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Posts with tag opinion

WRUP: Orcs orcs orcs

The weekend's here. It's been one hell of a week, hasn't it? This is not the place to discuss all the headlines, though; just the WoW ones. Among the news of the day, we've finally seen the cinematic. And while we could opine about plenty of the week's events, let's stay focused on that. Of course, that means we need to ask the obvious question: What did you think of the WoD cinematic? Was it everything you hoped for? What do you think of the fan reaction to it?

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Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

WRUP: The desert of our dis-content

mists preview blizzcon
We're caught in the desert of very little news. But at least some news is starting to trickle in about 2014, such as the many contests for BlizzCon. (I hear they're on the left side, and must be handled.)

We asked our intrepid staff what big hopes and dreams they were secretly harboring for BlizzCon 2014 this year. I'm hoping that we'll finally hear some hints of that mysterious project. I'd say a release date for WoD but there's no way it can wait that long, right? Right? Oh, gosh, I hope we're not still waiting for WoD by then.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WRUP: Well, that's just like your opinion

Panda Closeup
This has been a week for opinions. Lots of things happening; new patches, jokes, games on platforms, and a partridge in a pear tree. And while bloggers should have opinions, there's sometimes a wide diaspora about what we even having bother having opinions about!

With that in mind, when we asked our intrepid team what they're playing this weekend, we asked them to also tell us about their favorite opinion right now.

Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) This weekend is going to be spent giving those patch notes a closer look, doing a heck of a lot of writing, and watching baseball games with my Dad - woohoo, baseball season is here! That said, uh ... I guess at the moment my opinion on the Rockies is that they seem to have a fairly solid hitting team, but man their closing pitchers could use some work. Some of them are good, some of them are ... not. I'm sort of hoping it was just opening week nerves on their part. Despite that, I'm still hoping they have a better season than last year. ... I can always hope, anyway. Right?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WRUP: Weekend of news

shaman in flight over crystalsong
This has been a week of news. Changes to casting on the move, nerfs to Garrosh, and Heroes of the Storm leaks. These news-filled weeks feel few and far between these days, so it's nice to feel like our beloved Blizzard is picking up steam. What do you feel about the news of the weeks, and what are you hoping to hear next week?

Adam Koebel (@bendakwow) It's going to be a lazy weekend consisting of a lot of Olympics watching and a bit of raiding. As for this week's news, I think its nice they are taking challenge modes seriously. Remember, you've got several months to get around to them if you've been putting them off. Next week, I want to hear something new about Warlords. I enjoyed the artcraft post about garrisons and now I want more! Maybe it's too early to talk about class changes, but some zone previews or something along those lines would be cool.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

What if dailies weren't daily?

Alright people you'll have to bear with me on this one. In my quest to earn money on a near-dead server with a terrible economy and a glacial auction house, I've been making a farm. Playing nice with the Tillers, pretending to like Gina Mudclaw, that sort of thing. And suddenly, it's occurred to me that a big part of the reason why I dislike daily quests so much is the fact that they're, well, daily.

What do I mean? Well, this is, of course, simply my opinion. The way I play is pretty grindy, so if I decide I want to do the Klaxxi rep right now, I could happily spend five or six hours just grinding it out watching TV or on Mumble with friends. What I really dislike is that I do my handful of quests, then all my impetus is lost as I have to wait until 3am server time, or whenever they reset for you, to continue. By then I don't want to. If I could do my five hours then lose interest for a couple of weeks, then come back, I'd like it a lot more.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Is gearing the game, or does it get in the way?

Is gearing the game, or does it get in the way
I've spent a lot of time thinking about gear lately. PvP gear, specifically, how it's changed, and how it compares to PvE gear. I've also been thinking about my fairly awful gear-related luck, in both my guild's raids and the raid finder, and looking back to earlier tiers when, thanks in part to not being quite so busy, I've been far higher in the gear curve far earlier in the tier.

As part of my post-grad studies, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time looking at the psychology of gaming. One of the theories on how games like WoW keep people interested, and a good theory at that, was one revolving around breadcrumbs. Like a trail of breadcrumbs, WoW offers the player lots of small, reachable rewards. Nothing so big that you feel like you're done, but lots of small things that aren't too hard to get to. Perhaps those things are in pursuit of something bigger, but they happen fairly regularly. Think of valor points, for example. A little additional reward for completing straightforward tasks. Reputation is another good example. Or leveling, be it a character or a profession.

Gear is much the same, it is the carrot that remains only slightly out of reach, pushing you to play just a little longer. In a PvE context, for an average player at least, you're never really done. Think of Thunderforged gear, this is an additional breadcrumb for those players who are at the top of the ladder already.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WRUP: Should WoW come to Xbox?

WRUP Should WoW come to Xbox
A little known fact about your intrepid WoW Insider staff: we plan our weeks way early. As a matter of fact, we get started planning our weekends in the middle of the week. So when I asked the team about what they're playing this weekend -- and the bonus question to go along with it -- the news about Flexible Raids hadn't made the full rounds yet.

