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Posts with tag analysis

WRUP: Someone should make a Warcraft movie MMO

So there's this Warcraft movie that's getting made? And they showed off the logo and some props from it this week, and there's apparently going to be a big panel at SDCC where Legendary Pictures may or may not reveal some details about the movie. And so now I'm thinking about it, and I think we totally should make an MMO based on this Warcraft property, if the movie does well enough.

So this week, in addition to asking about what our friends are playing, I asked what they thought about this Warcraft movie and if it would make a good MMO.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WRUP: And now, our feature presentation

This week saw a release date announcement for Curse of Naxxramas, the first adventure pack for Hearthstone. Release dates are fine and all that, but in more relevant WoW news, this week also saw the launch of a brand new beta build that opened up four new levels to obtain, two new PvE zones worth of quests, two model revamps, one PvP island, a mysterious portal, and a whole mess of new places to explore.

Sure, we already have a list of things to expect from Warlords, and a list of features we'll be seeing in the new expansion. But this week, in addition to asking everyone what they are playing this weekend, we decided to ask what one feature they'd like to see added to Warlords. How about you guys -- and what are you playing?

Alex Ziebart (@AlexZiebart) This weekend I'm taking it easy for the most part and spending time outside. When I am playing something, I'll be on the Warlords beta checking out Talador. As for new features? Real player housing is still something I really want after seeing it in action in Wildstar -- the amount of creativity some players pour into their lots is incredible. Though I'd accept a Karabor comeback as an alternative.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WRUP: A lonely time of playing

This week was a complex mix of big news and no news. Weeks like this are weird. Your intrepid WoW Insider staff assembles itself, ready to lay down the big news smackdown... and then nothing else comes to light. It's a weird mix of hurry-up-and-wait and "Oh, please, let something happen."

But the reality is that WoD approaches closer with every day. While there's obviously no release date yet, we're getting lots of information from the beta. So when we asked the WoW Insider staff what they're playing this weekend, we also asked them to opine on the state of the beta. Are we looking forward to the expansion as a whole new playground, or are we feeling like the not-time-travel expansion is perhaps a bit lackluster?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WRUP: The desert of our dis-content

mists preview blizzcon
We're caught in the desert of very little news. But at least some news is starting to trickle in about 2014, such as the many contests for BlizzCon. (I hear they're on the left side, and must be handled.)

We asked our intrepid staff what big hopes and dreams they were secretly harboring for BlizzCon 2014 this year. I'm hoping that we'll finally hear some hints of that mysterious project. I'd say a release date for WoD but there's no way it can wait that long, right? Right? Oh, gosh, I hope we're not still waiting for WoD by then.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WRUP: Just a little haiku

guild-bank-pun
Some say that haiku is done. That as an internet art form, the haiku has been beaten to death and left on the roadside. But we few, we happy few, we band of bloggers, say that there is yet a little life one can drag free from the beaten style and left to your enjoyment.

So this weekend, we've offered you not only the games that we will be playing. We also offer a bit of our souls in the form of a few poems. Make sure you don't miss out on Rossi's epic lyrics, in particular. I think they'll please even the most hardened prose addict.

But what about you, dear reader? What will you be playing this weekend? We'd like to know. Leave a comment below so that we may know a little more about your deepest, darkest soul. We're curious, and we promise not to tell your family.

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Filed under: Add-Ons

Blood Pact: WoL, 'locks, and damage done

Blood Pact General damage done on World of Logs MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill wants to coin WoL'lock, but isn't sure if she should.

Last week, I started off with some basics of World of Logs (WoL) regarding warlocks. I started to write a column to go spec by spec, but later I realized that might become a game of find and replace with the different buffs or DoTs important to each spec. So instead, this week is another general World of Logs lesson with a little more specific caster DPS focus with warlock flavor. We'll just build up to the nitty gritty spells next week.

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

The beauty of classic WoW's Molten Core

Ragnaros
Back in the days of WoW's original release, Molten Core was, in many ways, the raid. It wasn't the only raid, and it certainly wasn't the only raid that left a lasting impression on the consciousness of WoW players. Nonetheless, if you were raiding in classic WoW, you started with Molten Core, and that experience inevitably shaped the way raiding has been perceived ever since. What was it exactly about Molten Core? Was it the sprawling, maze-like dungeon (which didn't have a map at the time)? Was it the memorable boss fights and quotes? Was it the iconic gear drops? Was it dealing with the reality of trying to organize 40 players into their different roles and individual responsibilities?

