The big news of the week, of course, was the flurry of news about the Wrath of the Lich King expansion let loose at the Worldwide Invitational. Readers dogpiled dozens of news posts with speculation, QQs and cheering alike.
But there was plenty of talk on other topics this week, as well. Readers debated the drawbacks of spec-flopping with theorycrafter Lhivera and weighed whether or not upcoming changes such as easing the process of faction grinding is in fact "dumbing down" the game. Linux fans discussed technical matters, while readers battled over druids' getting a regular res and whether multiboxing in PvP constitutes unsportsmanlike behavior.
And finally, we close our look back at this week with an in-character comment exchange over -- of all things -- this month's regular Consortium gem disbursement.
Join us after the break for this week's meatiest reader comments here at WoW Insider. Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.
|Mage(ic) with numbers
When is a talent spec more than a means to an immediate end? Theorycrafting mage Lhivera has his own theory: "There's role-playing, the way many people think of it, and then there's that bare minimum of role-playing that everyone pretty much has to buy into in order to play a game like this, which might better be termed willing suspension of disbelief.
"This is really one of those things that breaks willing suspension of disbelief for me. And I'm willing to suspend a whole lot of disbelief. I don't advocate removing them entirely; I believe they should be available for very occasional use. But I believe Blizzard should make every effort to eliminate the need to respec in order to participate effectively in every area of the game, and couple that with an increase in the cost and perhaps even a cooldown. I don't want to hear arguments about how that would prevent tanks from PvPing; making tank specs work well in PvP is part of eliminating the need to respec. (Or insert your "X class can't do Y well" argument here; same response.)
"Spec needs to mean something. If I can simply respec to produce optimal performance in every situation, what the heck do I have a spec for? I'm no longer a character in an immersive fantasy world; I'm a freakin' Mary Sue."
|Faction frustrations eased in Wrath
Are changes such as alternate paths to gaining faction "dumbing down" World of Warcraft? "Wrath is going to bring a lot of amazing new stuff, but this has to be one of the smartest fixes to an existing game mechanic that the devs are making," claims juicyjuice. "This new mechanic can very easily be seen as 'dumbing down' faction and reputation, but I'm pretty excited. If you ask me, nothing is more mind-numbing and dumb-downing then running the exact same dungeon over and over again for weeks -- or killing some mob over and over again -- just to watch a number on your rep tab creep up at an agonizingly slow pace.
"Way too often, this expansion didn't feel like a Burning Crusade; it was a burning rep grind. A game should be challenging, yes. A rep grind isn't challenging, though – it's a time sink. Slaying thousands of ogres in Nagrand doesn't prove you're better than anyone else; it just proves you're better at monotonous activities. That's why they introduced and dailies and changed faction turn-ins like Kurenai and Consortium to daily quests.
"This makes so much sense from a lore perspective as well. A reputation is about what you've done both in and outside the community to make a name for yourself. A soldier gains a reputation by fighting outside his homeland. I love Rocky because he beat down Ivan Drago in a cold frozen wasteland, not because he fought his heart out in an exhibition against Mason Dixon."
|The state of WoW on Linux
Linux fans lent tips and shared experiences on a post about Blizzard's approach to Linux users. "I've been running WoW under Linux/WINE and it's fan-tabulous," claims doyesac. "There is nothing off-the-shelf about it -- you have to be proficient in researching potential problems and installing Linux packages -- but I easily forget I'm running WoW on a $400 Linux box and not my old $1200 Macintosh.
"And yes, if you are smart about where you get your hardware, and are willing to build your own system, a $400 is more than capable of handling the Warcraft client. Spending another $200 and I'll be in the uber-performance realm.
"If anyone is thinking about joining the Linux/WINE ranks I'd highly recommend giving it a try."
|Druids getting a res in Wrath
It looks like druids will be getting a "regular" res in Wrath, and it looks like the QQing has already begun. Deacon starts the comments off with a bang in the very first comment: "I think this is lame. Yes, they don't have a normal rez, but they are the only one's with battle rez capabilities. I'd rather have two druids in my party to try and prevent a wipe with battle rez than worry about a corpse run. Now, the rest of us healers can complain that we don't have battle rez."
|Shock and awe in the Arena
In another post that generated a lot of heat, Archenemy boiled down a lot of the furor over the sportsmanship (or lack thereof) of multiboxing in PvP with his comment: "... Team PvP is called 'team' because there is a team. One man is not a team and does not have that unique disadvantages that team communication has; therefore, it's unfair to regular players, who use their own methods to overcome these communication barriers.
"Ganking lvl10-s in Crossroads is legal also, but the majority of the player base feels it unfair.
"No one said it's not legal; it's you who are whining about its legality. I said, we said, it's unfair, it ruins the point of team PvP, it generally sucks. If you cant feel the difference between fair and legal, hell, why don't you choose a politician's job instead WOWing? :p"
|Remember your Consortium gems
And finally, a self-explanatory missive from Camaris:
"From: Camaris of Kul Tiras
To: Subregional Manager, The Consortium
"I thank you for your reminder that a new payment is available. However I would ask you to take into consideration that, after 18 months of working for your organization, we have had no pay rises, but have worked diligently to kill demons, Naga and other monsters.
"Hoping to hear from you soon."
Reply from post author Daniel Whitcomb:
"From: Head of HR, Consortium Ltd., Outland Branch, Stormspire, The Netherstorm.
To: Camaris of Kul Tiras
"If your memory has not failed you, perhaps you will remember the special contract you automatically agreed to upon agreeing to contract with the Consortium Ltd. company. It clearly states that any pay raises are completely at the pleasure of the management of the Consortium, Ltd.
"In addition, this contract is not due for renegotiation with the fleshing subcontractor leagues for another 25 years.
"Thank you, and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us."