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Posts with tag wow-discussion

Breakfast Topic: You can't go home again

One of the things that playing in the Warlords of Draenor beta has done is it has made me really appreciative of small things and their cumulative effect. In terms of the story of Shadowmoon Valley, the ultimate effect of all the small touches is to give you (if you want it -- if you're the type who doesn't read quest text and doesn't pay attention to in game events and cinematics) the effect of a slowly dawning realization. Especially as a draenei player, by the time you finish with Shadowmoon Valley you'll realize that not only can't you go home, you didn't -- Draenor isn't the same place you come from.

It's really well done, it's very subtle -- even for Horde players, there are constant little moments that tweak the status quo you remember from books like Rise of the Horde. I like how it's playing out.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: What time do you usually play?

I don't really play games during the day -- most of the time, I'm working on something, either around the house or for work. When I'm actually going to sit down and play a game, it's usually in the evening, after dinner is done and taken care of. It's a habit I guess -- if the sun is still shining outside, I have other things to do. There are a few exceptions of course, because I do hop on beta servers at any given hour of the day in order to test content, take screenshots, and write. On top of that, Tuesdays are the days that I'll usually log on to quickly kill whatever world boss I happen to be farming, and then hop right back off again.

Because of this schedule, I don't usually see what Azeroth looks like in the middle of the day. With darker nights about to make a return, it's likely I won't see too much of the sun while I'm playing unless I'm in specific areas. Oddly enough, that doesn't bother me a bit. If nothing else it's a quiet and constant reminder that yes, the hour is late and yes, I should be thinking about things like sleep before too much time has passed. Sure, the clock is another reminder -- but it's the dark skies that give me an immediate visual cue as to the hour of the day.

I'm just one outlying example, though -- and when I'm online, there usually aren't that many people on. So I'm wondering, when exactly do you guys usually play? Middle of the day? After work, but before dinner? In the wee hours of the morning? Is the possibility of darker nights in game something that excites you, or something you'd rather not see? When do you prefer to log on and spend some time playing the game?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How much of a spoiler is too much?

With every beta comes spoilers -- it's pretty much a given that if there is no NDA in place for beta testers, those testers will talk in depth about what they've seen and experienced. They'll stream as they play the game, or post galleries with screenshots of gorgeous locales and potentially spoiler-laden NPCs. As someone that writes for a site dedicated to covering this type of information, I can't really avoid learning spoilers -- and honestly, it's kind of fun to learn them in advance and let my brain mull over what they could potentially mean.

But it's one thing to post a pretty picture or two, and another altogether to post the step by step plot points of a particular quest chain, or the ultimate fate of an important NPC. Sure, if you see a screenshot of a familiar face, it could be considered spoiler information -- but if there's no context surrounding the screenshot, is it really that much of a spoiler? All you can from that image is the knowledge that that character is there. You don't actually learn anything about why they are there, what they are up to, and what ultimately ends up happening to them down the road.

So I'm curious -- how much of a spoiler is too much for you guys? Do you avoid any and all spoiler information like the plague? Are even screenshots of NPCs potentially too far into spoiler territory for you? Is it the information that you're avoiding, like important plot points and story threads, or is it any information from the beta at all, regardless of whether or not it's delivered with any context behind it?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Which Burning Crusade NPCs do you hope to see in Warlords?

I have to admit, a good chunk of the reason I'm so excited for Warlords of Draenor has very little to do with whatever new content we'll be seeing, and far more to do with simply seeing Draenor as it was meant to be. I loved the Burning Crusade expansion -- the shredded landscape, the alien tranquility of Nagrand, the eerie sight of planets hanging in the sky. But even more than the scenery, I loved the NPCs. Burning Crusade introduced a ton of really entertaining NPCs, many of whom had little in the way of quests to give, but plenty to provide in the way of entertainment, like Cro Threadstrong, Asric and Jadaar, Granny Smith, Griftah, and more.