So we asked about Diablo III going to the Xbox, and whether WoW should be next. As you might have guessed, though, our team actually reached a near-consensus on the issue. I'd paraphrase that consensus, but it's more fun to read everyone's individual opinions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

If you could create a minor glyph

If you could create a minor glyph
A great question was posted on the official EU forums today by Ferwyn, who asked "if you could make your own minor glyph what would it be?" They had a few suggestions, from a paladin-specific perspective, one of which I quite liked: Glyph of the Ascended, which Ferwyn suggested might make a paladin levitate and their wings flap during Avenging Wrath. This is a fantastic idea! Sure, the animation might be a bit tricky, but who'd let that stand in the way of a floating paladin, right?

Blizzard Community Manager Taepsilum weighed in with their own suggestions, which might randomly switch your title to Murloc on the Inside or Minion of Taepsilum. Title switching is a great idea, but even better, what about a minor glyph that allowed you to shapeshift into a murloc for a few seconds?

And while we're on this topic, what is your favorite minor glyph in the game right now? My high rated ones would be the Paladin Glyph of Winged vengeance, the butterfly wings during Avenging Wrath, and Glyph of the Falling Avenger, which adds slow fall to Avenging Wrath. But the absolute number one minor glyph for me is Glyph of Confession. The secrets are fantastic, and I have spent many a happy while running around my raids and PvP teams making them confess to things. My only complaint is that it's not useable on hostile targets -- how great would that be in arenas?

So if you could make a minor glyph, what would you call it and what would it do?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Readers' ideas for WoW improvements

Readers' ideas for WoW improvements
A little ago WoW Insider posted an article asking our readers to suggest things they'd like to add to WoW to make the game better. We were really excited to hear your responses, and you didn't let us down. Several commenters had what we considered were actually some great ideas, and we thought we'd pull them out for some further discussion.
Readers' ideas for WoW improvements
This is, in my opinion, a fantastic idea. Many's the time, when leveling a DPS character, that I've been conflicted between wanting to round off the storyline of an area, and wanting to progress with my leveling. With the speed of leveling in WoW at the moment with the buffs gained from heirlooms, guild perks and the like, it's really easy to out-level zones before you're done with the story. Now, of course, the option exists to simply ignore the gray mobs and the gray quests and the fact that you're being far less efficient than you would be if you moved on to another zone, but why should players have to make that choice?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

What one thing should Blizzard implement to make WoW better?

What one thing should Blizzard implement to make WoW better
We happened upon a great thread today on Reddit, created by user Zimraphel, which asked other Reddit users to name features that would make the game better for them. I really liked this idea, and particularly some of the responses. Zimraphel placed no emphasis on realism in the suggestions, nor on the likelihood of their being implemented, so we will do the same here.

There were several answers that particularly piqued my interest, including one saying that Blizzard should implement a bulk server transfer at a reduced rate. Many players have several characters on a server, it's rare that, on your main server, you have only one character that you'd want to take with you if you transferred, and the $25 cost is considerable for what could be 11 characters. A bulk transfer service with a reduced cost would be a great idea. Another idea I really liked was the one to have the option to transfer your whole account to another region, such as switching it from the US to the EU.

And an option for tanks to disable auto-taunt from pets! What about you, what would you add to WoW? I'd love portals in other main cities, back to the Shrine or whichever city has all the portals in it. I want to hang out in Ironforge, but it's so much more inconvenient and I'm really rather lazy. Think outside the box, though, the world is your oyster!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Do we need another Wintergrasp or Tol Barad?

Do we need another Wintergrasp or Tol Barad
Mists of Pandaria is like playing in a field of daffodils while drinking from a mug of stout. Very little to complain about, if you don't mind the eternal dailies. But even with the household chore of doing your dailies, there's one element I still miss from previous expansions: Wintergrasp. (Or Tol Barad, if you prefer).

While Wintergrasp and Tol Barad both had their design challenges, always revolving around that unpredictable critter called human behavior, these World PvP Zones provided dynamics to the game you can't reproduce with queued BGs.

It was a place to play with your server mates, matching your own PvP skills against other folks from your server. While you might run across a familiar face in the regular BGs, Wintergrasp and Tol Barad were the best places to get your home server action happening. These days, Alliance vs. Horde guild rivalries feel a little silly. You don't see each other to have a real feud, unless you're on a PvP server.

The fight timing of the zones lent itself to "WoW breaks." Busy cleaning the house, studying for a test, and otherwise being a productive member of society? Well, trotting off to Wintergrasp or TB when it was up provided a nice, occasional timed break. That probably seems like a minor thing, since you could just do the same as with a BG, but the game's enforced timing gave that work-break-work habit a more natural feel. And the Pomodoro Technique of productivity is effective for a reason. This was the Wintergrasp Technique.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Which is the hardest class to play?

