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Posts with tag world-of-warcraft-topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you play betas?

Though there's always a lot of excitement when a new Blizzard game goes into alpha or beta testing stages -- both Heroes of the Storm and Warlords of Draenor are currently in an early alpha stage -- actually playing games at this point is sometimes less than fun. Alpha and beta games are meant for testing, which means they're full of bugs and prone to changes. But the worst of it, for me, is the fact that none of my character progress is kept -- anything I do in an alpha or beta version I'll have to do again later when the final game goes live.

It's completely understandable that Blizzard -- and other game developers -- need to wipe progress made while the game was still being tested, but for me it kills a lot of the fun because on launch day the starting content is already becoming a repetitive grind. The end result is that while I enjoy reading early news about betas, I don't tend to play them for fun. But what about you, readers? Are you already looking forward jumping into the Heroes or Warlords betas -- or would you rather wait for the finished product?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you take WoW breaks?

Though we all enjoy World of Warcraft -- we wouldn't be here otherwise -- sometimes even the things we love can become a bit tired over time. This is particularly evident now, while we wait for Warlords of Draenor without any new content on the horizon. Going through the same old daily grind can get old quickly, and when the game stops feeling fun and starts feeling like work it may be time for a break.

Maybe that break means visiting another game, catching up on your reading list, or even just playing an new character or a new faction for a change of pace. For some of us, these occasional breaks are a necessity to keep our gaming time fun, while others prefer to stick with it and use downtimes like this to catch up on professions, collections, or achievements. So tell us, readers -- which of these categories do you fall in to? Have you ever taken a WoW vacation, however brief?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Some fights are weird

Every single time I tank the Klaxxi Paragons fight, I think to myself This is a really weird fight. Between it being a council fight with nine bosses (three active at a time) and with it completely negating AoE (every time one dies the other two that are up get healed and a third one drops in) plus the stacking buffs that make it a bad idea to leave any one of them up too long, and each one adding new mechanics that need to be dealt with, it's just a weird fight for me to wrap my head around. I can grasp some fights just fine - Spoils, Norushen for instance - that have strange mechanics. But while I can tank Paragons just fine, I don't pretend to grasp the fight as such. It's a weird fight, I don't really get it.

Any fights like that for you? Not just asking for SoO - did you find fighting Kologarn weird, back in Wrath? Was Cho'gall a mind-twister for you? What fights make you just throw up your hands and say 'whatever, let's get this over with' the way Paragons does me?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Annual pass, or regular beta?

Players that attended PAX East had a pleasant surprise waiting for them -- anyone who played the Warlords of Draenor demo at the convention received a pass with a beta key. This wasn't expected at all, and it has since been clarified that there will be other opportunities as time goes on for those that missed PAX to get their hands on a key. It's a far cry, however, from the Annual Pass that offered access to the Mists of Pandaria beta, suggesting that beta access will be far more limited, at least in its first stages.

I'm not exactly surprised about this. Beta access for Mists was a point of contention for players that expected their Annual Pass to grant them immediate access, only to find out that the invitations were being sent out in random waves. Of course everyone eventually got in, but it took time for it to happen. Having played in every beta since release, I have to say that the Mists beta was far, far more congested, and I don't know whether that really helped much on the feedback front. To a certain extent, it seemed like more players were actively dissatisfied and angry about bugs and errors that are, frankly, part and parcel with the beta experience. Bugs happen. Beta is where all those bugs are discovered and worked out -- that's what beta is for.

Read more →

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Is Hearthstone still a thing for you?

I have to confess, I haven't exactly been playing a lot of Hearthstone lately. It's not that I don't enjoy the game, it's that I've been so very busy that I haven't had time to sit down and play a match or two. But honestly, it hasn't been a really huge concern just because of the nature of Hearthstone itself. There is no sense of falling behind that you get from MMO's, no sense that I should be playing with any kind of regularity -- it's just there and waiting to play when I get around to it.

That said, I'm pretty excited with the announcement of a new adventure mode expansion, Curse of Naxxramas, that was announced at PAX East yesterday. I think what I like the most is that it's just a single-player adventure -- so I can simply play it at my leisure once it arrives, with no pressure or hurry to finish it as quickly as possible. I really like Hearthstone, all things considered, and I really like the idea of adding more vs. UI games. Don't get me wrong, I love playing against other people, but sometimes I just want to chill out with some old school me vs. the sneaky computer action.

Is Hearthstone still something you enjoy playing? Are you really into collecting cards and facing off against other players in the arena? Do you just drop in every now and again to play a round or two? What did you think of the Curse of Naxxramas announcement? Is it something you're likely to pick up and play when it launches?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What have you never done in WoW?

