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Posts with tag questing

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

WoW Rookie: Loremaster, a completist's dream

New around here? WoW Rookie has your back! Get all our collected tips, tricks and tactics for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide.

For those of us who are leveling up or even digging into a fresh 80, there's never been a better time to fold in The Loremaster to the ol' to-do list. Flying your Loremaster title proves you've been around the block; it's not like The Explorer, which you can hoof your way through even at level 1. Earning your Loremaster title means grinding out literally hundreds and hundreds of quests over every step of your journey through Azeroth, Outland and Northrend, from level 1 through level 80. It's the completist player's dream, a title that shows you've paid your dues in every zone at every level of the game.

We're not bringing this up now as just one more item to chuck into your pre-Cataclysm bucket list; indeed, The Loremaster won't be going anywhere in Cataclysm. While none of the numbers of quests required for completion have been adjusted yet to accommodate Cataclysm material, Blizzard has assured players not to worry about it. The Loremaster quest count has been updated before, so we should be confident that it will be adjusted again.

Still, if you're playing through the old content anyway, it simply makes sense to run through quests that will be disappearing when the expansion cracks Azeroth apart at the seams. Sure, there'll be plenty of new quests to do -- but you'll never get the chance to run all of these particular quests again.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: What is your leveling style?

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

Are you a loner or a social butterfly? A turtle or a race car on a demonic speedway? There are as many ways to level as there are races and classes to play. With the release of Cataclysm drawing near, I am beginning to feel that old excitement of leveling up my toons to new heights. You know that feeling, right? The excitement you feel when delving into quests never done before. The rush of seeing your XP bar move up and up. The elation of dinging a new level. I love leveling up through new content. I think we all do -- otherwise, why are we playing this game, right?

But here is the real question: How do you like leveling up? Are you a solo leveler? Do you prefer to take your time and read each quest and then carefully plot your course of action? Or, like me, do you pick up all the quests you see and then later figure out what the heck you are supposed to do? Do you like leveling with a buddy, or in a group?

My own personal style is a mirror of my personality: a bit crazy, more than a little compulsive and headstrong to the finish. I go to a new area and pick up every single quest I can find. Then I read them all and figure out where to go for each one (this last bit having been made much easier with Blizzard's implementation of "Questing for Dummies" and the placement of little markers on your map where each quest can be completed).

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Gold Capped: Engineering isn't so useless after all


Gold doesn't matter, right? It's just gold, and you get more than enough for your needs through dailies and the occasional mining spree. Why even bother getting Gold Capped? It's not like you'll ever be able to spend it all! Wait a sec, how does that bank alt have a single Ulduar clear and have Mimiron's head? Every week, check in with Basil "Euripides" Berntsen, also of outdps.com, the Hunting Party podcast and the Call to Auction podcast, as he attempts to mold all the random information jostling for cerebral space into a coherent, readable post about how to make gold in the World of Warcraft.

In real life, engineers are brilliant and dedicated individuals who work together with tradespeople to accomplish some of the technological marvels of the modern world. Historically, these are the people who built the pyramids, the boats that brought Europeans to the new world, and the spaceships that took mankind to the moon and back. In World of Warcraft, engineers are a bunch of goofy characters who speak in childishly high voices and have a tendency to blow themselves up by accident in humorous ways. Anyone else sense that whoever did the concept art at Blizzard for gnomish and goblin engineers flunked out of engineering?

Anyways, while engineering is an amazing profession for certain parts of the game, it's dead last when it comes to making money. There are only really a few things engineers can do to make cash.


Wryxian
In general, we want Engineering to remain a tradeskill mainly focused on creating fun or useful gadgets for the engineer, but we are exploring options for items that can be sold to other players for profit.


This quote was from the Cataclysm profession preview we posted about earlier. Engineering is currently barely ahead of farming in terms of income potential, and it's nice to see that Blizzard acknowledges this and might fix it.

Not all hope is lost, though. A savvy player can eak out a living if they focus on the right markets. First off, the elephant in the room: selling epic ammo.

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Filed under: Economy, Wrath of the Lich King, Gold Capped

WoW Rookie: Questing 101

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players toward the basics of a good start. See all our collected tips, tricks and how-to's in the WoW Rookie Guide.

The game begins at level 80. While there's a strong case to be made for this idea, there's no denying that quests are the meat and potatoes of World of Warcraft. WoW's massive web of quests propel its story line, overall game play and leveling experience. Over the years, Blizzard has adjusted leveling content to be faster and easier than ever before. Oddly enough, while it's fun to watch the levels fly by, the ease of leveling can make getting a handle on how to manage the never-ending flow of quests tricky to pin down.

