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Posts with tag discussion

Breakfast Topic: No two birds are not on fire

Flaming Gryhopns
The above screenshot stands, to me, as the funniest one I have ever taken. Eagle-eyed readers might recognize the location as the flight tower in Nethergarde Keep, with some colorful flames added to make the Blasted Lands extra unappealing. Without spoiling things too much, the flaming flight tower is part of a series of introductory quests in Warlords of Draenor. Apparently those poor gryphons still haven't got the memo that they are literally on fire. They're just hanging out in their straw beds, cool as cucumbers, while they presumably burn to death in the onslaught. What's the use in having the power of flight if you won't even use it to not be on fire?

I have seen many odd and interesting things in my time in the World of Warcraft, but I think that this one right here takes the cake--so far at least. I mean, who knows what Warlords of Draenor has in store? What are your best, most bizarre moments in WoW, and what would it take to top them?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Managing expectations and the evolution of discussion

In the run-up to Warlords of Draenor, we're seeing news of a lot of class and systems changes - discussion of what's being changed or removed has been one of the things we're very concerned with over here, for obvious reasons. It's also a subject of major interest on the forums. In fact, some people are accusing Blizzard of only posting the bad news in an attempt to create negative feedback, to get people talking. Bashiok addressed this idea recently, and it got me thinking about how we interact with game news in the first place.
Bashiok - Simplifying currency? That's the grand plan?
Well, actually, good news doesn't really create much interest, if you want to dissect it. But that's beside the point. We're obviously not intentionally releasing bad or angering information to try to get people riled up. That'd be silly. We do want to try to manage expectations. Letting people know far in advance that currencies are being streamlined gets that into people's brain meats early, and gives it time to sink in so that when they start seeing or playing that change it ideally isn't jarring and upsetting at that moment.

My point was that people discussing a change they have partial information about, debating the specifics, and questioning what it means, are not necessarily negatives. In cases where those are becoming destructive we'll generally try to provide some guidance to at least direct it back to a constructive conversation.


It's this idea of managing expectations that interests me, because over the years, I've come to see quite a few examples of people not doing it. To this day I'm convinced that much of the negative reaction to Cataclysm wasn't to the expansion's flaws (and yet, I admit it had quite a few) and more to the expectations people had for the expansion - expectations it didn't meet, because it wasn't trying to meet them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

Tell me about your secret addons

Breakfast Topic Tell me about your secret addons
I put the call out on twitter the other day, asking people to tell me about little known addons that they couldn't be without. When you talk about addons you always want to have loaded, everyone thinks of things like DBM or Grid or other very well-known and popular addons, but they're not the ones I have in mind.

Instead I want to know about the addons you rely on that not everyone has heard of, that aren't common knowledge, the ones that you happened upon or had recommended to you by friends, and now can't be without. The secret addons that you will always use, now, regardless of what others might say.

Me, personally? I love a couple of little addons, one called GoGoMount, which allows you to use Blizzard's keybind menu, the one in the menu that pops up if you hit escape, to bind both a random flying mount and a random ground mount. I like getting random mounts, and it doesn't take up space on my (packed) bars. Another one I love is Steal, Purge and Dispel. It makes a "bong" noise and pops up a little window whenever your target or focus has something that could be removed via Spellsteal, Purge, or Dispel Magic. While there are other ways to do this, it's great to have that little reminder sometimes, particularly on my mage where I have a habit of getting distracted by Pyroblasting everything in the face.

So what are your secret addons?

Filed under: Add-Ons

If you could create a minor glyph

If you could create a minor glyph
A great question was posted on the official EU forums today by Ferwyn, who asked "if you could make your own minor glyph what would it be?" They had a few suggestions, from a paladin-specific perspective, one of which I quite liked: Glyph of the Ascended, which Ferwyn suggested might make a paladin levitate and their wings flap during Avenging Wrath. This is a fantastic idea! Sure, the animation might be a bit tricky, but who'd let that stand in the way of a floating paladin, right?

