WoW Roundup: Gold, books, economies, dailies, poop and more

It’s been a busy weekend for WoW blogging, and we’ve got a bumper crop of great posts – so if you want to know about the future of the economy, the verdict on the August Celestials, or the logistics of virtual poo, dive right in:

  • Eric at The Golden Crusade explains why gold’s more important to your WoW experience than may immediately be obvious“Don’t want to grind for gear? Buy some. Don’t want to go to the city to reforge your new gear? If you have the Expedition Yak you just have to get to a place where you can mount up. Want that cool mount that’s tied to a raid achievement? Pay a guild to take you through the raid.”
  • Bravetank’s got a book! Yes, all her WoW humour writings are now available on Kindle
  • The Godmother argues that it may not be possible for Blizzard tofix the economy of low-population servers“Having done some research, I realise that my initial considerations are fairly naive. There are some pretty fundamental game mechanics at play here.”
  • Anne Stickney reviews her experience of the August Celestial reputation grind“Now some may say that I shouldn’t feel entitled to a final payoff, but the problem with that assessment is that given every other reputation grind I had been through so far, it seemed obvious that there would be a payoff.”
  • Crawford posts a fake but very entertaining interview with Herman Brown, Blizzard lead poop designer“World of Warcraft is an incredibly complex game with many intricate game systems and a tremendous amount of background lore. I am in charge of all the poop-related aspects of that.”
  • Matthew Rossi shares the results of his experimentation with a novel Warrior setup – a non-tank spec tank” The real reason for doing this was, it’s crazy fun to tank as arms or fury. Frankly, one of the biggest problems I have tanking is, it doesn’t feel like playing the rest of the game. “
  • And Typhoon Andrew gives his verdict on the whole daily quest thing“Perhaps one day many expansions from now my character can return to Pandaria and visit farmer Yoon, and we’ll laugh as how much of his work I did for him.”

How was your WoW experience this weekend? Were you even playing WoW?

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A quest made me feel… dirty

Well, OK, not me specifically. But Melmoth of Killed in a Smiling Accident has been running errands for the elves of Lothlorien, and frankly, he’s a bit concerned that they are in the process of slowly breaking down his humanity:

The first quest had me collecting orc poo. That was the first thing they had me do. They did that just to show me what they COULD get me do, and to instil in me a suitable level of apprehension. So I ran around and gathered five piles of steaming orc dung, brought it back in my inventory because they didn’t provide me with a suitable receptacle (I suspected this was on purpose), and emptied it on the floor at their feet. Degrading enough, I hope you would agree, for one who had battled the Witch King, and turned the orc bastion of The Grand Stair into a frolicking sight-seeing tour. But they weren’t finished yet. Oh no.

“Now we’d like you to take the poo and throw into a fire at one of the orc camps bordering our forest.”

.

“We think it will send them a suitable message.”

Melmoth’s on fine form with this post, and I laughed out loud several times. It’s a particular skill to make what is essentially a tale of gameplay engaging even to people who don’t play it, and in general LoTRO seems to attract a number of excellent posts along that line, with KIASA’s work being particularly notable.

The post also neatly highlights a very long-term problem in MMOs, particularly as we advance in levels – the tendancy for our epic, heroic, famed-across-the-land heroes to suddenly end up stuck right back at the bottom of the totem pole, doing the crappiest (in this case literally) jobs the NPCs appear to be able to think up. If it’s done really well, it can be a great experience, but more often it’s an immersion breaker – exactly why am I taking this from these guys, when, as Melmoth says, I’ve battled the Witch King?

Or is it the equivalent of a decorated war hero coming home and ending up stacking shelves at Wal-Mart? Either way, I’m not sure I want that particular grubby aspect of reality so well reflected in my games…

Do you think that repeatedly dropping to the bottom of the totem pole works in MMOs? Or do you feel the urge to shout “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”

_Quote taken directly from Melmoth’s post.

Find Killed In A Smiling Accident’s homepage at http://www.kiasa.org/_

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Flame Shock: Surviving As An Adventurer In Cataclysm

The Cataclysm’s coming but what does the end of the world really mean for us? I mean, practically speaking, our characters could just sit by a warm lava pit and while away the time in peace and safety when the new zones open up. But we’re are adventurers. We’re going to have to go out and do the vanquishing thing. Good job that Rakhman at Flame Shock’s got a guide to the practical items we’ll find – and need – as we do our heroic deeds.

Rakhman’s guide will both prepare and reassure you for Cataclysm ahead of time. He’s looking at the core things we rely on in PvE and noting what the new, updated versions will be in Cataclysm. So if you’re wondering whether we’ll still have flasks or what the new primals will be called so you can look out for them to get mats for your craftable items, Rahkman’s got the details. His list is exhaustive and it’s somehow comforting having read it to know what the new bandages are called. Silly, I know. But it’s even better to know in advance what materials fish feasts will need and what benefits they give.

New Zones

This map has all the details of where to go to level. Your starter zones are a choice between Vash’jir and Mount Hyjal. Then you have The Maelstrom and Deepholm, followed by Uldum and finally the Twilight Highlands. There should be feeder quests in the capital cities for all of these new zones.

