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Posts with tag opinion

Do botters really matter?

Blizzard has had the big botting ban now in place for a couple of weeks, and there are a few people I've noticed who are not online. Additionally I've noticed a change in the auction house price. There are some items like low level enchanting mats that are going for tons more, and others such as high level crafting mats which are going for much less. This is outside of the normal market fluctuations on my server, and many people attribute to the removal of botters.

This could be a fallacy of causation – the removal of botters might not have lead to the shakeup at the auction house. There really is no way to prove it, other than the circumstantial evidence of price fluctuations timed with the removal of often-botted items. And in the end, these price fluctuations end up being a wash anyways – the extra that is spent on the lower level items is more than likely offset by the cheaper higher level items.

Between the recent wave of bannings and the seemingly nominal impact the ban has had on the overall economy, this begs the questions – do botters really matter? And should Blizzard just ignore them?

While it might seem like the answer is a firm no, let's take a look at some of the underlying reasons and assumptions that people bot and why it's considered bad. In particular we'll look at reasons surrounding leveling, playing the economy, and engaging in PvP.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, PvP, Features, Leveling

Breakfast Topic: Looking forward to Wrath (revisited)

Just a week and a half or so ago, we wanted to know what you were most looking forward to in Wrath of the Lich King, and then last Friday we heard about umpteen million new things about Wrath. So we should probably ask again: considering what we learned last week, now what are you most excited about for the next expansion?

New talents solidly won the poll last time around (and unfortunately, it one of the thing we haven't heard much about yet -- besides the Warlock hints, Blizzard hasn't said much about what classes will be able to do in the next ten levels), but surely the 10/25 man news (that we've been talking about all weekend) will get some more folks excited about the raids. And personally, I'm much more excited about siege engines than I was before Friday -- I previously thought it would only be a few quests in Lake Wintergrasp, but from what we heard, siege engines and multi-person mounts are going to become a big part of life all over Azeroth.

So how's your outlook on Wrath of the Lich King looking now? Are you still waiting to hear about those new talents, or did all that news on Friday pique your interest in something else? What are you most excited about for the next expansion?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Figureprints

When we first heard about Figureprints, everybody seemed fairly keen to get one -- there were thousands of people trying to get in on the drawing, and lots of folks were more than willing to put down their $100 for a custom, real-life figure of their characters created directly from the in-game models.

But as the Dude (if censored) might say, new stuff has come to light. We've seen the first Figureprints off the press, and the quality, so far, hasn't been impressive, to say the least. We should note that Figureprints is replacing that figure in the gallery, but we'd like to know: has all of this new information changed your mind about Figureprints?

Are you still excited to get one, or have you changed your mind from originally liking the idea to not so thrilled about the actual product? Or, like Matthew Rossi, have you said "This aggression will not stand, man," from the beginning? OK, that's not really what he said (I just wanted to quote the Dude agaIn), but where are you at on Figureprints lately? Yea or nay?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

No beta for me, thanks

Reader Ian C. wrote in with an interesting thought. He says that if he was offered a spot in the Wrath of the Lich King beta tomorrow, he'd probably decline. With the news that the expansion is in alpha and that an open beta is probably not too far off, it seems like everyone and their brother wants in early to Northrend. But not Ian -- he says that he'd rather experience the content on the live realms.

And I mostly agree. I never played in the BC beta, and generally I like to stay away from the PTR if possible -- any progress that you make on test or beta realms is completely lost when the beta closes, and while yes, there are some fun reasons to jump onto the PTR or a beta realm, I'd rather experience the content as its meant to be played when it comes out.

Everyone else might be excited to see the beta, and of course we'll have lots of information as it comes out about Wrath (which means if I'm invited to the beta, I'll probably load it up just to see what's there and try out the Death Knight mechanics), but playing on a beta realm isn't the real thing. Any progress you make there is more or less a waste of time -- I'd rather see Northrend in a finished form, through my character on the live realms.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Leveling, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Why Karazhan still requires attunement

Here's a good question from Strykt on the forums: why does Karazhan still require attunement? Blizzard has already dropped attunements on SSC and TK, and patch 2.4 will bring the removal of attunements on BT and Hyjal. So why are we still being forced to get those key fragments and attune people to Karazhan?

Bornakk shows up in the thread and says simply that it's a good way to find people to run Karazhan with, implying that Blizzard wants guilds to help each other get attuned, and that in essence, it's not so much a gear check as a group check-- you can't get into Karazhan as a guild unless you've helped each other to get in there first. And I actually like that idea-- if your guild wants your help in Karazhan, they've got to lend a hand first to get you into the instances to get the key fragments. "No guildie left behind," if you will.

