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Posts with tag wow-hot-topics

Breakfast Topic: Happy Thursday

I'd say it's just Thursday for those of us living outside the US, but for me it will be Thanksgiving because my wife and mother in law have decided to celebrate American Thanksgiving in Canada, possibly to be nice to me, possibly because hey nobody hates a chance at another turkey. But either way it's still Pilgrim's Bounty, it's still the Anniversary event, and it's still Warlords of Draenor, the most popular World of Warcraft expansion in years and years. There can be no escape.

So let's make it simple. If you're in the US, how are you going to evade your family and play this fine day? And if you're not in the US, how are you going to ignore how Americans (including myself) seem to forget the other six billion people on the planet don't celebrate our holidays? Will you involve Warlords of Draenor in this?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The professional grind

WoW's professions have changed a lot between Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor, making professions perhaps as easy as they've ever been for both leveling and crafting. Catch-up methods have made professions easier to level from zero while garrisons give us the ability to have limited access to any profession even if we didn't bother (or didn't have the profession slot) to level it.

But while professions have always been a grind, I find the removal of the grind to be nearly as much of a problem. While professions may be much more streamlined, a lot of the variety has been removed, too: there are fewer items to craft (due to a removal of low-quality craftables that were rarely used) and the things you can craft typically require a large quantity of a single material rather than sending you on an epic quest to gather bits and pieces from around the world. In theory, I like making crafting more straightforward. But in practice, it means crafting is reduced to pressing a single button to create work orders for days (or weeks) until you can finally create something. The new system may be easier, but it seems a lot less interesting, too.

So tell me, readers: just what do you think of professions in Warlords? Are you enjoying the new way of crafting, with the ease of gathering and queuing up work orders from your garrison? Or do you find yourself nostalgic for crafting systems past?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topics: What Building do you think Garrisons need?

I was just wondering about what I'd put in my Garrison if I could - I still think the idea of a Tony Start style armory where all your various transmog sets were on display would be cool, but then I really got to thinking about it - maybe an airstrip to allow you to fly between various points in Draenor (or perhaps that could be how we learn flying when it comes in, via the airstrip?) or perhaps a variety of race specific buildings could be added? Something like an elaborate orrery for blood elves, a crystalline tower for draenei, a clockwork robot lab for gnomes, a stump for orcs.

Honestly, I'm dead curious. What would you add if you could add anything?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Who's your favorite follower?

So far the Garrison seems to be a hit. This got me curious as to which Garrison follower people enjoy the most. Is it a rare or elite you like because they cleave through missions, or perhaps simply a sentimental choice like my favorite, who is a spoiler heavy choice because he went through so much along side us, from Cataclysm to this expansion.

There's a lot of potential followers to consider. So who is it for you? Can you tell us, or are you still farming her, him or it?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: 10 years ago

"Oh my -- how did you get that, where did you get that from?"

It was a question posed by one of my roommates at the time -- I had gotten into the World of Warcraft beta somewhere in the last month or so of testing through a friend. And I had no sooner installed and fired the game up than said roommate was out of his room like a shot and staring over my shoulder in absolute awe and disbelief. I didn't understand why he was so excited until he pointed out that this was the MMO version of the RTS games I'd watched him play more than once on his computer. And as he excitedly babbled on about Lich Kings and Thralls and other words I didn't really understand, I ran around the violet forests of Teldrassil on a night elf I made. I explored. I fell off the tree. I fell off the tree a lot.

Ten years ago, I was not, in fact, sitting in front of my computer firing up World of Warcraft for the very first time. I was instead bemoaning the fact that beta was gone, and I didn't quite have the funds to pick up the game immediately upon release. I was also reading a novel called Lord of the Clans, given to me by said roommate, who demanded that if I were not playing this game, I at least get myself familiar with the story because it was the most amazing, badass thing. My roommate wasn't one for getting really excited about anything. This thing, however, had struck some kind of chord with him, resonated with him in a way that little else did. And as I read the story of Thrall's escape from Durnholde Keep, I began to catch a glimmer of why it had.

Read more →

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What are you doing at level 100?

I find myself in an interesting kind of conundrum with Warlords of Draenor. For the first time in five expansions, I am going through the leveling process without any real goal in mind at the end of it all. Every other expansion to date has been a rush of leveling with my friends to get to max level to begin the dungeon and heroic dungeon grind and prepare to quickly start raiding as soon as possible. However, I stepped down from raiding full time at the end of Mists of Pandaria -- I kind of needed that time for other projects, and now that I have that time, I'd like to keep it open for future work.

