Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Leveling Sweet Spots

Sorry I don't have any "Get to 60 in 3 days" pointers. I don't know of any secret areas that give double xp that no one else knows about.

No, I'm talking about a different kind of sweet spot. Those times where you can get to certain areas fast, pick up a bunch of quests do them quickly and gain several bars easily.

My hunter was getting close to 50 and these three spots helped alot:

*Western Plaguelands - You fly to Chillwind Camp, travel and get a quest to travel an extremely short distance - Sorrow Hill - to kill some skellies and ghouls. I also paid a visit to Felstone (?) Field to get a key, luckily a mage 2 shot the mob I needed, but I'm going to wait a bit yet to go back to that area.

*Blasted Lands - You can fly to Nethergarde, travel a short distance to the Blood Elves and do about 4 hunting quests (and the imperfect draenythst quest too) all in that general area.

*Searing Gorge - You can fly to Thorium Pt, pick up quests right near the gryphon master and do 3-4 hunting quests right below the flight path.

Doing this enabled me to hit 51 painlessly. Hitting a new level always send me to the Auction House (I will not have enough gold to get an epic mount due to impulse shopping habits!) and I found 2 nice bows for sale. I could'nt gauge which was the better, so I did a search for some of the more well known hunters on our realm and asked one for advice. I mentioned my level and he said don't bother with those bows on the AH, instead acquire the AV quest reward bow. A better bow, essentially free?!?!? I'm in!

In a moment of serendipity - I was pleasantly surprised to find out being level 51 allowed me to enter Alterac Valley (pvp). I hadn't really done much pvping on my hunter and it was far from my mind - giving the bad feelings pvp gave me on my priest. Of course my level 51 hunter was no threat to the horde, but I wasn't there to actually pvp anyway.

You can pickup about 5-6 quests outside the entrance and doing several of them, in addition to getting xp for 3 winning tokens took me 1/2 way into 51! Not bad, not bad at all. This is the type of stuff you miss once you're 60.

For the good of the guild

Letting a priest get a +dmg belt, letting a druid get a +agility chest, letting a paladin get a dps weapon. Things like this have caused guilds to say it slows raid progress.

But I argue how often have you not been able to start a raid on time because a warlock doesn't have +15 more damage? Or a rogue doesn't have and extra point of crit chance? Or a warrior doesn't have, yet another, shiny 2 hander?

Now ask yourself how often have your raids been delayed due to not having enough healers available?

In this same vein, a paladin offers here why it isn't beneficial to restrict loot by class:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What if?

What if everytime something in the game was not fun or easy I just stopped doing it? Would I still find fun things to do in the game? Would I accomplish anything? Would my alts get leveled? Would I rank up in pvp? Would I get anymore epics? If I didn't, would that be okay?

I'm reminded of when I leveled up characters and the time flew by. I didn't really notice the time it took. I remember working on professions (this happened just recently) where each skill up came fast and cheap. I remember going into raid instances with eagerness.

Those days seem long gone now. I've been trying to level my hunter, at first learning the hunter class, taming pets, it was all very fun. Lately, I haven't tamed any new pets - because unless you get them at the right level you have to spend a bunch of time leveling them up too. I was grinding on things for leather, but I'm at a point where I can't grind on mobs high enough that I need. I can't say I really enjoy playing my hunter. In fact, she was first made in rebellion of my healing priest. A hunter - a class able to survive without any help, not like my weak holy priest who has to attack green creatures lest she scream for help. I also wanted a class who could grind to make money, turns out - I hate grinding. So my hunter sits in her late 40s and I wonder at this point will I ever get her to 60. I have to schedule to play her, I hardly ever jump on her and say "Yay! I'm getting to play my hunter", instead I'm leveling because well, I said I would level her.

I've quit pvping, and as anyone who has done it knows, you lose the ranks you've earned unless you keep at it constantly. Due to rank decay, you can't take off for a while and start right back up where you left. I kept playing long after it wasn't really fun for me. A healing priest in a pug spends lots of time dead. I finally admitted to myself I was waiting for a spirit rez so often I might as well not be there at all. Sometimes I still wish I could have hit the rank I originally set.

And then there is raiding. I've succeeded in cutting back. I don't raid every day anymore. I try hard to leave at the time I set, but when asked I end up staying. On days I say I'm not going to raid, I go when asked also. That is an issue I've yet to overcome, but I wish I would just say no.

So I'm left wondering, what would I do in this game if I didn't bother trying to level my hunter. If I quit thinking about pvping anymore, if I never raided more than 2 or 3 times a week. I really can't think of anything.

