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Posts with tag main-character

Breakfast Topic: Should Blizzard brake base XP while preserving boosts for experienced players?

Breakfast Topic Should Blizzard brake base XP while preserving boosts for experienced players
We recently explored how you felt about alternate characters, whether you believe they should represent true alternatives to your first character or whether they should remain secondary to a more fully developed main. Either way, there's no stuffing rapid leveling back into the bag. WoW's current leveling design pushes players forward relentlessly, whether they're experienced gamers or not. The problem is that today's leveling pace already outstrips zone content, quest lines, gearing -- you name it. Should Blizzard apply the brakes to base XP while still permitting seasoned WoW players to choose to move more rapidly?

Consider this: What if the leveling experience weren't tuned to catapult players so quickly through and past leveling zones and dungeons? What if the pace were a little looser, giving new players more time to soak up the leveling game itself -– and then at the same time, the current XP boosts were spread across tools designed for experienced players who choose to hop, skip, and jump their way to 90?

The precedents are there -- just look at the heirloom armor system. Today, you can buy Grand Commendations to boost various reputations for your characters once you've played through them once. And remember when everyone was buying the Tome of Cold Weather Flight for their alts? The tools are already in place. From leveling XP to reputation gains to player convenience, the helping hand of a level-capped main character is key.

Do you think WoW's leveling experience should remain something to be played through quickly and efficiently, even for brand new players, or do you think there's merit to allowing that part of the game to move at a more deliberate pace? Would you support more mechanics that give experienced players a way to speed up leveling for their alts, preserving a slower pace for new players and players who enjoy slower leveling? If you like a strong emphasis on mechanics like heirlooms and commendations, should those tools be simple, affordable purchases for any level 90 player, or should they take some time, effort, or money to earn?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Should alts remain secondary to a more developed main?

Breakfast Topic Should alts be secondary to a more developed main
Ready to move all those alts through Mists of Pandaria? The XP reduction for levels 85 to 90 in patch 5.3 isn't something I'm particularly excited about. Leveling goes more than quickly enough for my taste. It's the part of the game I'm enjoying most these days, so why would I want less of it?

At its most basic, pushing players through the levels is a matter of character focus. In Mists of Pandaria, WoW turned away from spreading its affections amongst the so-called stable of alts in favor of encouraging a single main character. That's a compelling approach for players like me who enjoy running down the side streets and back alleyways of gameplay in search of every last way to improve a character. Players who leveled up during Blizzard's later era of streamlined leveling, however, are used to cutting a direct line to the finish with an expectation that they'll be able to maintain multiple characters all the way through the endgame.

What do you think about swinging the focus back to a single main character? Do you think bringing alts up to the same level of development as a main character should be easy, making them true alternatives to your primary character? Or should alts remain easy to level but harder to fully round out at 90?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: What would your character do as a WoW NPC?

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic Insert NPC here
Each week, Blog Azeroth posts a Shared Topic, and WoW bloggers link to posts on their blogs responding to the topic. This week's topic:
If Blizzard added your main as an NPC in WoW, where would they be located and what would be their function? Give us a shot illustrating the fact.
Though Roblinator isn't exactly my main and she's only level 62, she is the guild leader of WoW Insider's It came from the Blog, so I'll use her for this topic.

Roblinator the Goblinator would hang out across the way from the bar in the Goblin Slums. They have been saving a place for her, complete with libations! Please ignore the laundry. It's the neighbor's.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: How do you decide which is your main?

When I talk to people about my gaming (which is 99% WoW and 1% other), if they play too and we get chatting about it -- or even if they simply have an understanding of how an MMORPG works -- the question they will inevitably ask is, "What do you play as?" Or if they play WoW too, they might ask, "What is your main?" My knee-jerk reaction to this is to say "paladin tank." My tankadin was my second-ever character on WoW, the first one that was on the right server where all my friends were, and my first to hit max level.

When Cata hit, she was my first 85, and for a short while she was my only 85. I've PvPed on her as retribution (and as protection for a while, but the less said about that the better!). But since then, as I've become ever more PvP-focused, the amount of time I spend tanking has dwindled considerably. I still do it, and I still enjoy it, especially when it's really challenging, which it seems to me is sadly less and less the case for tanks right now. But the thing is, PvE is just not as exciting to me as PvP. So the character that's getting the most play is my shaman, by a pretty long way. My priest and my warlock are next in line -- and heck, even my hunter gets more playtime than my paladin these days!

And yet when someone asks me what my main is, I'll still say "paladin tank." Maybe it's because I spent such a long time getting to know her. I was too nervous to level by tanking when I first started, so the leveling process took forever. Maybe it's because I like to surprise people by saying I play a tank (see a previous Breakfast Topic for why I think they might be surprised). Maybe it's just because she was my first.

But I think the idea of a main could be something quite significant in WoW. It's how you identify yourself. It's your positioning and your role in the big machine, and it's who you feel you are online. Possibly.

So how about you? What is your main? How do you decide? Do you simply tell people that it's the character you play the most right now? Has your main changed, and if so, why? What's your WoW identity?

My name's Olivia, and I'm a paladin tank. Honest.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What prompted your class choice?