Rogue header
I have been informed by The Management that the answer to this question is a rogue. This is probably objectively true. Rogues are a finicky class to play. Gearing can be an inordinate pain, with new pieces of gear often requiring complete regemming and reforging for optimal DPS output. Rotations, priorities, and situational attacks are also quite complex, and I have a lot of admiration for accomplished rogues. I have a rogue myself, and if I'm away from her for even a few days, it takes me a little while to get back into the rogue play style groove. However, I cannot truthfully say that a rogue is the most difficult class for me. My main is a druid, and I have played feral spec since I started WoW (though I raid and run dungeons mainly as Restoration - I prefer healer queue times, who doesn't?) so roguish game mechanics are pretty familiar to me. No, to me, the hardest class to play would be a death knight.

I have never been able to make sense of death knight mechanics. I can recite them: abilities consume runes, which produce runic power, which is necessary for other abilities. In practice, though, when I play a death knight it always eventually boils down to button mashing, which is not fun at all. So, despite having rolled a death knight at least three or four times, each in an attempt to finally stick with the class, I've given up. Death knights and me, we just weren't meant to be.

I still don't understand why, though, because honestly the concept behind both death knight and rogue mechanics is really similar! It doesn't make any sense that I'd be perfectly at home with one class but not the other. What gives, brain? I feed you and give you sleep when you need it, the least you could do is be more consistent in your virtual-world data processing, okay?! Alas, I cannot change the natural order of things, and death knight mastery will likely remain my World of Warcraft white whale. What about you, fair readers? What is the hardest class for you to play?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

"Crash Bandicoot" creator comments on Cataclysm's problems and the evolution of WoW

'Crash Bandicoot' creator comments on Cataclysm's problems and the evolution of WoW
I didn't see this until recently, but I'm really glad I did. Andy Gavin, the co-creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, ran a series between the end of November and mid-January examining WoW, its four expansions, and how each of them succeeded or failed through both personal and professional eyes. His particular focus is the endgame in each and how it worked to attract and retain players -- or, in some cases, didn't.

While there's certainly been no shortage of player commentary on how WoW's developed, Gavin's experience as a game developer who's not involved with Blizzard is a pretty unique perspective. I found his article on Cataclysm to be particularly adept at putting into words a lot of things I felt but had difficulty articulating. Most of the expansion's developmental time had to go into a revamped leveling process that few people saw unless they wanted to level a new alt. The content at 85 that greeted more casual players got bottlenecked in a series of difficult heroics that frustrated players dropped constantly.

Personally, I still consider Cataclysm to have been a necessary expansion -- it did a lot of stuff that Blizzard had to do for the game even if it wasn't as eye-catching as what BC and Wrath did -- but I think Gavin's assessment is accurate and measured. (And many of Blizzard's own observations aren't all that different.) Funnily enough, with lots of people leveling new monks in Mists of Pandaria, more people might be seeing Cataclysm content now than they did during the expansion that was actually dedicated to it.

I've linked Gavin's full series here. While it's long, it's an incredibly interesting and detailed read:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Nethaera wants to know your most coveted and unusual items

nelf map emote
Over at the official forums Community Manager Nethaera has a bit of an unusual question for everyone: do you dream of electric sheep? Well, okay, it's not exactly that question. She wants to know what unusual or unique items you hoard, keep, or carry and the reason why. Do you hang onto Pamela Redpath's tea for courage when you face the undead? Do you keep Archmage Vargoth's Staff for some company on those long, Netherstorm nights? Or is it a practical item that you prefer - a repair bot or the Direbrew Remote for when you simply must have some of that Dark Iron brew?

This question is actually a tough one for me to answer. Not because I don't have an answer but because I have entirely too many answers. My bags and bank are stuffed full of random items that I refuse to get rid of, even now-useless stuff like Shard of the Fallen Star. I guess if I had to choose, I'd say it'd be a tie for two: my Orb of Deception and Orb of the Sin'dorei. I love turning my night elf into an undead or blood elf, respectively, though unfortunately the Orb of Deception requires being equipped in a trinket slot to work, so it's not very practical for raiding. The Orb of the Sin'dorei you can just click to use. True story: once upon a time back in Wrath I was hanging out, transformed into a blood elf, at the Ulduar summoning stone helping bring my guildmates to the raid. Another Alliance player walked up and /spit on me. When I whispered him with a frowny face emote, he freaked out and thought I was a hacker. Helpful tip, my friend: a blood elf in full tier 7 druid gear is not actually a blood elf! Also, you shouldn't /spit on people, it's really rude!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Humor

WRUP: It's the final countdown!

Editor's Note: Mr. Gray doesn't know how to read a calendar. There's another week left before the patch!

The new patch is here. You might say that this weekend is the final countdown. (Da da dahhh dahhh.) So when we talked to your intrepid WoW Insider staff, we asked what they most enjoyed about patch 5.1... and what they least enjoyed about patch 5.1. It's a mixed bag, after all.

Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) I'm not sure what I'm doing this weekend -- likely writing along with working on alts to level the new guild. Best part of 5.1? Easily the lore in the Dominance Offensive/Operation Shieldwall stuff. I loved doing those quests, and they did a fantastic job of keeping the story moving along. Worst part? Well there was that time my guild went splat. We're back together and doing great now, however -- so I guess you could tack that onto the "best" answer as well.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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