Pugged Groups: Looking for Ego?

Awkward Moments Raiding
NOTE: The Beta Key Contest will end on Friday, September 19th at 3 PST, 5 CST, 6 EST.  Go solve those riddles!

So you all know how I love the Other Raids feature.  Even with its tendency to show healers as needing a group when they don’t,  or randomly unlist your group, the feature is pretty great.  Thanks to Other Raids, I have gotten my ilvl up to 556, been able to clear 8/14 Normal SoO, and gotten a few achievements on the way.  All in all, I’d consider the feature a success.

But, even I will admit, the feature was a band-aid on a bigger issue.  Pugging, and the extreme difficulty it was without outside sources.  And with 6.0, Blizzard intends to put in place their real solution to the problem.

The Looking for Adventure tab in the Group Finder, it is called.  Within it, players can search through and find a group to their liking, and then apply.  Or they can create a group, and set certain criteria such as item level or voice comm.  So basically, a built-in OQ.  In theory, I think the idea is sound enough, but I have a few queries.

First things first, will you only be able to list groups, or can you list as an individual looking for a group?  One thing I’ve noticed in the current iteration of Other Raids, is that there will be dozens of people looking for raids, and only a few groups listed.  With this new LFA (that’s gonna be my acronym folks, you heard it here first!), will there be just a few groups forming, and dozens of people all rushing to get into those limited spots? Or will I be able to queue up as a healer, and just wait for the whispers to come in?

I kind of hope that the LFA will let you queue as an individual or as a group, but have them under separate tabs.  For example, someone looking for a group might list themselves under the Individual tab, then go and search for a raid in the Group tab.  And vice versa.  Also, as a sometimes raid leader, I like the fact that you can  pick from an array of different people, instead of just the people who apply.

My second question; will the requirements be abused?  Yes I know that you cannot put an ilvl higher than your own, and if you put a high ilvl, only people with that ilvl will see it.  But you can easily circumvent that by putting a low ilvl requirement, but in the description mention that you actually want x ilvl.  I can see lots of possible ways that this system could be abused.

Also, one of the specific requirements that you can choose are Proving Grounds level you wish your group member have achieved.  Personally, I disliked the Proving Grounds.  I didn’t feel like that was an adequate way to test your skill at a class.  I thought the time was too punishing, and the kiting/defensive cooldowns severely lacking.  I learned almost nothing about raid awareness, CCs, or group etiquette.  All I got from my experience was how to spam your abilities the best and how to complete some highly specialized and otherwise irrelevant tasks.  As a result, I barely did any of them.  I don’t really want that to become a requirement.  I didn’t enjoy them, and I didn’t think they were a good test of the skills necessary in a raid.  And I certainly don’t want ‘LF DPS, Need PG GOLD’ to become a new normal.

But unfortunately, this sort of elitist behavior is already common in the gaming community.  I don’t want to tell you how many times I see a flex with an ilvl 550+, or a normal demanding ilvl 570, the legendary cloak, and heroic experience.  You definitely don’t need that level of gear and experience to run that level of content.  But unfortunately, many groups now want that.  And with this new group finder, I worry that this will become even worse.

I guess what I am getting at here is that while the LFA will be a great feature, we could possibly be trading ease of access for elitism.  I absolutely love the idea of pugging, but left to its own devices, it can get way out of control.  We need some sort of incentive to bring along at gear level characters, not just massively over geared ones.
‘But Fussypants, can’t you just set up your own pugs?’ Yes, but I shouldn’t have to do so every time.  There should be groups with moderate requirements that I can join.  Not just groups with outrageous requirements that are way out of my range.  The nature of pugging is quick semi-formal groups to run content.  Not hardcore, elitist jerks that carry the one leader of the group.

All things in moderation, especially World of Warcraft pug requirements.

Ready… Set… Go!!

The Beta Key contest is starting… now!

Your first riddle:
The first word be a story
The end of a ferret
An adventure of merit
Something so great you must share it.

The second and thirds
Are more filler words
And ones that are often times heards

The word numbered four
Is an action and noun
That the vikings did sound
In the days when they were abound

And finally to five
Is a valued druid spell
When a person hath fell
And your raid leader shouts with a yell

Together these will form
An article of inform
And one that is out of the norm

 

EDIT: We are now giving TWO keys away! Yotaan and I decided to give away the other beta key we got, so now first and second place get a key, and third and fourth get a painting! Happy hunting!

