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Posts with tag new

Addon and UI tips for new WoW players

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Can you believe there are people out there who have yet to play World of Warcraft? It's totally true. In an attempt to be investigative and thought-provoking, I've begun writing a few pieces on bringing brand new MMO players into World of Warcraft more than seven years after the game's initial release. For the purposes of experimentation and all that jazz, I turned off every single addon while my ... subjects ... toiled away.

It was uncomfortable at first watching an addon-less screen, but bearings were gotten and life went on. However, there were a few points of the user interface that were not necessarily troubling to my brand new player, but moreso gave a feeling of being "lost" on the screen during moments of tense combat or heavy movement.

I wrote down the observations that I believe new players can benefit the most from. With little to no customization needed, these addons and tips can greatly enhance a new player's starting experience while removing some of the tedium of certain tasks mixed with hard-to-explain concepts. Maybe we can even get some of these features in game as part of Blizzard's new player initiative.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Incoming newbies, but why?

I think this is an interesting post by Grancran over on the official forums. We've already talked about how Blizzard is revamping the newbie experience in upcoming releases (including the next patch and the expansion), but he wants to know: for whom? Sure, there are going to be lots and lots of people going through the starting experience again when the expansion rolls around, both because of the new class combinations and the new races, but all of those people have already played the game. Why update a tutorial system when the majority of gamers have already played WoW?

It's an interesting question. Neth answers pretty tamely, saying that we were all noobs at one point, and that they want to make the starting areas as welcome as possible. But the question remains: is Blizzard expecting an influx of new players at some point in the future?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Leveling, Cataclysm

New 5-man instance confirmed for future patch

There is some much welcomed news on the five player dungeon front tonight. Zarhym has confirmed that there will be a new five player dungeon in an upcoming patch. That dungeon, according to Zarhym, will be comparable to Magister's Terrace.

No other information is provided on it, other than the promise for a preview when it's ready.

Magister's Terrace was released in Patch 2.4 and contained higher-than-normal item level equipment and weapons for players. Many people felt that Magsiter's Terrace was also the hardest 5-man dungeon introduced into the game at the time.

While there is no indication that this dungeon will be released with patch 3.2, I don't think it's a wild assumption to make. Blizzard has previously indicated a future patch will also contain a new battleground.

Filed under: News items, Instances

Trying something different

Mania's got an excellent, if longer-than-usual post up about an issue I'm dealing with as well: the need to play, but confusion about just what to do in the game. I've pretty much done everything I want to do on my Hunter -- after a very lucky night the other week, I'm decked out in all the gear I want, I've topped off my professions, and while I do have some reps to grind out yet (I still want a few rep mounts), most everything I want just depends on dailies, and those I can finish in just a few minutes a day. But just like Mania I've still got that itch to play, to explore and advance and progress, with nowhere to go.

For Mania, the answer turned out to be going to a Death Knight -- she may discover that she's opened up a whole new world in choosing to level with a completely different class. An alt was also the answer for me, but I have a few different reasons, the first of which is Engineering -- I thought for a while, after hitting 450 Leatherworking on my (also Skinning) Hunter that I would switch to Engie and just buy all the mats, but I think it'll be more fun (and profitable) leveling up a Mining/Engineering alt. And he can always make the BoE chopper for any of my characters as well.

But while an alt is sometimes the answer, there are lots of things you can dive into to find a completely new area in the game -- try Arenas for the first time, do a Wintergrasp grind, seek out an old world reputation or title that you've always wanted. We're very lucky, in a game like this, to have lots and lots of new things to try even when it seems like we've done everything we want.

Filed under: Engineering, Leatherworking, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items, Economy, Classes

Disembodied skull confirms new Battleground, your grim future

In what can only be called a grim portent, a disembodied skull haunted the official World of Warcraft forums today. A local farmer noted that the skull had visited the area previously, but "only in times of dour weather, or when death was near for m'cows, or when someone was trolling."

