned in the pale aubergine circle facing towards the mage but away from the warlock and hitting my taunt at least three seconds after the flamey-looking debuff drops but before the sparky-looking debuff drops. Any fight that feels like I'm just jumping through the hoops some designer laid out for me bores me.

At the same time, fights in which I have nothing to do but stick to the boss and take punches to the face are also boring. The fights that I enjoy are the ones where I have choices to make-- some choices may be better and others worse, but none absolutely right or wrong. A fight that hands me problems but gives me some leeway in solving them makes me a happy tank.

I haven't seen many of the Firelands or Dragon Soul fights yet. If fewer of them are of the "when X happens, the tank must do Y or the raid will wipe" type, I'm happy to hear it, but now that threat is no longer an issue I'm going to need some new problems to solve.

Sunday Morning Funnies: Back in business {WoW}

Jan 8th 2012 7:12PM Another hooray for the return of Tokkar! We've missed ya, buddy!

Sunday Morning Funnies: Winter cheer {WoW}

Dec 11th 2011 2:32PM Yeah, I usually get the new AFR up on Friday morning. It's just the way the comic fits into my work schedule. I know that usually means it doesn't show up in Sunday
Morning Funnies until the following week, but that's okay with me. Amanda works hard to keep everything up to date and its an honor to be featured here in such excellent company.

Mists of Pandaria talent calculator gets an update {WoW}

Dec 7th 2011 10:23PM Alliance mages have had Teleport: Theramore for years. Horde mages get Teleport: Stonard instead. Nothing new there.

As a primarily Alliance player, though, the idea that there might still be a Theramore to teleport to give me hope.

BlizzCon 2011: Blizzard reveals new talent system {WoW}

Oct 21st 2011 7:41PM Vanilla WoW: "Here's some toys to play with. Go nuts! Pick whatever you want! Oh, you want to make the dinosaur ride the train? Uh, never thought of that. Not sure he'll fit, but whatever makes you happy. It's all good."

Burning Crusade: "Here's some more toys! We totally thought about making the dinosaur ride the train this time and we tried to make it cool, okay? Have fun!"

Wrath of the Litch King: "Have a few more toys. Those kids over there say that only losers make a dinosaur ride a train, but you don't have to listen to them. You just keep doing your crazy dinosaur-on-a-train thing."

Cataclysm: "Dinosaurs and trains? Sorry, you can't do that. You have to choose dinosaurs, or trains, or superheroes. But look, if you choose dinosaurs you get a tyrannosauras and a brontosaurus AND a stegosaurus, right up front! Great, huh? And when you're done picking your dinosaurs, you can choose five or six wooden blocks, whichever ones you want!"

Mists of Pandaria: "Okay, which red block do you want? See, they're different shades of red. No, you can't have more than one. Look, just pick your red block, then I'll show you the blue blocks, okay? Isn't it so much more fun to have these great choices to make?"

Shifting Perspectives: Soloing as a feral cat druid, part 2 {WoW}

Sep 27th 2011 8:18AM One pedantic little nitpick: You exit the Karazhan opera house stage *right*, not stage left. (Stage directions are given from the point of view of the actor looking out at the audience.) I only mention it because the door that opens up stage right after you down the event may not be obvious to someone who hasn't been there before and Karazhan is an easy place to get lost in.
This completes the nitpick. We now return you to the regularly scheduled awesome that this column is.

Dev Watercooler: Cataclysm talent tree post-mortem {WoW}

Jun 1st 2011 12:45PM I'm one of those odd players who misses hybrid specs.

Back in late Wrath I was healing on my priest with a hybrid discipline/holy spec. I spent many happy hours tweaking and refining that spec. I ended up skipping some of the big flashy talents in favor of the more rudimentary improvements to the spells that I used the most. I liked the fact that the talent system let me be good at what I, with my gear and my play style, wanted to do. That's what I miss most from the way talents used to be: the ability to choose how I wanted my character to work for the things I wanted to do with him, regardless of whether some designer would consider it a "competitive" spec.

Having played with the Cataclysm talent system for a while now I think it's a terrific piece of design work. I appreciate the flow and synergy of the new system very much. Despite my nostalgia, I wouldn't want to go back to the way talents were before, but I do wish there were a way to recapture the wide open choices that made hybrid specs possible. I wish there were some way talents could keep all the good design of Cataclysm and yet feel a little more like a blank sheet of paper and a little less like a coloring book.