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Posts with tag gamer-discussion

Breakfast Topic: A kodo at last

Sometimes I don't have anything particularly deep or interesting to say. Sometimes, I just have a story. A story about a kodo that I didn't get.

Several years back, when Coren Direbrew worked differently (he dropped mounts, you didn't get them in a keg after you killed him) a group of friends got together to run Direbrew over and over again to maximize people's chances to pick up the mount. With people rotating in alts, we managed a grand total of sixteen Direbrew kills. On the last kill of the night, I offered to rotate in my Death Knight - he was a new character, just recently arrived at level 80 and not particularly geared. But I really wanted the kodo, even if it would be on an alt and not my main. (This was before mounts were account bound.)

I switched to said DK, we did the fight, and sure enough the kodo dropped. And then I realized my wife was in the group. She didn't have the kodo. She wanted the kodo. And she was a mount collector. So I did the only thing I could and passed - after all, I was on my alt, not my main.

As soon as they made mounts account wide a tiny piece of my soul withered and died. I've watched friends get the mount over the years, but I never did. It just seemed to be out of my reach. Until tonight, when after years, after Wrath and Cataclysm and two years of Mists of Pandaria the bloody thing finally dropped. For my alt.

So yes, my wife's finally off the hook. My draenei can finally ride around on a kodo, the one thing I desperately missed from playing Horde. Life is good. Now you tell your stories of long-awaited victory, I suppose. Or don't. I'll be busy tooling around on my kodo.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you have a pre-expansion to-do list?

I'm pretty obsessive about achievements. I don't go out of my way to complete them, but if I'm in an area questing or farming and there's an achievement to be had, I'll grab it while I'm there. But what I normally find myself doing at the end of an expansion, when the days are waning and there's little to do, is going out and finding all of the achievements I missed. I don't get them all -- after all, there are only so many hours I have available to play -- but having a tangible list of stuff to do keeps the end-of-expansion doldrums mostly at bay.

The latest round of things to do involved the Brawler's Guild, which I began when it first arrived, and then abandoned in a flurry of raiding and dailies and things that were nowhere near Orgrimmar or Stormwind. I think that's why I'd all but forgotten about the feature until recently. Most of my days were spend in either the Alliance or Horde shrines, and I never really traveled to either capital city if I could help it. But upon the announcement that the Brawler's Guild was being revamped for level 100, I figured I should go knock out as many of the bosses as I could.

It was slightly easier than I'd expected, but that was in large part due to all that raiding I'd been doing and the gear I'd acquired. Still, there were a few bosses that proved to be a challenge, and no amount of gear could get me around the mechanics and tricks required. But I'm rank 10 now, and working my way through the various challenge cards. I don't know if I'll finish them all before 6.0.2, but it's become a fun and somewhat relaxing diversion. What about you guys? Do you have a to-do list of things to complete before the expansion is over? Do you go after particular achievements? Do you go back and finish zone quests you might not have seen in your rush to level 90? Or are you just taking a break and relaxing while you wait?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you want more Lords of War?

Yesterday was the fifth and final installment of the short series Lords of War, which avoided featuring another orc warlord and instead gave us a glimpse of Vindicator Maraad's past. As a finale, it was just the right emotional gut punch to push us forward into the next expansion -- although I found myself wondering about the other orcs who were not featured. Certainly we'll be seeing them in other lore material introduced as the expansion is released and moved on, but it's not quite the same, is it?

I pretty much fell in love with the moving illustration style of lore presentation we've been getting since it was introduced with the Burdens of Shaohao. Let's face it, this is a really cool, evocative way to present some of the back story and lore that we don't see in game. But I find myself, particular with the latest series, wanting just a little more. I'd love to see tales of the draenei from the Draenor we're traveling to in Warlords -- Akama, Nobundo, Velen, Yrel -- or even just more back story on Garrosh and his interaction with the orcs of the world.

Or Ner'zhul. A whole series dedicated to Ner'zhul and the Shadowmoon would be pretty sweet.

