||Musing on Old World instances
With Wrath of the Lich King peeking over the horizon, many readers are feeling nostalgic about Old World content. Would you want to see heroic versions of old instances? Camaris is one who would – with a few notable exceptions -- and offers up a killer heroic concept to support the idea: "Besides, the Old World instances are heavily tied into long quest lines, and apparently not with 'farming' in mind.
"Take Sunken Temple, for example. It's the start of the whole Hakkar story, and is quite epic and Indiana Jones-like in its design. But after doing the few major quests to explore the dungeon and move the story along, the design of the instance really is not that friendly for repeat runs. There's an awful long time before you get to the bosses with the more interesting loot.
"It seems the original idea of (mid-level) dungeons was that they were really dungeons to 'adventure' in; i.e., you save up a few quests, you find a group, and you spend a good time exploring a dungeon and getting some interesting loot as a reward. Scarlet Monastery was probably one of the best farmable instances because they broke it up into parts. Dire Maul also followed the trend of slightly smaller, broken-up instances.
"And of course, currently the idea of five-mans is that they are very much a repeatable experience, mostly due to the streamlining of layouts and size but also by adding heroics and more significant rewards.
"So therefore, I think it would be hard to make all old dungeons heroic. But there are maybe a few of the smaller ones that work. Deadmines (quite a 'modern' linear layout) and Scarlet Monastery spring to mind. But things like the Blackrock Depths and Maraudon seem to large to become heroics.
"Y'know, the Caverns of Time could also play a role in this. 'Future Deadmines,' where Van Cleef was never killed, and has actually finished his warship and is about to launch it? You'd race against time to blow up the ship before it leaves the dock."
||WoW player more ashamed than porn addict
This week saw both a regular post and a Breakfast Topic discussion about whether or not players are embarrassed or even ashamed of their WoW playing. Reader Zali had lots to say on the subject: "... First of all, anything can be addictive and anyone can be an addict. Anyone can be compulsive about any particular behavior. It ain't news and it ain't rocket surgery. As a society we don't label things as addictive or compulsive unless it doesn't fit within what a general consensus finds as normal. As has been pointed out many times, nobody really talks about television addicts. I'm sure my fondness for showers would be considered compulsive to the French.
"... For instance, my father watches sports. A lot. His team, someone else's team, any team, any sport. Doesn't really matter. If you told him he was an addict or a compulsive sports enthusiast he would find that rather offensive. I don't like sports. I think I watched a Superbowl in 1993, maybe. Or was it just the commercials? Pops doesn't get it. I'm obviously sick in the head. He'll talk about teams and a sense of community and the importance of whatever on the local economy, blah blah blah yawn.
"I could tell him the same about WoW. Teams working together, community and social status in a group, and personal involvement, and all he says is, 'It's not real. It's fake.' The argument that I'm real, and these other nine guys are real, and they depend on me to do my job, doesn't change his opinion that the people on the other side aren't really real. That is because he simply doesn't understand. He would label me an addict to WoW and himself just a fan of sports.
"... Call me an addict. Call me a compulsive computer user. Whatever. What I am is a person who likes to spend time with my community. Period. I go to work and can't really talk to anyone there because my interests are not in step with the shirt and tie crowd I spend my days with. When I get off work, I don't want to go to a bar because every TV is tuned to sports, and I don't particularly care to drink. I can't think of any other group that I feel any sort of fondness for, at least not enough to spend time with. So I log on and spend time with people that I want to spend time with, who enjoy doing the same thing as me.
"I don't call that an addiction. I don't call that pathological computer use. I call it community membership. ..."
||Does the story matter?
Do you even read quest text, or is the story behind WoW something you skip over along the road to epics and boss kills? "A game without a story is like a food without spices or salt," claims Sirg. "Story isn't everything, because a great story can be ruined by a faulty game play, yet I play wow because of the friends I've made and because of the lore and story related quests that I enjoy doing. Sometimes, I don't do a quest if I don't like the story behind it... I also have picked Scryers because I liked their complex background more than Aldors. :)"
||Professions: The final stretch roundup
Finally: WoW Insider's roundup of "Final Stretch" posts, walking you through the last (and hardest) skill points in all the professions. But now that we've made it easy for you, what do you do while you're kickin' back fishing? Nibuca has the answer: "I've found listing to the WI podcast to be the perfect thing to keep me from nodding off when leveling my fishing."
||Small guilds at a crossroads
Small guilds getting ready to head into the 10-man-rich content of Wrath need to get a little more organized than some may be used to. "One thing that jumped out at me in K's letter was that there's no scheduling going on," notes Dave, referring to the reader question featured in the main post. "I've found that, even in small, casual guilds it's important that people know at least a week ahead of time what raids are going to be run on which nights. It helps current members with planning and preparation--both in terms of real life (commitment scheduling) and in-game (getting consumables stocked, etc). It also helps a lot with recruiting to be able to say things like (in the case of my guild), 'We run Gruul's on Friday nights, Kara on Saturday and (if not cleared) on Sunday.'
"We're very casual...there are no attendance requirements or anything like that. We're still struggling to get 25 to run Gruul's on a consistent basis (even with a guild alliance). But we have fun and when we do run things, we generally do pretty well. So adding a little bit of structure probably wouldn't destroy the casual nature K's guild currently has. And it might help get the core group to grow a little more before Wrath."
||Building PvP gear from scratch
If the impending launch of Season 4 has lit a fire underneath your Gear Up Now button, don't forget the small stuff! "Remember that if you really are starting from scratch, the Vindicator items (neck, ring, bracers, belt and boots) will be available during S4 for a reduced honor cost (same as Veteran's currently) and with no personal rating requirement," reminds arb. "Also, if you don't expect to get a 1700-rated Arena team (inc. personal rating), buy your Veteran's Band before S4 hits as it will no longer be available and may be your best chance to get two PvP rings."
||Addon Spotlight: Fuzzy Logic
True to his name, huntard4ever had some rather pointed comments on hunter strategy for readers poking about in a post about the Fuzzy Logic addon: "Get used to it. You could be the top damage-producing member of your guild *cough* and people will still accuse you of simply rolling your face across the keyboard ... He's talking about hunters, not warlocks, duh. :)
Did I miss anyone?"
- Hunters have a nice button made for Omen. It's called Feign Death. U press that button when Omen shows ur bar going past the tanks', and it fixes it and keeps u alive.
- Learn to jump shot or strafe.
- No matter how good u r u will always be considered a huntard.
- Turn off growl unless it's needed.
- Ur pet is there to defend u. Better the pet die than u.
- Learn to kite.
- Macros HATE U.
- Have most of ur shots ready to use, no matter how useless it is.
- Aspect of the beast is useless.
- Never Misdirect on a squishie, no matter how funny it seems.
- Healers are ur friend. Save them when u need to. A loss of DPS is better than a loss of heals.
- Beastmaster spec is the bomb.
- Intimidation plus TBW is I-WIN button (on a 2-min. cooldown).
- Arenas hate u.
- LOS hates u.
- Mages hate u.
- Priests hate u.
- Warriors hate u.
- Paladins hate u.
- Warlocks hate u.
- U hate rogues.
- Ur pet hates u.
- Alliance hates u.
- Horde hate u. (Undead don't; they like the way u taste.)
- Blizzard hates u.
- Ur mom hates u.
- Ur mount hates u.
- Hunters think ur a huntard.