Sure, I'm excited to see the landscape as it was meant to be, pristine and untouched. I'm really looking forward to seeing Nagrand as it was meant to be, and Shattrath City, and places like Netherstorm, which likely look nothing like the torn landscapes from Burning Crusade. And I know we're going to see familiar faces like Akama, Nobundo, Velen, Drek'Thar, Durotan, Draka and others -- big names in Warcraft lore. But what I'm really hoping is that we'll see those random, weird, delightful NPCs, too. I want to see what Jadaar was up to before he paired up with Asric. Let's see if Cro was always a leatherworker, or if he took a different path entirely on this version of Draenor.

What do you guys think? Did you play during Burning Crusade, and if so, who was your favorite NPC? Do you have a familiar face you'd like to see in Warlords?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The Before and After

Certain features in World of Warcraft changed the game so thoroughly for me that there's a clear demarcation between how it was before them and how it is now. One example is the Dungeon Finder -- in the time before it rolled out, people had very little idea of how it would function and people who worked for websites that talk about World of Warcraft might even have dismissed it out of hand as pointless. It may have been said (and I'm not sure who would have been short sighted enough to say this, certainly not by me oh my no, ahem, is it hot in here?) that there wasn't really any reason to introduce such a feature to WoW, that people were doing fine finding groups on their own.

Other features come to mind as game changers - flying mounts, arenas, transmogrification, and looking for raid for starters. What feature do you think changed the game most, whether for good or ill? What changed it the most for you?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: When I grow up

My problem is, I want to use my level 90 boost but I have no idea what class to use it on.

A warrior would be ludicrous and pointless - I have like five of them at 90 at this point. Even I'm not crazy enough to waste it on one of them. Right now I'm kind of stuck between mage, hunter and warlock -- all three are fairly different from my usual classes. I have a hunter at level 62, while my mage and warlock are significantly lower level (my mage is level 14, my warlock level 12) but I'm not all that concerned about deciding on a profession for them. What I really want is to use it on a class I might enjoy at endgame, but which the leveling style isn't for me, and which I haven't already played much - so I'm basically looking at the cloth classes.

Are you in the same boat? Did you blow your 90 boost immediately or do you still wonder what to use it on?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Unexpected revelations

There won't be any spoilers for Warlords of Draenor in this Breakfast Topic. I want to talk about the feeling I got when I played through, not actually tell you what happened, so you don't need to fear.

One of the things that I, as an unabashed draenei lover, got to experience in Shadowmoon Valley during the alpha/beta test was that of several holy crap moments one right after the other. Characters that were supposedly dead long before were alive. Specific plotlines exposed the origins of enemies from The Burning Crusade or at least shed some light on them. There's a whole new aspect to draenei culture that has never really been covered in any detail before, because all the draenei we know were the last remnants, refugees from a genocide that hasn't happened to these draenei, and may never happen to them now. It's kind of like story fireworks, in a way. In a good way, but still, very surprising to see it. We didn't really know anything about the day to day of these people -- traveling in Shadowmoon, you see roads they built, buildings they constructed. They had a whole society, and for the first time here it is, ready for you to step in and defend it.

Frostfire Ridge has some surprises as well, if you're an old school Horde player and interested in the whos and wheres of certain Horde figures. But for me, it's all about SMV.

Do you pay attention to these kinds of story beats, or are you completely uninterested?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: What will be your ground mount of choice in Warlords?

Matt "Matticus" Low asked a good question the other day over on Twitter -- he wanted to know what everyone's ground mount of choice was going to be in the upcoming expansion. Obviously players can use flying mounts as ground mounts in Warlords, but with the sheer number and variety of ground mounts out there, why would you want to? It's been a long time since I've had an excuse to actually use a ground mount instead of the flying variety. Poor little guys must be feeling all neglected.

Personally, as far as the beta goes right now I use either the talbuks or the zhevra from the original Recruit-A-Friend program, and I'll probably stick to them at release as well. I like the sound of hooves on roads, what can I say. The other thing I like about both of them is that they're small, so they don't take up a lot of real estate on my screen and I can actually look at what's going on around me. With how much there is to see on the beta, this is definitely a good thing. I suppose if I were going to use a flying mount as a ground mount, I'd go with the trusty Red Flying Cloud from the Lorewalkers. It's easy enough to get, it's low-profile, and my characters look cool standing on the thing.