What did you guys think of the series? Do you want more? Are there characters whose stories you wish had been told? Are there tales you still really want to see? Do you want more Lords of War -- or is there another series of tales you'd like to see come to life?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: How big should dungeons be?

This is one of those topics I've written about before, but I love the oldest, classic dungeons of World of Warcraft. WoW has had a lot of great dungeons over the years, I'm not saying it hasn't, but for me personally I've never liked any of the more recent dungeons as much as the classic ones - I especially loved Dire Maul, Blackrock Depths (as Scott Andrews put it here, it was pretty much WoW's ultimate dungeon) and the combined Upper/Lower Blackrock Spire. What was always really amazing about the spire was how it all connected - you could kill General Drakkisath, and then realize you were essentially standing over a dizzying plummet that would see you land at the base of the spire. You could even physically fall out of the dungeon.

There's down sides to big, big dungeons like these, of course. A complete clear of BRD was as much of a chore as any raid, and could take as long if not longer - back in the day a BRD run was basically it, you were committed, it was what you were going to do all afternoon. So I guess what I'm asking is, do we miss sprawling dungeon complexes like these, or are they artifacts of the past we're better off without?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Will you reroll for Warlords?

To answer the question posed by the headline, I'm not going to reroll for this coming expansion. But every expansion I've seen since The Burning Crusade I've seen people reroll. People reroll for lots of different reasons - they feel their class is weaker now, they're bored, there's a new class introduced (so not this time for this reason), they want to switch roles and their current class doesn't tank or heal or isn't a pure DPS class, or they feel like the class they are currently playing isn't as good at what they're doing than another class. The start of an expansion is often seen as the best time to make this kind of switch, because everyone's leveling up anyway and we're all on an even footing for a while.

There's also the old fashioned way to switch servers or factions - back before you could pay to move a character, I often rolled a new one just to play with friends on a different server or faction, and it's still the cheapest way to do that. My tauren warrior wouldn't exist without it.

With all the systems changes and item stat squishes it seems like now might be the best possible time to get on with a reroll. Are you planning to make a change?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: So Many Feelings

This is a spoiler free post about spoilers. And how those spoilers can make you feel. I'm warning you, even though I intend to spoil nothing at all, so you can avoid the post if you'd rather.

This has been the expansion beta test where I constantly find myself forgetting that the Horde storyline exists. I say this having played it. It's not that the orcs of Draenor aren't interesting or cool, it's that I simply just do not care because there's draenei lore to explore, draenei settlements to visit, draenei to watch being awesome in cinematics. If you watched the recent cinematics Blizzard released, you'll know what I mean. If you didn't, you'll have to take my word for it - there are some awesome draenei moments to be had. It's gotten me so pumped I resumed work on my draenei-themed transmog, which you can see above on the beta. Having watched the cinematics, I'm now incredibly ready for Warlords, but I have no idea if I'll even bother to play Horde. As cool as the Frostfire Ridge ending is, the Shadowmoon Valley one dwarfs it, and Talador? Talador actively made me upset, something that hasn't happened to me in World of Warcraft in a very long time.

This is the draenei expansion. The orcs? Well, they're here. They're villains for the most part. I'm not impressed. But the draenei? Oh yeah. Y'rel, just point the way. Let's go wreck the Iron Horde.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Did you watch the Warlords cinematics?

One of the bigger pieces of news to come out of last week was the release of several of Warlords of Draenor's key in-game cinematic pieces. Now, normally we kind of expect to see these things at some point during the beta's lifetime -- but usually it's one datamining website or another that manages to dig the cinematics up prior to the expansion's release. This time, in a completely different move, Blizzard released all of the cinematics on the official website, clearly labeled as spoiler content and requiring players to click through a very blatant spoiler warning before actually showing any content at all.

It's a new approach. I'm kind of a fan of this approach, because we all knew that material was going to surface at one point or another anyway -- this way, Blizzard has control of how it is released, and guarantees that it's labeled so as not to take anyone by surprise. You can't get much clearer about spoilers than Blizzard did in their official post, and although some might say they went overboard with the warnings, I think that was perfectly fine, given the nature of the material. And of course I watched them. I watched them all, because I like to write about these kinds of things on a weekly basis and I wanted to see what would happen, to give some context to what I'd already seen in the beta.

