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Posts with tag questing

Ghostcrawler explains spec-specific quest rewards in MoP

If you've been following the Mists of Pandaria beta at all, you may have heard that questing players discovered that they were only getting one choice for quest reward items. Many recent MMOs such as SW:TOR use this model; it's generally agreed that the system of multiple possible quest rewards is yet another "bad player trap," like Ghostcrawler described lots of talents pre-Cataclysm. Players can miss out on quest rewards accidentally, and since there's no in-game way of switching your quest rewards, well, that can be a headache (especially since reports say that GMs are no longer switching quest items for you).

When asked about the issue on the beta forums, Ghostcrawler offered a pretty reasoned explanation for the change. He says that most quests with green rewards will only give you one choice (that matches your current spec). However, there'll also be vendors in every zone from whom you can buy sets of gear that aren't quite up to the item level of quest rewards in that zone, so you can fill in itemization holes or help bolster an off spec a little more. Quests that offer blue rewards will usually offer rewards for any spec your class can be, giving you some flexibility when it comes to rare rewards. Also, Mists of Pandaria questing is more non-linear than Cataclysm's, so you'll be able to hit up a different zone in the event that you need gear for a specific level range.

Ghostcrawler's full response (and an image of one of the vendors) is after the break.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

How I made 3,000 gold by level 30

I rolled an alt a few weeks ago -- nothing special like the Ironman Challenge, but I had a moment where I wanted to level a character from 1 to 85 on another realm just for the heck of it. So I picked a random realm, medium population, and rolled a worgen. Why a worgen? Well, it had been a while since I'd played through the worgen starting zone, and since I'd recently seen just about everything the Horde had to offer on the 1-to-60 front, I wanted to replay the Alliance experience again.

So I rolled a worgen -- no heirlooms, no gold from outside sources, just me and the quests, like the old days of vanilla WoW. The most important part to me was that I was going to forgo buying any upgrade gear from the Auction House, instead using only what dropped from quests or instances. Call it a moment of vanilla nostalgia if you will, but that's exactly what I had to do on my first character back in 2004, so I was going to do it again. I expected it to be tough; I expected it to take a while before I could even afford a mount at level 20.

I was so, so wrong. By the time I hit level 30, I had a little over 3k gold on my random alt, with little to no effort on my part. And I'm going to tell you exactly how I did it.

It all started with a pair of boots.

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Filed under: Economy, Transmogrification

Mists of Pandaria: Dave "Fargo" Kosak interview

Dave "Fargo" Kosak, lead quest designer for World of Warcraft, sat down with us at the Mists of Pandaria press event for an interview. We talked about the Horde/Alliance conflict, voice acting, pop culture references, Mists' accelerated production schedule, and more. Check it out!

WoW Insider: I guess I'm just gonna start off with some basic stuff.

Dave Kosak: Basic stuff is good!

Let's start with your overall philosophy for Mists of Pandaria.

Well, we're constantly experimenting with quests, and in Cataclysm, we created some pretty linear zones, as I'm sure you might've noticed. Some really big story arcs and big finishes. Certainly like in Mount Hyjal, we phased a huge amount of the zone, which worked because it was a pretty linear zone. A couple drawbacks, though: It was a shame that on your second or third time through, you had to play it exactly the same way. You know, you kinda lose some of that open-world feeling, you lose a little bit of that exploration when it's linear like that. But we loved the storytelling, so what we wanted to do with Mists was keep that kind of storytelling but make sure that you have the opportunity to go out and explore and experience the expansion differently, so ... let's see.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Is it time to kill daily quests?

You know me, always looking to kill stuff.

Hear me out, though: I'm not saying we should kill repeatable questing here. Repeatable questing, first given to us in World of Warcraft with the inclusion of the Skyguard and Ogri'la questing hubs, was later expanded upon with the Isle of Quel'Danas as part of the Sunwell patch and has been with us ever since. Throughout Wrath of the Lich King and into Cataclysm, we've seen new daily quest hubs come and go. (Cataclysm currently has both Tol Barad and the Molten Front as hubs, plus other dailies for reputation factions such as the Therazane ones.) I'm not specifically arguing against the concept of having questing hubs that offer repeatable quests for a reoccurring reward.

I'm asking why must they be daily?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Choose My Adventure Live: Return to Winterspring

stratholme victory
Choose the adventures of Robin Torres as Roblinator the goblin shamanator or join in with It came from the Blog on Zangarmarsh (US-PVE-H) every Wednesday at 1 p.m. EDT.

I'm a slacker. So we return to questing today in Winterspring. Join me in game or by watching the stream above and participating in the chat after the break.

Update: I put it up to a vote and we switched to dungeonating. Click on the image above if you would like to see the replay of Stratholme.

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure Live: Questing in Winterspring

Choose the adventures of Robin Torres as Roblinator the goblin shamanator, or join in with It came from the Blog on Zangarmarsh (US-PVE-H) every Wednesday at 1 p.m. EDT.

