Monday, November 24, 2008

Lack of healers

I find it funny that groups at 80 complain about lack of healers. Who has the easiest time of leveling? DPS. You rushed to 80, most likely not helping out any healer you passed by on your way to the end. What did you expect?

As someone still fairly new to the dps side, I see firsthand how it is now. We have it easy in the leveling department. Our gear is made for maximum dps, our spec is, our class is. So Mr. Warlock, quit pressuring Mr. Priest to hurry up and level. Instead invite him to one of your killing sprees. Mr. Rogue are you doing a quest you could solo? See if a healer has that quest too. Or has spending hours in LFG left you uncharitable?


Lack of posting means Wrath is upon us. The good kind.

Quick list of what I like about WotLK:

Cutscenes, interesting quest lines, new types of quests, the visuals.

The addition of cutting away to further the story line is a nice addition. New twists on kill x quests in the form of "vehicle" quests. Ones where you jump in a tank, into a plane or onto a rocket. At some point I even wished there were more kill x quests! BC was interesting visually, but Northrend has the Outlands beat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You're not as good as you think you are*

*Disclaimer: I don't think I'm good at all.

This statement made by Tobold has got to be a joke just to provoke discussion:

The hardcore raiders often talk of raids being all about "skill checks", or even "idiot checks". But if every guild suddenly gets much further in the raid circuit after the nerf, it proves that much of the raid difficulty is strictly numerical. The bosses all still have all of their abilities, they just have 30% less health. So if guild which couldn't kill them before now can kill them, it is hard to argue that these guilds suddenly acquired a lot more skill, or that they were "idiots" before to not be able to kill that boss. One good example for a pure gear check is the first boss in Black Temple, who hits the whole raid for 8,500 damage. If you don't have 8,500 health, there is nothing you could do, you simply need the gear with the stamina that gives you enough health to survive. Of course there are other cases where you can compensate lack of gear by playing better. But I haven't seen any encounter yet which can't be made trivially easy by being much overgeared.

I keep re-reading it and yeah this has to be a joke that he really believes this.

Using a very simplistic example, but I figure one more players would be familiar with. How did we use to defeat General Drakkisath in UBRS at level 60 in blues? We had to have an actual "strategy" that involved first killing the Beast so we had kiting space, then have someone kite him while we killed the guards. You also may have wanted someone to be able to pick up Drakkisath when the tank was conflagged. These things are what I would compare to skill, idiot check.

Later with more gear you skipped the Beast, and just killed them all where they stood. Because you had enough stamina to tank them and enough dps to kill them. You didn't have to do the other things involved. It doesn't prove that you are (or aren't) skilled/idiot.

That's what I meant by all the guilds cheering about Kil'Jaeden kills, and how they went into places and one shot bosses on their first tries. I bet my precious gold if you removed the nerf, put one of these guilds in the same gear competitive guilds had they would fail. Because it does require skill, organization, awareness, attention, etc. all those things that guilds like to believe they have and would be able to do just as well as top guilds if they "just had time and/or gear".

It's not meant to be a slam toward anyone, but I just never imagined anyone in their right mind would face nerfed content and think suddenly they conquered the same thing SK Gaming faced months ago.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ranking achievements

Can we surmise from achievement points what Blizzard thinks is "important" to do in-game?

I imagine the level of time or difficulty went in to deciding how many achievement points an achievement would reward for completion.

Completing 3,000 quests garners you 50 achievement points. While completing a litany of arena requirements nets you the same.

Achievements involving questing, pvping, raiding, exploring and doing lots of seasonal events all can get you 50 points. So no surprise, this useless exercise proves all areas of the game are equally important. :)

Down the beaten path

I spent this past weekend sinking a sickening amount of time chasing a few achievements. One I didn't complete at all and one (a 2-part achievement) I finished only one part of. Each of these achievements depend on random drops.

Essentially it is possible I could never complete them, ever. Yet there I was staring at the screen hoping this time I'd get lucky... as hour after hour ticked away.