I don't have a problem with having an attunement quest to enter the endgame (and you'll probably remember that Onyxia, BWL, and Molten Core attunements are all still in the game). And it seems that Blizzard doesn't either-- they're willing to open up the later endgame as time goes along, but you've still got to get some help to enter it in the first place.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Quests, Raiding, Bosses

Swords and daggers

Foxx asks over on Livejournal about the oldest question a budding Rogue can face: sword or dagger? As our great Rogue column Encrypted Text says, Rogue specs are designed more around weapons than roles-- the basest decision you make as a Rogue is to use daggers or swords.

To my mind, there's no question: it's got to be daggers. I'm a longtime D&D player, and Rogues are supposed to Backstab, and Ambush, and sneak around and get in positions to do huge amounts of damage. A poisoned dagger is a Rogue's specialty, and that's what he's got to be wielding.

On the other hand, some Rogues can't handle the pressure of stealth-- they equip swords and go in swinging for the fences. Don't get me wrong-- there is a lot of good in a sword spec. Combat is basically the best solo spec you'll find, and Blade Flurry is pretty much a Rogue's only weapon against multiple opponents.

But even though it actually makes soloing harder, to me, a Rogue's just not a Rogue without a dagger in the main hand. You sword Rogues can disagree (and I know you will-- a sword-loving guildie of mine has argued this with me many times), but if you're not interested in sneaking around behind your target, and burying that toxic dagger in his back, maybe you should have rolled a fury Warrior.

Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding

Gamers on the Street: Attunement changes

Hello all, and welcome to Gamers on the Street! In this column I will be logging into a different server each week to create a character and ask completetly random gamers of both factions their opinions about things that are currently impacting players in World of Warcraft. In this way we hope to reach out to the community and give some everyday gamers a chance to talk about some of the things going on in game.

This week, I picked the Gnomeregan server by asking someone in the <It came from the Blog> guild to name a server for me. It was the first one that was given to me. I rolled my two characters -- a Gnome Rogue and a Troll Rogue, which I dutifully leveled past one so nobody thought I was a gold spammer -- and headed for the major cities nearby to ask my questions. Amusingly, getting anyone to talk to you at level five (Alliance) or three (Horde) was difficult to say the least...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Interviews, Gamers on the Street

Exclusive interview: Awake from Nihilum speaks with WoW Insider

There might be no guild in all of Azeroth that has attracted attention like Nihilum has. They've charged through the endgame, gaining an unimaginable four world firsts in one day. They've downed Illidan. They've beaten the game.

And even out of the game, they seem to be a lightning rod for controversy. They don't like girls. They supposedly cheated on Vashj, and maybe they buy gold. Players have followed Nihilum's exploits like no other guild-- some hate them and some look up to them, but everyone who follows news from the endgame must know who they are.

Now, in their first exclusive interview after downing Archimonde and finishing off the current content, Awake from Nihilum spoke with us to talk about all of these things and more. What did they and did they not like about the endgame they just beat? What's Nihilum going to do now? And exactly how many of them have girlfriends?

Click the link below to read this exclusive interview, and get a glimpse of what it's like to run with the guild that beat the game. Questions were collected from both WoW Insider staff, and from members of our own casual guild, It came from the Blog. Thanks to Awake from Nihilum for doing this with us, and good luck to him and his guild in future content.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, News items, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Interviews

Breakfast Topic: The trading card game

No, this isn't an announcement of a new TCG about our Breakfast Topics (but wouldn't that be fun? I see your flamebait, and raise you an intelligent comment!!). But I would like to get all your thoughts on the collectible card game based on World of Warcraft.

Personally, I haven't really gotten that much into it, but since the Darkmoon Faire was in Chicago this past weekend, I went out there and obtained some photos and an interview or two for those interested to peruse. I learned to play the game and got to go one-on-one with one of the creators (his interview will be up today), and I have to say that the game itself is pretty fun-- lots of strategy, and plenty of inside jokes about our own little world of Azeroth.

I don't see it taking over my life, however, mostly because I don't have anyone around to play with-- even my boardgaming and roleplaying friends haven't picked it up yet, and probably won't any time soon. But I can definitely see the draw, not only of learning all the strategies of different decks, but actually collecting the cards that make them up.

So is it your thing or not? And why? If not, have you tried it and not liked it or just not tried it at all?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

A case for patience on the PTRs

You'll forgive me for trying to inject a little reason into a nerf debate (an impossible task, probably), but that's what I'm about to try and do anyway.

Yesterday, mages, warlocks, and shadow priests were up in arms about the changes on the test realm to the tailoring epic outfits. Blizzard was experimenting with adding ability stats to the armor while nerfing spell damage, and tailors went ballistic over the changes. And so, within a matter of hours, Eyonix announced on the forums that the changes had already been reverted and would not go to the live servers.

Now, yesterday I said the nerfs weren't that big a deal, and since then, I've seen some good points that say they were-- lots of people spent lots of time and gold getting just these recipes together (some even leveled tailoring for just these pieces), and it definitely presents a problem to make serious changes to gear that people have already sacrificed a lot for.

