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Posts with tag breakfast-topic

Breakfast Topic: The fly on the wall

Breakfast Topic The fly on the wall ANYTIME
Every so often, you find yourself in a PUG where a line in party chat makes you think that something pretty serious is going on behind the scenes. Not long before Mists hit, I was tanking an otherwise routine run in Well of Eternity with a guild group from another server. They were distracted during the run and were obviously paying more attention to what one of them mentioned was a lot of unhappy drama in guild chat. I felt it would be rude to pry, so when the run ended and they all vanished back to their own server, I was left there wondering what was going on and if everything was okay with a guild I had known nothing about 30 minutes previously.

That's not the first time that's happened, either: I had another memorable run with a warlock/paladin duo, with the former consoling the latter over a recent break-up with his girlfriend. It was a vivid reminder that the players you meet in a PUG are all real people, that most of the time you're nothing more than a fleeting participant in their lives, and that you may wander in at some personally meaningful or even painful moments.

Allowing for the fact that you can't trust everything you read in party chat, have you ever found yourself the proverbial fly on the wall in WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: If you could play WoW with anyone, who would it be?

Breakfast Topic If you could play WoW with anyone, who would it be
I was sitting in my super comfortable chair the other night, staring out my window and taking in the view, when a question suddenly came to mind. I quickly rang my friend, and without taking the time to give a proper greeting, I posed the question: If you could play WoW with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Like, the person would be in your guild. You'd be able to talk with them on Mumble and raid, PvP, or run 5-mans with them. Whatever you want." It was essentially the "if you could have dinner with anyone in human history" question but with a WoW twist.

"Hunter S. Thompson," he replied, after taking a moment to think. "Or Morrissey. Poe would be fun to play with, too."

"I could see Thompson doing all right, but I dunno about Morrissey." I told him. "He'd probably be terrible at the game. A keyboard turner."

"Yeah, he'd probably refuse to heal the raid and just stand there asking what the boss had done that we had to kill it. Probably play a holy priest."

We then went on to discuss what tier set Morrissey would transmog his gear to. (We settled on tier 3 because it's unobtainable.) Later, we considered whether George Washington would make a great raid leader.

So who would you pick? Be sure to include your reasoning and what class the person would play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The best NPC conversations in the game

Blizzard has increasingly programmed NPC conversations into the game as a means of adding flavor to the world and personality to the characters with whom you interact, and some of them are just amazing. In the classic game, these conversations started off very simple, with Stormwind children running around driving everyone crazy with arguments over which misbegotten whelp had stolen the other's doll or something like that. In Outland, you could catch performances of stand-up comedy in the World's End Tavern in Shattrath. By Wrath of the Lich King, mortally wounded NPCs insulted each other from separate bunks in Crusader's Pinnacle, and major lore figures argued about interfaction strife at the Argent Tournament. But I think it's tough to argue that Cataclysm hasn't been a million times better.

For my money, it's tough to beat the flavor conversations you tend to hear in goblin outposts (yeah, I've been on a goblin kick lately), including the one above, which occurs in the aftermath of the Azshara quest Mystery of the Sarcen Stone. Finding blood elves and goblins together is a recipe for comedy either way -- the two races could not be more different -- but this is what happens when the blood elves' preening sense of history runs headlong into the goblins' morally questionable pragmatism.

What's your favorite flavor conversation in the game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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

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

WoW Insider's Weekly Recap, featuring TradeChat's Panser

Welcome to the all-exciting, weekly news recap featuring Panser of TradeChat! In our weekly recap, we'll be tackling the hottest news and whatever other kickin', rad items have come our way throughout the last week. This week's topics include: Make sure you subscribe to TradeChat and check back every week for more Weekly Recaps!

Filed under: News items

Pass down these bona fide orcish proverbs to your young Hordelings

When Mike Sacco passed down the orcish proverb "Every orc is worth a dozen," my world changed. Never had life been so simple, so distilled down to the real truth. If I wasn't strong enough as one person, I should just be as strong as more people. It was so simple that it just might work -- well, according to an orc.

Orcish proverbs straddle the fine line between clever and stupid. Not the bad kind of stupid, mind you; the forehead slap, the solemn head shake, a disappointed sigh are our connotations. Eventually, orcish proverbs began to flow, and the community took part in our Breakfast Topic dedicated to the subject. Here are some pearls of orcish wisdom that you can bring home to your loved ones to teach them a thing or two about hardiness, resolve, and fear.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore

Breakfast Topic: Are neutral cities better for server communities?

I ran into an old friend from the Burning Crusade days recently, and we found ourselves reminiscing about the things we missed from that expansion. While we both agreed that the quality of the play experience is way better these days, there was one thing that we both missed: Shattrath.

As any BC-era player could tell you, Shattrath was a busy place, with players getting their tailoring and blacksmithing done in Lower City, loitering around the Scryer and Aldor bank ledges, playing chicken with the elevators, and riffing on Cro Threadstrong's threats to the nearby fruit vendor. Because the Alliance and Horde were both headquartered in the city and there were no faction restrictions on which of the two banks and inns you used, it was pretty common to encounter both friends and enemies as you went about your business (or, just as commonly, sat somewhere and gossiped in guild chat). While we were chatting about this, my friend said something that stuck with me: "It felt like you cared more about players from the opposite faction because you saw them all the time."

