WoWWatch: Wish you were here.

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Another year, another Blizzcon come and gone. Compared to previous years, this Blizzcon seemed a little more sedate. The release of Starcraft 2 over the summer and the mountain of information that is already available on Cataclysm left a little less “oomph” to this year’s proceedings. The biggest bombs Blizzard dropped were the introduction of arena style PvP to Diablo 3 and the inclusion of a download service for Catalcysm. But that information is available on any number of MMO news sites, so this week I decided to give you some cool inside observations that you could only really get if you were there in the flesh (or read this article).

WoWWatch: A respectful plea for sanity.

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Sometimes events occur that are so horrific they burn a memory into our minds. Killings, bombings, terrorist acts, etc., all horrific beyond contemplation. For many of these instances the pain will never be forgotten by the people who lost loved ones, spouses, and friends. But afterward life goes on, because it must. On December 7th 1941, 2,402 American soldiers and civilians were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. They were serving America and paid the highest price for their selfless duty, that day as it is said, “will live in infamy”. December 7th 2010, marks the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and has also been slated as the release date for Cataclysm.

WoWWatch: Scattershot

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I have to admit, I don’t really like doing this. Writing a smattering of topics entry, that is. You see these on sports blogs a lot too. They are easy to write because you really only need a few sentences of analysis for each point you want to make. They are very superficial, and generally – I don’t like them. Generally. But this time, and hopefully just this once, I will resort to the smattering style article, so away we go.

WoWWatch: Getting Iced…

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I recently received that phone call that anyone with a parent in the older generation dreads…a call to make an Amazing race audition video with them. I think in a lot of ways being asked by a close relative to be on the Amazing Race is the familial equivalent to being Iced; you don’t really want to do it, you know you are not going to like it, you know that there will probably be public embarrassment involved, but that you kind of have to do it. Luckily an extra long application form and late notice on the audition got me off the hook – at least this year. Had there been time though I would have done made the audition video, my parents raised me for 20 years, a single Amazing race video seems like a small price to pay (maybe). I do a lot of things, not necessarily because I want to, but because I feel like I have to. Sometimes this spills over into my virtual life as well.

WoWWatch: The spice of life?

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I don’t normally talk about other games here, because well, this is a WoW column and that just wouldn’t make sense. Occasionally in an article however, I will mention one game or another to make a point about WoW. Well this is another of those articles. The game: Vindictus. The point? There is a lot to do in Azeroth – and that’s a good thing. (There is your cliff-notes version – read below for expanded startling revelations!)

WoWWatch: Sausage party

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Ever been to a party with a conspicuously high proportion of male attendants? Chances are if you have been to college, (or if you play video games, follow the careers of Starfleet officers, or speak Elvish) the answer is yes. The “sausage party” (if you don’t know the terminology you can urban dictionary it) or males-only club is dreaded by most party throwers (and goers). I can tell you (from experience, really) the flip side (I won’t use any funny slang here) is almost as bad. It’s a little uncomfortable when one of your female friends points out a conspicuously high number (19:2) of our female counterparts to us. Whenever a balance gets shifted too far one way or the other things seem a little out of whack – the same holds true for WoW.

WoWWatch: Ready your pandas

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It is finally here…sort of. After months of relative silence regarding when WoW players could expect to call out of work for a week, the hush has been broken. Numerous sites are reporting today (this sounds like a 1950’s radio news broadcast, doesn’t it?) that Cataclysm is due to be released November 2, about two weeks after this year’s Blizzcon. Whether you are insanely excited or just absurdly excited about the impending cataclysm to our social lives, this is big news. With Cataclysm looming ominously on the horizon, what are your plans for the expansion?

WoWWatch: Burning down the house

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So with Cataclysm right around the corner* there have been a ton of “bucket list” articles surfacing. (* “right around the corner” has been trademarked by Blizzard and is equal to a period of time equal to or greater than 1 week to when the ice caps melt.) These “bucket lists” sweetly reminisce about all the fantastic lesser appreciated quests and achievements in the nooks and crannies of Azeroth that may not be available in the future – mainly because Deathwing is a bad mo’ fo’. There are so many that you are probably tired of reading them, but don’t click that back button on your browser! This article is not one of them! With all this sappy sentiment going around I am feeling absolutely counter-culture, like Apple in the early 90’s or PC’s now. Instead of listing all the great quests I will miss, this WoWWatch will feature a few zones, dungeons, and questlines that I can’t wait to see go down in flames.

WoWWatch: The rise of e-sports

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As most people who read these columns know I am a so-called “lore whore”. I do not PvP. In the rare instances that I do, I generally die. Often. And frequently. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to be the A-Rod of arenas, it is just that my proficiency at PvP mirrors my proficiency at basketball – nonexistent. Like basketball or football the skill set required for excelling at high levels of arena play is rare, and requires extensive practice to hone. Similar to football, basketball, or any major sport watching the best players matched up head to head can be quite entertaining. So why isn’t WoW arenas a sport or Starcraft 2 for that matter? Will they ever be? Read on for my thoughts on the future of “e-sports”.

WoWWatch: Know your role.

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I am absolutely horrible at basketball. Just really, really bad. Ever seen a Harlem Globetrotters game against the Generals? Well pretty much anyone looks like the Globetrotters when matched against me. I can’t pass, I can’t shoot, I can’t dribble – and despite 16 years of playing soccer and developing some freakishly disproportionate leg muscles – I can’t jump either. Luckily no one is ever going to inform me out of the blue that I have to give up my job and become a basketball player. Our characters in MMO’s though are sometimes asked to do just that: change roles. How do you deal with it?