Entries in gameplay (4)

What are your Daily Routine Priorities?

All this turtle wants to do, all day every day, is catch that stupid carrot on a stick.

One thing that constantly fascinates me about WoW is how everyone gets something different out of the game. Some of us really love raiding or running dungeons, others have fun hunting for achievements, some have a grand time playing the auction house, and for some players, questing and learning the lore is the optimal gameplay.

And depending on what we like to do, we tend to prioritize our limited gameplay time to fit in as many of our favorite aspects as possible. And because of the way that Blizzard has smartly created a focus on doing certain things once a day, whether that be for daily quests, your first random heroic, or trying for an achievement in a particular heroic. And because there are so many things that we can do once per day (per toon), that leads many of us to developing daily routines.

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What We Take for Granted in WoW

qqIn the past month or so, I've had a lot more time to really sink my nails into playing WoW. While getting caught up in the hype of gold, dungeons, scoring a hot new flying mount and figuring out how to best spend my emblems is fun, more and more I'm coming to realize that there are so many amazing, intricate aspects to gameplay that I've come to expect to the point of no longer appreciating. Now let me preface this by saying that Blizzard knows its business. If executives want WoW to remain the top MMORPG out there, they undoubtedly know that they have to stay on top of their game and keep coming out with challenging, fun, cutting-edge material to keep players engaged. And, for the most part, they do. There's always insatiable audiences who constantly demand more content, but all in all, I think Blizzard pretty much tops the industry in keeping subscribers happy. Let me also say that I am in no way informed about the actual process behind creating content. I'm happy with myself when I can just successfully get an addon functioning, so make what you will of that. So perhaps I'm in the minority when I say that sometimes, it's those simple things in the game that can most amaze me. I think a lot of this has hit me during my recent jaunt in exploration. Sometimes the large size of a zone would be daunting while leveling. And yes, even annoying. Running back and forth across an expansive area to complete quests wasn't my favorite aspect of the game. But by the same token, I wouldn't have enjoyed the actual questing if everything was crammed into one tiny, crowded area. I remember when flight paths were a godsend. Each discovery of one of those tiny green exclamation points was reason to celebrate. But eventually, they grew to be expected. And when there were areas without enough flight points, it was disappointing because it would throw off my leveling agenda. Certainly I'm not the only one who has felt this way; the Patch 3.2 implementation of mounts at lower levels makes me think I'm in the majority, not the minority. I'm not ashamed to admit that I suppose I also can be demanding of Blizzard. Why shouldn't I be? As subscribers, most of us probably do feel entitlement in some form or another. I just try not to be an ass about it because in the end, I'm still having fun playing. But its during those instances of annoyance that I try to remind myself of just how awesome this game is - without even going into the expansive lore, which alone is enough to draw me in. When I can't find an NPC because (lightheaded isn't working and) their location isn't clear enough on a quest description, I instead find joy in the hunt. When I was leveling and couldn't squeeze in all the quests I wanted because they were so spread out, I instead popped into an inn and decided to make up the difference on rested XP another day. And (before the days of being able to trade BoP items with raid members) when I had to put in a GM ticket to swap a piece of loot, I focused on the fact that Blizzard cares enough about keeping players happy that they will do something trivial like allow me get a gear upgrade. Now I'm even more amazed by some of this after reading WoW.com's report the other day that Blizzard tracks 180,000 bugs at any one time. That's a hell of a lot of content to be weeding through and still find time to make one individual's gameplay experience a priority. So perk up and show some appreciation. We'll always find things to complain about, but there's so much more to be excited about. If you need further proof, just take a look at Project Lore's blog page on any given day and learn about what Blizz plans next.

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BlizzCon 2009 Video Highlights: Live Goblin, Worgen Gameplay