What about you guys? Do you have a favorite mount you're going to break out for use in Warlords? Are you going to take advantage of the random summoned mount feature and favorites list? Do you have a preference to what kinds of mounts you use -- do you like the ones with hooves, the bugs, the bears, or some other variety? What are you going to be trucking around on in Warlords, and why?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Does your partner play?

Pandaren
I know many couples in WoW. My GM, for example, and his wife. Our hunter and her shaman husband. Three of my closest female friends either do play or have, in the past, played with their male partners--one of them even met her husband in WoW! (There was a "Warcraft" table at their wedding. Yes, that is where I sat.)

My husband, on the other hand, does not play WoW and has never shown the slightest interest in the game. Often times, when I explain this to people, they express shock and awe that this reality works for us. I guess the idea that one half of a couple can enjoy video games while the other does not is a new concept for some. Yes, occasionally I feel a twinge of sadness when I realize Mr. Lani (as I call him on Twitter) will never understand why I'm so thrilled about certain in-game accomplishments, but really, all he needs to know is that it makes me happy, and he's happy for me.

Do you play WoW with your partner, or have you in the past? Would you be sad if your partner didn't want to play with you, or would you not care? Or maybe you introduced your partner to the game! If you don't have a partner, would a potential date's interest in WoW be something that mattered to you? Tell us all about it in the comments.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Sometimes I just run around

There are a lot of places in World of Warcraft. Sometimes, I log on late and just go around exploring them. I like to fly around Ahn'Qiraj, or check out the area around Stratholm (sometimes I kill stuff, sometimes I just look around) -- I once spent an entire night just hanging out in Uldum looking at the cool architecture and flying around exploring. Heck, I still miss wall-walking because my wife once organized an expedition for our entire guild back in the pre-BC days, taking us all around the Wetlands and eventually showing us how to get to the road to nowhere high above Menethil Harbor.

One of the reasons I'm looking forward to Warlords is that, so far the two zones I've seen have been crazy fun to explore (if you watch out for the level 100 ogre elites near the top of Frostfire, anyway) and I'm looking forward to exploration making a bit of a comeback. So I ask you - what's your favorite hidden corner in WoW? Or do you ever just log and go for a ride?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: A thousand small changes

One of the things that's hardest to get across in terms of the Warlords of Draenor beta is how many small improvements are being made at the same time that gameplay is being trimmed and shaped. UI elements like the map, quest tracking, the toy box, an extra void storage tab, seamless scenario triggering - it all kind of runs together and you don't even realize how much change is wrapped up in this expansion. New character models, new gearing systems, new statistics, it can be a bit much to take in.

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Keeping up fine? Trying to figure out your spec, your class, or what the garrison will end up feeling like?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: What achievements have you finished?

Twilight prosletyzer
The one positive thing about an ongoing lack of new content is the opportunity it provides to finish up any old projects that you might have lying around gathering virtual dust. At least, this is what I tell myself as my guild dwindles and I sigh longingly at screenshots of Shadowmoon Valley. The truth is, I've got a swath of old, half-finished achievements that I now have all the time in the world to tackle, so I've been using all my free time in WoW to do just that. So far I've knocked off 60 exalted reputations for my "the Beloved" title, and I've been running Magister's Terrace daily in the hope of finally snagging Kael'thas's white chocobo. I'm three mobs away from "Glorious!" and I'm finally settling into the hard part of "Insane in the Membrane." We'll see how far I actually get in that.

In addition, I've been working with a few guildmates to round out some guild-level achievements we've been lacking. Nobody had done a guild run of Dire Maul, Maraudon, Sunken Temple, or Stratholme, so we blitzed through those the other day for a guild achievement. I'm also leveling a pandaren priest because we're missing that race/class combo. It's a good way to keep myself occupied while new content seems forever just over the horizon. How about you all? What accomplishments have you checked off your list while you wait?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Have you ever switched factions?

