Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.
April Fool's Day around WoW.com usually means bracing for impact with emails and comments from nerd-raging readers who haven't ... quite ... caught on that there's something special going on. This year, though, you all really outdid yourselves. You played along! You danced, you sang, you /fishslapped, you showed us your
Sedirex: All 5 iterations had their own logo, top stories, and hot topics (on the right). The evil part of this joke is that if you're like me, you felt obligated to check every 2 hours to see them, as, unlike the posts, they don't remain after the site changes focus again.
Jayfitty: That was actually a pretty awesome routine. I'm not sure how I feel about so much turmoil happening here at WoW.com. Hopefully we can just settle on one type of Insider and commit to that. Every time the website changes I have to update my wardrope, Facebook page, Twitter and haircut to reflect said changes. And to go from Edward hair to Gaga hair in one day isn't easy.
Daedalus: My predictions for site changes over the rest of the day:
- Tolstoy Insider The definitive guide to brooding, 19th century Russian literature.
- Bacon Insider The web's only spot for lore, stats, and strategies about the world's greatest food. [Editor's note: We totally wanted this one, Daedalus -- not enough hours in the day!]
- Insider Insider A website containing encylopedic information about websites containing encylopedic information about other things.
- Insider Insider Insider A site containing information about the now defunct Insider Insider site.
- Floccinaucinihilipilification Insider The web's best spot for ridiculously long words.
- Arachibutyrophobia Insider A nexus for everything related to the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.
- Wow Insider Your #1 spot for the classic 1970 Quebecois film by Claude Jutra.
MusedMoose: What started off as merely mediocre (ME Insider? meh) has changed into an absolutely brilliant series of jokes. Can't wait to see what y'all do next. Not that I can tell what you're going to do next. But that's mostly 'cause
I can't read your --
Can't read your--
Can't read your--
Can't read your poker faces.
The sparkling conversation at Twilight Insider
The April Fool's festivities saw readers playing off one another, too. Twilight Insider's excited post about the new Twilight graphic novel spark(l)ed plenty of witty repartee.
Hoaxs: I wish i could Sparkle.
Dysfunkshunal: You're a paladin...all you ever do is sparkle.
galestrom: Elmers Glue, .99 cents. Package of Craft Glitter, $1.99. Sparkling in the sun like Edward himself? Priceless.
Some readers attempted to simply ignore all the chaos and proceed as usual. The results were not ... as usual.
ross: I have a question... I'm constantly getting DC'ed, usually at the most inoportune times (right after a pull when I'm the healer, tank, etc.). Plus, the game will randomly just freeze up and hang, much more so now than ever before (been playing the game since BC). The "You have been disconnected from the server" is happening now with MUCH more frequency than ever before. Is anyone else afflicted by this too and what's the official Blizz position on this? (likely answer: They won't give one... "It's YOUR machine and ISP problem, not ours.."). And yet, I don't get disconnected, EVER, from any other online games.
Just wondering if anyone else out there is having frequent DC issues...
Tokkar: Your computer doesn't have enough brrrraaaaaaaiiinnnnnssssss....
Chris Anthony: For the last few waves, Popcap has consistently espoused a philosophy of "Bring the player, not the plant". It's frustrating sometimes, because there ARE plants that underperform or have undesirable tradeoffs - for example, although they have powerful DPS, nobody has satisfactorily explained why Scaredy-shroom characters have a class ability that makes them unable to take action at all. Usually, when we see the inability to take offensive action, it's in plants that otherwise fill a support role, like Lily Pads - and even then, there are talents that mitigate their offensive weaknesses.
Your issue has a similar source - Popcap wants you to be able to bring other plants to a wave if you can't field the "correct" assortment of plants. Giving similar levels of stamina to shooting plants that non-shooting plants currently have isn't a nerf to the non-shooting plants - they still have a valuable job to do, and shooting plants do have a hybrid tax that reduces their effectiveness as tank plants. It's frustrating if a player's geared up a Tallnut but then that Tallnut gets passed over in favor of a plant that can take AND deal damage. But I think everyone can also agree that you shouldn't have to call off a wave if your Wallnut just can't show up.
