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Posts with tag afk

Breakfast Topic: Share your tales of strange, silly or shocking AFKs

Breakfast Topic Share your strange, silly or shocking tales of AFK
Not all of us have AFK stories as painful as the dad who returned from going AFK to discover that his six-year-old had gone on an auction house spending spree worth nearly half a million gold in the few minutes he'd been away. You know that had to hurt -- way more than your aching bladder during an epic session of "Do I have time to pee before the next boss?"

There's an art to going AFK politely, but sometimes you just gotta go. "AFK house on fire" takes the prize, in my opinion, for the most hair-raising AFK message readers have shared on our pages. (As I remember, it was a kitchen fire, and everyone turned out to be okay.) Still, I most enjoy hearing about the truly bizarre AFK incidents involving cats. All the really weird stuff involves cats. It's a law of nature or something.

Tell us your tale (your own experience, or something another player did when you were playing) of unusual AFKs. Was it strange? Scary? Hilarious? Did the player in question return to the game session?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Drama Mamas guide to going AFK

Guide to going AFK during groups and raids
Life happens; we all get that. But should your life be happening to the 24 other people in your raid group? We (and your 24 raidmates) think not. After all, if you're here to play World of Warcraft, why do you keep going AFK?

The need for and the etiquette of going away from the keyboard (AFK) was stronger in WoW's earlier days. During classic WoW, 5-manning places like Blackrock Depths was an all-night affair. Players were more forgiving of a quick dash to the bathroom, and groups doing longer content tended to schedule natural breaks along the way. Today's WoW is a much more terse affair. Scenarios, group instances, and raids are likely to be over long before your bladder is. It's not so difficult to simply plan ahead or wait for a group to come to a natural conclusion.

Yet people don't always do that. Like That Guy who's always texting and checking his Twitter feed instead of looking you in the eye during a conversation, That Guy in game is likely to wander AFK just when you need him the most. Tuning out the people you're with, online or off, simply is not socially acceptable behavior. (You've heard what they're calling those tuned-out types who'll be wearing Google Glass, right? It's not a complimentary term.)

The best way to handle going AFK is to avoid it in the first place. For the rest of those moments when something comes while you're grouping that's beyond your control, let's look at the best ways of managing the interruption and getting you back into the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.2, the patch without content

Empty WoW logo
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

New content comes in patches. That's how it has always worked in WoW. Some patches with a multiple decimals, like patch 1.8.2, are just for bug fixes, emergency boss tuning, and the like. They don't really count (although to be fair, some have given us small amounts of new stuff, such as Onyxia's return in patch 3.2.2). A patch with two numbers, like patch 5.2 hitting very soon, is supposed to have shiny new pixels for all of us to enjoy.

Patch 2.2, released in September 2007, didn't have any. It was the only time in WoW's history that a major patch did not introduce any new content to the game world. No raids. No dungeons. No battlegrounds or arenas. No daily quests. Not even new items.

Instead, patch 2.2 gave us something we didn't particularly want. Something players immediately hated and decried as useless. Something we have never embraced, though most of us haven't thought about it in a long, long time. Most players probably don't even know it exists.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Moviewatch: /afk

The movie /afk is something of a community legend at this point. It's been to film festivals, involved huge swaths of the WoW blog and video spheres, and has found its way into nearly every nook and cranny out there.

This is the description of /afk from its own YouTube page:
This is "/afk", a short film about Piet, a World of Warcraft player whose shrink tells him that he is addicted and should delete his character. Yet, he still wants to fulfill his one big dream: Become a dragonslayer!
Take the time to check it out and let us know what you think. I'm curious to see how Moviewatch readers feel about this style of video.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Breakfast Topic: How do you handle real-life interruptions?

AFK Goblin
You just can't take a picture of yourself during Love is in the Air without a heart on your head.

I actually don't like the phrase "real life" when describing what happens in the physical world because it implies that the interactions we have in Azeroth aren't real. Captain Obvious says that WoW is not a single-player game. When we are playing Mass Effect, we don't affect anyone else if we get up to take a bio break or comfort a child. But in World of Warcraft, if we are in a group of any size, we affect others every time we AFK.

The phrase "real life is more important than WoW" is a mantra we hear all the time, and it is true in that you shouldn't shirk responsibilities in the physical world in order to play. However, if you have committed yourself for a period of time to other players, it is the same thing as committing yourself to any group of people in the physical world. Breaking that commitment falls under the same etiquette umbrella, whether in game or out.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Drama Mamas: The etiquette of AFKing in a group or 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.

When is it OK to AFK during a boss fight? The answers range from "Never, unless you are about to call 911!" to "Any time you need to. Real life comes first!" This week, we address this common conundrum.
Not a specific instance of drama but it definitely causes it often enough. I really love instancing but have been a bit stressed recently about how to deal with interruptions.

