Shared Topic – Life Changing

Honestly, I feel humbled at some of the responses to this topic. Folks like The Grown Up and Karegina have found such solace and companionship from this game. I know of others who have met soulmates through the game. I honestly feel my own experiences are petty and small beside such things.

Effy asks us a small question, that has led to some giant responses

“How has WoW changed your life?”

I’ve had life’s ups and downs as well, but none have involved the game. I started to play WoW because my friends were. I often lived remote from my closest friends and it was a way for me to stay in touch with some of them.

Mabaho dressed for Navispam (I realised the only shots in that post have him sitting)

It’s actually a bit of a change from the games I had played until then. And I guess that’s something that has changed. For the past seven years I’ve been playing pretty much just WoW. Now I’m definitely not the type to swap games every week but I usually play a couple of different ones in a year. And they have tended to be mission based FPS or Simulators (either warplanes, spaceships or mechs). An RPG, an online RPG, an MMORPG is really outside my norm. So that’s something different.

So I’m sorry, there isn’t anything deep here. WoW has for a time changed my gaming, but not my life.

Mechwarrior Online (picture belongs to MWO not me)

Shared Topic – MoP Beta

The few people who do follow my blog deserve a post. I’m actually writing a lot of posts at the moment, but due to an Non Disclosure Agreement, I can’t post them yet. So shared topics give me a great chance to keep posting that I can publish. Otherwise it’d be Mabango is still in the inn at Dal, Mabaho and the rest are hanging out in Org. Not really worth reading. Anyway, this week Frinka has suggested a topic for Blog Azeroth.

Are you playing the MoP Beta? Why or why not? How much time are you spending there vs. the “live” servers.

Oh definitely not. I don’t want to spoil the surprise! I’m happy to roll up to the new zones on the opening night (or a night or two later) and view it all for the first time. I still remember the first time I ran up the road from Mulgore into The Barrens to explore. Its on of the strongest memories I have of WoW. That would be in about June 2005. Oh, the Barren explore ended with my level 5 or so getting wasted by the first thing I came across and I scooted back to Mulgore to keep questing.

Similarly I remember when Mabaho finally levelled enough to enter The Dark Portal. I’ve posted screenshots of that before. I can’t remember as well the WotLK and Cata but it was similar. That’s the exploring feeling I like.

So I’m not spending any time in the Beta. I don’t have a key and made no effort to get one.

It’s also hard as some of my favourite blogs post stuff on it occasionally. Bubbles of Mischief I almost avoid entirely (sorry Cymre!) as she puts a massive amount of effort into giving us all great info on the new stuff. I plan to read it as I go along later. If you are interested in it, she’s has an awesome amount of stuff.

As for live server, due to another Beta (with the NDA), I’m not logging in much anyway. But I’ll be back in September.

Shared Topic – Introducing RL Friends

Not sure who suggested it, but this week’s shared topic on Blog Azeroth is

Have you ever tried introducing a real life friend to WoW? If yes, how did it go? If you never have, why not?

I did try to get my wife involved for a month or so. We levelled a couple of toons through Recruit a Friend, she had a Mage and I was originally levelling a Bear, but later switched to Dasal.

She’s not very computer literate and has never been a gamer so she found it very complicated. I think the RaF actually was detrimental as we progressed too quickly and she couldn’t get the hang of the character. She gave up at about level 40ish (I remember we were running endless Maraudon in LFD.

Here we are…. wearing Mr T masks. I can’t remember what this was about? One of the World Events? WoW Birthday (you know, they used to give pets for that)

I recently used her toon to experiment with a Scroll of Resurrection. So its been boosted to 80.

TagongTago

I’ve had better luck breeding gamers, with both kids being very computer literate and Miss 5 can do simple quests and travel around already.

I’ve seen this topic from both sides though, Navimie introduced me to WoW, way back in early 2005, not long after she started playing.

So it’s all her fault ;P

Shared Topic – Starstruck

The shared topic is from (our new guildie) Dragonray. Thought I’d add to the feast of posts on my blog over the past few days (and get back on topic) with my own thoughts.

Are you starstruck by anyone? Does someone in the community respond to a post or a tweet and get you all speechless because they actually responded? Is there anyone you are waiting to have respond directly to you? Is there someone that you would like to chat to, but are too chicken? Am I the only one who puts other bloggers on a pedestal?