Blizzard Community Manager Taepsilum weighed in with their own suggestions, which might randomly switch your title to Murloc on the Inside or Minion of Taepsilum. Title switching is a great idea, but even better, what about a minor glyph that allowed you to shapeshift into a murloc for a few seconds?

And while we're on this topic, what is your favorite minor glyph in the game right now? My high rated ones would be the Paladin Glyph of Winged vengeance, the butterfly wings during Avenging Wrath, and Glyph of the Falling Avenger, which adds slow fall to Avenging Wrath. But the absolute number one minor glyph for me is Glyph of Confession. The secrets are fantastic, and I have spent many a happy while running around my raids and PvP teams making them confess to things. My only complaint is that it's not useable on hostile targets -- how great would that be in arenas?

So if you could make a minor glyph, what would you call it and what would it do?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

No talent overhaul likely

Mage talents
If you're interested in WoW design and discussion, but don't yet follow twitter, you might want to reconsider. A lot of the developers are regularly active there. For example, yesterday our own Adam Holisky had a nice little chat with Ghostcrawler, Bashiok, and some other folks about WoW's talent design, and wondering if there was another big overhaul being considered for the next major expansion. The answer, bluntly, is no. Blizzard seems content with the current system.

Player Mihaly Ducz replied that three choices every fifteen levels feels kind of thin, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with Bashiok's response on that one: there are already plenty of spells and abilities in the game; I am perfectly content to have fewer of them, or at least more passive options so I don't have to agonize over how to redo my bars again. How about you? Are you content with the current talent system? What might you like to see changed or modified in the future?

Filed under: Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

What makes a compelling character?

Faction Leaders
I don't know how many of you frequent the official Story Forum. It can be an intimidating place. Beware, all ye who may mention the words "Lordaeron," "Sylvanas," or "Southshore;" and these days add "Sunreaver" and "Dalaran" to the list of ten-foot-pole topics. I still visit the Story Forum regularly and if you're a lore buff its often a good source for varied discussion and debate. The amount of detail folks are able to recite at a moment's notice never fails to impress me, and has more than once sent me scurrying to my personal Warcraft library to fact-check or reread something with an eye for a new interpretation.

Recently, Nethaera has paid a visit to the story forum, and she asks you all directly: What makes a compelling character? What makes a character strong or weak or interesting or boring? What makes a character your favorite? What are the things that draw you to a fictional personality, what are the things that repulse you? As for me personally, well, I'm pretty sure the WoW community is more than familiar with some of my favorites (shameless self promotion). The reasons why I find those characters compelling are varied, but mostly boil down to the situation of being between a rock and a hard place. I like stories where there aren't good answers, where every way you look, you lose. Maybe I'm a Debbie-downer, but if the path to victory is obvious, I am bored to tears. Don't give me that, I don't want to read it. Give me someone who has struggled and fought and who will never be sure if they did the right thing. Give me something, and someone, that will haunt me.

What makes a character compelling to you? What fuels your imagination? If you've ever wanted the chance to talk with a blue about your favorite WoW personalities and share your personal idea of what you'd like to see out of WoW's canon characters, now is your opportunity!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore

Raid Rx: Can healing be diversified further?

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street (lead developer) published a developer blog post a few days ago and shared thoughts about roles within the game. DPS classes tend to have multiple specs that can be switched to in order to provide a different set of damage spells and utilities. Some of the examples cited included warlocks and rogues, since they're straight DPS classes. Would it be possible to hypothesize and think about single-role healing classes with varied specs? While I don't think it is unheard of, I can already think about the different logistical and gameplay difficulties that are going to come with it.

