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Posts with tag BreakfastTopic

Breakfast Topic: What are the telling details you love in the game?

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I wasn't sold on the Bilgewater Goblins initially. When they and the worgen were announced in the run-up to Cataclysm, I had to wonder if there was any compelling reason to play what felt like a green gnome over a badass werewolf. (Yes, I was young and foolish in those days.) That changed quickly when I hit the beta and found them to be a hopelessly endearing race despite (or perhaps because of) their fairly amoral approach to life. I loved the little details in their towns, from the empty Chinese take-out boxes scattered around their inns to the little dinghies that fly underpants in place of flags.

Credit where credit's due -- most of this is the work of the Blizzard props team. These folks are also the reasons that Gilneas is so magnificently creepy, with its creaky windows, flapping sheets, and papers drifting across lonely towns. What little details do you particularly enjoy about the race you play as a main?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What keeps you playing?

Fail Squad
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I've known people who played this game for many reasons. Some were in it just to kill time, some wanted to get the best gear, and many wanted to beat the game in the manner of their choice. Ultimately, for those of us who have stuck around for more than a content cycle, there's something that keeps us here rather than moving on to the next flavor of the month game.

The reason I play this game isn't really for the raiding or the prestige, and it sure isn't for the gear. In the end, I'm playing this game because I've got a good group of friends who play with me. There are about 22 of us, and while there are only 15 or so playing at any given time, it's made raiding a ton of fun and recruiting this expansion a breeze. When someone needs some time away from the game, another friend is coming back and looking to raid. While it took me about a year to cultivate all these friendships, it's paid off well in Cataclysm. I don't think I'd still be playing if it weren't for them. Thank you, guys and gals.

So what keeps you logging on? What drives you in this game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What do you want from 5-man content?

Dungeon Finder
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

A good amount of the WoW population spends the majority of its endgame time in 5-man dungeons. Blizzard is acutely aware of this, and it's striven to make new and engaging 5-mans. The 5-mans were more or less left alone in The Burning Crusade, with only one new dungeon during the entire tier, and the only major innovation was the wave system used in Opening the Dark Portal, which was later mimicked in Violet Hold and The Culling of Stratholme. In Wrath, Blizzard released four new dungeons over the course of the expansion and added in vehicle-based encounters in Trial of the Champion and the Oculus (which thankfully haven't been reproduced anywhere else yet). During Cataclysm, Blizzard has already released two new instances and announced plans for three more in the upcoming 4.3 patch. It's added interactive environments, randomized bosses, and some of the most complex 5-man encounters to date.

So what is Blizzard going to add next? Since Wrath, new raid tiers are accompanied by new raid meta-achievement mounts. While raid encounters are unquestionably more difficult, it'd be a nice nod to the players who can't raid for some reason or another to have a new mount to aspire to in 5-man content. A new Glory of the Hero mount for each tier of 5-mans that come out would be a good touch and a way to make 5-man content feel a little bit more connected to the storyline. Blizzard already implemented nine achievements tied to Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub, so tying them into a meta wouldn't be much of an issue.

What would you like to see in the future of 5 man content?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: How do you make your characters?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I like to consider making characters a bit of an art. My girlfriend's brother just chooses a class/race he doesn't have an alt of, hits the random appearance button, and then gives himself a name based on obscure foods or food companies. Her sister ... let's just say she could spend the whole day making her characters. My girlfriend seems to start out with a general popular character in mind and then twists it where she needs differences (or where the game forces imperfections of that character).

I'm a former roleplayer, but I'm also team oriented ... mainly for PUGs. For example, my current main is a DK I made when WotLK launched. I liked the idea of the class, I loved Death Grip, and I wanted to play a needed class without the option of a possible healer spec. (I've been a healer for years, so I feel like I've earned retirement.) Based on the character skills and theme, I chose the name of a well known nomadic warrior, but shortened his name tremendously because I love having a name that's easy to type.

For his appearance, I looked at what other people did, and tried to steer clear of a few things, like popular skin options. I love having beards (mainly because my beard in real life always develops a cowlick when it reaches epic lengths), but once in awhile I can make a feminine looking character without actually rolling a lady. I'm fickle that way.