I don’t think you’re going to like my answer and it’s terribly boring, but no not really. It’s just not really in my nature. The main reason I got motivated to blog (again) is my close friend Navi and it’d be a bit weird to be starstruck about her*.

I enjoy several of your blogs out there but I have to admit, I don’t relate to much of it as a lot is end game, PvP or mogging, none of which I really get involved in. In part that means I haven’t got any “idol” bloggers, but also feel a bit of an outsider.

However I really do feel (dammit, forgotten the word I want to use, it’s on the tip of my tongue) honoured, happy, umm surprised (none of those are the word, but close) (appreciated… no….) when ANYONE comments or follows my blog. (so drop by anytime)

Except spam of course. Or advertisers trying to link random garbage.

*That’s not to say I don’t love her blog, I do, and I really appreciate the Navi spam I collect here, but come on, I’ve known her since high school! I’m hardly going to OMG it’s Navi! I might go OMG Navi what are you thinking! But that’s different :)  :P

Shared Topic – Most Loved Items.

For this week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic, Cymre from Bubbles of Mischief suggested:

What are the top three items on your main that you just love for sentimental, fun or silly reasons and would hate to lose? Tell us a story, what makes them so special and as always illustrate with screenshots.

I thought about this and at first I couldn’t think of anything much. I have alt banks full of mats and random stuff that my alts might need if they ever level or recipes etc that if I ever get around to levelling professions may use. I have a fair few odds & ends that I’ve kept but most of it I don’t really mind if it disappeared.

Then I decided to log in to several toons and just check their banks. Most are missing everything from their bags thanks to a hit and run by Miss 4 when she discovered how to destroy items. Thankfully she didn’t also find the bank.

And I have a few items, though there probably isn’t more than one or two more items than this lot. So from the bottom up (oh, there’s a pun there in a moment!)

3. My Brewfest Steins. Mabaho has Yellow, Green and Purple. Pumatay has Blue and Yellow. You used to get these as commerative items from Brewfests (I’m sure there are other colours) but they seem to have stopped the last few years. So a nice memory of old times.

Mabaho Dual Wielding Brewfest Steins (Green and Purple).

2. Mabaho’s Helm of Lupine Grace. A quest reward from Outlands somewhere. I just really love its look and stashed it in bags when it was eventually replaced. I really really ought to transmog with it.

Helm of Lupine Grace (and Frost Witch’s Set T10)

1. Mabaho’s collection of T4 and T5 gear. This is simply for nostalgic reasons. I earned this gear on my only stint as a raider in my guild. For about two weeks I was able to run and we did Grull/Mag a few times and SSC when this was CURRENT GUILD PROGRESSION, yes, you read that right! I even scored a T5 piece before Navi did. And she’s been heal lead for about forever! [But runs a druid so its not like I took a piece she could use]. So if Miss 4 (or Miss 2 later) ever destroyed it, I could get it back, but it wouldn’t be the same.

Mabaho’s T4 Set.

So there you have it. My top three items.

Shared Post – Pinchy etc

Okay, a little late, but I suddenly remembered a screenshot that’s a little interesting. So here’s my response to last weeks shared topic.

Fishing is an odd sort of minigame in WoW and people I’ve talked to either love it or hate it. So what’s your take on the most grindy of sports?

I really don’t like it, mostly as Redcow suggests, it’s waiting without doing anything, but you have to pay attention too…. no macros, no not looking clicking a mouse, but equally, not moving about etc.

I don’t like fishing much in RL either. Though I’ve been trout fishing, coral fishing, lake fishing, and even caught nice edible fish occasionally.

So here’s the screenie.

Fishing Sholazar Basin, sitting on the water in the middle of the lake. (See the Water Walking Spell active)

Shared Post – Killing the Knowledge

Okay, we’ve had all the responses from the raiders. How about a perspective from the other side :)

Logtar asks in Blog Azeroth

The last couple of years in WoW have changed the game quite a bit. While it is very easy to jump into the “elite” vs “casual” vs “noob” bandwagon type of discussion, what is causing it I think is a more interesting topic.

Do you guys think that the LFR and LFD kill the sense of community, but taking it one step further; does it also kill the passing down of knowledge?

