Friday, December 29, 2006

The Ant and the Grasshopper

"Blue" (what we call any blizzard employee forum poster because their text is in blue - in this case Nethaera) started a thread on the official forums about preparation for the Burning Crusade.

I'd link it here, but Blue posts have the tendency to grow large, break then disappear. Anyway I've copied it here for posterity:

For those that are getting the expansion, what do you look forward to most and how are you preparing for it?

At current, I'm doing some last minute rep adjusting, storing away a few items I know I'll need and pretty much enjoying the hustle and bustle of everyone else.

Some players are farming cloth for bandages. Others have been mining so they can level up jewelcrafting. And some are working on Exodar/Silvermoon reputations - for mounts I guess.

Someone mentioned reserving names for their brand new blood elves and paladins. I'm glad they mentioned that, because in the past I've spent literally an hour thinking up a name for a given character. If I go ahead and get that out of the way now, my friends won't be waiting for me in the starting area while I sit at the character screen wondering if this name sounds too exotic for a alien race and if that name sounds to valley girl for a pompous elf.

I have mixed feelings about preparing for BC. Anytime I start planning I feel like I'm taking a game and making it a job. On the other hand, I'm the same player who saved gold from the time she started her second character until she hit 60, so that I could buy an epic mount as soon as I dinged. So I know the value of preparing, stockpiling and saving. Work before hand saves time later.

But still, sometimes I think, its a game - why don't I play it by ear? If I feel like farming runecloth (for some crazy reason) so be it. Otherwise why spend time doing something I'm really not up to doing, just so I can level up my first aid to 375 as soon as I enter Illidan's realm?

If I'm a grasshopper now, will I envy the ant in the Burning Crusade?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

PvP reward

Tobold compared the recent popularity of the new pvp system with Running with the lemmings.

The easiest epics to get in the game now are via pvp and guess what? That's what everyone is doing.

I have my GM weapon - not as quick as some, but I dare say quicker than most. But after the time I've spent to do so, I've decided that pvp grinding is not for me. No more than reputation grinding.

I fell easily into the trap of grinding non-stop in pvp. I wasn't able to stop until I finally got something but in the end I felt a bit of disgust and I won't do it again.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Winter's Veil Everyone! too!

Friday, December 22, 2006

From the Sad But True files...

What priests really see when choosing a spec from their talent trees.

Yes, some talents are such jokes they didn't need to be changed! Thanks Menae for making me laugh through the tears!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Swapping one with the other

The holidays, the release of "easy epics" by way of the new pvp system, and the impending release of the Burning Crusade - have slowed down my raiding. Which is a good thing right?

Well I've replaced it with pvp. I spend just about as much time, if not more pvping as I did raiding because I want one of those GM weapons. Do I really need one? No.

As my friend said "there is always something to do in this game". Which is awesome when you want something to do, but not so great when you don't want this game to be all that you do.

So once I get my GM weapon, I'll be done with having to pour so much time into pvp. But I wonder....what will be the next time sink? What will I swap pvp with once I'm done?

I'm hoping, eventually, I'll quit setting these virtual goals.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pee vee Pee!

I've been spending more time lately pvping. I'm sure lots of WoW players are doing the same.

Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin PvP only requires a group of 10-15 which is fairly easy to put together. And for Alterac Valley the group of 40 is organized for you.

You don't have to really focus on group makeup. Although a few paladins, mages for cc (and lucky for me - priests!) and nice to have.

I do feel sorry for pugs, because for the majority of my pvp history I've pugged it. I know what its like to be steamrolled by organized groups.

With that said, it is worth your while to find yourself a group. PvP, at least for priests, is extremely more fun in an organized setting.

Other classes can get joy out of entering a bg, and although the group loses, they can check out the leader board and say "Hey I was #1 on Killing Blows!" While Blizzard has added a healing done column, if the team still loses its small consolation to say "Hey I was #1 on Healing Done!"

Although some priests who focus on dps may disagree with me here. My very purpose - support - only functions well in a organized group. In fact, I'd say it increases exponentially.

In pugs, you will be told (not so politely) to heal. It doesn't matter that for 60 levels you've been doing that and you've learned to prioritize who will live and who will die. No, you will be told to heal mages with no mana. You will be blamed for losing matches. And the very success of any BG somehow hinges on the fact you didn't heal a rogue who decides to try and fight a group of 5 people or a warrior with subpar gear facing tier 3. Then you have the constant dropping midgame for another bg. And Alliance seems to struggle at working together. As you can imagine pugs lose...a lot.

Counter that with an organized group. If I'm escorting a flag carrier, they won't run off from me if they are in need of heals. Warriors won't charge in to the fray unless they know I have the mana to back them. I'm not yelled at, and more often than not I'm thanked (this is not required but wow - for a support class it feels great to be acknowledged!). Rogues and druids try to ninja the flags instead of getting extra HKs. I have teammates that actually try to help me stay alive. And I survive long enough to actually heal people! And it comes as no surprise, we win more matches than we lose.

So for the priests out there who are tearing their hair out pugging it? Just like in PvE where once a priest finds a guild they never go back to pugging instances - find yourself a organized PvP group! You'll have a ton more fun I promise you!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Shiny Shoulders

With the new PvP system, players are able to earn honor and tokens and spend them on whatever items are available.