"We were just complaining about Battlegrounds," said a priest who witnessed the visitation of the gruesome geist, "when all of a sudden it appeared, and we knew right then that it was an omen, and one of us was going to die soon, or possibly that it was going to tell us about an upcoming game feature we hadn't heard about yet."

The skull, floating ominously above the gathering crowd, apparated a set of evanescent words, formed likely of the spirit's own ectoplasm, tinged with a blue color known only to come from the world beyond.

Unencumbered by gravity or PR sensibilities, it augured that a new Battleground is in the works. The reaction was one of fear and of somber gratitude for the spirit, and its otherworldly masters, for passing along an omen as important as this. When the prophesied Battleground would appear is still unknown, as the spirits who visit the forums are not wont to reveal such information.

Before it disapparated as quickly as it had come, the skull also noted that you're going to die.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Battlegrounds

3.0.8 brings snazzy new Blizzard Launcher


Anyone who loaded up WoW this morning and patched their game up to 3.0.8 was greeted with a pleasant surprise--a slick new Blizzard Launcher. It looks to have been redone slightly, with a cold-steel Wrath-y theme and a more organized interface. Immediate additions I can see from my end are helpful community/forum links at the bottom, a well-lit link to the Blizzard Store right up top, and (of course) our boy the Lich King, stage right.

Tipsters have noted that it looks similar to Battle.net launchers, and this may very well be an intended change given Blizzard's past statements that Battle.net is up for a major overhaul for Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2.

Leave it to Blizzard to package such an anticipated patch in such nice foil wrapping.

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, News items

Guildwatch: "I done runs with him before same then"


The guild above, Natural Order on Steamwheedle Cartel, has graced these pages before for dramatic reasons, but just to show there's no bad feelings, we're highlighting them in the downed section this week -- as you can see, they were able to topple Archimonde, and that's an achievement for any guild. As long as you can keep progression going, no drama is all that bad.

Unless you run into some of the really harsh drama found in this week's GW, which starts right after the jump. Drop us a tip (anonymous or otherwise) at wowguildwatch@gmail.com if you've got news about drama, downings, or recruiting notices from around the realms, and Sargeras-willing, you'll see it here next week.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Instances, Humor, Bosses

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Yikes, don't do that!

The Care and Feeding of Warriors grinds ever onward. This week, Matthew Rossi has picked out one of his 70 warriors who hasn't been getting as much love and has dedicated him to PvP, trying to gear him up for Arena. At the moment, he has a nice mace and not much else. In the process, he's also had to farm up some money for enchants and armor kits, leading to witnessing some interesting behavior. Interesting like the times can get, if you know what we mean.

I try and keep my various characters separate financially when they're on the same server, because the temptation to rob all of your alts to pay for your main can be overwhelming at times. I mean, I've done it. Only two of my 70's have their flying mounts because every time it looks like one of the others might make the cash, I get a hankering for a flask or what have you and I raid them. Sad for poor Sarnie pictured over there, in his mix of crafted blues and whatever greens dropped/were quest rewards. In a quest to find some use for him I've decided to take him into the Arena, which has led to increased BG's for the guy. I had enough honor for a couple of pieces of armor for him, but my impulse buying soul grabbed the mace instead.

In addition to it making PvP possible (mace stun means that even my crappy 9k health behind can contribute, if I eat some stam food and use commanding shout to get him above 10k health) the mace has made farming cobra scales and signets/marks easier in Shadowmoon. I like farming there because not many people seem to on my server of choice for Alliance, good ol' Norgannon, or maybe I'm just an insomniac.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Arena

Video of the new NPC collision detection system

This video contains audio commentary, turn your sound up!

With the upcoming 3v3 PvP tournament, Blizzard has rolled out a new feature on the Tournament Test Realm server: NPC collision detection. This will mean that it is now not possible for players to walk through some NPCs. Players will no longer be able to crowd, or block, the NPCs. This virtually guarantees that players will always be able to access the NPCs.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP

Threat up with bears


A new server was released earlier this week, and life on Cairne is fresh and unknown. It is amazing not to see any level 70's running around. When most of the population is below level 20, it is really odd actually having to find groups for Dead Mines instead of just having a 70 friend run you through.

