Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: When Worlds Collide

This weeks Blog Azeroth shared topic is:

Have you ever tried to introduce real life friends to WoW? If yes, how did it go? If you never have, why not?

Sometimes even talking to real life friends about WoW seems impossible, even if they are into video games in general.  There seems like a huge barrier of information and jargon that is impossible to explain efficiently enough to support the anecdote you want to inject into an otherwise non-WoW related conversation.

I’ve actually introduced real life friends to WoW twice.  The first time was back just before The Burning Crusade was launched.  This first friend jumped right in and got hooked on the game.  He eventually was the person who introduced me to raiding and gold earning.  He’s not playing anymore but I’d have to say that introduction went extremely successfully.

Then just recently another friend got a trial account.  The difference is striking — my second friend has played one character of every race, alliance and horde, to level 20 and then stopped.  So, he played a lot, but hasn’t so far decided to take the plunge to a full account.  There are three factors that seem like impediments to him.  First, his account was hacked and that was an unpleasant experience.  Second, he is afraid it might become too time consuming.  And last but not least, there is just so much to learn now — the game has stretched out so far compared to vanilla.  It must feel impossible to a truly new player that they can ever catch up.  Basics that veteran players take for granted are hard to explain, like addons, duel-specs, glyphs, mail, the auction house, etc etc etc…  The trial account restrictions didn’t help much either.

I suppose many factors influence whether a new player ends up playing in the long term, but my general feeling is it’s harder now than it used to be.

 

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: One Realm to Rule Them All

This week’s Blog Azeroth shared topic was suggested by me:

If it were possible, would you want Blizzard to put all characters in a single realm/game world by realm type — PvP vs PvE vs RP? Why or why not?

The short answer for me is yes, but.  Yes, but if that were to happen a lot of other things would have to change.  If Blizzard left the world largely as it is and combined us all onto one realm by rule set, the world would break quickly.  Chaos would ensue.  Apocalypse!  (ooooh, possible expansion title?)

Tokyo Subway

Just imagine your capital city, physically the same as it is now, with 100 times or more people in it.  Even at the lowest usage times, this would be unworkable.  It would be like the Tokyo subway at rush hour, or worse.

One solution of course would be to leave the zones as they are and make multiple copies of them, sort of instances.  I think other games that do this give you ways to switch your automatic assignment to one of these instances in case you need to interact with someone in another instance.  This just seems clunky to me, and counter to the whole point of one game world.

If it had been possible to have a single realm design in the beginning of WoW, the whole geography of the game would just be bigger.  Like in the real world, there would be more cities, and there would be no single city where you had to be ever.  No “single city bottle necks” to capacity.  It’s funny that now, Blizzard purposely makes some services only available in capital cities so that they don’t become ghost towns.  A single realm design would flip that script.  Also like in the real world, expansion of the game world would be required as population grew.

So however much a single realm seems good in theory, it’s not only difficult technically but impractical to do retrospectively.  However that doesn’t mean Blizzard could not consider more changes in that general direction.  Remember the world before battlegroups, or cross-realm lfd?  I think more features like these, including the a possible cross-realm auction house, can and should be considered.

 

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic Links: Starstruck!

The Blog Azeroth shared topic for July 9 – July 15 was suggested by Dragonray from Azerothian Life:

Are you starstruck by anyone? Does someone in the community respond to a post or a tweet and get you all speechless because they actually responded? Is there anyone you are waiting to have respond directly to you? Is there someone that you would like to chat to, but are too chicken? Am I the only one who puts other bloggers on a pedestal?

I posted mine here on Monday — since then many many more excellent submissions (14!!) rolled in.  Please take a moment to enjoy each of them.

 

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Acuzod Sat Next to Me!

The Blog Azeroth shared topic for July 9 – July 15 was suggested by Dragonray from Azerothian Life:

Are you starstruck by anyone? Does someone in the community respond to a post or a tweet and get you all speechless because they actually responded? Is there anyone you are waiting to have respond directly to you? Is there someone that you would like to chat to, but are too chicken? Am I the only one who puts other bloggers on a pedestal?

