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Posts with tag wow-topics

Breakfast Topic: Avoiding the beta

I have friends who somehow manage to do this. Not just not playing the beta (that's pretty hard to do) but flat out avoiding any and all news about it. One of them somehow managed not to know anything about the upcoming changes to healing, the CC changes to PvP, even the item squish completely evaded his attention. This isn't just not logging on or anything, it's an act of will, and frankly to my eyes a difficult one. How do you manage it? He even told me he reads various fansites. How do you read fansites and avoid beta news?

Of course, if you're reading this Breakfast Topic, you just failed (since I told you three things from the beta) but perhaps you have some insight. How does one avoid this kind of thing?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: You're all real people

So yesterday I logged into WoW on my baby hunter and started messing around in Mulgore. I don't have any other characters on this particular server and I forget where my heirlooms are, so I was leveling at my own pace, didn't have any bags or anything.

Much to my surprise, a level 90 on a Corrupted Firehawk landed next to me, opened trade, and dumped 100g and several 16 slot bags onto me before flying off again. (Hey, if you did that on Wyrmrest Accord, thanks.) And it got me thinking about how this is a game full of actual people, all living their own lives, and I'll never really know what the majority of y'all are doing.

I used to tell the story of the dungeon run with racist tank quite often - I've actually forgotten much of the specifics, other than that it was Grim Batol, he had a racist macro for his paladin shield throw ability, and I dropped that group like a hot potato. But what would possess a person to create a racist Avenger's Shield macro? It's such a strange, baffling thing to do.

So I figure, here's a BT about the strange, improbable, human side of World of Warcraft for you guys to fill up the comments on. Good deeds, bad practices. Share it with us.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What's the one thing you wish you hadn't gotten rid of?

Once upon a time, many years ago, I took my priest through the introductory world event for Wrath of the Lich King. Somewhere along the way I got distracted by the whole zombie invasion process, and neglected to turn in the Dual-Plagued Brain that was a part of the quest process for the event. I didn't mind, really -- I liked the Brain. It talked to my priest, mumbling little encouraging words of wisdom like "Cling to your hope, mortal!"

Mind you, it promptly followed that up by adding that hope sweetened the soul and thus would make a really good dessert for the Lich King, but it was the thought that counted. Or maybe it wasn't the thought, since the thought was pretty horrible. Regardless, I kept the Brain in my bags, pleased that my priest had something to talk to, even if it made little sense to those around her. Unfortunately, at some point after the event was over, the Brain fell silent and spoke no more. I kept it anyway -- I mean, why not? Who in their right mind would keep a Dual-Plagued Brain in their bags?

Sadly, during Cataclysm I chose to take one for the guild team and race-changed to a tauren briefly, so we could get the Classy Tauren achievement. When I did so, the Dual-Plagued Brain vanished from my bags for good -- I didn't realize it would remove the item from my bags until it was too late to do anything about it. Out of all the things I've inadvertently deleted over the years, I miss the Dual-Plagued Brain the most -- largely because I can never get it back. What about you guys? What's the one thing you've gotten rid of that you wish you had back again? Is it a piece of armor? A weapon? A quest item, or a trinket? What's that one thing you really want back again?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you follow the devs on Twitter?

In a world that is increasingly focused on the quick exchange of information, social media has become one of those seemingly obligatory things that are a part of our daily lives. If you have a computer, then surely you must have Facebook, or Twitter, or Tumblr, or Instagram, or Youtube, or any number of other social media platforms. Heck, you don't even need a computer anymore -- most mobile phones offer apps that will let you do pretty much anything you can do on your computer or tablet. But just because you have access to these things, it doesn't necessarily mean you use them.

Twitter is one of those things that I'm inordinately fond of, largely because it's an instant way of communicating with people that doesn't take forever and a day to accomplish. The 140 character limit keeps me brief -- although I have been known to spam several tweets in succession to get my point across, every now and again. With a growing number of Blizzard developers showing up on Twitter every day, Twitter has also become a useful tool for finding out tidbits of news as they're announced.