I've never played as ranged DPS. I've tanked, I've healed (briefly, but I did it for about half of The Burning Crusade before they nerfed downranking and I decided my shaman was done) and I've been melee DPS, but I've never played as ranged beyond some leveling toons. It's just not something that's appealed to me. Even when I played a shaman, I rarely even specced elemental and I never raided or ran a dungeon on it. It's just not something I've ever wanted to do.

So it occurs to me that I can't be alone in this, right? How about you? Have you just always been tanking adverse? Do you have PvP? Have you never stepped foot in a raid? What haven't you done?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What is WoW missing?


I often find myself talking about what WoW has or will have -- that's the nature of the news cycle here. But what I don't discuss enough is what WoW is just missing entirely. There are features of the game that are just not present at all, and that potentially should be present.

One of the big things I'm thinking of is an honest to god in-game browser, one that you can hit up sites like Wowhead and WoW Insider on without leaving the game. I'm pretty surprised Blizzard hasn't done this yet (although it'd create a security nightmare, so I can see why they might be hesitant). This would stop people from having to tab out -- there's just a ton of uses for this kind of feature. And in Blizzard's business, the more time you spend in the game, the better.

Another thing that WoW doesn't have at all is an option to post to social media from within the game itself. Other major MMOs have this, and it seems that WoW might never see it. But it'd be smart -- Blizzard relies on social media more and more to connect with their fans. Maybe a surprise 6.0 feature will be the inclusion of a Warcraft Twitter client? It can be called ThrallTweet (you're welcome, Blizzard, that one is on me).

What do you think WoW is missing? What has taken off and left WoW in the dust with? What does Blizzard need to implement? Your thoughts, dear readers, are always keenly appreciated.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Is this really the end of button bloat?

We already knew that Warlords of Draenor would be revamping the game in a big way, but the first look at the 6.0 patch notes gives us a real sense of the scale of the changes that will be hitting us when the patch -- and the expansion -- goes live. It's no surprise that in 15,000 words of patch notes that there's a lot changes in the works. But even knowing that changes were coming, it was still a shock -- especially the skills removed.

But while there are skills I'll miss, what I won't miss is having bars packed with buttons. My screen is full of them, bars upon bars of skills, macros, and consumables I might need at any given time -- not to mention raid bars and other addons that take up screen space. So I'm all for any pruning that lets me stare at buttons less and focus on the game more. The real question is whether this pruning will really be the end of button bloat or if by the end of Warlords -- or the next expansion -- we'll be back to the same button problems we have today.

So, readers, what do you think? Are you for the removal of button bloat -- and do you think this will really fix it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What I am glad to see go

Goodbye, Cleave. I will not even pretend to be sad to see you go. I have called for your death a thousand fold - always on my bars in case, but always more of a trap than a good ability. Oh, once, you served a purpose, but in the days of every spec having a better means to spread damage around, you don't serve that purpose anymore. Still, you're iconic, and I should probably miss you now that you won't be around. You've been on my bars lo these nine years gone, and for much of that time you were a staple of AoE fights, to the point where the word cleave has come to mean 'AoE performed by a melee player' even if they're not a warrior. "Gather the mobs and let the melee cleave them down."

So you'll live on, in a way. But that way will be one where I don't have to see you on my bars or remember only to use you when Ultimatum procs. So I'm happy for that. Goodbye, and take care, and please don't come back.

What about you, reader, double, brother or sister? What ability will you bid a fond or not so fond, but glad hearted farewell to?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: There will never be a warrior union

If you saw this week's Ask CDev answers, you saw this particular exchange.
Ask Creative Development - Round IV Answers
SparkysShocker @SparkysShocker: In lore do Warriors have an organization/guild that they group under. Like the Argent Crusade or Ravenholdt?

CDev Response: The warriors of Warcraft lore are typically associated with the armies they have pledged their weapons to, while our warrior heroes (read: the players) are "lone wolves." Someday these fearless combatants might unite under a single banner and form the world's first warrior union, but that remains to be seen.


What this ignores is that, basically, warriors have a union. It's called war. It's baked right into the name. The whole purpose of warriors is to get out there and fight people - we're not about getting together to form a collective. It would never work. Armies? Sure, we'll be in those, but the other army we're about to fight usually has a bunch of warriors in it too, and it would be weird for us if we knew all those guys from our weekly meeting or whatever. The fact that the Cenarion Circle has druids from the Horde and Alliance in it and they kill each other seems weird to us. We don't kill our friends. We kill our enemies.

So no, there will never be a warrior union. If there was, we'd refuse to join it. We're busy killing on another -- it's what we do.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How much time do you have for WoW?

