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Posts with tag research

Patch 5.2's jewelcrafting changes and how to profit

There are going to be some new important recipes in 5.2 for Jewelcrafters: a "prism" style daily cooldown Serpent's Heart, and a no-cooldown recipe that allows you to craft the uncut meta gems, Primal Diamonds, out of gems and Spirits of Harmony. Kaliope reports that both recipes are world drops in Pandaria on the PTR, and shouldn't take long to farm.

Serpent's Prism would have been a better name

While the profession is better designed than ever (with much less waste for shufflers and far fewer items ending up at the vendor), the Serpent's Eyes that you get while prospecting Mists ore tend to pile up. They're used to make the 450 crafted jewelry, but the market for that isn't nearly as large as the supply of Serpent's Eyes. Many people end up making these into blues and disenchanting them so they're not wasted.

Now that all JCs will have the option of turning three Serpent's Eyes into a prism every day, that will provide an outlet for the Eyes that may be more profitable than the 450 blues. So far, only a few Prisms have been opened, but they seem to award a random blue gem, just like prisms from expansions past. Since it's on a daily cooldown, it's unlikely to be able to push down the price of blue gems much.

Is it worth using Spirits of Harmony?

The new Primal Diamond recipe has no cooldown, but requires Spirits of Harmony which are their own sort of cooldown. One criticism of Jewelcrafting has been that JCs have nothing except research and extremely low-liquidity mini-pets to spend their Spirits of Harmony on. Jewelcrafters generate Spirits as quickly as any other character, and in theory, it'd be nice to have a JC option to use them on. Especially seeing as how anyone doing daily research will have almost certainly finished learning all their cuts by now.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

What can WoW and other MMOs teach us about literature and storytelling?

What can WoW and other MMOs teach us about literature and storytelling
While the world of academia has not infrequently pried back the edges of World of Warcraft to peer through its lens into fields including psychology, sociology and anthropology, and economics, we don't often hear reports from the intersection of WoW and literature. With a lore and canon of their own making, WoW and the Warcraft world don't fit alongside such developments as Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative, a course from Vanderbilt University available via free online educational provider Coursera that leans heavily on the riches of narrative theory, intermediality, and game theory in Lord of the Rings Online.

But there's no denying the omnipresence of WoW's influence -- and yes, that includes within the ivory-tooled tower of literature, as well. "I'm a literature professor," states Dr. Jay Clayton, one of the Coursera class's instructors. "I'm fascinated by what games can teach us about the operations of storytelling." Dr. Clayton says he's hoping to attract WoW players and their own WoW-tinged perspectives to his class this summer in order to help build a more complete picture of what WoW is itself as media, not only as a lens through which we can view other disciplines.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Where Are They Now? 2012 personalities, including the blind player and his 'guide dog'

Where Are They Now The last year in WoW personalities
At last, our look back at five years of WoW personality interviews rolls around to the duo everyone's been asking about: Hexu and Davidian, the British soldier blinded in Iraq and his redoubtable "guide dog" guildmate who steered him through full participation in current raid content. Their story exploded across the internet after we interviewed Davidian here on WoW Insider, and Blizzard recognized the dynamic duo with in-game helms with flavor text alluding to their inspiring bond of friendship.

Hexu and Davidian are both still playing World of Warcraft -- but the duo is together no more. As of the new year, the ever-energetic Hexu has been raiding on a new rogue, Dirtypawz, in Unqualified on Stormrage (EU). "I know!" he replies to my unspoken exclamation of surprise and sadness. "It was just that people were only raid logging, and it got boring -- but it was all amicable and cool. I still speak to people in Die Safe. I just wanted to do more than raid three nights a week." Hexu/Dirtypawz says a "very nice bloke" named Vatic is serving as his current raiding "guide dog" helper. "The people in the guild are all nice people," he adds, "and there [are] always things going on."

We'll visit with Hexu/Dirtypawz next month about how he's settling in and dig into his tips for the many sight-disabled players who've written to us during the past year trying to reach him for advice.

