Friday, February 27, 2009

If you mount it they will come

Bornakk the Blue reported recently

When 3.1 goes live, the rewards for “Glory of the Raider” and “Heroic: Glory of the Raider” are being removed. These achievements will still be active, however, players will no longer receive the Plagued Proto-Drake or Black Proto-Drake for completing them. Similar to our decision to remove the Amani War Bear from Zul’Aman, the goal is to ensure that such mounts retain a degree of rarity in the game; and with raids progressing into Ulduar in patch 3.1, we feel obtaining the rewards for “Glory of the Raider” and “Heroic: Glory of the Raider” would be somewhat trivialized. For this reason we will be offering new fast mounts (310 speed) as rewards for completing select achievements associated with 10 and 25-player Ulduar.

This of course has lit a fire under a few of my guildmates. But still not as much as I thought. I finally realize it isn't lack of time or lack of wanting to do things together, they are simply not interested.

That kinda makes me feel better in a way. And I was definitely a bit more emo than I want to admit with my previous post. I just wish I knew earlier and I would at least try to pursue other opportunities. B

From random estimates, we'll have 2 months to finish up the achievements before Ulduar is released. But I have a feeling it will come sooner than we think.

I'm just going to plug away at trying to get them done and hope for the best.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fair weather raiding

Suddenly the enjoyment of WoW has declined like the stock market. Okay, definitely not that bad. But I've recently found myself not logging on at all or logging on and wondering why I'm doing so.

It's not the usual reasons - boredom, the feeling I'm playing too much, etc.

No this time it is, for the second time since I've started playing WoW in 2004, the disappointment caused by other people.

The first time, I was part of a group that was making exceptional progress in BC content. The raid leader snapped or something (I was never able to get a clear answer) and quit leading the group. A few other people quickly jumped ship we were left with a group that struggled to get one or two bosses let alone a clear and I ended up so disgusted about it I pretty quit raiding altogether (other reasons helped my decision).

I felt I was raiding with online friends, but instead they just happened to be people who wanted to raid with whoever was progressing fastest. I'll pause to say this wasn't a pug group, these were people I had raided with for at least a year or more.

And now recently, to a lesser extent, I felt I was joining a guild of people who wanted to raid together. But turns out for certain things some of the guild raids with other more progressed guilds.

When I realized getting achievements were not going to be the goal of this guild, I think my enjoyment declined. I understand their position. Achievements are a personal thing. If you want them, chase after them on your own time. But I wonder what is a guild for if you're not going to do things together, whether it take a little longer or not.

I immediately felt like just another healer that was helping the raid run versus someone they liked raiding with. I'm not a healer-for-hire. At least I don't enjoy feeling like one.

I feel like I'm just a part of a bunch of fair weather raiders. I'm holding out hope that my feelings change.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blizzard seems confident in its game

enough for a Blue poster to say

"If you're just burned out, it's also not the worst thing in the world to try out some other games -- the past couple of years has been great for them. Just check back in with WoW every now and then. :)"

Resto4Life says goodbye

A blog a recently started perusing is shutting down.

Resto4Life was a blog my blog could aspire to. It used graphics creatively (something I feel my blog sorely lacks), the content was solid (unlike my personal ramblings) and had a community.

The reasons its shutting down are equally admirable. Phae is having a baby and the blog takes up too much valuable time. I've often marveled at how anyone with small children can find time to play the WoW meta game.

The blog was helpful to me and many others. I'm not sure who will take up the leafy mantle but Resto4Life will be missed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Remembering your characters

I think for many of us, World of Warcraft was one of our first MMORPGs that we spent a significant amount of time playing. So the idea of having a place to remember characters you've left behind may be odd. But for lots of gamers they have a long history from games like Ultima Online and Everquest. And when gamers retire they don't quit gaming they just move on to the next game. With that in mind I found The Burial Grounds not weird but fitting.

It is a website that lets you create your own monument to a character you've played with a place for a few comments about your time in a that virtual world. It also lets you mention where you've moved on.

I remember thinking about (I'm sure I got the idea from someone's blog) how it would be neat if there was a quest you could do that actually killed off your character when it came time for you to quit. I don't know of any games that are like that. I've known of players logging out in their favorite spots one last time. Or returning to the starter area. So a site like Burial grounds isn't too far fetched. The graphics look like something out of original Everquest so the momunments themselves aren't anything to look at, but the idea that players don't want their characters forgotten even when they left a game on bad terms, one person typed "I vow to never play that game again" says something.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blog visit : Part Time Druid

Part Time Druid is actually playing his warrior now and his druid has been demoted to bank alt. That still doesn't stop him from posting some interesting things.

What caught my eye is his Time Versus Skill: My WoW Jealousy post. He wonders if he had the time some players do how much better would he be. I've wondered how many achievements I could get if I could play more. He and I are a bit different though, I'm in a relationship with someone who plays WoW and have no kids, he as at least 2 kids from what I can tell. So I essentially have more free time, but I can empathize.

