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Posts with tag worldofwarcraft

Breakfast Topic: Guild achievements and you

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

We are now a good 6 months into guild achievements. As a guild leader, I think the concept, as executed, is great. Although we're casual and we run all content, trying to get certain achievements has provided us with incentives to level toons, level professions and to work together.

Every week, I post to the guild web site, a tally of what we're working on and how far along we are in finishing an achievement. Doing all the Burning Crusade heroic 5-mans made people run the regulars to get enough honor to get their keys. People went into instances they didn't know existed. Attendance at our retro raid nights spiked when we announced that we needed this run for the guild achievement. We're small so the 25-man achievements will probably elude us, but people take a look at what still needs to be done and they help make it happen.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What real-life skills has WoW helped you develop?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I've never been a hunt-and-peck typist, but these days, my fingers can fly across the keyboard. It has certainly served me well in my employment. I can successfully type out full paragraphs with one hand on the keyboard and the other on the mouse. You can't see it, but I'm doing it right now. Are you impressed yet?

Okay, probably not. I'm willing to bet that any of you can do it, too. But what other skills have you acquired through playing WoW? If you run your own guild, you may have become an effective leader and a whiz at organization and planning. Raid leaders may have to become experts at dealing with conflicting personalities and steering their cohorts toward the common goal. Dealing with guild drama might have you thinking should have a degree in social work by now. Playing the auction house might have inspired you to go into the stock market (and if you have earned a fortune doing this, please share your tips with the group!) Or maybe you've just learned to suck up your disappointments and handle them without having to resort to QQ and name-calling.

Have you acquired an impressive skill through WoW that you might not have developed otherwise?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Does your guild's social reputation matter?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

If you've been on the internet in any capacity for a few years, you are familiar with the Penny Arcade theory (NSFW language). I've just come through a couple weeks of this with my guild. It resulted in one person's being kicked and another leaving. Briefly, the kicked person tried to sell tracking the Time-Lost Proto Drake for 5k gold. A person on the server paid 2,500g up front and was led on a wild goose chase, after which the ex-guild member phased, hearthed and put the "pigeon" on ignore. When an officer and I confronted the perpetrator, the lies grew ever more convoluted. I kicked him and repaid, from guild funds, the money stolen. The person who quit behaved in a manner that wasn't appropriate. I called him out on it.

These incidents have me thinking: Does it matter how you behave in a fake world? Realistically, I'm probably never going to meet 95 percent of the people on my server. In our guild Code of Conduct, I state right at the beginning, "We do not tolerate malicious, hurtful behavior or speech in guild chat, party chat, WoW chat or on Vent. This is grounds for dismissal. Honor and respect each other and other guilds. When you join this guild, you represent us wherever you go. Respect others as you expect to be respected. Your integrity and actions directly reflect onto this guild. Inappropriate conduct with other guild members and the Llane community at large is not permitted and is grounds for dismissal."

I am adamant about this. I feel that if you want to be treated with respect, taken seriously, invited to raids and not called out on the server forum, you must respect others. I've worked very hard to create a guild that is respected. When people think about us, they know we're here for the fun of the game. We don't take ourselves seriously, and we treat you fairly and with respect. Am I way off base here? Again, does it matter? How do you think your server views you and your guild? Do you care?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: One is the loneliest number

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

There is nothing better than sharing a common interest with friends, but what happens when you find yourself alone in Azeroth for long period of time? You and your friends used to spend hours playing together, raiding or simply sharing idle banter in private messages or even the dreaded trade chat. But lately, it seems that you are the only person playing. Your friends, for a multitude of reasons, simply can't find the time to play anymore. Now you're alone in a big world with no one to talk to and nothing to take the edge off the quest grinding. So what do you do?

Guilds: a toon's best friend Whether it's on a RP, PvP, normal or mixed server, a guild can keep you entertained and chatting throughout that hard grind to 80. When you find yourself stranded in an area where there isn't another living soul in sight, it's always good to know that one /g away is a group of people who will, more often than not, love to hear how things are going, both in game and out. It's a warming feeling to see that the minute you log on, another person is there to greet you with a friendly "Hey, _____."

General and trade chat If a guild is not your thing, it's always nice to take a few minutes between quests to sit in a capital city and share in some banter with your fellow players. General chat is full of other players discussing either the game itself, movies, music or a multitude of other topics. Even trade chat can be fun if you keep up with the latest internet memes, though after a period of time, it came become annoying.

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Buff(ing) for BlizzCon: Dog days

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

No, it's not another worgen post. I'd roll a goblin, anyway, and not merely because of factional preference. I spent too many hours as a n00b getting repeatedly pwnt in Silverpine Forest, which has made me as bitter as powdered aspirin towards those furry bastards; I'd gank myself. No, this is the midsummer swoon, when folks tend to go through the motions in the long, hot stretch (at least in the Northern hemisphere), twiddling their thumbs between increasingly monotonous dungeon runs, idly considering rolling yet another alt or take a hiatus altogether to go hit some conventions and interact in the big blue room.

