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Posts with tag BreakfastTopics

Breakfast Topic: Some fights are weird

Every single time I tank the Klaxxi Paragons fight, I think to myself This is a really weird fight. Between it being a council fight with nine bosses (three active at a time) and with it completely negating AoE (every time one dies the other two that are up get healed and a third one drops in) plus the stacking buffs that make it a bad idea to leave any one of them up too long, and each one adding new mechanics that need to be dealt with, it's just a weird fight for me to wrap my head around. I can grasp some fights just fine - Spoils, Norushen for instance - that have strange mechanics. But while I can tank Paragons just fine, I don't pretend to grasp the fight as such. It's a weird fight, I don't really get it.

Any fights like that for you? Not just asking for SoO - did you find fighting Kologarn weird, back in Wrath? Was Cho'gall a mind-twister for you? What fights make you just throw up your hands and say 'whatever, let's get this over with' the way Paragons does me?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How do you choose your spec builds?

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 confess that when it comes to my specs, I am incredible lazy. I'm not dual-specced. I don't have a PVP spec. I'm just a standard PVE frost mage. I didn't even change to arcane when arcane was the only way to be a "proper" mage. I'm not into theorycrafting, and I would rather let someone else do all the work. I poke around the internet for awhile, find a spec I like, and copy it. I then stick with that spec until major changes are made and I have no choice but to fix the spec.

Some of my good friends are the total opposite. They loiter on theorycrafting websites, crunch the numbers, and constantly tweak the numbers until their spec seems ideal. A few days later, they are ready to tweak some more.

Where do you fall on this spectrum? Are you a theorycrafter who loves the numbers game and could spend hours trying to devise the perfect spec? Would you prefer to sit back and yank someone else's perfect design? Or are you somewhere in the middle? Do you study the builds and then come up with something of your own, roughly based on the work you've seen?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: How would you spend one day as your character?

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

What if you could trade skill sets with your favorite toon for a day? I would port myself to my job, instead of sitting in mind-numbing traffic for 40 minutes. When I got to work, I would pop Mirror Image so I could have four people doing my work for me (because, you know, I'm glyphed for it!) while my water elemental and I sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine. If anyone came looking for me, I'd go Invisible and Blink myself the heck out of Dodge.

Lunch would be no sweat -- I'd just whip up some cakes and be good to go. I'd take advantage of the moment and turn my boss into a sheep (or a penguin). And when the two o'clock doldrums hit, I'd do the Time Warp and make the rest of the day go by until the time came to port myself back home again. Once home, I'd set the water elemental to watch the children (making sure that it's set to passive, of course) and conjure up some more cakes for dinner. I have to confess though, I would be getting the better end of the deal, as I think my poor little mage would be less than thrilled to be dropped into Twilight Highlands with nothing more than a quirky sense of humor and a penchant for the written word.

If you could trade places with your character for a day, what would you do?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Azerothian technology

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

It began in the Burning Crusade with the helicopters. They quickly became the must-have item for every fashionable Azerothian and Outlander. In Wrath, we saw the Mechanohog come about and the murmurings began. In Cataclysm, engineers continue to be able to make more modern looking weapons and the goblins ride around on their mechanical trikes. The goblin starting area has been described, both affectionately and derisively, as Grand Theft Auto: Isle of Kezan. At what point does modern technology in World of Warcraft go too far? How far can gnomish technology really go? Is the game becoming too "steampunky?" Is that even a word?

Do you feel that introducing items from modern-day Earth into Azeroth interferes with the immersion of the game? Is it impossible to properly roleplay when someone just roared past you on what appears to be a Harley-Davidson with a sidecar attached to it? Or do you just shrug it off as gnomish eccentricity? Are the items properly introduced with a logical argument for why they exist, or are they there for the sole purpose of giving engineers something to do (and a way to make money hand over fist)? Do you personally own one of the mechanical vehicles, and, if you are a roleplayer, how do you work it into your storyline?

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: Earning your stripes

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

A friend of mine and I were once playing Rock Band (don't worry, I will relate this to WoW soon), and he complained that he wasn't doing so well. Granted, he's much better than most players, but he was struggling to play a moderately difficult song on the expert difficulty (the hardest difficulty in the game). He later revealed to me that the reason he was lamenting his "lack" of skill was that he used to be much better -- so much better, in fact, that he once beat the infamous "Through the Fire and Flames" on expert in Guitar Hero III.

