Pre-Cataclysm: Overcloaked

Long-time readers will know that I'm not a big fan of tabards. Most are bright, ugly, and cover up all that neat armor that you spent so much time earning in dungeons. Not to mention, there are ostensibly better ways of showing your guild pride (such as regaling the denizens of Trade Chat with tales of your l33tness or posting embarrassing videos of your raid leader yelling to Youtube).

So tabards suck. But what about sexy, fashionable overcloaks? Now, that's an idea worth backing!

What little we know about these new vanity items (data-mined by MMO-Champion from the latest build of 3.3.3) indicates that they're currently attached to Pre-Cataclysm events. Specifically, those that we already know something about, like the reclamation of Gnomeregan and the Echo Isles.

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Patch 3.3.3: The LFG Feature and Holiday Bosses (Lie Detector No Longer Needed)

Sure, holiday bosses (and the potential for their phat lootz) are one of the biggest draws for many of us to world events. But up until now, a lot of drama has come with them - the potential for players not being "fresh" for their daily kill, the difficulty in forming groups late in the day, and of course QQ over rolls on loot.

Patch 3.3.3 aims to bring closure to some of those issues by bringing in the LFG system that we so love here at Project Lore. And now we also have a bit of clarification from blue poster Zarhym on exactly how it will be implemented (at least as of now).

Buried within the Patch Notes for 3.3.3 on the PTR, we have this little morsel:

  • World Event bosses (such as Ahune for the Fire Festival) will now be accessible through the Dungeon Finder. Players must use the Dungeon Finder to access these bosses.

And here's what Zarhym said to bring a bit more clarity to the matter:

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The Harder You Fight, the More Gratifying When You Win

It was one of those fights that took everything my raid group had to get through it. And that made it all the sweeter when we finally beat it.

I'm talking about that ugly, bumbling, high-pitched experiment of an abomb, Rotface. For whatever reason, my 10-man raid crew had opted to take the right fork in the hallway outside of Professor Putricide's laboratory. Although probably the harder of the two abominations, we set our sights on downing Rotface first, and focused on getting down the tactics we needed to down him.

Our first night trying him out seemed encouraging. Our best attempt had gotten Rotface to 20 percent, and we were certain it was only a matter of time. Then things went south.

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The Balancing Act: WoW and Virtual Rewards, IRL Penalties

There's many ways to teach a dog, or even a child new tricks.  Most of the psychology behind teaching relies on positive reinforcement.  The idea is simple, whenever the subject does something correctly it is rewarded for its action.  Food, love or a pat on the head, the reward can be almost anything likeable.  It has also been shown that if the positive reinforcement comes somewhat randomly, rather than every time, the subject is more likely to seek perfection later on. 

Positive reinforcement has worked wonders on me.  My parents promoted good grades by granting me fancy dinners for each A.  My teacher gave out Jolly Ranchers for fixing a grammatical error in a paragraph (it's vs. its ftw).  Sports accomplishments lead to WWF/WCW (now WWE) pay-per-view events - I even like cheesy stories!  In college I rewarded my own achievements with video games or a night on the town.  It's a tactic I use on my pets, and will likely repeat when I have my own koopalings.

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Starcraft 2: Slashdance Ain't Just For WoW

Blizzard's always been known for adding in little easter eggs for their fans to find, from the iconic soundbites of over-clicking a unit to the Secret Cow Level in the Diablo series to cleverly-named cheat codes (Operation CWAL holds a very special place in my heart).

It's this sort of attention to personality and fun that allows you to do the Macarena in front of the Lich King -- Azeroth's most fearsome villain to date -- as he idly waits for your raid to engage him. Indeed, if there's one thing more fun than playing World of Warcraft, it's /dancing in the process. You can do it next to the fountain in Dalaran, you can do it in in the depths of Molten Core, you can do it while in Bear Form, and even in the middle of a war! No corner of the world is safe from random, wanton hip-shaking!

