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Posts with tag character

Breakfast Topic: How many characters do you have?

Some players are focused on advancing and perfecting a single character. But others can't resist the lure of trying out other classes, races, and even factions for a change of pace. Some players could be certified professional alt-a-holics, with level 90s of each class. Today's question is simple: how many WoW characters do you have?

Of course, a true alt-a-holic knows the real answer goes further than that. How many characters do you actively play? How many characters do you have at max level? And just how do you make time for them all?

So, tell us readers -- in as much or as little detail as you'd like -- just how many characters do you have?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

25 percent off character transfers this weekend

25% off Character Transfer this weekend!
Last weekend we had a discount on faction transfers, and this week Blizzard has confirmed that there will be a discount on realm transfers! Betting will shortly open on the nature of next weekend's sale. Realm transfers are offered all the time, of course, allowing you to pack your character's bags and shift them, their bank, their mounts, pets, and all their holdings to a new realm.

This discount decreases the price from $25, £15 or €20 to $18.75, £11.25 or €15. (American prices are subject to tax in certain areas.) The realm transfer sale ends on July 23 -- Monday -- so get your skates on! Do check out the Character Transfer FAQ if you're curious about any aspect of the service.

Importantly, you should note that a character transfer doesn't include a faction change, race change, class change, or appearance change. Also, a goblin doesn't really fire you out of a cannon.

New horizons await! Through this weekend and for a limited time only, you can initiate a Character Transfer to move one of your World of Warcraft characters to a new realm for 25% off the regular price.

To get started, simply click here. Alternatively, you can log in to your account at, select your World of Warcraft account, and then click "Character Transfer" at the bottom of the page.

Don't delay -- this offer ends Monday, July 23.

So, if you have ever fancied a change of scenery -- well, OK, not scenery, but the people steering the avatars within it -- or if you fancy going from a PvP to a PvE realm or back again, now's the time! Carpe diem, people. Who knows when this will roll around again?

Filed under: News items

Know Your Lore: The role of characters in WoW lore

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

One of the interesting aspects of the Warcraft setting is which characters have achieved a kind of iconic status. The lore of the game is the unfolding story, and the story is ultimately shaped and defined by its characters. The story is what happened to, and because of, these people be they orc, human, troll, night elf, gnome, tauren or pandaren.

Take Rexxar, for instance. He's one of my favorite characters in Warcraft. Why? Why do I love Rexxar? Well, in part I enjoy that his mixed heritage makes him an outcast in a faction of outcasts, that he was one of the few to see how twisted and warped the old Horde was in time to step away from it before it began its campaign of atrocity across Azeroth. I like his simple faith in the ideals Thrall represented for the Horde in Durotar, his willingness to fight to preserve them, and the lengths he went while at the same time knowing exactly when to finally stop. Rexxar knew that defeating Theramore and Admiral Proudmoore was enough; he didn't have to destroy it.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: How did you create your first character?

Choosing a name
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

When a buddy asked me to consider coming back to Warcraft after a failed attempt shortly after the original release, I reluctantly decided to create a new account. When he asked me what faction and class I wanted to play, I settled on an Alliance paladin after researching classes online. I wasn't entirely sure what exactly a tank, healer and DPS meant in practice, but the paladin could do all three, so that's what I'd be. Plus, they sounded like defenders of all that was right and true.

It turns out, that was the easy part of creating my character. Next, I spent time agonizing over the name. I'd look for ones I liked from the randomly generated suggestions. Then I'd try combining elements of one name with another. I tried using simple words from foreign languages. Finally, I found the perfect name that would define my character for life, a Greek word representing one of the core values of a paladin: Truth.

Having picked a class and name, it was finally time to tinker with the races that could be paladins and see which ones fit the new name. After probably about 100 permutations across classes, from random appearances to manually matching features, I settled on a human, and my journey began.