For those who don't know, "Through the Fire and Flames" is generally agreed to be the hardest song in any guitar-based rhythm game, demanding complex techniques that no other song in the series requires. In response to this revelation on his part, I said to him, "No matter how bad you may think you are now, beating 'Through the Fire and Flames' gives you the life-long right to retire from the game without losing any of your former glory in the process." And I believe that. No matter how much his skill may atrophy, beating "Through the Fire and Flames" on expert means he will always be worthy of respect in the Guitar Hero/Rock Band community, or at least always worthy of my respect.

This conversation made me wonder; are there any achievements in WoW that bestow similar prestige? In my own mind, anyone who got Grand Marshal/High Warlord under the old PvP system is deserving of this kind of respect. I would also like to think that What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been would carry similar meaning, but that may just be me trying to think that my Violet Proto-Drake is more impressive than it really is. As for Insane in the Membrane, though I've never met anyone who has done it, I imagine that rather than respecting him, I might just think him very worthy of the title.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Achievements, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: The one missing item in World of Warcraft

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

We all have our favorite in-game items, be it our uber T10 gear, our Zulian Tiger mount or our Diamond-Tipped Cane. But sometimes, we can't find what we want in game. We know what it is, search around for it, check the websites, but nothing quite fits the description. All our research leads back to the same sad conclusion: what we want simply doesn't exist in Azeroth. We resign ourselves to move on without it and harbor the hope it will appear in the next patch or expansion.

What do I want in Cataclysm? I just want a pizza.

I don't even care about the toppings. It can be thin crust, cheese-only, out of the grocer's freezer for all I care. Maybe my Chicago upbringing is coloring my perception here, but I just think that in such a vivid, exciting world with so much to offer, it is inexcusable that the most universally consumed dish in western civilization is not represented anywhere. I have scrolled through all 466 items listed in Wowhead's Food & Drinks category, searching for anything that might meet the bare minimum criteria of what in my mind constitutes pizza, but for naught. We have defeated Old Gods, dragon aspects, even the Lich King ... But not one of us has ever even had a slice of pepperoni and cheese.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Learn something new every day

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

I learned a pretty important life lesson from playing WoW. Now, I am well aware that this statement makes me sound like a loon, like someone claiming his whole life underwent a reversal after reading The Secret and now everything is so much better and wonderful. I'm not saying WoW did that for me. But it has taught me something about time management and design goals, by way of dailies.

Specifically, dailies have shown me that if you devote a certain predetermined amount of time each day to the completion of carefully detailed and prioritized tasks, you will reap benefits and rewards over a finite and moderate time period, with better benefits and rewards over a longer time period. People who are good at time management and at prioritizing, and who do not have a tendency to procrastinate, are probably thinking, "Duh." But some of us poor slobs out there do have problems managing time and imagining the benefits that can come from consistently devoting time to specific activities, especially when those benefits won't materialize for a long time.

Personally, this really hit home for me the past few months as I was planning my wedding. I wanted to do most of the stuff myself, because there was no way I could afford someone to do things for me. I wanted to make my own centerpieces, guest favors, cake topper, wall decorations, thank-you cards, invitations, paper picture frames for souvenirs, bridesmaid's hair pieces and so on. I read enough wedding blogs to scare myself into thinking that making everything was going to result in a time management nightmare. So early on, I set out to prioritize and schedule my daily tasks -- just like planning out Sons of Hodir rep, accumulating Champion's Seals to collect all the pets or running through quest chains on the way to Loremaster. I allocated one to two hours every night in order to complete a set amount of work and determined the best way to space out all the tasks over the following months. I got everything I wanted to get done with two weeks to spare. Days before the wedding, I was stressing out because I had nothing to stress out over.

Some will find it silly that it took WoW dailies to get me to organize myself, but it really is just a very good time management model. What have you learned from playing this game? Leadership skills, perhaps? Diplomacy? How to be a politician, or a socializer, or a mediator? Or (dare I ask), an instigator?

Have you ever wanted to write for 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 The next byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of's new features?

