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Posts with tag time

Never enough time

One of the absurdities of playing an MMO for any length of time, much less for ten years, is that you see certain cycles repeat again and again. For instance, I've seen players make the same assumptions about personal experiences in the game being universal so many times that I could republish that post every two weeks and it would be relevant. Another way I've seen the same cycle repeat multiple times since the end of Burning Crusade is this - people always complain (myself included) that the expansion is taking too long to get here and we're sick of the old content, and then, as soon as the new expansion is announced, we start panicking (myself included) to get certain things finished that we could have done long, long before the expansion ever got close to done.

I mean, I have six characters on various stages of the legendary cloak quest, that I just never bothered to finish up on because reasons. I don't think I can argue I haven't had enough time. It's September. Nine months seems more than adequate to have gotten that done, and yet, nope. Just never bothered to do it. In a way I feel like the extreme length of the content drought lulled me into a false complacency. A year in SoO seemed so monumentally long that it never really sank in that yes, it is long - but it still had an end date.

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

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: What Storms May Come

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

This one isn't your usual Tinfoil Hat edition - it is going to be one of the weirder ones. Why, you may ask? Well, it's because of Heroes of the Storm, the upcoming Blizzard DOTA style game. And specifically, how that game interacts with Warlords of Draenor. You see, I'm starting to believe that our travel to Draenor is only the beginning of a much longer, much stranger trip that will have us dealing with the consequences of actions we undertook long before - a travel through a crisis point of unimaginable, unfathomable extent.

The defeat of Deathwing in our world, the breaking of the future we saw in the End Time instance may have had further reaching consequences than we could have guessed. Our choices were simple - allow ourselves to die at the Destroyer's talons, or fight - but we still saw Nozdormu, the Aspect of Time, charged with maintaining time make choices that seem almost unfathomable. He chose to send us back to ultimately steal the Dragon Soul, to help us use it against Deathwing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft's peculiar time dilation

World of Warcraft's peculiar time dilation
When you've been playing a game as long as some of us have been playing World of Warcraft, you get some unusual moments of realization. One of them occurred to me recently, when talking about the upcoming 9th Anniversary of the game this November 23rd. The person I was talking to said "Yeah, my mom showed me how to play, I used to fish for her on her hunter" and it came out that said person was 21 years old, and that she has been playing the game since she was thirteen. She has effectively grown up in Azeroth, at least part time - nearly half of her life has been spent playing this game.

Meanwhile, with each expansion the game has lost some players and gained others - there are people who started playing in Cataclysm and even people who started play this year (I know, I've met quite a few of them) and many of them have no idea how to even go about absorbing all that happened in those nine years. To people who've played all along, it all happened - it's part and parcel of the game, it's history we experienced. But to new players, the sheer volume of it all can be daunting - I've had players comment with disbelief when told about 40 man raiding, who don't really grasp just how many times class mechanics have been changed and revamped and altered. One healer simply couldn't grasp the concept of an out-of-combat resser, a healing character who stood back out of range of boss fights and resurrected people who died over and over again. For me, the trippy part of that conversation was reading a 21 year old relate stories of Molten Core to this newer player and realize they were stories of what she was doing in grammar school.

Of course, for me WoW is a game I discovered in my 30's. My early thirties, come to think of it, and now I'm well out of that decade. So we're all aging, but the proportion of time we spent playing the game is different - for me WoW is just one of many games I've played, and certainly not almost half of my lifespan.

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

Breakfast Topic: What do you do when you don't have time for WoW?

Breakfast Topic What do you do when you don't have time for WoW
It's a sad fact that we all have so-called "real lives" that keep us busy from dawn to dusk (and then some) with work, chores, and other responsibilities. And some days, no matter how carefully I've managed my time or kept up with my to-do list, my scheduled gaming time gets pushed off the agenda for more important things like doing laundry, getting much-needed sleep, or catching up on Once Upon a Time (no spoilers!).

Of course, even when I don't have enough time to play, I usually find myself logging on to do the cooking daily and, if I feel energetic, check the auction house. (Hey, I could actually do that right now, while I'm writing this post! BRB.) And even when I don't find time for that, I keep up with my WoW friends on Twitter and Facebook, so I'm never entirely out of touch with WoW.

What about you, morning readers? Do you have any WoW-inspired habits for those days you just don't have time for WoW?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: When do you play WoW?

Despite the stereotype, most of us don't sit around all day playing video games, no matter how much we might like to. Some 99.99 percent of us are not planning our next killing spree, either -- well, out of the virtual world, at least. We have responsibilities, friends and family, other forms of leisure, etc.

We Azerothians have a choice: We can either play when we can, in between our other activities, or we schedule our WoW (or other gaming) sessions. Of course, hardcore raiders must set aside specific blocks of time, but those of us who don't have a raid schedule to keep to may also plan when we play. I am fortunate to play whenever I want or need to -- very fortunate -- though I have other responsibilities that keep me from participating in group activities during the day. (There is nothing like a successful bedtime for a gaming parent. Well, any parent.)

