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Breakfast Topic: Learn something new every day

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to

I learned a pretty important life lesson from playing WoW. Now, I am well aware that this statement makes me sound like a loon, like someone claiming his whole life underwent a reversal after reading The Secret and now everything is so much better and wonderful. I'm not saying WoW did that for me. But it has taught me something about time management and design goals, by way of dailies.

Specifically, dailies have shown me that if you devote a certain predetermined amount of time each day to the completion of carefully detailed and prioritized tasks, you will reap benefits and rewards over a finite and moderate time period, with better benefits and rewards over a longer time period. People who are good at time management and at prioritizing, and who do not have a tendency to procrastinate, are probably thinking, "Duh." But some of us poor slobs out there do have problems managing time and imagining the benefits that can come from consistently devoting time to specific activities, especially when those benefits won't materialize for a long time.

Personally, this really hit home for me the past few months as I was planning my wedding. I wanted to do most of the stuff myself, because there was no way I could afford someone to do things for me. I wanted to make my own centerpieces, guest favors, cake topper, wall decorations, thank-you cards, invitations, paper picture frames for souvenirs, bridesmaid's hair pieces and so on. I read enough wedding blogs to scare myself into thinking that making everything was going to result in a time management nightmare. So early on, I set out to prioritize and schedule my daily tasks -- just like planning out Sons of Hodir rep, accumulating Champion's Seals to collect all the pets or running through quest chains on the way to Loremaster. I allocated one to two hours every night in order to complete a set amount of work and determined the best way to space out all the tasks over the following months. I got everything I wanted to get done with two weeks to spare. Days before the wedding, I was stressing out because I had nothing to stress out over.

Some will find it silly that it took WoW dailies to get me to organize myself, but it really is just a very good time management model. What have you learned from playing this game? Leadership skills, perhaps? Diplomacy? How to be a politician, or a socializer, or a mediator? Or (dare I ask), an instigator?

Have you ever wanted to write for Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to The next byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Blizzard fills out the BlizzCon site

We covered the ticket FAQ for BlizzCon a few days ago, but there is more news up on Blizzard's official site about the event we all want to attend later this year. They've got an early list of developer panels to browse through, and there are sessions planned, as you'd expect, for Diablo III, Starcraft II, and World of Warcraft (though there aren't any surprises -- if they are going to do a "next expansion" demo panel, obviously we won't know until we look in the programs that weekend). Zarhym has also posted links to the usual contests, tournaments, and information on how to order up the DirecTV coverage.

Unfortunately, it's all pretty rote -- these are basically skeleton pages from what Blizzard did last year, and there's no actual information specific to BlizzCon '09: what the DirecTV purchase might get you, or any new events coming up. But if you haven't been to BlizzCon before, these pages will start giving you some idea of what you'll find there, from the lore and art panels (hint: any panel called "lore" usually has Chris Metzen being extremely entertaining, and any panel with "PvP" in the title will involve people asking question after question to the devs about why one class -- usually Paladins -- is over- or underpowered) to the ongoing competitions you'll see around the event all weekend.

And heck, if you have been to BlizzCon before, maybe these scant notes on what is happening will get you even more excited. Ticket sales begin next weekend -- good luck to everyone trying to buy.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Contests, BlizzCon

Officers' Quarters: A military solution

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Starting up a new raiding guild is never easy. There's a lot to think about and plenty of competition for those raid-quality players. It's not easy even under ordinary circumstances. Now try doing it while you're on deployment in the U.S. military! That's what this week's reader is facing.

Dear Scott,

I've been playing since about a year prior to the release of BC and been through many guilds which time and time again failed to meet my expectations of what a raiding guild should be, mostly centered around the lack of motivation. I'm in the military and 6 months ago was put on deployment so I've been "WoWless" for the last 6 months or so. While out here I made friends with some fellow players and after a few conversations I asked if anyone was interested in starting a guild. They liked the idea but no one wanted to spearhead it, well this sounded like opportunity knocking.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Ask WoW Insider: The rate of release

James G. has been debating an issue with his guildies for a while now, and he wanted to put it to you, the readers of WoW Insider:

Basically, Blizzard said shortly after the release of Burning Crusade that they would ideally have one expansion released each year. Do you feel they can keep up with this or that they will ease back between expansion releases in future?

He says that Blizzard has been learning and improving the whole time the game's been out about how to make content and release it, and that they should be more than capable of making an expansion every year or so. His guildies, however, point to the big gap between 2.1 and 2.4, and claim that even if Blizzard can release content faster, there still needs to be time for people to play it.

What say you, readers? Obviously, Blizzard is likely releasing content as fast as they can (and let's be fair, no one is really holding them to that "once-a-year" thing -- their games are quality enough that we're ready to play them "when they're ready" anyway). But is Blizzard releasing content too fast for people to play through it, too slow to keep people interested, or just right?

Previously on Ask WoW Insider, you answered questions. Want your question answered? Send it along to, and you might see it here next week.

Filed under: Patches, Expansions, Ask WoW Insider, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider at Dragon*Con 2008!

Perhaps you were one of the myriad people who made it out to the WoW panels at Dragon*Con last year. Maybe you just heard of this raucous, geeky event and decided that since you can't make it to the West coast for BlizzCon, you'd check out Dragon*Con. Whatever your reason, we're heading back again this year along with our sister site Massively with a variety of World of Warcraft related panels for you to enjoy!

If you're heading to Hotlanta this weekend to take in all the awesome that is sure to be Dragon*Con 2008, we've prepared a handy guide to some of the MMOG track happenings that may be of interest. Join us after the break for a panel breakdown, or check out the full schedule on Massively for all things MMO going on at D*C 2008!

Read more →

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Wrath of the Lich King

Breaking News: In game calendar system revealed

Elizabeth Harper managed to get onto the latest beta build of Wrath of the Lich King tonight and snap us a few screenshots of the new calendar system. It looks quite nice, and to me appears to be a step up from current in game calendar options.

Blizzard has mentioned that they've been working on one of these for a while, and it's nice to see the results. If you look closely you'll see things like when the Darkmoon Faire is coming, and when the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravagenza is happening. It doesn't show what PvP weekend it is, but I have to believe that's something they'll be working on.

Check out the screenshots below for the new UI. I'm sure you'll be happy!

Update 12:57 a.m.: There is a way to add user events in the calendar. It also appears there is a way to share the calender items among individuals. More information incoming.

Filed under: Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Druid Simulator for Excel

Ok, I'll admit that I have no real idea what this thing does, or if it's even useful, but I figured I'd let you guys be the judge of that. is hosting a user-created Druid Simulator for MS Excel that allows that allows "druids to test their gear setups. It should allow them to determine which gear to aim for."

So, I guess it's a spreadsheet kind of thing? Personally, I don't get into the minutae of stats & all the numbers when I'm playing an MMO...or any game, for that matter...but I know there are plenty of folks that do, so maybe some of you will find this useful. You can download it from this link.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Add-Ons

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