I've been a Horde player since sometime just after patch 1.3 was released in 2005. In that time, I've played both Forsaken priest and my beloved rogue, with one short intermission to play an Alliance warlock just for fun. I've had Alliance characters all along, but I never really felt the urge to make them anything other than alts -- I love playing Horde, that's just how it's always been. ... until recently, that is. I seem to be having a change of heart, because I'm seriously thinking of letting my beloved rogue take a well-earned vacation, and switching to Alliance full-time for Warlords.

Why? Because I totally and completely love draenei. Really, that's about it. I loved them when they were originally introduced, but they never really had enough story with them to keep me entertained. Warlords, on the other hand, is jammed full of all kinds of draenei story so far, and I'm absolutely loving it. So I'm left with a choice, here, and I'm finding that decision really difficult to make, because I love playing Horde. I really do. It's just that right now, I'm kind of loving playing draenei a whole heck of a lot more. So I'm sitting here at a crossroads and deliberating whether I stay with my beloved faction, or go ahead and switch sides for a change of pace, at least for this expansion.

Have you ever switched factions? Is what faction you play something you consider important to you? Or is it just something you randomly do when the mood strikes you, with no regard for faction loyalty? What would make you drop the faction you're playing right now for the other side?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What makes a home to you?

What makes a faction capital a faction capital? And what makes a home a home? These are two questions that have been flitting through my head since the announced changes for faction hubs in Warlords of Draenor. Karabor and Bladespire will no longer stand as faction capitals -- and honestly, when I think about it from a lore standpoint it does make sense. Why would the draenei open up their holiest of holy cities and let the strangers they just met settle in and take it over? But even if it makes sense to the lore-loving side of me, it's still a tremendous disappointment. The announcement of Karabor as a faction capital was one of the highlights of the Warlords announcement at BlizzCon, for me.

The more I think about it, though, the more I wonder what exactly it is that makes a capital city so "special" in the first place. Bank access, sure, I can see that. Auction House access isn't necessary -- we didn't have that originally in Shattrath. Portals to places? That's probably a bonus. But there is little other reason to stay in a faction capital beyond that, as far as I'm concerned. Once I've completed my AH business for the day, I don't feel the need to stay put. Once I've done my traveling and I just want to hang out, I pretty much have my pick of anywhere in the world -- if it has an inn, I can bind my hearthstone to it and call it home.

So what is it, exactly, that makes a faction capital a faction capital? Why, in a video game that encourages exploration and offers an unending variety of gorgeous scenery and towns, do we need a fixed, designated area to stand around and chitchat? Is it the vendors? The portals? The bank, the transmog vendor, the auction house, the chat channels?

Last night on Twitter, Cory Stockton confirmed that yes, Karabor has an inn that you can bind your hearthstone to. And that settled that for me. If I want to do any trading or transmog, I'll hit up the town in Ashran. But as far as I'm concerned, home is where my hearthstone is set -- and that is going to be Karabor for me, whether it's officially designated a capital or not.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Where did you want your home city on Draenor?

Yesterday, we found out that our faction hubs will not, as previously thought, be placed in Shadowmoon Valley and Frostfire Ridge. Instead they'll be nestled in the zone of Ashran, also home and hub of a world PvP wonderland. That said, Karabor and Bladespire will still remain cities for the draenei and the Frostwolf respectively -- they simply won't be homes for us, the players who arrived on this alternate universe world and promptly attempted to tear a chunk into the Iron Horde.

I have to say I find myself a little disappointed in that decision, but only from the perspective of my Alliance character. While Bladespire was pretty cool, it was nowhere near as jaw-dropping as Karabor. Shadowmoon Valley is utterly breathtaking and beautiful in every way, and I can't wait to plop down a garrison on live when the expansion is released, and will probably spend the majority of my time there. From the perspective of my Horde character, I'm hoping that Ashran isn't a snowy wasteland, because I'd like some gorgeous scenery to look at. Sure, some people might find snowscapes beautiful -- I'm not one of those people.

Obviously we now know exactly where our hubs are going to be. And so far, we've only seen a few of the zones Draenor has to offer. We still haven't gotten a really good look at Nagrand, or the Spires of Arak, or any of the other zones available to explore. But just for the sake of asking -- if you could have your faction hub anywhere on Draenor, where would you want it to be?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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