I'd say all of the above, to an extent. The first time you do anything new, be it visiting a city or raiding in a video game, there is a certain significance to the occasion that can never truly be replicated. As the first big raid most classic WoW players experienced, Molten Core has had a special place in our collective hearts for a long time now. Let's take a trip down memory lane with a look at some of the unique and fun aspects of Molten Core, many of which I miss but honestly would not want to have to deal with again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

What is the meaning of gear?

What is the meaning of gear
The forums are a constant source of interest. I was browsing their pages this morning, and came across this gem, not the writing of the blue, but a quotation from elsewhere.

Draztal
Quote:

Looking at people with epic gear should be a motivator to get yourself into raiding, and if you don't have the time for it, then to bad for you. Get over it.

You can't control people's motivations. For many players out there, gear is not the objective, just the mean to an end (defeating more difficult foes).


This got me thinking about what gear means, simply because my attitude to it was so different to that of the person Draztal is quoting. I love things that generate different opinions within WoW, and it seemed fairly likely that this was one of those things.

The person who originally wrote this is quite feasibly someone who sets great store in the importance of raiding, probably at a high level, such as heroic raiding, and sees gear as a trophy which he or she has won from their exploits. It's a token of remembrance, almost, something to show the world that you have achieved great things. There are plenty of elements of WoW that cater to this view, such as achievements that award titles for long-gone feats of strength, or mounts, anything that says "I was there. I did this."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Totem Talk: Post-patch enhancement shaman still waiting for buffs

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shamans. Rich Maloy lives and breathes enhancement: his main spec is enhance, his off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance and leads the guild Big Crits (Season 2 Ep 06 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

We're now two full weeks into patch 4.0.1 with our new and improved enhancement spec. Improved? Actually, no. Our DPS is only marginally improved over the previous incarnation, while our fellow melee brethren were buffed to the teeth. My rough analysis shows the difference between us and top melee DPS, usually warrior and death knight, has widened significantly since the patch.

I'm going to preface all of this analysis by saying that I am not the top enhancement shaman, by far. I play well, I study my class, I optimize my spec, gems, forging, gear and rotations. I don't die to stupid stuff -- well, at least not often! In other words, I try to push my damage without sacrificing myself. Be forewarned that some of these numbers I'm embarrassed to post in such a public manner, and while I'm hardly the benchmark for DPS, I can at least provide a baseline of what your average progression raider's numbers look like.

On average across eight of 12 hard-mode fights in ICC (excluding the gimmick fights Gunship, VDW and BQL, and excluding H-LK because we're just now working on him), the top melee DPS was doing 50 percent more damage than me pre-patch and 64 percent more post-patch. I could narrow that gap down to about 15 percent on a standstill fight such as Deathbringer Saurfang, but on high-movement fights such as Sindy, the top melee would do as much as 80 percent more damage than me overall.

As much as it pains me to say this, as a raid leader I have to ask the question: Am I dead weight in raids right now? Will level 85 with Unleash Elements bring better output?

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Defining Playstyles: Beyond casual vs. hardcore

In a recent Totem Talk post, I made a loot list for enhancement shamans that have access to ICC but are not progression raiders, because they are either alts or they are -- drum roll, please -- casual. That's right: I used the c-word without context. Casual. There, I said it again without context. Excuse me while I duck from the rotten vegetables being thrown in my direction.

The use of that c-word in relation to an Icecrown Citadel loot list sparked a very interesting comment thread. Most comments were well thought-out, added value and furthered the discussion. Some were, to borrow Adam Savage's favorite term, vitriolic, because of my heinous misuse of the term "casual." I said it again without context. I'm just casually throwing around "casuals" here.

Given the reaction that post received, I started doing some research into what exactly "casual" and "hardcore" actually mean. What I found was not surprising at all: They mean completely different things to absolutely everyone. The MMO population of players, across all games, is estimated at over 61 million people. There are as many variations on play time and playstyle as there are players in the game. Do you really think we can divide this many people simply into two groups of just casuals and hardcores?

