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Posts with tag wow-discussion

Breakfast Topic: Can't see the forest with all these trees

The other day I rolled a monk, leveled him to 15, then deleted him. I didn't do it because I didn't like him, or monks in general - I did it because the only reason I rolled and leveled him in the first place was to experience the Wandering Isle experience again.

Sometimes I get mono-focused on the endgame. It's understandable that it would happen - I like to raid, I'm in a raiding guild, it's what I do. But it misses that there's more to the game than raiding, more than the level 90 experience of getting ready to do stuff. You're always gearing at 90 - getting better gear to run content to get better gear to run other content until you eventually kill the hardest content you possibly can. There's something to be said for the simplicity of leveling - sure, there's gear, but you get it and get rid of it at the drop of a hat (sometimes literally, hats do drop and you do put them on and then get a new hat to drop and put that one on) - it's less important. Or at least it feels less all-important.

So sometimes I roll an alt of a class I'd never play, take it for a 10 to 20 level spin, then delete it. It's fun. It reminds me of how uncomplicated the game can be, if you let it.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Achievements -- Threat or Menace?

I don't even understand why, but I really really hate achievements. Or more accurately, I hate doing them in raids. I was so happy when they announced that you could do all Siege of Orgrimmar achievements in flex, I can't even tell you, because I still have nightmares about trying to get Neck Deep In Vile while doing 25 man Lich King Heroic. It simply made a difficult task almost impossible.

This is not to say that I ever like doing them. I don't. Most of the ones I have were accidents or from helping someone else get them. All the raid ones including the ones that give mounts, I got because I was there, not because I particularly wanted them - I even skipped the flex runs necessary to get the Spawn of Galakras. I'll admit to doing Gamon Will Save Us! because, well, I like the guy. He was totally cheated out of his rightful position as warchief and he deserved better.

But yeah, there it is, I hate achievements. I hate the crazy stupid hard ones like School of Hard Knocks, I hate the easy ones. Who's with me? Who also loathes our nerd points?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: I did not farm, but I will garrison

Look, farming isn't Warcraft, okay? It just doesn't fit the fantasy of a grim conflict, of a war between ideologies, of a setting divided and defined by conflict for me. I just couldn't make that mental leap - I felt stupid running around killing weeds once, much less doing it over and over again so someone I didn't even particularly like would like me. Not even the dog could motivate me to do it.

But somehow dress up much of the same kind of gameplay behind stone walls and describe it as me constructing a fortified base on an alien planet and suddenly I am there. It all comes down to trappings - the garrison concept works with what I think of as Warcraft. It seems like bringing the RTS's whole 'construct a base, generate resources, use them for battle' gameplay into the MMO, and it works for me in a way the farm never could. So I'm down for it, ludicrously so.

How about you? Did you farm? Are you looking forward to garrisons?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Music to play by

I've been listening to this song a lot while playing World of Warcraft this weekend. I'm not going to stand here and pretend it's some kind of masterpiece -- it's nü-metal, not Holst. But one of the things it does very well is get me hyped to hit buttons. Like, you have no idea how much faster I can spam buttons with this thing going. Does that produce any real, measurable result? Absolutely it does not. And yet, running WSG or Alterac Valley or Strand of the Ancients is just more fun for me with this playing. Every ridiculous pitched battle over a flag, every mass of bodies trying to capture a tower, every running fight over whether or not a demolisher will get to a gate is more fun for me with this hyperkinetic thing playing in the background.

Usually I just listen to the in-game music, too. So I'm wondering -- which works better for you? Which feels better? Do you have song lists? Do you listen to in-game music, turn all sound off, or blast your favorite tunes while you play? Do you listen to music only when you PvP, like I do? What're you doing with your ears while you play?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Life without transmog

If you played World of Warcraft before the addition of transmog to the game, you probably remember your first faithful trip into Outland, when you ditched armor you'd carefully collected since launch for brightly colored and mismatched gear. It's pretty clear that no one had put a lot of thought into how this gear might look when together, which made the clownishly colored gear a rite of passage... or maybe a punishment for daring to level beyond 60. The only thing that was clear was that Blizzard really didn't like us in order to deck our characters out like this.

But these days, some players don't remember the time before transmog. They go out intentionally trying to find the worst-looking pieces of gear -- which are perhaps even those same Hellfire Peninsula greens that were so memorable to anyone who leveled through them. So today, tell us, readers: did you live through the famed clown suit era? And do you now transmog your way out of it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: I should be better at this

I can't play ranged DPS to save my life.

