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WRUP: Comically speaking

WRUP Comically speaking
It's the weekend, and the WoW Insider staff takes the time to reflect on the coming weekend. Some of us will do glorious battle on behalf of the Alliance or Horde... others of us will be wiping up baby spit. It's a mixed bag like that. We have shockingly few Black Ops 2 players in the house, though.

But our mutual love turned to the subject of comic books this week. We enjoyed several conversations in the press room about our favorite characters, our favorite stories, and even our favorite writers. So we posed to the staff... what's your favorite comic book character?

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Breakfast Topic: Playing at work

We talked about this a while back, but the coolest thing I pulled out of the "working at Blizzard" article last weekend wasn't the on-site gyms, valet parking, subsidized cafeteria, or the amazing swag, it was than when your boss walks in the room at Blizzard, it's totally OK if you're playing a game. Of course, as a freelance writer, I've got a little freedom to play with any free time I have, but my free time comes in small amounts these days (I only made it to 78 this weekend) -- being able to play WoW at work (and have it count) would be great.

Of course, some of you play WoW anyway (or just read our site -- don't worry, we won't tell your boss) even if you're supposed to be doing something else. And some jobs (security guards, IT tech support, a few call centers) lend themselves well to playing WoW during breaks, or just when the boss is not looking. What's your situation? Are you not near a computer to play WoW on at work, do you bring your own external drive in to play during lunch, or are you constantly alt-tabbing in case the boss stops by?

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

How to keep raiding when the power goes out

The thing I love most about summer is the thunder storms. Forget the constant days of 90 degree weather making my apartment bake even when the air conditioning is on, it's those storms rolling in with lightening striking a few hundred feet from me that I love. My guild-mates are going to love that too, especially when I'm raiding with them.

We've had our first couple weeks of this in game, and already I've heard "Be right back, Tornado," from some guildies living down in Kansas. Luckily everything was okay and no one got hurt, but the fact still remains – we lost our head Mage for 30 minutes, and that's 30 minutes of our life we can't have back!

While a Mage having to take a break in the middle of raids isn't a show stopper, having the main tank (my role) go offline is. I've had the unfortunate situation of having that occur a couple days ago. The computer I was raiding on wasn't plugged into my UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply), so I was disconnected from everything when we lost power for about 30 seconds. However with a bit of tinkering around, I was able to put myself in a situation that lets me stay on even when the power hiccups.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Hardware

Playing with your keyboard

Yesterday I talked about how to increase your game play by using all those buttons on your mouse. Today, we'll take a quick look at some theories on how to use your keyboard more effectively. Next week I'll present my complete keyboard map for tanking, and give lots of examples of why I have things where I have them. But for now, let's look at some basics.

I use a Logitech G15 gaming keyboard for main World of Warcraft computer. The keyboard is nice for a lot of reasons:
  • The keys are hard plastic and clean easily. I can often be found eating hot pockets (Mom! Hot pockets!) or pizza roles during raids, and it's nice to be able to easily clean the keyboard if I make a mess.
  • The keys light up. This is very useful late at night when I turn the lights off.
  • The LCD screen is very adaptable. I use the LCD screen to display who is talking over Vent. No more asking "Who just said they need a mob taunted off them?" (of course, if they wouldn't pull agro in the first place or DPS the right target, we wouldn't have that problem now... but that's another article.)
  • There are 18 additional programmable keys on the left side of the keyboard.
So the G15 is a nice choice for a gaming keyboard. We all know this, of course. Most of us play with one, or something similar. There are a few good and basic strategies for making the most of your G15 or other keyboard.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Guides, Hardware

Leveling Mom and Dad through Zul'farrak

I think there's something so awesome about this story from Rufus on Livejournal-- his mom and stepdad have never gamed before, but they've leveled two characters up to 40, and during a run in Zul'farrak, they actually took on a whole gang of mobs, and lived.

We've talked about playing with older folks before, but that's not even the best part of this story-- the best part, in my view, is the thought of two people discovering that they can do something they never thought possible. There is definitely an accomplishment and a thrill that comes with gaming (and this game especially-- taking out trolls is always fun), and it's awesome to think that these two were able to discover that.