Undeniably one of the best aspects of attending BlizzCon for us WoW fans was the chance to play the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm demo. Take a look here to see a little bit of gameplay on the new races, narrated a bit by me (don't mind the short little bit on Frostmourne while I was getting my camera set), and scroll down below for my thoughts! For both races’ demos, we start off with the level 5 characters in a bind. As iTZKooPA detailed, the Goblin has fainted and needs revival, while the Worgen has been taken hostage and faces an angry mob of humans who have him in a medieval pillory. But (surprise!) in both cases you regain control of the characters and move along to some pretty standard low-level quests of collecting shiny things hidden in the area around you and killing random creatures. The demo only allowed choosing either race as a male. We obviously have an idea of what the female Goblin will look like from released screenshots, artwork, and based on how they’ve appeared in the game thus far. But I am still incredibly curious about how the Worgen female will look. So far, the only thing we really have to base that on is the Worgen female mask found through data-mining, and who knows if that will even end up being an accurate picture when the game comes out. Another note on appearance: Goblins look downright mean. I scrolled through every available facial expression combination, and it seemed each was a varying level of permanent scowl. Granted, Goblins have a lot to be pissed off about right now, but can’t at least one version have a smile, or a smirk, even? Perhaps they’ll add one in before all is said and done. I guess I shouldn’t fret since I’ll roll female anyway! As for the Worgens – they all have pointy teeth, obviously, but they didn’t all look as angry. Perhaps all that fur makes them soft on the inside, too. Blizzard is also leaving plenty up to speculation, since the Cataclysm demo obviously was not the complete game. I mention this in the video as well, but another unknown is the dance that each race will perform (or any of their other emotes for that matter). One of the first thing I tried out while on both characters was a /dance, but to no avail. Only when the Worgen was in human form would he dance, and it was the usual Saturday Night Fever groove. The world map wouldn't zoom out beyond just the zone view, either, and based on panel discussions it sounds like they’re still working on the exact placement of new areas and how the post-Cataclysm map will appear. So other than seeing how the characters move, and what kind of quests they're up to at level 5, it's hard to glean too much from the gameplay. Regardless, it was still an awesome opportunity to get an up-close look at how the new races will play. So how are you guys feeling so far about what you've seen of gameplay? The video can be difficult to discern at parts -- some of the screens were too bright for my camera to handle -- but I hope you've enjoyed getting a bit of a sneak peek!

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Female Toons - Take II

RL girls or not, they're taking this bear down!
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post exploring the relationship between a WoW player's RL gender and what gender they play in-game. And all you Project Lore readers out there are so great that you provided tons of comments for me to ponder over. Let's take another poke at the subject. One of the things that I didn't address earlier, but that comments certainly did, is whether girl gamers have inferior or superior skills when it comes to playing WoW. Personally, I think it's all about experience no matter what gender you are. I'm sure there are just as many noob guys who play. But regardless, the stereotype is that girls can't play. Or that just because we're girls, we make good targets for taunting and sometimes harassment while playing in a male-dominated setting. And there's a lot of us who don't appreciate being treated differently for any reason, much less such stupid ones. Magradon commented:
I think us girls need to take WoW by storm... I’ve had WoW stalkers and guys who actually profess their love, talk about visiting me…and all I ever did to deserve it was to be nice. /ignore
And Nightwisher elaborated on similar experiences:
i get ALOT of shit for even playing wow and being female...  boys just cant take girl gamers seriously. though im pretty sure my fully epiced resto druid would stomp some faces if i actually liked PVP’ing.
My experiences have been less extreme and more amusing. Like when a guy toon properly positions his /dance so it's right on my chick's ass. Lovely. But my purpose today was not to spread *Girl Power,* even though there are plenty of us who certainly kick butt in game. Really, I just want to have a bit more fun on this topic. So on that note, here's the flip side of the situation. I actually have a lot of fun being the instigator sometimes. One of my favorite things to do when bored? Find a random male toon. /flirt. Wait for a response. /slap. Run away! Makes me laugh hysterically every time! I don't know, maybe doing that sort of thing makes things harder on other girls in game. I hope not. But regardless, it's hilarious. I try not to take things too seriously, and typically my targets don't, either. It appears that there are others roaming here on Project Lore who also use sex appeal to their own advantage. Like AlysiumX:
ok ok i admit it, im a guy playing a girl character but thats only for the +5% chance for grp invites
Way to keep it real. While I previously guessed that girls do not generally play cross-gender toons, it seems that you lovely ladies out there have proved me wrong. So props to brandywine, Hatell, elfennau, Cyan, Wrongway, Halcath and Percolatte, among others for breaking that misconception I (and based on the comments, apparently others) had. But it still seems that guys are a bit more likely to fall into that roll. Whether it's "cuz i dont feel like watching some guys ass when i lvl up" (thanks Marcwaznthere, for your articulate explanation), or if you're like jimbob who admitted, "i just have an ‘affinity’ with female toons, go figure!" I guess we all have our reasons for playing the way we play, even if we don't think about it much. Female toons? That's just how I roll! I thought Alayea phrased it best:
Female players FTW!
So, let's get this discussion going again. Regardless of your RL gender, do the benefits of playing a girl toon outweigh the other crap that some of us put up with because of it? Can you really get away with more when you roll female? And will you silly boys out there ever realize that a girl toon, no matter how hypnotizing she may be, is not your personal play toy?

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