Good luck!
HOW THIS WILL ALL GO DOWN
In this article is the first riddle.  The answer to the riddle will be either the title or the topic (or some other such clue) of one of my previous blog posts.  Upon going to that blog article, you will find the next clue in the bottom of the post.  This riddle will lead you on again.

There will be four riddles in all.  Riddle number four won’t lead you to a new post (you will be reminded on that riddle that this is the last one).  Instead, you will email me at thefussypants@hotmail.com (remember the ‘the’ in front of Fussypants in the email, or I won’t get it) with the answer to the riddle AND THE TITLES OF THE OTHER POSTS IN THE ORDER WHICH YOU HIT THEM.  This way, I will know that you actually followed the trail instead of just answering the last riddle.

The first three people to email me with the correct answers win!

Prizes will go as so
1st place: The beta key (obviously)
2nd place: A watercolor painting of your character
3rd place: A (slightly smaller) watercolor painting of your character
(Key will go out the following day if possible, paintings depending on when I get them done)
If I cannot reach you to give you your prize, I will award it to whomever was next.
If you are first and you don’t want the key, please make that clear in the email, and I will give the second place person the key and you shall receive a different prize.

You don’t have to want a beta key to join! Anyone can participate, for fun, for the watercolor, or heck, even for bragging rights!

TIPS
Use the search function in the blog
Think outside of the box regarding the riddles
If you are stuck on a certain riddle, comment in the first clue post and I might help you
Have the email all set up beforehand so you can send it right away once you have the answer
Have fun!

REMEMBER
This is supposed to be a fun event! Yes, it is also a competition, but don’t lose sight of the fun aspect in your race to be first!  Good luck to you all!

Disclaimer: Yotaan and I retain the right to refuse to award the prize to anyone on the grounds of cheating or unsportsmanship.  So please. Don’t do it.

Beta Key Giveaway Rules

Oh man,, these Photoshop skillz though

Oh man, these Photoshop skillz though

You voted, you commented, and now the results are in!  The way Yotaan and I will give away the Beta key is… by riddles in the blog!

Now, time for the nitty gritty.

On Sunday the 14th of September, at 3 PST, 5 CST, 6 EST, I will post the riddles through out the blog.  I will also post an article basically saying GO! and shortly after that I will update my Twitter with said post.  So that time is when you start hunting and solving riddles.  Just to reiterate Sunday the 14th of September, at 3 PST, 5 CST, 6 EST.

HOW THIS WILL ALL GO DOWN
In the article I post, will be the first riddle clue.  The answer to the riddle will be either the title or the topic (or some other such clue) of one of my previous blog posts.  Upon going to that blog article, you will find the next clue at the bottom of the post.  This riddle will lead you on again.

There will be four riddles in all.  Riddle number four won’t lead you to a new post (you will be reminded on that riddle that this is the last one).  Instead, you will email me at thefussypants@hotmail.com (remember the ‘the’ in front of Fussypants in the email, or I won’t get it) with the answer to the riddle AND THE TITLES OF THE OTHER POSTS IN THE ORDER WHICH YOU HIT THEM.  This way, I will know that you actually followed the trail instead of just answering the last riddle.

The first three people to email me with the correct answers win!

Prizes will go as so
1st place: The beta key (obviously)
2nd place: A watercolor painting of your character
3rd place: A (slightly smaller) watercolor painting of your character
(Key will go out the following day if possible, paintings depending on when I get them done)
If I cannot reach you to give you your prize, I will award it to whomever was next.
If you are first and you don’t want the key, please make that clear in the email, and I will give the second place person the key and you shall receive a different prize.

In order to make this more fair, I will be changing the blog temporarily so that only the first paragraph of every article shows.  The riddle will be in purple text in order to make it clear where they are.

You don’t have to want a beta key to join! Anyone can participate, for fun, for the watercolor, or heck, even for bragging rights!

TIPS
Use the search function in the blog
Think outside of the box regarding the riddles
If you are stuck on a certain riddle, comment in the first clue post and I might help you
Have the email all set up beforehand so you can send it right away once you have the answer
Have fun!