That's all well and good, but ... I hit level 100 the other day on my rogue, and am suddenly confronted with the question of what to do now. Gearing up seems like a good idea, except I won't be doing any really hardcore raiding this time around. Missions and squirreling away materials for work orders and managing my buildings have all been keeping me entertained. But I'm still kind of at a loss as to whether I'm, for want of a better term, "doing it right." When you're raiding, there's a pretty set structure to what happens when you hit max level, and that structure no longer applies now -- it's gone.

While it might sound like a silly problem to have, I do like knowing what I'm doing, and I don't like the odd sensation of having little to no direction what so ever. So I'll ask you guys, because I'm sure we've got the entire gamut of players reading the site -- what are you guys doing at level 100? Are you focusing on gear? Is there a particular thing you're focusing on right out the gate, like collecting stuff, clearing dungeons, finishing off achievements, grinding reputations, or something else? Do you guys have any habits you've acquired over the years, when it comes to finally hitting max level?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Happy birthday, WoW!

Admittedly, we're sending World of Warcraft its birthday wishes a little early -- the game officially launched on November 23rd, 2004 -- but since the 10th anniversary event kicks off today, it seems fair. Ten years is a good long run for any game, but Blizzard certainly isn't calling it quits yet.

Since we're celebrating it seems like a great time to look back on our time in WoW, so today let's talk about our favorite WoW memories. How long have you been playing? What's your first memory of World of Warcraft? And will you be joining in the anniversary events to celebrate the nostalgia?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The Warlords surge

The other night, while recording the WoW Insider Show podcast, we talked about the general feeling we had that subscriptions to World of Warcraft had gone up. The basic consensus was that our friend's lists were full, we were seeing lots of people online for the first time in a while, that in general WoW had almost certainly seen a sub bump. We weren't expecting a three million sub jump, though. And it seems likely that Blizzard wasn't expecting it either - while some of the launch problems were the fault of a DDoS attack, some were undoubtedly the result of this unprecedented player surge.

This got me to thinking about what it means that Warlords saw this many people come back. We've talked a lot about the plot being hard for some folks to follow, but just as clearly, that didn't stop people from coming back. WoW dropped below 10 million subs back in 2012, during the Cataclysm expansion.

I don't personally think that WoW needs 10 million subs to be viable - not even close, in fact. Even at its lowest sub numbers this year it had more than two million subs over its Burning Crusade number of 5 million subs, and more than seven times its competitors. WoW is a phenomenon, and one that will continue as long as Blizzard wants to support it. But it's interesting to see this jump - what is it about Warlords that got players to come back?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Old familiar faces

One of the biggest thrills of this expansion for me has been running into slightly different versions of people I already know. If you rolled a draenei shaman (as I did) back in the BC days, one of the big figures is Nobundo, the hero of the Unbroken short story. He's one of my favorite characters. So going to Draenor and seeing him still as a Vindicator, not affected by the fel energies that twisted him into a broken, it was an emotional moment for me. I really had a moment of 'aw, Nobundo' when I saw him.

Have you had any such moments in Warlords? Or do you barely know who any of these guys are?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite Draenor characters

With Warlords of Draenor, we have a whole new cast of characters in WoW... as well as the return of some classic characters of Warcraft lore. And while we haven't had quite enough time with the expansion to play through every quest and turn over every rock, we've probably played long enough to have decided on some favorites amongst the cast.

So this morning, let's talk characters. Who's your favorite member of the cast of Warlords? For my part -- and the part, no doubt, of many alliance players -- I've got to nominate Yrel, who is going to push me over the edge into making a draenei paladin so I can help bring the Light to the Iron Horde. (In 90 levels, anyway.) But what about you, readers? Do you have a favorite of the new characters Warlords has brought to the game? Or are you enjoying an old character that particularly shines?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Are you a returning player?

There are a lot of people wanting to play Warlords of Draenor. A lot of people. So many, in fact, that it has been brought up by more than one CM on Twitter. Considering how much of the past expansion has been spent connecting realms and smoothing out the population, it feels a little odd that we're seeing this kind of feedback from Blizzard -- maybe odd is the wrong word. To be perfectly honest, it feels kind of like the original launch, where new servers were being rapidly thrown up because the sheer number of people that wanted to log on and play far exceeded what Blizzard had anticipated.