But not everyone has Twitter -- and even if you have Twitter, you might not be following the developers. Is social media a thing for you? Do you have a Twitter account? Do you follow the devs either via Twitter, or through a blue tracker, Facebook, or some other method of keeping track of it all? Do you like to know what the devs are up to with instant updates, or would you rather just check in with a news site for the important stuff?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Should Draenor have new world holidays?

Much like the current expansion, we're headed to new territory in Warlords -- this time, an entirely different world. Sure, we've been to Outland, but we've never seen Draenor like this before, with all native civilizations intact and in one piece, if suffering from the relentless onslaught of the Iron Horde. Draenei villages and fortresses are intact along with orc settlements and even an entire zone full of arakkoa whose purpose in this expansion is still a mystery.

One of the things I've been vocal about is my disappointment that we never really saw any pandaren holidays with this expansion. Sure, Pandaria may have been thrown into chaos with our arrival, but you'd think a race like the Pandaren would have a few really cool cultural holidays of their own. The Wanderer's Festival was neat, but we really didn't see anything else in the way of in-game events ... and with world holidays growing more and more stale with each passing year, it would have been nice to see something new.

Draenor isn't just a new continent like Pandaria -- it's an entirely new world, one that highlights both orc and draenei culture, as well as arakkoa, ogre, and a multitude of other races. Wouldn't it be cool if we got a new holiday or two out of the deal? Do you think we could use some new world holidays? What kind of holidays and festivals do you think the orc and draenei races have? If you could add a new holiday to WoW, what would you put in?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Relaxing about the beta

I don't know why but I find the beta period incredibly chill. There are no worries. If stuff is broken, I report it. If the content feels weak, I make a forum post saying so. I don't worry about the level ranges for expansion zones, I didn't even get all that worked up over the change to the faction capitals (although I personally didn't like the idea, it didn't work me up). One of the reasons I think I am this way is because, to me, the beta is supposed to be a place where boxes attack me and bears come up out of the ground like sharks to assault me. I expect madness and broken quests and bugginess in my beta experience. It's what the beta is - not just a place where testing can determine what quests are broken, but also a place to roll out content and examine how the experience works.

I don't know. Lately it feels like the forums and twitter have just blown up with ludicrous, over the top negativity for no reason, to the point where a simple tweet about when Tanaan will be released drives players crazy. Yes, stuff is going to change, break, not work right, and not be what you expected. It's the beta. That's how it goes. That's how it's always gone.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Please do a Warcraft cartoon

Why yes, that is Clancy "The Kurgan" Brown as Thrall. The trailer is from the never completed Warcraft Adventures game, and it's always gotten me thinking that the Warcraft setting would have made an excellent cartoon. You could see it working in several styles - a Bruce Timm or Greg Weisman style ensemble show ala Justice League or Young Justice, an homage to Filmation style shows like He-Man or Tarzan (I'm probably the only person alive who really liked the Filmation Tarzan) - I just think, with a Warcraft movie coming out that a cartoon could work.

And man, get Clancy Brown to just do everyone. Especially Jaina. No, not especially Jaina, I actually think Laura Bailey does an excellent Jaina. But I would laugh hysterically at Clancy Brown's version.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The Good of BlizzCon

Believe it or not, I do attempt to be fair. I'm not perfect, I have my biases, but when I wrote yesterday about BlizzCon, I did so knowing that for a lot of people it's been a positive experience. It wasn't my intention then to try and remove that experience for anyone. So, in the spirit of equal time, let me ask you this - have you been to BlizzCon? Have you had a positive experience there?

In years past a lot of my friends, coworkers and guildmates have gone to BlizzCon and enjoyed their experiences. Some have forged long friendships there. All have gotten to play Blizzard games (including various WoW expansions), hang out with people and be social while discussing things they loved, and that's all pretty great from my perspective. I'm not much of a con-goer (I dislike crowds) but I think that's all pretty worthwhile, and is worth mentioning.

So now it's your turn. What's the good of BlizzCon? Do you enjoy lore panels, Q&A sessions, systems discussions? Were you filled with joy when reforging was removed? Share your good times please.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you want to keep your old face?