I know I did learn a lot from reading the web, but even now I get tons of information from my guild. If I have a doubt, I ask the question and most of the time someone knows off the top of their head where an enchant is, or what the best glyph is, etc. I don’t take that community for granted, but it was built before there was a LFD. We are together because we did have to take the trek to the meeting stone. Now we have a button that 1 person uses and BAM we are all there. We know why that is cool, but many of the new players really don’t know what that really means.

So are the new tools for grouping killing the knowledge sharing?

Are the new tools killing the sense of community? Yes, from a server perspective, yes. Before the cross realm LFG we tended to bump into the same toons as we levelled up. Maybe they’d disappear for several levels and suddenly you’d be running with them again. I don’t see this at all now and it should almost be an Achieve to be randomly put in a party with someone from the same server!

At the level caps, if a guild run was short a couple of DPS or a tank etc, they generally knew someone they could ask to join in from outside of the guild. Some guilds even worked together to clear content. I think this has fallen away as well at the top end raiders and PvPers on servers though perhaps not as completely as the solo world. But I can’t talk to that.

As a solo grinder, yes LFG has killed the community. I posted something similar a couple of weeks back. As I said there, do I want to get rid of LFG… omg no! Long gone are the days of spending an hour in LFG channel to find a group, half an hour waiting to get everyone together and then someone leave 20 mins into the run. But I think Blizz could tweak it a little so you ran with your own server if there were people in the queue. That might help rebuild it.

But it certainly hasn’t killed guilds and there are still are all these little communities on every server of people.

Are the new tools killing the sharing of knowledge? Okay again, guilds are safe in this part of my answer. As a long term member of a pretty stable guild, I happily ask gchat the most inane questions, and get a fair bit of decent advice – so the knowledge sharing within the guild is as strong as ever. Sometimes its harder in the quiet times when maybe the World Event expert isn’t on (or you’re the only guildie online, who do you ask then). I still ask gchat in preference to Thottbot or the wiki.

Outside of guilds – well I’m unlikely to ask anything in trade that’s for sure, except if I’m bored and curious to see what I’ll get as an answer! But how about LFG (again, I can’t speak of LFR, but I assume it’s pretty similar). Honestly after the first three or four runs, what knowledge is there to pass on? You and your random group know the fights and know what’s required. Rereading the question, that’s probably not part of what Loktar’s asking.

But what about in that 3 or 4 early runs. Honestly, I just tell them up front - “Sorry first time here, keep me posted on what I need to be watching out for.” I even throw this out if it’s been a while since I ran that particular place or that toon. I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I’ve found myself either ridiculed or staring at the loading screen. And understand that in most cases I was running heroics months into Cata and Wrath due to my snail like pace of levelling. Some dungeons I ran for the first EVER as an 85 heroic, having not had a chance to run them whilst levelling.

In contrast, there is less need to share knowledge in game as these days there are a plethora of videos, strats, blogs etc that provide clear lists of what to expect, what strategies work etc. The knowledge is still being shared, but just not in party/raid chat anymore. Seriously how many times have you run a heroic and nothing is said in party chat except a “GG” or “Thx all” at the end, but the place was cleared in 15 mins. Obviously, the knowledge is still getting out, and its getting out to a wider audience. Just in a different way than many of us remember from the early years of the game.

So is LFG killing the community? Yes (but not in guilds) but is it killing the knowledge sharing? No, but it’s pretty rare to find it in party chat anymore, unless you ask.

Shared Topic: Gaming Distractions

From Blog Azeroth I found this subject.

Generally whilst playing WoW I don’t have a lot of planned distractions. I  like to have some music playing when I’m not on vent (which is almost never). Sometimes, if I’m part way through watching a movie I might set my iPad up under the main screen and have that on.

What really breaks up my playing is the demands of my family. Except for the quiet period in the early morning when I am often on, my evening playing is usually broken up with bathing the kids, reading to the kids, separating the kids from the inevitable fight, getting them into bed, getting them to sleep, getting them into bed again, getting them to sleep again, getting them…. OMG go to sleep already :)

Whilst I might be logged on at 8:30 ready to raid, I can’t go as I will be called away at short notice for unknown lengths of time. I feel really bad about the rest of the group stuffing about waiting for me.

Eventually, it will get better as the kids get older, who knows, maybe they will be raiding with me :)