Meanwhile, Davidian reports that the year since we interviewed him has been packed with recognition and encouragement. "The publicity was just unreal," he says. "Even to this day, I get people coming to our server just to say how much the story inspired them and restored their faith in the gaming community. The biggest thing of all, though, was the fact that it made its way to Blizzard, and myself and Ben got signed copies of the collectors edition of Cataclysm signed by at least 50 members of the Blizzard team, and [we] received in-game pets also. Then to top it off, having in-game items with our names on them was just outstanding -- I mean, to be immortal in a game that we love to play is just, well words couldn't possibly describe it."

All good people connecting to play a game that's close to our hearts ... Keep reading for more updates about people who love World of Warcraft, from our interviews during 2012.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Well-known druid blogger Lissanna lowers the boom(kin) on autism research

It's only been a couple of weeks since we reported on the crowdsourcing effort to fund the autism research of well-known Restokin blogger and Blizzard MVP poster Lissanna, aka Dr. Elisabeth Whyte of the Laboratory of Developmental Neuroscience at Penn State. So far, supporters have boosted Dr. Whyte to just over a quarter of her funding goal for the project, which focuses on how children and adolescents with autism understand language and process information from faces (such as recognizing people or understanding emotional expressions). Her goal: designing a video game to help kids with autism improve these skills.

How does an MMO-playing grad student transform from anonymous gamer to well-known WoW blogger, Blizzard forum MVP, and Ph.D.-level researcher bringing gamification to the treatment of autism? If you follow the example of this lady: with ease.

WoW Insider: One-fourth of your funding already under your belt -- congratulations! Our readers already know that WoW can be beneficial to kids with autism, so it's exciting to hear about a gamification project designed to help kids with autism.

Lissanna: Many kids and adults with autism seem to enjoy playing video games. We have some evidence that using fun activities can motivate learning. Our goal is to develop and test the efficacy of an educational game that impacts face processing abilities and social skills. With much of the research focused on important early intervention work, there is a huge gap in the services that individuals with autism can receive when they are older. We think that a sophisticated game can fill the need for social skills services targeting older individuals to help with tasks like preparing them for jobs or developing friendships with their peers.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Are MMORPGs addictive? East Carolina University wants to find out

Are MMORPGs addictive East Carolina University wants to find out
Certainly there's a lot of anecdotal evidence that people are addicted to the Internet, and even more specifically, addicted to World of Warcraft. But what leads people to spend 10, 20, or even more hours per week playing WoW? Is the urge to play a very specific addiction, like that of a drug, or is it just an outlet for human beings who harbor an innate tendency towards addiction? The Department of Addiction and Rehabilitation Studies at East Carolina University (the crown jewel of the State of East Carolina's educational system) wants to find out.

Clinical instructor, WoW player, shadow priest, and WoW Insider reader Andrew Byrne is running a study on gaming addiction as part of his Doctoral dissertation. He needs to survey 200 respondents (some kind of Nate Silver nonsense), so if you want to do your good deed for the day, head on over to mmorpgresearchstudy.com and take the questionnaire.

Research participants needed for a study on healthy and unhealthy use of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games like WoW. Your identity will not be collected. If interested, please click on this link: http://www.mmorpgresearchstudy.com/

The survey is a set of 20 questions; completing it takes about five minutes.
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

Real-life librarians hit the Ironforge stacks

Library professionals converge in Ironforge library to talk gaming
For so many World of Warcraft players, the game is all about connections. It was connections (a glowing recommendation from gaming industry insider, WoW player, and previous interviewee Liz Danforth) that led us to contact Australian librarian Ellen Forsyth for an interview (not coincidentally connecting even more dots, WoW-playing educators and innovators Peggy Sheehy and Lucas Gillispie, in the process). And it's connections that Forsyth draws for a living in her work as a professional librarian who both studies and advocates for gaming in the public libraries -- that's right, gaming for the people!