In our case, it's also just past the midpoint of our six-month journey towards BlizzCon, when motivation may flag and adhering to healthier eating and exercise habits can begin to wane. Maybe you've hit a plateau. Maybe you're bored with your program. This point in time is, to quote everyone's favorite Mon Calimaran, a trap. OK, maybe it's more of a pothole, or yet another slog through Desolace/Stranglethorn Vale/[insert your least-loved zone of mid-game grind leveling here].

So what is there to be done about it?

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: I can do what now?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

I've been watching the clips of people flying about Eastern Kingdoms. I can hardly wait! It got me to thinking about all the mount changes I've witnessed in the course of my gaming time.

I started towards the end of vanilla. The Burning Crusade had been announced. My daughter was in the beta, actually, and telling me that I needed to get into this game before it "expanded," whatever that meant. So I made my character and started to run everywhere. Dun Morogh, Loch Modan, Elwynn Forest, Redridge, Westfall, Wetlands, Arathi Highlands, Hinterlands, Ashenvale, Desolace, Feralas, Felwood were all done on foot. I knew the route from Nijel's Point to Maraudon to the point that I could hit auto run and be pretty certain I'd make it there without too much trouble, just a few swoops and centaur along the way.

I didn't get my first ram until level 45, as I couldn't afford it. I didn't get my epic ram until level 65 because I couldn't afford it. I was four months into level 70 before getting flying because, yup, couldn't afford it. The joke "When I was your level, I ran everywhere, uphill, both ways, in snow, barefoot ..." is semi-serious.

This isn't about Blizzard's changing the levels for mounts. I have low-level alts, and I absolutely love their having mounts to get to the places my main once ran. This is a post about those things you do even when you don't have to anymore.

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Breakfast Topic: To be the best

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

As a competitive person, I do not want to be mediocre at anything I do. I want to be so good at my job that I earn a bonus at annual review time. I want to be early instead of late. I want to be the great mom who comes to all the parent-teacher conferences and always turns in signed permission slips before they're due. Heck, I even want to be in the front of the pack in traffic on the interstate.

I have worked hard to achieve all of this perfection -- and failed miserably. One thing that I've learned through my adult life is that any time you think you're the best at something, 10 other people will come along who show you up. I do the best I can, and I have to will myself to be satisfied with that. If I tried to be the overachiever, then I'd probably stress myself into a heart attack.

It's the same way with World of Warcraft. I want to have maxed-out professions with all the rare recipes. I want to have the highest GearScore, top the DPS chart and hold hate perfectly with no runaways if I'm tanking. I want to get all the achievements, have the coolest vanity pets and ride in on that rare mount no one else has. Yeah, that's what I wish for. But, I am never, ever going to get there.

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Buff(ing) for BlizzCon: Programming for dummies


Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon. From the comments and discussion after the last installment of Buff(ing) for BlizzCon, we learned that reader Saitenyo has combined a laptop with an exercise bike so she can get her exercise and WoW fix at the same time. Sweet!

Settle down, everybody, I'm not going to bust out something like COBOL, or even worse, FORTRAN (which during my one programming class in college, I got a D in). Rather, this goes out to the folks who are ready to take things to the next level and are thinking about coming up with their own workout plan and strategy.

Much like developing a character spec or laying out the route for a road trip, it's often best to approach things from the far end and work your way back to where you are now, so you know both where you want to end up and how to get there. As the man behind the Jabberwock (no, not American McGee) said, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

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Filed under: BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: How much of your played time is really played?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

If you have been around WoW for a while, you probably have gotten the urge to type in the dreaded /played command. For any who still don't know, that command will show you the amount of time you have played on that particular character. For a player like me who has been around since launch, that number can be significant. But it did get me to thinking, how much of that time was actually spent playing?

Scenario: It is a Tuesday night (last Tuesday, as a matter of fact). My guild is off for the night, since we don't raid on Tuesdays. After a nice dinner and a bit of quality time with the wife, I make my way down to the man-cave to log in and see what's doing. I recently leveled jewelcrafting, so I am collecting the daily tokens for the cuts my main will need. That is reason enough to bring me online on non-raid nights. While I am there, I pick up the fishing and cooking daily. Since both are in Dalaran (love me some Disarmed! and Cheese for Glowergold), I grab them as well.

A few conversations with guildies, three daily quests, one Flame Leviathan weekly run and a few TV sitcoms later, I look up and see it is bed time. I have been logged in for somewhere between two to three hours, and all I have really accomplished are a couple of dailies. My biggest victory of the night was convincing a guild mate that Treme, while not as good as The Wire, is still worth catching if she has On Demand. Hardly what even the most casual player would consider dedicated playtime. Still, it all goes against the total.