REMEMBER
This is supposed to be a fun event! Yes, it is also a competition, but don’t lose sight of the fun aspect in your race to be first!  Good luck to you all!

The rules stated here will also appear in the first clue post next Monday.

Disclaimer: Yotaan and I retain the right to refuse to award the prize to anyone on the grounds of cheating or unsportsmanship.  So please. Don’t do it.

Durumu: Best Boss Fight in MoP?

creature_durumu
‘What?’ you say,  ‘Durumu? The one with the maze? You must have made a mistake here!’ Actually, imaginary interpretation of person, I have not.  I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: Durumu is one of the best boss fights from MoP. And here’s why.

First things first, Durumu the Forgotten is not easily forgotten.  Every single person who has raided Throne of Thunder remembers him.  Most people remember him because of his difficult to navigate maze or annoying cones of light ability, but for whatever reason, Durumu does not slip from many’s memories.  In my mind, and I would assume, in Blizzard’s mind, the best boss is one that people remember.

Sometimes, bosses are remembered because of lore reasons.  The Lich King, Illidan, and Edwin VanCleef come to mind right off the bat.  There is great story behind the character, and the fight is a very personal thing instead of just fighting Evil Troll #4 or something along those lines.  A lot of times, quests or the instance itself lead up to the inevitable demise of said character.  But not every boss has an in-depth fleshed out background.  Not every boss can.  So that brings me to the second reason bosses are remembered.

Bosses are remembered if they have particularly hard mechanics. Things like Yor’sahj the Unsleeping (the dude with the colored globules in Cata), The Occulus (that entire dungeon was frustrating) or Kor’Kron Dark Shaman stick out in people’s minds.  People remember the wipes, the tears, and the time invested in getting those bosses down.  And this is exactly why Durumu  is remembered.  From his hard to see maze with added death beam, to the cones of light revealing Fog creatures, and the pools of badness on the ground, Durumu is one for the record books.

But Durumu’s mechanics aren’t just memorable, they were also creative and new.  The idea of a maze, in which you basically stop dps to navigate is a pretty unusual one.  And it worked.  No other boss in Pandaria had mechanics quite like Durumu.  The boss was a radically different experience from all the others.  It had so much going on, but at the same time was rather easy to understand in concept.

And it was one of the few bosses in Pandaria where dps didn’t matter as much.  If you got to the maze phase, it didn’t matter if you could do 200k dps or 5k, because you have to get through the maze before you could dps.  Raid coordination became more valuable than the gear you were wearing.  Durumu was the great equalizer.

Sadly, the glory days of wiping endlessly in LFR on Durumu are coming to a close.  With a whole new tier, it has become more and more common for people to dps Durumu down before he ever gets to the maze phase.  But I, and many other players, will remember him for far beyond MoP.

WoW needs bosses like Durumu.  Bosses with new and innovative abilities, bosses that require more than DPS or luck to beat.  And honestly, WoW also needs bosses that are ridiculously hard, that challenge even the most elite, and push people to try new techniques.  If every boss was a tank and spank loot piñata, we would get bored with raiding really quick.  So this is why I like Durumu, and why I consider him one of the best bosses in Pandaria.

 

Addendum: Beta Key Giveaway coming Soon™

Legendaries, Keys, and other Odds and Ends

Third Legendary
First things first, I got my third legendary.

I swear I’ll stop! This is the last one!!

Anyways, I got the DPS cloak for my disc priest (she is also shadow) since I make extensive use of Atonement healing.  I have no plans at the current to buy the healer cloak, but if my heals start to really suffer, then I might pop the 8k gold for the healer cloak as well.

On another, semi related note, I have a quest! My quest, which I chose to accept, is to get the Ahead of the Curve achievement and down all of Normal SoO before 6.0 drops.  I’ve been trying all my avenues, but most have fallen through.  So now I turn to you all.  Does anyone need a healer or dps, horde or alliance to cover for one of your normal SoO raids? My ilvls are between 544 to 553 and I know all these classes like the back of my hand, so you wouldn’t have to carry me (too) much.  Please get in contact with me if you need me to fill in, or if you are willing to bring me along!