How do you handle them? Knock on the door, kids waking up, anything really. We're not all college kids where the worst that could happen would be a power-outage or dorm fire alarm.

From what I read there is not much help or sympathy out there - although that may just be the minority. They mostly say to not even run instances, which I can sympathize with - they want to run it fast - but I cannot accept that as an answer. What do they do when they have to answer the door during a boss fight? Really.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: To pee or not to pee?

Idle report
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 happens to all of us. You've just wiped for the third (or maybe 30th?) time on a boss. The mage decided it would be more fun to jog in circles than to target the adds he was assigned, and your raid leader's crunching numbers and calling out changes to the strategy while everyone makes the graveyard run.

You're already back to the boss's room, you're flasked up, and you've eaten your appropriate buff food. You know your job and are anxious for the kill, because your best-in-slot item is just sitting there waiting for you. All you need is the signal to go, and you'll be ready to unleash hell on this beast. It's during this anxious moment when you realize ...

You have to pee.

Suddenly, this has become your overwhelming priority. You start to stand up, but then, the raid leader sends out a ready check. What do you do? Do you hit Not Ready, make a quick apology, and race for the bathroom? Do you send your raid leader a whisper, begging for a few extra minutes? Do you hold it in, click Ready and fight even harder, knowing that the boss must die so that freedom can flow free?

Or do you just call for a clean up in aisle three?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

15 Minutes of Fame: Film follows fantasy of fighting Onyxia

Work Warning: Brief profanity in the video.

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made
World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Just as Azeroth prepares to explode in all its cataclysmic glory, films on gaming seem to be exploding onto the scene. There's the documentary from LFG Productions (many of you may have seen them filming at BlizzCon and our reader meetup last month) that will be following leading raiding guild <Blood Legion> in a full-court press into Cataclysm. There's The Raid, another take on raiding life that we also saw at BlizzCon, and the "zanier" take on gaming culture of Gamers.

In contrast to all those documentaries comes the short narrative film /afk. This live-action film, featuring extensive in-game footage produced by a whole host of well known machinimators -- Gigi, Teagen the Rogue, Baron Soosdon, the list goes on -- tells the tale of a WoW gamer whose psychiatrist informs him that he is gaming-addicted and should delete his character. Game over? Not quite. "The problem is that he always had this dream to solo Onyxia," explains creator Benjamin Dressler, "and he doesn't intend to leave without reaching that goal."

/afk debuts on YouTube later this week with a unique, in-game event that literally "unlocks" the premiere. On Nov. 19, Aventhor, the night elf character from the movie, will appear on Alleria (EU-A) at 7 p.m. GMT and Drenden (US-A) at 5 p.m. CST. Find him and unlock "/afk"! Players must find Aventhor on each server and perform his quests to unlock the movie on YouTube. For more details on the premiere event, see the video at the end of the article -- and join us after the break for a peek behind the scenes with creator Benjamin Dressler.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW Moviewatch: /afk trailer

Work warning: There's a bit of cursing herein.

The movie /afk is getting near release. A masterful mix of machinima styles and live-action performance, /afk tells the story of a young gamer whose only goal is to kill Onyxia. At the same time, his counselor warns the boy to free himself from the game, presumably before dire consequences happen.

If you have been following the YouTube channels of artists like Gigi, you probably have already heard of /afk. There have been a dozen or more machinima-makers working on the movie behind the scenes. I'm especially excited to see the release of the movie and see how the collaboration has turned out.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Officers' Quarters: Content is easy

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

It's been a while here at Officers' Quarters since we've tackled some good, old-fashioned guild drama. This week's email comes from a guild leader dealing with an abrasive officer (and real-life friend) with a penchant for long, sudden and unexplained AFKs.

Hi Scott,

I am the guild leader of a new 10-man guild. I created the guild equally with several real-life friends and we co-share the leadership. The problem lies in this: One of the real-life friends has been doing things like going AFK for 45 minutes in the middle of a raid. This was a guild-led, non-scheduled ICC-25 PUG, but he gave me little warning and then disappeared for 45 minutes, which included the first two bosses.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Guest Post: Top 10 opportunities to go AFK in raids

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

Throughout my time raiding in WoW, I've noticed that a lot of things factor into the success or failure of a raid. Coordination, cooldown timing, proper raid composition and end-game gear can only go so far if your raid is physically or (more likely) mentally exhausted. Playing as both a raid leader and a rank-and-file member has allowed me to find the best times to take a breather and recharge my gaming battery during a raid environment. Here are some of the best times as a raid leader to call a break and some convenient times for raid members to sneak a quick breather that will minimize the effect on the raid as a whole.