So how do you come up with your characters? Do you randomize? Pick names based on Street Fighter characters? Or just go with the flavor of the month?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW Insider? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions, and be sure to sign up for Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider. The next byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: The best class choice for new players

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

I'm living a dream that many guys out there have: My girlfriend is actively learning how to play World of Warcraft and is enjoying it. After a couple of false starts, she finally found a class that suited her.

First, she tried a warlock. Too many things to remember. Keeping DoTs up, keeping up with soul shards and collecting them, keeping tabs on her demon in battle. It was too much for her.

She tried a hunter. Taming her own pet was cool at first, but then she had to feed it and manage it in dungeons. Throw Feign Death, Deterrence and Disengage into the mix, and it was not her cup of tea. She's flying back 10 yards into other packs of mobs and feigning death every time the cooldown is up because she's afraid of the tank yelling at her for "doing the aggro thing." I was dismayed that a hunter didn't work out, because I always deemed it the default starter class for new players. At least it was for me.

Then came the paladin. Oh, blessed paladin, how she loves thee. At first, all she had to do was run up to the mob and hit it with Judgement of Light. The only "tricky" thing I had to teach her was when the Judgement of Light button was dark and wouldn't let her use it, it meant she needed to apply her Seal of Righteousness again. I even put the Seal right above the Judgement so she wouldn't forget. She was actually having pure joy with her new class. She didn't wonder if she was doing it right. She didn't worry about forgetting something. Just kill, kill, kill and love every second of it.

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Filed under: Paladin, Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What not to do before Cataclysm

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

We're all getting ready for Deathwing and his sundering of the world by raiding the last few bosses of ICC, jumping into the Ruby Sanctum and beating it until it turns into a broken loot box, and leveling our alts. I, for one, have been focusing on the latter. My 80s are geared appropriately for the level 80-85 zones that are coming in Cataclysm, and I believe I'm pretty well prepared. I have enough gear to get into ICC hard mode runs to pass the time if I get really bored, but other than that, I'm focusing on leveling my baby shaman and paladin in preparation for Cataclysm and the old world changes.

If you're not doing any of that, then you're probably hitting one of the game's many meta-games. Gold farming, achievement grinding, rep grinding, mount grinding ... pretty much any kind of grinding there is to be done is a popular option in the calm before the Cataclysm. A huge gold pool to work with when you reach 85 is going to give any type of player an upper hand -- casuals, hardcore raiders, hardcore PvPers alike. Completing WoW's current iteration of achievements before they become Feats of Strength can increase the ever-important ego of every player, and grinding (especially old-world reps) can give you things that may become impossible to retrieve when Deathwing goes insane all over the Azeroth we all know and love.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: How much of your played time is really played?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

If you have been around WoW for a while, you probably have gotten the urge to type in the dreaded /played command. For any who still don't know, that command will show you the amount of time you have played on that particular character. For a player like me who has been around since launch, that number can be significant. But it did get me to thinking, how much of that time was actually spent playing?

Scenario: It is a Tuesday night (last Tuesday, as a matter of fact). My guild is off for the night, since we don't raid on Tuesdays. After a nice dinner and a bit of quality time with the wife, I make my way down to the man-cave to log in and see what's doing. I recently leveled jewelcrafting, so I am collecting the daily tokens for the cuts my main will need. That is reason enough to bring me online on non-raid nights. While I am there, I pick up the fishing and cooking daily. Since both are in Dalaran (love me some Disarmed! and Cheese for Glowergold), I grab them as well.

A few conversations with guildies, three daily quests, one Flame Leviathan weekly run and a few TV sitcoms later, I look up and see it is bed time. I have been logged in for somewhere between two to three hours, and all I have really accomplished are a couple of dailies. My biggest victory of the night was convincing a guild mate that Treme, while not as good as The Wire, is still worth catching if she has On Demand. Hardly what even the most casual player would consider dedicated playtime. Still, it all goes against the total.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Gotta go!

