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Posts with tag Learning

How to learn what you're doing on a boosted 90

Look, it's okay to admit that in some cases, players who've pre-ordered Warlords of Draenor or even bought the level 90 boost are on level 90 characters that they don't actually know how to play. In some cases, this isn't the case -- if I used the boost, for instance, I'd probably know how to play that 12th warrior I boosted to 90. But if I were to boost my hunter, there would suddenly be 29 levels of huntering to absorb and take in, and if I were to use the boost on a rogue I'd hate myself for it and quit playing in a storm of recriminations. Also, I would have zero idea what I was doing on a rogue for the ten seconds before I realized what I'd done.

Now that I've had my fun, let's get serious - how would I play a rogue at 90? Or a mage, or a priest, or another class that I'd never played before? Well, there are resources out there -- WoW Insider has a rookie guide, for starters -- and there are other sites like Wowhead and Icy-Veins that can and do give you an overview of what your new class does.

There's also a very useful resource built into the game itself. Your spellbook has a great deal of information for you about what your class can do and how to go about playing it, that can get you pointed in the right direction to begin play. We're assuming you're a returning player who has not played in a while or a new player just getting started with this article - established players starting a new alt may already know much of this.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Yes, there are real life lessons to be found in World of Warcraft

If you read Lifehacker, you probably read it for information on getting stuff done in the real world -- which is why it's surprising to see an article about World of Warcraft headlining. But the article makes a good point: there are real life lessons you can learn in virtual life. We've written before about how WoW can be a teaching tool in schools (on more than one occasion), but it can help teach you, too. No, you won't learn calculus by slaying virtual dragons and playing WoW instead of washing the dishes won't get your chores done, but paying attention to the game can teach you some useful life lessons.

So just what lessons can you learn? We won't recount the whole post, but definitely appreciate this point: even things you like can be a grind. We may enjoy WoW, but dailies are only fun for so long before they become tedious -- and the same can hold true for real life, too. The things that we love, when turned into do-every-day job-like tedium can be just as un-fun as things we don't even like. But because we like getting paychecks (or gold or valor or reputation), we persevere. For more, read the post on Lifehacker.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blood Pact: Leveling is much better in Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact Leveling is much better in Mists of Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill delayed downloading the new beta build in favor of getting her witch doctor to 60. Priorities!

With the overhaul to the warlock class coming in Mists of Pandaria, guildmates and friends have been wondering whether to revive old warlocks or not. Those without warlocks on their character screens have been asking the age-old question: Should I level one now or wait until the expansion hits?

Unless you're particularly masochistic about your leveling, my advice is to wait. Here's why.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Drama Mamas: Anyone can raid

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Many people really enjoy the competition and grading of endgame progression raiding, but that's not the only raiding going on. Anyone can raid. To be clear, anyone who thinks raiding is fun can and should raid. You just need to find the right group of people with whom to have raiding fun. Even if you have obstacles like young children, an odd schedule or, as is the case this week, learning difficulties, there is a group of people who will enjoy raiding with you. Well, unless you're That Guy. Nobody wants to raid with him.
´╗┐Dear Drama Mamas,

I want to start playing WoW. I think I'll be mostly fine running around on my own, doing quests and just general things. I'd eventually like to get into raiding. Here's where the problem starts. I have learning difficulties that make it a very, very slow process for me to learn things and then retain that information. I need to be shown over and over again before the information really sticks. Because of this, I'm very unsure about joining a guild, and the only other option available to me would be PUGs, but I'm not sure how that would go.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

How gaming can make a better world

About ten days ago, an interesting video of a speech was aired on TED talk. For those of you who don't know what TED is, it is quite literally a meeting place of some of the world's greatest thinkers: economists, philosophers, doctors, environmentalists and so on. These are people who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place.

So imagine my surprise when I was notified of a talk from someone who said that gaming fit into that ideal?

Enter Jane McGonigal, game designer. She says that the video game-playing youth of today -- that's us, by the way -- have within us the power to save the world. I know, I know, sounds crazy, right? Well, put down that energy drink and listen in. Jane's mission is to "try to make it as easy to save the world in real life, as it is to save the world in online games." The basis of her theory lies in a few things: motivation, an investment of time and the need to be rewarded. Remember that time your guild downed Ragnoros? Or triumphantly came through to the end of ToC? Yogg-saron? How did you feel then?