Professions

Professions are all bumped up to level 525 at the maximum and will need training by a professions master to get access to the maximum level. Trainers in the capital cities should be able to oblige.*

Rakhman also takes a look at longer term prospects. Mixed in with the new consumables details are notes on the new zones, enchanting, gems and the new reputations that’ll be available in a few days. He’s even included wowhead links to the factions so you can check for useful reputation rewards, and there’s another wowhead link to a pre-Heroics gear filter (which is currently set up for shaman, but you can play around with the filter to get items useful for your class).

A great post and very well timed. I feel odd saying this but I kinda feel better going into Cataclysm armed with this simple but useful knowledge. How about you – do you think he’s missed anything, either for PvE or PvP, given that his list is PvE centric atm?

_*Quote taken directly from Rakhman’s post as a sample

You can find Flame Shock’s homepage here_

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Muradin Musings: Why Your Reputation Is Important

A player’s reputation in game is affected by how they act. Seems simple, right? Well, Janyaa over at Muradin Musings is y’know, musing, that some players don’t think about their reputation. Or how it can affect them for better or worse.

Janyaa’s highlighting how a player can really mess up their chances of being included in group content by being a jackass. She’s talking straight from her own experience of being both a recruiter in her guild and someone who sometimes leads PUGs, and it shows that she knows what she’s talking about. She says that once someone shows some murky colours that’s the chance blown in her eyes. And, she points out, a negative reputation spreads by word of mouth.

The consequences don’t only affect a person’s ability to pug. I usually run into bad behavior while on my alt, without them knowing I’m also the recruitment officer for Jubilance. It’s interesting how much more honest people are when you are “incognito.” There have been many occasions that someone has tried to apply to the guild after I’ve had a negative encounter with them. Unfortunately for them, it’s too late. I already know what kind of person they are and how they choose to interact with others.

I’ll give you one guess on how well their application does.

Janyaa goes on to talk about how an individual’s reputation doesn’t just affect them, but can either poison or shinify their guildmates’ reputation. Simply by sharing the same guild tag. Some of this might seem obvious but perhaps it’s not: we all see people shooting themselves in the foot by behaving badly in groups.

What do you think? Is reputation something that people should take more care of, or is it too easy to simply change names or transfer to another server thereby resetting one’s reputation?

_

As an aside to this topic, I’d heartily recommend checking out the site WoW Jackass, which I was pointed to last night. You can search any realm for ‘jackasses’ and it’ll bring up descriptions of what the individual did to afford the title. It also has an option to rate information on ‘jackasses’. If you’re into PUGing this site looks like a great tool for checking people and ensuring a workable atmosphere. Murky reputations really do get round._

_Quote taken directly from Janyaa’s post

You can find Muradin’s Musing’s homepage here_

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HoTs and DoTs: Best Bet For Becoming “The Insane”

According to Cassandri at HoTs and DoTs her character is now officially Insane. She’s achieved the lesser-known feat of strength Insane In The Membrane which gets you the title “ the Insane”. I suspect most of us have a character who would wear that title well.

It’s a fiddly achievement; you have to get exalted with 7 of the more obscure reputations and honoured with one of their nemeses.

Unfortunately I found more proof that you did need to meet all the criteria simultaneously than proof to the contrary … Curiosity got the better of me. Or, more likely, I just didn’t want to damage four reputations at the start of the Insane in the Membrane grind. Or spend the start of the grind in a world PVP hot spot. And regardless of whether you need the reputations simultaneously or not, I would post my finding here on the blog. So here goes:

Cassandri’s post now stands as a definitive report covering everything about it – how she found best to complete it, whether reputations have to be achieved simultaneously and how other achievements interact with this special feat of strength. Congrats, Cassandri!

Though I do think anyone completing this should get more than a title … maybe fruitcake in the mail.

_Quote taken directly from Cassandri’s post._

HoTs and DoTs’ homepage is here.

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HoTs and DoTs: Best Bet For Becoming "The Insane"

According to Cassandri at HoTs and DoTs her character is now officially Insane. She’s achieved the lesser-known feat of strength Insane In The Membrane which gets you the title “ the Insane”. I suspect most of us have a character who would wear that title well.

It’s a fiddly achievement; you have to get exalted with 7 of the more obscure reputations and honoured with one of their nemeses.

Unfortunately I found more proof that you did need to meet all the criteria simultaneously than proof to the contrary … Curiosity got the better of me. Or, more likely, I just didn’t want to damage four reputations at the start of the Insane in the Membrane grind. Or spend the start of the grind in a world PVP hot spot. And regardless of whether you need the reputations simultaneously or not, I would post my finding here on the blog. So here goes:

Cassandri’s post now stands as a definitive report covering everything about it – how she found best to complete it, whether reputations have to be achieved simultaneously and how other achievements interact with this special feat of strength. Congrats, Cassandri!

Though I do think anyone completing this should get more than a title … maybe fruitcake in the mail.

_Quote taken directly from Cassandri’s post._

HoTs and DoTs’ homepage is here.

Read more →