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Aiding the Alliance: Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage {WoW}

Dec 23rd 2011 1:15AM As much as I'd like to see Tyrande become a better WoW character, I can't help but look elsewhere to find other good night elf characters. I feel like besides lacking many good strong leaders, they also have a distinctive lack of military presence with the loss of Bolvar in Wrath. The closest thing we had in Cata was Matthias Shaw in Twilight Highlands, and he's really too subtle (still cool though.) I'd love to see Shandris Feathermoon stand up as a major Alliance military leader, especially with what's gone on in Feralas and Ashenvale. She doesn't have a whole lot of baggage, but a long history with the game. She's already really highly ranked and very capable, but little used. Of all the Alliance characters, she seems best suited for launching a counter attack, and could potentially hit back in Horde realms. Also, it would be cool to have a main Alliance hunter, and she roughly analagous to that.

12 Days of Winter Veil Giveaway: FigurePrint Statue {WoW}

Dec 19th 2011 9:24PM SO COOL! I love 3D printing, and I love WoW. Great combination.

Ghostcrawler on the philosophy behind the Mists of Pandaria talent trees {WoW}

Dec 8th 2011 6:29PM I find the point about mages to be fairly stupid. Each mage spec had its own spells that were optimal the vast majority of the time. Frost mages should not use arcane blast or fireball. You still get frostfire bolt that offers some slow effects, and frost mages get the slightly better frost bolt, fire mages get a better damaging fireball, arcane mages get the better arcane blast. Fire mages still get cone of cold and frost nova, frost mages still get fire blast, etc.

As far as I can tell, very little about a mage's rotation will change. Similarly for healing classes losing damage spells and vice versa, again I do no think this makes as much of a difference as you really think. The majority of the time, if you need to spec into healing, you need to heal all the time, and damage spells are generally a waste. With talents becoming easier to redo in Mists, and the already easy ability to dual-spec, every class can have a damaging type spec and a healing or tanking spec. Hybrids haven't been viable in years, and I think they overly complicate the game.

So overall, I can't help that Drakkenfyre overemphasizes negative elements of the Mists changes that really do not have a huge impact on the game. Really, how many arcane or frost mages are going to lose sleep over no longer having fireball?

On another subject, I don't think cookie cutter specs will truly vanish. It's often not a matter of the mechanics, but rather the players who go through contortions in their talents to get even a few extra dps. It's about psychology as much as game mechanics, if not more. They will do the same in Mists, regardless of its validity. Some talents will be better than others (as a hunter, readiness is pretty much on every list for specs to get. But I think it's still a good idea to have it on talents, so that other specs have access to it.)

But I think GC is right in that cookie cutters will matter much less in Mists. You just cannot quantify speed boosts, self heals, traps, or snares as much as the pure dps upgrades you saw with old talents.

I think this is an excellent post in GC, most of all because it goes to greater depth for reasons why this change is good, moving past the tired, inaccurate "# of choices" or "cookie cutter specs" arguments. There are many more benefits than I am excited for, and other players should be excited too.

5 reasons you should love Cataclysm {WoW}

Nov 22nd 2011 1:37AM I wouldn't mind seeing another flight-limited (or just plain mount-limited) main hub for alliance and horde (each, since it sounds like it will be split) to avoid the blocking problem. It can get a bit annoying. Dalaran was always my favorite city, despite being small and laggy, because it seemed to have a lot more character to me than any other city.

5 reasons you should love Cataclysm {WoW}

Nov 22nd 2011 1:33AM I both agree and disagree. I agree that, in regards to new content, it's better for players to explore on foot, get a feel for the land, etc. And Blizzard obviously agrees, seeing that there will be no flying in Pandaria until level 90. This worked pretty well in Wrath and TBC too, so I think Blizzard understood this more often than not.

On the other hand, if I had to walk from the portal at the top of Mt. Hyjal from Stormwind to the Molten Front portal every day, I'd lose my mind.

