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Posts with tag quests

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite quest mechanic?

Breakfast Topic What's your favorite quest mechanic
Remember when everyone loved to hate The Oculus? Group members dropped like flies the moment some hapless noob intimated not having flown a drake before. Or jousting in the Argent Tournament -- ah, yes, another quest mechanic that united many players with the burning passion of unmitigated hatred.

The thing is, some players like varied quest mechanics, even flying things and jousting at things. They like a change of pace from MMO standards such as Kill 10 Rats and the Fed Ex breadcrumb delivery (or in Blizzard's case, anything to do with poop). Me, I usually resent the intrusion. I prefer to play my character, galloping around the hills to find things and using my entire arsenal of spells to peek, tweak, and then slay everything in my path. I must admit, though, that Mists of Pandaria could be swaying me from this stoic path. While I'm adamantly not a fan of the quests that put you in the shoes of the quest giver and his saga, the general variety of quest mechanics has been ... distracting. Refreshing. Dare I go so far as to even say they're downright fun? A little variety is turning out to possibly be a good thing.

(I said "a little." I still want to play my character. Harrumph.)

Do you enjoy playing a variety of quest mechanics as you move through WoW's storylines, or do you prefer to stay in your character's own skin with your own spells and abilities? What are your favorite quest types? Which would you be just as happy to never encounter again?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Alternative leveling in the Isle of Quel'Danas

Alternative leveling in the Isle of Quel'Danas
I'm bored of Northrend. It is beautiful and has lovely music and is full of lore and I'm bored. It's the new Outland for me and my alts. Other ways to level abound, of course, but they all have their drawbacks and are various levels of "Been there; done that." as well. So I took Tizzi, the bored goblin mage, to a place where my aged druid spent many grindful days: the Isle of Quel'Danas.

We complain about dailies now, but Quel'Danas (also known as the Sunwell Isle) was the land of too many dailies for our quest log. Grind, grind, grind we ancient Burning Crusade players did, so we could be of the Shattered Sun and get some lovely loot besides. When Quel'Danas was the in-thing, everyone was max-level, so there was no XP -- just the cash, gear, and camping. Oh, so very much camping.

The Isle of Quel'Danas is vacant of players now, but is otherwise unchanged. It resides in a bubble in time, much like Outland, and the NPCs are still there to give quests or be slaughtered.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade

Why are there moral choices in WoW?

Why are there moral choices in WoW
Most quests in WoW are fairly straightforward in intent. Go kill a bunch of birds and gather meat. Go kill the pesky vermin that are messing with our crops. Go get that book from that guy in the next town over. But then there is the occasional quest that takes us outside the usual gather, kill and fetch arena of standard questing -- the ones that asks our characters to make a choice.

Do we kill the harpy matron, or do we let her go? How do we persuade Tyrus Blackhorn to help us? Are we really so gung-ho about interrogation that we'll gleefully do so to get information out of the Scarlet Onslaught? Or if we're asked to torture someone in the name of the Kirin Tor? Do we really want to let Thalen Songweaver go ... or would we rather leave him rot in Theramore's prison?

These types of quests don't pop up terribly often, which prompts the question; just what are these moral choices for, exactly?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

People live in Pandaria; or, our house in the middle of the sea

"And that night, her mom said that the two of them and the now-dead guy were the only 3 people who ever lived in Las Vegas. Everybody else just arrived, ate their complimentary shrimp cocktails, and left."

Blizzard's focus is, as they've repeatedly professed, "to create the most epic gaming experiences ever." But for all the world-ending threats we've encountered in the last few WoW expansions, Azeroth just isn't that big. The entire Eastern Kingdoms are about the size of the island of Manhattan. We're made to believe that hundreds of thousands to millions of people of various races inhabit the planet, but examining the amount of residential space in each zone shows us room for far, far fewer.

Now, yes, the Azeroth we see could simply be an abstraction of some other, larger, "real" Azeroth that doesn't tangibly exist. But this one is the one we get, and it seems sillier and sillier each time when you ponder things like where exactly King Wrynn managed to find a hundred thousand troops to send to Northrend, or where night elves have lived for the past ten thousand years. The same goes for Azeroth's endless supply of doomsday villains and the cultists they inevitably find to do their bidding. They had to come from somewhere. And they definitely don't live in Stormwind.