It's interesting to me that as the years have passed, I've found myself playing more and yet less at the same time. Managing a 12 hour raid week (three nights, four hours a week) became impossible for me awhile back. Nowadays, I think I raid closer to 9 hours per week, and even that is a lot of time for me. It's not that I don't like the game or playing it any more, it's that I simply have a hard time playing in a way that commits my time for extended periods like that. An hour here and an hour there, not a problem. Four hours in a row is a big problem.

As WoW ages and the players age right alongside it, we'll see more and more of this, so it leads me to ask you -- how much time can you actually spend playing WoW uninterrupted? How much of a day, a week, or a month do you actually spend in Azeroth?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The many mysteries of loot drops

Looting monsters in World of Warcraft can be an experience filled with mystery. Surely you've had the quest where you're sent off to collect bear paws or the like where you only get one paw per bear -- or even less? Where do all of those paws go? Or perhaps you've killed a bat who dropped a lockbox, leaving you to wonder what was he keeping in it and how he even got into it. What about the creatures of Azeroth who carry around spare pairs of pants or plate armor? If you're a leatherworker, you've probably occasionally picked up some intestines along with the leather you skinned -- and find gold inside. Yuck. And let's not even get started on the raid bosses of Azeroth who apparently lug around whole chests of loot. (And where was Garrosh hiding all of those heirlooms?)

The game is full of loot conundrums, so today why not tell us yours? What's the most oddball loot you've acquired -- or haven't acquired -- in the game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Your long-term WoW goals

There are plenty of tasks in WoW that are easily achieved in an hour, a day, or a week -- but other goals take time. For example, getting a legendary cloak will probably take you a few months, plenty of high-end crafting is tied to a daily cooldown, and achievements like Loremaster or Insane in the Membrane don't get done overnight. These are more long-term gaming goals that you can't just grind through in a single gaming session (or even two or three), and they're often the sort of thing that you're more likely to find yourself doing when you don't have any more short-term goals at hand.

With end-game content scarce and major game changes unlikely until we're a lot closer to Warlords of Draenor, that means right now is a great time to take a look at your long-term to-do list. This is why I'm finally working on finishing Loremaster, which is something I always meant to do but never made a real effort to get through in the past. Once I manage that, Insane in the Membrane is next. Sure, it requires some dedication (and a certain lack of sanity), but these are things I've always wanted to achieve in-game and simply never made the time to do. So why not start now?

So today's discussion, readers: what gaming projects have you dusted off to work on right now? Do you have any goals you're trying to hit before Warlords?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Who will miss reforging?

Let me start by getting this off my chest: I hate reforging. I hate it with a fiery, burning passion usually reserved for politicians and the sorts of people who think numbers are an acceptable substitute for letters in words -- which is to say a lot. This isn't to say that I don't appreciate the ability to customize my gear, but reforging has turned the ability to customize into a metagaming nightmare.

In order to play my best, when I get a piece of gear -- even if it's a clear upgrade -- before I equip it I need to consult Ask Mr. Robot (or a similar service) and visit a reforger in-game. Then I'll spend a few hundred gold to shuffle the stats on all of my my gear so that the new piece fits without dropping important stats like hit and expertise. Even using an addon to do the hard work of figuring out what to reforge to what, this adds a layer of metagaming between me and my desire to play that I just don't enjoy.

So you can imagine my delight when I found out that reforging was going away. I'm sure I'm not the only one who won't miss reforging -- but I'm equally sure that there are plenty of players out there who don't want to do without this customization option. So today I'm asking you: will you miss reforging? And if so, why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Who deserves the lore spotlight next?

One of the complaints about Warlords of Draenor is that it's another expansion with a heavy focus on orc lore. A lot of that comes from the fact that to players who picked up the Warcraft setting with World of Warcraft the setting has moved pretty far away from the classic 'orcs vs. humans' and into a story about blood elves, goblins, gnomes, draenei, dwarves, trolls, tauren, night elves... in other words, about their characters, whatever race they happen to be. If you're a Horde player, you're most likely to be a blood elf nowadays, rather than an orc (blood elves are twice as popular among Horde players at 28%, putting them ahead of the otherwise neck and neck forsaken, orcs and tauren by almost a two to one margin over any of them) but it's also fair to say that blood elves have gotten a fair amount of focus in the last few expansion (including a pretty sizable story bump in patch 5.1/5.2 of Mists of Pandaria) so who would we focus on as the most in need of some story development?

Among the Alliance, the draenei are looking ready for their closeup in Warlords and I'm absolutely down with that, but I also agree with people who've made the point that gnomes really need some story focus. So, let me turn this over to you? Who deserves the lore next? Who do you want to see get a nice closeup, story wise?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

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