There are many people in the WoW community that impress me with their wit, ingenuity and friendly nature.  I’ve had virtual brushes with a few — Matticus from World of Matticus responded to one of my tweets, Robin Torres from WoW Insider acutally linked to my blog, and very early on one of my true heroes, El from El’s Extreme Anglin’, followed me on twitter.  When El followed me I remember thinking “gotta make my tweets good now.”

But however flattering it is to have a virtual brush with fame, nothing beats an in person brush.

Acuzod, founder of Overly Dramatic News, totally sat right next to me for like 5 minutes at Nerdtacular 2012!

I really was excited.  This was my first year attending Nerdtacular, or for that matter, my first time at any in person, WoW-related gathering.  For those who don’t know, Nerdtacular is a gathering of Frogpants community folks, who include listeners of Frogpants studios podcasts like The Instance and members of the large AIE guild on Earthen Ring.  Here’s the one blurry picture I took on my phone to prove I was there.

Nerdtacular 2012

I really like Frogpants founder Scott Johnson and I’ve been a long time listener to The Instance.  I have an alt in AIE, but I’m extremely inactive there, so I knew no one at this event, and I went alone.  I’m not shy — anyone who knows me will tell you that, trust me.  But despite Scott Johnson’s and Turpster’s and Dill’s statements that everyone should just “walk up and say hi” I found it difficult to do so.  They are running the event and signing autographs, and I just really didn’t know what to say.  I wanted to introduce Warcraft Street to that community, but I felt weird advertising.  So mostly I just sat and enjoyed the panels and laughed and had a good time.

When I saw his nametag and he sat next to me, I had to say something to Acuzod.  I introduced myself and when he responded I said “the famous Acuzod!”.  He replied, “Infamous maybe.”  That was it.  Brush over.

Acuzod is the founder of Overly Dramatic News. Here’s how they describe it on their site:

Overly Dramatic News is collection of parody news stories made to reflect how World of Warcraft characters would affect or be affected by Real Life. It’s World of Warcraft meets The Onion Radio News. Originally the brainchild of Acuzod, the network anchor seat was passed on to HuntsTheWind in early 2012.

Even before I totally became friends with Acuzod (sarcasm) I greatly admired the creativity it required to come up with the idea for ODN.  In addition I admire the professionalism with which it is acted and engineered.  It’s just plain good, so if you haven’t heard it, you should check it out.

 

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic Links: Nice Things

The Blog Azeroth shared topic for July 2 – July 8 is:

What is the nicest thing another player has ever done for you in-game

I posted my response Monday.  Here are links to the other responses — they will make you smile.

 

 

Sunday Blog Post Roundup Vol. 4

Lots of interesting stuff this week.

WoW Insider featured two interesting posts about gold sinks.  In a WoW Archivist post, Scott Andrews wrote about the history of gold sinks in WoW, and Olivia Grace followed with a post on gold sinks and entitlement.  I like to call them rewards for gold earning, but that’s just me.

Hunter Mastery is not “just a hunter blog”.  Focushot is a serious gold earner and his post this week sharing his TSM shopping list for 77-80 green items got me to try my had at that market on my own server.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Hunter Mastery was in my google reader list but it didn’t hit my radar until I heard Focushot on the latest episode of the Power Word: Gold Podcast.  Jim Younkin turned a live stream conversation with Focushot and Farli from The Overcut into a very informative podcast.  Best of all, Jim is not afraid to tell you when markets or gold earning tactics he tried didn’t work for him.  It’s a great listen.

Vile over at Vile’s Golden Auctions writes a great post about protecting your WoW account.  You can never be too careful about Frinka’s Rule #0.  One thing I’d add that he didn’t mention (I don’t think…..) is you should avoid logging into WoW or battle.net from a public or shared computer.

A newer blog for me is Portal Market.  This week DerBanker posts part 5 of 5 of a great series on pricing and your realm’s population.  Go back and read them all it’s great fundamental information.