I think it's time we move beyond the polarizing definitions of casual and hardcore and come up with some definitions of our own.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Cataclysm Talent Preview: Holy priests

If you didn't already know, late Wednesday evening, Blizzard released a new and thorough Cataclysm talent preview for select classes. Among those classes was the priest class, and as WoW.com's healing priest, thus I have been charged with providing you with a talent-by-talent breakdown for the holy tree. (There is also a preview analysis for discipline.)

The preview's biggest highlight is Chakra, but there are a few twists and turns in the tree that are well worth a look. Hit the jump and we'll get down to business.

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Cataclysm Talent Preview: Discipline priests

Last night, Blizzard unexpectedly released an extensive talent preview from Cataclysm for select classes. Priests were among those classes, and as the resident healing priest, I will be walking you through the preview for discipline (as well as holy) talent by talent.

The preview confirms the full details on the long-awaited discipline ability, Power Word: Barrier. A new talent called Archangel was also unveiled. Hit the jump to check it out.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Glyphing for Fire Elemental


Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk, and leads the guild Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

After writing last week's article and then this week diving headfirst into some 10s and 25s I felt like the Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem needed some love. I felt even more so after looking at my combat parses for Lich King fights and noticing Fire Nova was my second highest damage ability. The fight is a long one -- a very long one -- and it got me wondering if I could step up my output by glyphing into fire ele. After all, who doesn't want more minions running around doing damage for them?

Fire ele has the potential to be a great glyph: the elemental is another pet doing good damage and we can still cast Fire Nova off the totem. Of course the downsides are deal breakers for the glyph in most cases:

  • The pet is leashed to the totem
  • Fire Nova's damage is lost if the boss or mobs move away from the totem
  • The 5 minute cooldown is still longer than most boss fights

Read more to see when and where it's appropriate to glyph into this.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Facebook vs. World of Warcraft

They both have millions of users across the world. They both have made and broken friendships and relationships, and they both have raised millions if not billions of dollars for their respective companies. And chances are that they're both so popular even your grandma knows about them. Gamasutra has written an interesting post comparing both World of Warcraft and Facebook of all things, and they say that the two are more alike than you might think: both enable you to create an identity, and use that identity to interact with others, and both give you a wide variety of options to do so (in WoW, you can slay dragons together, and on Facebook, you can tag pictures or post on walls). Gamasutra wants to get to the center of where exactly the interactivity lies, and in doing so, figure out what makes Warcraft a game, and Facebook a network.

One major difference is in the interface -- obviously, WoW is wrapped in a fantasy world, so that in between all of the socializing, you're also fighting the Scourge or the Burning Crusade. Facebook has games, but it doesn't have that overarching narrative. WoW also rewards group teamwork and coordination, while Facebook leaves collaboration to its own rewards. And of course the cost is another big difference: WoW is still a subscription game, while Facebook pays in other ways. But the amount of similarities between the two are pretty fascinating. And comparing the two, as Gamasutra does, really makes you think about just what interactivity means, and how two apparently very different types of interactive media aren't that far apart after all.

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Forums

A little pre-80 min/maxing can be helpful

Gnomeaggedon has written up a great guide to something a lot of players (including me) haven't worried about at all in the past: min/maxing your gear before you ever hit level 80. Aside from twinking, there seems to be almost no reason to worry much about gear before you hit the endgame -- you can level in almost anything these days, and by the time you hit 80, you'll replace it all anyway. Why bother? But Gnome makes a good point: he says you should put the minimum of effort in to max out your gear's power. Better gear will help you level faster, will help you play better, and I'll even add that it will help you learn your class better; figuring out early on which stats you want to choose over others will be a big help when you are dealing with all of the epics at level 80. You don't have to spend all your time choosing gear pre-80, as most of it will get replaced with regular quest rewards anyway. But it's good to put some thought into it.

So how's it done? Gnome's posts have some excellent tips on browsing Wowhead for new gear, using Rawr to analyze where your character's at now, and eventually looking ahead to what's next (I'll throw Gear Wishlist in again, simply because that's helped me out a lot). There's so many great tools out there for choosing gear, and it's interesting to note that they're still helpful even pre-80. Taking a second to check your gear while leveling up might actually make that grind that much easier.

Filed under: Items, Instances, Leveling, Guides

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