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Posts with tag gnomeaggedon

WoW bloggers take off and unite with Sixth meme

What's that image above? Why, that's a screenshot of Azshara before the goblins took over, taken for our massive series of Before the Shattering galleries we put together just before Cataclysm launched. It also happens to be the sixth image from the sixth subfolder in my images folder, which leads us to a meme started by Gnomeaggedon from the blog Armageddon's Coming -- a meme that has taken off with alarming speed.

The premise is simple: Head into your images folder, select the sixth subfolder, grab the sixth image in the folder, post the image, and select six bloggers to tag for the next part of the meme. Those people post their own sixth images, tag six more bloggers, and so on. Those of you who are skilled at math can already see where this is going.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Aussie blogger brings Movember mental health series to WoW blog

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Pitched battle in a frantic Battleground feels a little like Armageddon if you're on the wrong side of the wave. Depression can feel the same way to those struggling in its iron coils. Winding together entertaining and informative posts about both is popular blogger Gnomeaggedon, whose WoW blog (which has been tackling PvP topics since the summer of 2008) is working through a special month-long series on depression and mental health for the mustachioed Movember men's health movement.

You wouldn't think someone who's struggled with depression himself and mental health issues in his immediate family would be a big fan of the emotional highs and lows of Battlegrounds. It's one of the questions Gnomeaggedon toys with regularly: "Kind of related to your interview with Lady Erinia -- is depression caused by excessive video gaming, or is video gaming 'self-medication' for depression? I know in my case, my depression began when I was a child. I had no idea, and things like that weren't discussed in my family -- so treatment came 20 years 'late.' And where WoW was an escape from the difficulties of life (as alcohol, etc., had been in the past), most people assumed I had a (stereotypical) problem with gaming."

With a backlog of years' worth of posts about being a gnome mage, the PvP lifestyle, and scattered plugs for the awareness of mental health issues, Gnomeaggedon has left an indelible imprint in the WoW blogosphere. We had a cozy email conversation with the Aussie player to explore his enthusiastic support for Movember, how many fellow WoW players -- people you play with every day -- are likely to be touched in some way by mental health issues, and how "cleansing the debuff" of mental illness can make such a difference in people's lives.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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

A little pre-80 min/maxing can be helpful

Gnomeaggedon has written up a great guide to something a lot of players (including me) haven't worried about at all in the past: min/maxing your gear before you ever hit level 80. Aside from twinking, there seems to be almost no reason to worry much about gear before you hit the endgame -- you can level in almost anything these days, and by the time you hit 80, you'll replace it all anyway. Why bother? But Gnome makes a good point: he says you should put the minimum of effort in to max out your gear's power. Better gear will help you level faster, will help you play better, and I'll even add that it will help you learn your class better; figuring out early on which stats you want to choose over others will be a big help when you are dealing with all of the epics at level 80. You don't have to spend all your time choosing gear pre-80, as most of it will get replaced with regular quest rewards anyway. But it's good to put some thought into it.

So how's it done? Gnome's posts have some excellent tips on browsing Wowhead for new gear, using Rawr to analyze where your character's at now, and eventually looking ahead to what's next (I'll throw Gear Wishlist in again, simply because that's helped me out a lot). There's so many great tools out there for choosing gear, and it's interesting to note that they're still helpful even pre-80. Taking a second to check your gear while leveling up might actually make that grind that much easier.

Filed under: Items, Instances, Leveling, Guides

The pros and cons of autolooting

Gnomeaggedon has a really insightful post about one of my favorite "hidden" features in patch 3.1. The first time I ran Naxx after the patch, I was a little worried on the first boss that I couldn't loot my badges or Stone Keeper's Shards. But of course, I'd missed it in the patch notes: all of that currency stuff now works like currency should. Whenever one person in the group or raid loots it, everyone gets their own as well. No more forgetting to loot your Badge, as it all goes automatically into the currency screen. Very nice change.

But as Gnomeaggedon says, there are still a few kinks in the program (aren't there always?). Quest items still don't get auto-looted, and since Badges do, that's even less encouragement to go check the loot to see if there's anything you need. He'd also like it if items got autolinked while Master Looter is on -- right now, it's the responsibility of the Master Looter to link and give out items that get looted, and that doesn't always get done clearly. That second one is kind of a good point -- my raid looter does pretty well with showing off items, so I don't really have much of an issue with that, but it would be helpful to see for sure what's in there.

But back to autolooting: the flip side of this is that if Blizzard uses autolooting too much, the game becomes that much more simple -- they already show you where the monster is and how to kill it, and now you want them to give you the loot automatically too? While it would be easier to have quest items sent to your backpack automatically, let's not forget that mobs with loot on them are shiney. It might make sense in raids to do autolooting (since everyone is grabbing for the same quest item), but autolooting while soloing might be a little too streamlined.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Bosses

Neutral Auction houses (and putting them in Northrend)

You've probably heard, by now, the reason why there are no auction houses (or class trainers) in Dalaran or Shattrath. Blizzard doesn't want the old world towns (like Ironforge and Orgrimmar) to become ghost towns. Ghost towns like, for example, Shattrath -- have you been there lately? But as Gnomeaggedon pointed out last week, there's another option: neutral Auction houses.

We haven't talked about the Neutral Auction houses in the game for a long time -- they exist only in Winterspring, Booty Bay, and Tanaris, and pretty much have only served the purpose of trading items back and forth between the two factions (or scamming between them). But Gnomeaggedon has a new idea: why not reintroduce them to the newer cities, and create another option for people rather than having to go all the way back to the old world (and waste a hearthstone cooldown)? Not only would you bring people back to the Neutral Auction houses (they really are empty right now), but you'd bring the auction house back to the people, at a slightly higher cost.

I like it, and so does Mend Pet, though she sees a few issues: even with the higher cost, you might still get people forgetting about the normal Auction houses and then you've just switched where the problem is (not to mention that people leveling wouldn't see anyone in the big cities when they went). And Dalaran is laggy and crowded as it is -- creating another mess of characters won't help. And finally, this is a solution without a real problem: we're getting the Hearthstone cooldown lowered anyway, so it's not that big deal to go back home occasionally (or just use a bank alt). Still, the Neutral houses are just sort of sitting there. Giving us more access to them might be worth it.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

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