To Beta or not to Beta: Legion Edition

Legion BetaThat is the question.  Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer in anticipation of the expansion release, or to take arms within the expansions beta and by doing so, spoil yourself.  To test, to know.

Hamlet aside, Fussypants and Yotaan again address the eternal question: will you be participating in the Legion expansion beta?

Fussypants: Not to Beta! I’ve already written on this earlier but I have no intentions of entering the beta or even reading up about the beta news. So yes, I’m the reason you have to have spoiler tags, sorry guys!

But seriously, the reason why I chose not to beta is two-fold.  For one, waiting until that set point when it drops builds the excitement better for me personally.  If I were to get a taste of what the game would be like or learn of the story early, the actual launch would be less special and fun.  Waiting builds anticipation!

For another, I’d be a pretty bad beta tester.  I’m not super great about filling bug reports and the fact that everything would be wiped all the time would mean that I’d quickly lose interest.  Why spend so much time on something when it’s all going to be deleted?  I’m just not good beta testing material.

But this means, with beta now launched, I’m going to have to be very cautious on the internet.  I haven’t been spoiled yet but I’d like to keep it that way!

Yotaan:  This is my fourth beta “opportunity” and I am going to pass.  But, unlike Fussypants, I do read a little about the beta news.

For me, I want a good story.  When I sit down to read a book or graphic novel, I read from the start to the finish.  Unlike a certain reader I know (Fussypant’s Mom/Yotaan’s wife) I don’t skip to the end to find out what happens.  The build up of the story, the twists and turns of the plot, and the grand finale is what I look for in a novel.  In many ways, playing WoW is just like reading a novel, especially if you read the quest text and watch the cinematics.  So how could I participate in the beta!  I’d be skipping ahead in the story!

Now, I have been reading about the class changes and game improvements.  I want to be ready to understand how Yotaan and my assorted alts will be modified.  My poor little shaman has undergone drastic play style changes in the past several years.  But I don’t dive into quest discussion or even much about the new zones for fear of story spoilers.  So I carefully read news on just the mechanics.

I wonder what kind of beta tester I would be…  I suspect I would be diligent.  As my (temporary) character moves along the leveling, I would dutifully report all bugs and such.  This doesn’t sound like fun.  This sounds like work!  If you have been reading my few posts on our blog here, you know that I am not interested in working while gaming.  So, no beta testing for me.

Then again, if I do test, I could taunt Fussypants with spoiler knowledge…..  Hmmm….

And what about you guys? To Beta or not to Beta, which have you chosen?

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Beta-Testing Life through WoW

Walking towards the futureI wrote a post a long time ago about the impacts that WoW has had on my life at that time.  However, I have gotten a good bit older (in kid-years at least) and a great deal more mature so WoW’s impact on me has definitely changed.  So thus, Beta-testing life through WoW.

I wish to start by saying that WoW has had an enormously positive impact on my life.  I know there are people out there that had the game completely take over and ruin their lives, but my experience has not been anything like that at all.  I’ve grown up in WoW, and it has been one of the best teacher’s I’ve ever had.

At this point in my life, I’m starting to decide what sort of person I want to be when I grow up.  How I want to act and react to those around me.  How I want to portray myself to others.  How I want to think of myself.  I’m beginning to realize just what the world is like, and its not an easy thing. I don’t know how many of you remember your teenaged years, but they can be a difficult and emotional time.

Which is why I find myself ever grateful to know about and play WoW.  That might sound strange; during my most vulnerable years I want to play a video game? How does that help? But it does.  WoW is the the place where I can really try out who I want to be. It’s the beta test, in a way, of my personality.

Because in Azeroth, I can be anyone I want to be.  Anonymity is a powerful thing but also a chance for me to try out who ‘me’ is.  How do I treat strangers? How do I treat friends? How do I make friends? I’d like to say it’s been a successful trial run thus far, since I don’t know of any enemies.  But it’s so much better than school, because there are no strings attached.  No history or past prejudice.  How I acted years ago doesn’t affect me now.  It’s a really empowering feeling, especially coming from school with it’s baggage of history.

But along with how I act, WoW has also taught be the best way to react.  Dealing with trolls is one of the stickier aspects of life.  This is going to sound really ridiculous, but the trolls of WoW have actually taught me a valuable life lesson.  How do you deal with insults? How do you deal with arse holes? I’ve learned that you can’t always fight it, but sometimes you have to.  And other times, you have to stand up for another. I’ve had some encounters with some really awful people in real life, but because of WoW I know how to come out on top.

Leadership is another thing I’ve picked up from WoW.  I’ve been an officer in three guilds now, and have organized and executed dozens of events.  I’ve led raids, organized people, and dealt with managerial stuff, to the point where I thing I have a good handle with what I am doing.  This sort of knowledge translates superbly well into the real world.  School projects become a lot easier (usually no one wants to lead, so I often step up and fill that role) and I would assume the workplace too. Because of my beta testing in WoW, I’ve learned how to lead and how to get people to follow.

The list goes on and on.  Time management, how to own up for mistakes, how to ask for help (I really struggled with this).  I won’t say that I’ve learned it all because I know I haven’t.  But I have certainly got a lot of advice and experience under my belt.  It’s made me a more mature, more confident, and more successful person.  Because of WoW, I’m finding who I want to be faster that most others my age.  I’m making mistakes, absolutely, but I’m doing them in an environment that will let me move past those mistakes.

However, I don’t believe that I am the only one who can change and grow because of WoW.  I would bet money, that every person who plays WoW can use it to better themselves.  This probably sound really hippy dippy talk, but I think this is an important idea.  You get out of life what you take out of life.  And I’m going to take all this WoW experience and run with it.

Because of WoW, I’m finding me.

 

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So yeah.  One soul baring article with added philosophical musings.  I promise I won’t get all profound and deep all the time, but I really needed to write this and get this out there.  Have a nice weekend folks and a Happy Spring Break (whenever that might be)!

The End of the Contest

Beta Key Giveaway
The beta key contest is officially over!  The answers to the riddles were:

First Riddle: Tales of a Raid Rebirth
Second Riddle: Flying from Cloud Nine
Third Riddle: You are not your #%$@ DPS
Fourth Riddle: Topper McNabb

I also learned an interesting bit of trivia from one of the submissions.  Apparently Topper McNabb is a reference to Paul Dooley (aka J. Wellington Wimpy) from the 1980 film Popeye.  The more you know!

The two winners were Khizzara and Letusbefree-Windrunner.  Congrats!

Thank you to everyone who contributed! I hope you had as much fun solving the riddles as I did coming up with them! Emails have been sent out to the four winners.

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.

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.

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!