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Breakfast Topic: Where's your off-duty hangout?

Breakfast Topic Where's your offduty hangout
Home is where you hang your hat -– so when you're not raiding or PvPing or whatever your thing is and you've hung said hat on a hook, where might said hook be located? Do you head to a utilitarian hub like Stormwind to breeze through your in-game business, or have you chosen a spot farther off the beaten path to while away the moments between queues or before raid time?

For many players, home base is less about an in-game hangout than it is the place where they indulge in their secondary interest. When these players aren't actively grouped, they're playing the auction house, casually leveling archaeology, or working their way through dailies or another goal. Home is where the personal activity is.

Other players kick back in a spot that's become more like a traditional home for their characters. Instead of filling every last minute with activity, they'll cool their heels in Stormwind while they chat in general or trade chat. Or they'll make their home in another city, puttering about and making small talk in guild chat while they wait for their queue to pop.

Are you an efficient exemplar of perpetual motion every moment you're in Azeroth, or is there a place your character heads to hang out? Where's your off-duty hangout?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Where have you spotted any hidden homes?

One of the really nice things about being able to fly in Azeroth is the opportunity to discover little homes in the most unlikely places. On a recent archaeology trip through Feralas, I flew over a tauren tent hidden in the mountains at 88,32 (on the border between Feralas and Mulgore) that I'd never seen before. It's a beautiful spot on a small pond ringed by mountains and Feralas' giant trees, with a travois and a canoe nearby, and I thought to myself: This would be actually be a really nice place to live, if my main had to be concerned with such things.

And then there's the little house in the mountains northeast of Stormwind -- the dwarven farms in the mountains between Ironforge and Menethil Harbor (although players saw that for years on flight paths). And another collection of tauren tents, canoes, and a rather large cave on the southern shore of Silithus. (Man, the tauren really got around.) Since getting flight in Azeroth, have you seen any of these tucked-away places, and are there any you think others should see?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Where does your character live?

Alliance inn
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Most people spend their afk time these days in Orgrimmar or Stormwind. Before that, it was Dalaran, and before that, it was Shattrath. It wasn't always like this, and for some of us, it never has been.

For example, in vanilla WoW, my home was Ratchet. Despite the guards, I felt the town belonged to the Horde, and my friends and I made any alliance in Ratchet KoS. Naturally, we weren't welcomed in Booty Bay when we hit STV, but that's another story. In The Burning Crusade, it was Halaa. Come Hellfire Peninsula or Azerothian tsunami, I was in Nagrand watching for that place to go hot. In Wrath, if you asked my guildies where I was, they'd tell you I was in Wintergrasp, sitting on the steps talking to passersby.

It's not that there's anything wrong with my computer (anymore), but I like world PvP. I like being able to escape trade chat spam without turning it off (because sometimes, people actually use it for trade). But mostly, I like feeling like part of the game world is under my protection.

Do you have an in-game home, and how did you choose it? Are you the secret spouse of an NPC in Dustwallow Marsh? Do you AFK in Exodar because you know no one else will bother you there? Or are you one of the last protectors of Astranaar after weeks of watching it get overrun by Horde in vanilla WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Make yourself at home

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to

My gryphon soared away from Ironforge as I headed to Loch Modan. Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms lay 200 quests away, and my journey would pick up in Thelsamar. My leather soles hit green earth and I quickly picked up the quests I had previously left behind. Mounting one of my swift sabers, I made a leap off a nearby embankment. I stopped momentarily to consider my next move. Should I use one of my few remaining Elixirs of Water Walking to ride across the lake, or should I shift into Aquatic Form and race under the water?

While considering my options, I glanced around, and I was surprised to find a small home nestled into the wall of earth behind me. In front of the house stood its owner, fishing trainer Warg Deepwater. His wife, Khara, stood on the porch. They welcomed me into their small but cozy home, complete with a round fireplace, a wooden table and pictures on the wall.

This house and its occupants got my attention. Here in this world of vicious animals, monsters, dragons, undead, evil kings and heroes lived a normal family, doing what they always did. It struck me as a token of warmth and familiarity nestled into a land of sometimes cataclysmic chaos. I felt welcome, like I could take a seat on those steps and discuss Ironforge politics or family gossip. Maybe we could pour a few mugs of ale and listen to a chorus of crickets while we watched the sun go down over the lake.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Advanced screenshotting techniques and tips

This discussion over on WoW Ladies has me thinking that we probably need to do a post on something I don't think we've ever covered before: screenshotting. Sure, they're everywhere -- almost everybody sees tons of screenshots every single day, and occasionally, you can even win some real-life loot for taking one. But I don't know that we've ever actually covered the mechanics of how to take one. So let's do that now.

First and foremost, taking a screenshot is usually bound to your "Print Screen" key -- whenever you're playing the game, just hit that key on your keyboard, and a screenshot (in JPG format -- it used to be saved in TGA, but Blizzard changed that a while ago) will show up in the /Screenshots folder inside the World of Warcraft installation on your hard drive. Of course, on a Mac keyboard, there is no Print Screen button, so I have mine bound to the "Home" button instead -- you can rebind it to whatever you want in the options menu. And that's just the basics -- it gets more complicated from there.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Blizzard, Screenshots, Wrath of the Lich King

World of WarCrafts: Light switch cover

Every Thursday, Shelbi Roach of The Bronze Kettle guides you in creating WoW-inspired crafts using real world mats with World of WarCrafts.

While it may be true that us geeks typically prefer the dark, it might be worth turning on the light just to show off one of these totally rad WoW-themed light switch covers. Take a screenshot of your character decked out in epics or your favorite NPC. You can also use a shot of your preferred locale, such as The Dark Portal, Zangarmarsh or Nagrand (as pictured).

Here is what you will need:
  • Light Switch Cover
  • Printed Image
  • Paper Cutter (or Scissors)
  • Clear Acrylic Spray
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Xacto Knife
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.
DISCLAIMER: If you are under 18, please make sure that you are supervised by your parents or an adult. We will not be held responsible if you stab yourself with an artist's tool. Stores will also require you to be at least 18 to purchase the acrylic spray.

Filed under: How-tos, World of WarCrafts

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