I saw the fun achievements could bring, I truly enjoyed taking part in them and now I've already sensed the irritation it can cause (of my own doing I freely admit).

Some achievements you'll reach by simply playing the game but others require that dogged obsessiveness that saps the amusement out of the overall activity.

Of course one could choose to not pursue these activities, but the activities are what this game is. And, at least for me, playing for only a small amount of hours makes me feel like I might as well not play at all. Because in the scheme of things you just can't get much done with only a few hours of play (the initial achievements, yes - but not most of the rest). You can quit smoking cold turkey, you can't quit eating cold turkey so to speak.

So once again, I feel like I should not purchase Wrath. My ambiguity made evident by my lack of pre-ordering. A friend of mine on the other hand has pre-ordered the Collector's Edition, no doubt spurred on by the various achievements you can reach only by being an owner of the CE.

Would I like playing Wrath of the Lich King? Without a doubt. Will I purchase it? I'm wavering once again. In the back of my mind I keep thinking about Adam Betts' comment as he quit back in 2006, "It attracted you with fun then turned it into a job."

Friday, November 7, 2008

To deserve an achievement

There is a really nice reward from the achievement "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been", a violet proto-drake with 310% flight speed. Other than A'lar and the gladiator pvp reward mount I don't think any other mounts are this fast coming in at 280%.

No one will be able to get the reward for a year, because the achievement depends upon you completing seasonal events over the course of a year.

In theory it should only ever take anyone a year to complete this regardless of when they start playing. However since the seasonal Brewfest achievement - Brewmaster includes an achievement Brew of the Year which, surprise, lasts over the course of a year. If you missed this year's Brewfest you have to wait two years to get the proto-drake.

Over at the General Forums many have said you are simply undeserving of getting the reward within a year if you missed taking part in this years Brewfest. Mention of "poor planning", "no preparation" and "lack of research" keep popping up. Those commenters think either you should have been aware of what getting a proto-drake entailed and forgoing all and any obstacles completed the Brewmaster achievement or that perhaps you may not have known about the reward but should have completed the Brewmaster achievement for its sake alone and thus you are undeserving of a proto-drake if the only reason you wanted to do the achievement was for the proto-drake.

Many runners run with no intention whatsoever of being first, second or third. However I think achievement rewards in WoW are not gold medals and oversized checks, instead rewards are more like the t-shirt everyone gets simply because they paid way more than an actual t-shirt costs in their entry fee.

I don't raid on a consistent basis anymore, haven't for a while now. Yet, over the course of a few days, I was able to join some runs through some Azeroth instances like BWL and AQ40 and get the Classic Raider achievement. I didn't help learn any of the fights on my character in particular. I didn't spend hours and hours over the course of weeks and months and years. Did I really "deserve" the achievement?

That's why I think we need to get out of this line of thinking that any of us should be deserving of things in-game. At least not when it comes to making an argument for why someone should or shouldn't get something.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Baron mount

Baron Rivendare's mount used to arguably be the rarest drop in the game:

Just to get an idea of how rare this is.. (taken from the WoWhead comment)

As of 2/2/2008, Wowhead has only seen 1 drop out of 5290 kills...

(1/5290) * 100% = 0.019%

For one run of a given instance, the odds are higher that...

Ashes of Al'ar drops (90x more likely)
Swift Razzashi Raptor drops (63x more likely)
Swift Zulian Tiger drops (31x more likely)
Baron's Runeblade drops (9x more likely)
You are audited by the IRS
You die from slipping in a bathtub
You have a life

Personally I've been playing on and off since release and have only seen it twice across two servers. I've seen the black bug mount (the reward for a lengthy quest line involving 40 man raids at the time) more than that.

Well recently they changed it to be 1 out of 100 chances. Since then I know of 2 people that have gotten it to drop. Now people are farming it like they'd farm herbs. I've tried a few times, don't know if I have it in me to keep at it. I believe it's an achievement as well so that will make it more popular.

I can see now whatever they make an achievement they tend to want to make it more possible that people can nibble the carrot. If you keep it on a pole on a string too far away players just get angry.

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

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