When you decide to roleplay, a whole new world of imagination opens up to you -- soon you realize that all the World of Warcraft is a stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players.
There are degrees to roleplaying. Some people like it "light," so that it never gets too intense, you never have to actually "work" to make your character profound or lore-worthy, and it's generally just a fun way to pass some time. Others like it "heavy;" they view their characters as works of art, taking special care to make their characters believable and interesting, and sometimes planning special roleplaying events for their guild to enjoy. Some even try to do everything in-character, from repairing armor to marking out targets with raid symbols.
Recently I joined just such a full-immersion roleplaying guild, and have been trying out their particular style. To be fair, I still have a number of friends on my server that I usually speak out-of-character with, because that's what we're used to, but for everyone in this guild, I do my best to stay in character at all times, with everything my character says and does. To some this may seem like an unnecessary pain, but to others it's a fun experience. Here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of roleplaying.
MLG's PC Circuit Arena competition has come to an end, after an exciting weekend of coverage by GotFrag. The final round came down to a best of eleven showdown between Frag Dominant and Nihilum, first to six wins. Frag Dominant's Rogue/Warrior/Druid managed to get the best of Nihilum's Priest/Druid/Hunter after a grueling contest that never had a clear winner until the very end. After the first eight matches, they were tied at an even 4-4.
The Nihilum team's aggresive nature seemed to get the better of them when Frag Dominant caught onto their playstyle. More than once it appeared to me that their Hunter was left open to FD's double melee burst when the Nihilum Priest and Druid shifted their attention to take out Frag Dominant's healer. Nihilum's healers being focused on downing Frag's own forced them into reactive healing rather than proactive, and the deaths of their Hunter throughout the contests ultimately lead to their downfall. Very well played by Frag Dominant.
The tournament was definitely a good watch, and the highlight of my day was my roommate shouting obscenities about drainteams. WoW arena tournaments don't quite have the strangely entertaining glitz and glamour of Starcraft tournaments yet, but it's only a matter of time. I'm fairly confident that I'll tune in for the Circuit's tournament in Orlando on June 11th, and many others after that.
Addon Spotlight: TipTac - Sun, 15 Jun 2008 18:00:00 EST Welcome to the Father's Day edition of Addon Spotlight. I honestly tried to think about an addon that would match the holiday theme for all of thirty seconds before deciding to just write about an addon I've found to very useful. (Although perhaps you got your Dad some tools, or your Dad is a tool, so take it for what its worth.)
TipTac is a tooltip mod that adds a load of features to the little informative frames that appear when you hover over characters and objects in the game. As I've implied before, I enjoy quick and easy visual references to important information. This includes a character's class, health and reaction. (in the case of NPC's)
TipTac provides another way to discern details; a redundancy I embrace for the sake of easy targeting and planning.
So it's Father's Day, the time when we all pay homage to the fathers or father figures in our lives, and thank them for all that they do. While we can't say for sure if they celebrate Father's Day in Azeroth, too, there's a lot of people in Azeroth and Outland who have reason to think back on their dads today. Many dads of Azeroth have affected their children's lives or been affected by them. The ramifications of the interactions of these fathers and children have then in turn affected the lore and story of Warcraft in ways great and small.
Therefore, in honor of the holiday, let's look at 10 famous and not-so-famous dads of Warcraft lore (listed in no particular order).
Ember on the Shattered Oath (US Emerald Dream-H) forums posted a photo documentary of how she hand-made a teddy bear Priest replica. The bear represents her Undead toon, complete with Staff of Immaculate Recovery. Now, I'm not so sure that I'd cast a teddy bear in the role of an undead anything, but in every other sense, Ember went out of her way to create a legitimate mini-me. She even went so far as to cut off the heads of some Barbie dolls and spray paint them silver to make the shoulder adornments suitably lifelike (undead-like?). The staff even glows in the dark.
She brands her creation with the tag Build-a-Priest, no doubt a nod to others out there. But who knows, she just might be onto something. If she'd make me a teddy bear shaman, I'd pay for it!
Yet another character manager for WoW - Sun, 15 Jun 2008 15:00:00 EST Magelo, a Switzerland and UK based company which gained popularity with its Everquest character profiles, has launched a WoW version of the profile system. It offers a slick view of your toon's Armory information, but with some additional functionality that you can usually only get in-game. Additionally, using their Magelo Sync, you can hot-sync your information whenever you want. (No more waiting for the Armory to update.) You can also use the client in-game to find information on items, quests, and mobs.