Croda at marketsforgold had two posts that caught my eye.  First one on how they determine a minimum amount of gold they want to make per hour.  This fits nicely into a process oriented view of gold earning — you can evaluate the value of each activity by a method like this.  They also write about the real life value of in game gold.

Tastes Like Battle Chicken July Blogging Challenge

I admit it.  I copped out.  I had planned to write for Ambermist’s June Challenge but I just could not think of a story that was worthy to tell.  It completely stumped me.  You may know Ambermist and not realize it — she’s the blogger who wrote about her astonishingly poor customer service experience when she was unjustly banned from SWTOR.

Her proposed topic for July is one I simply can’t cop out on:

It’s nice to sometimes get a glimpse into the writer behind the blog, the person behind the character. So here’s your challenge: give me a detail about  yourself. Obviously, not everyone’s comfortable being super personal online or on a gaming-related blog, so the way you go with this is completely at your discretion.

A few possible things of interest come to mind.  The first is that I’m a bit older than most “gamers”.  I’m nearly 48.  And I’m a woman.  The name Frinka comes from my college days — I lived in an on campus house that had a mythical founding family with the surname Frink.  The ‘a’ on the end was added by me in an attempt to make the name feminine.

I’m not a real gamer in the sense most people mean the word, even though I’ve played games for a long time.  The first video games I remember playing a lot were on the Atari 2600.  I loved playing Breakout.  Eventually I got a Nintendo and I recall playing The Legend of Zelda a fair bit, but oddly I don’t remember much else about the NES.

What was a huge development in my gaming history was when the house I lived in at college got an IBM PC, one of the very very first ones.  There was only one and it was in our house’s “library” (ie, the room full of book shelves).  This was in 1983 I think.  There was a game on that computer called Rogue.  We were all so enthralled with that game that people would sit for hours just watching other people play it.  It was an adventure dungeon type game with a map created from ASCII text that you slowly uncovered as you roamed around killing monsters.  It had an exploit where if you wielded food you were invincible.  Does anyone else remember that?

Since then there is a short list of games I’ve actually had relationships with.  They include: Myst, Riven, the SimCity series, The Sims, Civ III, Civ IV, Rollercoaster Tycoon, EverQuest and WoW.  I have a soft spot for simulation games — can’t wait for the new SimCity!

There were attempts at trying other huge PC games like Elder Scrolls, Doom and Unreal.  But I just don’t get them — I never seem to get past the opening sequence basically.  They don’t click.  When I stepped into EverQuest something did click.

And that brings me here.  Thanks again Ambermist for your wonderful blog for this great blogging challenge.  Keep them coming and next time if I get stumped I’ll write about why I’m stumped.

Is Gold Earning Resume Worthy?

As a new blogger I’m learning that coming up with things to write about that haven’t already been well covered in the extensive WoW fan universe is really difficult.  It’s a “Simpon’s Already Did It” situation.  Whether or not to put WoW experience on your resume is no exception — most recently I heard it discussed on The Instance Podcast in response to a listener question.  But usually the discussions focus on guild leadership skills.  The podcast made me wonder if gold earning skills deserve at least the same level of consideration in this regard.

Forget the resume for a moment.

Do we gain skills or experience gold earning that could make us more effective in an actual job?  In some very niche cases we do for sure — if you modify or write addons for gold earning and want a job as a lua programmer for example.  I’m a bit more skeptical about specific marketing or sales skills however.  The way most gold earners sell in WoW, using the auction house, does not require the same sensibilities that real life sales jobs require.  We do perform market/product evaluations and set prices, but we don’t have to deal with distribution issues or promotion in the same way you do outside the game.

One exception to this might be if you sell items using the trade channel.  If you are persistent and participate in many conversations with “random people” over a long period you will likely learn how to steer a nibble PST conversation into a sale.  It’s hard to learn — my guess is that most people that aren’t born sales people don’t sell this way in WoW.  I generally don’t.

Outside of these specifics, I do think by undertaking serious, goal oriented gold earning you quickly internalize some general market principles that, if recognized, considered and applied, could aid decision making in a real world situation.  For example, you learn the factors to consider in make/buy decisions.  These general principles would likely be best utilized in a real entrepreneurial endeavor as opposed to the more typical situation of working “for the man.”  Play WoW — start a business!