"Libraries, games, reading, content creation, stories and a few other things as well" -- that's how Forsyth's Twitter profile characterizes her interests, a fairly delectable concoction for the typical WoW Insider reader. We played the WoW card to tempt Forsyth into chatting with us about the regular academic symposia she moderates in Azeroth (the Ironforge library, to be exact), the growing influence of games as a public library resource, and the sweeping imaginative and technological vistas opening up as more and more readers discover the parallel worlds of gaming -- and of course, World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Leet Noobs: An ethnographic view of WoW raiding from researcher Mark Chen

Leet Noobs An ethnographic view of WoW raiding from gamerturnedacademic Mark Chen
It's always a bit bewildering to see World of Warcraft mentioned outside of our tight-knit gaming community. Even reading Lisa's interview with Bonnie Nardi, author of My Life as a Night Elf Priest, gave me a sense of awe and a realization of just how big the game truly was, not only to those of us who play it but to those who don't even know what an orc is.

As such, when Mark Chen, a self-professed gaming researcher with a Ph.D. in educational technology and learning sciences, contacted me about his new dissertation-turned-book Leet Noobs: The Life and Death of an Expert Player Group in World of Warcraft, I couldn't turn down an opportunity to dive into it.

As the title of the book suggests, Chen chronicles his experience raiding Molten Core with his inter-guild group back in vanilla WoW, examining relationships between the group's members and the different guilds themselves and noting the different ways the raid group operated as a thinking, breathing entity that overcame difficulties, both game-related and socially-induced. Chen relates one of the larger concepts discussed in the book, actor-network theory, to a functioning raid group, detailing how each participant, or actor, assumes a role within the larger group, forming a network of responsibility and interdependence. He even goes so far as incorporating non-human actors such as KTM, the first successful threat meter in WoW, into this network.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Can playing WoW improve your brain power?

Older players improve cognitive function through playing WoW
Can playing World of Warcraft maintain or improve your brain power? When it comes to specifics like improving cognitive function, there really haven't been many significant, sizeable research studies that can put hard numbers on the line. WoW player and early onset Alzheimer's disease sufferer Bill Craig would certainly attest to the power of gaming in maintaining brain function -- he's living proof that WoW can be a vital part of a brain-healthy regimen to stretch and maintain cognitive function. (If you haven't already read Bill's story, you owe it yourself to follow that link. It'll make your day.)

So when news of a fresh research project looking at WoW's effects on cognitive abilities in older players started making the rounds in the national media, Bill was one of the first to ping us with an excited email. "Tell us something we didn't already know, right, Lisa?" he crowed. "Guess I might be called a 'pioneer' of sorts, huh?" Indeed, Bill, you're totally my hero -- and look out, because it looks like the scientific world is starting to catch on and catch up to our secrets.

This week, WoW Insider interviews Dr. Jason Allaire at North Carolina State University, who co-authored the recent study showing that playing WoW can boost certain cognitive functions in older adults. Himself a former WoW player and long-time MMO player, Dr. Allaire shares a gaming-filtered view of how his research and WoW interrelate to show that indeed, World of Warcraft can be good for your brain.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Inscription research changes

The professions dev Q&A is a sleepy little document that reads like it was written by and for farmers -- but buried between questions about fishing and archeology, a few relevant pre-announcements can be found. Notably:

Quote:

Will you provide a way to speed up the acquiring of glyphs usually acquired through research and glyph books? Glyph books (Book of Glyph Mastery) are hard to come by now that people spend so little time in WotLK content.

Yes. We will be changing the discovery spells so they can teach all possible glyphs, and the books will simply provide a no-cooldown method to do the same thing.


Glyph books made all kinds of sense in Wrath, when they were obtainable anywhere by anyone. Now that they're only dropping for people as they level, the supply has plummeted. New scribes are having their short hairs held over the fire by the people who will end up paying too much for their glyphs, so I suppose it's a probably fair, but Blizzard is changing it.

Coming soon, new scribes will be able to finish learning their glyph books by research alone, and books will only be an added bonus. This will reduce the price for them, as cheap scribes who are willing to wait will no longer be snatching up any inexpensive books they find.

If you have any of these books that you're trying to flip for a profit, use them or sell them quickly, before the mat is pulled from under you. Take heart; I still have at least six Tomes of Polymorph: Turtle in a storage guild bank somewhere that I took a bath on. That's all part of the fun of speculation, and it makes wins feel better.