Fortunately, today's new players have more quest management tools than ever at their disposal. Quest addons and an in-game quest tracking feature take the guesswork out of finding and completing quest objectives. For some players, these aids are a godsend. Here at WoW Rookie, we recommend that first-timers level without too many extra bells and whistles. We suspect you'll enjoy solving the puzzles and tactics more on your own (you can always turn to a site like Wowhead for tips if you're really stuck), and you'll build your skills in navigation, game systems and conventions, WoW lore and so much more if you put the pieces together for yourself.

That doesn't mean we don't have plenty of tips on how to make that process more enjoyable. Following the lead of our fantastic Class 101 series for fresh level 80 players, welcome to Questing 101.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: I threw that away, d'oh

This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by WoW.com's guest blogger program! Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements!

On this past St. Patrick's Day, guild members were doing the quest chain in Hellfire that rewards you Mirren's Drinking Hat. At the time my main was doing this chain, I wasn't the connoisseur of hats that I am now. 10 and counting. Yet another reason for Blizzard to make wardrobes (urge to rant rising.) Several guild members have that hat and it provides much laughter when they pull a random brew from it. I, however, am so sorry I didn't save it. 2 gold for selling it was, at the time, a lot of money for a perpetually broke dwarf and I had a "better" hat for questing.

Yes, I know. A dwarf tossing away a drinking hat! That alone is almost sacrilegious. But sold it I did. Now, when guild members pull some brew out of their hats, I regret my decision and I'd go do the quest chain again in a heartbeat just to get that hat. I'd have to toss something from my inventory (Archmage Vargoth's Staff maybe, or Monster Slayer's Kit, neither of which I use but are awesome in their own right) to carry it around in my bags, but I'd do it to get that hat.

How about you? Is there any quest reward that you sold or otherwise disposed of that you'd do the quest chain to get again?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The Queue: The dating game

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue is one part off-topic and two parts on-topic, but each and every part is worth it. Trust me on that one. Oh, and there's a couple more bad words than usual. You have been warned. I hope none of you are too scandalized by it.

Windswept asked...

"There is this girl I like that works at the mall, I want to ask her out but I don't know how. What would YOU do?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: This is my quest


A little musical interlude for your morning, courtesy of Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren. On with the topic: quests, of course! With the upcoming expansion, there are going to be a lot of changes happening all through Azeroth, both to the way the world looks, and to the quest givers and quests that we've all grown so familiar with. Some quests will stay, some will change, and some will simply go away, never to be completed again.

There are two quests I recommend that people do now, just in case they vanish into the nether when Cataclysm hits. One is Alliance, and one is Horde, in the interests of equality:

Alliance:
Sully Balloo's Letter: This one is entirely too easy for Alliance players to miss, as there's no indicator on the minimap that a quest even exists. If you go to the bridge over the Thandol Span and jump off into the water below, you'll find the skeletal corpse of a dwarf crushed by a boulder. In his hand is a note with a gear icon if you mouse over it -- clicking it gives you a Waterlogged Envelope that will start the quest. While the chain that starts is interesting enough, it's the letter itself that's noteworthy -- be sure to read it before you turn it in. For history buffs, yes, this is a reference to Sullivan Ballou, the Major from the Civil War.

Horde:
Test of Faith: This quest is pretty straightforward and simple, but players sometimes miss it both because it's in Thousand Needles, and because it's so far off the beaten path in Thousand Needles. You get it from Dorn Plainstrider, who's off in a little cave in the side of the cliffs just northwest of Freewind Post. Dorn gives you this quest, it's really quite simple: He teleports you to the top of one of Thousand Needles peaks. The quest objective? Jump off. I won't say what happens, but it's a long way down.

So here's my question for you Breakfast Topic types: If you were asked to recommend just one quest to someone, one that really stuck out in your mind, what would it be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What you hope survives the cataclysm

It's no secret that certain things (and even whole zones, in their current state) are going to go the way of the dodo when Cataclysm arrives, and both players and developers have talked a lot about the changes in Azeroth and environs beyond. By contrast, today I'm interested in hearing about what you don't want to see eighty-sixed -- the quests you'd miss, the factions or NPC's you hope will cling to life, the dungeons or raids you don't want to see go gentle into that good night.

Personally, as dumb as I know this will probably sound, when I think about old Azeroth my mind immediately returns to a tiny quest called Until Death Do Us Part. It's started by a bitter Forsaken who wants you take a pendant to her husband's grave at the Sepulcher. If you only wanted to look at it in terms of game mechanics, then it's a Fed-Ex quest designed to get you across the ocean and questing in Silverpine, but even with all the improvements to questing today, it stands apart. It's a very long journey for a young character, and when you finally arrive at the Sepulcher and find the husband's grave, you realize you've come all this way to deliver a worthless trinket to someone who threw his life away on a hopeless cause. You turn it in and...that's it. There is no follow-up. There is no happy ending. There is, however, the feeling that there's more to the savagery of the Forsaken than meets the eye.