Now I know none of you really care about this, what you want to hear about is the beta key we are handing out.

Which is why I’m now going to give a lengthy article about the lack of dailies in WoD, and what that will mean for reputation gains.
Naw, I’m just messing with you all.

So as you all know, Yotaan and I have a beta key to give away.  I’ve spent the past week wracking my brains, trying to think of a fun but fair contest to give it away.  I’ve come up with two options, but I’m not completely happy with either.

The first would be a scavenger hunt of sorts.  I would hide some sort of riddle within this blog, in one of the older articles.  I would give you a clue to which article, and then the riddle would lead to another article, and another, and another, until you got to the last riddle.  Who ever replies in the comments of that article with the correct answer first would get the key (if you haven’t yet been approved for commenting, don’t worry I’ll pay attention to which comment comes first regardless of whether or not it’s approved).
Now, I don’t really like this one because it would be on a first come, first serve basis, and I know that many people won’t be free the moment this article drops.  To make it more fair, I guess I’d announce a couple of days ahead what time I’d post the article, so people would have a warning.  I like that this one is more of a thinking puzzle than a random drawing, but it’s a bit stacked against those in different timezones, and those who aren’t great at riddles.

The second idea I had, was borrowed from Kibler Bits‘ blog.  The idea was that I would host an in-game event, and the winner of that would get the key.  The event I wanted to try would be a race to the top of Ironforge.  Everyone would roll level one gnomes or dwarfs, so there would be no mounts or speed boosts (and if you do use one, you would be disqualified).  Then, at the same time and from the same spot, everyone would run up the mountain as fast as they can.  The first person to the top wins.
The problems with this idea are as numerous as the first one.  I am on US realms so any players from around the world would be unable to compete.  It would be even more tricky to plan with timezones, and many people may not be able to come because of the time.  While I don’t think any of you would cheat, that is still a risk, as well as interference from players outside of the race.  This challenge would be far more luck and WoW skill oriented, but with the pitfalls of timezones.

Instead of deciding by myself, I have decided to put this one up to you, the readers, and the beta keys hopefuls.  Which challenge would you rather do, or is more flexible for everyone involved?  And if you have any other ideas, by all means, put them in the comments! Voting will remain open until Friday.

Also, I was thinking of maybe providing a second and third place prize.  No, it wouldn’t be a beta key, but I was thinking of maybe doing a painting of their main toon (I dabble in some watercolor) or perhaps a Blizzard store pet of their choice.  But like the challenge itself, this one is up in the air.

An Aggregation of Answers

Community effort
It seems there are a ton of blogger questionnaires going around right now.  Instead of answering them all individually (which would take a bunch of posts), Yotaan and Fussypants are going to answer them all right here, right now!

Cannot Be Tamed is reinventing itself as a source for information about all games, not just WoW.  In honor of this, Jasyla has created a questionnaire for all gamers to answer, as a way of discovering new bloggers. Her questions are below!