Are you able to play whenever you want, or do you have to squeeze World of Warcraft in as you can? Do you keep to a strict schedule, or do you just grab time after work, after dinner, whenever? When do you play WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Fun with time travel

I was inspired by the time travel talk from last Friday's The Queue. If you were able to kill Arthas while doing the Culling of Stratholme; you would prevent him from becoming The Lich King, but would cause a much faster spread of the plague. It reminded me of this great piece of short fiction, where going back in time to kill Hitler prevents time travel from becoming possible and is therefore strictly forbidden.

I'd like to go back in time and help Mankrik's Wife escape her violent and lonely death. Do we really need another reason to slaughter those nasty boar humanoids? Besides, I bet she had some really great quests that we missed out on.

If you could go back in WoW time and change something, what would it be? What do you think the ramifications of your change would be?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Survey says 15% of overall gameplay time is in an MMO

Our friends at Joystiq reported on this fascinating survey by GamesIndustry.com that broke down responses from 13,000 US and EU citizens about how they spend their gaming time. While they don't have specific numbers for World of Warcraft, the survey says [PDF link] that overall, 15% of gaming time is spent playing MMOs. US players spend about 14% of their gaming time on MMOs, while EU players range from 8% to 16% by country. In the EU, 14% of all players have played an MMO, and in the US, 21% of everyone playing games has played a massively multiplayer online game.

Again, these numbers aren't specifically for World of Warcraft (and because the survey went down to age 8 and up, they do include the vast virtual worlds aimed at children, like Club Penguin and Disney's Toontown, which probably throw the numbers off quite a bit), but they do show the effect that WoW has had on the gaming population over the last five years. Five years ago, MMOs were definitely a niche -- some hardcore gamers played them, but most people didn't have the Internet connections to play an online game, much less pay a subscription for one. Nowadays, MMOs represent over one out of every ten minutes of overall playtime, and those numbers are only going to go up.

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

Yogg-Saron in blues


This story's from last week, but I love it anyway -- over at the Greedy Goblin, Gevlon's guild was getting a little tired of all of the achievement-checking and gear requirements for endgame raiding, and so they set out to do something that many experienced raiders might admit seems impossible: take down Yogg-Saron with nothing but blues on. That means no epics at all -- no epic gear, dropped or crafted, no epic enchants, no epic gems. They did use profession bonuses, but everyone should have access to those by now (all it takes is money, and all that takes is time). And of course, they did it: toppled Yoggy with the group you see on the page there. The combat log is also posted, and it's about what you'd expect: none of the damage numbers are crazy high, but the group works so well together and plays so evenly that they get it done. That's the message to be taken away here: gear is nice, but nothing will get you farther than a well-oiled group of solid players.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Bosses, Leveling

Where in time is Azeroth?

There's a great question fluttering around the community lately: just when are we anyway? It's a good one for the Lore Nerd, actually, and maybe he can answer it in more detail than I can, but it's almost a question of relativity as much as it is of lore. The official lore says that World of Warcraft takes place four years after Warcraft III (hence the reason for the "four years have passed..." in the opening cinematic). And since then, we've heard from Blizzard that they consider every expansion to be another year in the history of Azeroth -- Burning Crusade takes place a year after the original game, and Wrath of the Lich King two years after that. But when, for example, did Van Cleef fall? Has it been just under two years since his plan to attack Stormwind was defeated? And what about our characters -- you'd assume that if you started from level 1 today, the story would be beginning four years after the events of Warcraft III again, so have our characters aged two years since they first stepped foot out of Elwynn or Durotar? And we'll ignore that when you get to Orgrimmar, you might see Death Knights walking around, who technically won't join the Horde until two years in the future.

See how confusing? Of course, the right answer to all of these questions is "it's just a game," but there are plenty of interesting thought experiments here. Time and story in the World of Warcraft aren't necessarily connected, which is why Blizzard can get away with things like having Kael'thas in two places at once, but still tripped up by things like getting Onyxia out of Stormwind. Phasing helps a little bit (and who knows what WoW would be like if Blizzard designed it from the ground up with phasing -- we'll have to wait for the next-gen MMO to see how that works). The official timeline has Arthas brooding in Icecrown for around six years. But just like real relativity, our characters have experienced that time period in all sorts of different ways.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs

WoW Insider Show live today (and next Wednesday)

Should be a fun episode of the WoW Insider Show this weekend -- and hopefully, Turpster's new song will be ready to play on the air for you all. Though it's not for certain, unfortunately -- I know he was planning a Wham! reunion just for the song, but you know how tough it is to get all the contracts involved on something like that. Anyway, even if the song isn't ready yet, we'll still have a show, and we'll chat about all the most popular posts of the past week, including our new Time is Money column (and how to make the most money ingame), everything we've heard and seen from Ulduar in the past week, and what else is new on the 3.1 PTR. Be sure to tune in live if you can -- it starts up at 3:30pm Eastern over on our Ustream page, or in the embedded feed on the end of this post.