It's been a couple of days since our big makeover and things seem to have gone down quite well. We've had loads of comments (indeed Alex Z is currently recovering from being Tech Support Guy after fielding bug reports for a day straight) and the new-look has gone down quite well. Of course, this isn't the first time we've had a new look but this time it's not just a cosmetic revamp. I like to think of as WoW Insider meets Facebook with a little of Livejournal thrown in for good measure, we're not just a site, we're a community. Cliched, okay, you got me there.

Anyway now you folks have had a couple of days to get used to the changes, what do you think of our new look and, more importantly, all the cool features? Are there any you'd like implimented in the future? Have we missed something out?

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Are achievements putting too much pressure on players?

I'm not in a WoW place right now. I tend to move through phases of being a casual or a hardcore player. It depends on the content available (such as a new patch) and my workload. I did most of the Noblegarden achievements but now Children's Week is here I suddenly feel burnt out. Except for a quick romp through Gun'drak with my guildies last night and a pit stop to pick up my orphans, I've been strangely distant from Azeroth.

The thing is, I know precisely why. It's the pressure of achievements and festivals. Let me be clear, no one is making me do these things but me. Last year I enjoyed Children's Week because it was my first time doing the Outland version, I got rep, money and the smug feeling you get from taking a cute Draenei orphan around to see her heritage. Now all my guildies and most of the other people on my sever are frantically going for the achievements and, in some ways, it feels like the holiday has been cheapened a little. Being so close to Noblegarden probably hasn't helped either.

But it makes me wonder if I'm the only one? Right now I'm a casual player, but do you think the point of these holidays has been lost by the desire to get a Violet Proto-Drake?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite mount?

Mounts are one of the best parts of World of Warcraft, especially the flying ones. Over the course of levels 30-80 we collect a bunch of them (so many that there's even an Achievement for it -- don't forget to check out our guide) and everyone has one or two tied to their action bars that they use every day. I've got two: the Big Battle Bear) and a Zhevra. But in an ideal world, we all have a list: the Ashes of Al'ar, the now removed Amani War Bear, the Spectral Tiger, the Deadly Gladiator's Frost Wrym ...

Top of my list? While I love dragons (and have my eye on a Twilight Drake), the mount I really want is a unicorn. Yes gentle readers, an actual unicorn. Not a striped zebra crossbreed found wandering in the Barrens but a pure white beast of myth. Last week, while exploring the Argent Tournament in Icecrown, I finally found one. Granted it's technically a 'Quel'dorei Steed' but it's a unicorn - with an Azerothian twist. I only hope Blizzard decide to turn this vehicle into an actual mount -- and soon because I will grind anything to get it.

Anyway, it got me thinking about mounts (and don't forget we have an awesome guide on the subject). I have a friend who collect everyone going (he's got ninety nine at the moment) and strives for the Ashes to complete his collection, others are still using their race-specific epic mount or gryphon/wind rider. So I ask you, readers, what mount do you want the most? It doesn't matter if it's an old mount now removed, a ridable version of your favourite Azerothian animal or just something straight out of myth, speak up.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Mounts

Breakfast Topic: Virtual Pets

3.1 is looming ever closer and most of the players who aren't storming Ulduar are probably going to be hitting Icecrown for the Argent Tournament thanks to the promise of new mounts and, of course, the zone-specific pets!

Now I love pets, I once gave a guildmate all my gold and asked him to go all the way to Netherstorm to get me a Blue Dragonhawk Hatching. Admittedly, I don't have that many and while I normally whip out Frosty or Mini Tyrael when we're in instances, I'm usually found exploring Azeroth with a much simpler pet, my Orange Tabby Cat.

It seems like most of the WoW Insider staff - bar Alex and his roomba thingy - have pets and until two months ago, I had an ancient orange kitty called Jerry (known universally and beloved as The Ginger One). Sadly I had to put him to sleep but being followed by a virtual cat makes me wish we had more personalisation options in game.

Hunters can name and feed their pets but why can't we do the same with our non combat ones? Yes we can brush them, put them on leads and play ball but it's not really the same thing is it? At the same time because I now have a pair of cats, I'd love to be able to summon several kitty minions who would follow me into battle.

