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All the World's a Stage: The new character experience in Cataclysm


All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

As you know, the Cataclysm is going to bring major changes to the whole world of Azeroth. There will only be 5 new zones for leveling above 80 and one new zone for each new race -- the rest of the work they're doing involves changing the old zones, bringing them up to the standards of zones in The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, adding new quests that are more appropriate to the current timeline, and completely rebuilding the areas that just didn't work so well.

You are also probably aware that this is a much-needed improvement. The 1 - 60 leveling process (except for the draenei or blood elf starting areas) has long been fraught with serious flaws. Going through it the first time wasn't so bad, since exploring everything felt so new, but doing it the third and fourth times meant sheer boredom. I remember many times going to a zone, completing many or all of the quests there, and leaving without ever feeling as though I had really "been" there. Except for a few real gems, quests mostly involved spending a lot of time running long distances in order to kill more nameless bad guys -- they felt more like pest control than adventure. Just being there seemed to remove me from the story of Azeroth, and dump me in some other world where there was nothing important happening. Vast stretches of land on the Azeroth map meant absolutely nothing to me as a roleplayer: no character, no story, no meaning.

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Filed under: Quests, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, RP, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Cataclysm

Electronic Sports League's Intel Extreme Masters going on this weekend


We haven't been paying much attention to the big Electronic Sports League WoW Arena tournament going on over in Europe this week, but World of Ming has been doing a great job covering the event and what's been happening over there. He's got predictions of the matches to come (ESL's site has all of the fights set up for this weekend), and a translated interview with a player from SK Gaming's Korean team.

All in all, the old RMP (Rogue-Mage-Priest) combination still seems to be the team to beat, as Ming has most of his predictions headed that way. But we'll see how it all pans out -- you can watch live results from the tournament come in on ESL's website all weekend, and we'll try to have a wrapup for you here when all is said and done.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, Arena

How many outfits do you have?


Alex recently talked about the lack of bag space for the hybrid class. This is quite true for them, as they have a hard time with the near infinite amount of bag space that is demanded of them. However looking at the non-hybrid classes, in particular a warrior, it can be seen that they too have their own issue of sorts. For an end game tank, it becomes less of an issue of actual bag space, and more of an issue of the limitless combinations of gear.

Most tanks swear by outfitter – a tool that allows you to quickly change around pre-saved outfits. For instance, say I'm going to be tanking the nature phase of Hydross. Before even setting foot in SSC, I would have spent an hour or so making sure I had all the necessary gear, stats, and configurations that Hydross requires. A good part of this time would be spent getting all those gearing changes into an easy to use outfitter profile – so I would just have to click one button to wear the gear.

Of course, that's resistant gear and it's expected that there'll have to be a bunch of switching of it. However, the gear switching doesn't end there.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons

The absolute worst class duo

Our reader Josh wrote to us with an common and practical question, saying that he said that he and his girlfriend are looking forward to starting two new alts together and they would like to know what the best classes would be for leveling exclusively together, with no solo play in between. He said, and I quote: "what would the greatest, most face melting/ass kicking/uber pwnage duo in WoW look like?"

Now, fortunately for Josh and his girlfriend, we've actually been asked this question before, and anyways this sort of topic comes up lots and lots and lots of times in one way or another. I'm happy to refer them, and all interested parties of two, back to those posts with comments from our insightful readers. Of course if you feel something has changed since those topics last came up and there's a new best duo in the game, feel free to let us know here!

But in order to give this post some kind of interesting spin, how about we advice them what not to do! What would be the absolute worst class combination imaginable for two people to level with? It's not as easy as you think -- As our class encouragement breakfast topics have shown so far, each of the classes has their own form of face melting, ass-kicking uber pwnage, and they all seem to have abilities that complement each other, no matter who they're paired with. Still... there has to be a less-than-optimal combination in there somewhere, right?

Ideologically, you'd think that paladins and warlocks just would not mix at all, but no, that's not true! Actually they work great together. From my own experience, I remember practicing as a 2vs2 arena team with a mage friend, who is an excellent player, but we still didn't do very well at all. I know it could be just because I may be a terrible druid, or my gear may not be good enough, but it's actually the only time in this game that I've ever paired up with a friend only to feel that maybe our class abilities didn't complement each other well. I thought that if I could level my rogue to join her we might be a lot more successful, but my friend thought that I just needed more practice. Maybe there is no worst class duo! What's your experience?

[Check out the girlfriend's answer in the last panel of this great Penny Arcade comic above, and take it as a warning not to choose for your duo a new class that you like toooooo much, or else you might not be able to resist soloing with it when you have free time and your partner doesn't!]

Filed under: Leveling, Classes, Alts

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