But I'm wondering how many of you watched the cinematics, as blatantly placed out and clearly labeled as they were. Did you appreciate all the spoiler warnings? If you're avoiding all spoilers, did the clear labels and official post make it easier to stick with your resolve, or did it just tempt you into really wanting to see? Obviously, since we're talking about the nature of spoilers, rather than the actual spoilers themselves, please keep the comments spoiler-free. Trust me, we'll have more than enough articles where you can talk about the spoiler content to your heart's content.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: If WoW had romance options

One of the things I liked about the old Baldur's Gate games (especially BGII, my all-time favorite) and their modern-day successors the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series is their romance options. You don't have to play with romance in mind -- in fact, when I play Dragon Age, I absolutely don't romance anyone, it's just how I roll in the DA franchise - but it's a well-designed feature and something I enjoyed, especially as it got more inclusive. It's a good mechanic for letting players see a little of themselves and their personal existence in the larger game world without forcing everyone to see it, since it's easy enough to not pursue.

And now I think it's time for WoW to steal the heck out of that idea. For example, Yrel. Let us all date Yrel. Or Drek'thar, or Liadrin. Make certain awesome NPC's available in our garrisons and let us pursue completely fictional romances with them to help introduce story elements you can't get any other way. We could have special quests just from our significant other, chains that helped flesh out the world we're exploring.

Okay, I admit it, I just want to let rogues date Vanessa Van Cleef. She's had a rough life. Druids could maybe talk Fandral Staghelm or Leyara down?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The future of tier sets

One of the things I love after getting a chance to pick up the Tier 17 pieces yesterday in the beta is the way the set bonuses switch between specializations. This is the greatest thing about the way gear has been changed in this expansion - one tier set effectively covers all three specializations. Now, there will always be set bonuses we like and set bonuses we hate, but it's indisputable that it's a relief not to have to farm up tokens twice for a DPS and tank or heal set (or three times, for a DPS, tank and heal set) and I'm down with the overall simplification of enchants if it means we can just plug and play more than on live.

So I'm sure I'm missing some huge negative of this change. Luckily, we have a comment section. What's wrong with the way tier works in Warlords that I'm missing?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Machinima in Warlords

One of the things I've been surprised by is the lack of people hopping on the beta to test out the new character models (especially considering how much more expressive the faces are) for the purposes of making machinima. I realize it's a beta test, and furthermore, I realize a lot of people who make machinima don't do it in game - model viewer is a friend to many and all that. So I guess I'm curious - are the many changes to how the game is stored and visually processed helpful or harmful for those of us who aspire to or already do make movies with World of Warcraft?

And yeah, part of me wishes that Gnomechewer would be so moved by the new models that he'd come back to WoW long enough to make a few machinima as good or better than Gilnean Like Me. Have you guys got a machinima you'd like to see visually updated with new models?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Beta is beta

You hear it all the time. Never count the beta as done until the beta is done. Never assume things are what you think they're going to be until we're told they're in the final stages. And even then, things can change. It's actually one of the things I like most about World of Warcraft's beta tests, the idea that you get to experience and test and report on things, and see those reports take life and actually have an impact on the game's design.

Yes, I know I used a warrior specific example. But other classes have seen design changes like this over the years, and it's interesting to see whenever it happens. Whole zones have been redesigned suddenly from time to time, like when Jade Forest got taken down and completely redesigned during the Mists of Pandaria beta. It just goes to show that you can never be sure the beta is actually what you'll get in the live game.

So now for those of you who've played in betas from the Burning Crusade to now, I ask you, what's been the biggest surprise change you can remember?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Losing track

So I spent several hours farming Battle for Mount Hyjal and Black Temple for the above transmog. You're thinking so you succeeded, well done but no - I didn't get the pieces I wanted. It just so happens that the character I was on (one of my many warriors) already had all of those pieces. That's because I completely forgot what this character had on him (or indeed, any of my characters at this point) - partially exacerbated by the fact that one of my characters has so much transmog gear that he has maybe two bag slots open.