I tried it today and found it fun to play with. Even though installing everything takes a bit of jumping through hoops, after you've synced, you can view everything about your toon that you can see in the game: bank and inventory contents, or show anyone your profile with a link. Here's Slig's profile so you can see the output provided.
A feature I really liked was the tab called "bonuses" which lets you see which pieces of armor contribute to each attribute (e.g., click Intellect and see each item's bonus to that stat). After the beta there will be a charge for Premium access -- a trend we're seeing more of -- which involves things like getting a certified profile, customizing your profile page with backgrounds, viewing your toon in 3D, and creating alternate profiles. I liked fiddling around with the alternates but I'm not sure I'd pay extra for it when the time comes.
Every Sunday, Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now usually Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus, but this week he has midterms and you're left to suffer with a substitute. Elizabeth recently toyed with the darker side of the priest's profession, but for better or worse, is holy again this week.
I rolled my first Priest for a very simple reason -- I wanted to play with my friends, and I got sick of always having to wait on a healer when we wanted to do something together. With every group stalled for need of healing, picking up a healing class myself seemed a pragmatic solution. (And three healers later, I'm still at it.) So a few weeks ago when we happened to have plenty of healing... but were short DPS... by the same logic I decided I could respec Shadow and lend a hand. And though the plan may seem simple enough, there are quite a few things DPS classes have to worry about that healers may not pay attention to at all.
Ever think about joining the dark side? There are a few things to consider before-hand...
GotFrag arena tournament coverage continues - Sun, 15 Jun 2008 13:00:00 EST Today is the second day of GotFrag's live coverage of their 3v3 arena tournament. If you didn't tune in and see the action yesterday, I definitely recommend giving it a look for at least a little while at some point today. I'm not exactly the arena type, but even I watched for an hour or two yesterday afternoon with one of my current roommates. It's just plain interesting to watch some of the top players in the world go head to head, and see some of their reactions in person, not just the written word.
Now they've released what appears to be the first of the commercial projects, Slim Jim. If you've ever seenads for the beef jerky company, you'd recognize the video style immediately. That is, if the big beef sticks in their hands didn't tip you off ...
We continue with our look at how to get your Warlock up to speed for Karazhan content and beyond. Note that the recommendations here are intentionally narrow. I'm focusing on the easiest and surest way of making progress in the gearing game, without relying too much on dungeon drops or grind-to-exalted rep items.
Yes, there are better pre-raid items out there in the various heroics - Magisters' Terrace is probably the best instance to get quality non-raid loot. Badge loot is also another good avenue for outstanding upgrades. Unfortunately, heroics may be challenging affairs for a fresh 70 lock, unless you have a group of geared friends or guildies who are willing to "carry" you through those runs.
Of all the races in Azeroth, the goblins might have it the best. No allegiances, no wars, no constant attacks by the opposite faction. They're supposedly very rich, although I can't understand why -- they give zeppelin and boat rides for free and no one uses their auction house.
This particular goblin, Grimble, has acquired a local wench for his arm candy. Wait, is she even alive? Oh, man, she's dead. And the goblins are beginning to grin in that weird way. Maybe Peggleleg of Khaz'goroth should just get on the boat to Booty Bay before he becomes part of an engineering recipe.
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Sunday Morning Funnies: Fancy pants - Sun, 15 Jun 2008 09:00:00 EST This week we have everything from creative headgear to a court appearance and the illustrated consequences of being an activist in the face of ogres.
Dark Legacy Comics shows that a new hat can make everything better!
Breakfast Topic: Father's Day for gamers - Sun, 15 Jun 2008 08:00:00 EST Happy Father's Day, to all of youfathersout there!* If you and yours aren't the type to go out and about on a day like this, never fear. For the family that games together, I Heart Chaos has 8 great ideas for an Azerothian Father's Day. A few other things that come to mind for Dad's special day:
Roll a new alt with your pops, maybe crossing your primary faction lines. Sometimes leveling together is more meaningful than twinking an alt.
Talk your guild into having a Father's Day raid night! Take your dad to Karazhan or Zul'Aman, assuming he isn't further progressed than you are. Hey, don't give me that look. My raid has Dads in some pretty phat purps. Yes, I did just say 'phat'. And 'purps'. Don't judge me!
