Road to Caldeum by Exphrasis

' Draenor’s Light

“She’s one of us. She reads far more like a player than an NPC — a level one who has cleverly managed to make it to level 10 without getting overrun by murlocs or wild boars. She isn’t brought in with trumpeted fanfare to save us all at the most intense moment of the Tanaan introductory experience — she’s quietly fighting her own way through the forces of the Iron Horde for survival, just like we are.” Anne Stickney introduces us to Yrel, one of the most anticipated new characters of Warlords.

# Ride the Wave

Although I keep meaning to give Proving Grounds a go, I’ve yet to step foot in them on any of my characters. So, it’d be an understatement to say that I’m pretty impressed with Akuyama, a mage on Outland-EU, who managed to break a world record by reaching wave 138 of endless Proving Grounds – Damage.

' Reunited and It Feels So Good

Alurlol’s WoW account was compromised and suspended by Blizzard in 2008. Not realizing the suspension could be appealed, they played on from scratch. Not long ago, Alurlol found their original CD key connected to the suspended account and wondered if it could be reinstated. Hey, it couldn’t hurt! After proving ownership, the account was reinstated and Alurlol logged in to the long-dormant account. Best of all? The Hand of A’dal quest was still in their log.

% Road to Caldeum

Exphrasis’s “Road to Caldeum” is this week’s featured header image.

' Get Lucky

“As the Hearthstone metagame has become more fully explored, many strong players have become frustrated at the lack of opportunities for skill expression. Unlike in chess—where the best player in the world is a 91% favorite when playing a single match against the 100th-best player—in Hearthstone, the best player is often only a marginal favorite when playing any reasonably good player with a good deck.” Elyot Grant discusses the role of luck in games, whether or not we’re better off without it, and what a game like Hearthstone would look like with all luck removed.

& Hunters Only

Hunters don’t really have the best reputation as a class. It’s just so easy to poke fun at nooby hunters who run through dungeons with Pack on or roll on every weapon that drops. Artemishowl won’t have it. She’s rallied the hunter community through Saturday hunter-only raids, and they’re kicking ass. The group has cleared tier 14 and 15 on normal, tier 14 on heroic, much of tier 15 on heroic, and they’re currently preparing to storm flexible Siege of Orgrimmar soon. Interested? Check out their planning thread.

' Theorycrafting 101

Theck is back with a series of blog posts for prospective theorycrafters. It may be easier to get into than you think. “On more than a few occasions I’ve been asked some variation of the question, ‘How do I get started in theorycrafting?’ Which is a tough question to answer, since there’s a variety of ways to get started depending on what you’re interested in and what talents or tools you have at your disposal.”

' What a Long, Strange Trip

“Last week marked five years since I started playing World of Warcraft. While a lot has changed in my life over the past five years, WoW has been a constant companion in my adventures. I’ve met so many funny and kind people who have brought immeasurable joy to my life, and I’m lucky to count some of them among my close friends now.” Arcane Ratsel shares five things learned over the last five years of playing WoW.

% Same Face

Despite the unfinished state of WoD, players insist on pointing out that things aren’t perfect. They’re afraid that the new models all have the same face. But Dark Legacy Comics has something to say about that.

' When You Gotta Go

Like it or not, WoW has helped to shape the landscape of gaming. Nearing its ten-year anniversary, we should ask how WoW could be better. How can the game shed its outdated tropes? Isn’t linear leveling and the lack of character customization just… old? Gloriaboboria discusses outdated MMO tropes that need to go.