I read a lot. As far as WoW goes, some of what I'm reading are excellent WoW blogs, but I also follow standards like WoW Insider and mmo-champion (whose coverage of Wrath has been amazing). I enjoy it all, but not all of the enjoyment I get is intentional. People who complain about lore in WoW make me smile.
A few months ago, I wrote my guide to WoW PvE. At the time that I wrote that, Blizzard was tight-lipped in their design. Without their express design goals posted anywhere, everything had to be reverse-engineered from our experience in the game. In other words, my guide was a collection of guesses. I happen to think they're good guesses, but when you get right down to it, the amount of public data regarding those game design decisions I talk about was minimal.
All that's changed recently. Blizzard has a new and official voice speaking to the WoW class community, Ghostcrawler. I say the following with all due gravity: Ghostcrawler's posts are game design porn.
Mitch Hedberg had an excellent bit where he talked about buying a doughnut. This is how it starts:
"I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut… I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you the money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction."
He would have hated Gamestop.
Recently, Kikidas reminded me of a popular thought in how to make guilds stronger: a guild house/stronghold of some kind, with various customizable decorations from trophies from kills and accomplishments.
The problem with guild housing is that the room is communal property. A brand new guild member walks into a room that has everything populated or empty, just like someone who has been there the whole time. Just like guild banks, you can't have everyone editing a room, right? I mean, I don't let my wife edit my office desk arrangement (the mess is just so, thanks). Plus, you can't take a guild house with you: if your guild goes south, you have to leave the house behind.
But why don't we make guild success personal, like the new Achievement system is?
In his excellent book "Man in the High Castle", Philip K. Dick talks about items and historicity:
She said, 'what is "historicity"?'
'When a thing has history in it. Listen. One of those two Zippo lighters was in Franklin D. Roosevelt's pocket when he was assassinated. And one wasn't. One has historicity, a hell of a lot of it. As much as any object ever had. And one has nothing …. You can't tell which is which. There's no "mystical plasmic presence", no "aura" around it.
[The Man in the High Castle, pages 65-66]
Why can't our World of Warcraft items have that aura?