For DPSers, you have that role divided between those players in the ranged group and those belonging to the melee. With healing, you're limited with just being purely at range. There isn't a classified melee-only healer (and we don't know entirely how the monk will play out).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Breakfast Topic: Make it all BoA

Gnomeaggedon happened to post something so interesting the other day that I thought it merited a bit more discussion. He actually posted it almost as an afterthought (I guess he's moving in RL -- good luck with that), but it's quite an idea just the same: "Make it all BoA," he says. Blizzard has added in some more Bind-on-Account items, and most recently made it possible for BoA items to go across factions. But Gnomeaggedon says it's time to stop messing around: mounts, emblems, tier and arena gear, currencies, vanity pets, reputation items, anything that would be useful across toons should be able to be traded freely between them. Why, he asks, should there be limits on which character you decide to play with?

And actually, while the possibilities there might make some players' heads spin (imagine how many badges you could earn on your geared-out pally for your newly 80 warlock), I think that Blizzard is probably headed that direction. They may not want to open the floodgates completely, but look at where we've come -- we just heard Frank Pearce say the other day that faction changes are a direct result of Blizzard wanting to give players more choice of who to play with, so wouldn't it follow that we'd eventually get more choice about which characters we use? You have to think that we'll see more and more BoA items, so why not just skip to step ten and open it all up? What do you think?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Making money

The ups and downs of the Battered Hilt

Yesterday, Bornakk said clearly that the Battered Hilt drop that starts the Quel'delar questline was dropping at the right rate, which is much less than when the patch first hit. And then of course, in last night's fixes, they went ahead and increased the drop rate anyway. He also claimed there were no plans to make it BoP, but who knows what'll happen in the future? For now, however, you can still buy and sell the quest item for quite a bit of gold. We'll have to see where the price eventually ends up -- on the staff here, we've seen anything from 8,000g to over 23,000g, and Twitter tells us that people are paying an average of around 12k or so, going up to as high as 30k (or even shady real money offers in online classified ads). Our own Matt Low has actually seen the drop three different times, and lost every roll. It drops off of any of the mobs in the Heroic versions of the Frozen Halls 5-mans, and as Bornakk says, any class can use it to come up with a pretty solid weapon, so the competition will probably keep the price high, depending on where the drop rate ends up.

The silver lining, if you really want one, have terrible luck, and don't ever expect to have all that money, is that the price will probably go down eventually. Bornakk says that as people move up into Icecrown and start picking up weapons that are even better than the sister blade, demand is likely to drop off a bit. But he also says that Blizzard does want this to be a special and relatively rare item, so you'll still have to probably either be lucky or ready to grind it out. Good luck -- I'm out there searching for one with you.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show Episode 120: Dungeon Findorama

The WoW Insider Show went on the air last weekend, and despite the fact that we started out down two voices, the discussion was fast and furious, as we all had plenty to say about patch 3.3 and specifically the Dungeon Finder system. Adam Holisky, Turpster, and I started off the show, and then Matthew Rossi muscled his way in (as only someone of his stature can do) to join us in discussion on finding dungeons, Authenticators and the Corehound Pups, and since Rossi made it, we had to talk some shaman and warriors as well.

Bad news, all: we didn't win the podcast award we were up for (congrats to the 4Player Podcast, who won the award and are now our sworn enemies -- we're igniting the rivalry!). But as we say on this show, we'll still be doing the bedtime story for you all anyway, just because you're so great. And yes, above is the check I'm mailing to Turpster for guessing the patch 3.3 release date correctly -- don't let it ever be said that we here at WoW.com aren't men of our word.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Humor, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show Episode 119 with special guest Mary Varn

Our podcast was live on the air as usual last Saturday, and the show is now up for your listening enjoyment. Artist Mary Varn was aboard to talk with us about her comic and her Warcraft career, and Matt Low of World of Matticus also jumped on to chat with Turpster and I about the latest WoW news, including the impending patch 3.3, the recent server outages, and the Taiwanese player who picked up all of the achievements in the game (which, probably not entirely concidentally, is the subject of Mary's comic today).