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Breakfast Topic: A new recipe for anachronisms

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

My guild runs all content. In doing this, we frequently find ourselves in Burning Crusade raids. Last night, for instance, we downed Lady Vashj. I got another couple of handfuls of Badges of Justice, essentially worthless currency even for someone who hangs onto things for nostalgia. We had a couple of level 70+ players in the group, new players who are leveling as fast as they can to 80. They asked what they do with these badges. We old hands laughed and said, "Not much." Beyond buying gems from the Isle of Quel'Danas to level my jewelcrafter's skills, there's nothing my level 80 finds interesting in BC badge gear. We talked about the changes in Wrath badge gear and how we wished for something to spend our accumulations on.

This led to a discussion of the patterns that had just dropped and how they aren't relevant to anyone other than a newly minted 70. How nice it would be to find a use for all these patterns, recipes, schematics, etc., in addition to simply leveling a profession.

I am an alchemist, and I've often thought it would be neat to combine some of the potions I know to make better potions. Combine rage and healing potions to make a potion for warriors that heals them over time, based on the amount of rage they generate during combat ... a spellpower and fire potion combo for fire mages or warlocks using fire spells ... a tracking and invisibility combo for hunters or druids or rogues ... Take it one step further and allow all sorts of combinations where on occasion, you get something you weren't expecting: a third eye, an extra arm, laser gaze, 3x growth. I'm a former dungeon master from Dungeons & Dragons; I know all about "side effects."

There must be thousands of things in the game that could be combined in new ways to make them useful again as we progress to 85. What are your suggestions?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: I believe I can fly

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

Many things are eagerly anticipated with the release of Cataclysm: guild achievements, level 85, Deathwing. Little has been discussed about flying mounts in all of Azeroth. It is just a snippet in the trailer, but I do remember its getting a huge cheer. Gone will be the days of flying into Southshore and then riding (I mean, really -- once we can fly, who is going to ride?) north to battle the Abominable Greench. You'll fly -- and yes, I know, Alliance won't be using Southshore, but that's a different topic. We will be flying up and out of Stormwind, heading south into Searing Gorge to Blackrock Mountain and a new instance with Nefarian, and we will be using our own mounts. Can't get that one piece of ore on the side of a hill? Fly up and get it. Need to help a low-level guild member outside Jintha'Alor? Fly there from Aerie Peak or Revantusk Village. You'll be able to scout where those nasty Devilsaurs are in Un'Goro without getting stomped on (not that it matters to a level 85).

So once you can fly anywhere in Azeroth, where are you going first? If you are Alliance, I would wager 85% of you are going to the airport above Ironforge. There is a gryphon master at the north end of that area. He always waves when you fly over on your way to Menethil. I'm thinking that will become an active flight point, but I suspect most of you will fly up there on your own, simply because now you can. A few of you will probably go to the fishing hut above Stormwind.

Me? That's not the first place I'm going. I have long wanted to get to one particular spot on the map. I've tried getting there a few times, particularly during the Lunar Festival because there's an elder near this spot. The gryphon flies over it and I so desperately want to get off, right there. No, I'm not telling.

Where are you going to go first? Anyplace in particular, or do you think you will just hop on your flying mount and savor the wind in your face as you fly anywhere?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



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Breakfast Topic: What story does your WoW subscription history tell?

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

Some of us have been addicted to World of Warcraft from the beginning. Like me, some of you may have been addicted at the start but wavered off and on over the years. Alternately, some World of Warcraft players have only joined the world recently. A quick look at an account's payment history (found in account management on the World of Warcraft website) can provide an interesting tale regarding a player's obsession (or lack thereof) with World of Warcraft.

Personally, looking back at my payment history brought back memories of World of Warcraft as well as the games that sought to tear me away from Azeroth.

The journey (not the one shown in the screenshot above) started on Nov. 28, 2004, five days after the first adventurers had stepped foot into retail Azeroth. At that time, it took me a year and a half (non-/played of course) to get to 60. I suppose that could be considered to be an incredibly casual rate of levelling -- but eh, the times were simpler back then. That first chunk lasted until March 14, 2007. Still, after nearly two and a half years of enjoyment in Azeroth, I found myself pulled away to other pursuits, one of which was most likely one of my numerous forays into the complexity that is EVE Online. These distractions kept me away from the World of Warcraft for another year and a half, until I returned on Sept. 16, 2008.

I do not specifically remember, nor can I explain, my return to Azeroth. Alas, it was not to last. After that initial monthly subscription, my time in Azeroth is blank until a later date. Perhaps this was the time that I found myself drawn into Warhammer Online, an intriguing alternative to Azeroth that would ultimately prove to be no match for the appeal that World of Warcraft presented to me. I made my second-to-last return on May 18, 2009. This would be a four-month stint in which I would find myself levelling both my druid and my death knight to level 80 and getting them partially geared, before yet again dropping off the face of Azeroth on Sept. 23, 2009. The game that most describes this last absence? Global Agenda.