And we've got a special treat for those of you who can't make it to our usual Saturday broadcasts -- next Wednesday, March 11th, we're going to record the podcast at a special time of the week. We'll be starting up on Ustream around 9pm Eastern, which is probably a little late for all of you Europeans, but will hopefully let some people who've never heard the show before tune in (and hopefully we'll catch some WI bloggers who haven't been on the show before as well). This is only a one-time thing for now, so in the future, we'll be on Saturday as usual, but next week we're trying a new time just to see if we can mix things up a little bit.

If you can't make it on Wednesday, don't worry: the recorded show will still be here on the site and on the feeds as usual, and in two weeks we'll be back to the normal time. This is just a chance to let people who haven't been able to tune in on Saturday afternoons come and check us out. Hopefully we'll see you there, either later today or next Wednesday evening.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Talents, Making money, WoW Insider Show

Realm maintenance for Tuesday February 24th

"I'm not looking forward to this," Fargor grumbles as he rests his heavy two-handed Paladin mace on the side of his legs. "I know that when I awake tomorrow things will not have improved." He shuffles his chest plate around, getting more comfortable for the forced sleep ahead of him.

"And damned if I do even wake up!"

Fargor slams his hairy Dwarven fist down on the wooden table, angry at the ruling Wizards of Dalaran for their impositions on him and everyone else.

All Osull and Marcella can do is look back and nod in acknowledgement, as they too feel more and more angst at the Wizards for their mysterious ways.

"At least it will only be part of a day," Osull offers up in comfort of the Dwarf. Marcella lays a supportive hand on the Osull's shoulder and nods her head in agreement, "Indeed kind Dwarf, it's only for eight hours."

The platitudes seem to do nothing for Fargor, as he shakes his head and says "Eight hours or eight years, it doesn't matter lass. No one should have a right to tell a Dwarf what to do!"

And as he says that the Wizards can suddenly be heard throughout the city, "The realms will be down from three to eleven in the morning, as the mighty pacific clock tells time. Sleep well now citizens of Azeroth, for when tomorrow you awake things will be fresh and new..."

The voice trails off into nothingness and across the realms everyone stops what they're doing and falls asleep as they are.

The Wizard's maintenance has begun.

One week ago...

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Filed under: Fan stuff, News items

45 minute time limit for all arena matches

Bornakk just posted an important announcement for all arena participants:

There is now a time limit of 45 minutes for all arenas. If neither team has achieved a victory, both teams will lose 16 arena rating points.

This is posted in the general discussion forums, and we can safely assume that this change is active on live realms.

Bornakk goes on further to say that matches that go on for 45 minutes are currently showing up as a draw and not displaying a loss of arena points. However, the point loss still happens. This means that you can apparently see it when you look at your honor page and you'll notice that your rating has gone down by 16 points

We've covered some very long arena matches in the past. A 13 hour match between a Druid/Warrior and Warlock/Paladin, won by the Warlock/Paladin, and a 10 hour arena match (the classes were not reported on).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, News items, PvP, Arena

Ask a Lore Nerd: All about dragons


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

The last Ask a Lore Nerd brought a whole load of Dragon-related questions, likely a result of the huge amounts of Dragon lore we've been given in Wrath of the Lich King. So today, we're going purely Dragon themed, and I'll be hitting a few of the bigger questions. Let's get started!

Ves asked...

Who are all these humanoids aiding the blue dragonflight? I did the quest where you find out one of them was a Troll forced to work for them under the threat of harm for his family, and I assume some of them are blue dragons taking human form becuase sometimes blowing up the world requires opposable thumbs, but surely they can't all be either dragons or slaves.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a draenei

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the eighth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

The draenei are one of Warcraft's more unique contributions to the realm of fantasy fiction, the one player race without no real precedent in earlier fantasy worlds. These are not your typical elves, orcs and dwarves borrowed from Tolkien or Dungeons and Dragons; the draenei are tall, with hooves, tails, horns and even face-tendrils -- but they are noble and spiritual people, the last remnants of an ancient civilization of magic and beauty.

To begin thinking about what it must be like to live as a draenei, imagine how the human race might be many thousands of years into the future, maybe a quarter of a million years from now. Whatever technology those people might have would probably seem like magic to us. Our descendants might unravel the mysteries of biology to such a degree that they can halt the aging process and live as long as they want to. They may be able to tap on sources of power we haven't even imagined, and act with motivations and purposes we could scarcely understand.

The draenei as a people were once like this, 25,000 years before the setting of World of Warcraft. Even at that time, they were already ancient in their history and advanced far beyond what you and I might understand. Their world, called Argus, was a prosperous society full of great achievements and magical wonders, quite unlike anything we see today. They had a different name then, however -- they were called, the "eredar" -- a name which now upsets the draenei as a painful reminder of everything they have lost, the corruption, the betrayal and the near extermination of everything they have ever known and loved.

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Filed under: Alliance, Draenei, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

AT&T maintenance tonight to cause connection issues

A news announcement on the login screen is letting us all know that AT&T, the people who provide data center service to Blizzard, will be performing maintenance tonight from 12:00 a.m. EST until 5:00 a.m. EST.

This will likely cause problems with both being able to login to the game and stay connected. This is an odd maintenance announcement, and one that I don't recall seeing before.

Hopefully this will not develop into anything more serious – such as extended network outages or other such issues.

Filed under: News items

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