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Posts with tag dd

Transmog your way to a roguish look

I used to play a lot of Dungeons & Dragons in college, back when v.3.5 was all the rage. At the time, a series of companion books was being released with titles like Complete Adventurer or Complete Divine; these books listed additional abilities and classes that players could use to expand upon the core classes in the original D&D rule books. Warlocks, for example, were added in Complete Arcane as a spin-off from the mage core class. Instead of using classic D&D mage spells like Magic Missile, they used invocations, which the book provided.

What I liked most about these books is that they made you think outside the box about your class. A warrior wasn't just a guy with a sword and a lot of armor proficiency; he could be a swashbuckler of the high seas or a graceful, dancing dervish. Both classes were warriors, but they fought in distinctively different ways.

So when it comes to WoW and transmogrification, I think a lot about the possible archetypes certain classes could have and try to explore those in different outfits. Leather wearers, for example, don't always have to look like members of the Defias Brotherhood or the audience at a Grateful Dead concert. They could also be mud-splattered bandits, solitary rangers from the Hinterlands, or sneaky Warsong scouts. Oddly enough, today's outfit might just work for all three.

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Filed under: Transmogrification

Breakfast Topic: Too powerful

I like Nibuca's little writeup recently from her blog asking what happens when we become just too powerful to care? Just like her, I've played a full, months-and-months, session of D&D before, and by the time your characters start to flirt with level 20 (the maximum level in that system), you're so powerful that the story barely makes sense any more -- you're crossing planes of existence, unweaving and re-weaving the fabric of reality, and taking down gods, more or less. Once you've vanquished evil from the earth four or five times, yet another threat doesn't bother you so much.

And to a certain extent, that's exactly what's happening with World of Warcraft -- when the game first started, the devs casually threw out there that it would take 40 level 80s to take Arthas down, which was of course a guess based on what raiding was at the time. But nowadays, we're all level 80, you only need five people to go after Arthas, and very soon, even someone like Deathwing will seem conquerable. In the next expansion, we already know that we're going to transverse some planes of existence, and when you're a being that can do that, why bother fighting frost wyrms? Just escape their reality and/or will them out of yours.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Lore, Leveling, Talents, NPCs

Phat Loot Phriday: Blade of Tarasque

Been a while, I think, since we've done a dagger. Plus, this one will show off a little of my D&D lore knowledge, and I don't get to do that as much as I like.

Name: Blade of Tarasque (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Main hand Dagger
Damage/Speed: 108 - 343 / 1.80 (125.1 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +48 Stamina, +65 Intellect. Used to be that Stamina on a caster item meant warlock, but I think this is just an endgame item -- any caster who needs it could use it just fine.
  • Plus, there's a blue gem socket on it, so you can put whatever you want in there, with a socket bonus of +5 spellpower. Just because it came up on the site earlier this week, I'll use this opportunity to remind you that any gem can go in any socket -- you just won't get the socket bonus. Yes, really.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Humor, Phat Loot Phriday, Lore, Bosses, Galleries

Ghostcrawler on the Path of the Titans


Our good friend Ghostcrawler (I can say that now, because we all got to meet him at BlizzCon the other week) has done his best to explain the new Path of the Titans feature coming in the Cataclysm expansion over in this forum thread. We had this same question come up on last week's podcast as well, and we said pretty much the same thing GC does: Path of the Titans is a brand new way for max-level characters to keep improving themselves. Of course, the feature is still being developed, but the goal is a "gated, not grindy" way (as in, you'll earn rewards by doing things, not by doing them over and over again) to experience character progression outside of just reputation grinding, PvP, or raiding.

He clarifies the idea more later in the thread as well. The different paths of the Titans are meant to be class-independent, but GC says that they do want players to debate which path is best for which class, even if they do end up with a "best" solution in the end. Archaeology is meant to be a part of it, so GC agrees that it could be more of a mandatory secondary profession than Cooking or Fishing has been in the past, but they're aware of that danger. And just because the paths may be tied to dailies or instances doesn't mean they'll work the same: the time in which you can progress might be longer than the daily quest limit or shorter than the weekly raid limit. The idea, as above, is to give players who don't necessarily raid or PvP something else to do with character progression at endgame.

Should be interesting to see what they come up with. Personally, this sounds a little bit to me like D&D's prestige classes -- not nearly as powerful or varied, but a way of separating your character out from the rest of those that chose the same class you did. That's just me being hopeful, though -- Blizzard seems to have a lot of development before we see this as a finished product.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Leveling, Forums, Cataclysm, Archaeology

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW's new wave of new gamers

15 Minutes of Fame is our 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 at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

When I received a news tip from from Rainnajax of US Uldaman-H about being an "older female gamer," I admit that I rolled my eyes. Please, not another one who thinks having two X chromosomes makes her the most special snowflake ... Not another one who thinks being over 30 years old qualifies her as one of the Ancients ... When I read her entire email, though, I realized Rainnajax's experience was actually intriguing – but not for the reasons she thought.