That's right, you felt satisfied.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Dungeon Finder tricks and tips

When we last talked about this on the podcast, I said we'd basically have to wait and see how it all worked, but now that players have had their hands on the Dungeon Finder out on the live realms for a while, they're learning a few more tricks and tips about how to use it. As Rohan brings up over on the WoW Ladies LJ, it's easy enough to keep a good player once you've found them through the system: as long as none of you drop group once you're done with an instance, you can go back in and run as many as you want. Unfortunately, you can't friend them yet (hopefully that will show up whenever functionality does), but the comments on that post point out that if you both sign up for an unpopular instance at the same time, chances are good you'll end up in the same group together (of course, that requires coordination, but maybe you can set up a time out of game).

More tips and tricks for the new system after the break.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King

Using WoW for learning in schools

We've heard about WoW in schools before, but usually it's at schools of higher learning, where they're studying social networks or how society evolves. But a group in North Carolina is planning to put WoW in schools in a different way: by using situations in World of Warcraft to develop literacy, mathematics, and other competencies. WoWinSchools has math lessons and other tests based around WoW terms and knowledge: one example question asks "Which types of heals produce a greater number of recovered hit points during an encounter?" Another wants to know "Which buff (a spell that enhances a character's abilities) is more effective for your character, Blessing of Kings or Blessing of Might?" The idea is to use situations that the kids are familiar with in World of Warcraft (raiding, for example), and apply higher level thinking to those situations.

There are even creative writing suggestions dedicated to the game, from writing an RP story about a character in Azeroth, to writing a song parody (that one should be taught by Professor Turpster) or designing a quest chain. And lest you think they're just joking around, there's a whole slew of research behind the idea, too, and it definitely makes sense: kids who play World of Warcraft are much more likely to be interested in problems about DPS and Healing rather than Susie and Bobby's apples that we added and subtracted back when we were kids in school.

It seems like the only place this is implemented is in one afterschool program -- while there are lots of good ideas here, it's not necessarily being used in many classrooms yet (and my guess is that not every student in schools would vibe with a World of Warcraft-based curriculum, either). But it is a plan in development, and anything that better helps teachers understand what their students are interested in is probably worthwhile.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Talents, Buffs

Breakfast topic: Why didn't you tell me...?

Every time we log into WoW, we find ourselves greeted with trivial, non-helpful bits of information. We learn quite a bit on our own and sometimes from helpful players. These little gems do little to actually help learn the nuances of the game. There have been countless times I've been taken by surprise, causing wasted time and sometimes costly repair bills. Here are some of the things I had to learn on my own, the hard way, that I wish someone would have told me:

* You don't have to wait for a portal, summon, or level 74 to get to Dalaran. Battle ports* work just fine, but you do have to get connecting flight points to make it useful.
* If you wait until 74 to go to Dalaran, don't run there to get the flight point. There is a quest that takes you there. If you do run to the Crystal Song Forest to get there you, will find yourself looking forlornly at a teleportation device that is no help to you at all.
* On the subject of teleportation, If you're Horde, you should really save the Goblin Transponder that you use to port from Booty Bay to Gnomeregan. It can help for raiding Ironforge.
* Beware of the Animal Blood debuff in Borean Tundra. You will be killed on sight if you go into the D.E.H.T.A. Encampment if you have that debuff. It took me two deaths to figure out why I couldn't turn my quests in.
* I'm relatively new to tanking, until about a month ago I clicked to set my marks. I had no idea that you can hotkey your lucky charms.

I'm sure there are still many nuances of the game I still don't know. Share your wisdom, what's something you wish you'd been told?

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

Forum post of the day: How to Rogue

We learn a lot form playing on our own, but by doing only that we can miss some of the nuances of our class. We can also read up on classes on websites like this one or specialty forums. Some people would like to be taught in a more direct manner. At some points, we've all taken others under our wings to show them the ropes. Most of us have gotten a few pointers along the way. We have mentors in most of our roles in life, so doesn't it make sense to have them in WoW as well?

It can be hard to directly ask for assistance, especially in a places as prone to ridicule as the WoW General Forums. Apollymi of Greymane is looking for someone to teach her to be a better rogue. She said she's read the right guides but hasn't gotten the necessary experience to match other Rogues. She's looking for someone to mentor her in all things Roguish.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Guides, Alts, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Tank Talk: Building and keeping your tanking corps, Part I

Tank Talk is WoW Insider's new raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and Allison Robert (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish.