Keep in mind that people never lost the ability to walk in the world, and enjoy it. I often enjoy strolling around the cities, as much as I love flying to new places (one of the first things I did when I had old world flying was fly from sea level to the top of Teldrassil. I also like to ride on top of Orgrimmar zepplins as Alliance, get great free rides.)

So if people want to explore the world on foot, they always can. But most don't. Why? Because efficiency often trumps experience, especially when you've already experienced the content before.

I also agree that flying can make for great zones. My personal favorite was Storm Peaks in Wrath: to me, this zone set a new bar for awesome, unique experiences, and I will never forget leveling in that zone (besides the fact it's where I first hit 80.) The vertical immensity, and the scale of the zone really seemed to be the first full zone that really took advantage of flying. I'd love to see more gameplay elements designed with flying in mind, like the flying gunships from Icecrown, as a few additional bonuses only found by flying (like the doomed explorer's league adventurer on top of Ironforge... you'll see what I mean.) I'd love it if, in Pandaria's Kun Lai Summit, we see a few mountain top pagoda's or some cave with a zen master in it only accessible by flying. Stereotypical, I know, but come on, indulge me.

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Infinite Paths and the rise of Murozond {WoW}

Nov 17th 2011 11:46PM Nozdormu
Murozond

Why hadn't I noticed that before?

Scattered Shots: Patch 4.3 hunter gear {WoW}

Nov 10th 2011 10:52AM Also, the Ruinblaster looks amazing, a lot better than the other two. Glad I'm a dwarf.

5 reasons you should love The Burning Crusade {WoW}

Nov 8th 2011 7:34PM I loved TBC, but in hindsight I think the story was not its strongest point. I think it suffered from having too many distinct villains, each in there own very self-contained zones. Unlike in Northrend, where most of the problems are caused by the Scourge and therefore creating a strong narrative link between zones, or in Cataclysm where we follow Deathwing's path of destruction, I think that TBC featured too little of Illidan, who was really the glue that held the whole story together. Without Illidan, the Blood Elves, the Fel Orcs, and the Naga are all just random factions that do their own thing in their own zones and rarely have a presence elsewhere. Some zones, like Nagrand, Terrokar, or Blades Edge didn't really have much of a lore effect in the first place, or one that at least for me didn't stand out very well (this was a long time ago, though.)

Even classic WoW had some great interzone stories, like Humans and the Defias or the Blackrock orcs, or Onyxia, while the Dwarfs had an unraveling of the Dark Iron conspiracy leading to the unveiling of Ragnaros. Similarly, I liked how in Wrath we know nothing about Yogg-Saron at first, but questlines in Howling Fjord, the Grizzly Hills, and Stormpeaks gave us tantalizing clues leading up to the large discovery.

I could see Pandaria resembling the Classic WoW progression in a way, for the most part our journey is motivated by exploration rather than pursuing a villain, but we will likely uncover components of a larger conspiracy (much like for Yogg-Saron and Ulduar) which we eventually will have to challenge. It also would not be surprising if it happens to be an old god.

Overall though, I think of TBC like almost every other addition to WoW: a valuable part of a progression in design that introduced many great new things, but also could and was improved upon in subsequent expansions.

GuildOx shares the most popular Alliance and Horde names by race, page 2 {WoW}

Nov 7th 2011 7:26PM I threw up in my mouth a little while reading this.

Scattered Shots: Scatter-trapping with grace and ease {WoW}

Nov 6th 2011 12:38PM Twinking has almost always been the realm of overpowered classes and sadistic, over-geared players. Cataclysm certainly hasn't helped at all with how low-level pvp works, but that's because it's not really a viable area of content. Blizzard has a hard enough time keeping 85 pvp and pve balanced, let alone worrying about the other 84 levels that are completely optional.

You want to beat up on hunters? Level up that mage or that rogue. You want to complain about PvP? Actually experience real PvP. Until you know what you're talking about, it's better both for you and for us that you just sit down and stop embarrassing yourself.

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