On the other hand, there were good reasons behind the changes as well. As even a few tailors have said, these crafted pieces matched up to the Tier 4 and 5 pieces, and I see problems with basically requiring clothies to be tailors to be competitive in the endgame. Many warlocks cried the most about the changes, but because +spell damage doesn't translate directly to most of their DOT spells, in many cases, they would actually be the least affected (Update: In hindsight, I shouldn't have judged how affected anyone was by this change. But that's not the point of this article-- read on.)

But my point now isn't to argue whether these sets should have been changed or not. What I want to point out now is that being outraged on the forums and yelling at Blizzard about something that's happening on the test realms will actually impede the developers' abilities to make good changes on the live ones.

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Filed under: Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Bears, flags and cross-server queue times

"This PvP thing is quite fun," thought I, several weeks ago.

Time passed. Lured on by cheap combat potions, armour and (of course) glory, I've been spending plenty of time attempting to kill Horde recently. I thoroughly enjoy the niche my druid has found in PvP, and have worked hard to become a better player. By slowly but steadily ranking up, the addictive microreward cycle has worked its magic on me, and what began as an experiment to see how far I could get PvPing when I had the time has become something more permanent.

Of course, such idyllic stories end in tears; the Drums of War have arrived in Azeroth, bringing with them shortened battleground queues. Previously, it was a case of occasional PvP games (usually short losses to elite teams) fitting nicely in amongst work breaks -- a little light relief from a heavy burden. However, now the queues are almost eliminated, and the games are much longer, I can't multitask any more.

All is not lost, however. Despite the joy of being a flag-carrying bear, sometimes it's fun to just get out there and burn faces. My mage alt is old enough to go into AV, and firing pyroblasts with reckless disregard for rank or reputation is a different -- and utterly refreshing -- kind of game.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Shaman Solution: Give Us Pets!

A lot of Shamans (myself included) are under the impression that they've been getting the short end of the stick lately. First, we had pretty much the rockiest respec Blizzard has done yet-- half in one patch, half in the other, and we ended up getting nerfed anyway. And then there's the news that those despicable Pallys are going to be invading our side and taking our raid spots! Well, it's enough to make us Shamans feel like we're being left out a little bit.

But Hennifer of Khaz'goroth has been poking around the old Warcraft III site, and I think he's come up with a solution for Shamans that will make us all happy: Shaman pets!

Ok, well it won't make any of the other classes happy. But I have to say that giving Shamans a sixty-second summoned Shadow Wolf (say that three times fast) to use as extra DPS would be amazingly cool. And since the expansion will take all the talent trees ten points further, I think it would make a perfect addition to the Shaman's Elemental tree. Not all of Hennifer's suggestions are so great (portable totems? even I don't buy that one), but I think the Shadow Wolf is gold, Jerry, gold! After all, pallys get to summon a whole horse, don't they? We should at least get a wolf, right?

Filed under: Horde, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

My Secret Life as a Mage

I've become increasingly bored with grinding on my main character, so it's time for another alt to feel the love. As I play late at night, it makes sense to level an alt while the BGs are out of action and the LFG channel is quiet, though this does make levelling a lonely pursuit.

Having grouped with the entire spectrum of mages in the past -- from the extremely incompetent to high-damage-dealers with a deathwish -- it's been interesting to actually get inside the class a bit more. Initially, it was one of the classes I couldn't stomach by the time I hit level 8; seeing their fearsome power at level 60 has possibly changed my mind. (After all, who doesn't want to be their own vending machine?)

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Filed under: Mage, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Quests

New Weekly WoW Rant has launched anew feature called Weekly World of Warcraft, which takes a slightly diff'rent perspective from most of your other WoW sites; WWW is devoted exclusively to rants & raves about the player's frustrations with WoW & the things that need review; or at the very least, some acknowledgment.

This weeks edition, the 3rd so far, mainly deals with the implementations of the new dungeons in 1.11. The author has some opinions I don't necessarily agree with, but he makes some very interesting points & it's a good, informative read. Check it out over at their homepage.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, News items

Breakfast Topic: Dirty tactics

Fanart by Mike Krahulik
(Gabe)While we might assume by default that every other player is a honourable and upright paragon of virtue, sometimes little quirks of behaviour manage to shatter our illusions beyond repair. From chat spammers to mob campers, we frequently run into some dirty tactics which serve to convince us that perhaps WoW isn't such a nice place to be after all.

Ganking aside, what are your favourite or least favourite tricks to employ in these situations? One of mine is excessive politeness--it may be the Englishness of it, but saying "I'm terribly sorry, old chap, but would you mind pushing off for a few minutes while I finish this quest?" has surprising effects.

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Breakfast Topics

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