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Sometimes real life gets in the way of playing WoW. I understand that it's healthy to have a life outside of WoW and I agree, but when you sit down to raid or run dailies, "real life" can have different plans for you. Either you have been in a group where some one just up and leaves or says "g2g" before exiting group. Maybe you have been that person.

I've been healing when the tank who just pulled the first hall up to Sorrowgrave in heroic Utgarde Keep then /yell(ed), "On call -- sorry, I have to go." Needless to say, I dropped aggro and ran, then laughed with the hunter as the 'lock ran back, all while rezzing the rogue. I understand people have to go and wasn't that mad, but the 'lock and rogue were upset. You could tell, because their chat looked like @#$! and @#&.

I don't read wingdings, but it got me thinking. I needed a macro to hit when I have to leave before I can finish a global cooldown. I can only think of three times in the last year I couldn't finish a pull before logging unexpectedly, but I prepared two macros to entertain those who I unfortunately leave in a bind. Combined, they read as:

/s By the time you read this I have already disconnected. I have some emergency I have to attend to and could only afford four key strokes. It's probably has to do with my children, pets, and or fire. At the very least it could be the rapture and I am sorry you are still around to read this. Elune be with you or other race appropriate farewell.

Do you have a dropping-group macro? Have you had to leave group unexpectedly? Why?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Lil Timmy, destroyer of worlds


This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Every few hours or so, an NPC named Lil Timmy magically appears on the streets of Stormwind. He walks through town, musing to himself about the meaning of the word "allergic," offering one lucky person the chance to buy an adorable white kitten. He's a sweet little boy, right?

Wrong! Lil Timmy has fooled all of you. Think about it ... A 9-year-old with an endless supply of cats who wanders around at all hours of the night? There's something sinister going on here. It's obvious that this kid is all part of some nefarious plot. If you were to part the fur and look closely at that kitten's belly, I bet you'd find a timer, ticking down the days until detonation. It all makes perfect sense if you think about it. Lil Timmy is the herald of Deathwing, hiding in plain sight in the form of an unkillable child, selling you the very exploding kittens that will help bring on the coming Cataclysm. At least that's what I like to think ...

The World of Warcraft is full of characters. I'm not talking about those major lore characters we've watched develop over the years. I'm referring instead to the one-dimensional extras that help make Azeroth feel more alive. I've found that some of these unimportant NPCs have left even more of an impact on me than the Tirions and Thralls of the world. Sure, Arthas may have a compelling story, but I just can't relate to him as much as the "work is da poop" guys out in Netherwing Ledge. (Hang in there, my disobedient red brothers.)

So what about you, Breakfast Topiceers? Do you have any favorite bit characters? If so, have you ever given any of them your own background stories and personalities?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Reining in the ease of collecting mounts


This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Mounts are everywhere -- rightfully so, as they're an absolute necessity. These furry, feathery, leathery or mechanical steeds practically fall from the sky. You can get them from in-game vendors, out-of-game vendors, random drops, timed heroic runs, fishing, trading cards and even just having a bunch of mounts. With so many ways to get them, it's easy to forget how hard they were to get just a few scant years ago.

My first character at level cap was my much-missed warlock. As if slinging curses, ordering around demons and sipping the tears of my enemies weren't enough, I was treated to one of the best climaxes to a quest chain in game. The sheer wildness of trying to keep everything working while simultaneously fending off droves of enemies, culminating in a fantastic boss fight, is something everyone should experience. True, the quests leading up to the final showdown were annoying and expensive, but they were worth it in the end.

However, Blizzard has gone out of their way to make mounts very easy to get. Paladins and warlocks no longer have to go on an epic adventure for their noble or demonic steeds; they simply have to talk to their trainers. The minimum level to get the first mount has been dropped from 40 to 30 to 20, while epic mounts are now under the rumps of those much lower than level 60. Even flying mounts are now available almost as soon as you step into the Outland.