Today, Roblinator is questing in Winterspring, as per your votes. Though you and my normal band of enablers are welcome to come quest at the same time, I will be in my own group in the hopes that any "collect 10 Yeti bellybuttons" quests will go a bit more quickly. Since I stop to read the quests out loud, fall into crevices, get lost when I have no one to follow, etc., questers beginning when I do should be way ahead of me by the time I actually make it to the quest area.

So please join me in game or by watching the stream above and participating in the chat after the break. Also, I rant about battlegrounds later in this post, if that is of interest to you.

Update: The stream is now over. You can watch the video replay by clicking on the image above.

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Dev Watercooler: Content for the casual 85

The newest Dev Watercooler column gives King Crab a break and instead lets us peek into the mind of Dave "Fargo" Kosak, lead quest designer for World of Warcraft. You might remember Fargo from Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth and GameSpy days. Fargo's Dev Watercooler is all about experiencing World of Warcraft as a non-raider and what Blizzard's expectations are for level 85s who aren't bashing down Ragnaros' door.

One of the weirdest statements that I have to make to many people who are new to the MMO genre is that "the game begins at 85." While we know that isn't factually correct, since there are 85 levels of content previous to hitting the magic number, it still makes sense from a "never-ending world" point of view. There is no end, so the game begins at the "current" end.

Fargo makes the case that all players are entitled to an epic storyline, engaging content, and a feeling of continual power growth. The new patch 4.2 Firelands daily quest hubs in the Molten Front and the Regrowth are tailor-made to hit these points and provide a personal, continuing experience for players who don't participate in the raid game. With dailies being randomized and your personal tree growing at your own pace, players are rewarded based on their efforts alone.

Personally, I like this direction for solo questing experiences. The Molten Front and the Regrowth seem like better, more advanced, and more evolved versions of the reputation grinds we were previously chugging away at to open up gear and other rewards, but with less of a "watch a bar go up" mentality. Here, we have engaging choices and rotating sets of random tasks that keep us coming back for more, all the while physically changing the world around us. Now we just need to care about the cause. I think Firelands is going to push us a good way forward in that regard.

Check out Fargo's first contribution to the Dev Watercooler series, after the jump.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Choose My Adventure Live: Questing in Eastern Plaguelands

Choose the adventures of Robin Torres as Roblinator the goblin shamanator, or join in with It came from the Blog on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

This week, Roblinator and her fellow adventurers in It came from the Blog will be adventuring in Eastern Plaguelands. Join us in game or by watching the stream above and participating in the chat after the break.

Update: The stream is now over. You can watch the video replay by clicking on the image above.

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure Live: Questing in Stranglethorn

Choose the adventures of Robin Torres as Roblinator the goblin shamanator or join in with It came from the Blog on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H).

This week, I get to stop and smell the Fadeleaf and quest some more in Stranglethorn, hanging out with Sassy and the gang. I'll be reading quests, skinning, and following your instructions. So join me by watching the stream above and chatting in the room after the break.

Update: The stream is now over. You can watch the video replay by clicking on the image above.

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Learning your role

One of the things that playing other MMOs can do for your WoW experience is get you to question how the game does things, and more importantly, how you do them. Recently I've been flirting with the latest superhero MMO, and it does tanking differently, to the point that I had to start unlearning my WoW habits to play it.

This has me going back over the past six years and realizing I've had to relearn tanking four times now. I had to learn how to do it originally in order to start working on Molten Core for my then-guild, and then I had to relearn it in The Burning Crusade (and actually, I had to relearn it twice there, thanks to the awful implementation of rage normalization for warriors and our astonishingly bad AoE threat that whole expansion). In Wrath, I didn't so much relearn it as suddenly find it much more efficiently designed and fun. Finally, Cataclysm has me tweaking how I tank, but I can't really argue I've relearned it from the Wrath era so much as simply refined it. Meanwhile, I've also had to relearn the DPS side of my class every expansion, in much the same way.

All of this learning has been done on the fly. To paraphrase a famous quote, World of Warcraft is vast and deep, and I'm swimming forever. Most certainly, there are sources to go to for players who want to learn a new role (one of them being this site), but there's only so much you can be taught before you have to hold your nose and jump in. This makes me wonder two things. First, is there more that the game could do to teach those roles, and two, would it be beneficial or harmful to immersive gameplay if it did?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What are your resolutions for the expansion?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

In the final days of old Azeroth, before the Shattering, my friends were chomping at the bit. They were farming the elemental bosses for JP, taking screenshots of Darkshore and Stormwind Park, and discussing names for their forthcoming gnome priests. Where was I, while all this was going on? Far out in the Bay of Storms in Azshara, fighting a giant "minnow" named Maws. Yes, that's right: in the final hours of Wrath, I was finishing the Blue Shard portion of the Scepter of the Shifting Sands quest line. A little late? Yeah, you could say that. An eternal procrastinator, I started the entire chain with Only One May Rise exactly three days before the Shattering occurred.