This brings us to my most recent return on March 2, 2010. I have spent the past two months getting sufficiently geared to be able to jump into 10-man ICC with my guild, and we have almost already conquered the zone. To bring the story full circle, it is important to note that I recently transferred my night elf hunter, created all the way back at the beginning of my journey, to my main's server in order to finally get him to 80. (He has been languishing in the mid-60s for the past few years.)

The above is what my subscription history says about me as a World of Warcraft player and a gamer and general. What does your subscription history say about you?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



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Breakfast Topic: Sorry, not happening!


This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by WoW.com's guest blogger program. Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements.

To put it bluntly, I love this game. Since its inception I have logged countless hours of my free time playing World of Warcraft. Yes I've dabbled in other MMO's but I've always been drawn back to WoW mainly due to its freedom. Freedom in the sense that you are free to choose what you want to do for the most part. There's honestly a ton of content in this game. World of Warcraft is full of stuff. There is stuff everywhere. Stuff to see, stuff to do, stuff to kill, stuff to talk to and well, you get the point.

But when you have so many things to do, it's only natural to dislike, or even flat out despise, some of these activities. I think it's pretty safe to assume everybody reading this can think of one or two things that they really cannot stand in World of Warcraft. Whether it's questing, running battlegrounds, world PvP or whatever else, there's always something that will make a guild member say, "No way dude, [insert event here] sucks." Personally I flat out refuse to run Isle of Conquest. Period. I cannot stand that battleground and no amount of gold can get me to run it (okay that's not actually true, but it would have to be a lot of gold).

But how about all of you? What event, action, spec, class, play style, NPC, zone, area, mechanic, raid, dungeon, faction, race, spell, talent, boss do you downright refuse to take any part in?

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Breakfast Topic: Personal blooper reel


This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by WoW.com's guest blogger program. Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements.

In four years of playing, I've done some dumb things. It happens. Play this game long enough and odds are you'll goof up somewhere. Sure, everyone pulls threat and wipes a raid or misses a clutch CC in PvP. Those things come and go, but I mean some epically silly things. For instance, when I was but a wee noob to WoW, I spent three levels grinding XP from the turtles on the shores of Tanaris because I didn't know where to go next. I also had a habit of wanting to color-match my gear by level. Yeah, I was that player. But I wasn't thinking, "Hey, this would make a cool RP set." No, sadly I was thinking, "What kind of adventuring hero would go out into battle looking like a patchwork quilt?" Of course, it's safe to assume most people do things like that. Right? Guys?

More recently I've found myself using the random heroic tool on a regular basis, and with my hardcore raiding career long behind me, I was actually getting gear I needed. Once I got so excited about a new piece of gear that I hit "disenchant" instead of "need" out of habit. Sigh. At least the void crystal was worth something. Substantially more groan-inducing was passing on a 500 gold Pendulum of Doom on the auction house, then finding out not too long after that they easily sell for over 20,000. Within the same day, I found out that Green Lenses of various stats (such as stamina or intellect) were also worth a similar amount of money. I groaned, remembering that as a newly minted engineer, I had vendored or destroyed several of these, finding them useless for my level 60.

Does anyone have any similar groan-inducing events? Do you keep a personal blooper reel of screenshots of some hilarious mistells or other shenanigans?

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Breakfast Topic: Is it time for a change?


This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by WoW.com's guest blogger program. Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements.

I've played World of Warcraft before and absolutely loved it -- I loved it until it became a second job for me. Then when I quit cold turkey, it turned into a bad break-up. I wanted to play it again but didn't want it consuming all of my time. I wanted to level without hating myself for sitting on a chair until my butt hurt, then finding a pillow and valiantly continuing on.

It's actually a deep, dark secret of mine (obviously not any more) that I never once got to the promised land that is level 80. I'll admit though, I had a lot of fun with the game. Hitting up instances and running through the well-written quests with friends was loads of fun. I wasn't a PvP god or anything, but I definitely had my good days back in my prime. I'll admit also that I still feel its callings now from time to time, and for all I know, I could be playing again tomorrow.

This brings me to an important question. What is it that keeps World of Warcraft players going strong? I remember when I first broke up with World of Warcraft, I went through an awkward rebound phase where I looked for any game I could find that would replace it. The sad part of this search was that I found myself wanting other games to be like Warcraft. The truth is, it may very well be the best one out there.

Even if it is the best, I want to know what gets people through the struggle of questing and grinding. As a semi-retired World of Warcraft gamer, I want to know if getting to the level cap is in fact worth the struggle. Is it the journey or the reward? What makes it all worth it to you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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