So back to the resume.

Suppose you have learned something while gold earning that would make you better at a job you are applying for.  Should you mention WoW, and if so, how?  The general consensus seems to be that this is difficult and you should proceed carefully.  The biggest barrier is that many or most of the people you need to communicate with will not have a clue about WoW or MMOs in general.  Also gaming and gamers can have a negative reputation with some as violent (at worst), addictive, and worthless (at best).

But don’t forget that putting something on your resume is not the only way to “take credit” for knowledge or experience during the job evaluation process.  Cover letters (which I believe should be one page only please) offer more flexibility.  Usually interviews contain some question about how you spend your leisure time, you can craft a verbal answer to fit there.  You can also talk about your professional values, decision making process, market philosophy and other general knowledge without mentioning WoW.  If they ask you how you developed your philosophy, then you have an opening to discuss it more specifically.

Try this — imagine how you would tell your mother, or her mother, about this skill and why it would make you better at the job in question. Assuming your mother isn’t a gamer, If you can effectively convey the skill and its connection to the job to her, then that method of communication is probably safe to use in a job evaluation process.

One final thought — It’s hard to find a job, believe me, I know.  Sometimes we just need one and we can’t afford to be too terribly picky about it.  But in an ideal world, would you want to work for someone or someplace where you couldn’t discuss your WoW experience?  Even though you apply for jobs and they make offers, don’t forget that you should evaluate the opportunity as carefully as they evaluate you.  Maybe mentioning your gold earning experience in WoW is a good way to test if this is the right job for you.

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: The Nicest Thing Another Player Has Done For Me

The Blog Azeroth shared topic for July 2 – July 8 is:

What is the nicest thing another player has ever done for you in-game?

This was another of my topic ideas and unlike last week’s topic I had something in mind before I suggested it.

I played WoW for a long time as a solo player.  I had three characters capped at 60 when Burning Crusade came out, but I’d never even ran an instance, much less done a raid.  Famously, I had no idea my first character, a human paladin, had a “bubble” — the spell seemed useless to me because it only lasted a few seconds.  It was a real life friend that I’d introduced to the game who actually told me what I needed to do if I wanted to experience more.

I re-rolled and prepared a new character (the shadow priest who remains my main today) for raiding.  During that process, I just luckily joined a very large social guild and actually made friends.  I met people I would have never ran across in real life from all over the globe.  And we raided Karazhan — I thought I was a real player then.

One of the people we raided with was a prot warrior with a gruff exterior.  Turns out he had a heart of gold.  As the expansion progressed I went back to my older characters to level them to 70, and decided to try tanking on my warrior.  My prot warrior guild friend crafted me gear, got into vent to help me set my UI and rotation, quite literally held my clueless hand through the process of what to do.

Turns out I’m not cut out to tank, not by a mile.  And honestly, I can’t explain why the kindness of this guild-mate struck me so, but it did.  After playing solo for so long he opened my eyes to the fact that we can do more together than alone.  And that insight has far outlasted anytime I spent tanking.

 

Sunday Blog Post Roundup: Vol. 3

Back after a short vacation and way behind on my blog reading.  Here are a few of last weeks posts that caught my eye as interesting.

Twitchie over at Twitchie Enterprises reviews their June sales data — it’s a great example of how we should all analyze our sales and be data-driven.

Mommar at Just My Two Copper writes an interesting post about their MoP prep checklist.  Good thoughts on token and point prep — you should make your own list like this based on your goals.  They also link other posts on MoP prep at the end of the article, all are worth a read.

Kuja at Kuja’s Gold Mine writes a detailed post on how to make gold soloing Naxxramas.  This is an interesting way to make gold and change things up if you are tired of standing in the auction house.

The Gold Queen writes an extensive guide to undercutting strategies.  This summary gives all the pros and cons so you can decide what works for you.

Love The Godmother’s post on ALT:ernative about manipulating marketsa.  Very thought provoking read.