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Posts with tag casual

Gold Capped: Casual auctioneering


Want to get Gold Capped? This column shows you how. Basil "Euripides" Berntsen, also of outdps.com, the Hunting Party podcast and the Call to Auction podcast will endeavor to fill your head with so much economic wisdom that you won't be able to see straight afterwards!

Making money in game can seem complex. Well, it is. The real pros have addons and UI customizations most people would never bother developing, keen understanding of the chains of supply and demand in the in-game economy, as well as inordinate amounts of time to spend in the auction house. What if you're just out to fund your epic flyer, though?

If you're reading my column to see whether there's a cap on the amount of gold you can stuff into a guild bank, chances are you've already carved out a niche for yourself. If, however, you don't plan on spending any more time in the AH than you absolutely need to, what can you do to make more money there than you make grinding dailies?

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

15 Minutes of Fame: Retirement home

15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Is there such a thing as retirement guilds for burned-out players? When Sharaya and Boltac of Vanguard of Norrath spotted that innocuous question on the Blackwater Raiders realm forums, they recognized a familiar face: their very own guild. A collection of former hardcore gamers from the EverQuest era, VoN has become home base for a more casual approach. "We've all done the hardcore raiding thing, which comes with wanting to see everything and do everything in a high-content mass online game," explains VoN officer Sharaya. "We all have had our stints with guilds sporting the usual raid schedules, leveling needs, gear requirements and members constantly preening about scores from tertiary web sites with convoluted ranking systems. In the beginning, we all did this as a choice. It let us see everything, and let's face it -- it was fun.

"But as in most games with such demands, many good players get burnout," he continues. "They don't tire of the game; they tire of the routine. They tire of 'having' to log in to make events or risk /gkick. They tire of the constant fighting over drops and arguing about who gets invited to what. The game ceases to be a game and becomes a chore. It truly is a 'daily.' What we realized is this is not a fault of the game; it's a fault of the guild you're in."

So they created Vanguard of Norrath to offer a refuge from the grind, a place to indulge what Sharaya calls "the ability and know-how to blitz most anything we wanted but ... on our schedule, at our pace and without any pressure." The big surprise? How many other players have been attracted to VoN for exactly the same reasons.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW in the running for Game of the Decade

2009 is coming to a close, and with it, "the aughts," which means we're about to get flooded with list after list of the best of the decade. It's been a raucous ten years for gaming (some, including me, might call it the best ten years in gaming so far), and Crispy Gamer is the first to step up and try to pick the best games we've seen so far. In their Game of the Decade showdown, World of Warcraft is still in the running, up against Bioware's legendary Knights of the Old Republic RPG, as the latest post has readers trying to pick the final four choices. If you think our game is more deserving than KotOR (note that this isn't the MMO, it's the old RPG with your friendly meatbag hater droid, HK-47), you can vote for WoW over on this page until Tuesday at 6pm.

KotOR is a great game, but as a decade-defining game, I'd have to think WoW will pull that one off. After that, though, there's some tough competition: BioShock and Half-Life 2 are up against each other, Halo and Left 4 Dead are facing off in another bracket, and Super Smash Brothers Melee and Shadow of the Colossus (which I guess I need to go play now) are the challengers in the third. I have to say -- as a "Game of the Decade," BioShock and Half-Life 2 are definitely in competition, but if you want to pick a game which has really defined both the online and casual gaming movements of the last ten years? We'll have to see what the readers choose, but I'd have to think World of Warcraft is your game.

[ via BlizzPlanet and kyleorl ]

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

Jeff Kaplan on WoW development: "We debate like crazy"

Our buddy Phil Kollar of Game Informer (who was on the podcast recently) got a chance to talk to Jeff Kaplan about the World of Warcraft, and while Kaplan repeats a lot of what he's said before, the interview is worth a read for a look inside Blizzard's design process. What's probably most interesting is that it's very fluid and very dynamic -- just as much as we're arguing on this site and on the forums about how Blizzard should do things, they're also arguing and going back and forth behind the scenes.

He does talk specifically about cutscenes, saying that the Wrathgate scene was an experiment that paid off well, and we should expect some more of that kind of storytelling even as soon as in patch 3.3 (you may have seen it before if you're checking spoilers). And he does talk about raiding sizes and accessibility -- Blizzard has always wanted to do smaller raids, both for the feel of them and for the tuning, but it apparently took them a while to bring 40 down to 25 and then down to 10 correctly. Finally, he doesn't reveal anything about the new MMO, but he does say that singleplayer gaming will always have a place at Blizzard's core -- even when you're playing a multiplayer game, the singleplayer experience should still feel right. True enough, good interview.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Quests, Raiding, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Officers' Quarters: Casual raiding 2009


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

I feel like it's been a while since I wrote a column about casual raiding. I posted a four-part guide to making it work back in April 2008. Since then, I've pointed most people who write me about this topic in that direction without writing a full column on their questions. A lot has changed in WoW since then! It feels like the right time to revisit the topic.