Although you hear on the forums "There is nothing to do!" I feel like there just isn't enough time to do all you could do in game.

But there is more to it than that, the more time you spend logged on, the more time you find things to do. As I cut back, the key is for me to not log on at all. And all of that...stuff...will still be there but I won't see it, so I won't do it.

Since Part Time Druid is playing his warrior now and I'm trying to throttle my game hours maybe I can snag his moniker.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cutting back again

After running around for Lunar Festival and then almost immediately having to run around again for Love Is In The Air world events I've hit a mini-burnout.

Just look at my first sentence, I said I was having to do this. I wasn't forced to do any of it, but I felt compelled because if I didn't do it this year I'd have to wait a full year to do it again (gasp)!

Tycho of Penny Arcade described grouping/raiding as "regimented, codified, other-directed "leisure" and "precisely why I got out the first Goddamned time."

Achievements and the world events have begun to feel that way for me.

I've laughed with the guild about how achievements have only exacerbated the completist, addictive tendencies most mmorpg players have. But it should be an uncomfortable laughter. Like the friend whose weekend drink binges that make him so fun to be around have seeped into the week day.

As I sat for hours camping an achievement the other day, I realized I had crossed that line. I should have uninstalled the game then, instead I've compromised and vowed to cut back yet again. Like someone from AA I'm going to take it one week at a time.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

World Events Achievements

I haven't had a chance to try, but according to the General Forums it is really hard to get the Be Mine! achievement to complete the Fool For Love achievement.

The Bag of Candies has an extremely low drop rate.

But the reason why I'm blogging about this is the amount of exasperation people are having about it. There's already thread capped out and another one has started.

Players have mentioned they have alarms set to remind them to log on every hour, and (I assume jokingly) have been losing sleep over it literally.

One person even went on to say they wish there was no such thing as world events. Before achievements you never would get such an outcry over the same activities.

The adage "It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all" doesn't seem to apply here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The opposite of attunement

One thing I've noticed on my realm are the number of guilds that are moving from 10-man to 25.

Raiding is inarguably more accessible now a big swing from BC attunements that required 5-man milestones that many groups couldn't (or didn't bother to) reach.

Now the type of player who claim they only want to do instances with their 10 friends, are starting to branch out and up.

Guild #29,358 downing the 4 Horseman isn't going to make its rounds on wow blogs and websites but I don't hear wow losing any numbers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

10 vs 25 man loot

I've noticed this twice on the forums, in General and in Raids & Dungeons. A request that 10-man loot be equivalent to 25-man loot.

First you have to go on the premise 10-mans are as difficult as 25-man dungeons. I cannot speak from personal experience, but from what I've read 10-man Sartharion + 3 drakes is harder that its 25-man counterpart. One encounter isn't enough to support giving a 10-man boss the same loot table as a 25.

Just as Blizzard decided to decrease from 40 to 25. The argument is more people cause more complexity. And this I agree. How often have you beat an encounter because of less people than more. It happens. The oft quoted "herding more cats" is mentioned when discussing why larger raids are harder. It's quoted because it's true.

Also don't forget, if there is a instance tuned for 5 or 10 you start to have to make it workable for a variety of specs. You end up having to water it down so Joe 'n Friends can down it with whatever class mix they decide to have. If they tuned it tightly to make it rough going, many of these close knit group of friends simply would not have the necessary elements needed.

What I found most interesting is a few people saying they should just get rid of 25-mans altogether. But they didn't really give a reason why. To me it sounds like some players want their 10-man achievement to be the pinnacle of the game. Which makes them no better than the elitists they despise.

What happened to smaller groups just want to see content?

It quickly goes back to why do you need 25-man loot if you are only willing and/or able to tackle 10-man instances? I remember when I had decided to take things more casual I knew I wouldn't be able to have access to the best loot anymore. It seemed fair to me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Choosing which achievements to chase

To quote Michael Corleone "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."

Attempting to "complete" all the achievements sure feels that way.

I'll never be Beelsebub the gnome warlock, who at last count, has 7,630 achievement points.

But I also realize I already may be above average myself - nearing 5,000. For example, let me use the example of a guildie who has expressed no interest in acquiring achievements points beyond what we get through raiding, etc. I must preface that he's a Death Knight. He hasn't even hit 2,000.

It's similar to "anyone who plays more than you plays to much and anyone who plays less, plays too little." How far you want to take achievements is up to you, but I think most would agree passing the 6k mark as hardcore achiever.

I have a feeling getting that far will require me to play beyond my comfort level. That leads me to choose which achievements I should bother with. For example Baron's mount is one of those achievements that could potentially take a lot of time. Yet I want the mount. I could get a ton of other achievements done in that same amount of time.'s the Baron mount!

Yeah the choices may be harder than I thought!

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

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