1)    When did you start playing video games?
Fussypants: When I was eight years old, after watching Yotaan play World of Warcraft for some time.
Yotaan:  Remember Battlezone?  Yep, I’m that old.
2)    What is the first game you remember playing?
Fussypants: World of Warcraft! My first memory of WoW was starting my draenei hunter Eightandgreat and exploring the world.  And fishing.  Lots of fishing.
Yotaan:  For home games, King’s Quest.  I distinctly remember having the worst time climbing the 3 screens of stairs to the clouds.  For video games not at home, my friends and I would spend entire Saturday afternoons at the video arcade, armed with pocketfuls of quarters.
3)    PC or Console?
Fussypants: PC all the way.  I can’t remember the last time I used the family Wii.
Yotaan:  Mac of course!
4)    XBox, PlayStation, or Wii?
Fussypants: Wii, because it’s the only one I’ve played on enough to judge.
Yotaan:  Where’s Atari?
5)    What’s the best game you’ve ever played?
Fussypants: Well, given as this whole blog is about it, I’d have to say World of Warcraft.
Yotaan: Yep, I agree with Fussypants, WoW.
6)   What’s the worst game you’ve ever played?
Fussypants: I haven’t played a game (yet) where I was just like ‘Wow, this sucks’.  But I guess Guild Wars 2.  I was gifted the game by a friend, played it for an hour, got bored and never went back.
Yotaan: Dragon’s Lair – the silly animated classic arcade game.
7)   Name a game that was popular/critically adored that you just didn’t like.
Fussypants: Angry Birds! I found that game irritating, annoying, and really dumb!  It was theoretically a game of physics and angles, but it would bug out so much, and they added so many different birds and crap that it was just foolish.
Yotaan:  Right now, it’s Threes – I just don’t get it.
 8)   Name a game that was poorly received that you really like.
Fussypants: I’m not sure on this one, but the newest Sim City? There was a lot of flack about the online aspect of the game (which I honestly didn’t care about) in the reviews, but not much on the game itself.  I enjoyed it tremendously though!
Yotaan: Sorry, can’t come up for answer for this.
9)    What are your favourite game genres?
Fussypants: MMORPGs and sandboxes all the way.
Yotaan: MMORPGs.
10)    Who is your favourite game protagonist?
Fussypants: Gee, this one is a hard one. I would say Jaina Proudmoore, but then she went all crazy and stuff.  Hrm, probably a tie between Wrathion and Moira Bronzebeard.  Hold on, scratch that! Bowser.
Yotaan:  Lady Sylvanas
11)    Describe your perfect video game.
Fussypants: Wow, this one deserves a post of its own! My perfect video game would have an epic and layered story that you would get to play through and change as you go.  There would be three faction vying for dominance, and a ton of other groups on the sidelines.  It would be sandbox-y, but not uncontrollably so.  For example, if someone killed one faction’s king (which would be hard to do) then someone else would become king.  It would be an MMORPG, and you would have to work together with other players to change the game world.
…In other words, nigh impossible!
Yotaan:  I like Fussypant’s game, I’d play that!
12)    What video game character do have you have a crush on?
Fussypants: Erm, well… given as that I’m a teenaged girl, its kinda obvious.  Anduin Wrynn. (*blushes*)
Yotaan:  Ha!  No way!
13)    What game has the best music?
Fussypants: World of Warcraft without a doubt, followed by Zelda.  I love the epic orchestral stuff that Russell Brower has been coming up with for WoW, and Zelda music is amazing too.  I could listen to that all day.
Yotaan:  I actually have WoW music and have listened to it.  Favorite is Grizzly Hills.
14)    Most memorable moment in a game:
Fussypants: Ok, this is a doozie!  I’ll pick three from three different games!
The first moment is pretty simple: Beating New Super Mario Bros for the first time.  I spent months working up to that final castle, when Bowser fell for the last time, it was a pretty awesome feeling.
The second moment is when I decided to make a city in Sim City with as much crime and pollution as I could.  I was doing this with a friend, and we were laughing our heads off at my feeble attempts to attract crime.  We ended up with a casino town with no police stations, completely polluted ground water (people were leaving left and right), and absolutely no crime what so ever.  Obviously, we were doing something wrong!
The last moment is from WoW.  I was in the Jade Temple instance leveling my mage.  No one else in the group knew the dungeon but me (it was early on into MoP).  But instead of charging in for an inevitable wipe, the group ask me for instructions.  So I gave a run down of every boss before we fought them, and gave advice on how to handle certain adds, and what to CC (remember, this was the beginning of MoP so this sort of stuff mattered).  We slowly but surely made our way through, everyone being patient with each other when we made mistakes.  It was the most supportive, most friendly, most positive group I think I’ve every had the pleasure of being in, in my entire LFG career!
Yotaan:  I have so many memories, from discovering games to trying out WoW.  My best memories are sharing game time with my kids.

Shot from the game. Still gives me the shivers!

Shot from the game. Still gives me the shivers!