But the problem isn't even really where they live. It's how they live. It's where they come from. Outland presented a unique opportunity to show us the how and why of the many strange alien races on an entirely new planet, but we learned more about how they died than how they lived -- the fate of most non-player races in World of Warcraft. Their homelands were a theme park, a casino, and we run through pulling levers, grabbing drinks, buying t-shirts. Nobody lived there.

Pandaria, though? People live there. The continent feels more like a brand new planet than even Outland ever did.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Pro Tip: Start earning rested XP ASAP

Mists of Pandaria  Alts and rested XP
If you, like me, have a whole lot of warriors (or some other classes, if you're into that kind of thing) that you'll be needing to get to 90 at some point, remember that any current alts you may have will need to be logged on and moved to an inn or capital city in order to start gaining rested status. They won't start getting rested until you log them on since Mists of Pandaria, like all expansions, resets rested XP.

However, you can stockpile up to 25 quests (the maximum your quest log holds) and turn them all in as soon as the level cap is raised. These can be daily quests. If they keep to the same format as they did when Cataclysm launched, the value of Cataclysm quests to a leveling character will be reduced, but it can provide a bit of a boost. It's worth keeping in mind.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria beta: Who needs Frostmourne when you've got Lobstmourne?

Mists of Pandaria beta Who needs Frostmourne when you've got Lobstmourne ANY
The Mists of Pandaria beta has had some bizarre moments, but the last thing I was expecting was an epic lobster chase across the lost continent. While exploring off the coast of Krasarang Wilds, I stumbled across Damlak, a level 90 elite makrura who was strolling just off the shore of a small island to the south. After gleefully murdering the lobster, I was rewarded with a book and an item called Damlak's Clamshell. The Clamshell may vendor for a gold, but its use effect is far too fascinating to pass up.

It was the book that was even more interesting, however. Titled Troubles From Without, the book detailed the locations of several different elite makrura scattered all over Pandaria, with a basic rundown of their abilities. And so off I went to murder a fleet of elite lobster, collecting shells from each. After collecting all six shells, the book then advises you to head to another small island off the south coast of Krasarang Wilds to summon Clawlord Kril'mandar, The Pinch King.

Yes, you read that title right.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Burned by Hellfire Peninsula

The Path of Glory in Hellfire Peninsula
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

When Mists of Pandaria goes live later this month, players will all begin leveling in the same zone for the first time since 2006. In Cataclysm and Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard gave us two zones to choose from at the beginning of our adventures. Wrath split players up on either side of Northrend with Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord. Cataclysm's starting zones put players on different sides of the planet with Mount Hyjal and the less popular but unique underwater saga of Vashj'ir.

In contrast, The Burning Crusade's Hellfire Peninsula put us all on opposite sides of the street. That is not a joke. It is literally true -- see the image above! As you can guess, this led to problems. Let's look back at the Hellfire experience and try to gauge what we're in for when we arrive at the Jade Forest shortly after midnight on September 25.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: The most painful attunement of all

Onyxia breathes deeply
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Attunement has been a hot topic across the WoW blogosphere of late, and WoW Insider has been no exception. Some believe that attunement is an archaic concept that only serves as a pointless, artificial gate to content. They appreciate the fact that Blizzard has almost entirely done away with attunements. Others see attunements as opportunities for extra content and a way of filtering lazy players out of raid groups where they don't belong. They want attunements to return.

Attunements used to be a big deal in WoW. As the first steps toward endgame raiding, completed attunements were a hallmark of a serious player.

Lest we forget what we're debating, I thought it might be the perfect time to revisit the single most grueling and aggravating attunement process in WoW's history: Horde-side Onyxia.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Mists of Pandaria: 48 daily quests available on any given day

Vaneras on daily quests in Mists '48 quests available on any given day'
We all know that Mists of Pandaria is removing the daily quest limit, meaning that you can do as many dailies as you want. And now we have numbers, courtesy of Vaneras, explaining why that is -- specifically, because if you limit yourself purely to the new dailies coming in Mists of Pandaria, you still could barely do half of the ones available per day with the old limit.

Vaneras - Quests
As things are right now, it looks like there will be approximately 1300 quests in Mists of Pandaria. This is a very rough number though, and this is of course still subject to change.

There is some overlap between Alliance and Horde, but the majority of these quests are neutral and because of this we do not expect there to be more than 200 or so faction-specific quests.

Of these 1300 quests, roughly 300 of them are dailies.