My hunter is terrible. It's not his fault - he's well geared and he has an awesome pet worg - but the only reason his DPS is even respectable is that it's hard to do poorly at level 61. Frankly, I'm just the most atrocious hunter you've ever seen. Even in dungeons I'm completely familiar with, I make rookie mistakes on him constantly. I forget to turn Pack off. I leave Growl on. I don't reapply Serpent Sting. So far I've managed to not tab target over and pull other adds into a group pull, but that's mostly because I don't like to tab target.

Seriously, it's kind of nuts how terrible I am at this hunter. I picked up shaman, paladin, and DK with a lot less effort than this guy. I'm objectively trying my hardest to get good at this, and I'm not pulling it off. And it's very frustrating.

So let's turn that around - any classes or play styles you just can't master? Are you a clutch healer and an awesome DPS, but tanking eludes you? An awesome tank and raid leader who can't heal for beans? Are you a druid who can do anything... except figure out that kitty spec you keep wanting to play?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: This is what I actually look like?

I'd actually forgotten what my character's gear looked like. I've been so heavily into transmog since the end of Cataclysm, I've long since stopped paying attention to the gear I have, and instead keep compulsively looking for the gear I want to look like - running older content, scrounging old quests, occasionally hitting LFR for a new skin or color of a piece I already have.

One of the consequences of transmogrification is that I can blissfully go throughout my game play never really actually knowing what the gear I have on looks like. For instance, I'm really not a fan of this sword model - I love the stats, but the look of it isn't one I like. It's not as outright ludicrously evil as Xal'atoh, and not as elegant as Gar'tok, one of my favorite models from the current raid. But since I have one of those, I haven't had to look at this model since I got it.

In a way I'm kind of glad I switched everything back to its actual model. It's good to take a look at what you're actually wearing from time to time - and now I know I'm probably dumping every single piece of Warrior tier 16 as soon as I start leveling through Draenor, and I'm probably going to disenchant that sword. Or at least one of them. I admit, I'm such a completionist, DEing both would be hard. My weapon collection would be upset.

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

Community Blog Topic Results: Making professions better

Gesticulating gnome
In our last Community Blog Topic, we asked how to make professions better. As usual, we got many verbose answers and I've excerpted just a few of them.

JC_Sway from LOL Survival has a few suggestions for improving professions.

Every profession should be able to make a mount, and they should all require that trade skill. The current situation is inconsistent and convoluted.

New armor and weapons should have unique models. There should be exactly ONE way to get some awesome looking models, wether it's for transmog or not, and that is a craftsperson.

Multiple recipes on a shared daily cooldown. Right now, my alchemist makesLiving Steel every day regardless. That isn't exactly interesting.

Maybe make those cooldowns weekly so we don't feel compelled to log in every day. Want to make 7 Living Steel on Tuesday and be done with it for the week? No problem.

The ability to repair things you can craft at a nice discount. Maybe put it on a 2-5 hour cooldown.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Do you have a set schedule for playing WoW?

I don't do well playing WoW on a free-form basis. During the first half-dozen or so years I spent in Azeroth, I had a schedule to keep. There were raid nights. There were farming and upkeep nights. There were alt nights, and there were PvP nights. And then somewhere along the way, things got more relaxed. That's when I discovered that when I don't have set evenings to settle down with a good session in Azeroth, real life takes over in a major way. Nobody at my house would sweat me for sitting down to play WoW, but there are just so many things that need doing! When I realized what was happening, I put myself back on a WoW schedule based on my husband's raiding schedule in another game, which made a neat fit for the whole family. The routine keeps things rolling.

Do you have a set schedule for playing WoW? Is that built around raid and event schedules, or do you play then because those are the times that work best for your schedule or your family's schedule? Or do you prefer to log in at your whim, morning, noon or night?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What MMO lingo grates on your last nerve?

Please don't tell me about your "toon." That word drives me to utter distraction. I despair at the idea of players callously shoving their characters out into the boss encounter like so many chess pieces. That's your dude we're talking about! Your avatar, the thing that represents you-ness and all your innovative, adventuresome, heroic purpose! I want to think I'm surrounded by players who are invested in the characters they're playing, rather than simply hopping into them for a quick joyride through LFR before screeching into a parking space and hopping into a new one.

"Toon" doesn't carry the same connotations for plenty of other players, and they couldn't care less about the term. Why should they, when there are so many other pet peeves to fret over -- like players who type "PST whisper" or "PST me." PST is an acronym for "please send tell"; it's not meant, as some players mistakenly believe, to represent the more onomatopoeiaic "psst" sound. There's no need to add anything else after saying PST. In fact, you shouldn't allow your "toon" to "PST anybody," ever. Ouch.