While Rainnajax may perceive herself as something still a little unusual among WoW players, I see her as the type of player who's becoming the new norm. She's less remarkable for being female or "older" – or even for belonging to a well known gay and bi-friendly guild -- than she is for being among the new wave of players who'd never imagined themselves playing a video game ... until they tried WoW. MMORPGs are no longer the province of a single type of player anymore. Rainnajax is here as an example of today's new-to-gaming, non-gender- or age-specific player.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Know your roots have changed; 4E launches a new world

Even while creative maestro Metzen experiments with making World of Warcraft unique among its fantasy peers, there's not much denying that WoW has some pretty solid roots in, and respect for, Dungeons and Dragons. You can see proof of that in the patch notes from 2.4, which were dedicated to pen-and-paper legend, Gary Gygax. Many of us cruising Azeroth have some experience with good old D&D. WoW has pretty strong, deep roots in D&D, and those roots changed with the newly released 4th edition.

What's new in the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons? The class system is radically different, spells work differently, healing works differently, and fights work differently. Okay, it seems everything is pretty much different. But there's one big change that will probably make more than a few folks happy: no more Gnome PCs. Gnomes are now monsters, and not available for play in the core rules. A lot of the speculation about these changes is that D&D might be trying to distance itself a little from the World of Warcraft juggernaut.

It's a good thing Blizzard isn't still following its roots. I'm looking forward to my Gnomish Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Roleplaying is a wave of the future


When you look at games like World of Warcraft versus games like Dungeons and Dragons, you can see that in some ways they are just the same, while in others they are vastly different. Thematically, they're both about romping through a fantasy world having adventures, and depending on the kind of activity you enjoy most in your games, the actual content of either one can be very similar. The difference lies in the user interface: WoW takes over your computers screen and presents you with intensive graphics, while D&D relies on paper, dice, and your imagination.

While WoW is obviously a child of the early 21st century, all the practical tools used in D&D have existed for thousands of years. One might well wonder: "why didn't Plato (or any other suitably wise old figure out of history) ever think of putting together a dungeon adventure?" A recent Escapist magazine article asks that very question, and then provides us with a bunch of theories about what roleplaying is and why people do it. All these are interesting in themselves, but they leave me wondering "but wait... why didn't Plato ever think of it?" The answer I think the article is trying to give is that roleplaying is actually a form of social innovation that couldn't have existed before, because the culture and ideas to give it form hadn't developed until the '60s.

So tonight when you get home and log into WoW, especially if you are logging in to roleplay your character, remember that you are participating in an activity that is on the growing edge of human civilization. Just as, all those hundreds of years ago, it was a great innovation for the Greek playwright Aeschylus to bring two actors onto the stage at once as opposed to letting one actor and a chorus carry the show -- in our own era, the way players get together today to collaboratively create worlds, characters and stories with one another is a new and exciting innovation that never existed before. Roleplaying itself is one of many brilliant and beautiful examples of how society and culture continue to evolve and progress well into the the future... and beyond.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, RP

WoW Insider responds to Comedy Central for their response to our post about their post

Comedy Central's Indecision 2008 blog is feeling froggy -- after we posted about their failed attempt at World of Warcraft humor, they got the original writer of their article, who is apparently an old school D&D gamer, to respond to our allegations that the piece wasn't funny. He calls us WoW players "Lancelot-come-latelies," and says that before we ever rolled our first Night Elf, he was rolling d20s in his friend's parents' basement.

Which may be true. But he's wrong about one thing: we WoW players are funny. Just look at our memes, our injokes, and our heroes, from Steve to Leeroy Jenkins. We know funny. Tony DiGerolamo probably hasn't even ever tricked somebody into /gquitting -- he wouldn't know funny if it was an epic drop off of Saurfang himself! And he wants to play the nerd card by claiming he's nerdier than us? Listen, Tony, you may have been hanging out with your friends in basements, but we're hanging out in basements alone!

Wait...

At any rate, we hope the excellent Indecision 2008 blog has learned something from this experience: leave the Warcraft humor to those who've powerleveled it up to a 375 skill, and stick to the political jokes. Seriously, though, is Lewis Black hiring? Because I've got some jokes about Warlocks that are comedy gold!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Humor

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