It really doesn't help that even when I'm not playing a warrior, I'm on a death knight nowadays, and he has a lot of these same pieces of gear. Worse, I can't figure out what quests which character has or hasn't done, what reputations they have. I was surprised while farming because I hit exalted with the Ashtongue Deathsworn - a clue that I probably should have remembered I'd been there at least a few times already on this particular character.

So, if you play a lot of alts, how do you keep it all straight?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How many raid tiers?

Thinking about how many raid tiers Warlords may have based on this interview with Tom Chilton, and one of the things that interests me there is the comparison to other expansions. To put it in perspective, Burning Crusade saw four distinct raiding tiers (although there was some muddling with 10 and 25 man raid sizes), Wrath of the Lich King had four as well (the Naxx/Sarth/Maly tier, the Ulduar tier, Trial of the Crusader and ICC/Ruby Sanctum) and Cataclysm saw three (BWD/Bastion, Firelands, Dragon Soul) as did Mists (Mogu'shan/Heart of Fear/Terrace, Throne of Thunder, and Siege). So going with a two raid structure will either mean a shorter expansion this time around, or it will mean more time spent in each raid overall.

In some cases this could be to the good - I still feel that Ulduar didn't get the chance to really breathe as a raid. It's also true that fewer raid tiers doesn't necessarily mean fewer raids as a whole - lately the opening raid tier has two or three raids to start off. If that was continued for the second raid tier, we could have six raids by the end of the expansion, just not over as many tiers. Still, it's an interesting statement. Why would we only have two raid tiers? Is it because of the barber shop allowing faces to be changed?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Well-Known

By the time we get to max level it feels like we're fairly well known. I'm not saying we're celebrities in Azeroth. Potentialy the average person has no idea who we are. But if you've been playing for a while, you've probably accomplished some pretty impressive things. By now I've:
  • Killed two Old Gods
  • Defeated the Firelord Ragnaros twice, the Lich King, Deathwing himself
  • Liberated Westfall twice and defeated the Defias Brotherhood in both original and new flavors
  • Assaulted Orgrimmar and defeated Garrosh Hellscream
And quest text would seem to bear that out. Kings and Warchiefs know us on sight. We're routinely tasked with the most dangerous missions imaginable. So what I wonder is this - are we celebrities? Does the average person know who these people are when we come by town? When I land on a massive dragon in the middle of Redridge because I'm on my way to Blackrock Mountain and I'm getting a friend the flight point, do people just think oh, it's that guy on his dragon or is it a big deal?

I guess I'm just wondering how jaded the average person is about all this. What are your thoughts?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: I could buy Westfall

Been messing around on a lowbie alt recently when I hit Westfall, and started doing the quests. I soon noticed that people would kill each other for a few copper pieces there, and then it occurred to me that my lowly level 16 character had something like fifty gold on her. And then I realized that, if a human life was worth a few copper pieces, my fifty gold made me an economic titan in Westfall. If not for the game not allowing it, I could easily completely sabotage the Defias by simply offering a silver piece to every able bodied adult I met in tne entirety of Westfall.

And then I remembered my main, who is toting around tens of thousands of gold. (And heck, that's nothing, we all know people who are actually gold capped) and it occurred to me that if said character came to Westfall and gave every single NPC who isn't hostile to him a gold piece, he'd still have most of his vast forture, and every single one of those people would be wealthy by Westfall's standards. Of course, they'd all probably immediately get robbed by the Defias. And that led me to consider - why can't I just buy Westfall? Fix up Sentinel Hill garrison style, put everyone to work on civic improvements and irrigation systems, offer every able bodied recruit a job in the militia hunting down the Defias. It would probably cost me less than a thousand gold to completely fix up the place.

Alas, it is not to be. Westfall languishes forever in the grip of the Cataclysm revamp. Still, I wish I could build a garrison anywhere in Azeroth and fix it up. How about you? Would you stick a garrison near Razor Hill? Somewhere in Azshara? Out in the Blasted Lands?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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