Sometimes this game is so much fun - like playing in Beta with a friend - and finally breaking down and spending gold - lots of gold - to get my enchanting up.

What if I only did what I deem to be fun and as soon as I felt something was a grind, irritating, exasperating, expensive, or time-consuming I'd log off?

I know in life, things don't come without work, discipline, effort - but this is a game. This is just a game.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Burning Crusade pushed back

...and I breathe a sigh of relief.

My goal was to play less, instead I had started playing more when I thought about all the stuff I wanted to finish in the current game before the expansion was released in Novemeber.

Now with the BC planned for January instead of November, I have more time to level up my alts and professions a bit more, continue raiding and also fool around in beta. And I don't have to cram it all in less than a month.

It also doesn't make sense to release something before its ready.

Hooray for delays.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ramparts and Pugs

The first 5-man instance you can do in The Burning Crusade is in a place called the Hellfire Citadel. There are two: Ramparts and Blood Furnace. Ramparts is the lower leveled of the two - I think 60-62.

I think casual players will be very happy, it is a short instance that is easy to get to. I think hardcore players will run through this once to see what its about, get their quest credit and move on.

I did it with a pug, using the lfg function - what is great is once you form a group you can use the meeting stone to summon them - very, very nice feature for groups without warlocks. How many times have you sat around waiting for someone to travel to Dire Maul? ZZzzzzzzz.

We had a nice class mix at first - druid, priest, warrior, mage and warlock. The warrior disconnected early on and didn't come back, yet we still were able to pick up a paladin and continue on. I'm happy to report that both I and the druid were not healbot specced and the druid tanked and I was able to heal just fine. Given the fact we waited a little to get a replacement, I'd say it only took us an hour and a half or so. We wiped once because the mage didn't decurse - but the graveyard isn't very far and the instance itself is short in length and easy to navigate.

Like I said, casuals will be happy with this but if it was a group of people from my guild in the gear we currently have? We could probably do it under an hour. And after doing it once we could probably shave it down to 30-45 minutes. Maybe even quicker because it wasn't as hard as a baron run.

There was nothing there anyone really wanted. We greeded on all the green and I sharded all the blue BoEs. But I can see some casual players coming away with some upgrades.

I think it is a nice introduction to the new age of "Casual World of Warcraft".

Saturday, October 21, 2006

He learned quicker than I did

Raiding blahs

Friday, October 20, 2006

Phasing out raiding?

My raiding history has been as follows:

1) I had never raided before, but seeing people link and wear epics and not knowing what things looked like inside dungeons whetted my appetite.

2) The fact I wasn't able to just waltz into a raid, I have to seek our and apply (just like a job) made it seem all the more enticing. Almost like being forced to wait outside of a exclusive club.

3) Finally making it in. Wanting to make my mark and contribute. Wanting to be known as reliable and dependable. I raided constantly and stay focused on the task at hand all the time. I got epics as a result and got to see encounters not many get to see.

4) Getting burned out as a healer. Becoming that person that was depended on, but feeling the backlash from it by always being called upon to heal.

5) Wanting to branch out (solo pve, pvp) and do something other than healing all the time, but realizing all the epics I acquired don't help me kill anything one iota faster.

6) Having to raid double time to acquire damage items in addition to healing items.

7) Finding out a healer or any other class for that matter - except for the MT - is just a cog in the machine. Although it seemed I was wanted to heal, if I wasn't available I was simply replaced to keep the machine going.

8) Getting the epics that I desired, but realizing there is always better and always something that can be replaced - but as a healer - they didn't really need to be replaced.

9) Finally admitting (in part because of the Burning Crusade) that maybe raiding is no longer for me.

I like being part of a group that accomplishes things but as a priest I haven't really grown with my class - I do the same thing now in Naxx as I did when I entered MC.

At first it was all brand new, then I did it out of obligation, then I did it because I had a friend raiding that I socialized with, now I do it out of habit.

The Burning Crusade cannot come soon enough.

Why the rush?

One of my raid leaders is in beta and almost each day he reports back on instances he's done. He tells us how we should hurry and get to them.

I'm not sure how long he was in alpha but it puzzles me why he is going so fast through the content. He's max level for beta (65? 67?) and it sounds like he's already done it all.

Some players live for end-game. The content that exists before you hit 60 (and now 70) is just something to plow through. Maybe my raid leader is like that, I didn't know him before I started raiding with him.

But looking back on things, although I've been doing nothing but raiding for most of this year, the majority of my fun was leveling up the very first time. Raid kills are definitely memorable, but to have a choice between raiding or doing something new? I'd have to leave raiding behind. I don't want to rush through the fun stuff just to start raiding again.

