Compulsive gaming a social problem, not an addiction - Tue, 25 Nov 2008 20:00:00 EST Slowly but surely, people are finally starting to gain an actual understanding of gaming, and it's a nice thing to see. The BBC recently reported on gaming addiction with some insight from Keith Bakker, the head of a clinic in Europe targeted at helping gamers. 90% of gamers who spend long hours gaming, he says, aren't addicts at all and addiction counseling isn't the right treatment. Compulsive gaming is a social problem, not a psychological problem.
This is a sentiment many gamers (the non-compulsive kind, mind you) have held for a really long time. Games aren't the problem for young gamers. Poor parental care is a problem, environment is a problem. Communication is important. Healthy environments are important. Games for teenagers tend to be an escape, a place to go where you don't necessarily need to deal with real problems at that age, like social issues, personal troubles, stress and anxiety.
A lot of hints and news on the upcoming patch 3.0.4 have been dropped on the forums recently, so like other WoW Insider writers have mentioned on and off, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw it on the PTR in the coming weeks. Before we get ahead of ourselves too much though, there was a lot of neat Paladin stuff announced by Ghostcrawler yesterday. A lot of it is simple stuff we've sort of expected would happen, but there's still some interesting new stuff in there.
Divine Shield: Penalty changed so that all damage done is reduced by 50% instead of an attack speed penalty.
If you saw the brief window of time before the launch of Wrath where Varian and his allies talked about the onslaught of Northrend and thought maybe Horde and Alliance could cooperate to take down Arthas, think again. As long as Varian is the King of Stormwind and de-facto leader of the Alliance (since neither Tyrande nor Magni seemed particularly interested in the gig, and nobody likes Frandal) then there's not going to be anything even remotely resembling peace between the Alliance and the Horde.
Is that bad? Is how Varian is going about his leadership inherently wrong? As someone who plays Horde and Alliance fairly equally, and tries to at least keep my characters personalities distinct (I don't actually RP much, but anyone who plays with me knows that I tend to play my tauren warrior very differently than my draenei shaman, for instance) I find the addition of the former Lo'Gosh to the mix of world leaders a very interestingly divisive one. Varian is not here to make friends, he's here to kick ass.
The discussion that follows behind the jump is going to be hugely spoiler heavy. Please be warned.
Felicia Day on meeting girls in WoW - Tue, 25 Nov 2008 16:00:00 EST Felicia Day is a girl. Felicia Day plays WoW. Felicia Day tells boys how to meet girls in WoW. If that just didn't get the attention of every hormone-infused-female-liking nerd on the planet I don't know what will.
Felicia say down with the Asylum and talked about this topic for a bit. Their interview with her touches on a few interesting points.
"Would it matter if the guy's a noob?" Asylum asks. "Yeah..." Felicia answers. She goes on to mention that the difference is like seeing a guy in a Ferrari. Not being a total noob and having some good gear at least catches the eye. This makes me and all my purples happy.
The interview is an interesting and entertaining read. Hit it up when you have a minute and enjoy.
And stay tuned to WoW Insider for more news on Felicia Day and The Guild. She'll be sitting down with Mike Schramm and a few folks on our podcast soon talking about Season 2 and Wrath of the Lich King.
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.
Welcome back! Since yesterday's picture of Malygos was so awful, I decided to give up on his righteous beard and take a picture of his lightning breath instead. Yeah, see that up there? It hurts. It hurts a lot. Just trust me on that. Let's get into the Q&A now, eh? Goorguy asked...
Why is it that tanks are always the group leaders? Why are we always expected to mark mobs? Every time I get in a group to tank for it I will always get thrown the leader. I don't really mind, but at least once I want to get in a group where someone else was willing to mark for me, instead of the other way around.
There's an odd error on the official forums today. Apparently the static parts of the web page (ie: non-user entered text) are showing up in Korean. Some users are not seeing it, but that is likely due to a cached version of the page they have.
In the episode there's some cuteness between Zaboo and Codex as Zaboo taunts her with a T1 line, and we're introduced to Clara's husband. The gang also gets a rare drop and are all contemplating spending their DKP. The drama unfolds...