Blizzard has recently said that they won't be allowing large scale transfers from PvE to PvP servers. This rule was supposedly in place for a number of reasons, the main one of which has always been the relative ease of leveling a character on a PvE server compared to that of a PvP server. Having done both, I can say that it wasn't too different - a few more tricks had to be used when leveling on the PvP server, but in no way was my leveling prolonged on the PvP server because of the PvP elements.
Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.
The seedy underbelly of the internet continues to supply the goods. Just in time to follow up on our look at Druids and Shadow Priests, we're supplied with some potential Shaman information. Let's hope Paladin timing will be as convenient, though it seems unlikely.
As usual when discussing Alpha information, it's always wise to remember that much of it will likely change by launch. Stay optimistic, but cautiously so. That way you can get excited without your hopes being crushed later on. Now, with the disclaimer out of the way, let's dig right into the Shaman talents and abilities. A lot of the previous weaknesses of the class are being addressed (much like they were for Shadow Priests) with a few new interesting things tossed in, accompanied by a side of itemization band-aids.
Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and get mad purpz. Today, we look at the increasing numbers of player departures and wonder when enough is enough.
In this column I've talked about what makes raid guilds as a whole break up, but not what makes individuals decide raiding isn't for them. Having seen multiple guilds go through this process en masse recently, and breaking up as a result, here's a point-of-view on raiding and when it's time to stop or move on, based on personal experience in a European PvE guild.
When is a good time to stop raiding? - Sat, 14 Jun 2008 16:00:00 EST I've recently been pondering if, and when, I should retire from raiding. Playing with 24 other people to accomplish a common goal is a wonderful thing. The teamwork and exhilaration from downing a boss for the first time is something that's hard to put into words - it's fun, challenging, frustrating, and all around a great time.
But when is it a good time to stop?
Everything eventually gets old and dies. Yes, one day our beloved WoW will no longer exist; even though that might be a couple decades from now (although I have my doubts WoW will ever truly go off-line, but that's another article). What I want to be sure happens is that I leave this activity I love so much on a high note - and not leave when it's become a pain and something that I'll look back disfavorably upon.
Right now my life allows me to raid. I have classes and WoW Insider work during the day, and at night I have time to raid for a few hours and hang out with the girlfriend and other folks as well. That strikes a good balance in life - allowing both things that I want to do by myself (WoW), and things that I want do with others (girlfriend, friends, etc...)
A new study by VictoriaUniversity found just the opposite.They found that about 15% of their 621 participants qualified as problem gamers, that is they spent more than 50 hours a week playing games.Even among that 15 percent, only one percent showed signs of poor social skills.While there are some who have a major problem gaming habit most of us are normal people who unwind with a video game.
How to keep raiding when the power goes out - Sat, 14 Jun 2008 14:00:00 EST The thing I love most about summer is the thunder storms. Forget the constant days of 90 degree weather making my apartment bake even when the air conditioning is on, it's those storms rolling in with lightening striking a few hundred feet from me that I love. My guild-mates are going to love that too, especially when I'm raiding with them.
We've had our first couple weeks of this in game, and already I've heard "Be right back, Tornado," from some guildies living down in Kansas. Luckily everything was okay and no one got hurt, but the fact still remains - we lost our head Mage for 30 minutes, and that's 30 minutes of our life we can't have back!
While a Mage having to take a break in the middle of raids isn't a show stopper, having the main tank (my role) go offline is. I've had the unfortunate situation of having that occur a couple days ago. The computer I was raiding on wasn't plugged into my UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply), so I was disconnected from everything when we lost power for about 30 seconds. However with a bit of tinkering around, I was able to put myself in a situation that lets me stay on even when the power hiccups.
If you get the chance, be sure to tune in to GotFrag's coverage of the MLG's PC Circuit' Arena competition this weekend.The action will be going on throughout the day today and into tomorrow.I can think of five great reasons to watch this event:
Get to see stunning arena action by the best players
That's right, you don't even have to be an arena champ to take home the goods today.Heck, you don't even have to be in San Diego.GotFrag announced a prediction contest on their website.The first player to post the top four finishing teams and the final score in the comments of GotFrag's post will be granted an A40 MixAmp and A40 Headset. Take a look at some of the teams that will be playing and post away. Check the post at GotFrag for more details.