Is there a snippet of MMO lingo that grates on your last nerve? What about it drives you batty?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Why can't we fly?

If you're the right level -- and have the appropriate riding training -- you can fly in most parts of World of Warcraft. For those who are accustomed to flying, venturing into one of the areas you can't fly feels a lot like having weights attached to your feet, as even the grandest flying mount will can't quite manage to get airbound. And, really, it's an embarrassment when, believing you can fly, you leap off a ledge to find you can't. It's even more embarrassing when you die of fall damage because of it.

The places you can't fly are few and far between -- at this point the only no-fly zones are mostly forgotten bits and pieces of Burning Crusade content, like The Exodar, Silvermoon City, and the daily hub Isle of Quel'Danas. These aren't exactly well-traversed areas -- probably one reason they haven't been updated -- but traveling through them they stand out like sore thumbs from the rest of the game world and you've got to wonder why they haven't been.

So for today's discussion topic, readers, tell us: do you think we should be able to fly throughout the game? Or do you like these hidden, ground-based areas?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What we longest lament

I still miss Zul'Gurub.

It's been gone from the game since Cataclysm, but I don't think a week has gone by since it's removal (and eventual replacement with the current five man) that I haven't wished it was still accessible somehow. There were plenty of fights I hated in there, like the bat boss with her bomb dropping trash, but it was one of the instances with a strong, self contained feel to it - it really felt like we were raiding a place, storming into a stronghold with large stretches of outdoors, bridges, open bodies of water (with monsters you could fish up) and consequences to bad decisions - it was generally a very bad idea to pull Hakkar without killing at least some of the other bosses.

We did a lot of weird, stumbling runs in there, with 20 exhausted raiders fresh out of an MC run trying to get a couple of epics to fill gaps in their gear, and I didn't always have fun in them. But I find myself missing the place, and all the other raids and dungeons that have been removed and updated over the years. Shadowfang Keep, the Deadmines, Zul'Aman, the original Scarlet Monastery dungeons, and soon Blackrock Spire will join the list. I don't mind that content gets updated, but sometimes, I wish there was a Caverns of Time for content that got updated to let us go zone back and see it the way it originally was.

So what about you? Do you miss anything like this, or are you always glad to see it get swept away?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Community Blog Topic: How to make professions better

BlizzCon Garrison Mine
For this week's Community Blog Topic, we turn to Neuromante:
I'd like to throw in ideas about what to do with main professions: how to simplify them, make them more entertaining/profitable, less grindy, etc.

For starters, I'd love it if my scribe could summon a table and chair to actualy write glyphs, and my alchemist summon a mini-lab with bunsen burners and all.

One thing I really liked about Star Wars Galaxies was the crafting. I loved that you could go out and harvest mats and they would vary in quality. Therefore if you were diligent enough about gathering, you could craft items that were better than other people's. I'd like to see something similar in World of Warcraft.

The problem is that SWG had harvesters you could go and plant and set to gather while you were away. You would just have to go and empty them when they got full. There's no way that a setup like that will work in WoW. Too much would have to change.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: What will you do with your level 90 boost?

While there's been plenty of discussion about whether level boosting is good or bad for the game, we do know that everyone will be getting a free boost to level 90 with Warlords of Draenor. For those of us actively playing the game now -- who already have at least one level 90 and perhaps several -- this raises the question of just what to do with our boost. Should we kick-start a new alt (like a hunter)? Jump into a different faction for a change of gaming perspective? Or maybe take advantage of this to hop to a server to play with friends away from our usual WoW realms.

There are plenty of things we could do, but the question remains: when you pick up Warlords, what are you going to do with your level boost?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What do you collect?

For a game that's not really about collecting -- it's no Animal Crossing -- there's a lot of collecting to do in World of Warcraft if you're of a mind to collect things. And when there's not a lot of new content to occupy players, collecting things can take center stage. After all, there's tons of things you could collect, from the straightforward pets, mounts, transmog gear, toys, or tabards, to the more challenging reputation, achievements, or level 90s. Fortunately for those of us who collect pets or mounts, there's an in-game storage system to keep our inventories from overflowing -- but those of you who collect tabards, toys, or other items that don't get the same treatment are probably finding your bank overflowing with items.

So today we're talking collections. Do you play the collection mini-game? And if so, just what do you collect?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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