This week on Tank Talk I'd like to step outside the technical aspects of being a tank and focus more on the psychosocial side of things. In particular I want to look at what happens when a tank is introduced into a tanking corps of a new guild, how to keep current tanks around, and how to deal with all those old tanks that have been in the guild forever.

For lack of a better phrase, I'll call the time from when a tank joining the guild until their eventual status as "god of all things tank" the life span of a tank. And perhaps the most important part of a tanks life is the new part, and it's something that I've been on both sides of the coin – the one doing the inviting, and the one being invited. Each is equally exciting. When joining a new guild I had not only the opportunity to see new content and progress to new heights, but also an opportunity to improve my skill and focus my ability to tank a mean game. And when I became class lead and eventually the guild's leader, I gained an opportunity to help new tanks become acquainted with our style of game play and watch them succeed and excel within the guild.

I like to look at there being mainly fives stages of a tank's life within a guild: Recruitment, Applicant, Raider, Senior Tank, and Mentor. Let's take a look at each of these and see how people in various stages can help usher a new tank into a guild's tanking corpse while keeping the old tanks around and happy. Since this is a long subject, today I'll cover the recruitment and applicant stages in a tank's life, with the raider, senior tank, and mentor stages coming in the second installment tomorrow.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Tank Talk

Breakfast topic: Clicking vs hotkeys

If you've never done arenas via LAN, you really might want to try it. Of course it's much easier to communicate when you're speaking to someone right next to you and can see their screen to get a different perspective on the battle. You can also learn fascinating information about their AddOns and how they interface with the game.

I had a friend come over to play and was absolutely shocked when I saw him clicking away at his spells and abilities instead of using hotkeys. When I first started playing WoW, my mentor would swat at my hand with a wooden ruler every time I clicked where I should have mashed. (Ok, it was actually just a stern glare- no ruler.) I spent several hours with my fledgling Priest killing Scarlet Warriors and learning the motions for keyboard controls. I quickly learned that Q, W, E, A, S and D are the most valuable real estate on the keyboard. Since fractions of seconds can be critical, it takes a relatively long time to move around the screen with a mouse.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Breakfast Topics, Classes, Arena

Breakfast Topic: When they are not prepared

It is very rewarding to help new players adjust to World of Warcraft. It can also be extremely frustrating. In some cases, I wonder if we may ruin players by giving them too much help, like helping a butterfly from its chrysalis.

I remember when I first started playing WoW, I made some serious rookie mistakes. For example I didn't know how to repair my gear until I was level 17 and had no idea that one should train all three talent schools. I got a lot of advice along the way, but I kept more or less to my IRL companions even in game. I never really experienced the MM part of MMORPG until I was level 60 and running Zul'Gurrub. It was exciting and exhausting, but for the first time I really felt like I was experiencing the entirety of the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, WoW Rookie

Breakfast topic: How young is too young for World of Warcraft?

Does it take a certain level of maturity to play World of Warcraft? In the past we have asked for opinions on how comfortable people are gaming with players of all ages. The general consensus seemed to be that behavior is more important than numerical age.

Surely there is value in gaming for young people. Although a full-grown adult when I started playing World of Warcraft, games have always been a passion of mine. They have fostered creativity and logic. Recently our Lisa Poisso featured a guild for Unschoolers, who use WoW as a tool for self-guided education. When appropriately supervised and balanced, the game can be a fun, family activity.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Features

Librarians who play World of Warcraft

Apparently the great WoW Ladies LJ community is full of librarians (who knew?), and they've pointed to this interesting article about a panel that includes a short presentation about World of Warcraft, and how libraries can benefit from providing resources about the game. Their numbers are a little off, in terms of players and how much they pay per month, but their reasoning is right on-- there are lots of reading resources online about the game (*ahem*, that's us!), and sites like WoWWiki and even GameFAQs (fine, laugh if you want) can be perfect for getting people who don't usually do much writing to try putting their thoughts into words on a page.

I'm usually iffy on using games for education, because usually the people trying to do it don't have the first clue about what games really are. But something like this-- asking a beginning writer to use their game knowledge to make a guide or analyze gameplay-- seems much more well-founded and beneficial. And if all these librarians are part of the nine million people who play WoW, then this definitely seems like a great idea-- use common ground to help teach reading and learning skills.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean WoW Insider should be bookmarked on every library computer (although, now that it's been mentioned...). But it's cool to see librarians using their knowledge of Azeroth to help teach real-world skills.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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