Anyway, here's a morning question for you: do you have virtual forms of your real world pets? If yes, do you have a particular one? If you don't, is there a particular non-combat pet you'd like to have? Would you like just one? How about many?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Gonna check out Ulduar on the PTR?

It doesn't take Mind Vision to determine that I'm really, really excited for 3.1, and of all of its features, the Ulduar raid has me enthralled the most. I love new raids, and after all this time running Naxx, I'm ready to move on to a bigger and badder place. It doesn't hurt that everything I've heard about Ulduar sounds great! 14 bosses, hard modes, optional bosses, getting launched onto the back of a giant fire-breathing robot ... I honestly can't think of any negatives about the place. I guess it's just what I needed.

Of course, I haven't played it yet. But soon, very soon, the PTR will go live and I'll be able to bask in all of its brass-and-marble glory. And you won't be able to shut me up about it if you try. If you can't beat me, though, you should consider joining me there.

I'm aware, of course, that raiding's not for everyone, and that some people don't want encounters spoiled for them before they go live. So what about you guys? Are you looking forward to checking out Ulduar for yourself on the PTR? Gonna wait until it hits live WoW to try it out? Or do you just not care about Titantown too much?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What's the oldest piece of gear you use?

Man, WoW just throws so many items at us. They're greens, blues, and purples. They're vendor trash and they're enchanting mats. They all fill up our bags and our hours in the game. They drive our raid attendance and our questing time. And some, out of all of those thousands of items, mean something to us. We've all got our cherished items, ones that we can't bring ourselves to get rid of.

This breakfast topic isn't about what we don't want to get rid of, though! This is about what we can't freaking get rid of no matter how hard we try.

The General forums were graced with Blue presence in a thread asking just what the oldest item you still use is. The OP mentioned that theirs was Dabiri's Enigma, a tanking trinket they've been trying to get rid of since they day they got it back in Netherstorm. Unsuccessfully, of course.

What about you guys? What have you been trying to replace, upgrade from, or downright throw away since Light-knows-when?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast topic: Keeping track of WoW

Let's face it, World of Warcraft is a big game. Nine classes with a new one on the way, ten races, each with all unique spells and abilities, over fifty zones to explore and soon a new continent, each with more quests, baddies, and precious loot than we can count. With so many details a virtual world like WoW has, just how the heck do you keep track of everything? Everyone has certain goals in mind for their characters.

  • Be a master of a certain profession
  • Be exalted reputation with certain factions
  • Quests you want to go back and do (I'm with you completionists!)
  • A wish list of goodies to be gotten and exactly what you need to get'em.

Do you go for the casual approach and just store it in your noggin? Or maybe you've lined your monitor with so many sticky notes you can barely see your character. Perhaps you're the obsessively anal type and keep a notebook binder or excel document handy at all times? Myself, I'm guilty of using an online application called Backpack to keep my profession notes and wish lists in order. Share with us in the comments how you keep track of all your WoW information!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What does Northrend look like in your mind's eye?

A poster to the official forums complained (they're just so good at complaining!) that Northrend is "supposed to be completely covered in snow and ice," but so far there hasn't been enough of either in the screenshots for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Bornakk responded: "While we have no plans for Northrend to appear like an island of paradise, we do want the zones to bring a wide variety of scenery and environments for all players to enjoy. Making a continent one big block of ice didn't seem to fit with this ideology too well."

Several posters came right back at him though, and while no one wanted to go through a whole continent that was just like Winterspring, the general feedback going Blizzard's way was to say: less chill, more freeze. One poster put it well: "
I was hoping that maybe the Devs would actually try and I bet if they wanted they could make a plethora of breathtaking Ice and Snow environments that would be much more interesting than Winterspring."

When I read that, my mind leaped with images of giant ice structures protruding from the earth, refracting sunlight as you looked at them. It was a beautiful image, not at all like Winterspring, and possibly variable enough for one or two zones.... but 10? 10 whole zones of different ice and snow environments? How in the world could one avoid the overwhelming dominance of the color white? Where would all the variety be without some areas that have... less freeze and more chill?

Of course a lot of Blizzard's landscaping work for the expansion is probably already planned out, but as things stand I'd imagine it's not too late for a little bit of player input to influence just how icy Northrend actually is. What's your take? Can you describe some significantly different environments that don't look like Winterspring?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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