Blizzard is actually trying to move away from quests that emphasize text over cool visuals, and it makes me a little sad just because Until Death Do Us Part was, from a writing standpoint, a masterpiece of effective writing and quick exposition. I'm hoping that, out of all the quests that stand to get axed in Cataclysm, this little gem survives.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm

Patch 3.3 PTR: New UI function lists completed quests


Over on the WoW LJ community, poster Honem has pointed out something that made me sort of squeal with glee when I first read it: The latest PTR build includes a couple very interesting new functions, as reported by official forum MVP Iriel:
  • NEW - QueryQuestsCompleted() requests that the server send the client a list of completed quest ids. Once the list is received the QUEST_QUERY_COMPLETE event is fired. (There is a limit on how frequently this can be called)
  • NEW - tbl = GetQuestsCompleted([tbl]) populates a table (creating one if necessary) with the ids of completed quests.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Quests, Achievements

The making of the World of Warcraft

Eurogamer has a nice long look at the early days of World of Warcraft, way before Northrend and Outland and even Molten Core, back when the question wasn't just how big the game would get, but whether Blizzard, a company known for their polish rather than their size, could pull off an entry in this new MMO genre. They've interviewed some of Blizzard's luminaries, and the piece offers a really good look at what it was like at Blizzard even before WoW's release, when they were hashing out some of the ideas and mechanics that have now set the bar with World of Warcraft: the stylistic Warcraft look, and questing as storytelling (originally, they thought they'd only do quests through the starting levels, and then have the game move to a grinding, monster-killing stage towards the end, but players said the game was boring without quests).

There are all kinds of great little tidbits in here: originally, Warcraft III was planned with the over-the-shoulder look that WoW now has, and that's one of the reasons they wanted to create a more straightforward RPG game. Tom Chilton showed up on the team about a year before WoW's release, and to his surprise, the game was almost completely unfinished -- the level cap was only 15, the talent system wasn't implemented, the AH or mail systems weren't in, PvP wasn't in at all (of course, even at release it was pretty barebones), and endgame raiding was nonexistent. Most of the things we think of as intrinsic to the World of Warcraft -- even things like the Horde and Alliance not speaking to each other -- were debated and almost not in at all as they moved towards release.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Interviews

Heirlooms for every slot

I've been pushing forward on my Paladin lately, and so I've entered the wacky world of Heirlooms. I have already picked up the leather Heirloom shoulders (thinking that even though the Pally wears plate, if I ever want to level a Druid or Rogue, I'll have them), and I'm well on my way to grabbing the new Heirloom chestpiece as well -- 20% bonus XP, combined with a healthy amount of rested XP, should make the leveling curve as easy as it gets (RaF is nice too, I guess, but I'd rather not pay for a second account). So I'm in Heirlooms up to my neck (at least until they give us helms), and I was intrigued by this question over on the Rawrcast forums: do you think Blizzard will eventually provide Heirloom items for every slot?

20% is already a significant bonus to killing and questing XP, and rested technically provides a 50% bonus. But with ten Heirlooms in 10 slots (we'll leave out weapons, since those don't have the 10% XP bonus, as well as shirts and tabards, and rings and trinkets for now), you're looking at a 100% XP bonus even without Rest. The current average 80 probably spent about 14 days leveling up, so with an extra 100% bonus, you're looking at seven days /played, or very close to the current record. At that point, Blizzard might as well let us grant levels to each other.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Leveling

The next level of questing

Elnia at the Pink Pigtail Inn has some excellent and interesting advice for Blizzard's quest designers (or whoever they hire for the current position). As big a component as quests are in the game, they haven't been innovated on much since the game's release. Blizzard has played around a little bit with allowing us to repeat certain quests, and they've streamlined the group questing mechanic, but other than that, quests are pretty much the same: pick up a task, do it, and bring it back for a reward.

So how can it be done differently? Elnia has some great ideas: she asks for quests that span a little farther, that push players through a storyline that might even follow them all the way up to 80 (of course, there are quests like that, though they're few and far between -- and not all players have the patience to finish them). Rewards could be mixed up, too -- instead of the old gold and XP, how about some profession skill, or a tradeoff of badges based on certain quests done. Finally, Elnia suggests that every quest in the game become repeatable. Questing is paced to keep us interested in from 1-60, but we all know how the game works now -- why not let us do some of our favorite quests over more than once?

I'd suggest we go even farther -- Warhammer Online offers Public Quests that are an interesting twist on the usual "go kill boars" mechanic. I'd like to see branching quests with more than one outcome -- maybe a moral choice to make that affects the storyline of the quest you're doing. And talking real pie-in-the-sky here, I'd like to see questgivers treat you different based on the way you look or maybe what title you've got equipped. If you've got "Jenkins," they might not expect you to do much, but with "Champion of Ulduar" over your head, they should probably be groveling at your feet.

Filed under: Virtual selves, Quests, Leveling

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