They do not have to earn a certain rank to get items, as was the case in the past. For example you would have had to hit Lt. Commander to purchase any Lt. Commander items, Field Marshal to get any Field Marshal items, and so on.

Now with the new system, if you have enough token/honor to buy a Grand Marshal weapon, you don't have to rank up to do so. You can go straight for it.

This has lead to some "pointing-and-laughing" that seems to be occurring a lot lately.

Field Marshal shoulders are one of the cheapest epic pieces in the reward system. As a result many players have chosen that to be the first piece they purchase. (And since you don't know if Blizzard will hit honor with a nerf bat yet again, its best to grab whatever you can while you can!)

I think several classes' Field Marshal shoulders have some type of a glow to them, so you hear a lot of cracks about "the warlock in glowing shoulders wearing greens and the priest in shiny shoulders still wearing devout".

This is a put-down of course, because it comes from players who earned their shoulders in the old system. They are understandably miffed at how easy anyone can get them now.

On a side note, I don't know why Blizzard didn't implement a transparent rank system, where you had to purchase a Private item before you would be able to earn a Sergeant item, then Master Sergeant and so on. This would put the time sink in that Blizzard wants the game to have. Then, if you ever see anyone in shiny shoulders, you'd know they invested a decent amount of time to get them.

But as it stands, the system works as it does and I'm happy for the players who otherwise may have never had a chance to get an epic before now. I, for one, congratulate you on your shiny shoulders. ;)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

PvP Honor Nerf

It seems after the first week of the release of PvP 2.0, players were earning their rewards entirely too fast.

Today Blizzard has hotfixed a 30% decrease in honor gain that results in a 40% increase in cost of items (don't check my math because I'm just parroting what I read on the forums.)

I heard some players got their GM/HWL weapon within 2 days and I know for a fact (some of my guildmates) players got their weapons within 5 days.

I felt this was too fast personally. But that was only because these people played more than the "average" player. For the amount I planned on playing it was still going to take me a few months.

So just like they revamped the old pvp system, because players CHOSE to play without sleep, food, sunlight - Blizzard had to nerf the new system.

The losers are once again the players who choose to exercise some form of restraint. The players who refused to sit at their computer for 24 hours a day would never hit GM in the old system. Had players chosen to only play a reasonable amount of time each week, the system probably would have been okay. Instead you ended up with shared accounts GMs, and worn out-bleary eyed HWLs.

Those players who will play 10 hours a day will still get the rewards faster than they should and Blizzard will probably nerf it again.

Systems probably are truly "Working as intended". Its the human factor of working the system as it never was intended that screws things up.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Raiding 2.0

I've had the opportunity to raid since the patch but I will hold my final verdict for a few more days (or depending on how much I raid - weeks). I think we need to get some basic kinks out to see how this patch really affected things.

Patches always bring problems. I really don't have a problem with that. If it was a passenger on a plane, sure I wouldn't want the controls to be buggy. But this is a game, I'm willing to give some leeway as Blizzard gets the kinks out.

Yes, things have been bothersome. The interminable clicking sound caused by Blizzard's raid ui. The missing pet bars. Our guild has had trouble with bosses we've had on farm for a while. I don't know whether to chalk that up to the mods in general, or the changes to decursive. My guild has been gracious enough not to lay blame at any particular class or group - we're all adjusting to the changes.

Normally I'd be more upset with what I consider to be a detriment to support classes. But I'm growing more apathetic with each raid.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Insert Eye Catching Title Here

I don't think you could beat this one: Priests and Bikini Waxes

Discussion of the cost-benefit analysis of playing a support class.

Quite apropos given the fact with this recent patch I just specced out of any support talents (unless you count vampiric embrace).

Patch Day!

I thought patch day went relatively painful.

While live was down, I went over to beta and tried out the Eye of the Storm new pvp battleground.

It appears to let anyone over 60 in it, so there was a bit of being overmatched.

I also noticed it won't let me in the AV. I don't know if that's because of my level or if they are wanting people to test the new BG and not play in the old one.

I haven't raided with the 2.0 changes so I don't know how that's going to work out just yet.

What I was suprised by was the amount of Burning Crusade changes were included in the patch. Except for being able to journey into the Outlands and level to 70 all the stuff from beta to have been implemented. The new hunter arrow, the felgaurds, the additional bank spaces, the pvp system, etc.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Slowing down

I wish I had have known more about blogging back when I first started playing WoW. It would be interesting to look back on how I felt then and how I feel now.

I've only blogged a few months and at times posted more than once a day, but now I'm already slowing down. I think I've hit a bit of a lull here which is mirrored by what's going on in the game.

Raiding is more of the same. I still get excited when my guild is close to downing a new boss for the first time. But I've grown tired of the "work" that occurs before that first kill.

I've also grown weary of being a support class, well even more so. I'm starting to wonder however if its not necessarily being support as it is playing the same role all the time. That's bound to be boring for anyone regardless of what class they play.

I've decided with this patch I'm going to switch it up and maybe pvp in shadowform for a while. I'm imagining there will be a rush of people gunning for the pvp rewards now that the system has been revamped. I think this is a prime opportunity to "melt faces".

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

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