Maximize your profits with more advice from Gold Capped as well as the author's Call to Auction podcast. Do you have questions about selling, reselling and building your financial empire on the auction house? Basil is taking your questions at basil@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Cataclysm

15 Minutes of Fame: Researcher Nick Yee digs into the numbers, people behind WoW

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

If you're into research about the World of Warcraft and the world of MMORPGs, the name Nick Yee will be instantly recognizable. A research scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Yee is well known in WoW circles for his work on The Daedalus Project, an online survey of MMORPG players that's yielded profiles of gamers and the gaming life that are ripe for the picking.

Despite a powerhouse academic background, Yee's no ivory tower recluse. He's an active WoW player who relishes the happy intersection of game time as background for work time. And while his Daedalus Project has been "in hibernation" for some time now, Yee's been working on a new study for PARC. We'll chat with Yee about his work after the break -- plus test your knowledge of your fellow WoW players in a special quiz he's prepared especially for WoW Insider readers spotlighting findings from his new MMORPG research.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The WoW Factor: How much do you know about the players behind the avatars?

How much do you think you know about your fellow WoW gamers? WoW Insider brings you this exclusive quiz designed by MMORPG researcher Nick Yee, based on actual U.S. data from the PARC PlayOn 2.0 study linking player survey data with their armory data.

Think you know what players are really like? Come find out what your WoW Factor is. (Answers and conclusions following the quiz.)

1. The average age of WoW players is:

a. 18
b. 24
c. 30
d. 36

2. Which of these groups of players is most likely to be gender-bending?

a. younger women (<30)
b. older women (>30)
c. younger men (<30)
d. older men (> 30)

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

15 Minutes of Fame: Psychologist and games researcher John Hopson

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

What keeps gamers hooked on their game of choice? Chances are, it's an element of the gameplay that was teased out with the help of games researcher John Hopson. The experimental psychologist and beta program head for Microsoft Game Studios examines what makes gamers do the things they do and then designs ways to keep them happily doing just that -- most recently, in titles such as Shadow Complex, Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach.

All that, and he's a WoW player to the core. "I mostly play in the two semi-official Microsoft WoW guilds, and lately I've been a hardcore player in a casual's body," he notes. "My wife and I had our first child a few months ago, so we've both dropped raiding and have been levelling alts instead since that doesn't require a fixed schedule. So far, we're both up to 5 level 80s apiece. :)" We thought it was time to turn the tables on Hopson, a loyal reader and occasional commenter at WoW.com, and ask him for his perspectives on WoW from the inside out.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Interview: WowLens and a National Science Foundation grant help researchers mine player data

Addons have been used in World of Warcraft for a variety of in-game purposes, such as data monitoring or making players' lives easier. What happens, however, when smart people decide to use the power of WoW's interface for a scientific and statistical purpose?

Researchers at the University of Minnesota, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, under a project by the National Science Foundation, are using an addon called WowLens to gather peer review data. The project aims to use the wealth of people, resources and data floating around Azeroth in compiling data for research projects. It personally reminds me of Folding@home, but with statistics instead of computer processor cycles for medical calculations.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Interviews

Spiritual Guidance: Assessing yourself

Every Sunday (and the occasional weekday) Spiritual Guidance offers holy and discipline priests advice on how to wield the holy light and groove to the disco night. Your hostess Dawn Moore will provide the music.

Last week, I had a bad day. More specifically, I had a bad raid day. I logged in, prepared, researched, and with high hopes of downing 25-man Sindragosa that evening. My guild had plenty of attempts, and many members had the weekend to explore the fight on 10-man or at least watch a video; I was certain we'd succeed, even with the initial difficulty of the ice block gimmick. For whatever reason though, it didn't go as planned, and with our attempts on the line, a small debate would break out after every pull. Tension between guild members rose quick and appropriately, my own focus and abilities deteriorated. What started out as an occasional mistake on my part turned into frequent and reoccurring disasters. I did keep trying hard, even though I failed, but there was no amount of effort to change how awfully I was playing.

Despite everything, I understood everything that was happening as it exploded around me. I could source each mistake I made to some bad step, wrong guess, or mistakenly pressed button. Past the mistakes, as I looked over my output on each attempt I could see it was suffering tremendously as well. This is what we'll be talking about today; how do we assess ourselves as players, and as healers?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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