First, here is this week's e-mail:

Scott,

First, let me thank you for publishing such a wonderful column. I read it religiously and find the topics and information extremely helpful. I am writing to you with a problem in the hopes you may have some advice.

Let me start from the beginning to give you a more clear picture. Pre-Wrath Currahee had a solid core group of players and we were progressing forward with heroics and beginning to enter Kara. About this time the guild began to crumble as the core players left for raiding guilds that were progressing into further content. Wrath comes out and most of our core players are gone, those that remained leave within a few months after Wrath is released. This summer, the guild leader handed over the reigns to me and left the guild to focus on school as he was returning to college. There was a drop in membership as he left (from about 100 to around 50), though the ranks have held pretty steady, increasing by a few players under my leadership.

Today I am facing unrest in the guild as folks are unhappy that there is "never anyone online". I do my best to recruit, I have posted on the official forums, setup an account on WoWHeadhunter, I have joined forces with a small guild <Punisher> on my server to run ToC 5-Man on a near nightly basis. As we typically only have 4 members online, we usually have to find our 5th. If they are any good, I ask if they are interested in joining Currahee (no new recruits from this method yet).

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Filed under: Raiding, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Giving up on conquering WoW

Backhand of Justice has an interesting post up about something we've considered for a long time: who will overtake World of Warcraft. Way back before this year started, game developers were challenged to come up with an MMO that could take on WoW's influence and popularity, and while there have certainly been some interesting MMOs announced and released (Star Wars: The Old Republic, which isn't out yet, and Aion, which is, are probably most in the forefront at the moment), it just hasn't happened. WoW is still the juggernaut it's been for almost the full five years, and with Cataclysm coming in 2010, that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.

So now, two months from the end of 2009, let's just say it: it's not possible. World of Warcraft is an aberration, an extremely well-made game that happened to be in just the right time and place (the casual game explosion, the adoption of MMOs and subscription model gaming, the "mainstreaming" of fantasy/sci-fi geekiness) to become an uber megahit. In short, game developers simply can't recreate WoW, at least not on purpose. As BoJ says, that doesn't mean they can't try -- there are certainly lots of original and interesting games and MMOs out there, and it's completely possible to be an MMO that isn't WoW-sized and be successful. But as for the actual question of beating WoW and its worldwide audience, game developers have pretty much moved on.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Drama Mamas: Elitists and exits


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.

This Drama Mama is in a bit of a pre-BlizzCon frenzy, what with preparations and announcements. But drama waits for no mama and we have two more questions to answer this week. First, we hear from a player who is frustrated with condescending guildies and seeks help in dealing with them. Next, a player who is paranoid about joining guilds after a bad exit wants to know a better way to leave.

But enough with the introductions! Let's get to the drama.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

WoW, Casually: Tips for leveling on a PvP realm


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

I have played on a PvP server for years, so I can tell you with authority that I cannot recommend choosing a PvP realm if you have limited playtime. PvE servers have it so much easier as far as questing solo in contested territories. I can only imagine how much easier it would be to quest in zones like Hillsbrad Foothills and Stranglethorn Vale without the fear of being ganked every few minutes. And as you can see above, my time in Borean Tundra hasn't been exactly gank-free.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, PvP, Leveling, WoW, Casually

A WoW player's guide to Free Realms


Our good friends at Massively have written up a post just for you WoW players about the new hotness in MMOs lately, a game called Free Realms. I haven't gotten a chance to play it, but it's all the team over there can talk about, and the game itself just hit a whopping three million players. It's a free-to-play game (with more premium memberships getting more features -- the minimum is about $5 a month) put out by Sony Online Entertainment that aims towards a more casual audience, with extra content placed in for more hardcore gamers. The questing and leveling itself is very forgiving -- you have a dotted green line leading you to quest targets, and combat only takes place in instanced areas. But the crafting and other various minigames (in order to do mining, you actually play a Bejewelled-style matching game, and there's even a "Kart Driver" profession) can get pretty hard. Just like WoW, those who want to collect pets or build skills can do that, while those who are more interested in dungeon crawling have that option as well.