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

You're sitting at your character creation screen, starting a brand new game, maybe with no previous gaming experience at all. Or perhaps you're well-versed in the realms of MMOs, and you have a favorite character archetype already. No matter which applies, we all started at that screen, wondering: What class should I pick? What does class choice even mean? What are tanks? How come this class's armor is so hideous? What on earth is a paladin?

For me, I was devouring the manual that came with vanilla WoW as it installed, trying to find a class I'd like. When I stumbled upon druids and the fact that they could turn into bears and kitties (and moonkin, although I didn't know that yet), I was instantly hooked. Later, in the 40-49 bracket of Warsong Gulch, after getting wrecked over and over by warlock DoTs, I thought, "Hey! Warlocks seem OP! I should make one!" And thus, the warlock was born.

A guildmate of mine chose a rogue because she'd watch her husband play and he would always exclaim how annoying they were and how much he hated rogues. His anger amused her, so rogue she went!

What influenced you? Death Grip looked awesome? You wanted to dispel Hunter's Mark because you hated that graphic (my priest!)? You wanted to shoot huge balls of fire at people? Tell us about it!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Who are you without your main?

Let's say the grid goes down tomorrow. Or maybe The Pattern catches up to Blizzard and it happens to fry that small part of a server that houses your character because it really is you they're after. (Admittedly, there are more realistic ways that you can lose your WoW character, but that kind of takes the fun out of this topic.) From a philosophical point of view, how would you feel? Any kind of loss -- even an electronic one -- may inspire grief and all its stages. But no doubt you spent a lot of time, effort, and money leveling that character so in a way it's part of yourself. You've probably thought about what it would feel like to lose your main.

But what would you be like without your main? Would you lose a bit of confidence? Would your coworkers sense you withdraw just a bit? Or would you feel free, finally able to, I don't know, learn how to surf? Would you be any different at all? Would it be something you could (or would even want to) talk to your non-WoW friends or family about? I wonder if roleplayers would have a more difficult time -- or would it be easier because they are like actors? For me, since my main is much more powerful than I am and also provides me with a lot of laughs at his expense, I would feel just a little bit smaller and weaker. It would also be freeing. I don't think I'd level another main, but I might just try something new. Would the loss of your main have any impact on who you are on a daily basis?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics

No new character slots for Wrath of the Lich King, says Bornakk

If you're planning to make a Death Knight on your favorite server, and you're an altoholic (I myself am guilty on both counts), you've probably already thought about your delimma, and Bornakk drove home the point today: There are still no plans to make extra character slot for WoTLK. Just like the problem you may have had deciding what characters to delete to make your Draenei or Blood Elf, you'll have to make the same decision again.

I suppose it's understandable. I'm sure it would be a rather large jump in server storage space needed to give everyone a massive amount of extra characters. Still, It's going to be tough for a lot of people to delete or transfer a character so they can play their new Death Knight with their friends, I imagine.

Bornakk does point out that at least, with the level 55 creation level, you can start the Death Knight on a seperate server and get a feel for it before deciding if you want to delete or transfer a character on your main server. Still, I know that half the fun for me is getting a good name reserved for my character, so I've personally already deleted a lowbie Draenei Paladin from my main server in order to create a placeholder character with my chosen name.

[Thanks for the forward, Kevin!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Classes, Alts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Who am I this time?

When I first started writing for WoW Insider I began my posting foray with a discussion about my little lock and her leveling in Hellfire Peninsula at level 55. She and her trusty Felguard have finally reached the end of their journey, recently hitting 70. Having two level 70 characters now, I face a tricky question: who holds my attention more? My mage is my main, the character that has quested with me for long before I even played World of Warcraft, and I have all sorts of time invested in her and her gear. On the other hand, the warlock is horribly fun to play now that I have come to terms with who she is. So what now?

I am also leveling my third character, in between the odd foray into raiding with my mage and working on my lock. I have thought long and hard about who of the three represents me more, and despite the fact that mages seem to be less and less desirable in PvE groups and raids, I have spent so much time with her. I love the overall versatility of a mage, what they bring to a group beyond the glass cannon (the sustenance, the crowd control, the transportation.) I have been grouping recently with my lock to get her gear, but whenever a tight spot arises where we need the extra DPS, out comes the mage to power through the encounter. She's the heavy hitter I know I will always have waiting in the wings.

The question still hangs in the air on my character selection screen, who do I enjoy playing more? It's no secret that DPS classes are a blast (no pun intended) to play, but because there are so many of them out there, the need for them is significantly less. Perhaps that is why my third highest character is a priest. She's leveling shadow, so I could for all intents and purposes say it's just another DPS class, but my intent is to have a more useful character for grouping with guild members. I'd also love to have a character I know would have a solid and constant spot in a raid, and it's been my experience, at least on my server, that the mages and warlocks are a vast army of pew pew to compete with.

It's a dilemma I really didn't expect to face. Sure I play ten characters (at least on my home server), but I really didn't think that I would ever consider switching my main character. Now as I look toward the end of this expansion and into the next, the words of Kurt Vonnegut pop into my head, "Who am I this time?"

Do you too have this debate with yourself? Or are you the type to stick to one type of character and stay loyal to them?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves

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