As I said on the WoW Insider Show last week, I do have a little green hunter who's 70 and plays in groups with my friends often enough. She's not very powerful, and probably never will be. My warrior and warlock take up most of my end game time, and that's okay. So in hopes that I might convince myself to play a hunter more, I've decided to roll yet another alt on the new server and see where things take me. I really enjoy classes that have pets, so I made another hunter. She's now level 17 after a few hours of play.

One of the first choices I had to make was what kind of pet to get. I used Petopia to browse some of my options, and to make sure that my preconceived notion of a bear was the right answer. It was. With my other hunter, I leveled from 10 to 70 using a cat. Nothing wrong with that, he just wasn't as good at tanking as my bear is turning out to be.

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Filed under: Hunter, Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Leveling

World Wide Wow: Welcome to "Messy Cow"

A recent addition to Blizzard's fan art page shows a dramatic cast of characters for a new online comic entitled Messy Cow, by a talented illustrator named Weng Chen. I always love to see new webcomics, especially WoW-related ones, so naturally I headed over to messycow.com to check it out, and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw.

Weng Chen (who also goes by the internet nickname "Wonn") has been drawing manga (an Asian style of comics) since she was 14, and recently been introduced to MMO gaming through WoW. She taps into a huge fanbase with a comic about WoW, too, and has gotten a good start on translating the comics from Chinese to English with the help of some native speakers. Messy Cow has 8 pages of comics in English at the time of this posting, with many many more in Chinese, and she seems to be translating them very quickly. So far, the English comics give a good sense of what it's like to be a new WoW player, finding lots of cute humor in the situations a new player faces, as well as highlighting some of the most important things a new player has to learn as he or she gets into the game, from how she chose her character, to how she learned about loot rules, to how she first got into PvP . If you have a friend who is new to the game or wondering what playing is like, this comic could be a great way to get her interested and comfortable with it.

In addition, Messy Cow shows just how much of the WoW experience is the same, whether you are in the East or the West. Both sides of the world love this game, and deal with a lot of the same issues when entering into it for the first time. When people talk about WoW, anywhere in the world, it is a set of common experiences we share, a common culture that overlaps whatever differences there are between us.

It may seem too idealistic to some, but in an era when there are wars and rumors of wars on the lips of people all over the world, mounted on top of so much fear and misunderstanding between cultures who really ought to have nothing to fight about, it's encouraging to see more evidence of the World of Warcraft bridging the gap -- one of many forms of media and culture that build common ground all around the world. In Azeroth, we relish the war, but on earth WoW fosters peace and shared identity.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, World Wide WoW

Breakfast Topic: How new would a new class have to be?

I can't stop thinking about new classes these days for some reason. Perhaps it's Blizzcon and the hope that Blizzard will announce a new expansion with new classes in it. In any case, I'm thrilled by the challenge of how to design a new class (or even new class abilities).

And I'm not the only one. Lots of intelligent writers out there have been thinking about this for a long time. One of them, Tobold, recently changed his mind, and I was struck by something in this change. At first he said that Blizzard should not add new classes because there couldn't possibly be anything fundamentally new in this new class, but later he said that maybe it isn't such a bad idea to have new classes that are pretty similar to what we have already. "People who liked one character class and are starting an alt because they don't enjoy the end-game often are looking for something not so different from what they already played.... Adding more content to a game is never wrong."

So I got to wondering, how new would a new class have to be in order for players to accept it? Is it true that people would just cry "Bah! Another kind of rogue!" or "Humbug! another kind of warlock?" Or would these sorts of initial criticisms just die down gradually as people got used to the new rogue and warlock and whatever else that did basically the same thing in just a different way. After all, if you can reduce all class abilities down to a simple few (damage, crowd control, and healing) then maybe you can expand all these abilities out in a myriad of interesting hybridizations too. Perhaps, with this perspective, the potential for class differentiation is limitless.

What's your opinion?

Filed under: Cheats, Breakfast Topics, Expansions

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