How did you create your first character? Did someone recommend a class for you? Did the flavor text on the creation screen influence you? Or have you always known what you'd be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

GuildOx shares the most popular WoW character names by class

GuildOx, one of the premier services that ranks, tracks, and parses the top guilds and their progression in WoW, has been using Blizzard's new character APIs to some pretty hilarious ends. After mining out 11 million character names, GuildOx has sent us the most popular character names by class in World of Warcraft. As you'd expect, the pun meter is off the charts. You'll laugh. You'll cry. Your immersion will be broken. Let's have a look at the most popular names in World of Warcraft.

  • Glitterstorm
  • Cleaveland
  • Ragebar
  • Brostorm
  • Cleaveage
  • Ragestarved
  • Sunderwear
  • Executie
  • Skillstorm
  • Sunderpants
Warrior characters love using skill names or the rage mechanic in their names. I'm actually a culprit of this phenomenon, except I like to think I was clever about it. My Night Elf warrior, for the brief time that I was raiding on the Alliance side of things, was named Rageleaf. It was awesome. Stop judging me.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Officers' Quarters: Raiding without characters

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.

A question for the readership: How important is it to you that the players you raid with are interesting and engaging people? Is it essential, or merely a bonus?

This week, a raid leader complains that his guildmates are boring -- to the point that he's considering leaving the guild altogether. He wants to know what he can do to inject some much-needed personality into the guild.
Hi Scott

I read your column regularly and find it very insightful. I have implemented various pieces of advice within my guild to varying degrees of success so thank you for this. Now however its my turn to pose a question.

How do you create a guild with character? Let me explain this a bit with some history. I have been raid leader for my guild for the last 7-8 months and in the last 2 I inherited the GM tag as he didn't have much time to play. I was practically doing all the work anyway so this wasn't an issue. My issue is two fold, firstly I don't think I really like anyone in the guild apart from one person. And secondly it seems like I play with a bunch of automatons. This isn't to say I dislike anyone but its just they all seem to lack any sort of character and wouldn't say boo to a goose!

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

WoW Armory now displaying mounts and pets

The World of Warcraft Armory/community site has been updated with a useful new feature showing players the mounts and companion pets they have collected so far. You'll be able to see where each pet or mount comes from or who drops them, a picture of each, and even a listing of not-yet-collected pets and mounts, making it easier to be an achievement hunter or collector.

The armory has changed drastically from its original interpretation and implementation, adding features over time that give players a more cohesive out-of-game experience. What is most interesting are the potential tie-ins later on with the previously announced WoW APIs coming down the pipe in the near future; we are still unsure of the amount of data that developers will be able to access from the WoW armory. I would not be surprised to see collected pet and mount data also being part of that package.

We've got a pretty full-featured armory at this point. What other types of data do you think the armory could or should provide? Perhaps next we'll see a tabard and title tab, showing players' collected tabards and a scroll list of titles earned. The sky is the limit, apparently.

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Filed under: Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Guild achievements and you

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

We are now a good 6 months into guild achievements. As a guild leader, I think the concept, as executed, is great. Although we're casual and we run all content, trying to get certain achievements has provided us with incentives to level toons, level professions and to work together.

Every week, I post to the guild web site, a tally of what we're working on and how far along we are in finishing an achievement. Doing all the Burning Crusade heroic 5-mans made people run the regulars to get enough honor to get their keys. People went into instances they didn't know existed. Attendance at our retro raid nights spiked when we announced that we needed this run for the guild achievement. We're small so the 25-man achievements will probably elude us, but people take a look at what still needs to be done and they help make it happen.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: How does your character react to quest storylines?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Imagine this scenario: You play on a non-RP PvE or PvP server. You come across a quest such as The Art of Persuasion that brings out some sort of reaction in you. A while later, you're leveling a different character and come across the same quest. Is your reaction the same, or does the toon you're playing affect your reaction? Do you react at all?

