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Posts with tag good

Beta Testing 101: Good group etiquette

The most crucial piece of information for you to remember while beta testing is that the process can be grueling and frustrating. Servers will go up and down, instances will crash, and above all, the people playing the expansion's beta will be just as inexperienced as you are with the content. Here are some etiquette tips on how to stay calm during a productive group session during beta.

Be patient. Patience is essential to the beta process. Flaws in the software or gameplay are not discovered without time for those problems to manifest. Be a good tester and log on to WoW with the mindset that you might not be in for the smoothest run.

As a beta tester, your patience will be tried. You'll wipe, fail, screw up, die, whatever. It's a game that you're helping to make just that much better. Put aside the gung-ho group attitude and talk to your team about testing -- that helps me focus on the task at hand.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Dungeon Finder reactions from players

The long-awaited Dungeon Finder is finally out on the servers, and people have had a few days with it now, so let's jump in and gauge some early reactions. Overall, it seems to be a big hit -- tanks and healers are jumping into groups right away, and while we've heard of longer waits for DPS, it doesn't seem bad at all. While of course the initial flood of people brought instance servers down (I'd expect to see the same thing happen during peak time this weekend), everything seems to be working well since then: disenchanters are correctly dropping items out, loot is getting distributed correctly, and groups are doing what they were always supposed to do: rake in the badges and rewards for players.

Hots and Dots actually has a long take on the Dungeon Finder, including "15 Things You Should Know," like that tanks and healers are still as important as ever (if you sign up for DPS and another role, you likely won't be doing DPS), and that we're finding out very quickly just how skilled or knowledgeable people really are ("the Party Leader will be forced to confess midway [through] that they actually know nothing about the instance").

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Leveling

"Good" items in the land of the Lich King

Silrad has an interesting request for the next expansion: he would like some "good" looking items, please.

No, not necessarily "attractive" items-- rather, he wants some items that look like they could be wielded by someone fighting for right, for truth, and for justice. Since Blackwing Lair in vanilla WoW, most of the higher level items look scary-- they're black and spiky, with dark magics streaming around them. Not exactly the kind of thing that a true worshipper of the Light would want to be seen with. I get what Silrad's saying-- he's not a hardcore RPer, but he wants to look like a good guy, and it's tough to do that when your shield has skulls all over it.

Unfortunately, considering who we'll probably be going after in Northrend, odds are that we're in for more gothic, frosty death armor. But there is good news-- Blizzard has already said that even though we're headed into a place where they have something called the Frozen Throne, it's not going to be all ice and snow. There will be at least one Dwarven instance, and you know those Dwarves are interested in: your regular old shiny, gleaming, good-guy steel.

True, if you're playing a class called a "Death Knight," your armor can't really be pink and frilly-- it's got to have some skulls, black plating, and blue magic on it. But hopefully the artists on Wrath will find a few places to put some good old "knight in shining armor" armor out there for us.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King

Is "ugly" the new beautiful, and "evil" the new good? [Updated]

I have a question for all the Horde and warlock players out there -- as well as anyone who plays their character in a so-called "evil" way. But first, let me explain where I'm coming from.

As you know, one of the main differences between the Alliance and the Horde is their sense of style. In fact, the question of what looks and feels good to players of either side may be one of the biggest areas of disagreement that actually exists between them. To a lesser extent, this sort of disagreement exists between classes as well. Warlocks give off a very different feeling from Paladins for example, and different people are attracted to each sort of "aura."

Like many players, my sense of aesthetics and beauty fits in squarely on one side of this aesthetic equation, and the other side can be rather difficult for me to understand. I play in the Alliance, and my favorite races are usually the ones that are "beautiful" and noble-looking in a traditional sense. To me personally, the Horde races are hard to relate to.

I do sometimes start up a Horde character if I have a funny idea for roleplaying him or her, but eventually something about them starts to bother me. Now that the Horde has prettier blood elves to play, I admit this helped me a lot -- I am gradually leveling up a blood elf alt in my free time -- but somehow being a blood elf in the Horde feels rather out of place, as if I'm not really part of the Horde because I'm not hunched over with a ready-to-kill look on my face.

For a long time I couldn't play a warlock either for similar reasons. The class just seemed inherently evil; summoning demons and stealing people's souls seemed wrong somehow. Even though I knew it's just a fantasy game, I still had no desire to mimic in the game something that would be abhorrent to me in real life. I often wondered: what is attractive about the look and feel of these characters to Horde and warlock players?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, RP

Mass Murder 101: How to be a hero

It's a fact that the majority of what we do in World of Warcraft is kill things. Nearly all the supplementary activities we engage in, from shopping to crafting, are all basically to help us improve the effectiveness of our violent capabilities. Many players have noted that if WoW were at all real, then nearly every one of our characters would be considered a genocidal maniac for all the people and creatures we have killed, and yet we view ourselves as heroes.

The idea is, of course, that most of the lives we take are really evil anyway, so we're actually doing the real good guys a favor. We kill tons of demons, ghosts, zombies, dragonkin, giants, and rabid beasts -- even most of the humanoids we kill are bandits or wicked cultists of one sort or another. This way we do lots of killing, but still feel as though we are heroes.

There are some situations in the game, however, that turn things around for us, in which our character is not the hero. While there are some higher-level instances such as the Black Morass, or the new Caverns of Time: Stratholme, in which one could argue either way whether what we're doing is good or evil, most of situations in which you are clearly the bad guy, as far as I am aware, have to do with the undead, and to a lesser extent the blood elves as well. Of course, you can argue that in general, undead are just misunderstood, and the blood elves are just tragically misled, but as in the case of quests in Hillsbrad that ask you to go slaughter human farmers, or help develop a new plague, there's really no denying that your character is doing something "morally wrong."

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Filed under: Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, RP

Child of the Elements

I finally finished the children's week quests on the alliance side, after being quite busy for most of the last week. It's interesting to note how different the draenei girl is from the blood elf that Elizabeth covered earlier. Far from a girl seeming fated to grow up to be a evil-doer of some kind, young Dornaa seems to be a child destined to be a kind and powerful shaman, deeply in touch with the elements.

The Exodar's resident Naaru, named O'ros, seems very impressed with her and asks you to have her visit Farseer Nobundo, leader of draenei shamanism, upstairs. She and the Farseer have already met in a dream, apparently! Nobundo is astounded that the child should have such a natural connection to the elements, and says he will petition for her to stay in the Exodar and train under him after you return her to the orphanage. At the Caverns of Time, she is approached by the Wardens of Time (and saved by the great dragon Zaladormu) just like the blood elf orphan, but the feeling of this is quite different in her context, especially since she wants to befriend a dragon someday, not own one like the blood elf. It seems to me as if a great responsibility rests on her at some time in the future, not some great and evil destiny.

Does the difference between the Horde and Alliance orphans reinforce the thinking that the Horde really is generally evil (with a few who are good) while the Alliance is generally good (with a few who are evil)? Is that the balance we like? Does Blizzard need to provide more kind hordies and wicked allies?

(By the way, if you haven't yet done the Children's Week quests, today [the 29th] is the last day already too late. It seems that Blizzard has once again posted one time on the calendar but gone ahead and cut it off early. Personally, it irks me when this sort of thing happens for no reason -- product delays I can understand, but cutting off a fun event before you promised you would? Grrrr!)

Filed under: Patches, Events, Draenei

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