15)   Scariest moment in a game:
Fussypants: Have you ever heard of the app game Limbo? Basically in the game, your this boy who is trying to save your little sister.  Only, you’ve gotta overcome obstacles in your way, and you have no powers other than jumping.  And a lot of times, if you fail to do so, you die pretty horribly. The entire game is in black and white, and the music is insanely creepy, making it a very atmospheric game.  The scariest moment was when I was trying to get beyond this giant spider, that when you got too near would stab you.  I had figured out how to trap it’s legs, and had trapped all of them.  Or so I thought.  So I ran up to the spider, expecting to be able to walk right by and continue on. SPLERCH! The spider’s eight leg shot through my avatar’s chest with this horrible noise, and I died.  It was just so sudden, and so terrifying that I actually screamed as it happened.  Needless to say, I have not played that game in a while.
Yotaan:  I first leveled on a PvP server in WoW.  I was in constant fear of ganking.  Scary but thrilling too.
 16)   Most heart-wrenching moment in a game:
Fussypants: Wrathgate from WoW.  To be that close to victory, and then fail due to a horrible betrayal is really upsetting, doubly so for how well made that cinematic was.
Yotaan:  I really can’t think of time that I had a heart wrenching moment.
 17)   What are your favourite websites/blogs about games?
Fussypants: I love WoW Insider for the great community and up to date information.  Also, WoWhead is a fantastic resource for pretty much all things WoW as well.  Then there are the numerous blogs I read.  Currently, I’m reading a ton from Lockandbolt, Gnomecore, and Blog of the Treat, though I do read countless more.
Yotaan:  I love to listen to podcasts, Convert to Raid, The Instance, and Angry Chicken.
 18)   What’s the last game you finished?
Fussypants: I generally play games that you can’t finish, so Kirby: Mass Attack was the last game I truly completed through and through.
Yotaan:  Plants Vs Zombies
 19)   What future releases are you most excited about?
Fussypants: Warlords of Draenor!!
Yotaan: WoD!
 20)   Do you identify as a gamer?
Fussypants: Absolutely.  In fact, I’m one of the few girls my age that do, so I’m the only ‘gamer gal’ at my school currently.
Yotaan:  Not as such, gaming is a part of my life.
 21)   Why do you play video games?
Fussypants:  For fun  mostly.  I love video games; they are entertaining, they can have great stories, they are fantastic time passers, and I meet fantastic people because of them.  Now, I also play video games so that I can write about them!
Yotaan:  For fun and as a distraction.

community

Over at Mr & Mrs WoW a plea has gone out to the community.  We need to stop the negativity that’s overshadowing the Warcraft community.  In order to achieve this, Mr & Mrs WoW have asked the community to list three things that we do in WoW that we love.  Yotaan and Fussypants blogged their answers below!

Fussypants: It’s no secret that I love raiding and healing, but for this I want to choose some more unusual and out of the ordinary things to do.  Without further ado, my list!
1) Anyone who has read blog has noticed the tab on the top saying RAOU.  This stands for Random Acts of Uberness.  Basically, I collect all the moments when someone I don’t even know does something awesome for me, without asking for a reward or anything. I’ve written quite a few posts on this, and have gotten some submissions from other people too!
But, as well as collecting when these moments have happened to me, I also love to do this to other people as well!  It’s the awesomest feeling to go up to a random stranger, and give them several Frostweave bags and a hundred or so gold.   Or take over and lead an LFR that’s falling apart.  Or compliment players that are especially helpful or good at their role. Every time I play, I try to hand out a RAOU to at least one person!
2) I’ve gotten to the point in my game play, that there’s not much more of the typical stuff that I want to try.  I’ve done raids to death, I’ve dungeoned, I’ve PvP’d, I’ve run old content, I’ve leveled every class I wanted to 90; there not much else to do.  So, I’ve taken to challenging myself in more unusual ways.  Things such as low-level PvP wearing only a Lovely Dress or healing dungeons as a feral druid are super fun ways to past the time.  My personal favorite it a game I play with my guild.  I call it the Portals Game.
So I will be on my mage, and I will create every portal that I can in one huge pile.  Then, I will pick a destination city.  My guildies will randomly click a portal from the pile.  If they find themselves in the destination city, I will give them 50g.  If not, they must pay me 5g.  It’s a great game to play at the end of a guild event, and it’s easy and funny!
3) I have three different healers, two ranged dps, and a kinda awful feral druid.  The one thing missing from that list was tank, and in response I rolled a protection warrior.  So, my last fun thing to do in WoW is try out new roles!  Tanking has been challenging, at times stressful, but completely new to me.  It’s like this little pocket of the game that I’d never touched before, and honestly it’s been a blast!  I tried out healing last expansion doldrums, and that soon became my favorite role, so trying new is always a good idea!