For me, my character colors my reactions to the quest. The Art of Persuasion made me cringe on my druid, hunter and paladin, but I absolutely reveled in it on my warlock and death knight. The Nesingwary quests, D.E.H.T.A. quests, and even whole zones can make me elated or squirm. Now that Cataclysm has hit, it has only gotten worse. I could barely stay in my seat questing in Hyjal, I was so involved in the quests. I made snarky comments in /say to NPCs, I refused some quests I found distasteful, and I reacted like I think my druid would have to the events around me. Even at the end, after the final quest, I felt like I have many times at the end of a large campaign in a traditional tabletop RPG: I felt accomplished. My character had done something.

Granted, I come from a long background of roleplaying. From tabletop games to LARPs, I've played one character or another for over a decade, so it's second nature to create and act out a new persona. I don't play on an RP realm because I generally don't agree with where many WoW RPers take things, but I do enjoy getting to know my character as more than just my avatar in Azeroth. No matter how hard I try to keep him quiet, my character will eventually get a few words in.

Does RP get into your gaming, no matter what? Can you withstand a character's call to live and not just be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What prompted your class choice?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

You're sitting at your character creation screen, starting a brand new game, maybe with no previous gaming experience at all. Or perhaps you're well-versed in the realms of MMOs, and you have a favorite character archetype already. No matter which applies, we all started at that screen, wondering: What class should I pick? What does class choice even mean? What are tanks? How come this class's armor is so hideous? What on earth is a paladin?

For me, I was devouring the manual that came with vanilla WoW as it installed, trying to find a class I'd like. When I stumbled upon druids and the fact that they could turn into bears and kitties (and moonkin, although I didn't know that yet), I was instantly hooked. Later, in the 40-49 bracket of Warsong Gulch, after getting wrecked over and over by warlock DoTs, I thought, "Hey! Warlocks seem OP! I should make one!" And thus, the warlock was born.

A guildmate of mine chose a rogue because she'd watch her husband play and he would always exclaim how annoying they were and how much he hated rogues. His anger amused her, so rogue she went!

What influenced you? Death Grip looked awesome? You wanted to dispel Hunter's Mark because you hated that graphic (my priest!)? You wanted to shoot huge balls of fire at people? Tell us about it!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What's your story?

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

I have a confession: I am not a roleplayer, yet I feel the need to create a backstory for every single one of my characters, from the mighty main to the lowly banker alt who sits comfortably in Stormwind. I do not really know why. Maybe it is the storyteller in me, the sheer boredom, or the 60 ounces or so of various energy drinks that keep me up at night, but I begin to imagine the details of my characters, even going so far as to create a web of connections between them, as if when I'm not playing, they are banded together, battling side by side as brothers and sisters in arms.

A main example is my main and all the human alts I play on. There are only two at the moment, but a third shall arise, of the wolfish variety, come Cataclysm. Their story? All of them are brothers, my death knight being the eldest, a once-accomplished paladin who fell during the purging of Stratholme, being one of the very few against it. My main warrior is the middle child who was the least likely to accomplish anything of the three brothers but fought nonetheless as part of the Stormwind guard, before becoming a mercenary for hire. The newest addition will be a worgen rogue, the long-presumed-dead, sickly little brother who was astute in the arcane and was taken under tutelage of a sorcerer in Gilneas before being infected as a worgen. He will return instead as a quick and nimble character, one of the few worgen who likes his new form.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, RP, Guest Posts

Cataclysm Beta: Updated user interface elements

Our friends at World of Raids are showing a preview of some slick changes coming to the user interface in Cataclysm. Some of the elements that have received an overhaul are:
  • character panel
  • leveling up
  • spells and professions book
  • trainers
  • quests
... and more!

Just be warned that there are going to be a few possible quest spoilers in here, so you may wish to skip over this if you want to remain unspoiled.

