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Posts with tag traveling

Guest Post: Northrend truckers -- a tale of WoW OTR

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to

After spending three years crammed into a call center with 600 reps sitting in quarter-cubes so small I could hear the other reps on all sides of me, I decided it was time to ditch the tech support world and go see America. Four weeks and $2,200 later, I had my Class A Commercial Driver's License, thanks to a truck driving school outside Springfield, Mo.

Before venturing out, I wanted to purchase a decent laptop for gaming (we were attempting to do full clears of Zul'Aman when I decided on my career change). I ended up purchasing a HP Compaq NC8430, after catching it on special. It had the Intel Core 2 Duo T5600, ATI's Mobility Radeon X1600, and I upgraded the memory to 4GB of DDR2-667. After loading WoW and all my addons, I was happily running around Shattrath at 60 FPS! I also purchased Skyworth's 19", 12-volt LCD TV to use as a second monitor and to also watch television on in the few occasions I stopped overnight near a big city (Big Bang Theory is not available online).

I didn't want to mess with a laptop and a GPS system, so I purchased Microsoft Streets 2006. MS Streets came with a plugin USB GPS that had about a six-foot cord on it along with a suction cup. Through blind luck while surfing the web, I also found Jotto Desk, a very nice laptop for semis that mounts to the base of the passenger seat and has an arm that extends over to the driver seat for easy access. While a bit of a pain to install, the effort was well worth it. The people who invented the Jotto Desks deserve an award or a free case of Bawls or something. Having successfully installed Jotto Desk and mounted my USB GPS to the front windshield, I was almost ready to hit the open road! All I had to figure out now was a way to get internet no matter where in the United States I happened to be.

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Filed under: Guest Posts

Guest Post: Raiding on the road

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to

I have been playing World of Warcraft on the road for the last three years now, and what an adventure it has been. I started out on an old HP Pavilion zv6000 weighing in at about 8 pounds, with a 800 x 600 resolution and 800 MB of RAM. Not only was the beast of a laptop fun to haul through security lines at the airport, but it was heavy and slow. 25-man raids were next to impossible (I'm talking to you, Heigan), with frame rates under 5 FPS most of the time. I was eventually convinced to buy a new machine, and I decided to go with a MacBook Pro. I'm currently running version 4, which is the 17" widescreen with the Intel Core 2 Duo with 2.6 Mzh GHz processors and 4 GB of RAM. It's a pretty decent machine, with frame rates in the 30s in Dalaran and 25-man frame rates around 5-25 FPS, depending on the fight (less if I'm trying to FRAPS a fight or Marrowgar's fire is involved).

The biggest changes I have made between playing on my desktop (Dell XPS 720 series) at home and my MacBook on the road have been in regard to addons and special effect details in the video settings. I have optimized every addon I use to keep the lowest memory usage possible (for example, Skada instead of Recount), making use of all 4 GB I have on that machine and ensuring my machine is doing the best it can. I use Addon Control Panel to turn off every non-essential addon come raid time, including Auctioneer, Jamba (for when I am dual-boxing), SexyMap, etc. I love Addon Control Panel, as it lets me save addon sets in different states depending on what I am doing. I have a raiding 10-man version, a raiding 25-man version, and questing-, leveling- and auction-based sets that I can flip between at the click of my mouse.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Raiding, Guest Posts

Call for Submissions: On the road with World of Warcraft

Do you play World of Warcraft while you're on the road? Tell us about your setup: hardware, connectivity, voice comms ... What about jittery performance on netbooks or older laptops -- worth it, or not? Are there hotels that always offer a great connection, or others that are sure WoW-killers? Do you use WoW as a way of staying in touch with those back at home? is accepting article submissions on playing WoW on the road. Submissions should be between 750 and 1,000 words. We will not accept articles submitted under player names or pen names; please use your full, real name and email. Artwork is not mandatory, but any you choose to include must be your own work or from creative commons.

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Has Warcraft inspired you?

Warcraft has been a couple of things to me, besides a game. One, I've met a lot of really, really good friends while playing WoW. Some of them are friends I will probably still have quite a few years from now, after WoW is long gone. Two, it has been a bit of an inspiration. Not that big, worldview-changing kind of inspiration, but the kind that makes you stand up and go do things.

The things I've done vary from simple to quite a bit larger. There's the mundane inspirations, like doing a little bit of creative writing (and the writing I do here) but I've written before, so it was more an outlet rather than something completely new. It definitely has inspired quite a bit of writing though, as well as RP as part of that. I've never ever been into comics before, though, and never really had a drive to try them, but I do read the Warcraft comics now, and will probably read the Ashbringer one as well. I still can't say I read a ton of comics, I probably never will, but at least I'm open to giving good ones a whirl nowadays. Maybe you all have some recommendations for me, eh?