The more I thought about it, the more I felt he was right. I knew if my counterparts in Alliance raiding guilds had upgraded their gear, /waved at them a lot, and /pointed and /cheered to the telltale flames in the central part of the city to congratulate them on their Kael kill. In Cataclysm, we find ourselves largely on opposite sides of the world and encounter each other but rarely outside of the entrances to raids or while farming in higher-level zones.

Now obviously, there are technical issues with sticking players of both factions into the same city (Dalaran was famously laggy for most of Wrath of the Lich King), and given the Mists of Pandaria storyline, it doesn't make much sense to encourage interfaction closeness. But still I wonder, would the sense of server community (otherwise hurt by the success of the Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder) benefit from the reintroduction of a popular neutral city?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Have you ever won the Fishing Tournament?

Rise and shine, folks! It's a bright and sunny Saturday morning, and there's a Kalu'ak Fishing Derby to be won!

Winning the contest is simple ... in theory. Once the contest starts at 14:00 server time, fish in every pool in Northrend you can find until you get a Blacktip Shark. When you get it, bring it back to Dalaran. There's a lot of luck involved, but the contest is definitely winnable, especially now that it's been out for over two years.

The derby offers some pretty sweet rewards. It's the only place in the game where you can obtain an heirloom ring. (You could opt for boots that increase your fishing skill by 15 instead, but who'd ever choose that instead?)

Do you participate in the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby? Have you already won your Dread Pirate Ring prize? Or is the random nature and high competition level of the contest simply not worth your time?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Has the time come for Outland story updates?

After Chris Metzen's seeming joke at BlizzCon concerning the possible reappearance of Illidan in future WoW storylines, it occurred to me that we really haven't seen much of Outland or its storylines lately. Well, maybe that's not fair -- if you're leveling a character between 58 and 68, I imagine you've seen all too much of Outland and are heartily sick of the whole continent and its dungeons by now. Still, The Burning Crusade featured some great stories, and if Illidan ever does come back, there are a few people I hope he'll (metaphorically) drag alongside him.

The two that come immediately to mind are the Netherwing Dragonflight and the Ashtongue Deathsworn. What's up with the Netherwing since Deathwing's demise? Do they even know about it or what's happened with the Aspects? And what's going on with Akama now? I'd argue that he, more than Kael or Vashj or Illidan, was the greatest and most compelling character of WoW's first expansion, and he had one hell of a unique model. The brains behind the Ashtongue's high-stakes Batman Gambit (warning: TV Tropes link) has got to be up to something these days, and if Blizzard ever revamps Outland questing, I hope it gives players a peek.

Then again, that's assuming that yanking Illidan back from the dead is even a good idea to begin with (is it?) or that Outland stories can be made relevant to their modern counterparts. Thoughts, readers?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: That's all, folks

Whew. Well, those of us who were at BlizzCon 2011 are all on their way home today (except for Fox, who wandered off in the middle of the last panel and has not been seen since ... but we figure he'll turn up eventually). On behalf of all of us here at WoW Insider, we'd like to thank you for hanging with us, and apologize for the fact that this week's articles are all going to be written while sleep-deprived, hungover, or under the influence of copious quantities of caffeine.

So what did you think of this year's BlizzCon? This was definitely a more raucous convention than last year's, which was the calm before the Cataclysm storm. While readers have weighed in on what they're looking forward to the most (and the monk seems to have a clear advantage), there was still the rest of BlizzCon to consider. Did you watch the Foo Fighters concert? Did you order the annual pass? Do you have a favored pet picked out yet for battling other players? And what's up with that snake tail in Gundrak, anyway?

The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What happened to the mouse?

TV Tropes is justifiably known as one of the most dangerous sinkholes on the internet, and recently I spent hours winding my way through the entry on What Happened to the Mouse? For the uninitiated, the trope concerns secondary or minor characters and plot lines that go unresolved. Some better-known examples include the remaining dinosaur embryos in Jurassic Park, Saruman's fate in the film version of The Return of the King, and what happened to the Libyans in Back to the Future.

Probably the most famous unresolved story line in the history of WoW was that of The Missing Diplomat, which for years was an iconic Alliance quest in pursuit of the missing Stormwind king. You ended up in Dustwallow Marsh with Jaina Proudmoore's thanks for having tracked down one of the conspirators, and then ... silence. Until Wrath of the Lich King, players wondered what on earth had happened to King Wrynn.

Blizzard seems to be wrapping up a few stories that had been eluding players for a while (most recently, where Maeiv Shadowsong went after the battle with Illidan), but others remain. I have two personal favorites: The quest that Chromie gives you in Dragonblight that strongly hints at something weird going on with Nozdormu (admittedly, Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects sort of addresses this), and a question cryptically answered by Chris Metzen and Alex Afrasiabi in the first round of Ask CDev concerning the ultimate fate of Frostmourne. Is there any mouse-like storyline or quest thread you'd still like to see finished in game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Did you accomplish your Lunar Festival goals?