I've played around a bit in the starter areas of beta - I picked a paladin because I know for a fact I will never (ever) level another healing class in the live environment. Any time I put in on the paladin won't really feel like a waste, because she will be easily disposable when beta ends.

But when I get a chance to play my level 60 priest in beta (I've been waiting for a friend to join me) I don' t really want to rush through all the content. I've been longing for new things to do, I don't want to use that all up in a matter of weeks.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

When you can't say no

Being weak-willed never serves in your best interest.

Blessing in disguise

I've been having some trouble with my computer. It has been causing me to play the game less. While it is irritating I think it is a blessing in disguise.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Guild goodbyes

The majority, maybe all, of the people who have left the guild I'm in did not do so on good terms. And mostly all revolve around loot and raid slotting.

Now before I go further, the initial goal of the guild has been long forgotten (RP) and was non-existent when I joined. I joined specifically to raid, and most people that join the guild now are doing so to raid. Or because their friends are raiding and they want to raid with them. So if anyone leaves because of raid issues that really isn't dropping a bombshell.

One left because he wanted to lead. But he had no position in the guild and as a result was always butting heads with one of the officers. He left for a guild further in raid progression than we are. He links what loot he's gotten and sometimes informs me of progress. I guess he's happy.

A few others left because of loot. I didn't know at the time but apparently they disliked some of the healers rolling on dps loot. They quickly found new homes, actually they found homes before they gquit. Our current raid leader has said if you want to join another guild, leave ours first. But really no one wants to be left guildless, even if the guild isn't exactly what they want at the time.

One, who recently posted on the guild forums that they would forever be loyal to the guild, left in a huff because more of his class was being recruited (meaning less raid slots). He had rerolled from a warrior to a rogue, in a nicely kept-from-the-guild stink about not being allowed a chance at some legendary loot. He sadly found out that most top end guilds don't have room for another rogue (priest? that's a different story but if you've read much of my blog you know why). He actually humbly asked for a spot back in our guild but was voted down by the officers. I was really surprised about that. He recently found home in another guild on their warrior. So after all that they still didn't get to play the class they wanted to.

Then others have left because, to tell the truth our guild officers do rule with a type of monarchy. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I realize the burden that officers bear and I would never want to be that donkey! My choice was to let them do what they wanted, since it really never affects me - although I think one day it will. The players that left couldn't put up with not having a voice or being blacklisted when they used that voice.

But the most recent gquit and the reason for this post was the saddest because it was a player who really never tried to rock the boat much. He hardly ever piped up about loot. And all he wanted to do was raid. He was always prepared and on time. However he was never at the top of the dps chart and perhaps lacked the best "skill" at pulling. They added positions that allowed you to automatically get slots for raids and he felt (since it was kinda his idea) that he would get one. When they didn't choose him, he felt that was a sign for him to leave. He openly posted he was looking for a nother guild and the officers said he could stay until he found one. He found one rather quickly that had old friends of his. I'm so happy he found it. But it was still sad to say goodbye.

More fun that is bad...

The View from the Top

Day 2 of disconnects

Another raid missed due to disconnects. And I spent several hours repairing (which meant stripping my game of the addons I use) seeing that it didn't make a difference, re-adding a few addons I needed for raiding, trying to raid with the disconnects, and finally giving up.

I should have just played beta.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Another first kill missed

After logging on early and preparing for last night's raid traveling to the entrance and camping until time to start I thought I was ready for the evening.

Around 8 I log in and my game disconnects, for the next 45 minutes I try to get in. My limit is an hour - but I made it in. Then for the rest of the evening I kept dc'ing.

I could tell my guild would kill this boss we had been attempting for a while. But I was useless as I kept disconnecting, and finally I gave up.

Today I heard they killed the boss just like I knew they would, in the past I would be really disappointed - but I can tell raiding, while fun, is finally becoming less important to me. And I'm happy about that. I don't want to be distraught because I can't play this game.

Monday, October 16, 2006

New beginnings

Recently, I was fortunate to get a Burning Crusade beta invite through my guild leader. Thanks he who cannot be named!

The new Blood Elf and Draenei starter areas? As beautiful as they both were, the initial wonder of a brand new game wasn't there. I compare it to an alliance player going over to start a character hordeside for the first time. The mechanics are the same, the play is the same, just the landscape, npcs and mobs are different. Gather 3 of this, kill 10 of that. Well this is an expansion, not a brand new game - so I guess that is to be expected. Nevertheless I will save trying out a new race - I'll stay true to the Alliance - for when I actually purchase the game. I'll leave that type of beta testing to others.