Be sure to watch the video the whole way through. There's an easter egg at the very end featuring Zaboo.
And after you're done watching it head back here and let us know what you think. Keep an eye on WoW Insider as Felicia Day will be joining Mike Schramm on the next WoW Insider Show.
15 Minutes of Fame: Tanking with a panic button - Tue, 25 Nov 2008 14:00:00 EST 15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
This week's featured player exemplifies the power of WoW to energize and empower people's lives. MMOs can make wonderful outlets for disabled players, who find online camaraderie and 24-hour access amenable to their unique needs. Kalzedhan Hurenfal of Feathermoon-A US not only games "around" his limitations but in fact focuses his crosshairs dead on them: he's a tank with a diagnosed panic disorder.
Kalzedhan suffers from a handful of debilitating mental disorders that keep him socially paralyzed, homebound and unable to function in a productive work environment. Yet through WoW, Kalzedhan not only has been able to re-engage in relationships and personal achievements - he does it in the hotseat as a tanking Warrior.
Wrath Dailies: The Way to His Heart... - Tue, 25 Nov 2008 13:00:00 EST WoW Insider is happy to announce a new series of posts focusing on the daily quests Wrath of the Lich King has to offer. We'll get a few of these out each week until we have a comprehensive library of every daily quest you can do.
First up is a fun daily in which you get to mate a Reef Bull and a Reef Cow in the Howling Fjord.
I'll just wait to let the goal of this quest sink in for a minute.
Sunk? Great. Moving on.
This daily will raise your reputation with the Kalu'ak by 500 and give you around 7g. You can get the daily from Anuniaq located at 24, 58 in the Howling Fjord. It is one of the few that will raise your rep with the Kalu'ak, so you'll want to be sure that you complete it every day. You need to be level 70 to complete the daily. If you complete it while leveling it will give you around 20,000 experience.
Soosdon. With a name like that and the skills he has, any machinima or even a sneak peek at his machinima deserves mention. Today on WoW Moviewatch we'll take a look at a trailer for his new work No Point: Stretching Time.
I'm going to put on my fanbois hat for a minute and say that everything this man does is golden. I really only started following machinima when I began writing for WoW Insider, and at that Soosdon's The Device Has Been Modified really got me into it.
So with this trailer we see a gnome fighting some bad guys. Adal is in there, along with some spirits of resurrection. A brief kiss between some gnomes and more epicness. The quality of the trailer is what you'd expect from Soosdon - professional quality that is nearly as good as what you'd see on the big screen.
Take a look at the trailer, and keep your eyes out on Moviewatch for when the full length machinima hits.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Who said that dwarf priests have to be all sweetness and light? Lightbright of <Night Renegades> on Bael'gun is looking decidedly demonic in this shot from Stratholme. I'm not too sure what spells and buffs he's sporting -- my own attempts at priesthood died out at 21 -- but to a layperson, he appears to have a cloud of levitation, an exploding halo, and a hydrocephalic demon head floating above him. Maybe he's just trying to blend in with all the new Death Knights stepping into Northrend?
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, "mounted mounts", or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
Behind the Curtain: Why we play World of Warcraft There's never a bad time to take a look behind you and examine your past. This is as true for MMOs as it is for anything else in life. With Wrath of the Lich King now up and running, we at Massively were wondering about some of the reason people have stuck with the game thus far.
Massively Speaking Podcast Episode 32 Massively Speaking Episode 32 works through a heaping helping of Wrath-related discussion, as more World of Warcraft conversation is had in the span of 50 minutes than really should be possible.
Numbers support players returning to World of Warcraft Following the flood of numbers, our friends over at GamerDNA have just come out with their own Wrath reports, based on their member data from anywhere between a few days to a few months before Wrath's launch. As expected, there was an increase in the number of returning players, out to experience all that Wrath has to offer.