WoW.com on NPR
But let's move on to more serious matters, like World of Warcraft and sociology ... on National Public Radio (NPR). Representing WoW players everywhere was our own Elizabeth Harper, editor-in-chief here at WoW.com.
donatilh: NPR is a great place for a different take on world news and events and I too was pleasantly surprised to find WoW as a topic.
Elizabeth Harper and the guest sociologist did a really good job of showcasing how "normal" most of us who play and love the game are. Leave it to the callers to provide the "I didn't finish my grad thesis because of WoW" or "my kid won't graduate HS because of WoW" and "I lost my job because of WoW;" awesome job by Elizabeth pointing out how, just like anything else, parents need to monitor and adults need to balance and a WoW society that is a reflection of the bigger whole. Makes me feel good about leaving work early to get to the AH.... :)
Camron: I am a longtime listener to On Point and I was super excited when I saw they did a show on WoW. But like Rhabella, I was disappointed at the show as a whole. One of the things that makes Tom Ashbrook such a great host is that he invests a lot of time in becoming knowledgeable about the show's topic beforehand- often reading the guests' books, etc. I wish he would have played at least a few hours of WoW beforehand so that he would have had at least a basic understanding of what the game was. Also, the main guest (the sociologist, or whatever) seemed really out of touch with the game and its players as a whole. I am so glad you were there, Elizabeth, to inject a little bit of common sense and "real" knowledge into the conversation... I only wish they let you talk a little more! There are so many better "WoW scholars" out there such as Jane McGonigal with much more interesting thoughts on WoW, MMOs, and gaming; it's a shame On Point didn't invite one of them, instead of Bainbridge.
You can still catch the WoW episode of NPR's On Point for iTunes.
Winner of the most helpful reader comment of the week goes to Nathanael for his suggestions for level-capped players who are releveling with the intent to achieve Loremaster while seeing the pre-Cataclysm sights of Azeroth.
Nathanael: Some tips for 80s going back, particularly to complete LOREMASTER while seeing the sights:
- Get the addon "EveryQuest" - It can tell you all the quests in each zone you've missed
- If you also get tomtom and Lightheaded, you can read the quest descriptions for all the ones mentioned above, AND get coords to the quest giver!
- If you have a free profession slot, get herbalism, even if you don't level it, a large number of quests require you to locate sparkly plants which you can track
- If you have a high level cook, get the track humanoid food(Blackened Worg Steak), which is also hugely helpful for kill quests
- If you have completed a FACTION TRANSFER, and find your quest completion number plummeted, you may be pleasantly surprised to find them return when/if you switch back, due to each quest having a unique ID!
- Make sure you know your screenshot button, and if you're a Mac user, configure the built-in video capture for those special moments (don't forget to leave record UI on, or you won't record speech texts!)
- Sometimes NOT completing a quest is best decision, such as the Alliance-side Ashenvale quest which gives you Dartol's Tranfsorming Rod until you turn in the quest!
- Running the old dungeons will net you an achievement for each, and completing each will get you "dungeonmaster" (achievement, not title)
- Don't forget the "The Explorer" achievement either, especially those of you using Cartographer, which reveals all of the unexplored map by default!
- Most of all, have fun: Help lowbies, kill opposing faction members on sight, and maybe even hand out a gold piece or two - the karma flows through Azeroth just as strong!
A warm welcome to Lt. Tawny Madison
We wrap up this week with a warm [1.Local] welcome to the disturbingly cold yet seductively named Lt. Tawny Madison, who joins the WoW.com staff chat room as a blue tracker (among other robotic duties). We deeply appreciate Tawny's tantalizing contributions to our newsroom chatter, as you can see from a typical exchange, below:
Until next week, [1.Local] (oh, and Tawny), from all of us here at Lady Gaga Insi -- well, you know who we are.
Ha, caughtcha looking! Hey, don't scroll away ... Come join the conversation on these and other posts around the WoW.com community. We'll see you around in [1.Local]!