As fellow Scepter-chasers will already realize, my efforts were truly epic -- and alas, all for naught. Though I was able to obtain the Blue and Green scepter shards after a mammoth three days of questing, farming, and running all over Azeroth, the Red scepter shard requires a second, fresh lockout of Blackwing Lair, and I did not have one. No Scepter for me. I don't regret doing the quest line, even if I didn't end up with the Feat of Strength; I'm a big quest nerd, and I loved experiencing the lore. I do, however, regret not starting earlier.

Therefore, in Cataclysm, I've made myself a promise: I will do every quest available to me, from Hillsbrad to Mount Hyjal, Darkshore to Deepholm. As I go through the lowbie zones on my Loremaster druid, I won't move on when I get the achievement; I'll complete everything available, just to see what happens.

Is there anything you were unable to finish before the Shattering? What are your resolutions for playing in a post-Cataclysm Azeroth?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: How often do you read quest text?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

If you have played WoW for more than five minutes, you have done a quest. It is nearly impossible to avoid doing them altogether. Since the option has been implemented to have instant quest text and the options tracked on the map by Blizzard's default UI now, most players see the exclamation mark, click on the NPC, accept the quest, and go get the items -- whether it be someone's head, 10 rocks, or going to kill a certain number of creatures -- without paying attention to the why. We want the gold, experience, achievement, or perhaps a quest reward, but we cannot be bothered with why we need to commit genocide on a population of wild animals. We would rather crit the mobs required for the quest than be crit by a wall of text.

I am as guilty of this as the next person: Oh, bring you murloc eyes ... Sure, why not? Kill a bunch of boars? Whatever. However, when I recently went back and finished off Loremaster, I found myself actually paying attention to some of the quests, and I realized there can be some great stories there. The Burning Crusade, Wrath, and soon Cataclysm have come a long way in terms of making the quests feel like they are leading somewhere, as opposed to killing these random mobs for no apparent reason. While working on Loremaster, I was like, "Wow, that was a neat little storyline in that quest chain!" It made me both impressed and a little sad, wondering about all the possible nuggets of story I had simply ignored just so I could level a couple of minutes sooner.

Do you actually read the quest text? Do you ever want to know why we have to kill the creatures we kill and why the NPCs want these seemingly inane items? Or do you just do it for the XP and money and could not care less?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Loremaster achievement changes coming with Cataclysm

With the old world changing so drastically come The Shattering, there's been some question of how the Loremaster achievement might change in the wake of Cataclysm. Community Manager Zarhym has clarified this for us in a recent blog post. As he puts it, if you already have either Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms or Loremaster of Kalimdor, those achievements will stay intact. However, if you're only partially through with those achievements, you may suffer a setback, as any quest that's being removed from the game will no longer count toward those achievements in progress. Therefore, it's a good idea to finish up the achievement if you can.

That said, it will be a little bit easier to get those Loremaster achievements come The Shattering. Instead of having one huge quest counter for each continent, patch 4.0.3a will introduce zone-specific quest achievements to the old world, similar to the ones that already exist for Outland and Northrend zones. Once you finish the zone-specific achievements for every zone on a given continent (minus the new Cataclysm zones, of course), you'll have the achievement. Even old-school Loremasters can get in on the action, as the zone quest achievements will still be available for them to complete.

While Zarhym didn't specifically outline it in his post, Loremaster of Cataclysm will be required for future Loremasters as well, although it's not clear whether that will start to be a requirement in patch 4.0.3a or at the launch of Cataclysm itself.

Filed under: News items, Achievements, Cataclysm

Cataclysm's best leveling improvement: no more clown suits

One of the many nice things that Cataclysm is doing for the low-level quester is finally getting rid of the level 1 to 60 "clown suit." Every 10-level range has its own specific set of matching quest rewards, giving you a unique look every handful of zones. And they don't look half bad! In fact, some of the sets look pretty darn cool. Speaking from experience, leveling from 1 to 60 in the beta was a lot more exciting, not just due to the new quests and mechanics, but also because I couldn't wait to see what my new gear would look like when I hit a new leveling milestone.

Check out the full picture with all of Cataclysm's low-level armor sets, courtesy of reader Frez, after the break.

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Addon Spotlight: Loremaster addons

Addon Spotlight 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.

Happy Thursday, addon nerds. I hope your week is going as splendidly as mine is. Why is my week going splendidly, you ask? I decided to begin the Loremaster achievement process on my new warrior in preparation for Cataclysm. Potentially, only a few more months remain until the world goes kaboom, and I'd like to have that title ready to roll -- which, conveniently, brings me to the topic of this week's Addon Spotlight.

This week, Addon Spotlight brings you the core collection of addons that make Loremaster less of a giant pain in the butt. For a comprehensive Loremaster strategy, I recommend, nay, compel you, to read Lisa Poisso's excellent Loremaster rookie article. I am here to give you all the information on the addons that make this achievement a snap. Let's read some quest text together! Awww, yeah!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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