I did a run of Dire Maul last night on my up-and-coming Hunter, and just like that Blackrock Depths run a little while back, there were a few newbies in the group-- we had to explain tanking and aggro a couple of times, and I had to use Feign Death. But even through just the chat channel, you could tell they were having a ball running through all the demons in the old elven city. That kind of stuff definitely makes me happy this game is around.

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

The odd couple, playing together

Playing with friends is probably the most fun you can have in WoW-- while it's fun to solo, a good group is where it's at, and there's no better group then playing with people you know. Unfortunately, because even people who have a lot in common hardly ever level at the same rate, level differences grow quicker than expected, and pretty soon it's just not possible to play with friends without someone wasting their time.

Until friendship shows up anyway. Lev over at WoW Ladies writes about an interesting duo she made with another player-- after joining up for a quest in Winterspring, they've rolled 10 levels together, and even played on their alts. And the weirdest thing is, she's 22 and he's 14, so you don't think they'd have a lot in common, but she says they play together great (she has a younger brother, and she compares their relationship to that). In the comments, someone about her age confesses to being grouping buddies with an 80-year-old person, and someone else tells a story of leveling up 40 levels with someone they met in game.

Makes me kind of jealous, actually-- I've played a long time with the same people at 60 (and now 70), but leveling, I was never at the right rhythm to really grow with anyone else, either in common or otherwise. On my very first character, I played a night elf hunter (duh), and got some help from a night elf priest on how to start playing the game. I still have that guy on my friends list on that realm, and still see him play online, but he outstripped me in terms of levels a long, long time ago (he's 70, and my hunter is stuck in the late 50s). Now, it'd be nice to somehow technically be always able to play with friends (you could have instances that averaged your levels, or just play with premades, which is what I think Guild Wars does), but I think that's just one of the drawbacks of having a leveling system-- unless you only play those characters together, someone will always fall ahead or drop back.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Quests, Leveling

Food on the flying mount wing

I don't really have much to say about this one-- just press play and watch the absolutely cutest WoW video ever. That flying mount must look pretty tasty.

(Almost) completely unrelated: every time the guildies and I run Sethekk Halls and run into those Cloud Serpents, their "Wing Buffet" ability makes me think of all-you-can-eat wings. But then again, I could be thinking of something completely different.

[ Thanks, ongra! ]

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor

College bookstore puts WoW in the window

The Tensor was walking past the bookstore at "Unnamed University" (oh come on, you can tell us-- The University of Washington, maybe?) and saw the sight you see above. That's right, a college bookstore has WoW proudly displayed in their front window.

Are they actively trying to distract their students from work? Don't get me wrong-- there are plenty of good reasons to play WoW, even if you're supposed to be studying for a career. But I'm glad WoW didn't get released until I was out of college with a degree-- I had enough trouble when I discovered Civ, sophomore year, as it was.

[ via ]

Filed under: Odds and ends, Humor

Do you play WoW at work?

This would actually make a good Breakfast Topic, but I figured it'd be more appropriate if I asked it right in the middle of the workday: do you play WoW at work?

I've heard people do it, but personally I couldn't imagine how I'd pull it off. Most of my workday (when I'm not slaving away for the Weblogs, Inc. overlords here) is spent in an open office, and so even if I did find the time to squeeze a little adventuring in between my actual work, I have so many people looking over my shoulder that I'd get caught before long. Of course, when I am supposed to be writing for this site, I'm usually playing WoW anyway, so that evens out, I suppose.

It seems, though, that if British cops can get away with playing on the PSP at work, WoW is just a sneaky laptop away. So some of you out there must be playing WoW at work right now (don't worry, we won't tell your boss), but how are you possibly pulling it off? Are you just letting it run while you do actual work? Or finding some time on your lunch break to level a little? Or are you all out hacking and slashing your way through Azeroth while a conference call goes on in the background? There is always the argument that playing WoW makes you more productive, but somehow I don't think my boss would buy that.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff

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

A near-death experience? WoW!

We may have had plenty of brushes with death ingame, but this real-world story is something else. Livejournal user antiotter was calmly playing WoW one evening when:

My neighbor accidentally put a .44 Magnum round though my wall. It missed my head by three inches. It started in his bathroom, went through the mirror, went through the closet on the other side, blew through that closet door, traveled across his hallway, blew through our common wall, richocheted upward off my computer desk, and lodged in the doorframe.

[Via Wonderland]

Filed under: Odds and ends

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