So I've been pondering: Does the huge variety, abundance and awesomeness of mounts these days make up for the ease of obtaining them? Or do you think it was better when you had to walk for a much longer time and scrounge up much more gold (when gold was hard to get)? Are new players missing out on something special by not having to triumph over waves of demons to get their new demon, or are they simply bypassing an unnecessary annoyance to get to the real meat of the game?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What story does your WoW subscription history tell?

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Some of us have been addicted to World of Warcraft from the beginning. Like me, some of you may have been addicted at the start but wavered off and on over the years. Alternately, some World of Warcraft players have only joined the world recently. A quick look at an account's payment history (found in account management on the World of Warcraft website) can provide an interesting tale regarding a player's obsession (or lack thereof) with World of Warcraft.

Personally, looking back at my payment history brought back memories of World of Warcraft as well as the games that sought to tear me away from Azeroth.

The journey (not the one shown in the screenshot above) started on Nov. 28, 2004, five days after the first adventurers had stepped foot into retail Azeroth. At that time, it took me a year and a half (non-/played of course) to get to 60. I suppose that could be considered to be an incredibly casual rate of levelling -- but eh, the times were simpler back then. That first chunk lasted until March 14, 2007. Still, after nearly two and a half years of enjoyment in Azeroth, I found myself pulled away to other pursuits, one of which was most likely one of my numerous forays into the complexity that is EVE Online. These distractions kept me away from the World of Warcraft for another year and a half, until I returned on Sept. 16, 2008.

I do not specifically remember, nor can I explain, my return to Azeroth. Alas, it was not to last. After that initial monthly subscription, my time in Azeroth is blank until a later date. Perhaps this was the time that I found myself drawn into Warhammer Online, an intriguing alternative to Azeroth that would ultimately prove to be no match for the appeal that World of Warcraft presented to me. I made my second-to-last return on May 18, 2009. This would be a four-month stint in which I would find myself levelling both my druid and my death knight to level 80 and getting them partially geared, before yet again dropping off the face of Azeroth on Sept. 23, 2009. The game that most describes this last absence? Global Agenda.

This brings us to my most recent return on March 2, 2010. I have spent the past two months getting sufficiently geared to be able to jump into 10-man ICC with my guild, and we have almost already conquered the zone. To bring the story full circle, it is important to note that I recently transferred my night elf hunter, created all the way back at the beginning of my journey, to my main's server in order to finally get him to 80. (He has been languishing in the mid-60s for the past few years.)

The above is what my subscription history says about me as a World of Warcraft player and a gamer and general. What does your subscription history say about you?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Banging our heads against the wall

As a raider, you tend to encounter that one boss that will kick your butt night after night. In Burning Crusade, my guild saw Teron Gorefiend as our bane. Week after week, we wiped on him for at least three hours a night. All of the raid members did the famous ghost simulator many times, but still we had people who had lag issues when they came to the encounter. We also knew our DPS was not up to par, but our raid leader at the time did not want to run Mount Hyjal to get some of the gear people needed. It wasn't until the patch 3.0.1 nerf that we were able to overcome Gorefiend and move on in Black Temple.

Fast forward to Wrath of the Lich King, a different guild and a different server. We have found our proverbial wall in the Lich King. Many of us have successfully downed him in 10-man, but the 25-man fight is a different story. Our problem seems to come from executing phase 2 right, with having a stun rotation on the valkyrs and placing the Defiles in the right spots away from other raid members. Yes, we have the lag monster come out during this phase, but it is mostly an execution point.

In both those cases, I have seen my guildmates get so frustrated that they either leave the guild, take a break from the game or even not show up to raid on those nights we are focusing specifically on that boss. They just don't want to be hitting their heads against a wall all night, even though it would be for progression.

Raid leaders, how do you get over that hurdle? Do you just keep picking away at the boss until you get him down, or do you take a night where you go through old content to give your raiders a break? Raiders, how do you handle constant wiping on a boss? Are you the type who stays with your raid group through thick and thin, or do you jump ship when you are stuck on that one boss?

This article has been brought to you by Seed, Aol's guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. Watch for the next call for submissions and a chance to submit your own article. The next byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: A chat channel with a bank

This article has been brought to you by Seed, Aol's guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. Watch for the next call for submissions and a chance to submit your own article. The next new byline you see here may be yours!