My plan is to level up my priest a bit in the Outlands, I think this will be more exciting, because the stagnant feeling at 60 has always been a bummer. My priest has scrapped together decent dps gear at this point, so I'm respeccing to shadow in hopes I'll be able to heal just fine since we won't be facing raid dungeon bosses right off the bat.

There was a thread on the official forums about priests in beta dropping the ball on feedback to the community. As I kept reading the type of feedback certain players were looking for I simply am not interested in obtaining. What percentage of x does y do to z? While I understand games like this have always been a play in numbers - I'll leave that to the number crunchers.

From what I understand WoW wants the expansion to cater to casual more than raiders, and I can imagine many casual players are less interested in what will one more point of AP give them, than is the game fun to play again after 60?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Looking into the mirror

The friend of mine, who I mentioned when I first started this blog, recently said his parents talked to him about the amount of time he plays WoW.

Normally, they wouldn't have a clue - but due to a turn of events he ended up living back under their roof. And under their prying eyes as a result.

My friend recently got a job. So far his schedule hasn't stopped him from playing the game. And I thought everything was going okay with it, but out of the blue he says he hates the job.

He has a job he hates keeping him from playing the game that he loves. I wouldn't be surprised if he quits the job just so he can play the game more.

How do I know this? Because I can see it in myself.

I don't know how many times I've been disappointed to see players achieve what I could if only I had more time to play. How many times I've been disappointed that I had to log and get some sleep.

But in the Azeroth, many players are either young and have nothing but school to worry about, or they are housewives with nothing but home to worry about, or they are disabled with nothing but their computer or they are retired. In other words, people with tons of free time. People with real life commitments - namely work and children, should not try to compete or keep up with these people who have nothing to worry about but Tuesday outages.

That said, I find myself doing so and I spend way more time than I should in this game. I continue to try to cut back, but I keep coming back. I see the addiction in him because I see the addiction in myself.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


My blog isn't showing. Don't know what's wrong.

Monday, October 9, 2006


Without a doubt mods/addons have made my WoW game more enjoyable. Just like being able to use thottbot as added to the game.

People say it trivializes things or makes them to easy, and while I'm sure I could play the game without them - I'd miss them.

There has been a discussion about removing things like decursive. While several support classes will soldier on and learn how to play without it, it will add tedium to those of us who raid.

It adds one more reason why I want to try out playing a dps class in raids. Preferably one that doesn't have to look after anyone else but themselves. But that goes totally against how I am and how I like to play. /shrug

Sunday, October 8, 2006

The Support Class

I'm getting tired of it.

Playing a thankless role is okay when just the act of doing it is enough. But once that enjoyment is gone, all that is left is the feeling that you're doing something for someone who could care less that you're doing it.

So couple the fact the person you are supporting could care less and the fact that you yourself could care less makes a light bulb appear over your head - "Why am I doing this?"

Friday, October 6, 2006

Life in Oblivion

After doing the 5-man I remembered I needed to pick some herbs for mana pots (groan!) I really didn't want to do and sticking to my "I will not treat this game like a job" I logged off.

I decided to try a little more of Oblivion - I didn't take the time to figure out how to save, so the last time I played I ended back doing a some of the same stuff over and over again. Finally I figured it out and was saving like crazy - I need to find out if there is an autosave...

Well the graphics are just INCREDIBLE and I haven't even made it from underground. Sad thing is I'm already having that feeling of "kill ten rats" - "kill a few mobs" - "kill a boss". Yeah rpg deja vu.

Its not that its a bad thing, and the less enamored I am with the game the less likely I'll spend every waking moment playing it - but I kinda miss that pull that WoW first gave me. Probably that same feeling players had when they first played Everquest (I didn't even know it existed until most players had quit - I tried out EQ2, but by then had started playing WoW). I guess from here on out, everything will just be an imitation.


I was on my hunter (working on my leatherworking as usual) when someone in the guild said their Baron run was falling apart and they needed dps. Of course I couldn't help them in that regard, but a few minutes later their healer dropped too and I offered my services, they had worked all the way to the barrister so I figured what the hay.

Well, it wasn't a few minutes in that I died! I forgot how different healing in 40-mans is different than 5-mans. Huge chance for me to draw all kinds of aggro and not have a bunch of others standing in front of me to pick it up.

I shook it off and reminded myself I actually have to do things in a 5-man (gasp!) and as usual I had more fun. Being "uber" geared helped of course, my mana was not really an issue, except when the 60 pally tank went down and we were at the point where the mobs keep coming at you - so I had to try to rez fast and drink, before we were back in combat. It was furious fun, I actually holy nova'd some mobs after the mage went down. And helped wand Rammstein final hp away! Did I mention we had sub 60s in the party? They were getting hit hard!