Right this moment we don't have the numbers off-hand to show how that that compares exactly to the previous expansions, but the quest count seems to more closely mirror Wrath of the Lich King, however with a much greater emphasis on dailies. Mists of Pandaria is actually the expansion where we have emphasized dailies the most... ever!

The dailies are of course randomized, which means that you will never log in and find that you have 300 daily quests to do. We expect that if a player has progressed sufficiently with the neutral factions, and thus advanced to their maximum possible quest availability, you would have around 48 quests available on any given day.



While risking sounding like Matthew Broderick in Godzilla, that is a lot of quests. When you combine those 48 available dailies a day with older rep grinds some players are going to want to complete such as those at the Argent Tournament, the Molten Front and even Ogri'la or the Isle of Quel'danas, it seems that it was a very good call to remove that cap. It also sounds like I'm going to have a lot of questing to do.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

My own private faction bias

There's a lot of talk about faction bias in the game among the designers and even in terms of the playerbase. Some realms have heavy faction representation issues; some players would never, ever play a member of the opposite faction; and so on.

Around this time last year, I transferred my main (a character who had been Alliance since his creation) to the Horde to raid with a guild that ended up being an excellent home for me and a great place to raid. I stayed with that guild up until we'd completed heroic Dragon Soul, but recently I transferred to a new guild. And one of the biggest reasons I moved back had nothing to do with either guild (both are fine guilds) or the people in them. My Horde guild was full of people I enjoyed raiding with, cracking wise, doing old content, even making occasional forays into PvP. No, in addition to feeling burned out and needing to raid less, the main reason I transferred back was related to the faction concept in WoW.

Frankly, I wish WoW didn't have factions -- at least, not the big Horde/Alliance split. Because it's made my game playing experience less fun over the years.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

World map quest markers are good news for Loremasters in Mists of Pandaria

Completionists have lots of ways to obsess with the advent of achievements, especially those who simply must complete every quest -- the fastidious Loremasters of Azeroth. The really hardcore Loremasters have used mods to help them track what quests they have or haven't completed, but now Blizzard is giving them a new leg up when questing in Pandaria.

It was a little easier to keep track of your progress in Cataclysm's largely linear zones, but Pandaria's zones offer you more freedom in what you're completing and when. To that end, the world map now shows you nearby quests on the world map. It isn't zone-wide, but it does work in a fairly large radius around you, so if you're flying or riding around and check your map periodically, you can see any unclaimed and available quests.

It's worth noting that Pandaria's Loremaster achievements are based on quest lines completed, not an actual number of quests, but this should definitely help you track down each story to add that tick to your achievement.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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

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

Breakfast Topic: What's the best quest zone in the game?

Questing is a vital part of WoW, it really is -- at least until level 15! Those who have rolled healers or tanks can pretty well abandon it from that point forward, which is a shame, really. Blizzard has created an amazing world for us in Azeroth, and yet we're not really seeing it a lot of the time.

The screenshot is a fine example of this. Sure, it looks like Gilneas, but it's actually a little pocket of Blasted Lands southwest of the Dark Portal. Unfortunately, I was on my Horde warlock when I happened upon this little coastal settlement, so its inhabitants were less than friendly to me!

What are your favorite zones to quest in, and what makes a great questing zone? For me, the vital components are atmosphere, looks, convenience of travel and geographical layout, and quality of quests. A zone has to look good -- my preference is for dark, mysterious zones like Duskwood -- and have a great feel to it. I think the feel is some combination of continuity in the looks and the quest content, plus a sense of what's going on in the zone, a bit of a story that I'm part of. Travel has to be convenient -- in long, thin zones, there has to be a way to get around. Obviously, this is tantamount where you can't fly!

And the layout of the quests has to be convenient, too. I hate doing a whole bunch of quests in one area and then moving to another area, only to have to go back to where I started. And having to go back to the same place again and again. That's just me, though. And lastly, the fewer "bring me nine basilisk gizzard" quests, the better. I don't care if they're to make your soup or for a satanic ritual -- it's still dull!

Badlands, since its Cataclysm rework, has some amazing quest lines -- it's now on the list of vital places I'll always level through -- but visually, it doesn't do it for me. My favorite? Duskwood, by a long shot! How about you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Choose My Adventure Live: Questing in the Badlands

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.

This week, Roblinator is back questing in the Badlands, since she's still not 50 yet. I've got a solution to try for the slow questing problem, partially suggested by Kelius. 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 replay of punching dragons by clicking on the image above.

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

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