When Wrath of the Lich King was first released, my guild was red-hot for Naxx. We recruited. We started a website and started swapping ideas, posting videos, strategies and of course developed some great friendships. Although we didn't steamroll over content like a lot of our other guild peers on the server (a lot of us seasoned players had been there/done that with the hardcore raiding guild scene and were over it), we still went along at a decent pace and were satisfied with our overall progress.


Things were going well. Ulduar was around the corner, and everyone was ready to do a great big cannonball into new content. New strats, pics, videos and posts were going up on the guild forums. People were reading up, doing their homework and ready to roll right into Ulduar. We were getting through the first couple of bosses with no problems, but then we ran into a boss in that my guild failed to read any strats or watch any videos on: the RL Boss.


Our guild could not get past the RL Boss. People were getting married, getting divorced, buying a house, losing a house. You name it, it was happening. As luck would have it, it wasn't our second-tier raiders either; it was the performers that were taking a four-quarter breather from the game.


After a while, the guild leadership just gave up. Any senior raiders who were left started pugging, and there were a few months with absolutely nothing on the guild calendar. There have been a few half-hearted attempts, but those were over before they began. Rumor has it that the GM has put the kibosh on recruitment, effectively making the remnants of our guild a chat channel with a bank.


Has your guild wiped on the RL Boss enough times to discourage any guild activities, even to the point that the guild actually disbanded? What happened?

Filed under: Guilds, Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Sorry, not happening!


This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by WoW.com's guest blogger program. Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements.

To put it bluntly, I love this game. Since its inception I have logged countless hours of my free time playing World of Warcraft. Yes I've dabbled in other MMO's but I've always been drawn back to WoW mainly due to its freedom. Freedom in the sense that you are free to choose what you want to do for the most part. There's honestly a ton of content in this game. World of Warcraft is full of stuff. There is stuff everywhere. Stuff to see, stuff to do, stuff to kill, stuff to talk to and well, you get the point.

But when you have so many things to do, it's only natural to dislike, or even flat out despise, some of these activities. I think it's pretty safe to assume everybody reading this can think of one or two things that they really cannot stand in World of Warcraft. Whether it's questing, running battlegrounds, world PvP or whatever else, there's always something that will make a guild member say, "No way dude, [insert event here] sucks." Personally I flat out refuse to run Isle of Conquest. Period. I cannot stand that battleground and no amount of gold can get me to run it (okay that's not actually true, but it would have to be a lot of gold).

But how about all of you? What event, action, spec, class, play style, NPC, zone, area, mechanic, raid, dungeon, faction, race, spell, talent, boss do you downright refuse to take any part in?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: The motivations of guild leaders


This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by WoW.com's guest blogger program. Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements.

My guild sucks. No, no ... it's okay. You don't have to comfort me. I've already accepted it. My guild sucks and it's entirely my own fault. I never finished our website. I've never done any proper recruiting. We have a tabard, but I'm not sure that it's very "sick" or even "awesome." I've been a terrible guild leader so far and as a result, I've watched our membership dwindle down to just the dedicated few over the past several months.

I'm not stuck there by any means. I've been offered spots with raiding guilds that actually do things like -- say, I don't know -- raid. So, why do I do it, you ask? Well, I choose to continue leading my cold, dead husk of a guild because I so thoroughly enjoy the concept of the guild management metagame. Call me stubborn, but for me it's a huge part of World of Warcraft. Even if I were to finish off every single achievement in the game, it wouldn't give me nearly the same sense of satisfaction that leading a mildly successful guild would.

Doing that, however, takes a lot of work. You can only get so far with word-of-mouth recruiting and a friendly atmosphere. Eventually, you have to have something to offer your few members or they'll find greener pastures. It's a big job, but somebody has to do it, right?

Have you ever tried to run a guild or is that a job that doesn't even interest you? For those current guild leaders out there (both successful and otherwise), what drives you to keep on keepin' on?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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