10. The Prescheduled Break The prescheduled break is just that: prescheduled. Your raiders know exactly when they will be able to leave their keyboards for that much-needed bio break or to change out the laundry. I've been in guilds that called five-minute breaks on the top of the hour, and I've been in guilds that decided that the two-hour mark was the key to success. Whatever your time, your raiders will know when they are not needed, allowing them the flexibility to plan according to the set schedule.

9. The Flask Break The flask break is similar to the prescheduled break; the break occurs as soon as flasks expire. I find that this system works remarkably well, as raiders spend time, gold and resources obtaining flasks and have a vested interest in how the time is spent using it. I've seen faster and more efficient trash pulls and a bit more boss awareness when using this method, as it's a race against the clock in order to prevent using another flask to obtain the objective.

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Filed under: Raiding, Guest Posts

Call for submissions: The pause that refreshes

What are the absolute best opportunities during a WoW session for grabbing a quick break? Whether you're desperate for a bio break, need to make a brief phone call or simply need a moment to stretch and get a drink, when is the right moment to go AFK when solo, grouped or in a raid? What if you're a raid or event leader -- how do you build in the pause that refreshes?

We're looking for the Top 10 chances to take a break while playing WoW. Submissions should be between 500 and 1,000 words. Artwork is not mandatory, but any you choose to include must be your own work or from creative commons. We will not accept articles submitted under player names or pen names; please use your real name and email. We'll only be accepting the very best article.

Ready to submit? Read up about our guest post program, then sign up for Seed and submit your article here. (You can't see the article page unless you have a Seed account.) Unfortunately, the Seed program currently only allows us to accept submissions from individuals living in the United States; we hope to be able to accept international submissions in the future. We'll accept submissions for this assignment until 11:59 p.m. EST on Thurs., July 1. Good luck and good writing!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Guest Posts

Drama Mamas: Make it work

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Wives get a bad reputation. We are often portrayed more like evil stepmothers than the helpmates and lovers that we would like to be seen as. Some of us deserve it, from time to time. But often we are just trying to be the voice of responsibility in the face of a spouse who's behaving more like a carefree teen. Supervisors and guild leaders are also put in uncomfortable situations, where they are forced to be The Bad Guy in order take care of their responsibilities. This week, we mamas put on our stern caps and wag our fingers a bit more than usual. But we really hope things turn out well for the letter writer and those he interacts with.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: Abuse of the "Report player AFK" feature

I make liberal use of the "Report player AFK" feature when I'm in Battlegrounds, particularly Alterac Valley. I can't stand AFKers who leech XP and honor off of the rest of us actually trying to win a game. But while I also abhor when one of my fellow Hordies caps Snowfall Graveyard (don't get me started on that), I would never consider reporting him AFK in retaliation. Sure, I don't want to play with him anymore, but I wouldn't abuse the report AFK feature to try to force the issue either. Others, it seems, are not above AFK reporting abuse.

There have been a couple of times that I've died and run off for a biobreak only to come back to being in town and a deserter debuff. That's kinda understandable: I was actually AFK. But just how quick are people reporting? It's like being at a stoplight in New York City, where people start beeping their horns to hurry you up before the light even turns green. And then the other night, I was trying to get through a bottleneck near Stormpike Graveyard -- which admittedly wasn't the smart way to get around -- and next thing I know I'm at a loading screen. Obviously, I got reported for being in the group of people fighting on the road; but since I was just trying to get through, I didn't get rid of the debuff.

Here's how reporting people AFK works:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds

Drama Mamas: Reading is hard

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

"Reading is hard." We've seen that snarky little comeback all too often around comments, the Blizzard forums and various cracks and crevices in between. Judging from the number of comments we get from readers for whom "skimming" has obviously replaced "reading" (yes, all of you who bunnyhopped over the point of last week's advice on playing a character of the opposite gender – we're looking at you!), we might be inclined to concur, in a most un-snarky, literal way.

What concerns the Drama Mamas is when players blunder through their game without really reading what their fellow players are communicating, both explicitly and between the lines. We all know how easily humor (and especially sarcasm) can fall flat on the internet. Disaster strikes when players stop reading and start reading into what others say. It's all too easy to miss connections when we stop "listening" halfway through. Players can even do this to themselves, second-guessing situations and making assumptions that prevent them from truly enjoying the game the way they'd like.

This week, we'll help two players slice through their anxieties and clearly communicate their wishes. Say what you mean! Mean what you say! And in the meantime, we urge all our readers to read up, line by line, when other players have something to say. Don't seize upon a single phrase that inflames your sensibilities while heedlessly abandoning the rest. Connecting with other players is best done in black and white -- and "read" all over.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

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