Which makes me wonder about the numbers for Warlords, of course -- but we haven't seen those numbers yet, and until we do, it's almost not worth speculating about it. However, the feedback from those that have been able to play has been incredibly positive -- people love this expansion. They love it so much they really want to keep playing it, and not being able to do so is making them understandably cranky. Which, again, reminds me of vanilla, and the original launch. What Warlords has going for it is remarkably similar to the original release of WoW.

It's got the appeal of the characters first introduced in the original RTS games, it's got new, stylized character models that are a far cry from most anything else on the market, an engaging, at least partially familiar story to those that are familiar with early iterations of the original game. It's got the kind of mass appeal that vanilla did, ten years ago. Which makes me wonder -- how many people are making a return trip to the game for Warlords of Draenor? Obviously there are plenty of people that took breaks in Mists, but I'm wondering how many have returned from lengthier absences. Until we get real numbers, we won't really have a full idea of what's going on -- but I'm curious, how many of you are returning players? What brought you back? And are you liking what you see, when you can see it?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: All around me are familiar faces

Let's face it: This has not been the smoothest launch we've ever seen. By now, server maintenance should be well underway to address issues that have been plaguing everyone since the expansion's release. Hopefully, once the servers are back up and running again, they'll be running pretty smoothly. I've definitely done far more waiting than playing over the past couple of days, and it's pretty frustrating.

But oh, those few glorious hours I was able to get on and play. Draenor is amazing. It's beautiful. The music is fantastic. Garrisons are ridiculously fun. And I think what's been the most fun have been the random encounters with familiar names from our version of the universe -- not necessarily the big guys like Akama, shown above, but the little guys. The ones who were minor players, the ones who had smaller, more supporting roles in prior expansions, and have decided to just show up and help out.

It's like a highlight reel of every NPC I ever helped out and liked, suddenly popping in to pay me back for all those favors I did way back when. So far, my favorites have been fond friends like Fiona and Mulverick, but I know I'll run into many more as I continue leveling -- hopefully without the long wait times to get in. What about you guys? Is there anyone in particular you've been overjoyed to see?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Gigantic Bummer

We all know by now that the Warlords of Draenor launch was marred by a big surge of DDoS attacks, because some people are jerks. For me, this basically meant not getting to play at all Thursday - by the time the servers were stable enough, I had to get some sleep. I logged on briefly this morning, saw that everybody was level 96 or 97 while I was still 92, and felt vaguely unhappy like a kid who'd missed Christmas because he'd been sick.

I don't blame Blizzard, and I don't blame my friends for getting to play the game, but there's this vague sense of being left behind in situations like this. I have friends who haven't even tried to log on yet, but my goal was to try and get at least to 95 today, and I haven't met it. Sure, it's because of circumstances out of everyone's control, a combination of bad luck and a simple biological need, but it's a bit of a bummer for me.

Here's where you get to commiserate or berate me in the comments.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Relatively painless

If you know anything about the first night of a new expansion, you should know this - they rarely run completely smoothly. Tons of people all on and playing at once, servers strained to the breaking point, bug you thought got fixed on the beta back in new, destructive forms. That's why last night's midnight PST launch of Warlords of Draenor was so surprising to me - it had some server crashes, but really, for the first night of an expansion it was pretty painless. No gyrocopter quests to get in the way, just a lot of people running through Tanaan and into Draenor. Once I got into Shadowmoon Valley on my draenei warrior, I didn't notice any real stability issues. I played for two and a half hours, got sleepy, called it a night, and only had three server crashes. So yeah, relatively painless.

How was your night? Did you go see what you could see? Or did you wait?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: I hate you, Ordos

I have been killing Ordos over and over again on three different warriors since he came out. Over a year now. You know what's never dropped? Not even once, not on three different warriors? These. I have killed Ordos almost weekly for nigh on a year and blow a Warforged Seal each time, and yet, never once have I see the shoulders that have my name on them. And now, after today's last kill of Ordos, I can safely say that they will not drop before the end of Mists of Pandaria.

So yes. I hate you, Ordos. I'm coming back at 100 and I'm going to step on your head every single week until World of Warcraft doesn't exist any more. I don't care at this point if you drop them or not. I'll just keep killing you. Forever.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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