I've been meaning to pick up the game and check it out (on the free level, of course -- with my WoW subscription running, I'm not made of MMO money), and Massively's guide is an excellent first overview to how the game relates to our favorite MMO. If you're getting a little bored in Azeroth waiting for the next expansion announcement and are looking for something else to try, Free Realms might just be it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Instances, Quests, Leveling, Classes

WoW, Casually: What is casual?


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Turtlehead wrote in wanting to know "what the heck casual is." This is a good question, but the answer seems to change according to the context. I learned long ago to explain how I'm defining casual for a particular article, or else face the wrath of my readers. When I write Wow, Casually, I define casual as a player with limited playtime and address my content accordingly. But there are many other kinds of players that could be called casual and we use the word to describe any or all of them. So, is it possible to define the word to please everybody? Probably not, but I'm going to try.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end


Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Yeah, we know you've already got Algalon on farm -- WoW.com readers are just uber that way. But for the rare handful of you still playing at a somewhat less stratospheric progression point ... How about those patches? Is the flow of new content keeping pace with your playstyle and interest?

"The pace of new content is fine – ooh, shiny :)," wrote Julie. "What worries me is the rate at which old content becomes obsolete (which is way too fast). For example, I'm glad Ulduar and Emalon are out. I hate the fact you can't do Archavon without doing Emalon. I also hate the fact that there's no reason to go into Naxx (Pro-Drake, badges, etc.) or heroic five-mans, for that matter. Basically I'm ok with the new content coming out; not ok with being forced to move to the new content the moment it does, however. There should be some balanced incentives to keep doing older content."

Is your guild working patiently through the existing content at its own rate, or has the addition of new content shoved you out into the deep end before you were ready?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

WoW, Casually: Rating the classes for casuals


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Hello, my name is Robin and I'm an altaholic. I'm not here to try to stop, however. I find it a lot of fun and playing games is all about fun. But it has prevented me from experiencing the endgame content when everyone is excited about it, rather than just spinning their wheels waiting for the next expansion. So, now I want to choose which alt to take to the end. But which one will be easy for leveling and still be valuable in groups when I reach the endgame?

In my experience, the best class to play as a casual player is one that is easily soloable, with little downtime, but also able to find groups quickly when necessary, particularly at max level. Following is how I rate each class according to those criteria.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Classes, Death Knight, WoW, Casually

Ready Check: I'm more hardcore than you



Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we step back a little and look at endgame in the context of sports.


Firstly, dedicated followers of this column (hi, Mum) will have noticed a new addition - Michael Gray's working his magic to make Ready Check not just weekly, but twice-weekly! Is that more than enough Ready Check to keep anyone happy? I think so.

Today's column is inspired by a question we've been discussing internally: is WoW a sport? Specifically, as so many of the externally validated goals in-game relate to raiding, how does raiding stand up to other, more traditional sports? We're not talking eSports, but good old fashioned team games. How do the attitudes in raiding differ from those you'd find in the sporting-as-a-hobby world?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

The Art of War(craft): Arena Season 6, rise of the Casual Gladiator


I know, I know, most of you hate Arenas. I've been writing for WoW Insider -- ahem, I mean WoW.com -- long enough to know that you guys probably aren't the most avid of PvP players. But the fun thing about it is that at least I'm not preaching to the choir, right? Anyway, I have to admit that I've gotten pretty tired of Arenas myself. Aside from two to three weeks worth of games in Season 5, I skipped the season altogether, unhappy with the balance then and the constantly changing rating and matchmaking system.

That wasn't even the heart of it, really. In the past seasons where I'd had the most success, I played with particular classes and specs that were viable in that season's environment. More importantly, I teamed up with players who were focused on PvP and were expectedly competent at it. The downside was that our success as a team was proportional to my loathing of the players on my team, particularly our team leader who was prone to excessive nerd rage and finger pointing. It sometimes happens that the best PvP players aren't necessarily your friends, and working together towards high ratings is sometimes a marriage of convenience. At a certain point when the stakes were extremely high, where wins would net us measly gains and losses would tank us badly enough for us to lose titles, Arenas became more stressful than fun.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Arena

Forum post of the day: The end of big guilds

Oldmaveric of Azgalor posed the question on the General Discussion Forum: are Big guilds on their way out due to easy WoW? He suggested that easier content on 10 man raids and regular content nerfs has led to the breakdown of some of the top guilds and caused players to quit the game.

Savvage of Spinebreaker quickly responded that big guilds have their place, but "People can now play in closer more tightly-knit groups..." For many players, raiding offers sufficient challenge while being more enjoyable than it once was. The raiding experience is not only more accessible, but also more fun. Smaller guilds can afford to be more selective of the online personalities of their membership, while still being able to to make progress.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

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