Your first kiss. The night of your senior prom. Lunar Festival 2011. Some events are just so memorable they live in your heart forever. And though we may wish they could last forever, they don't -- all good things must come to an end.

Try to hold back your tears: Lunar Festival, the World of Warcraft in-game holiday based around the Chinese New Year, has come to an end. Personally, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself now that the event is over. I've been spending the past few weeks obsessively running old and outdated dungeons on my max-level characters, watching 20 different people standing around Moonglade without any idea about how to summon Omen, and deleting tons of spam-like in-game mail from all sorts of "elders." And what do I have to show for it? Nothing, because I still haven't done the stupid Children's Week PvP achievements. (And I probably never will.)

But enough about me. What about you? Did you accomplish your goals for the Lunar Festival? And, gosh darn, how are you ever going to survive the next 40-plus months without experiencing the joy and fun of the holiday?
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Love: Is it actually in the air?

The Environmental Protection Agency is issuing a warning to the Eastern Kingdoms, especially the Greater Gilneas/Sepulcher area: Absolutely toxic levels of love are expected to be in the air from Feb. 6 through Feb. 20. That's right, folks -- it's time for another semi-mandatory in-game holiday!

The Azerothian holiday Love is in the Air is based on the real world Valentine's Day holiday. There are some similarities, of course -- in Azeroth as in real life, the holiday involves romantic picnics, eating candies, and making very poor decisions while drunk. The activities are far more rewarding in Azeroth, though: Completing these, along with all the other holiday achievements throughout the year, earns you the 50-point What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been meta achievement, complete with a Violet Proto-Drake and free Master Riding. (For more information about completing the Love meta achievement, take a look at Allison Robert's The Overachiever: Guide to Love is in the Air 2011.)

How are you planning on spending the two-week-long holiday? Are you going to spend it working on your holiday meta achievement? Are you looking forward to farming Apothecary Hummel for his new ilevel 346 loot? Or maybe you'll just send your in-game sweetheart a Bouquet of Black Roses?

As for yours truly, I'll be spending the bulk of my time receiving gifts from my many suitors (hint, hint), flirting with blood elves, riding Big Love Rockets, and spending some quality time with my one true love -- myself.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Could you possibly be more excited for the Lunar Festival?

Can you believe it's time for the Lunar Festival again? I mean, can you believe it?

To be honest, it took me a while to figure out just exactly what holiday the Lunar Festival was. Most holidays in Azeroth mirror our own, but I don't really celebrate Chinese New Year. So of course, being the uncultured (though handsome) dolt I am, I assumed the holiday was inspired by the canceled CBS drama Ghost Whisperer. Apparently, though, the Chinese New Year is a pretty big thing. Especially in China. Go figure!

For those who don't know, the Lunar Festival is a three-week-long super-holiday that involves running around the world to meet and "honor" all sorts of elders. If the whole thing tingles the same obsessive-compulsive part of your brain as it does mine, you'll find yourself one-manning all sorts of old instances, trying to honor some inconveniently located, long-forgotten spooks for a handful of gold and some holiday-only currency. If you want more information about it, it's all here in The OverAchiever: Guide to Lunar Festival 2011.

It's one of the most brutal travel-heavy holidays out there, but if you're interested in scoring that 310% mount from the What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been achievement, it's required. But is it worth it? Will you be celebrating the Lunar Festival holiday across all your alts? Are you excited about corpse-hopping your way through the opposing faction's capital cities?

I already made my rounds last year, so I think I'll just take it easy myself. Maybe order in some Chinese and catch a Camryn Manheim film festival instead.

Read more →

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How do you get rid of more money than you need?

Back in Wrath, you could hardly call me a wheeler-dealer type. I had a couple max-level characters with about 10,000 gold between them. Frankly, it was more money than I needed. I had good gear, plenty of bags, and 280% flight speed. My alts were well taken care of. Not that I'm complaining. So far as problems go, having too much money is a good problem to have.

I planned to use it all to power level my professions in Cataclysm. And that's precisely what I did. It cost a lot of scratch to grind tailoring, alchemy, and inscription to 525. But as I was powerleveling professions, I was creating saleable products. And making money. Like an Azerothian version of Brewster's Millions, the harder I tried spending my money, the more money I wound up making. I couldn't spend away my money even if I tried.

Now, I'm "stuck" with even more gold than I had in Wrath. After reading up on what rich people do with their money, I decided to take my own best shot at getting rid of it. Sadly, despite my best efforts, I couldn't find a realtor to help me buy up Cathedral Square and turn the place into condos. I couldn't self-finance a bid for Congress. And I couldn't get my own reality show on E!

If you were thrown into your own Azeroth-centric version of Brewster's Millions, how would you empty your bank account? If you had more gold than you knew what to do with ... what would you do with it all? Make an army of well-geared alts? Corner the Vial of the Sands market? Or maybe you'd just plain give it away?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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