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Breakfast Topic: The Personal Aesthetic

Recently, a commenter on a post mentioned that I use a similar screenshot for a lot of my The Care and Feeding of Warriors posts. I looked over it, and he was right: since I race changed to draenei, in fact, quite a few of the screenshots have been silhouetted, facing downwards shots that I often take just because I am playing my character and suddenlt stop and say "wow, that's cool" - I'm not a terribly sophisticated visual thinker (for that, I go to my wife, who has a landscape artist's eyes and a remarkable grasp of light and nuance) but I know what I like.

One of the reasons I like playing draenei and tauren are connected to the classes I like to play: shamans, warriors and DK's are the only classes I've consistently gotten to max rank, and in all of those cases I tend to play large characters. When race change became available I agonized over it (silly as that is) even though I'd always said I'd go draenei because I'd grown so accustomed to the way my human character moved, and watching old avi files of Burning Crusade fights I'd tanked really brought it home to me. In changing my character's race, I've changed his silhouette, I've changed the way he swings a weapon, I've changed the way he looks in every aspect of the game. I don't do that spinning one handed smash when I tank anymore, it's much more of an arching, down-angled slash. My Shield Slam is different.

Granted, I'm okay with that. But it got me thinking about why I choose the races I do and the classes I do.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Armory gets updated with a model viewer

The World of Warcraft armory page has just been updated with new features and tools!

As stated on their updates page:

Every character profile now has a 3D model viewer that displays the character in his or her currently equipped gear, and accurately displays the character's physical features, hairstyle, and helm/cloak display as they appear in-game. Mousing over the character model window brings up a control panel with the following controls
  • Camera controls: To rotate the camera around a character, click and hold the left mouse button while moving the mouse left and right, or click the arrow buttons in the top left of the window. To zoom in and out, use the mouse wheel while hovering over the character window, or click the zoom buttons in the top left of the window. To move the character within the frame, right-click and drag the character in the window (or on the small square in the bottom left corner of the window).
  • Animations: Each character has a selection of animations that they can perform. Use the arrows next to the animation's name to cycle through them. The available animations are determined by the character's class and currently equipped weapons.
  • Capture pose: If you are logged in, you can set the default pose of any character on your account. Use the camera and animation controls to create a pose, then click the save icon to set it as the default. All visitors to the character's profile will then see the character in that pose.
  • Play controls: The rewind, pause, and fast forward buttons allow you to fine-tune a pose for a character.
  • Fullscreen mode: You can view the character in a fullscreen display against a selection of backgrounds. All controls will continue to function in fullscreen mode.
  • Embed: You can embed a standalone, interactive version of the character's model viewer in a compatible website, such as a social networking site, guild website, or forum.
  • Options: Extra options include selecting a background in fullscreen mode and toggling the display of a character's helm, cloak, or tabard.
That's freakin' cool! I like the ability to embed the model viewer and the ability to stick a preset pose for people looking up your character is a plus.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Armory updates with model viewer, character and calendar feeds

Blizzard has added some nice new features to the World of Warcraft Armory, including a few players have been asking for in the past. The most exciting change is something that doesn't seem to be working quite correctly yet -- they're including a Flash-based model viewer for characters that will let you see what a toon looks like without ever logging into the game. So says their updates page, but as of this writing, the whole system is going up and down, and we couldn't get it to work correctly on any of our PCs. Should be done soon, though.

Other updates include character activity feeds -- there are now RSS buttons all over your profile that will let you track achievements, items, and other specific character information via RSS. And Blizzard has also built in calendar feeds that will let you output guild and player calendars to Outlook, Google Calendar, or other calendar applications. That means your out-of-game calendars will update automatically if your raidleader happens to change up the raiding schedule. And finally, character profiles have been redesigned and streamlined -- they look a little different with all of these new features. The date on all of these changes actually says January 1, 2010, so Blizzard may have implemented them a little early, but sooner or later we'll see these welcome changes all active on the Armory.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Update: The Armory is offline for maintenance now. These changes were seen in action, so they're real, but as we say above, they're officially dated for January 1st. So they may not be in effect just yet.

Filed under: Guilds, Blizzard, Achievements

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