Yotaan:
1)  I still love to PvP – I can’t wait until Ashran comes out, I think it will really enjoy it.
2) I really enjoy finding new things I haven’t seen before and WoW has so many nooks and crannies to explore.
3) I love playing with my daughter (and other kids too!)

Druid Healing
It’s the end of the expansion, and Gnomecore has some questions about Pandaria as we move on to Warlords of Draenor.
1. Is Pandaria worth replaying if you must level your alts here?
Fussypants: Yes, I definitely think so! I have the feeling that I will continue to discover things about the continent that I missed as I level characters through to get beyond it.  The music, zone atmosphere, and story of MoP is well crafted and interesting, and I really enjoyed questing through it four times over.  And if I was still interested and engaged alt number four, I will most likely stay the same for alts five, six, seven and beyond!
Yotaan:  Actually, I will probably treat Pandaria as I have with Cata, Northrend, and Outland.  Just passing through…

2. Compared to previous expansions, what place in the row will Pandaria take? And which expansion is best for leveling?
Fussypants: Pandaria is currently my favorite expansion.  I started raiding, started really healing, and met a ton of people this expansion, so I will probably be most nostalgic about this expansion.  That being said, I have no clue how Warlords will be, so WoD could possibly overtake Pandaria as my favorite, once all is said and done!
I think Wrath is the best for leveling because everyone is OP, so you blow through it very fast.  At the same time, the storylines are among my favorite, and the zones incredibly atmospheric.  Pandaria is a close second, only because it takes so much time.
Yotaan:  I think it will be my favorite, the scenery is amazing and the tone is not threatening overall.

3. Which Pandarian storylines you will do when you level up through it again? Which you definitely won’t?
Fussypants: I will definitely go through Kun-Lai Summit, if only for the Grummlepack.  I’ll also hit Krasarang Wilds and Townlong Steppes, since I didn’t quest either place very much.  I will definitely be avoiding most of the Jade Forest and the beginning parts of Valley of the Four Winds, because I have done both to death.  All in all though, the Pandaria quests have great replay value, so I wouldn’t mind doing them all again as I level 85-90.
Yotaan:  Sadly, I’ll probably just dungeon my way through…   I will be too eager for Warlords!

Yotaan and Fussypants would highly recommend taking part in all or any of these blog projects.  The WoW community is a fabulous lot, and we think everyone’s voice should be heard!

The WoD Live Premiere!

WoD Street DateAfter a long and action filled vacation, Yotaan and I have returned! Those of you who follow us on Twitter already know this, but Yotaan and I got a special treat on Thursday of our vacation.  It turns out, we were within driving distance of L.A. on August 14.  What was special about that day? Well, I’ll just point you to the image above.

Yes, Yotaan and I were able to go to the live cinematic showing for Warlords of Draenor! It was complete happenstance, and completely awesome!

The day we arrived at our vacation destination, Yotaan mentioned to me that we would be near LA on the 14th.  I had not connected the two events, until he explained to me what that meant.  We were in California and free to go to the WoD cinematic premiere live.  Suffice to say, I freaked out.  I begged Yotaan to take me, explaining how once in a life time this opportunity was.  I will probably never be able to go to BlizzCon for a number of reasons, so this was the closest I’d get to seeing something like this live.  Yotaan discussed this with my mom, and eventually said yes. We would be going to the Ace Theater on Thursday.

The week flew by until Wednesday night was upon us.  Yotaan and I mapped out the quickest route to the theater and got all prepared to go once we got up the next day.  Then bright and early Thursday morning, banana breakfast in hand, we were off.

WoD Line

This was the backside of the line that no one took pictures of but me

We arrived at the theater at about 6:30 in the morning, a full two hours before the doors opened.  But already, the line was MASSIVE.  It stretched all the way around the block so that we were on the backside of the building.  Apparently people had been camping out over night, and one dude had been there since the day before.