Then, going back to the 'meeting friends' bit, I've met a fair amount of raid and guild mates in person now, and will definitely be meeting more come BlizzCon in October. We've formed some pretty strong bonds, and I really wish I could hang out with those people more in person. Elizabeth W. has echoed this one with me, we've both traveled pretty far to meet some great people.

WoW Insider has shown off quite a bit that players have been inspired to do, from crafts to art to uh, military training. Has WoW inspired anything in you guys? Just trying something new, or maybe something a little more substantial?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

WoW Insider's Guide to the Mounts of the World of Warcraft

WoW Insider has put together the ultimate guide to every mount in the World of Warcraft. From the first Pinto you'll get as a budding Human Mage, to the rare epic flying mount the Ashes of Al'ar, we cover every mount available to every race, faction, and class in-game.

A Warcraft mount holds a special spot in all of our inventories. It allows us to travel Azeroth, Outlands, and soon Northrend in blazing speeds rivaling those of the mighty Alliance Gryphons. Many people have names for their mounts and become uniquely attached to them. Others make it a point to try to get every mount available to them, often spending years collecting the necessary reputation with each faction.

And who doesn't like to go even faster on the fastest mount? For the speed demon in all of us there are several enchantments and trinkets that make our rides travel faster than before.

Check out WoW Insider's Guide to the Mount of the World of Warcraft for every mount in the game. And don't forget to check back whenever there is a new content patch - as the World of Warcraft grows, so will this guide.

Filed under: Guides, Mounts

BlizzCon: Welcome to Anaheim

Looks like the gray weather followed me all the way here from Chicago, doesn't it? But no worries-- even as I post this, the sun is breaking through the clouds and haze here in Anaheim, CA, home (in the next few days) of the second BlizzCon.

I still haven't quite gotten my bearings-- I'm pretty sure the convention center is north of here, and this picture from my hotel room looks east, so you can't see it there. But later today I'll head over there and see what there is to see, and of course tomorrow all the festivities start with something pretty boring: the picking up of the convention badges, and end with something pretty amazing: our first official WoW Insider meetup.

Stay tuned to WoW Insider-- we are here, live in Anaheim, ready to bring you every single second of this show.

Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, BlizzCon

A BlizzCon packing list

Elizabeth's guide about what to bring and what not to bring onto the show floor at BlizzCon was helpful, but if you only brought what she suggested, you'd show up naked and without your ID. Those of us packing right now to travel across the country and spend the weekend in Anaheim need a little more guidance than that!

And so we've put together a checklist, so you can make sure that from the second you leave your hometown to the second you return, you're well equipped for everything you need to make this BlizzCon perfect. The checklist, perfect for cutting, pasting, and printing as you pack, starts right after the jump.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, BlizzCon

The travails of traveling

Seeing as my Horde guild is just getting around to do Onyxia, we're all involved with the Ony key quest line lately. And last night (on my newly built PC-- hawt!), a few guildies and I went through and did the "Test of Skulls" quests. If you've never done them, you're probably Alliance, and just this once you can consider yourself lucky. Not because they're hard (they're not, especially with a full party of 60s in epics like the one we had), but because it is, shall we say, "travel-intensive." You go to Dustwallow, down to Tanaris, up to Winterspring, out to Swamp of Sorrows, back to Dustwallow, Wetlands, Dustwallow again.. well, you get the picture. We traveled around the world for about two and a half hours or so, just to kill four dragons.

Traveling has always been one of the big reasons why MMORPGs are such a timesink, and World of Warcraft, while mitigated a little bit with the hearthstone and a few gameplay mechanics (we didn't have a mage in our party last night, which would have helped out a little bit), is no exception. Especially before you get your mount, travel is pretty much a chore that most players /afk away from as much as possible.

And it's not like there aren't better methods out there. Elder Scrolls IV (which I'm also playing on the new PC) lets you click-travel anywhere you've been, and even some places you haven't. And I haven't gotten a chance to try Guild Wars yet, but I believe they also let you visit anywhere you've been in just one click as well. So why hasn't Blizzard followed suit?

I agree there are a few reasons to take things slow. Exploration is just as fun as fighting, and without traveling everywhere, you'd never see the world. And speaking of seeing, there's a certain thrill in flying on the griffon anyway-- the flight from Stormwind to IF is particularly pretty. But after the 156th time or so, it gets a little old. I don't play this game to fly-- I play to fight. And every second in the air is a second spent not earning XP or gold. So why is traveling such a travail?

Filed under: Horde, Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Blizzard, Quests

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