In my extremely accurate and scientific polling (I read some twitter) I have discovered that one of Blizzard's biggest fears for the new character models seems to have been pretty accurate. Even though they've said (multiple times) that the faces on the new models are still a work in progress, I keep seeing the same reaction over and over again - "I really like the new models but my character's face has changed and now it's not as good/not my character." If you remember back to 2009, when the when are they going to update character models talk started being bandied about, you'll remember that being one of Blizzard's biggest arguments against doing it - people get very attached to their characters and think of them in a way that makes them very dangerous to tinker with.

So far it seems like people have a Not My Character's Face policy towards the revamp - they like how the new models are more detailed and are in general much more fluid and animated, but they still don't like it when the faces change.

So how about you? How attached to your character's face?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How often do you look at your character's face?

The first thing I do when I create a character is turn on auto loot. The second thing I do is turn off both the helm and cloak displays. It's very rare that I actually have a visible helm on any of my characters -- usually if I do, it's a helm that doesn't really block the face too much. It's mostly because I like seeing what my character looks like -- after all, I spent all that time picking out what face, hair color and other touches I wanted on my character, I want to see it!

With the new character models, there is so much detail in the expressions and nuances of the characters that I honestly don't know if I'll ever make a helm visible again. It's like playing a brand new game, and it's really weird, but really cool to see the updates in action. Screenshots and model viewers are all well and good, but you don't really get a sense of what these new models look like until you see them and play with them in game -- and after seeing them, the last thing I want to do is cover them up!

But I'm only one person, and my habits are just that, habits. I'm wondering, especially with the advent of transmog and being able to choose whatever helm you'd like to wear -- how many people turn off helms and cloaks these days? How familiar are you with how your character looks? Have you gotten a good look at your character's face lately, or are you more accustomed to seeing them covered up? And when the new models come out, are you going to change your character's transmog to suit them, or simply leave things as they are?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The best part of beta testing

For me, the best part of beta testing is actually getting to find and report bugs. For instance, on the beta right now, helmets, shoulders and weapons are not functioning visually for draenei women. This is kind of weird, but that's not the point. The point is, it's happening, we're reporting it, and it's extremely unlikely it'll make it to live. A lot of people get frustrated when a beta is buggy and doesn't work, but that (in my opinion) isn't a productive attitude. You're on the beta to test it - whether it's a class mechanic that's not functioning (like, as an example, tanks actually taking negative damage in PvP), a texture not appearing, a quest not working, what have you, it's actually kind of awesome when something goes wrong while you're playing so you can report it and improve the ultimate experience.

Of course, some bugs still get through - anyone who played the Alliance side starting quests remembers the bugs that made that very hard to play for some people. But I still enjoy finding a bug on the beta. It's like a kind of prize.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: In my day...

I tend to be stridently anti-nostalgia when I play World of Warcraft. One of the things I absolutely hate is when people try and tell me something was better back in the day, whether it's class mechanics, raids, dungeons, the world at large, pretty much anything. But I'm still human - the game is always going to be tinted by the memories I have of when I first started playing and it was all brand new.

So this morning I'll indulge - to me, the launch dungeons will always feel more like WoW than any dungeons that have come after them. To this day, I still love Dire Maul, Maraudon (yes, even with its ridiculous internal layout), Stratholme, Upper and Lower Blackrock Spire, Sunken Temple (pre-redesign, when you could get lost in there for hours) and Blackrock Depths. Sure, they were often long, confusing slogs and I don't want a dungeon that massive - it would take too long to run. But I still go to BRD to this day, just to hang out in the bar. I still climb around inside LBRS and drop down from the entrance directly to fall out of the dungeon entirely just because I can.

So yeah, that's my bit of rose-coloring. The dungeons were better in vanilla. What's yours?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Gray Text

I didn't think I would like the new system where gear has all kinds of stats on it and the ones you can use in your current spec/class are white, and the ones you can't use are greyed out. It's kind of fascinating how I now thing it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Running around on a druid in starter greens, these boots would have been an upgrade - sadly, they dropped for my warrior and soulbound immediately on pickup. Le sad. Still, I really like this change to gear - no more 'do any of our six paladins need these' and then a quick trip to the disenchanter.

So how do you feel about it? Awesome change? You hate it? You don't care? Why would you hate it, it's so awesome, sometimes I don't get you.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

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

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