Looking back I was impressed with how well we did. While you should never underestimate how kick-ass pallies are in undead instances - I still wasn't sure we'd get past those 5 skeletons right before the Baron. Once we did amazingly I still had doubts about the Baron himself. But we downed him with no deaths.

I'm thinking I should do more 5-mans again. With the gear I have now they really are fun (no more oom distress) and a nice alternative to farming - I got a few runecloth, coin and was able to DE some stuff - and I wasn't even there for the majority of the run.

Maybe I can do some more 5-mans this weekend...we shall see.

For reference

Spell Damage

Thursday, October 5, 2006

A healer rants..

Not me this time!

Didn't play much

But still haven't gotten down to where I'm not playing at all on given days.

Got on my hunter and dinged 46 while working toward the tribal leatherworking quest - you get quests to make several different pieces (Wish I had known ahead of time and set aside some of the things I had made earlier!) in order to get to talk to the npc that gives you the tribal LW quest. In the meantime, I got a bunch of xp for those quests and little extra grinding on the wolves in the area is all it took. I didn't even really want to do the last few bars, but I was like what the heck.

I'd really like to get to the point where I don't push myself to do anything in this game I don't look forward to doing.

The whole "this is a game not work" thing...

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Character creators

I installed Oblivion, but only had time to get to the character creator.

One of my favorite things to do in a rpg is to create a character. I'm not talking about its hardiness or diplomacy or intellect or strength - I'm talking about how my character will look.

If there is one thing that City of Heroes excelled in was its character creator. I spent alot of time playing - got a character to the max at the time - 50 I think. But I spent alot of time creating new characters just so I could choose how they would look, what they would wear, their name and identity. I big push was to earn influence (CoH money? I don't remember!) just so you could go shopping for more costumes. I don't know how many times I just created a character and did nothing but hang out in Atlas Park to see what people thought about it.

Then there is WoW. In WoW everyone's character essentially looks the same within the same race. You have a small set of faces to choose from - and some are so hideous you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody that actually chose them unless it was as a joke. And since the most coveted and best items are a small subset what's available, at 60 many start dressing in the same armor. I've caught glances of other night elf priests and for a split second thought they were me. One of the nice things about epics, is they are rare so you can look a little different than most - but even then you look just like every other raider.

While Oblivion is a single player rpg, I have no one to compare how I look - I still enjoy creating a "unique" looking character. Oblivion seems to allow that ability and of course, I'm sure I'll spend more time than necessary fine-tuning how she'll (I always make females) look.

Which is always funny because you spend most of your time looking at the back of your characters head.

I guess you can compare it to cars. Would you honestly enjoy the interior of a Bentley when the exterior was a Pacer?

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


Since things in WoW seem to continue to bother me a bit more than I'm sure they should - I finally broke down and purchased a single player rpg.

Yes, I probably should go outside instead, but baby steps!

I'm not even sure I'll play much of Oblivion. I guess I'm just hoping for something else to turn to when that gnawing feeling of I-don't-want-to-play-wow-but-I-am-anyway hits me.

Some guildmates shared screenshots, the graphics look great, and everyone who has played it seems to have enjoyed it.

I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

Anonymity and the Internet

Ain't it the truth

Monday, October 2, 2006

"It is just a game."

In regards to WoW, this is what people say to win an argument.

Regardless of whether your stance has merit or not, they get the upper hand by using this simple statement.

What happens is they trivialize the matter. But remember this - no one can put a price on what you value. Not an accurate one.

Funny thing is, the people who use this argument "it is just a game" don't really have anything else they can counter with - otherwise they wouldn't resort to it. Pretty flimsy eh?

Randomness of rewards

One thing any regular raider notices after a while is loot doesn't necessarily go to the most "deserving" person.

Some guilds gear up their main tanks first. Others may see this as favoritism toward warriors. Some guilds don't allow non cookie cutter builds (feral druids, shadow priests) first choice on non-set pieces, because they don't want to be unfair to the "pure" classes. Some guilds allow alts and guests the same chance at loot as the veteran players.

The last category is what bugs me most.

I think it would be hard to find a guild that is pushing progression, also allowing alts to win loot over the mains or guests who show up for one raid in a month over someone who has been there 4-6 days a week.

Gear and attendance are some very key ingredients to success. Those who attend most should have the best gear as a result.

But the randomness of rewards don't ensure this. Your class may go months without a shield dropping or a bow, etc.

So couple that with the issue of when it does drop, you can have someone not even in the guild win it. You can imagine how basically - sucky - that can be.

About this blog

"I don't *need* to play. I can quit anytime I want!"

Search This Blog