I went on a mission to walk the entire line, since we would be there for a bit.  I set out, Yotaan saving my spot, and hiked around the whole block.  It took me about ten minutes to get to the front and back while walking at a brisk pace. I saw people of all backgrounds, ethnicity, heights, genders, and ages as I walked around.  It was truly awe-inspiring to think that one video game, World of Warcraft, had brought them all together.  There were families all wearing WoW shirts and old people shouting ‘For the Horde!’ at all those around them.  There were clusters of young men all babbling excitedly about the game and one girl done up in fangs and face paint waving around a horde flag.

After walking to the front of the line, I quickly made my way back to my dad again.  We stood in line and chattered with the people around us for a bit.  I was checking my Twitter periodically, to see if I could meet up with any famous people (I actually saw Rygarius, but didn’t realize it was him until afterwards).
About half an hour passed, and I decided to head out again, this time in search for Olivia Grace to get a WoWhead bracelet.  I got halfway to the front when Yotaan called me frantically, telling me to run back to our spot.  I dashed back, and was given an orange bracelet with the WoD Warcraft logo on it.  At the time, we had no idea what the bracelet meant, but were stoked all the same.

Can anyone see this?

The Blizzard bracelet is above and the WoWhead one is below

The line moved up a few times, and then a woman with a British accent whipped around the corner, and asked the people behind us if they’d like a photograph.  I realized with a start, that she was Olivia Grace.  I dashed after her, and asked her (using the magic word) for a WoWhead bracelet.  She only had one left, which was the one she had on her wrist.  Ms. Grace didn’t skip a beat; she took the bracelet off her own wrist, and handed it to me! I thanked her heartily, and she again dashed off to do more Olivia Grace work.

It was now about 8:30, and the line was started to inch its’ way forward.  Yotaan and I didn’t know if we would get in or not, but the event had already been a fantastic success.  We turned one corner, and then another until we could see the front of the building. The Ace Theater entrance was ahead of us, and the hype was real.

There were some people at the side of the line, beta keys already in hand.  They told us that they had been too far back in the line to get in, so they were given beta keys and an apology, and had been asked to go.  I felt bad for them, but at the same time excited that we hadn’t been told that.  We could have a chance at getting in.  The line  moved up, and up, and up, until we were under the Ace Theater sign.  We showed the door dude our wristbands, and we were in!

According to the doorman’s conversation with another guy, we were in the 700s of the people allowed in.  But Yotaan and I believe that we were later than that, due to the ground floor being completely filled up and the balcony seats almost as well.  We quickly found seats, and settled down to wait.

WoD Theater

Our view from the balcony

First and foremost, the theater was beautiful.  Ornate stonework adorned every wall, and two gorgeous murals were painted on the sides.  The whole theater was cast in a ethereal blue light and down on the stage a huge screen blazed the Blizzard logo.  I’ve been to a few theaters in my day, but this one outshined them all.

For about half an hour, the crowd murmured with conversation, anticipation buzzing in the air.  Then, the lights changed to an orange-red, and Warcraft music began to play.  The crowd cheered and sat up, but the show was not set to start for another 10 minutes.

Ten minutes flew by, and a dude sauntered on stage.  The crowd went quiet, then roared, and the show was on!

Those of you watching the live stream know what went on, but I’ll provide a brief summary for those who weren’t.  There was an interview with Holinka and Hazzikostas with great information on Ashran and the pre-expansion event, and then a video detailing the game play of WoD.  After this, Metzen walks on, and introduces the Lords of War video.  That is also shown.  Finally, the cinematic starts.

As it begin, there is a tremendous cheer.  Shortly after, we fall silent, and watch.  The sound it booming through the theater, and everyone’s eyes are on the screen.  We watch enthralled until the very end, when the WoD logo is shown.  An even more tremendous cheer rings through the air, the release date is shown, and the event was over!

E-E-E-EPIC POSTER S-S-S-SWAG

E-E-E-EPIC POSTER S-S-S-SWAG

Yotaan and I slowly made our way out of the theater, flowing with the crowds.  Upon leaving, we got two epic posters, and two beta keys. And stay tuned, we might be giving that extra key away in the next week or so.

All in all, that was the most fantastic, video game filled, nerdy-licous, incredible morning I’ve ever had.  The whole thing was like a mini taste of Blizz Con.  It was fantastic to be surrounded by people who all played WoW and who all felt passionate about it.  The hype was real and the cinematic was so powerful and well done.  That event was EPIC!