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Posts with tag longevity

Should WoW reward its loyal players?

As the 9th anniversary of the game rolls around, and we open up our mail to yet another letter and set of XP and reputation-boosting fireworks, we're glad that the letter is at least accurate. Or not, as the references to Deathwing were simply removed, rather than replaced by something more relevant. It's a token, it's no bad thing, and the reputation and XP boost doesn't hurt either. And for new players, it's a nice token, something to indicate that they have joined something big, something long-lasting. A friend of mine I recruited last year couldn't believe how long the game had lasted, and that's pretty cool.

But what WoW's longevity should indicate is an issue suffered by a relatively small number of games. It's highly possible for someone to have played WoW throughout these nine years, and even before, prior to the official release, during the beta. Should that be rewarded? Should WoW reward players with what is approaching 10 years service? The open beta launched in early 2004, so the happy few who remain from those days are not far off their 10-year anniversary.

Rewarding Long Service

Blizzard employees get a shield after ten years, and it seems to me that rewarding long service would be a good idea for the players of their games too. Previous articles have focused on how much money players have ploughed into Blizzard's pockets over the years, but I'm not going to consider that. I mean, I could have started in Cata, multiboxing 10 accounts, and still paid more. It's the longevity that matters to me. It's the sticking with WoW through its ups and downs, through the ICCs and the Dragon Souls. Through the dailies and the grinding and all the great and terrible changes. That's what deserves a reward.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

New generation comes of age in record-holding long-time guild

New generation comes of age in recordholding longtime guild
You know your adults-only guild has built up a serious steamhead of history when you begin seeing an entirely new generation of applicants from within your own ranks. That's right, WoW players, you really are that old. This month marks the 17th anniversary of The Syndicate, the current Guinness world record holders for the longest continuously operating online gaming community.

"As our move into our 18th year as a community, internally we are starting to see the children of our members applying to join," writes Sean "Dragons" Stalzer, president and CEO of The Syndicate. "Said a different way, that means people who have only known MMORPGs similar to WoW or EQ or UO or Rift are heading off to college."

When we interviewed Dragons three years ago, we examined the group's massive size across multiple games, its unrivaled retention rate (an average loss of one to two people per year, for a 99.92% retention rate), and its own studio that turns out strategy guides for casual players and handles game and hardware consulting and testing for various game companies. That's a heady bouquet of achievements for a hardworking guild. Still, the group's anniversary this month makes waves in a much larger context -- a new era for MMO designers and fans alike.

"It matters because the MMOs of the past 17 years were created, in large part, by a community of developers who knew the world of BBS gaming via a modem... who played MUDs and MOOs... who, in the more senior levels, knew gaming before there were computers," Dragons writes. "We are just now reaching the point where the future programmers, designers, producers etc.. are heading off to college having never known a world without MMORPGS. Some of the core mechanics and concepts that shaped what 'success' is in the MMORPG world are things they have never experienced, and that isn't a bad thing. It means there is change coming to the MMO space."

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Filed under: Guilds, News items

The Light and How to Swing It: Straight talk about holy paladin healing

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like how come I had to use Lay on Hands to save that tank.

You've heard me talk about Cataclysm's revolutionary triage paradigm of healing, and you've read all about the new Three Heal style for heal design. Every healing class starts with three nearly-identical healing spells as a baseline. The devs then sprinkle in a few extra heals to make each class somewhat unique. Add in a variety of AoE and specialty heals, and you've got a recipe for any one of the healing classes in Cataclysm. We were subject to a lot of retooling to get our holy tree to fit into this model, but it was definitely a success.

While it's fun to discuss the paradigm from a bird's-eye view, it's also not representative of actually healing encounters. WoW isn't played with a pen and paper, but with a keyboard and mouse. Every boss encounter requires different techniques, and their varying mechanics are key in determining the best course of action. How can we take what we know about the new healing paradigm and actually apply it to real encounters? What heals are holy paladins really using today?

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for hunters in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

We don't have much time before Cataclysm hits, so let's get down to business. We've talked about some optimal talents for death knights and druids for PvP, so now we turn our attention to hunters. Hunters have always had a tough time in arenas, not necessarily because the class was broken but because the format simply wasn't conducive to the hunter playstyle. It got so bad, in fact, that Blizzard designed an arena -- the Ring of Valor -- specifically to benefit hunters. On the other hand, hunters have always lorded it over in the open expanse of the battlegrounds.

The good news is that battlegrounds will be cool again. Well, they've always been cool in my book, but soon they'll be rewarding cool gear, too. That means hunters will once again feel like PvP gods (without needing the help of an enhancement shaman). There's one big change to hunters in Patch 4.0.1 and that's the change in resource from mana to focus. The difference with the way focus behaves is that rather than a resource well that pays for spells and abilities (mana), hunters have abilities that generate focus in combat such as Steady Shot and Cobra Shot, and then a whole load of focus dumps. In a way it's like death knight runic power or warrior rage without the decay. This means you'll always want to have nearly full focus but never gain focus that will simply slough off because you're over your maximum. It's a careful balance of gaining and spending, although focus regenerates at a steady rate.

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Filed under: Hunter, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

The Light and How to Swing It: It's all intellect's fault

Every Sunday, Chase Christian of The Light and How to Swing It invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. This week, we examine the difference between throughput and longevity, and how intellect skews the scale.

Paladins have an incredible amount of what I call 'support' spells: things that aren't part of your rotation but provide us with quite a bit of flexibility. All of our 'Hand of X' spells would fall into this category, along with several other unique abilities that set us apart from other healers. Our healing toolbox has also expanded significantly, with Sacred Shield and Beacon of Light completely redefining how a holy paladin heals in WotLK. My actions bars are filled with macros and various support spells that I may need on a moment's notice.

Even with the sheer number of abilities that paladins have to deal with different situations, we are left with only two true healing spells to rely on. Holy Light and Flash of Light are our workhorses, with nearly all of our actual healing coming from one or the other. Holy Light provides us with an essentially infinite source of throughput (see the above graph from Valithria Dreamwalker), while Flash of Light's efficiency gives us a longevity that has other healers green with envy. Trying to reconcile the difference between these two paradigms, massive throughput vs persistent longevity, is one of the most intensely discussed topics in the holy paladin community. Read on for my thoughts on the topic.

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Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Scattered Shots: Beastmastery in Wrath of the Lich King

Ok, so it's actually an old PTR bug, but a pet panda would be awesome.Scattered Shots is for Hunters. Your host this week will be Daniel Whitcomb, who will continue his foray into the wide world of Wrath of the Lich King talents.

Beastmastery has pretty much dominated the world of Hunters in Burning Crusade, with Serpent's Swiftness alone nearly singlehandedly allowing for the most efficient damaging shot rotations possible -- With a little bit of wrangling between haste and ranged weapon speed, of course. While the changes to Auto Shot clipping in Wrath will likely make shot rotations as we know them a thing of the past, Beastmastery is still looking to be a very viable tree in Wrath of the Lich King, thanks to some clever synergies and some amazing pet buffs.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Hunter pet aggro may be fixed in Wrath

The story of Hunter pets and aggro in Burning Crusade, especially since patch 2.4.2 or so, has been a very stormy one. Even deep Beastmastery Hunters have had to learn to kite, as pet aggro grows worse and worse. Growl in 2.4.2 was supposed to scale, but almost every Hunter that tested it said it didn't, despite Hortus' insistence that it did.

Luckily, it looks like there may finally be some real relief coming in Wrath of the Lich King.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

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