Monday, May 15, 2006

News Update

Went to E3 last week. Though most of it, and most of my interest in it, was NOT about WoW, WoW had a presence on the floor and in the discussions of panelists. [Notable absence of Blizz peeps on panels.] I sent out the newsletter with the new race in it, the launch dates for the patch and expansion, and a snapshot of the screen, so I'm NOT going to be redundant about that here.

I am just filing news tonight.

FIrst of all, Hallgrima has FINALLY gotten a new hat, a tiara actually. Never happier than when I dumped that mask. I'll have to grab some new snaps for the blog. Hall is pushing 55 this week, and has moved her current hearth to Gadgetzan in order to be closer to her new grind spot, the Crater. Yes, I'm in the Crater. And yesterday I came around the corner and found my self face to face to King Mosh. Actually, he's pretty far away in this snap. Next to him, I come to his ankle. ...a level 60 elite...isn't that kinda redundant? LOL.

I'm playing several other toons. Kuu is a lvl 23 priest herbalist. Saami is a lvl 29 hunter leatherworker/skinner with a raptor pet, and she is a corporal level 2 in BGs! I'm digging BGs, though I cannot tell you why yet. And last, but not least, Tynaqua is a lvl 26 Hordie rogue. I'm diggin' rogue too.

And this snap is just pretty. I was play with Saami and climbed a hill outside of Menethil Harbor and grabbed this snapshot. Click on it to enlarge and widen your browser window. It's a b*i*g screen shot.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Leadership II: The BG Experience

Been doing a lot of BG (battlegrounds) with my hunter alt, a level 24 hunter with a kickass raptor pet (named Spielberg, for Jurraasic Park). I think there is a lot of potential in that for leadership workshop. You are dumped into a group of about 5-10 people within a 10 point level range, e.g., 20-29. You play live against a comparable Horde group. I've been playing in Warsong Gulch (WSG) where the game is a variation on Capture the Flag. When you are pulled in to the game, you have about 4-5 mins to get your act together before the gate goes up.

In the first few I was in, the first minute is about getting everyone invited into the group so you can communicate on the /raid channel. Then everyone buffs and manas and does stuff with pets etc. Rarely, someone actually steps up and takes command. Rarely. In about 10 games this has happened once for me. I usually try to suggest it with phrases like, "So what's the plan?" or "How do we want to play this?"

Some folks are just there for the HK (honor kills) and don't care if they win. They just want to kill a lot of the enemy. That's a real drag. Some folks are very competitive and yell a lot. Worst group I was in two guys kept arguing on /raid channel about who should be doing what: everyone to midfield; everyone on defense; everyone gather to attack; only hunters on defense. Very chaotic. We lost (btw, I've only been on one winning group in 10 tries).

I'm surprised no one stops to use the 5 mins to take stock of who the team is made up of, what strengths and weaknesses that represents, and plans accordingly. It is a classic leadership dilemma. Thrown into a situation with a group you don't know with limited time to plan. Would be interesting to see if different leadership styles work it differently and get diff. results.

Just a thought to add to guild leadership, which is much more organizationally oriented and less process and strategically oriented.

Anyhow, try BG. It's addicting.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Cockpit, er Tool Bar

One of my original wonderings as I began to play WoW had to do with the complexity of the interface, not just the game play. I was struck by how rich and layered and multitasked the game console was, relative to the textbook interface to information and engagement in Sarah's school experiences.

Oddly enough, it wasn't until Eric showed me last month that I discovered how to array my toolbars so that I didn't have to keep spinning the one bar on the bottom of the screen. This meant I could have all my spells, potions, food, equipment, and minions arrayed before me, on screen, as I played. This meant I could play faster and smarter.

Look at that array. In addition to the infromation contained in the icons, there are icon layers. If I were to open my saddle bags, on the lower right side, those would each contain an additional 16 slots of icons. Some of those icons would contain icons, for instance, a quest object that when right-clicked opens a quest description.

Or the even more complicated character icon that opens up several panels, each of which contains additional panels of iconic and textual information: talent trees, reputations with different game factions, skill levels, honor kills and pvp standings. Here's a look at my character panel, for instance, with the one trinket for the Argent Dawn faction highlighted.

So what might a textbook look like, or rather, what might a substitute for the functions of the textbook look like? Or well, maybe the functionality would be different as well. What would the icons be and what functions would they enable? What tabs might there be on my character bar? Good heavens, what character would I be?