And of course we answered your emails as well. For those of you wondering about our Podcast Awards nomination, voting has ended, and the winners are supposed to be announced next Saturday in a ceremony online. We'll keep you updated -- remember, if we win, we'll be giving away any prizes we get to one lucky listener, and we'll be recording a Warcraft bedtime story for all of you to download. Cross your fingers for us!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Podcasts, Podcasting, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Quests, Humor, WoW Insider Show, Achievements

Listen to the WoW Insider Show this afternoon

Bored on a Fall afternoon? Wondering what to do with your time until Icecrown comes out? Worry not -- our podcast will cure all ails!* We're back on the virtual airwaves this afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern as usual, talking about the most popular stories in the last week of Warcraft, from the new guild leveling details in Cataclysm, to the Las Vegas Convention Center's BlizzCon listing, stopping somewhere along the way at what's new on the patch 3.3 PTR. Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington, Adam Holisky, Turpster, and I will be your hosts for the combination of nonsense, news, and insight we call the WoW Insider Show.

And oh yeah, since I might forget to talk about it on the show today, apparently we've been nominated for a Podcast Award! This is a prestigious honor that we obtained by... um, you listeners voting for us, so thanks for that! And now we need you to vote again -- you can do so every day up until November 30th. If we win -- well, listen in on the show. If I remember, we'll talk about what might happen if, hope against hope, we actually win something.

*Podcast will not cure any ails, except boredom. And even then, only for about 45 minutes, or maybe an hour at most, if you think Mike is funny.

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

WoW Insider Show live today at 3:30pm

Our podcast brings the usual tricks and treats this afternoon -- before you head out in a costume to go get some real candy, be sure to stop by our Ustream page around 3:30pm Eastern and get some ear candy first. Turpster and I will welcome Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington and another WoW.com writer to chat about the most popular posts on the site this week. On the docket, we'll have the new patch 3.3 notes, hints at things to come, why pallies are up in arms (and why they don't have too much to worry about), and the new looting system and what disenchanters think of it.

And as usual we'll be reading your emails and chatting live with folks in the chat channel, as well as the usual preshow and aftershow (I've heard a lot of feedback about those lately -- people seem to like them). You can join us live on the Ustream page, in the embedded feed below the break, or even in the Ustream iPhone app, if you don't happen to be at home near a full computer. It all begins at 3:30pm Eastern this Halloween afternoon -- see you then!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, News items, Instances, Humor, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show Episode 113: LFG with a vengeance

We had a fun show as always on our podcast last Saturday -- Gregg Reece joined Turpster and I to talk about the most popular stories of the last week. We talked at length about Hallow's End and how it's going for everybody, the new LFG system coming to patch 3.3 and what to expect in there, as well as last week's developer chat on Twitter and whether or not Blizzard should do it again.

And of course we answered your emails, and actually went longer than I think we ever have before. Not three hours long -- we're only doing that if we can get 25,000 followers on Twitter (and hey, though we're not there yet, we're actually moving pretty steadily towards that). But it was a nice long show this past week, full of the usual information and fun. Hit it up to listen on any of the links below, and enjoy -- we'll be back next Saturday afternoon as usual.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Patches, How-tos, Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Humor, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show live today at 3:30pm Eastern

I have a confession to make. Most of the time, whenever I do a post here reminding you that our podcast is going to go live this afternoon and that you should tune in and check it out, I usually say something like, "it's sure to be a really great time." But here's the thing: I'm only guessing. Sure, when you have guests like our bloggers, and you have the T, almost anyone would put money on it being a good time. But here's the thing: today on the podcast, we're going to have a really good time. I guarantee it, all your money back. So please tune in and say hello.

We'll start at 3:30pm Eastern over on our Ustream page (or even better, just head after the break on this post for an embedded feed). Alex Ziebart will be on board, as well as new blogger Gregg Reece, and along with Turpster and I, they'll be talking about Hallow's End and how it's going, the new LFG system on the PTR, and the developer chat that Blizzard held earlier this week. Plus we'll answer your email and all of the other shenanigans that we usually do. Trust me on this one: it's sure to be a really great time.

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Filed under: Podcasting, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, WoW Insider Show

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