It was only logical, then, that Blizzard continue this trend by slipping it into every game they produce from here on out. One enterprising tester in the Starcraft 2 Beta found out that you could open up the chat box and type in everybody's favorite emote. This is what happened next...


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WoWFlix: Get Lich or Die Trying (NSFW)

WoWFlix is a column featuring videos from around the web related to World of Warcraft. If you find something you’d like to be featured, leave a comment or send a tweet to @Heartbourne.

A couple of weeks ago, the infamous "Get Lich or Die Trying" song and video were released to the interwebs. Complete with one of the most famous WoW cosplayers and their merchandise, this video has one of the highest production values of a non-in-game WoW video ever produced. It could be seen far and wide, from Kotaku to Digg, and after a month of development on our new NSFW image, its here on Project Lore! 

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Goblinism 101: Real-Life Economies Vs. WoW's

Goblinism 101 connects real-life economic principles with the markets that exist in World of Warcraft. It seeks to teach about capitalism's WoW analogue, goblinism, through examples and stories.

The economy of World of Warcraft has a lot of similarities with real world laissez-faire economies. There are some key differences, but it is a close model of a no-government free market.

One of the biggest differences between a typical WoW economy and a modern real world economy is that there is little to no product differentiation and little to no innovation. That is, the Merlin's Robe you get crafted by your guildmate Legolasxlol is identical as the one you buy from a stranger on the auction house, which is identical to all other Merlin's Robes. Additionally, nobody can create or discover new items. Nobody can say "gee, I wish this belt had more stamina on it" and research ways to craft belts with more stamina. The only real exception is when there are recipes that are difficult to obtain or are very new. Jewelcrafting recipes are a great example; there are hundreds of cuts and few people have a vast library of recipes. Players have to buy them by spending time on dailies or money on Titanium Powder, an equivalent of research and development in the real world. There are some other exceptions, like Northrend Inscription Research, but by and large there is no innovation or product differentiation.

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Blizzard Store Now Flush With The Plush

I had a lot of plush figures growing up. Like most children, they kind of served as my little protectors. I'd line them up around the edge of my bed at night, a fortress of fur to keep the monsters lurking in the darkness at bay.

And, of course, I had one special, raggedy dog that I kept closest of all, wrapped up in my arms like the greatest treasure I would ever possess. As time wore on, I let go of these habits, and even retired my faithful friend in the fear that I would only wear his already threadbare body out completely.

But that didn't stop me from collecting others as time went on. An alligator (graduation present after leaving the University of Florida), several dogs (total dog person here), and a few random characters that I liked over the years. In fact, they're all lined up at the top of the computer desk I'm sitting at right now. Yes, that's right, a big, burly, bearded man like me is not afraid to admit he still has stuffed animals!

I may not sleep with them anymore, but in many ways, they still define me. And I can't think of anything that has defined me more over the past few years as World of Warcraft

You know those Gryphon Hatchling and Wind Rider Cub plushies we announced a couple weeks ago? Well, they're finally available for purchase from the official store, and Blizzard is about this close to goading me into adding another member to the family!

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Love is in the Air 2010: No More Love

Love is in the Air is over and done with, but not before I made a major mental lapse.  Amatera was kinda enough to remind us on Saturday that the seasonal event ended that night, but I hadn't acquired a single Love Token upon reading his PSA.  The event is far easier than in the past, but there was still a limit on the number of tokens one could acquire in a given day.  Unfortunately, the limit is lower than the amount required for a Truesilver Shafted Arrow.  I thought I had more time!  My rogue now has to stare at 30xLove Token in his bank for the next year.

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Protip 8.5: Dangerous Love

Protip is short video series with various tips and guides. Leave a comment to let me know what you want to see in future segments. Follow @Heartbourne or subscribe in iTunes for notifications of new videos! 

In this episode, we continue grabbing Love is in the Air achievements. Check it out to learn how to get Dangerous Love, The Rocket's Pink Glare, and My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.