Massively checks in on The Agency with Lead Designer Hal Milton Join us as we talk over the current state of The Agency's development with the animated and always-interesting lead designer Hal Milton. Hal shares with us a bit of insight into what they're currently working on, give us a few fun facts to chew on, and makes us actually look forward to next year's summer con season. We didn't think anything could do that. Spy social engineering at work!
Breakfast Topic: Talent changes in Wrath of the Lich King - Tue, 25 Nov 2008 08:00:00 EST Here's a question for you: Have you changed your talents drastically in Wrath? With 10 new talent points to spend and a couple new tiers to spend them on, there's a lot of temptations to keep a player guessing as to the exact perfect spec, and I know some people have spent a lot of money picking out and testing specs.
It's even easier to do with Hybrids. I know a lot of Protection Paladins are taking the opportunity to try Retribution for a while, and horror of horrors, I've even known a couple Feral Druids who have actually tried Moonkin form, if you can believe it. I find myself strangely unwilling to respec, so I'm sticking with my Unholy Death Knight, Feral Druid, and Beastmastery Hunter for now.
How are you doing on talents in Wrath? Have you decided on a build? Are you throwing money at constant respecs? Have you changed your spec 180 degrees from what it was in Burning Crusade?
Tuesday Morning Post: I am thankful for my cute little bear - Tue, 25 Nov 2008 07:30:00 EST Good Tuesday Morning, everyone. We're now around 2 weeks into the new expansion, and I'm sure by now everyone has some reason to give thanks for something in this thing. Despite the long queues and the iffy server issues that plague some, I'd say it's overall been pretty sweet.
Downtime today is around 6 hours, from 5 AM to 11 AM Pacific time. If that cuts into your normal playtime, or if you're stuck at school or work, I'm going to suggest my usual: Why not catch up on WoW news? There's a lot of it right now, of course, what with the new expansion. Let's look back at this past week in WoW:
What's important is their new name sounds like some kind of medicine or drug. Every corner of the internet is currently giggling to themselves over it. A professional gaming group? No way. They're some kind of sleep aid, or erectile dysfunction medication. I've seen at least a dozen people rattling off potential side effects of taking Ensidia tonight. I'm not really curious about their raid progression anymore, I'm more interested in whether I can take it on an empty stomach or not.
Changes to AoE in patch 3.0.4 - Mon, 24 Nov 2008 20:08:00 EST Ghostcrawler let us all know today of a few changes for classes that are being left out of the "AoE fun." He's only talking in relatively broad terms right now, and will give specifics later when things are more locked down.
One thing that has been annoying most people is the ninjas who spend their time waiting for players to take down a pat so they have unobstructed access to the quest items or loot/ore. It happened to me even with the Oil-stained Wolf quest last night in the expansion. People waiting to steal poo! Sick! Why should the players who take down the pat be disadvantaged and lose out on the ore?
The rest of the question and your chance to answer after the jump.
There's still time to get your non-combat baby polar bear pet and your achievement celebrating the 4th anniversary of the World of Warcraft. All you have to do is log into the game and open up your mail. Many folks thought that the achievement would only trigger if you logged on yesterday, however that doesn't appear to be the case.
People are calling the polar bear pet the "cutest thing in-game." The reaction of "Awwww!!!" can be heard throughout guild chats everywhere. And for those special/cool/nerdy enough, you can even have a polar bear non-combat pet next to a polar bear hunter pet next to a BlizzCon polar bear mount next to a regular polar bear mount.
If you get to have that much polar bear love in one screenshot, you get the achievement "Threat Down: Polar Bears" and are awarded the title "Colbert." The t is silent, of course.
Okay... maybe we're kidding about the title, but it's still cool to be able to do that.
Wrath 101: Heirloom items and how to get them - Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:00:00 EST Wrath of the Lich King introduced not only new content, but an entirely new type of item. These items are called Heirloom items, or Bind to Account (BoA) items. They aren't tied to any one character and can be freely passed from alt to alt, but they're all tied to one account, the account that bought the item. No handing them over to your friends, no mailing them to other players, no mailing them to your second account. So far none of these items are drops, but rewards for more veteran players of the Wrath content. There are two different ways of earning these items, but they dovetail nicely.